The King’s Man Box Office Prediction

In the Yuletide battle for franchise supremacy, The King’s Man will undoubtedly come in fourth among the contenders. A prequel to the two Kingsman features that preceded it, the spy thriller was originally set for release over two years ago. COVID delays have pushed it all the way to December 22nd.

Matthew Vaughn returns in the director’s chair with a cast including Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans (who’s also costarring in Spider-Man: No Way Home), Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander (not to be confused with Tom Holland of Spidey fame), Harris Dickinson, Daniel Bruhl, Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance.

The aforementioned Spider-Man juggernaut will most certainly reign supreme over the holidays, followed by The Matrix Resurrections and Sing 2 in the 2-3 slots (the order of that is up for debate). Moviegoers punching their tickets for the superhero and Neo will siphon away plenty of viewers that may have an interest in this.

In February 2015, Kingsman: The Secret Service exceeded expectations with a Presidents Day weekend haul of over $40 million. 2017 sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle made $39 million in its September debut. Four years is quite a lag time between entries and the fact that it’s a prequel (and missing Colin Firth and Taron Egerton) doesn’t help. The 45% Rotten Tomatoes score doesn’t inspire great confidence either.

The five-day grosses should be able to reach low double digits to low teens, but it might only make single digits for the traditional Friday to Sunday frame. I believe the competition is just too steep for the King’s to shine.

The King’s Man opening weekend prediction: $8.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $13.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my The Matrix Resurrections prediction, click here:

The Matrix Resurrections Box Office Prediction

For my Sing 2 prediction, click here:

Sing 2 Box Office Prediction

For my American Underdog prediction, click here:

American Underdog Box Office Prediction

For my A Journal for Jordan prediction, click here:

A Journal for Jordan Box Office Prediction

Summer 2011: The Top 10 Hits and More

We have arrived at part III of my recaps of the summer seasons that came 30, 20, and 10 years ago. That means 2011 is upon us. If you missed my sizzling throwbacks to 1991 and 2001, you can find them here:

Summer 1991: The Top 10 Hits and More

Summer 2001: The Top 10 Hits and More

As is tradition, I will recount the top 10 hits as well as other notable features and some flops in a season where moviegoers bid a fond farewell to their iconic wizard:

Let’s get to it, yes?

10. Bridesmaids

Domestic Gross: $169 million

Kristin Wiig made one of the most successful jumps from SNL to movie stardom in this critically hailed pic that also earned Melissa McCarthy her silver screen breakout and even an Oscar nomination. It might not be the highest grossing comedy on here, but it’s definitely still the most talked about.

9. The Help

Domestic Gross: $169 million

Based on Kathryn Stockett’s bestseller, the 1960s set period piece from Tate Taylor brought the book’s readers and many others to the multiplex. Four Oscar nods followed including Best Picture and a Supporting Actress victory for Octavia Spencer.

8. Captain America: The First Avenger

Domestic Gross: $176 million

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first big branch out occurred during this summer where we would get our first glimpse at this OG avenger in the form of Chris Evans and another one who sits at the throne of spot #6. The sequels actually improved on what we see here, but the Captain gets rolling with this.

7. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Domestic Gross: $176 million

Rupert Wyatt’s reboot of the franchise is deservedly better regarded than Tim Burton’s re-imagining that transpired in 2001. Debuting the fantastic motion capture work of Andy Serkis, this would spawn two follow-ups that also pleased audiences and critics and did considerable monkey business.

6. Thor

Domestic Gross: $181 million

Chris Hemsworth’s Asgardian heartthrob hammered into the public consciousness alongside Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins and managed $5 million more box office bucks than the Captain. The third sequel is currently in production.

5. Cars 2

Domestic Gross: $191 million

Despite grossing nearly $200 million, this Pixar sequel is not one of the studio’s most fondly remembered vehicles with just a 40% Rotten Tomatoes rating. A third Cars did zoom into theaters six years later.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Domestic Gross: $241 million

With a reported budget of $379 million, Johnny Depp’s fourth headlining of the franchise still sports the largest price tag of all time. The actor’s final participation in the series would come in 2017 with Disney still looking to reboot it without their signature player.

3. The Hangover Part II

Domestic Gross: $254 million

Crowds were still clamoring for the drunken exploits of Bradley Copper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis. Critics weren’t near as kind to part II, but audiences didn’t begin to tire of the hijinks until part III two years later.

2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Domestic Gross: $352 million

Michael Bay’s third saga of the Autobots and Decepticons marks Shia LaBeouf’s last appearance in the franchise and includes drop-ins from acting heavyweights John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. Mark Wahlberg would take over starring duties three years later.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Domestic Gross: $381 million

After nearly a decade of enchanting kids and their parents alike, the franchise stemming from J.K. Rowling’s beloved novels received a fittingly massive send-off with this billion dollar plus worldwide earner.

Now for other noteworthy titles from the summer:

X-Men: First Class

Domestic Gross: $146 million

Bryan Singer’s handed over directorial reigns to Matthew Vaughn for this reinvigorating reboot of the series that introduced the younger versions of Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Mystique in the bodies of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence. Numerous sequels of varying quality followed.

