Anna Box Office Prediction

Luc Besson loves assassins and his latest action thriller Anna features another one in the form of Russian supermodel Sasha Luss. She stars in the reported $30 million budgeted pic with Luke Evans, Helen Mirren, and Cillian Murphy in the supporting cast. As mentioned, the director has played in the genre before with La Femme Nikita and The Professional. His recent filmography includes hits (2014’s Lucy) and big budget flops (2017’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets).

Expectations are low here. Its best hope could be for a bountiful European gross. The blockbuster earnings of Lucy were greatly assisted by its lead Scarlett Johansson. No such headliners exist here.

Rolling out on approximately 2150 screens, I think $5 million could even be too high of a mark.

Anna opening weekend prediction: $3.6 million

For my Toy Story 4 prediction, click here:

For my Child’s Play prediction, click here:

Atomic Blonde Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (07/23): I am revising my estimate down from my original projection to a high teens debut.

Charlize Theron is in her second high-profile action flick of 2017 as Atomic Blonde hits theaters next weekend. The Oscar winner plays an MI6 agent teamed up with James McAvoy. The spy thriller costars John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones and is directed by John Wick‘s David Leitch.

Blonde premiered this spring at the South by Southwest Festival to solid word-of-mouth and reviews have been mostly pleasing as it stands at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Theron appeared in this spring’s The Fate of the Furious and McAvoy is fresh off his blockbuster starring role in Split. 

Shot for a meager $30 million, the pic should have no trouble being a profitable venture for its studio. It could reach close to its budget in the first weekend, though I’ll estimate it falls a bit under that in the mid 20s. That may mean a debut in third place behind The Emoji Movie and the second weekend of Dunkirk, depending on how that opens on Friday.

Atomic Blonde opening weekend prediction: $18.6 million

For my The Emoji Movie prediction, click here:

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Box Office Prediction

Director Luc Besson has cultivated a following over the past quarter century and the devotion of his admirers will be put to the test when Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets debuts next weekend. The big-budget sci-fi pic is based on a popular French comic book series and it’s been a passion project for Besson for many years.

Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna, Clive Owen, Ethan Hawke, and Rutger Hauer are among the cast in this production which reportedly cost at least $180 million to produce. Some of Besson’s works have turned into ones with devoted cult status, including 1994’s The Professional and 1997’s The Fifth Element. His last pic, 2014’s Lucy, was a box office success. However, that may have had more to do with Scarlett Johansson’s involvement fresh off The Avengers.

Critical reaction thus far has been a treat to follow. It stands at a decent 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many writers praising its visuals and sheer audacity. Yet it’s not often a picture with that high a Tomatoes score is also deemed by The Hollywood Reporter as the worst movie watching experience of the year.

Valerian is expected to and will likely do considerably better overseas than stateside. Competition on this side of the pond is significant – Dunkirk opens the same weekend, War for the Planet of the Apes will be in its sophomore weekend, and Spider-Man: Homecoming in its third.

My suspicion is that Besson’s latest could rank third among the newbies next weekend. That would be behind Dunkirk (which is a given) and Girls Trip (which is starting to look like a sleeper hit). Bottom line: the studio better bank on a pleasing European haul.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opening weekend prediction: $17.8 million

For my Dunkirk prediction, click here:

For my Girls Trip prediction, click here:

Ghost in the Shell Box Office Prediction

Scarlett Johansson is back in action mode next weekend when Ghost in the Shell debuts. Based on a popular Japanese anime property that produced an acclaimed 1995 feature, the science fiction crime thriller looks to challenge the third weekend of Beauty and the Beast for box office supremacy. However, it’s likely to fall quite a bit short with an opening that should still be pretty decent.

Rupert Sanders directs with a supporting cast that includes Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt, and Juliette Binoche. The draw beyond the genre’s fanboys is surely Miss Scarlett, who’s proven herself to be a hot commodity in action pics. This applies, of course, to her work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet she also turned 2014’s Lucy into a major hit without the assistance of superheroes. That film debuted to $43 million. I expect Shell to fall at least $10 million short of that in what could be a close race for #2 with The Boss Baby.

Ghost in the Shell opening weekend prediction: $30.3 million

For my The Boss Baby prediction, click here:

Top 25 Highest Grossing Actresses of All Time (5-1)

Today we reach the final installment of my listing of the Top 25 Highest Grossing Actresses in box office history with the top five!

