Violent Night Box Office Prediction

If Mel Gibson in 2020’s Fatman didn’t satiate your desire to see Kris Kringle toting semiautomatic weapons, we’ve got Violent Night sliding into theaters on December 2nd. David Harbour of Stranger Things fame is Santa in the satiric action pic from director Tommy Wirkola. Supporting players include John Leguizamo (currently appearing in The Menu), Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, and Beverly D’Angelo (already a holiday silver screen staple thanks to Christmas Vacation).

Universal is hoping audiences want a little comedic savagery in their Yuletide viewing plans. Harbour hasn’t had a big screen breakout. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as 2019’s Hellboy was a dud (he did turn up in last year’s MCU blockbuster Black Widow).

The best case scenario would be a premiere approaching 2015’s Krampus, which rolled out on the same December weekend. It made just over $16 million and eventually topped out at $42 million domestically. I don’t anticipate that kind of showing for Violent Night. There’s a chance it won’t even reach double digits. I’ll put it a hair under.

Violent Night opening weekend prediction: $9.4 million

The Menu Box Office Prediction

Searchlight Pictures is hoping moviegoers check out The Menu when it opens November 18th. Mark Mylod, best known for small screens fare like Game of Thrones and Shameless, directs. The black comedy features a large cast of cooks and diners including Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Judith Light, John Leguizamo, Reed Birney, Aimee Carrero, and Arturo Castro.

For the most part, critics like what they were served when this debuted at Toronto. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 88%. That said, The Menu is not generating much awards chatter which could’ve helped in appetizing an older audience.

A debut at or above $10 million would be quite an accomplishment. I don’t think it gets there with $7-9 million being more likely.

The Menu opening weekend prediction: $8.2 million

For my She Said prediction, click here:

Oscar Predictions: The Menu

Mark Mylod’s The Menu is receiving mostly positive orders after premiering in Toronto before its November 18th domestic release. Will awards voters find it appetizing? The black comedy stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Ralph Fiennes, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Judith Light, and John Leguizamo.

The Searchlight Pictures release stands at 89% on Rotten Tomatoes with plenty of critics praising the screenplay. Perhaps the original script from Seth Reiss and Will Tracy could contend. Fiennes, in particular, is being singled out and a Supporting Actor nod is potentially in the mix.

Yet I suspect the Palme d’or winning Ruben Ostlund’s Triangle of Sadness, with its similar subject matter, might achieve Academy attention instead of this. There could be room for both, but I’m uncertain. Where The Menu could make a play is at the Golden Globes in the Musical/Comedy Best Picture derby. That’s also where Taylor-Joy may surface in Best Actress. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Summer 2012: The Top 10 Hits and More

My look back at the cinematic summers of 30, 20, and 10 years ago culminates with 2012. A decade ago, the Marvel Cinematic Universe went from a successful franchise to the phenomenal juggernaut that it remains today. That’s due to the release of a little something called The Avengers. On a side note, it’s worth mentioning that the biggest grosser 30 years ago (Batman Returns), two decades ago (Spider-Man), and in this post all share comic book roots.

Before we get to Iron Man and company, I’ll recount the other features in the top ten moneymakers before covering additional notable titles and some flops. If you missed my write-ups about the seasons of 1992 and 2002, you can find them here:

Summer 1992: The Top 10 Hits and More

Summer 2002: The Top 10 Hits and More

10. Prometheus

Domestic Gross: $126 million

Some three decades after Alien terrified audiences, Ridley Scott returned to the franchise. However, this was more of a mixed bag in terms of critical and audience reaction. The production design and Michael Fassbender’s performance were praised while the script drew its share of critics. Nevertheless Scott would be back in the mix five years later with Alien: Covenant. 

9. Snow White and the Huntsman 

Domestic Gross: $155 million

Hot off the Twilight franchise and hot off playing Thor in The Avengers, Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth battled Prometheus costar Charlize Theron’s evil stepmom in this fantasy adventure. Reviews were so-so but it performed well enough to warrant a less appreciated prequel The Huntsman: Winter’s War in 2016.

8. Ice Age: Continental Drift 

Domestic Gross: $161 million

The fourth entry in the animated franchise featuring the vocal stylings of Ray Romano and John Leguizamo kept the grosses hot. Sequel Collision Course would follow four years later.

7. Men in Black 3

Domestic Gross: $179 million

The third teaming of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (with Josh Brolin playing a convincing younger version of him) earned $11 million less than 2002’s part II. That sequel made less than the 1997 original. The series was revamped in 2019 with Men in Black: International with none other than Chris Hemsworth, but audiences tuned out.

6. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

Domestic Gross: $216 million

Ben Stiller and Chris Rock returned for the third time voicing their respective lion and zebra. Spin-off Penguins of Madagascar came out two years later while a proper fourth entry never materialized from DreamWorks.

5. Ted

Domestic Gross: $218 million

Moving from Fox’s hugely successful animated sitcom Family Guy the big screen, Seth MacFarlane’s story of Mark Wahlberg and his crude talking bear Ted was the breakout comedy of the season. Follow-ups A Million Ways to Die in the West and the Ted sequel were not as well received.

4. Brave

Domestic Gross: $237 million

The first Pixar film led by a female hero is also the inaugural studio entry (co)directed by a woman. It would go on to win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

3. The Amazing Spider-Man

Domestic Gross: $262 million

After not moving forward with a fourth title directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, the Spidey franchise was rebooted with Marc Webb behind the camera and Andrew Garfield donning the red. The dollars followed although reviews were mixed and a 2014 sequel was widely considered a disappointment.

2. The Dark Knight Rises

Domestic Gross: $448 million

While perhaps not quite reaching the heights of 2008’s The Dark Knight, the culmination to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy sent Christian Bale’s Caped Crusader off in stirring fashion and with hugely profitable earnings.

1. The Avengers

Domestic Gross: $623 million

Setting record after record upon release, the melding of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye transfixed filmgoers. It’s been Marvel’s world and we’ve been living in it ever since.

And now for some other pics worthy of discussion:

Magic Mike

Domestic Gross: $113 million

Steven Soderbergh’s saga of male exotic dancers was based loosely on Channing Tatum’s real life experiences. It turned him into a superstar while giving Matthew McConaughey a memorable showcase. The micro budgeted pic (a reported $7 million) spawned a 2015 sequel and there’s a third scheduled to hit HBO Max next year.

The Bourne Legacy

Domestic Gross: $113 million

Audiences weren’t clamoring for Jeremy Renner to replace Matt Damon in this franchise, but the stateside and overseas grosses were still pretty acceptable. That said, Renner’s tenure lasted this pic and this pic only.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Domestic Gross: $46 million

While it performed even better overseas, this British import with Judi Dench  was a sleeper hit stateside that begat a 2015 sequel.

Moonrise Kingdom 

Domestic Gross: $45 million

Wes Anderson scored with critics and crowds with this coming-of-age dramedy that premiered at Cannes and then found an audience in the weeks that followed.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Domestic Gross: $12 million

This indie drama from Benh Zeitlin was truly a little movie that could. Shot for under $2 million, it eventually nabbed Oscar nods for Picture, Director, Actress (Quvanzhane Wallis at age 9), and Adapted Screenplay.

They’re not all winners so let’s get into some critical and/or commercial failures from the period:

Dark Shadows

Domestic Gross: $79 million

Johnny Depp’s box office happy days were beginning to fade as his 8th collaboration with Tim Burton was perhaps the least memorable. This horror comedy failed to enlighten viewers.

Battleship

Domestic Gross: $65 million

Action fans weren’t taken with this Peter Berg directed board game adaptation starring Liam Neeson and Rihanna with a bloated budget of over $200 million.

Total Recall

Domestic Gross: $58 million

And your action sci-fi fans weren’t signing up for Colin Farrell taking over for Arnold Schwarzenegger in this unneeded remake.

Rock of Ages

Domestic Gross: $38 million

Based on the Broadway musical, there was a deaf ear turned to this adaptation despite Tom Cruise getting solid notices for his performance. Lucky for him, he’d rule this current summer with Top Gun: Maverick. 

That’s My Boy

Domestic Gross: $36 million

Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg’s comedic partnership drew a 20% Tomatoes meter and ambivalence from usually devoted Sandler fans.

The Watch

Domestic Gross: $35 million

That wasn’t the only high-profile comedic flop as this sci-fi mashup with Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill fared even worse in numbers and rotten reviews (17% RT).

And that’ll close it out, ladies and gents! It’s been a pleasure revising these cinematic seasons of days past.

Encanto Box Office Prediction

Disney has a history opening their animated product over the long Thanksgiving holiday and they’re back at it with Encanto. The Columbian themed musical fantasy comes from directors Byron Howard and Jared Bush, the creative team behind Zootopia. Featuring music from Lin-Manuel Miranda, the voice cast includes Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, Diane Guerrero, and Wilmer Valderrama.

