September 20-22 Box Office Predictions

Well… this could be one fascinating weekend as three new titles open in the general same money-making range with two holdovers also anticipated to be in that ballpark. We have Sylvester Stallone returning as his #2 signature character in Rambo: Last Blood, Brad Pitt in the sci fi drama Ad Astra, and the cinematic rendering of the beloved PBS British period piece program Downton Abbey. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

If you’d told me even a week ago that I’d be forecasting Abbey to take the #1 spot over Sly and Brad, I probably wouldn’t have believed it. Yet its approximate 3000 plus screen count (higher than I assumed) and the dedication of its fan base has gotten me there.

I have Abbey ever so slightly topping Rambo. As for Astra, I’m a bit skittish about my projection. It’s received solid reviews and Pitt is coming off the blockbuster Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Considering the competition, however, I see it debuting just slightly higher than last fall’s First Man. 

That puts Astra in fourth behind the third weekend of It Chapter Two and just ahead of the sophomore outing for Hustlers (which performed fantastically for its start).

Here’s how I have the top five shaking out:

1. Downton Abbey 

Predicted Gross: $20.8 million

2. Rambo: Last Blood 

Predicted Gross: $20.4 million

3. It Chapter Two 

Predicted Gross: $18.9 million

4. Ad Astra 

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million

5. Hustlers 

Predicted Gross: $16.2 million

Box Office Results (September 13-15)

Despite a terrific start for Hustlers, It Chapter Two managed to stay atop the charts for the second time with $39.6 million. That’s just ahead of my $38.4 million forecast and it’s scared up $152 million thus far.

Jennifer Lopez easily achieved the best premiere of her career (with Oscar buzz attached) as Hustlers made $33.1 million. I was close at $31.5 million. Word-of-mouth and critical appreciation clearly assisted it in reaching that pole position.

Angel Has Fallen was third with $4.4 million (I said $3.4 million) for $60 million overall while Good Boys followed at #4 with $4.2 million (I said $3.2 million). It’s up to $73 million.

The Lion King rounded out the top five and I incorrectly didn’t have it there. The Disney smash earned $3.6 million for a tally of $534 million.

This brings us to The Goldfinch. Once an awards hopeful, poor reviews grounded it to an awful eight place showing with $2.6 million. I was more generous with a $5.7 million prediction.

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

September 13-15 Box Office Predictions

It Chapter Two looks to stay atop the charts as Hustlers could surprisingly give it a run for its money. We also have John Crowley’s drama The Goldfinch with Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman debuting. Both newbies premiered at the Toronto Film Festival over the weekend to vastly differing results. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newcomers here:

Hustlers has been showered with major critical acclaim and reviews suggesting costar Jennifer Lopez could be in line for her first Oscar nomination. I believe it has a legitimate chance at hitting $30 million or over, but I’m putting it just a tad under. We shall see if this gets revised up as buzz continues to build.

The Goldfinch had the opposite reaction. It looked like Oscar bait (unlike Hustlers), but critics have not been kind. My estimate for it has steadily dwindled down. It should secure third place, but with a quiet start.

Pennywise’s return to the silver screen opened on the lower end of expectations. Our first It chapter dipped 51% in its sophomore frame. I believe the sequel will experience a drop more in the mid 50s range.

And with that, my take on the top five:

1. It Chapter Two

Predicted Gross: $38.4 million

2. Hustlers

Predicted Gross: $31.5 million

3. The Goldfinch

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

4. Angel Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $3.4 million

5. Good Boys

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

Box Office Results (September 68)

It Chapter Two dominated our first autumn movie weekend. The lengthy horror sequel took in $91 million. As mentioned, that is at the lower end of projections and below my take of $109.7 million. The pic still managed to grab the second biggest September haul and #2 overall horror starting gross of all time behind… It (which floated to $123.4 million out of the gate).

Angel Has Fallen was second with $5.9 million. My prediction? $5.9 million! Total is $53 million.

Good Boys took third at $5.4 million (I said $4.9 million) and it stands at a solid $66 million.

The Lion King was fourth with $4.3 million compared to my $3.8 million estimate for an overall massive tally of $529 million.

Hobbs & Shaw rounded out the top five with $3.8 million, ahead of my $3 million forecast. It’s up to $164 million.

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

The Goldfinch Box Office Prediction

Based on a 2013 novel by Donna Tartt that elicited mixed reaction, The Goldfinch arrives in theaters next weekend. The drama is director John Crowley’s follow up to his Oscar nominated 2015 effort Brooklyn. Ansel Elgort headlines with a supporting cast that includes Oakes Fegley, Aneurin Barnard, Finn Wolfhard (currently also costarring in It Chapter Two), Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, and Nicole Kidman.