Here are the five ladies that have grossed the most stateside:

5. Julia Roberts

Career Earnings: $2.7 billion

Franchises: The Ocean’s pictures

Highest Grossing Picture: Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – $183 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 11 (Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Erin Brockovich, Hook, Notting Hill, Valentine’s Day, Sleeping with the Enemy, The Pelican Brief)

Lowest Grosser: Fireflies in the Garden (2011) – $70,000

Overall Rank: 30

4. Helena Bonham Carter

Career Earnings: $2.7 billion

Franchises: Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland

Highest Grossing Picture: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) – $381 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 9 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Cinderella, Planet of the Apes, Les Miserables, The King’s Speech)

Lowest Grosser: The Theory of Flight (1998) – $73,000

Overall Rank: 28

3. Cate Blanchett

Career Earnings: $2.8 billion

Franchises: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit

Highest Grossing Picture: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – $377 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 10 (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Cinderella, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Robin Hood, The Aviator)

Lowest Grosser: Little Fish (2006) – $8,000

Overall Rank: 27

2. Cameron Diaz

Career Earnings: $3 billion

Franchises: Charlie’s Angels, Shrek

Highest Grossing Picture: Shrek 2 (2004) – $441 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 11 (Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After, There’s Something About Mary, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Charlie’s Angels, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, The Mask, Vanilla Sky, Bad Teacher)

Lowest Grosser: Head Above Water (1997) – $32,000

Overall Rank: 19

  1. Scarlett Johansson

Career Earnings: $3.3 billion

Franchises: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Highest Grossing Picture: The Avengers (2012) – $623 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 7 (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book, Lucy)

Lowest Grosser: A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004) – $164,000

Overall Rank: 9

And there you have it, my friends! Your 25 highest grossing females in the history of the movies…

Summer 2015 Movies: The Predicted Century Club

The 2015 Summer Movie Season officially kicks off two weeks from today when Avengers: Age of Ultron blasts into theaters. It will compete for the largest domestic opening of all time (where it needs to beat its predecessor) and is highly likely to be the season’s highest earner. That got me to thinking – while Ultron is poised to gross $500 million or higher, it’s been the $100 million mark that studios still like to brag about. This prompted me to look at the past five summer flick seasons and how many pictures reached that milestone.

In 2010, it was 13 movies that reached the mark: Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Inception, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After, The Karate Kid, Grown Ups, The Last Airbender, The Other Guys, Salt, Robin Hood, and The Expendables.

Things improved in 2011 with 18 films reaching the century club: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Hangover Part II, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Cars 2, Thor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Captain America: First Avenger, The Help, Bridesmaids, Kung Fu Panda 2, X-Men: First Class, The Smurfs, Super 8, Horrible Bosses, Green Lantern, Bad Teacher, and Cowboys and Aliens.

The low mark was the following year in 2012 with just 12: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Brave, Ted, Madagascar 3, Men in Black 3, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, Magic Mike, and The Bourne Legacy.

Yet the high mark came the following summer in 2013 with 19: Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Fast and Furious 6, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, The Heat, We’re the Millers, The Great Gatsby, The Conjuring, Grown Ups 2, The Wolverine, Now You See Me, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Hangover Part III, Epic, Pacific Rim, and This is the End.

2014 dipped with 14: Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Maleficent, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, 22 Jump Street, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Neighbors, Lucy, The Fault in Our Stars, and Edge of Tomorrow. 

That averages out to 15 pictures earning $100M plus per summer over this decade.

So where do I have 2015 matching up? Not breaking records, but in good shape. My predictions for the year’s $100M earners is 16 and they are as follows (in order of release date): Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2, Tomorrowland, San Andreas, Spy, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Ted 2, Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys, Minions, Ant-Man, Trainwreck, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and Fantastic Four. 

Of course, there’s always sleepers. And there’s others that I could have predicted but think will fall short: the Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit, horror remake Poltergeist, the film version of Entourage, the Adam Sandler video game inspired action comedy Pixels, the Vacation reboot, and the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton are among them.

As predicted, summer 2015 should see its number of century club inductees on the slightly high end without reaching the heights of 2013. And as always, you’ll see box office predictions every Saturday from me on each and every one of ’em!

