Playing with Fire Box Office Prediction

John Cena follows the career path of fellow grappler Dwayne Johnson with the release of Playing with Fire next weekend. The family comedy casts him as a firefighter caring for rambunctious kids along with his coworkers. Andy Fickman directs and the cast includes Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildebrand, Dennis Haysbert, and Judy Greer.

The Paramount release is essentially taking the studio’s Instant Family slot from last year. That pic scored a fairly decent $14.7 million for its start and legged out to a $67 million domestic gross. Cena hasn’t proven himself to be a player in this genre, however, and I’d say Mark Wahlberg’s star power is a bit brighter.

The best hope for Fire is that it develops small dips in subsequent weekends if word of mouth is solid, but I believe it’ll be fortunate to reach double digits in its premiere.

Playing with Fire opening weekend prediction: $7.9 million

For my Doctor Sleep prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/29/doctor-sleep-box-office-prediction/

For my Last Christmas prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/30/last-christmas-box-office-prediction/

For my Midway prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/10/31/midway-box-office-prediction/

The Sun Is Also a Star Box Office Prediction

The genre of young adult romances has its share of misses at the box office recently. The Sun Is Also a Star will try to reverse that next weekend and that could be tough. Yara Shahidi (best known for TV’s “Black-ish”) is a bright college student who connects with exchange student Charles Melton (of Netflix’s “Riverdale”). Complications arise when her family faces deportation. Costars include Jake Choi, John Leguizamo, and Hill Harper.

Sun is directed by Ry Russo-Young. She’s already had one YA genre flop in the form of Before I Fall, which opened in 2017 to just $4.6 million. The pic is based on a novel by Nicola Yoon, who also wrote Everything, Everything. Its film adaptation two years ago performed better and debuted to just over $11 million.

I don’t see this reaching the heights of the latter or going quite as low as the former. Mid to possibly upper single digits appears likely.

The Sun Is Also a Star opening weekend prediction: $5.5 million

For my John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/07/john-wick-chapter-3-parabellum-box-office-prediction/

For my A Dog’s Journey prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/10/a-dogs-journey-box-office-prediction/

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (05/15): My estimate has risen from $37.8 million to $45.8 million

Keanu Reeves is back in theaters next weekend as America’s favorite dog loving hitman when John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum debuts. The action thriller hopes to build upon the momentum of 2017’s highly successful sequel. Chad Stahelski returns as director with familiar series faces including Laurence Fishburne, Lance Reddick, Ian McShane, and John Leguizamo. New stars in our third edition include Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, and Anjelica Huston.

Mr. Reeves found himself in an unexpected new franchise five years ago when John Wick opened to $14 million with a $43 million overall domestic gross. While that might not seem like enough to automatically warrant a follow-up, the pic achieved critical kudos and cult status when it arrived on demand. Three years later, Chapter 2 made $30 million for its start and $92 million total.

Parabellum has a solid shot at topping the opening weekend of its predecessor, which also garnered glowing reviews. I’ll say mid to high 30s is where this ends up.

John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum opening weekend prediction: $45.8 million

For my A Dog’s Journey prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/10/a-dogs-journey-box-office-prediction/

For my The Sun Is Also a Star prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/10/the-sun-is-also-a-star-box-office-prediction/

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Unlike its surprise hit predecessor, no animals are harmed in the duration of John Wick: Chapter 2. However, dozens and dozens of other miscellaneous henchmen are. Especially their heads, which is a specialty of our title character to turn them into squib fodder.

2014’s John Wick gave our retired assassin (Keanu Reeves) a decent reason to use his killing skills. His dying wife gave him a dog as a gift and bad guys disposed of it (they also stole his sweet ride). This led to a shoot-em-up extravaganza that served as a comeback role for Reeves and one of the more distinctive action titles in a while. Directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch fashioned an ultra stylish, ultra violent, and occasionally ultra inventive experience. The first Wick burned with an intense, brooding and often humorous showcase for its star. Yet it also began building a world gleefully not grounded anywhere in reality that let the creative juices of screenwriter Derek Kolstad run free. This was especially evident in scenes at The Continental Hotel in New York City, a fancy establishment reserved for nefarious types who make their living from offing others.

It was time spent at that hotel that gave John Wick an air of something new and creative and it turns out there’s a Continental in Rome as well. That’s where the majority of the carnage here takes place. The sequel picks up right after the events of the original as Wick wraps up his business from the previous outing. He’s ready to go back to retirement with his new unnamed canine companion when an Italian baddie (Riccardo Scamarcio) visits his home. It turns out Wick made a deal with him some time ago to accept any job with no questions asked. Our villain’s task is to kill his sister so he can elevate his crime boss status and that brings Wick to Rome with an arsenal.

