January 17-20 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/15): Revision time! Taking Bad Boys for Life up to $45.6 million and 1917 down a bit at $34.4 million.

The four-day MLK weekend is upon us with two high profile titles competing with 2019 holdovers. We have Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back in action with Bad Boys for Life and Robert Downey Jr. headlining the family fantasy adventure Dolittle. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/08/bad-boys-for-life-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/09/dolittle-box-office-prediction/

I do not see the box office battle occurring between the two newcomers. That’s because current champ 1917 is fresh off 10 Oscar nominations, great buzz, and a better than expected debut. This holiday weekend often sees holdovers experience very small drops. When you combine the Academy having just released their nominees, that bodes well for the Sam Mendes World War I epic. I’m projecting that it has a slight increase over its opening three day wide rollout.

That puts it in a dogfight with Bad Boys. I’ve got the threequel (coming nearly 25 after the original) in the high 30s and I’m giving it an ever so slight edge over the Academy contender.

Dolittle seems headed for trouble considering its reported $175 million budget. It has already premiered in overseas markets and struggled. Family audiences have had plenty to choose from lately and many may skip this one. My low to mid 20s forecast puts it at a distant third.

I do expect Just Mercy to have a slight increase despite Oscar voters ignoring it. It could feasibly vault over Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker in the five spot with Jumanji dropping from third to fourth.

And with that, my take on the frame ahead:

1. Bad Boys for Life

Predicted Gross: $45.6 million

2. 1917

Predicted Gross: $34.4 million

3. Dolittle

Predicted Gross: $22.3 million

4. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $11.8 million

5. Just Mercy

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $9.6 million

Box Office Results (January 10-12)

It was a terrific weekend for 1917 ahead of its double digits Oscar haul Monday morning. The pic took in $37 million, topping my $31.2 million prediction. As described above, its outlook ahead looks rosy.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker fell to second after three weeks at #1 with $15.1 million compared to my $16.9 million estimate. The ninth official episode of the franchise stands at $478 million.

Jumanji: The Next Level was third with $14 million, under my $17 million take. Total is $257 million as it looks for a small slide this weekend.

Like a Boss with Tiffany Haddish had a muted start in fourth with $10 million. I was a bit higher at $12.4 million.

Just Mercy expanded nationwide in fifth with $9.7 million, right on target with my $9.8 million projection. With an A+ Cinemascore grade, it should play well over the next few weeks.

Little Women was sixth with $7.8 million and was unable to match my forecast of $10.3 million. The newly minted Best Picture nominee has grossed $74 million with the century mark within reach.

Finally, Kristen Stewart had her second big budget flop in a row (after Charlie’s Angels) as Underwater was seventh with $7 million. It did manage to outdo my prediction of $5.4 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Dolittle Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Update (01/15): Revising prediction down to $22.3 million

Robert Downey Jr. can speak to animals in Dolittle, but will the film speak to family audiences when it opens next weekend? The pic takes the well known character (previously played by Rex Harrison and Eddie Murphy) and places him in a pricey $175 million budgeted adventure. Stephen Gaghan, known for directing the 2005 political thriller Syriana, is the rather surprising choice for behind the camera duties. Our marvelous cinematic Iron Man leads the human cast that also includes Harry Collett, Antonio Banderas, Michael Sheen, Jessie Buckley, and Jim Broadbent. Many familiar faces are responsible for voicing the animal cast. That list includes Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, John Cena, Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, Tom Holland, Craig Robinson, Ralph Fiennes, Selena Gomez, and Marion Cotillard (four Oscar winners among them!).

Dolittle was slated to be released last spring before it underwent reportedly extensive reshoots. The release of a property like this with its budget and leading man in late January is a bit curious and perhaps concerning.

Opening over the long MLK weekend, Dolittle will be in a battle for first place with Bad Boys for Life. Gauging the box office prowess of Downey is tricky nowadays since he’s pretty much only been Tony Stark over the past several years (those movies sell themselves).

Family audiences have had plenty of titles to choose from in the past month including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Spies in Disguise, and Jumanji: The Next Level. All three should bring in decent amounts of cash over the long frame. However, even with shaky buzz, Dolittle should hit mid to high 20s over the four days and north of $30 million is feasible. That puts it in second position based on my Bad Boys forecast or perhaps even third behind the second frame of 1917.

