Two years after the original turned into an unanticipated summer success, shark sequel 47MetersDown: Uncaged is unlocked in theaters next weekend. While director Johannes Roberts is back behind the camera, a whole new cast of potential chum is present. That includes Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx (daughter of Jamie), Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone (daughter of Sly), John Corbett, and Nia Long. Original star Mandy Moore is off somewhere and hopefully dry.
In June 2017, the first Meters had an interesting journey to the big screen. A measly $5 million production, it was originally slated to be a VOD only release. After it was acquired by Entertainment Studios and perhaps assisted by Moore’s exposure in the hit series “This Is Us”, it was put into multiplexes and had an $11.2 million debut. Doubling its price tag out of the gate, it legged out quite well for its genre and ended up at $44 million.
The follow-up won’t be able to surprise everyone and come out of nowhere. Expectations are that it should at least match the start of its predecessor. I’ll project that it falls short of that by around a million.
47MetersDown: Uncaged opening weekend prediction: $10.2 million
For my TheAngryBirdsMovie2 prediction, click here:
This Easter weekend, God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness debuts in theaters. It is the third Christian themed drama in a franchise that began four years ago. Michael Mason directs a cast that includes David A.R. White, John Corbett, Shane Harper, Ted McGinley, Jennifer Taylor, Tatum O’Neal, rapper Shwayze, and Cissy Houston (mother of Whitney).
The Pure Flix release finds itself in direct competition with some similar genre fare. This is the third faith-based release in as many weeks. I Can Only Imagine will be in its third weekend and Paul, Apostle of Christ in its second. In 2014, God’s Not Dead premiered to $9.2 million and legged out splendidly to a $60 million domestic gross. Two years later, God’s Not Dead 2 couldn’t match it with a $7.6 million debut and only a $20 million overall total.
Even with the advantage of the Easter opening, the competition and dwindling fortune of part 2 could hinder this. I’ll predict it continues that downward trajectory.
God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness opening weekend prediction: $5.1 million
Sony Pictures attempts to tap into faith-based crowds when All Saints debuts in theaters next weekend. John Corbett headlines as a corporate type gone pastor in the drama costarring Cara Buono, David Keith, and Barry Corbin. Steve Gomer, who’s primarily a TV director, is behind the camera and he also made 1998’s Barney’s Great Adventure (fun fact!).
Christian pics have had a history of sometimes outdoing projections, especially if larger churches plan outings to view it. That said, the late August release date doesn’t inspire much confidence as this is usually a very quiet time in multiplexes.
With an estimated theater count of around 800 screens, I’ll say All Saints struggles to even reach $3 million.
All Saints opening weekend prediction: $2.6 million
Jennifer Lopez is given the role of a lifetime in TheBoyNextDoor. Make that – role of a Lifetime as this thriller is no different than the guilty pleasure schlock you find on that channel. The difference is that it feels better to watch that kind of material on a couch and far hidden away from the public eye. When big stars (one at least) are involved, it feels cheaper than that occasional junk food excursion into carbon copy TV movie territory.
Lopez is Claire, a recently separated English lit teacher trying to move on with her life with her teenage son (Ian Nelson). Her husband is John Corbett and he’s trying to patch things up after he was caught cheating with his secretary. It’s revealed that Claire discovered her husband’s infidelity via email and that his mistress smelled like chocolate chip cookies. Whether he meant fresh-baked or store-bought is a plot point left dangling for our collective imaginations.
The title character is 19-year-old Noah (Ryan Guzman), a new addition to the neighborhood who’s living with his elderly uncle. His parents are deceased and we see that as a red flag quickly. Same with his love of the subject Claire teaches as they ridiculously discuss Homer’s Iliad. Yeah, it’s painful. On a weekend where the rest of her family is away on a camping trip, Noah successfully seduces her. She immediately realizes it was a mistake the next morning (at least her walk of shame is short, right??). Noah doesn’t see it that way and the boy next door turns into the stalker next door.
There is hardly a moment here where the screenplay doesn’t feel as lazily choreographed as J Lo on her worst day as an “In Living Color” fly girl. There’s the supportive best friend played by the talented Kristen Chenoweth, who should have been anywhere else during the filming of this. We have Kevin being given a serious medical ailment with his allergies. I will give the script reluctant credit for not using that overused cliche in quite the way I anticipated.
Rob Cohen, who started the FastandFurious and xXx franchises, directs this low-budget enterprise with Lopez producing. Her acting is acceptable, I suppose. Guzman has plenty of moments where he overacts painfully. The screenplay is essentially an hour of finding ways for him to torment Claire and almost expose her for her one night she’d like to forget. None of them are memorable or believable. We are told a video exists of their romantic encounter and that it must be erased from his laptop, pronto!! I couldn’t help but think that any 19-year-old would have backed that thing up like J Lo in 1999 when MTV was playing her videos. With TheBoyNextDoor, you’ll want to back up an hour and a half of your time if you go down Jenny’s block here
Next weekend, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 will deal with something its predecessor never had to: expectations. The 2002 original (with a puny $5 million budget) came out of nowhere to become the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time, grossing $241 million domestically and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Original stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett are back, along with returnees Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin, and Joey Fatone and newbies John Stamos and Rita Wilson (who co-produces like last time alongside her hubby Tom Hanks).
While the first Wedding was a rousing success story that defied any prognostications, it doesn’t help that it occurred fourteen years ago. That’s a long time between sequels and it hinders the possibility of younger audiences turning out that might not even be aware of the original’s existence. This is obviously aiming for female counter programming against Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which should draw a huge male audience.
Comedy sequels (especially long gestating ones) are a risky proposition, as Ben Stiller just learned with Zoolander No. 2. If this manages to reach $20 million or beyond in its opening weekend, that should be considered a win. Obviously, this stands zero shot at even reaching a third of its sleeper hit predecessor. I’m actually skeptical this reaches $15M and I’ll predict it won’t.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 opening weekend prediction: $13.1 million
For my Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice prediction, click here:
In recent years Jennifer Lopez has become known more for American Idol than her once stellar film career. This Friday, she headlines the psychological thriller The Boy Next Door and it could be primed for a healthy opening. Costars include Ryan Guzman, Kristen Chenoweth and John Corbett. Rob Cohen, director of XXX and the original Fast and Furious flick, is behind the camera.
The Boy Next Door could benefit from a decent female audience turnout. Its reported tiny budget of only $4 million virtually assures profitability. Reviews aren’t likely to be on its side, but that shouldn’t matter a whole lot. I envision this performing on a similar scale to The Call, Halle Berry’s thriller which debuted with a higher than expected $17 million nearly two years ago. That means Jenny from the Block could double the grosses of Johnny (Depp) from Mortdecai this weekend.
The Boy Next Door opening weekend prediction: $14.7 million