The film will have its premiere this weekend at the Toronto Film Festival. Interestingly, it skipped both Telluride and Venice. Those earlier screenings could have provided the opportunity for any awards chatter and I’m curious to see if Warner Bros knew that might not materialize.

For those unfamiliar with the source material, I’ve found the trailers to be a bit too mysterious and a tad lackluster. We’ll see if reviews this weekend could possibly change the dynamic, but I currently see The Goldfinch struggling to reach double digits. That unimpressive result would put it in third place behind the aforementioned It sequel and Hustlers.

The Goldfinch opening weekend prediction: $5.7 million

For my Hustlers prediction, click here:

Oscar Watch: It Chapter Two

Two years ago, Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel It broke box office records in the horror genre and became an instant audience favorite. Yet it didn’t end up registering with awards voters in any fashion… not even for Pennywise’s creepy makeup job.

This weekend, the eagerly awaited sequel arrives and the review embargo has floated away. Chapter Two holds a decent 79% Rotten Tomatoes score, but that’s beneath the 86% achieved by its predecessor. A consistent theme in much of the critical reaction is that many parts work, but that it’s also overlong and doesn’t quite measure up to chapter one.

If It couldn’t garner Oscar attention, don’t expect this to. I will make make one further prediction. Another common factor in the reviews is praise for Bill Hader’s performance and he’s said to be a scene stealer. Don’t be surprised to see some chatter and wishful thinking for a Supporting Actor nod that will never come to pass. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

September 6-8 Box Office Predictions

It’s all about It this weekend as the fall box office kicks off and Pennywise returns to terrorize The Losers Club in It Chapter Two. The Stephen King adapted sequel looks to dominate the marketplace with a potential nine figure debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction post here:

Two years ago on the same post Labor Day frame, It blew away expectations with a massive $123.4 million premiere. Breaking the opening records for September and the horror genre, anticipation is certainly present for the follow up. Reviews aren’t quite as strong this time around and that could mean a slight dip. Yet I’m still going with a starting gross of over $100 million.

No studio bothered to provide direct competition, so the rest of the top 5 will be made up of summer holdovers. None of them should register in the double digits as the demonic clown will be the main attraction.

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

1. It Chapter Two

Predicted Gross: $109.7 million

2. Angel Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $5.9 million

3. Good Boys

Predicted Gross: $4.9 million

4. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

5. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $3 million

Box Office Results (August 30September 2)

Before the It arrival, it was a typically quiet Labor Day weekend as Angel Has Fallen kept its place atop the charts with a four day gross of $15.3 million, a tad under my $16.1 million estimate. The two week total is $44 million.

Good Boys remained in second with $12.1 million (I said $13.1 million) for $59 million overall.

The summer season ruler Disney had The Lion King in third with $9.3 million, on par with my $9.8 million projection for $523 million in the coffers.

Hobbs & Shaw was fourth with $8.4 million compared to my $9.2 million prediction. Tally is $159 million.

Overcomer rounded out the top five at $7.7 million. I went higher with $9 million. The faith based sports drama has earned $19 million.

Finally, the David Oyelowo Blumhouse thriller Don’t Let Go tanked in 15th place with a meager $2.9 million. I was more generous at $4.5 million.

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

It Chapter Two Box Office Prediction

It Chapter Two will no doubt float to the top of the charts next weekend when it’s unleashed in cinemas. The Stephen King adapted horror epic continues the story of the Losers Club battling demonic clown Pennywise and hopes to rake in similar earnings to its 2017 predecessor. Andy Muschietti returns in the director’s seat with Bill Skarsgard back as Pennywise. Jaeden Martell, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Wyatt Oleff reprise their roles as the youthful Losers Club. Part 2 also flashes forward in time and finds James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader (said to be a scene stealer), Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean portraying their adult versions. This is the only wide release of the weekend as other studios steered clear.

It was a genuine box office phenomenon when it came out during the same post Labor Day frame two years ago. Bursting out of the gate with $123.4 million, it ended its domestic gross at just over $327 million. That made It the largest September opening of all time and highest debuting and overall earning horror feature ever.

Chapter Two stands a real chance at breaking those records. Unlike some sequels in 2019 that followed long after previous entries, chapter one is still fresh in the minds of audiences. There’s a desire to see how it wraps up. That said, I’ll say this falls under what that creepy clown and company accomplished in 2017.

It Chapter Two opening weekend prediction: $109.7 million