Dolittle opening weekend prediction: $22.3 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Bad Boys for Life prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/08/bad-boys-for-life-box-office-prediction/

January 10-12 Box Office Predictions

Fresh off its surprising Best Drama win last night at the Golden Globes, World War I epic 1917 appears to have the benefit of great timing as it opens wide Friday. We have three other newcomers in the mix with the Michael B. Jordan/Jamie Foxx legal drama Just Mercy, Tiffany Haddish/Rose Byrne comedy Like a Boss, and Kristen Stewart led sci-fi horror pic Underwater. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the quartet here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/1917-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/just-mercy-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/01/like-a-boss-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/01/02/underwater-box-office-prediction/

1917 has performed impressively in two weeks of limited release and the awards cred should only help. My projection last week put in the mid 20s and I’ve revised up to low 30s. That would easily put it in first, ending the three-week reign of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. 

Both Mercy and Boss could see grosses in the low double digits to low teens. I do feel both have the potential to over perform. That said, Mercy has lacked the Oscar buzz that 1917 has and Haddish’s previous comedic starring vehicle Nobody’s Fool did so-so with $14 million for its start. As for Underwater, despite a considerable reported budget of $80 million, this looks like a massive flop. My measly $5.4 million estimate leaves it well outside the top five and marks the second costly flop for Stewart in a row after Charlie’s Angels. 

There might be shades of January 2018 happening with two particular holdovers. That’s when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle experienced much smaller declines than Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the two films switched positions. I expect that to occur now with The Next Level staying in second and Skywalker falling to third (though I have it about as close as can be).

And with that, my top 6 outlook:

1. 1917

Predicted Gross: $31.8 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $17 million

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million

4. Like a Boss

Predicted Gross: $12.4 million

5. Little Women

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million

6. Just Mercy

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

Box Office Results (January 3-5)

2020 started off as 2019 closed with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in first. The ninth official episode of the franchise fell over 50% to $34.5 million, right on pace with my $34.4 million prediction. The total stands at $451 million.

Jumanji: The Next Level remained second with a considerably smaller dip at $26.2 million, a bit ahead of my $23.8 million projection. It’s up to $235 million and has another week of non threatening competition until Dolittle arrives.

Little Women had a terrific sophomore hold in third with $13.6 million (I said $12.1 million). The two week tally is $60 million as it seems destined to hit the century mark.

Frozen II was fourth with $11.8 million, in range with my $11.6 million forecast. The Disney behemoth is now at $450 million.

Finally, the year’s first wide release was The Grudge. The horror reboot was a dud with critics and audiences. The latter gave it an unprecedented F Cinemascore grade. Opening in fifth and making $11.4 million, it did manage to top my $10.2 million take. And considering it only cost a reported $10 million to produce, don’t feel too bad for Sony. Based on word of mouth, I expect it to fall off a cliff next weekend.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

January 3-5 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (01/02): On the eve of its premiere, I’m revising my Grudge estimate down to $10.2 million for a fifth place showing.

As 2020 comes before us on the box office front, the year should begin as 2019 ended with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jumanji: The Next Level topping the charts. There is only one newcomer this weekend as horror reboot The Grudge debuts and you can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/26/the-grudge-box-office-prediction/

We have seen scary movies perform very well in this weekend in recent history. However, I’m skeptical that The Grudge gets to the teens. That could put it in a battle for third place with the sophomore frame of Little Women and Disney’s Frozen II. I’m giving the newbie a slight edge.

For the returning sequels in the 1-2 positions, it will fascinating to see the drop of Skywalker in weekend #3. It didn’t match my Christmas expectations and a dip of over 50% seems quite feasible. The fall for Jumanji shouldn’t be near as pronounced as it should continue to leg out admirably like its 2017 predecessor did.

And with that, my vision for 2020’s first weekend:

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $34.4 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $23.8 million

3. Little Women

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

4. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $11.6 million

5. The Grudge

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

Box Office Results (December 27-29)

There was no question that Star Wars would maintain its #1 perch atop the charts, but the ninth episode (with mixed reaction from critics and crowds) certainly didn’t hit my numbers. Skywalker made $72.3 million and that’s considerably below my $92 million estimate. In two weeks, it’s running just behind where The Last Jedi was at two years ago. However, I expect that to change this weekend when it loses more than half its audience.