Lucy Movie Review

Your capacity to enjoy Lucy may deal with your willingness on what to do with your brain capacity while viewing it. It’s a ludicrous concoction of science fiction and action that nonetheless provides yet another showcase for Scarlett Johannson’s talents. And another for Luc Besson, known more lately for his involvement in the Taken franchise than his earlier work. That previous work included 1997’s The Fifth Element which I count among my favorite guilty pleasure flicks of the last two decades. Thankfully Lucy contains a similar spirit. It isn’t every picture that manages to weave familiar shoot em ups with Asian gangsters and a scene with a dinosaur. If that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, leave this alone. If you appreciated that bizarre giant blue alien creature singing opera mixed with techno in the aforementioned Fifth Element, Lucy has that kinda vibe from time to time.

The title character is played with gusto by Johannson. When we first are introduced to her, she’s a college student in Taiwan who’s tricked into making a drug delivery to a dastardly man known as Mr. Jang (Choi Min-Sik). Turns out it’s not your regular narcotics drop when she’s knocked out and a mysterious substance makes its way into her stomach. The synthetic drug know as CPH4 soon gives her capabilities not thought humanly possible and she begins accessing portions of her brain in a…. shall we say limitless fashion? 10%. 50%. 99%. We know because flash cards show us where we are at in Lucy’s cerebral uptick clock while the bad guys try to chase her down.

Oh… And there’s Morgan Freeman as a professor who kinda knows about this stuff. Clearly he’s cast because what student wouldn’t wanna listen to him drone on about scientific gobbledygook all day? My theory is Lucy could have picked lots of people to partner with, but her extreme intelligence led her to the best voice.

Interestingly, Besson’s take is that the more smart you become – the less empathetic you are. When her brain function is just beginning to increase, she cares enough to make what she believes to be her last call to her parents and provide medical assistance to her unhealthy roommate. Soon though, her actions lead to massive car pileups and rows of innocent dead people that she couldn’t seem to give a flip about. I suppose if it weren’t that way, we wouldn’t get the violent scenes we need every few minutes.

Lucy clips along at a quick runtime of an hour and a half. Nothing about the gunplay (which has an occasional Matrix-y vibe) brings much new to the table. What causes this to be worthwhile in my eyes is the vibrant central performance and Besson’s devil may care, throw in the kitchen sink and dinosaur sighting attitude that I missed. He knows this premise is as silly as The Fifth Element before it. Somehow he’s able to make it fun.

*** (out of four)

2014: The Year of Scarlett Johannson

Scarlett Johannson has been on quite a roll lately with her mix of mega blockbusters and critical indie darlings. It manifested itself best in 2014 and “Scar Jo” had quite the banner year. She is indeed deserving of my third post focusing on six performers who had a merry 2014!

April 2014 gave us a prime example of her deft mix of films both large and small. Johannson made her third appearance as Black Widow (after 2010’s Iron Man 2 and 2012’s The Avengers) in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Everyone expected it to be a blockbuster, which it exceeded expectations on the critical and financial level (topping out at $259 million domestic).

That same month she starred in Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer’s hypnotic indie pic that cast her as an alien learning what Earth is all about. Her performance contained little dialogue, yet it may be her strongest work yet.

Her work in acclaimed indie fare continued into May with her supporting part in Chef, Jon Favreau’s unexpected hit that earned $31 million domestically.

By July, she may have had her most impressive showing when she headlined the action pic Lucy. It earned a robust $126 million and much of it was due to her star power alone in shoot-em-up genre pics.

Scar Jo’s dalliances between popcorn flicks and indie hits looks to continue beyond this year. In May, she’ll make her fourth Black Widow turn in The Avengers: Age of Ultron before working with the Coen Brothers (alongside George Clooney and Channing Tatum) in Hail Caesar!

For my post on The Year of Shailene Woodley, click here:

For my post on The Year of Kevin Hart, click here:

For my post on The Year of Chris Pratt, click here:

For my post on The Year of Angelina Jolie, click here:

For my post on The Year of Michael Keaton, click here:

Box Office Predictions: August 15-17

This weekend – three new titles (The Expendables 3, Let’s Be Cops, The Giver) open and attempt to compete with the second weekend of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and third weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy. You can find my detailed individual prediction posts on the newbies here:

As I see it, there could be a legitimate four-way race for the #1 spot – something that’s extremely rare. Ninja Turtles opened WAY beyond expectations (more on that below) yet its mediocre B Cinemascore likely means a big drop in its sophomore frame. Guardians should hold up better, creating a tight race with Turtles. The wild cards are the third Expendables and Let’s Be Cops. Either one could easily exceed my expectations and debut at #1. However, my predictions reflect a belief that Turtles barely manages to outdo Galaxy with Expendables and Cops third and fourth. The badly marketed The Giver should round out the top five.

