April 28-30 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Update (04/26): I am revising my Big George Foreman estimate down from $8.5M to $5.7M

The Super Mario Bros. Movie should have a fourth and final weekend atop the charts before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 kicks off May and the summer cinematic season. Coming-of-age dramedy Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and boxing biopic Big George Foreman also the newbies entering the ring. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

The revolving door at #2 should belong to Margaret, based on the 1970 Judy Blume bestseller. While a gross approaching $20 million is feasible, I’ll say mid teens is where it lands. It will bank on strong holds in its subsequent frames.

As for Big George Foreman, it might find itself in a close race with the second weekend of Evil Dead Rise for third position. I have Rise falling in the low to mid 60s (similar to the 2013 predecessor Evil Dead). If that occurs, it might win a close decision vs. Foreman.

Mario should have no trouble dominating once again and a mid 30s dip would give it just under $40 million in that fourth outing.

Finally, I have holdover John Wick: Chapter 4 in fifth. That slot could go to Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant or Air, though I have Keanu and company experiencing the smallest decline.

Here’s how I envision the top 5 shaking out:

1. The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Predicted Gross: $39.4 million

2. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Predicted Gross: $15.3 million

3. Evil Dead Rise

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million

4. Big George Foreman

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

5. John Wick: Chapter 4

Predicted Gross: $4.1 million

Box Office Results (April 21-23)

As anticipated, it was a three-peat for The Super Mario Bros. Movie as it collected another $59.9 million in coinage. Blasting beyond my $54.8 million prediction, Illumination’s animated juggernaut has amassed $436 million domestically.

Evil Dead Rise proved there’s no horror fatigue for audiences following recent efforts Scream VI, The Pope’s Exorcist, and Renfield. The fifth pic in the franchise opened with an impressive $24.5 million, elevating past my $16.7 million take. That’s just a shade behind what 2013’s Dead ($25.7 million) kicked off with.

Afghanistan War drama Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant with Jake Gyllenhaal couldn’t fill its theaters with a middling $6.3 million. It did premiere a tad ahead of my $5.6 million forecast, but that’s still an unimpressive result.

John Wick: Chapter 4 was fourth with $5.8 million compared to my $4.7 million projection with $168 million in the coffers.

Fifth place belonged to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves with $5.5 million (I said $4.3 million) as the franchise hopeful is straining to reach nine digits at $82 million.

Air was sixth with $5.4 million in the third weekend – in line with my $4.6 million guesstimate. Total is $41 million.

Plummeting from 2nd to 7th is The Pope’s Exorcist, falling victim to the power of Evil Dead . Down 62% in its sophomore frame with $3.4 million, I was more generous at $4.6 million. The ten-day tally is $15 million.

The story is similar for Renfield, down 59% in weekend #2 with $3.2 million (I went with $3.9 million). The tepid two-week total is $13 million.

Finally, Beau Is Afraid with Joaquin Phoenix (generating wildly divergent reactions) played well in very limited NY/LA showings last weekend. Yet it stumbled in wider release. The multi-genre odyssey made $2.7 million on just under 1000 screens. I was higher at $4.4 million.

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

And in the meantime, listen to my box office thoughts on your favorite podcast platform by searching Movies at the Speed of Speculation!

Oscar Predictions: Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant

Lionel Richie has received three Oscar nominations for his ditties. The filmography of Guy Ritchie has yielded one less as 2009’s Sherlock Holmes was mentioned for Art Direction and Original Score.

Guy could tie Lionel since The Covenant, his Afghanistan war drama, hits theaters this weekend. Jake Gyllenhaal headlines the director’s 14th feature which is generating mostly appreciative reviews and being commended for the restraint shown by the often flashy filmmaker. It sits at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes.

However, the spring release date for the MGM effort indicates this isn’t seen as an awards play. If you’re waiting for this to pop up in mentions during the Academy ceremony next year, you’ll probably be waiting all night long. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

April 21-23 Box Office Predictions

The Super Mario Bros. Movie should rule the charts for a third weekend as Evil Dead Rise and Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant open in wide release. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newcomers here:

Evil Dead Rise appears headed for a second place showing. However, the fifth pic in the horror franchise that started over 40 years ago is unlikely to match the mid-twenties haul that its 2013 predecessor managed. That’s despite strong reviews. Some recent horror saturation might mean a low to mid teens premiere.

As for Afghanistan War drama The Covenant with Jake Gyllenhaal, this is a genre that often struggles for eyeballs. It could certainly outpace my mid single digits projection (which should still be good for third), but my gut says this won’t impress.

Spots 4-8 should be holdovers whose difference could be less than a million bucks. I have John Wick: Chapter 4 leading that group with Renfield having the biggest percentage drop and coming in 8th.

