Oscar Watch: Missing Link

The stop-motion animated adventure Missing Link hits theaters next weekend and it’s the latest effort from the studio Laika. Reviews have been sturdy for the Bigfoot tale featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, and Zach Galifianakis. Its Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 91%.

When it comes to Oscar nominations for their material, Laika has quite the batting average… as in 100%. For their four previous efforts, they’ve also all lost to Disney titles. In 2009, Coraline lost to Up. ParaNorman came up short to Brave in 2012. In 2014, it was Big Hero 6 over The Boxtrolls. Two years later, Kubo and the Two Strings couldn’t emerge over Zootopia.

Could history repeat itself? Absolutely. While critical reaction is solid, Link has little chance at winning the Best Animated Feature award. And, yes, Mouse Factory competition is legit with sequels Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2. There’s another sequel already released from DreamWorks – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – that also looks to nab a nod.

With five slots, there’s a chance Link could be the first Laika flick to miss a nomination. However, their track record is considerable and I wouldn’t count it out. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

March 29-31 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (03/27): My Dumbo prediction has dropped from $65.6 million to $55.6 million.

After Us rocked the box office this past weekend, a quartet of newcomers open nationwide on Friday: Tim Burton’s live action rendering of Disney’s 1941 animated classic Dumbo, true life action thriller Hotel Mumbai, Pure Flix pro-life drama Unplanned, and Matthew McConaughey stoner comedy The Beach Bum. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/20/dumbo-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/24/hotel-mumbai-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/24/unplanned-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/24/the-beach-bum-box-office-prediction/

Dumbo should have little trouble flying into the winners circle. I have it slated for a mid 60s opening. That’s far from what the Mouse Factory achieved with the non drawn versions of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book and more in line with 2015’s Cinderella.

The remainder of the premieres may all have trouble reaching the top five. Mumbai could fare the best after a decent limited release start, even though it’s on less screens than Unplanned or The Beach Bum. I have those titles hitting just $2.6 million and $1.6 million, respectively. I’m a bit more optimistic with Mumbai, putting it at $3.4 million.

A big question this weekend is how far Us will drop after its fantastic performance out of the gate (more on that below). It stands to reason that this will be more front loaded than Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which rode a wave of water cooler chatter. I foresee a dip in the mid to possibly high 40s range.

Captain Marvel, Five Feet Apart, and Wonder Park could populate the rest of the high-five, assuming none of the new trio not named Dumbo manages to exceed expectations.

Here’s my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Dumbo

Predicted Gross: $55.6 million

2. Us

Predicted Gross: $38.4 million

3. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $20.2 million

4. Five Feet Apart

Predicted Gross: $5.9 million

5. Wonder Park

Predicted Gross: $4.9 million

Box Office Results (March 2224)

As mentioned, acclaimed horror flick Us dominated the charts and proved that its maker Jordan Peele is a valuable commodity at the moment. Taking in $71.1 million (well past my $58.8 million projection), Us is the largest live action feature based on original material since 2009’s Avatar. It doubled the $33 million brought in by Peele’s breakout Get Out. With a meager $20 million budget, it’s safe to assume the champagne bottles are popping over at Universal.

Captain Marvel dropped to second after two weeks on top with $34.2 million, just under my $36.4 million estimate. The MCU effort has amassed $320 million thus far.

Wonder Park was third with $8.7 million. I was a little higher at $10.4 million. The two-week tally is $29 million.

Five Feet Apart was close behind in fourth with $8.5 million (I said $7.7 million) and $26 million overall. I expect Park and Feet to flip positions this weekend.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World rounded out the top five with $6.5 million compared to my $6.1 million prediction. Its total is $145 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

March 22-24 Box Office Predictions

This weekend at the box office, it’s all about Us – as in Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed and eagerly awaited follow-up to his breakthrough hit Get Out. It’s the only new wide release before us and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/12/us-box-office-prediction/

I have the horror pic slated for a mid to high 50s debut and that should easily nab it the top spot, knocking Captain Marvel off after two weeks in first. The rest of the top five should be populated by holdovers Wonder Park and Five Feet Apart, which both exceeded expectations in their premieres, as well as How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Us

Predicted Gross: $56.8 million

2. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $36.4 million

3. Wonder Park

Predicted Gross: $10.4 million

4. Five Feet Apart

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million

5. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million

Box Office Results (March 1517)

Captain Marvel easily held onto first in its sophomore frame with $67.9 million, a touch below my $71.3 million projection. The Marvel blockbuster has amassed $264 million in its first ten days of release.