And with that, my predictions for the mid-August top five:

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Predicted Gross: $25.7 million (representing a drop of 60%)

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

Predicted Gross: $24.1 million (representing a drop of 42%)

3. The Expendables 3

Predicted Gross: $21.5 million

4. Let’s Be Cops

Predicted Gross: $17.7 million (opens Wednesday: $23.4 million predicted for five-day debut)

5. The Giver

Predicted Gross: $11 million

Box Office Results (August 8-10)

Box office prognosticators like me were shell shocked this weekend by the terrific performance of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which posted the fourth largest August opening ever with $65.5 million, way beyond my $28.2M projection. A sequel was greenlit immediately and a new Turtle franchise is born. I was clearly way off on believing the pizza-loving amphibians popularity had waned. Whoops.

Guardians of the Galaxy held up well in weekend #2 with $42.1 million, in line with my $42.9M prediction. The Marvel blockbuster has amassed a fantastic $176M in ten days.

Opening decently in third was disaster flick Into the Storm with $17.3 million, ahead of my $13.6M estimate. Look for it to fall pretty far in its second weekend, though. The Helen Mirren comedic drama The Hundred-Foot Journey debuted fourth with $10.9 million, on pace with my $10.7M projection. Holdover Lucy rounded out the top five with $9.4 million, just ahead of my $8.1M prediction. Newcomer Step Up: All In kept the dance franchise’s earnings plummeting with only $6.4 million, below my $8.4M estimate. Finally, the James Brown biopic Get On Up continues its highly disappointing run. I believed it wouldn’t fall much in weekend two, but it certainly did. Up was down 62% with $5.1 million, well below my generous $8.8M prediction.

That’s all for now, folks!

Box Office Predictions: August 8-10

This Friday, four new titles will try to knock massive hit Guardians of the Galaxy from its perch atop the box office. They are the franchise reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, found footage disaster flick Into the Storm, the Helen Mirren led comedic drama The Hundred-Foot Journey, and dance competition sequel Step Up: All In. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

The only newbie with a fair shot of challenging Guardians would seem to be Turtles. However, I am going on the low end of expectations for it. Some have it grossing above $30 million and even closer to $40M, but I believe excitement isn’t quite that high and a robust second weekend for Guardians may hurt it.

Into the Storm looks like a relative flop to me, though some have it outpacing my estimate. The Hundred-Foot Journey should barely top double digits while diminishing results for each successive Step Up flick could hurt All In.

As for holdovers, Guardians got off to a truly spectacular start (more on that below). It will likely fall in the same range as other Marvel hits in their sophomore weekends. In its third weekend, Luc Besson’s Lucy should continue to lose over half its audience. The James Brown biopic Get On Up got off to a disappointing start, but with its A Cinemascore grade, I see it having the smallest decline in its second weekend.

And with that – we’ll do a Top Seven for my projections this weekend:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

Predicted Gross: $42.9 million (representing a drop of 54%)

2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Predicted Gross: $28.2 million

3. Into the Storm

Predicted Gross: $13.6 million

4. The Hundred-Foot Journey

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million

5. Get On Up

Predicted Gross: $8.8 million (representing a drop of 34%)

6. Step Up: All In

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million

7. Lucy

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million (representing a drop of 55%)

Box Office Results (August 1-3)

As previously mentioned, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy got off to an astonishingly terrific run with $94.3 million. The very well-reviewed pic boasted the third highest opening of 2014, behind Transformers: Age of Extinction and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It opened nearly $20M above my $74.6M prediction. Guardians may well be in a position to eventually become the summer’s largest grosser. Simply put, the Marvel gravy train keeps chugging along…

Lucy dropped to second with $18.2 million in its sophomore weekend, above my $16.6M projection. The Scarlett Johannson actioner has taken in $79M so far and should certainly top $100M domestically.

Get On Up had a lackluster premiere with $13.5 million, way below my $24.9M estimate. It received solid reviews, especially for star Chadwick Boseman, yet it failed to bring in its intended adult audience.

Hercules dropped to fourth in weekend #2 with $11 million, below my $13M prediction. The Rock’s flick has earned $52 million and should top out around $75M.

In fifth was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in its fourth weekend with $8.6 million, on target with my $8.5M estimate. Dawn has made $189M and should get to around $215M overall.

And that’s all for now, friends!