Some other notes before I get to the power player. The historical drama Chevalier is slated to come out on around 1200 screens. I think the ceiling could be $2.5 million and I didn’t do an individual post for it.

Then there’s Beau is Afraid. Ari Aster’s three-hour opus with Joaquin Phoenix is garnering some raves and some derision from critics. It had a sizzling limited debut on only 4 screens. Beau is opening wider this weekend, but I’ve yet to see a theater count. Depending on how many venues it’s playing in, it could pop up in the top 5. However, I can’t make an educated guesstimate (yet) until I see a number. **Update (04/19): I’ve now done a prediction for this since a theater count is released:

As for the third frame of Mario, I’ve got it falling in the high 30s to low 40s for a mid to high 5os gross. My prediction gives it the ninth best third weekend of all time after it just had the seventh largest second one. I’ll give this caveat: I’ve been low for two weeks in a row on this pic.

So with all that said, here’s my look at the top 8:

1. The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Predicted Gross: $54.8 million

2. Evil Dead Rise

Predicted Gross: $16.7 million

3. Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

4. John Wick: Chapter 4

Predicted Gross: $4.7 million

5. The Pope’s Exoricst

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

6. Air

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

**7. Beau is Afraid

Predicted Gross: $4.4 million (ADDED PREDICTION**)

8. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

9. Renfield

Predicted Gross: $3.9 million

Box Office Results (April 14-16)

It’s a Nintendo Cinematic Universe and we’re just living in it as The Super Mario Bros. Movie once again exceeded expectations in its sophomore frame. Illumination’s animated phenomenon piped in another $92.3 million, far exceeding my $74.9 million take. The two-week tally is an astonishing $353 million. There is a real possibility that this could end up as the highest domestic grosser of 2023.

Russell Crowe’s horror tale The Pope’s Exorcist surprisingly was second with $9 million, edging past my $7.4 million forecast. With a reported $18 million budget, that’s not too shabby though hardly glorious.

John Wick: Chapter 4 was third with $8 million (in range with my $8.4 million call). It’s up to $160 million after 4 weeks.

Spooky comedy Renfield with Nicolas Cage as Dracula was anticipated to see second place, but it wasn’t to be. The fourth place showing at $8 million fell below my $12.2 million estimate. With a fairly sucky B- Cinemascore, look for it to fade quickly.

Air was fifth with $7.8 million in its second weekend. I thought it would hold better and went with $9.5 million. Nevertheless its $33 million total thus far is solid for an adult drama.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was sixth with $7.5 million (I said $6.9 million) for a so-so $74 million after three weeks.

Toho’s Japanese animated fantasy Suzume couldn’t live up to previous titles from the distributor. It was seventh with $5 million and I was more generous at $8.7 million.

I never did an official prediction for Mafia Mamma with Toni Collette, but I said the poorly reviewed comedy would be lucky to make $2 million. Well, I guess it was lucky because that’s exactly what it did for 8th.

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

***In the meantime, catch my weekly podcast talking box office at Movies at the Speed of Speculation (wherever you stream!).

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant Box Office Prediction

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant finds Jake Gyllenhaal back in Jarhead territory in this war thriller. It marks Ritchie’s second release of 2023 after Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre flopped last month. Formerly titled The Interpreter, costars include Dar Salim, Alexander Ludwig, Antony Starr, Emily Beecham, and Jonny Lee Miller.

Gyllenhaal’s previous action flick was a year ago with Ambulance. It performed below expectations with an $8.6 million start. Ritchie’s aforementioned Guerre managed only $3 million in its unfortunate opening.

The Covenant doesn’t seem to be generating much buzz. I think it’ll have a higher premiere than the director’s last effort, but lower than its lead’s predecessor.

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant opening weekend prediction: $5.6 million

For my Evil Dead Rise prediction, click here:

For my Beau Is Afraid prediction, click here:

Oscar Predictions: Strange World

Disney, be it through their traditionally animated works or especially Pixar, has had a stranglehold on the Best Animated Feature race at the Oscars. The category began in 2001. Of the 21 winners, 15 are from the Mouse Factory. That includes 9 out of the last 10 (the outlier is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse).

The Disney domination appears fragile in 2022. Their adventure tale Strange World, focused on a legendary group of explorers, hits multiplexes over the Turkey Day weekend. Don Hall and Qui Nguyen direct with a voice cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Dennis Quaid, Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu.

With its review embargo up, the Rotten Tomatoes meter is at 72%. That’s pretty low for this studio’s product. The Pixar offering from earlier in the year, Turning Red, sits at 95%. Now that World has been seen, it appears Red is Disney’s strongest contender to take the Academy’s prize. In fact, Strange World could miss the top five altogether.

