Rocketman Movie Review

Rocketman, the biopic of legendary piano man Elton John, exists in familiar territory. Yet it manages to do so in an often inventive fashion with a commanding performance by its lead. The pic is directed by Dexter Fletcher, who filled in on Bohemian Rhapsody when Bryan Singer was dumped. They share similar themes of a shy boy coming into his own as an eventual iconic music figure. Unlike Rhapsody, Taron Egerton quite capably and bravely provides the vocal work of the man he’s playing.

The opening finds Elton in a high place both literally and figuratively as he’s about to once again play to a sold out crowd. He’s also at a low in terms of multiple kinds of addiction. Finally asking for help via Alcoholics Anonymous, Lee Hall’s screenplay then provides the framework for flashbacks of his life. It begins with him as the pint sized Reginald Dwight in 1950s England. He’s ignored by his father (Steven Mackintosh) and treated with ambivalence by his mum (Bryce Dallas Howard). His discovery of the piano is a watershed moment. Reginald has natural talent but a laser focus on perfecting the craft.

His most significant encounter comes through Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). He writes the songs and Elton provides the melodies. Bernie is often the only figure in his life who genuinely cares about the newly christened Elton. Fighting through timidity, the newly named vocalist gets loud on the mic and with his outfits. Fame, fortune, and drug addiction follow as they so frequently do.

Those plot points are as known as the lyrics to many Elton tunes. Lucky for us, this isn’t just about a musician. It’s a genuine musical with tightly choreographed numbers set to high energy bangers like “Saturday Night’s Alright” and “The Bitch is Back” and contemplative pieces like “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” and the title track. It has the second best movie scene set to “Tiny Dancer”. It’s a tall order to top Almost Famous.

Elton’s love life and homosexuality are explored from an ill-conceived marriage to a woman to his turbulent romance with manager John Reid (Richard Madden). By the time “I’m Still Standing” rises over the speakers, I felt pretty satisfied with this journey through his career and road to sobriety. There’s certainly a theme of Elton forging through his issues and creating his own reality with his outlandish persona. He may not have written all of the words that skyrocketed him to superstardom, but he provided the unforgettable notes. Rocketman often succeeds at capturing them.

*** (out of four)

Rocketman Box Office Prediction

After a stellar premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Rocketman plays its way into theaters next weekend. The long planned biopic of legendary piano man Elton John starring Taron Egerton comes on the heels of similar genre entry and smash hit Bohemian Rhapsody. It even shares a director in Dexter Fletcher, who filled in on the Freddie Mercury tale after Bryan Singer was dropped from the project. Costars here include Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The film’s French Riviera rollout resulted in praise for Egerton. An Oscar nod for him (especially after Rami Malek won in 2018 as Mercury) is certainly feasible. Some reviews were mixed, but this currently holds an 88% Rotten Tomatoes score.

As mentioned, the easiest comp is Rhapsody, which debuted to an amazing $51 million in November with $216 million total domestically. However, while buzz is strong here, it likely won’t reach those heights in the busy summer season. I still think mid to high 30s can be reached and that would have Elton’s story still standing tall.

Rocketman opening weekend prediction: $36.1 million

For my Godzilla: King of the Monsters prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/23/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-box-office-prediction/

For my Ma prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/24/ma-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Rocketman

The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing over in France and the highest profile feature so far has screened (with Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood following next week). That would be Rocketman, a flashy musical biopic featuring Taron Egerton as legendary performer Elton John. Costars include Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Ahead of its May 31st stateside bow, festival goers rewarded the pic with a lengthy standing ovation (with Elton and Egerton attending). This might prove to be an audience pleaser. Some early reviews are glowing while others are more mixed.

Box office could be strong, but will this blast off with awards voters? We have very recent history to consider. I’m referring, of course, to last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Despite its rocky critical reaction, that film was a hit with audiences and Oscar voters. The Freddie Mercury biopic ended up winning four gold statues, including Rami Malek’s portrayal of the Queen frontman in Best Actor.

Rhapsody made an astonishing $903 million worldwide. Rocketman may not reach that territory. If it does, it could be impossible to ignore. Yet even if it turns out to be a sizable crowd favorite, Academy voters could nominate this in a variety of categories. That includes Picture, Actor, and the sound races (for which Bohemian was victorious in both). The comparisons between Rhapsody and Rocketman don’t end there. Dexter Fletcher took over directorial duties from Bryan Singer on the former. He is behind the camera again for the latter.

Bottom line: there’s a chance that voters might not honor Mr. John like they did Mr. Mercury, but Cannes reaction at least indicates it’s a possibility. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 22nd Edition

My weekly Thursday Oscar predictions are coming to you on a Friday this week (sorry for the delay) as the festival season shed some light on potential nominees. That said, there’s still lots of uncertainty with plenty left to be seen.

Per usual, I’m listing my predicted nominees in the eight major categories with 25 potentials for Best Picture and 15 in the others. Once again, note that just because I rank something first doesn’t mean I think it will win. These rankings are more geared toward what I think will definitely be nominated at this juncture. For instance, even though Dunkirk is placed 1st, I wouldn’t say it’s the front runner to take home Best Picture at all.