Animated Wonder Park placed second with $15.8 million, well beyond my $10.3 million prediction. Considering its reported $100 million budget, that’s still nothing spectacular, but it is definitely on the highest end of estimates.

Romantic drama Five Feet Apart was third with $13.1 million, ahead of my $10.7 million forecast. Unlike Wonder Park, the price tag here was a measly $7 million and it nearly doubled that out of the gate.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was fourth with $9.2 million (I said $9.4 million) for $135 million overall.

I didn’t give Mr. Perry enough credit as A Madea Family Funeral rounded out the top five with $7.8 million compared to my $5.6 million take. The three-week tally is $58 million.

Spanish comedy sequel No Manches Frida 2 was sixth, opening with $3.8 million on under 500 screens. I was close at $3.4 million.

In seventh, the barely publicized alien invasion thriller Captive State took in just $3.1 million (I said $2.8 million).

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

March 15-17 Box Office Predictions

Captain Marvel looks to make another giant pot of box office gold in its sophomore frame while a quartet of newcomers could struggle to get noticed. There’s the animated Wonder Park, youthful romantic drama Five Feet Apart, and alien invasion flick Captive State debuting and you can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/09/wonder-park-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/09/five-feet-apart-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/10/captive-state-box-office-prediction/

I’m not expecting much from the newbies. I didn’t do an individual post for Mexican comedy sequel No Manches Frida 2, which hits the smallest number of screens at around 450. It will likely post the highest per screen average of the premieres and I’ll forecast a $3.4 million debut for sixth place. That’s better than my take on Captive State. It opens in almost five times as many venues, but I’m projecting a measly $2.8 million.

Park and Feet could find themselves in a close battle for second. I’m giving the latter a slight edge. It’s also feasible that How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World could stay in the runner-up spot behind the latest MCU juggernaut.

Here’s how I have the top 5 playing out:

1. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $71.3 million

2. Five Feet Apart

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million

3. Wonder Park

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

4. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $9.4 million

5. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

Box Office Results (March 1517)

I’ll give myself a little pat on the back with my Captain Marvel prediction as it made $153.4 million and I was just a million off at $154.4 million. That’s a sterling start for Brie Larson’s heroine and I look for this to fall around 53% in its second frame.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World fell to second with $14.6 million. I was a touch higher at $16.6 million. Total is $119 million.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral was third with $12.4 million (I said $11 million) for $46 million overall in two weeks.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part made $3.8 million for fourth place. My $3.9 million forecast was right there. It’s nearly at the century mark with $97 million.

Alita: Battle Angel rounded out the top five with $3.2 million (I said $4 million) for $78 million to date.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

March 8-10 Box Office Predictions

The MCU will undeniably be the captain this weekend at the box office as Captain Marvel blasts into multiplexes. The pic comes off a banner 2017 for the studio that saw Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War dominate the year. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/02/27/captain-marvel-box-office-prediction/

My forecast north of $150 million gives it the seventh largest opening of the franchise. I believe it will help tremendously that it’s seen as a bridge between Infinity War and next month’s Avengers: Endgame.

No other studio bothered to open anything against the MCU juggernaut. That means two-time champ How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World will dip to second position. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral opened well, but it should experience a rather hefty decline as other Madea titles have. Holdovers Alita: Battle Angel and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part might be close vying for fourth place.

And with that, my top 5 take on the Marvel-ous weekend:

1. Captain Marvel

Predicted Gross: $154.4 million

2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $16.6 million

3. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

Predicted Gross: $11 million

4. Alita: Battle Angel

Predicted Gross: $4 million

5. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Predicted Gross: $3.9 million

Box Office Results (March 13)

As mentioned, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World stayed atop the charts for a second time despite Madea. The Dreamworks Animation pic took in $30 million, a bit under my $32.2 million projection. It’s staring at the century mark with $97 million.

Tyler Perry has claimed A Madea Family Funeral is the character’s swan song. If so, she went out on a high note with $27 million compared to my $22.8 million estimate. That’s the franchise’s third best starting haul.