What follows is a lot of what we saw in the original – grandly choreographed sequences in which Wick uses his talents. This could run the risk of becoming redundant. There’s only so many ways of killing villains, but I’ll be damned if Wick doesn’t find some fascinating ways to do it. Still, it’s the little touches that make chapters 1 and 2 special from time to time.

For instance, I love the idea of an old school telephone company setting where the women working in the office look like goth versions of tellers from the 1950s. Their job is to pass along information when a hit is ordered (of which John is certainly subject to). I found myself interested in all the rules that the film’s enormous supply of assassins must abide by and the hints of larger syndicates. Some of those new professionals include Common (whose fights scenes with Wick are a highlight) and Ruby Rose as a mute vixen who hurls insults through sign language. Laurence Fishburne pops up as an underground (literally) crime leader whose group will probably play a larger role in the inevitable sequel.

While Wick’s motivations in this chapter aren’t quite as rage inducing as his departed pup, Chapter 2 recognizes the unique qualities that put chapter 1 above your typical genre material. Thankfully it keeps it at a level where I’m curious what the next chapter brings beyond the limitless supply of mercenaries whose cranial areas will be irreparably harmed.

*** (out of four)

John Wick: Chapter 2 Box Office Prediction

In the fall of 2014, stylish action thriller John Wick exceeded box office expectations with it earned $14 million in its opening weekend and $43 million overall domestically. Since then, its cult status has grown and now Chapter 2 unfolds in theaters next weekend. Keanu Reeves returns in the title role and Chad Stahelski is back behind the camera. The sequel reunites Keanu with his Matrix costar Laurence Fishburne. Other supporting cast includes Common, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, and Ruby Rose (appearing in her third 2017 pic after January’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter).

Wick is debuting alongside two other sequels and spin-offs in the second weekend of February as The Lego Batman Movie and Fifty Shades Darker also premiere. There’s little doubt that this will place third among them, but I still look for it to eclipse the opening number of its predecessor.

I’ll forecast that Chapter 2 manages a high teens to low 20s rollout.

John Wick: Chapter 2 opening weekend prediction: $20.7 million

For my The Lego Batman Movie prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/02/the-lego-batman-movie-box-office-prediction/

For my Fifty Shades Darker prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/01/fifty-shades-darker-box-office-prediction/

Ice Age: Collision Course Box Office Prediction

20th Century Fox’s Ice Age franchise keeps rolling along as Collision Course glides into theaters next weekend. It is the fifth in the series that began in 2002 and the four previous pictures have performed pleasingly. Predecessor Continental Drift was the lowest grosser thus far, but not by much with a $46 million opening and $161 million overall take. 2009’s Dawn of the Dinosaurs was the series high point with $196 million.

Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, and Simon Pegg (pulling double duty over the weekend with Star Trek Beyond) all return for their voice over work with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Adam Devine, and Nick Offerman joining the party.

Animals and animation have been a potent box office combo in 2016 and that does mean competition as The Secret Life of Pets should still be raking it in in weekend #3. That could dent Collision Course a bit and I do expect it to post the lowest opening weekend of the franchise so far by a rather substantial margin.

Ice Age: Collision Course opening weekend prediction: $28.3 million

For my Star Trek Beyond prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/07/13/star-trek-beyond-box-office-prediction/

For my Lights Out prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/07/15/lights-out-box-office-prediction/

The Infiltrator Box Office Prediction

Throwing Bryan Cranston into a dangerous drug dealing world worked out pretty well on the small screen with his iconic role as Walter White on “Breaking Bad”. Next Wednesday, Broad Green Pictures is hoping the same holds true with The Infiltrator.

The 1980s set crime drama has Cranston as a customs agent tasked with the unenviable assignment of going undercover in Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel. Brad Furman, maker of The Lincoln Lawyer and 2013’s unfortunate Runner Runner, directs and the supporting cast includes Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo, and Amy Ryan. The studio is obviously hoping audiences will be primed for some adult counter programming. Reviews thus far have been pretty positive with much of the acclaim centered on Cranston. Looking over some recent similar genre titles – there is some hope. 2012’s Savages debuted to $16 million. Last year’s Sicario managed just over $12 million out of the gate.

Those are the very best case scenarios here. I believe The Infiltrator probably won’t manage double digits, even when including the five-day roll out. It seems highly unlikely to recoup its reported $47 million budget. The pic might have been better off as an early fall release and its best hope could be that viewers get their fix with it when it becomes available for home viewing.

The Infiltrator opening weekend prediction: $4.6 million (Friday to Sunday), $6.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Ghostbusters prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/07/06/ghostbusters-box-office-prediction/