The Smurfs

Domestic Gross: $142 million

Sony Pictures wasn’t blue about the financial returns for this half live-action/half animated adaptation of the popular comics and animated series. A sequel came in 2013.

Super 8

Domestic Gross: $127 million

In between Star Trek pics and before rebooting Star Wars, J.J. Abrams helmed this sci-fi original which paid tribute to the Spielberg efforts of the 1980s. Critics gave it their stamp of approval and it’s notable for one heckuva train crash sequence.

Horrible Bosses

Domestic Gross: $117 million

This raunchy comedy about workers exacting revenge on their wretched superiors showed us a whole different side to Jennifer Aniston and spawned a 2014 sequel.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Domestic Gross: $84 million

Before their collaboration on La La Land earned lots of Oscar nods five years later, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling teamed up for this rom com with Steve Carell and Julianne Moore that exceeded expectations with audiences and many critics.

Midnight in Paris

Domestic Gross: $56 million

It was a different time 10 years ago for Woody Allen, who scored his last big hit with this fantastical comedy starring Owen Wilson. Woody would win the Oscar for Original Screenplay and it landed three additional nominations including Picture and Director.

The Tree of Life

Domestic Gross: $13 million

Terrence Malick’s epic philosophical drama won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best Picture, Director, and Cinematography at the Academy Awards. Not your typical summer fare, but it certainly had reviews on its side.

And now for some titles that didn’t meet expectations commercially, critically, or both:

Green Lantern

Domestic Gross: $116 million

Five years before he entered the comic book flick pantheon with Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds didn’t have as much luck with this critically drubbed flop. Even the star himself has taken to calling it a waste of time for viewers.

Cowboys & Aliens

Domestic Gross: $100 million

Coming off the huge Iron Man pics, Jon Favreau cast James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in this space western that didn’t impress crowds or critics and earned considerably less than its budget domestically.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Domestic Gross: $68 million

Audiences were mostly cool to Jim Carrey’s treatment of the popular late 30s children’s book though it did manage to top its $55 million budget. It probably would have made far more during the star’s box office heyday.

Spy Kids 4-D: All the Time in the World

Domestic Gross: $38 million

A decade after Robert Rodriguez kicked the kiddie franchise off to great results, part 4 marked a low mark for the series.

Larry Crowne

Domestic Gross: $35 million

The star power of Tom Hanks (who also directed) and Julia Roberts couldn’t elevate this rom com from a subpar showing (critics weren’t kind either). This is largely a forgotten entity on both actor’s filmographies.

Conan the Barbarian

Domestic Gross: $21 million

Before becoming known to the masses as Aquaman, Jason Momoa couldn’t fill the shoes of Arnold Schwarzenegger in this bomb that couldn’t swim close to its $90 million budget.

And that does it, folks! I’ll have recaps of the summers of 1992, 2002, and 2012 up for your enjoyment next season!

X-Men at 20: A Look Back

Twenty years ago today, Bryan Singer’s X-Men arrived in theaters and it’s not hyperbole to call it one of the most influential pictures of the 21st century. The 20th Century Fox release found the comic book genre at a rather low point at the end of that said century. While Blade was a nice size hit in 1998, the years prior found at a lot to be desired with the quality of the genre. 1995 brought us Judge Dredd and 1997 saw the release of Batman and Robin, which found the Caped Crusader with Bat nipples and bad reviews.

X-Men, though it’s hard to remember now, was released at a time where the idea of superhero tales was an uncertain box office prospect. This is two years before Spider-Man broke all kinds of financial records. This is five years prior to Christopher Nolan reinvigorating the Bat franchise with his Dark Knight trilogy. And this was eight years before Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark/Iron Man, officially kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the summer of 2000, X-Men was by no means a guaranteed hit. It did, however, have credibility with the behind the scenes talent and cast. Bryan Singer was known for his heralded The Usual Suspects. Acclaimed actors Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen (fresh off an Oscar nod for Gods and Monsters), Anna Paquin, and Halle Berry were among the onscreen players. And it was another casting decision that provided its most enduring legacy. Russell Crowe, who headlined that summer’s Oscar winner Gladiator, originally turned down the part of Wolverine. Dougray Scott was then cast in the role, but had to drop out when his role as the villain in Mission: Impossible II (also out that summer) prevented him from filming. So it was the unknown Hugh Jackman who donned the claws. He would go on to make it his signature role as he played Logan/Wolverine in numerous sequels and spin-offs (including three stand-alone projects of wildly divergent qualities).

Let’s back up. Before the 2000 release, X-Men was in development for over a decade and a half. At one point, James Cameron was slated to produce with his then wife Kathryn Bigelow attached to direct. Later on, Robert Rodriguez turned the project down. A gander at the pic’s Wikipedia page is an entertaining read (Mariah Carey was in the mix for Storm at one juncture and Angela Bassett was first choice). X-Men was rushed to make its summer release date 20 years ago today after it was originally intended for Christmas 2000.