Let’s get to it and I’ll get the weekly post back to Thursdays next week!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Mudbound (PR: 5)

6. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 17)

8. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 6)

9. Last Flag Flying (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Greatest Showman (PR: 9)

11. Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

12. Wonder Wheel (PR: 13)

13. Downsizing (PR: 11)

14. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 16)

15. Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 12)

16. Detroit (PR: 14)

17. All the Money in the World (PR: Not Ranked)

18. Coco (PR: 19)

19. The Florida Project (PR: 23)

20. I, Tonya (PR: 24)

21. The Big Sick (PR: Not Ranked)

22. Wonderstruck (PR: 18)

23. mother! (PR: 15)

24. Get Out (PR: 20)

25. Lady Bird (PR: 21)

Dropped Out:

Wind River

Wonder Woman

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

7. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying (PR: 10)

9. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 7)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 9)

11. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

12. Woody Allen, Wonder Wheel (PR: 15)

13. Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit (PR: 11)

15. Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Alexander Payne, Downsizing

Darren Aronofsky, mother!

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 4)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 3)

5. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 10)

7. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 7)

8. Domhnall Gleeson, Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 9)

9. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Donald Sutherland, The Leisure Seeker (PR: 11)

11. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 12)

12. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: 13)

13. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

14. Liam Neeson, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (PR: 15)

15. Matt Damon, Downsizing (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here (picture reportedly moved to 2018)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 1)

2. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 3)

4. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

5. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

7. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

8. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

9. Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman (PR: 11)

10. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 9)

11. Diane Kruger, In the Fade (PR: 13)

12. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: 10)

13. Jennifer Lawrence, mother! (PR: 12)

14. Carey Mulligan, Mudbound (PR: 15)

15. Jane Fonda, Our Souls at Night (PR: 14)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 6)

7. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

8. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 7)

9. Laurence Fishburne, Last Flag Flying (PR: 9)

10. Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Patrick Stewart, Logan (PR: 12)

12. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: 13)

13. Garrett Hedlund, Mudbound (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Christoph Waltz, Downsizing (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Jamie Bell, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Harrison Ford, Blade Runner 2049

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 1)

2. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

3. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 2)

5. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 9)

7. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Margot Robbie, Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 6)

9. Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled (PR: 13)

10. Julianne Moore, Suburbicon (PR: 10)

11. Tatiana Maslany, Stronger (PR: 14)

12. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 11)

13. Michelle Pfeiffer, mother! (PR: 8)

14. Juno Temple, Wonder Wheel (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Post (PR: 1)

2. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

3. Mudbound (PR: 2)

4. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

5. Wonderstruck (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

7. The Beguiled (PR: 9)

8. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

9. Stronger (PR: 7)

10. All the Money in the World (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 12)

12. The Disaster Artist (PR: 11)

13. Wonder (PR: 13)

14. Logan (PR: 15)

15. Thank You for Your Service (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

You Were Never Really Here (reportedly moved to 2018)

My Cousin Rachel

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

2. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Wonder Wheel (PR: 5)

5. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Big Sick (PR: 12)

7. Get Out (PR: 6)

8. Dunkirk (PR: 8)

9. Downsizing (PR: 9)

10. Lady Bird (PR: 11)

11. The Florida Project (PR: 15)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 7)

13. Coco (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 10)

15. The Greatest Showman (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

mother!

And there you have it, folks! I’ll be back next week with my latest update…

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 14th Edition

We’ve arrived at my second round of weekly Oscar predictions that will come your way every Thursday on the blog! Since last week, a number of titles have screened at the Toronto Film Festival, in addition to the Venice and Telluride fests that preceded it.

As I did last week, I will list my current predicted nominees in the eight biggest races with a total of 25 possibilities for Best Picture and 15 in the others. Beginning today, you’ll be able to see the fluctuation in rankings from last week to the current one and see what and who has joined and dropped out. Once again, rankings reflect who and what I think will be nominated and not necessarily win.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 7)

5. Mudbound (PR: 4)

6. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 6)

7. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

8. Last Flag Flying (PR: 10)

9. The Greatest Showman (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Phantom Thread (PR: 11)

11. Downsizing (PR: 8)

12. Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 16)

13. Wonder Wheel (PR: 12)

14. Detroit (PR: 14)

15. mother! (PR: 13)

16. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 15)

17. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 18)

18. Wonderstruck (PR: 17)

19. Coco (PR: 19)

20. Get Out (PR: 20)

21. Lady Bird (PR: 22)

22. Wind River (PR: 21)

23. The Florida Project (PR: Not Ranked)

24. I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

25. Wonder Woman (PR: 23)

Dropped Out:

Molly’s Game

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

4. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

7. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 7)

8. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

9. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

10. Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying (PR: 12)

11. Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit (PR: 11)

12. Alexander Payne, Downsizing (PR: 9)

13. Michael Gracey, The Greatest Showman (PR: 14)

14. Darren Aronofsky, mother! (PR: 13)

15. Woody Allen, Wonder Wheel (PR: 15)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 4)

5. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here (PR: 5)

7. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 15)

8. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 6)

9. Domhnall Gleeson, Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 7)

10. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 9)

11. Donald Sutherland, The Leisure Seeker (PR: 12)

12. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 11)

13. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Matt Damon, Downsizing (PR: 10)

15. Liam Neeson, Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Jeremy Renner, Wind River

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 1)

2. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 5)

4. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

5. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 3)

7. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 10)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 9)

10. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: 7)

11. Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman (PR: 8)

12. Jennifer Lawrence, mother! (PR: 13)

13. Diane Kruger, In the Fade (PR: 12)

14. Jane Fonda, Our Souls at Night (PR: 15)

15. Carey Mulligan, Mudbound (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Isabelle Huppert, Happy End

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 2)

5. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 8)

7. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 5)

8. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

9. Laurence Fishburne, Last Flag Flying (PR: 9)

10. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 10)

11. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Patrick Stewart, Logan (PR: 12)

13. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: 14)

14. Jamie Bell, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Harrison Ford, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Idris Elba, Molly’s Game

Woody Harrelson, The Glass Castle

Christoph Waltz, Downsizing

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 1)

2. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 2)

3. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

4. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Margot Robbie, Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 6)

7. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 5)

8. Michelle Pfeiffer, mother! (PR: 7)

9. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 11)

10. Julianne Moore, Suburbicon (PR: 13)

11. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 14)

12. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled (PR: 9)

14. Tatiana Maslany, Stronger (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Michelle Williams, The Greatest Showman

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Juno Temple, Wonder Wheel

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Post (PR: 1)

2. Mudbound (PR: 2)

3. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

5. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Molly’s Game (PR: 5)

7. Stronger (PR: 12)

8. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

9. The Beguiled (PR: 9)

10. You Were Never Really Here (PR: 7)

11. The Disaster Artist (PR: 10)

12. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 11)

13. Wonder (PR: 13)

14. My Cousin Rachel (PR: 14)

15. Logan (PR: 15)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 6)

5. Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Get Out (PR: 7)

7. Phantom Thread (PR: 8)

8. Dunkirk (PR: 9)

9. Downsizing (PR: 5)

10. Goodbye Christopher Robin (PR: 15)

11. Lady Bird (PR: 11)

12. The Big Sick (PR: 10)

13. mother! (PR: 13)

14. The Greatest Showman (PR: 14)

15. The Florida Project (PR: 12)

And there you have it, folks! Expect more Oscar Watch posts to come your way and my next full predictions next Thursday…

Oscar Watch: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Annette Bening is an actress that some might be surprised to find has never won an Oscar. She’s been nominated for four – as Supporting Actress in 1990’s The Grifters and in the lead race for 1999’s American Beauty, 2004’s Being Julia, and 2010’s The Kids Are All Right. In 1999 and 2004, she was considered a front runner for much of the season and was defeated by Hilary Swank both years.

Ms. Bening will not be “swanked” in 2017, but she may have trouble getting into the mix altogether. Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. The May-December romance casts its lead as old school Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame and focuses on her relationship with a younger man portrayed by Jamie Bell.

Much like another festival screening this weekend – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – the early awards chatter focused solely on the female lead. With Ebbing, the new buzz has also centered on costar Sam Rockwell. With Liverpool, some reviews have singled out Bell as the real revelation and a possibility for Supporting Actor.

Critical reaction has been mixed and even with Best Actress looking extremely competitive, Bening could still manage to get in. However, that looks less likely now than it did before the long weekend began. And despite the Bell praise, I don’t envision him getting in if his counterpart doesn’t.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Fantastic Four Box Office Prediction

Chronicle director Josh Trank spearheads 20th Century Fox’s reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise, some eight years after the last entry in the series. The big question is: how much of a clamoring is there for these heroes return to the silver screen?

Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara and Jamie Bell headline the cast in this reported $122 million tentpole that marks the third and final superhero flick of the summer, after Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. Fantastic Four has no hope of reaching Ultron numbers and may be lucky to even be in Ant-Man’s territory.

2005’s original Fantastic Four debuted to $56 million on its way to a $154 million domestic gross while its 2007 sequel Rise of the Silver Surfer opened slightly higher with $58 million. The follow-up did end up earning less overall with $134 million. Both premieres are right in line with Ant-Man’s $57 million first take some three weeks ago.

While any major league comic book film should have no problem making over $40 million out of the gate, this one’s ceiling may not be significantly higher. I’m not convinced audiences are overly eager for this series to come back and early word of mouth has been mixed, at best. I don’t see this making what Ant-Man or the first two Four pics made and a debut in the high 40s seems likely.

Fantastic Four opening weekend prediction: $47.7 million

For my prediction on The Gift, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/07/31/the-gift-box-office-prediction/

For my Ricki and the Flash prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/07/31/ricki-and-the-flash-box-office-prediction/

For my Shaun the Sheep Movie prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/08/01/shaun-the-sheep-movie-box-office-prediction/