Jumanji: The Next Level was second with $35.3 million, in line with my $37.5 million projection. The total is $175 million.

Frozen II was third with $16.8 million, a tad under my $18 million prediction as its gargantuan gross has hit $421 million.

Little Women had the honor of being the best performing Christmas opener in fourth place. The Greta Gerwig directed Oscar contender made $16.7 million over the traditional weekend and $29.2 million since its Wednesday start. That’s pretty close to respective estimates of $14.8 million and $28.7 million. Look for this one to hold well with solid word-of-mouth.

The animated Spies in Disguise opened in fifth with $13.3 million from Friday to Sunday and I was on target with a projection of $13.6 million. Since Wednesday, it’s made $22.2 million and I was more generous at $27.4 million.

Finally, Adam Sandler’s critically acclaimed Uncut Gems shone brightly in seventh with a better than expected $9.5 million over the regular weekend and $18.8 million since Wednesday. That’s well over my takes of $5.7 million and $11 million. Factoring in its limited release dollars, it’s up to $21 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Happy New Year and until next time…

December 27-29 Box Office Predictions

It is Christmastime at the box office and multiplexes are offering three new debuts: Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, animated action comedy Spies in Disguise with Will Smith and Tom Holland, and the nationwide expansion of Adam Sandler’s critically heralded crime thriller Uncut Gems. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all three here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/little-women-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/spies-in-disguise-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/22/uncut-gems-box-office-prediction/

The holiday falling on a Wednesday makes things quite interesting. For the newbies, you can generally assume the Wednesday and Thursday combined numbers (they all open on Christmas) will roughly equal the Friday to Sunday earnings. I have Women and Spies each in the low teens for the traditional weekend and that means high 20s for the five-day rollouts. I wouldn’t be shocked to see either of them take in a bit more. As for Gems, I believe it could struggle a bit in its wide berth even though it’s posted impressive grosses in limited fashion. My $5.7 million Friday to Sunday projection and $11 million Wednesday to Sunday estimate puts it outside the top five. The other premieres are slated for the four and five spots.

That’s because the current top three may just stay the same. The question isn’t whether Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stays #1 (it will), but how much it falls in the sophomore frame. Predecessor The Last Jedi plummeted a steep 67% two years ago, but the days of the week for this holiday makes a difference. I’ll project it loses less than half its audience and manages to be in the low 90s range.

Other holdovers around this time of year see increases and I expect that to be the case with family flicks Jumanji: The Next Level and Frozen II. And with that, my Yuletide take on what I expect:

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $92 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $37.5 million

3. Frozen II

Predicted Gross: $18 million

4. Little Women

Predicted Gross: $14.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $28.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

5. Spies in Disguise 

Predicted Gross: $13.6 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.4 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

Box Office Results (December 20-22)

Rare is the picture that can take in more than $175 million out of the gate and be considered somewhat of a letdown. Such is the case with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Suffering a very mixed reaction from critics and even audiences, the ninth official episode in the massive franchise made $177.3 million. That’s under my forecast of $191.4 million and 19% less than what The Last Jedi achieved in 2017. It’s $80 million lower than the haul of The Force Awakens four years ago. As mentioned above, I do anticipate its hold to be sturdier than Jedi. For the weekends that follow, it may not be so lucky.

Jumanji: The Next Level dropped to second with $26.5 million, right on target with my $26.8 million prediction. The sequel crossed the century mark after ten days with $102 million. Expect an uptick as family crowds continue to turn out.

Frozen II was third with $12.9 million (I said $11 million) as the Disney sequel has amassed a hot $387 million.

Use whatever bad pun you wish as Cats had an embarrassing opening in fourth. Reviled by critics and with a rank Cinemascore C+ grade, the musical earned just $6.6 million. That’s well under my $14.5 million projection. This is truly an example where word-of-mouth made a difference.

Knives Out was fifth and I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It earned $6.5 million and is up to $89 million.

Finally, the Fox News expose opened wide and came in below estimates with $5.1 million (I was higher at $6.9 million). Despite some Oscar chatter, this didn’t break out. It will hope for meager declines as the awards season continues.