However, Red is expected to come up short to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio from Netflix. We were waiting to see if Strange could present a challenge. It will not and my Oscar prediction posts will continue…

Strange World Box Office Prediction

The last time Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal played father and son, it was nearly 20 years ago in Roland Emmerich’s disaster epic The Day After Tomorrow. For the upcoming holiday, they’re family again in the Mouse Factory’s animated Strange World (out Wednesday November 23rd). Voicing a pair of explorers in the sci-fi themed adventure, Don Hall (who made Big Hero 6 and Raya and the Last Dragon) and Qui Nguyen direct. Other voices getting in on the action include Jaboukie Young-White, Gabrielle Union, and Lucy Liu.

Disney is no stranger to releasing high profile product over the long Turkey Day frame. Sometimes that’s Pixar material or traditionally drawn fare such as this. Frozen remains the gold standard. It debuted to $67 million for the Friday to Sunday portion of Thanksgiving weekend with $93 million when counting Wednesday and Thursday. Other Disney releases like Moana and Coco made off with $82 and $72 million over their respective first five. On the other hand, The Good Dinosaur grossed just under $40 million from Friday to Sunday in 2015 with $55 million for the extended period. Perhaps the best comp is last year’s Encanto. It made $27 million for the three-day with $40 million for the five.

The buzz seems strangely quiet considering the studio pedigree. I would argue Encanto had more heat before it opened. Strange could manage only a second place start behind the third outing for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (which does give Disney a one-two punch for the weekend). This might open a little closer to Dreamworks Animation’s Penguins of Madagascar from eight Thanksgivings ago at $25 million (Fri-Sun) and $35 million (Wed-Sun). It might even fall short of that.

Strange World opening weekend prediction: $19.3 million (Friday to Sunday); $26.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Devotion trailer, click here:

For my Bones and All prediction, click here:

For my The Fabelmans prediction, click here:

April 22-24 Box Office Predictions

It’s likely to be a top heavy family friendly box office chart this weekend as DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys makes a play for the #1 spot. The well-reviewed action comedy could find itself in a battle with the second weekend of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (after a lackluster start) and the third frame of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The adults have fresh product to choose from as well. There’s the Viking epic The Northman from director Robert Eggers and Nicolas Cage headlining the meta comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. My detailed prediction posts on the trio of newbies can be accessed here:

The Bad Guys Box Office Prediction

The Northman Box Office Prediction

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Box Office Prediction

Considering Beasts easily had a Wizarding World franchise low opening (more on that below), even a mid teens start for The Bad Guys could mean it’ll manage to nab first place. If Sonic fell nearly 60% in its sophomore frame, I’m saying Beasts plummets in the mid 60s and it could be a close contest for second between the two holdovers.

The Northman and Talent should hold the four and spots and maybe not in that order. That’s how I have it, however, with Northman just surpassing double digits and Talent falling just under. Both features have solid critical support and could overperform, but I’m being cautious with each.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. The Bad Guys

Predicted Gross: $16.7 million

2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Predicted Gross: $15.5 million

3. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Predicted Gross: $15.1 million

4. The Northman

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

5. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Predicted Gross: $7.9 million

Box Office Results (April 15-17)

It was an Easter to forget for Warner Bros as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore remained a secret to many. The third entry in the series took in a lowly $42.1 million, below my $48.1 million projection. That’s about $20 million under 2018 predecessor The Crimes of Grindelwald and it genuinely brings into question whether the studio will move forward with planned fourth and fifth installments.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 dropped to second with $29.3 million and a larger than anticipated 59% drop. I was more generous at $35.8 million. The video game based sequel is up to a nevertheless impressive $118 million after 10 days.

The Sandra Bullock/Channing Tatum rom com The Lost City was third with $6.2 million, on target with my $6.3 million take. Total is $78 million.

Everything Everywhere All at Once increased its screen count by nearly 1000 venues and boasted a 2% increase in weekend #2 with $6.1 million (I said $5.5 million). The potential awards contender has made $17 million.

Mark Wahlberg’s faith-based and fact based drama Father Stu opened in fifth with a muted $5.4 million from Friday to Sunday and $7.7 million since its Wednesday debut. That’s on pace with my respective takes of $5.7 million and $8.5 million.

Morbius was sixth with $4.7 million, a tad ahead of my $4.3 million prediction for $65 million overall.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Ambulance continued to stall with $4 million (I went with $4.5 million) for a two-week tally of only $15 million.

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

April 15-17 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Note (04/13): Updated to include Everything Everywhere All at Once in the top five after finding out it is expanding to approximately 2000 screens from its current 1250

Warner Bros is hoping for good returns from a potentially fading franchise as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore debuts this Easter weekend. We also have the Mark Wahlberg led faith-based drama Father Stu as it hopes to capitalize on the holiday. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Box Office Prediction

Father Stu Box Office Prediction

I have Dumbledore conjuring up about $15 million less than 2018 predecessor The Crimes of Grindelwald. The gross just north of $50 million should be enough to nab it the #1 slot with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (after a terrific start) sliding to second. The video game adapted sequel may lose around half its audience.