Reviews are where they need to be with 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Mouse Factory rolled out their hits over the same five-day period from 2015-2018. Six years ago, the strategy produced the lowest premiere of the bunch with The Good Dinosaur. It made $39 million for the traditional Turkey Day weekend and $55 million when factoring in Wednesday and Thursday. The high point came a year later when Moana did $56 million and $82 million respectively. 2017’s Coco took in $50 million from Friday to Sunday and $72 million for the five-day. Ralph Breaks the Internet posted $56 million and $84 million the following Thanksgiving.

The Dinosaur haul was considered a disappointment, but that was during a pre-COVID era. If Encanto accomplishes what that pic did, it would be considered more than satisfactory. Family audiences have proven they’re up for a trip to the theater and have done so in the past few days. Clifford the Big Red Dog was a good boy at the box office when it lapped up $16 million last weekend from Friday to Sunday and $22 million overall as it started on Wednesday as well. If Clifford can do that, I imagine Encanto could double those grosses.

Encanto opening weekend prediction: $31.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $46.5 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my House of Gucci prediction, click here:

House of Gucci Box Office Prediction

For my Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City prediction, click here:

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Box Office Prediction

Oscar Predictions: Encanto

The Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars was established in 2001 and since then, Disney has won the race 14 out of 20 times (including 8 out of the past 9). It’s safe to say they have a distinct advantage in the competition and that’s why Encanto has long been seen as a frontrunner. From 2016 winner Zootopia makers Byron Howard and Jared Bush, it features the voices of Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, Diane Guerrero, and Wilmer Valderrama.

With songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical fantasy opens over Thanksgiving and the review embargo lifted today. The current 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating is encouraging. The track “Dos Oruguitas” could put Miranda in the running for an EGOT. For the unfamiliar, that’s winning an Emmy, Tony, Oscar, and Grammy and only 16 people have done it. My guess is that Beyonce and her King Richard song “Be Alive” could prevent that from occurring.

I do believe Encanto stands the best chance of the 2021 Mouse Factory offerings to take the prize over Luca and Raya and the Last Dragon (which may miss the top five altogether). Yet there is a sturdy competitor with Flee, the Danish critically lauded effort that could make history with nods in Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, International Feature Film, and maybe even Best Picture. It’s a guessing game at the moment as to which of the first three it wins (if any). My best guess is that the animated competition is where it could do so and that could leave Encanto as runner-up.

That said, betting against Disney has been the correct call just 30% of the time. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Oscar Predictions: The Survivor

For about a decade starting in the early 80s, the films of Barry Levinson were a magnet for awards nominations. 1988’s Rain Man won Best Picture and Levinson took directing honors. 1991’s Bugsy scored numerous nods including the aforementioned big races. The Natural and Good Morning, Vietnam earned acting mentions. Levinson received screenplay nominations for Diner and Avalon.

Over the past decade or so, the filmmaker’s most acclaimed titles have come on the small screen with several HBO movies. His previous big screen offering was the panned 2015 Bill Murray vehicle Rock the Kasbah. 

Those fortunes could change with The Survivor, which has screened in Toronto. The black and white Holocaust drama tells the true life story of Harry Haft (Ben Foster). During his captivity at Auschwitz, he was forced to box fellow prisoners in order to survive. Costars include Billy Magnussen, Danny DeVito, Vicky Krieps, Peter Sarsgaard, and John Leguizamo.

Reviews from our neighbor up north have resulted in an 88% Rotten Tomatoes score. Not all the generally positive reaction are raves, but there’s one consistency. Foster is being heralded for his role. Despite praised performances in Hell or High Water and Leave No Trace, Foster has yet to capture the attention of Oscar voters. The actor reportedly lost a tremendous amount of weight for the part. That has been a recipe for making the ballot for plenty of winners and contenders including Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) to name just two. The Best Actor race probably has two slots filled already with Will Smith (King Richard) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog). Hopefuls are waiting in the wings like Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth), Bradley Cooper (Nightmare Alley), and Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up). There’s other performances from the fest circuit such as Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon), Peter Dinklage (Cyrano), and Clifton Collins Jr. (Jockey) in the mix.

First things first. The Survivor needs to find a distributor and a 2021 release date to qualify. It will likely do so. The next question is how hard its eventual studio/streamer pushes for Foster. The Survivor is also a possibility in Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, and maybe even Picture and Director if its gets the right push.

Bottom line: I’ve yet to even mention The Survivor in my weekly Oscar predictions. I doubt I’ll be projecting it yet for inclusion in the aforementioned categories, but I do suspect it will bubble up for the first time in other possibilities. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

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/