And that does it for now, folks! Wishing you a Happy Holidays and until next time…

Spies in Disguise Box Office Prediction

Opening on Christmas Day, Will Smith and Tom Holland lend their vocal stylings to the animated comedy Spies in Disguise. The pic comes from Blue Sky Studios, who have successfully distributed the Ice Age and Rio franchises. Nick Bruno and Troy Quane make their directorial debuts and supporting mic work comes from Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Reba McEntire, Rachel Brosnahan, Karen Gillan, and DJ KHALED!!! (I think I’m contractually obliged to type his name in caps with exclamation points).

Blue Sky’s previous effort was two years ago and it also opened over the holiday season. Ferdinand dared to debut directly against Star Wars: The Last Jedi and managed a $13.4 million opening (lower than the studio is accustomed to). In 2019, competition for Spies is equally fierce. The Rise of Skywalker will be in its second weekend while Jumanji: The Next Level should still be raking in cash in its third frame.

The star power should help a bit and so should the fact that there’s plenty of money to be spent by family audiences over its five-day release. I’ll say a gross in the low to mid teens for Friday to Sunday and that should be matched by a roughly equal amount on Wednesday and Thursday.

Spies in Disguise opening weekend prediction: $13.6 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.4 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Little Women prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/little-women-box-office-prediction/

For my Uncut Gems prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/22/uncut-gems-box-office-prediction/

December 20-22 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (12/19): Just hours before its premiere, I am revising my Skywalker estimate from $206.4M to $191.4M.

Hollywood looks for the force to be strong at the box office this weekend as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker rolls into the galaxy. We also have the cinematic version of the famed Broadway musical Cats and the nationwide expansion of the Fox News harassment story Bombshell. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the trio here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/10/star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/11/cats-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/11/bombshell-box-office-prediction/

The big question with Skywalker is whether it can match the $220 million earned out of the gate by predecessor The Last Jedi in 2017. Most signs are pointing to no and some prognosticators have it earning under $200 million. I’m giving this franchise the benefit of the doubt and putting it just over that.

Cats is a question mark. Much of the buzz about the Tom Hooper adaptation has been negative. That said, there’s high familiarity with the source material and having Taylor Swift in the cast can’t hurt, right? I’m projecting a low teens beginning and we shall see where the buzz takes it from there over the holidays.

Bombshell is coming off a better than expected performance with SAG Award nominations and an impressive limited release rollout. Yet it’s not uncommon for these Oscar bait titles to start slowly and perform well over subsequent weekends. I expect that should be the case here.

As for holdovers, Jumanji: The Next Level exceeded guesstimates (including my own) and proved that this franchise is still vibrant. With the Star Wars competition, a drop of 50% is likely. Look for a sturdy rebound over Christmas. Frozen II should fall in the mid 40s and stay in double digits.

And with that, my take on the top five:

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Predicted Gross: $191.4 million

2. Jumanji: The Next Level

Predicted Gross: $26.8 million

3. Cats

Predicted Gross: $14.5 million

4. Frozen II

Predicted Gross $11 million

5. Bombshell

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million

Box Office Results (December 13-15)

It was a lucky weekend for Jumanji: The Next Level as the video game centric family adventure made $59.2 million, easily exceeding my $48.7 million prediction. As mentioned, that puts the Sony series on the absolute highest end of estimates and we can certainly expect a third pairing of Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and company.

Frozen II dropped to second after three weeks on top with $19 million, right in line with my $18.9 million forecast. The Disney sequel is up to $366 million.

Knives Out was third with $9.1 million, on target with my $8.8 million projection. Total is $78 million after three weeks.

The weekend’s other newbies had very unlucky frames. Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell was a massive flop. Earning just $4.6 million (way under my $11 million take), it marks a troubling low for director Clint Eastwood. The “A” Cinemascore grade could cushion drops in coming weekends, but with a $45 million budget, there’s no way to salvage this.

Black Christmas was a giant lump of coal with just $4.2 million. I was considerably higher at $12.1 million. Horror fans simply didn’t turn out. The saving grace is a reported $5 million budget. The small number of moviegoers who did see it gave it a dismal D+ Cinemascore.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…