Breakthrough Box Office Prediction

Disney is putting their faith over the Easter weekend in Breakthrough, a Christian drama based on the 2017 novel The Impossible. Based on true events, the pic tells the story of a teenager who slips into a frozen lake and his miraculous recovery. Directed by Roxann Dawson in her feature debut, Breakthrough stars Chrissy Metz (of TV’s “This Is Us” fame), Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Marcel Ruiz, and Dennis Haysbert. NBA champion Stephen Curry has an exec producer credit.

This is actually the first 20th Century Fox production that its new owner Disney is distributing. That well publicized partnership could get off to a solid start if faith-based audiences turn out. The holiday timing should certainly work to its advantage.

An obvious comp is Heaven Is for Real from five Easter’s ago. Like Breakthrough, it also premiered on Wednesday. Taking in $22.5 million over the traditional weekend and $29.5 million over the five-day span, Heaven eventually soared to $91 million overall.

I’ll say this falls a bit lower with the caveat that it could achieve similar numbers. My five-day projection puts it a touch below the three-day of Heaven. That could put this at #2 behind The Curse of La Llorona, which deals with religious themes in a drastically different manner.

Breakthrough opening weekend prediction: $16.9 million (Friday to Sunday), $22 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my The Curse of La Llorona prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/09/the-curse-of-la-llorona-box-office-prediction/

For my Penguins prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/10/penguins-box-office-prediction/

Throwback Review: Poseidon

We’re gonna need a more interesting boat. That was basically the constant thought running through my mind while watching 2006’s Poseidon, the big-budget loose remake of 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure. I never saw it when it was released a dozen years ago. Neither did plenty of other moviegoers as this proved to be a costly flop for Warner Bros. I understand why.

The remake comes from Wolfgang Petersen, maker of far more successful action entries like Air Force One, The Perfect Storm, and Troy. With Storm and his 1981 acclaimed feature Das Boot, he’s a filmmaker who’s charted unstable waters before. Poseidon takes place on a luxury cruise liner on New Years Eve. The singing of “Auld Lang Syne” and midnight smooching is a short-lived celebration because a nasty wave capsizes the ship.

Sadly, there’s not many interesting characters around the disaster. Pro poker player Dylan (Josh Lucas) is a former Navy man who assumes the action hero role. He’s overshadowed by former New York City Mayor Robert Ramsey (Kurt Russell). This is because Russell is a far more engaging performer and we’ve grown accustomed to seeing him in these precarious situations. He escapes relatively unscathed. Ramsey has his daughter (Emmy Rossum) and boyfriend (Mike Vogel) with him. They have a perfunctory subplot about getting engaged with Rossum essentially in the same role she played in The Day After Tomorrow. Jacinda Barrett is a single mom with a young son among the survivors. Kevin Dillon is a sleazy gambler whose fate seems certain upon meeting him. And there’s Richard Dreyfuss, whose character apparently has suicidal tendencies that are rapidly forgotten within the first fifteen minutes. His character is indicative of the script’s laziness. It begins to give him a back story and then develops amnesia.

None of this would matter as much if the special effects carried the day. And Poseidon has its moments of visual splendor, but not enough to lift its quality above water. Even the 98 minute running time suggests its team might’ve known they didn’t have much to work with. This is one hour of an uninteresting group trying to get off the sinking boat. You’re better off never boarding.

 

Oscar Watch: What They Had

A week from today, Bleecker Street releases What They Had in limited fashion. The film marks the directorial debut of Elizabeth Chomko (who also wrote the script) and centers on a family dealing with a mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It premiered at Sundance back in January and features a cast including Hilary Swank (two-time winner for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby), Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster, Taissa Farmiga, and Josh Lucas.

Early reviews have been positive and it stands at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, critical reaction likely isn’t strong enough to make this a player in Best Picture. What They Had could struggle generally to get noticed at all. Its best chances aren’t with Swank or Shannon, but with Danner and Forster. For them to get noticed, the picture will need to at least break through with audiences to a certain degree. That could be a tall order in the midst of more high-profile contenders.

Bottom line: while this is generating solid reviews, Had is a long shot for Academy attention. My Oscar watch posts will continue…