Father Stu is a bit of a head scratcher. It could over perform. With a Wednesday premiere, my mid single digits Friday to Sunday estimate puts it in fourth just behind The Lost City. 

Ambulance and Morbius, both struggling, might battle it out for the five spot. And with that, my take on the top 7:

1. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Predicted Gross: $48.1 million

2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Predicted Gross: $35.8 million

3. The Lost City

Predicted Gross: $6.3 million

4. Father Stu

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million (Friday to Sunday); $8.5 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

5. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Predicted Gross: $5.5 million

6. Ambulance

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million

7. Morbius

Predicted Gross: $4.3 million

Box Office Results (April 8-10)

Paramount had plenty to celebrate as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 posted the high score with a better than anticipated $72.1 million. That’s nearly $10 million ahead of my $62.5 million prediction. You can bet a third installment is already being planned as this grossed more from Friday to Sunday than the 2020 original took in during the long President’s Day weekend.

Morbius was second with a steep 74% tumble in its sophomore outing with $10.2 million, a bit shy of my $11.2 million projection. The vampire tale is not bringing in new blood after a weak beginning.

The Lost City was third with $9 million (I said $8 million) and the Sandra Bullock comedy stands at $68 million with $100 million in its sights.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s action flick Ambulance stalled in fourth with only $8.6 million, well below my generous $13.7 million estimate. The Michael Bay directed enterprise (which earned decent reviews) couldn’t find a crowd as moviegoers may simply wait until streaming.

The Batman made $6.4 million and I incorrectly had it outside the top five. The grand tally is $358 million.

Finally, the critically heralded Everything Everywhere All at Once was sixth with $6 million. While not reaching my guesstimate of $8.4 million, the trippy sci-fi pic had the second best per theater average on its 1200+ screens.

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

April 8-10 Box Office Predictions

Video game based sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Michael Bay’s action thriller Ambulance with Jake Gyllenhaal, and critically hailed sci-fi comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once all debut this Friday. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the trio here:

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Box Office Prediction

Ambulance Box Office Prediction

Everything Everywhere All at Once Box Office Prediction

Sonic should have no trouble hitting #1 and I have it scoring in the high 50s to low 60s (about the same as its 2020 predecessor). While there is no mystery for what will be on top, the number two slot could get interesting.

Morbius had a ho-hum start (especially for its genre) and I suspect its weak C+ Cinemascore could mean a sophomore drop between 65-70%. If that occurs, Ambulance should manage a runner-up start.

The real wild card might be Everything, which has had sizzling per theater averages in limited release. I’ve got it just under double digits for fourth, but it could over perform.

The Lost City should fall from 2nd to 5th with the newbies being ushered in. Here’s how I see it breaking down:

1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 

Predicted Gross: $62.5 million

2. Ambulance 

Predicted Gross: $13.7 million

3. Morbius

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million

5. The Lost City

Predicted Gross: $8 million

Box Office Results (April 1-3)

It might be the third best premiere of 2021, but the $39 million earned by Morbius is far from impressive. The Jared Leto vampiric superhero tale (in which most of the reviews said it kinda sucked) came in under my $45.8 million estimate. As mentioned, I look for it to fade quickly.

The Lost City fell to second with $14.7 million. For a pic of its genre, the Sandra Bullock/Channing Tatum adventure comedy’s 52% dip is a little high. I projected $16.4 million. It’s made $54 million in ten days.

The Batman was third with $11 million compared to my $12 million take and the DC juggernaut is up to $349 million.

Uncharted was fourth with $3.6 million (I said $3.1 million) for $138 million overall.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 was fifth with $1.9 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five as the tally is $29 million.

Finally, RRR: Rise, Roar, Revolt tumbled 83% for $1.6 million in sixth. Total is $11 million.

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

Ambulance Box Office Prediction

Michael Bay is hoping that action fans will transform Ambulance into a hit when it debuts April 8th. Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Eiza Gonzalez headline the modestly $40 million budgeted hostage thriller (it’s about one-sixth the cost of Bay’s last Transformers pic).

Originally slated for February before being pushed back to its current slot, reviews are decent with a 74% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Based on a 2005 Danish film, the best case scenario might be a $20 million start. It could also stall in the $10 million range.

Lower teens seems more likely and that could put it in position for a number two or three debut behind Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Morbius (depending on how far it plummets in the sophomore frame).

Ambulance opening weekend prediction: $13.7 million

For my Sonic the Hedgehog 2 prediction, click here:

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Box Office Prediction

For my Everything Everywhere All at Once prediction, click here:

Everything Everywhere All at Once Box Office Prediction