Alita: Battle Angel was third with $7.2 million (I said $6.3 million) for $72 million overall.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was fourth with $6.6 million. I was lower at $5.3 million. It’s built its earnings up to $91 million.

Fighting with My Family was fifth at $4.6 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It’s made $14 million in two weeks.

Greta was the weekend’s non-Madea newbie and it debuted in eighth place with a ho-hum $4.4 million. I had it at $5.6 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

March 1-3 Box Office Predictions

As the Oscars aired last night, it seems appropriate as 2019’s Best Picture front-runner Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral opens this weekend and tries to dislodge How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World from the top spot after its franchise best opening. We also have the horror drama Greta with Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/02/23/tyler-perrys-a-madea-family-funeral-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/02/25/greta-box-office-prediction/

Mr. Perry may have to settle for second place as I have the alleged Madea finale getting a low 20s start (the possibility of mid to high 20s is certainly feasible). Dragon exceeded expectations and may see a low 30s sophomore frame.

As for Greta, it’s being released on a surprisingly hefty 2000 screens. I still think it will struggle and settle for fourth after Alita: Battle Angel, with The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part rounding out the top five.

And here’s my projections for the weekend ahead:

1. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $32.2 million

2. Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral

Predicted Gross: $22.8 million

3. Alita: Battle Angel

Predicted Gross: $6.3 million

4. Greta

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

5. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Predicted Gross: $5.3 million

Box Office Results (February 2224)

As mentioned, the Dreamworks Animation franchise finale How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World rode out on a high note with $55 million, easily surpassing my $44.7 million prediction. In this young year, that’s the largest opening thus far (Captain Marvel will change that in short order).

Alita: Battle Angel dropped to second with $12.3 million, in line with my $12.9 million forecast for a two-week tally of $61 million.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part was third with $9.6 million compared to my $11.2 million take. Overall earnings are $83 million.

The wrestling biopic Fighting with My Family expanded nationwide and was fourth with $7.8 million, not matching my $10.8 million projection.

Isn’t It Romantic rounded out the top five with $7.1 million (I said $6.1 million). It’s made out with $33 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

February 22-24 Box Office Predictions

Dreamworks Animation hopes to jolt the box office from a poor President’s Day weekend with the release of franchise finale How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. We also have the nationwide expansion of the wrestling biopic Fighting with My Family entering the ring. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/02/13/how-to-train-your-dragon-the-hidden-world-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/02/14/fighting-with-my-family-box-office-prediction/

Dragon should have zero trouble opening atop the charts with my mid 40s projection. That puts it in range with its two predecessors.

The fight for the #2 spot could get interesting. This post holiday frame often sees large drops for holdovers. I expect that will apply to current champ Alita: Battle Angel and Isn’t It Romantic in particular. Family has sleeper potential, but I have it falling below Angel and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, with Romantic rounding out the top five.

And here are those estimates for a weekend ending with crowning Oscar winners:

1. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Predicted Gross: $44.7 million

2. Alita: Battle Angel

Predicted Gross: $12.9 million

3. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

4. Fighting with My Family

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million

5. Isn’t It Romantic

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million

Box Office Results (February 1518)

As mentioned, this holiday weekend marked the poorest one for President’s Day (with Valentine’s Day falling on Thursday) in a decade and a half. And it was especially weak considering this frame last year marked the massive debut of Black Panther. That said, some features managed to exceed my expectations while one in particular definitely didn’t.

Alita: Battle Angel took in $33.5 million from Friday to Monday and $42.2 million counting its Thursday earnings. This is well above my respective predictions of $19.7 million and $24.8 million. So while I certainly failed to give the science fiction action tale its due, this is still underwhelming considering its reported gigantic budget.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part dropped to second with $27.7 million, on target with my $27.8 million take. It’s made $62 million in two weeks.

Rom com satire Isn’t It Romantic premiered in third with $16.6 million and $22.8 million since its midweek rollout. That topped my expectations of $14.3 million and $20.7 million.

In its sophomore outing, What Men Want was fourth at $12.2 million (I said $13 million). The total is $37 million.

Finally, Blumhouse horror sequel Happy Death Day 2U opened in fifth and that was surprising. I thought it even had at a shot at first, but it earned a measly $11 million over the long weekend and $14.7 million counting Wednesday and Thursday numbers. My forecasts of $22 million and $28.6 million were a little off… However, the silver lining for its studio is that it only cost about $9 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…