That rushed feeling does show on up on screen a little, but the overall end result speaks for itself. What occurred two decades ago is a major mark in the comic book movie renaissance that continues to this day. The franchise has certainly had its ups and downs. X2: X-Men United was the first sequel in 2003 and it is generally considered a high point. Three years later, Brett Ratner took over directorial reigns with The Last Stand and (while a huge hit) the quality took a dip. Matthew Vaughn would reestablish critical kudos in rebooting the series in 2011 with First Class (bringing Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence to the screen playing younger counterparts to key characters). Jackman’s first spin-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine faced deserved backlash while 2017’s Logan was lauded and landed an Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination. And a cheeky and R rated offshoot called Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds would dazzle audiences and critics alike. Last summer’s Dark Phoenix didn’t do any dazzling and was another low ebb in the series. Spin-off The New Mutants has seen release date changes that began in 2018 and it’s pretty much a running joke as to whether it will ever come out.

That long road began in 2000 and has shaped the cinematic universe since. And if you had to mark a spot for the comic book landscape today as it stands now on the screen, it started that day.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Box Office Prediction

British spies join forces with their American counterparts in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the sequel to the 2015 action/comedy hit Kingsman: The Secret Service. Matthew Vaughn is back directing with returning stars Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, and Mark Strong. We also have some new but very familiar faces that include Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, and even Elton John!

Two and a half years ago, the original hit its mark with both critics and moviegoers. Opening to $36 million, The Secret Service went on to gross $128M overall domestically. With the relatively small gap between the sequel and its predecessor, I don’t see sequelitis kicking in here.

Circle could find itself in a real battle for the #1 spot with The Lego Ninjago Movie. Both pictures are expected to post debuts in the low to mid 40s. There’s also the third weekend of It to consider, as it still should be raking in plenty of cash.

I’ll project that the second go-round for the Kingsman (and now the Statesman) debuts about $7 million above the first.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle opening weekend prediction: $43.6 million

For my The Lego Ninjajo Movie prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/09/13/the-lego-ninjago-movie-box-office-prediction/

For my Friend Request prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/09/17/friend-request-box-office-prediction/

Kingsman: The Secret Service Movie Review

Kingsman: The Secret Service is an homage to old school spy flicks if those particular movies from the 60s could have featured lots of gory and video game style violence. This genre of film from Bond to Bourne has turned more serious as of late and Kingsman aims to be the antidote. There are a number of clever moments and there is excitement present, but I could never completely shake the feeling that Matthew Vaughn’s latest often feels about half as cool as it thinks it is. The director takes his Kick-Ass attitude to these proceedings and the result never quite reaches the level of fun of that aforementioned effort.

The Kingsman are a group of British super spies whose London store front tailor shop hides the underground lair of gadgetry and much more. Michael Caine is their leader and Colin Firth one of their veteran agents. The picture begins in the late 90s as one Kingsman saves Firth’s life while losing his own. The deceased’s young son Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is visited by Firth and given a code to call the Kingsman if he should ever be in trouble. Flash forward to seventeen years later and Eggsy is a rebellious and aimless youth who does end up making that call and he’s soon recruited to try out for the organization that his dad died for.

He joins a number of other youth in their lengthy auditions for membership to the Kingsman and these scenes are a bit similar to some in Vaughn’s previous movie, X-Men: First Class. The bad guy in the mix is Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson), a billionaire who aims to wipe out most of the Earth’s population except for a privileged few royals and celebrities (Iggy Azalea is humorously mentioned as one of the survivors). It is the character of Valentine’s and Jackson’s lisping and off kilter portrayal of him that tells you most of what you need to know about the movie. Vaughn and his cowriters wish to harken back to the days of the ridiculous 007 villains. It’s a delicate thing for the screenwriters to get this right while all the over the top Tarantino-esque bloody violence is happening and it doesn’t always succeed. Some of the time, I almost expected Dr. Evil to stand alongside Valentine. Other times the story seems to forget it wants to be a satire at all.

That said, the performers give it their all and it’s particularly amusing to see Oscar winner Firth in a true badass mode. He has one scene located in a Kentucky church that stands as the most memorable. Newcomer Egerton may have a bright future and Jackson definitely seems to be enjoying himself. This is an undeniably stylish exercise and the action centerpieces are directed with the trademark energy we’ve come to expect from Vaughn. On a side note, the climactic battle may have you furiously Shazaming the funky track playing in the background. It’s Give It Up by KC and the Sunshine Band. You’re welcome.

The talent involved with Kingsman is considerable. I just wish I got the same kinetic thrill I received from Vaughn’s Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class. It tries hard, but this concoction of self aware spoof with cartoonish violence and occasionally tired social and political satire plays more like a curiosity than the success stories of the filmmaker’s previous offerings.

**1/2 (out of four)

Kingsman: The Secret Service Box Office Prediction

It certainly doesn’t have the name recognition of your Avengers or X-Men, but Kingsman: The Secret Service still may use its superhero related formula to bring in successful box office results. Based on a 2012 comic book, the 20th Century Fox production utilizes some familiar names and faces in its genre. Matthew Vaughn, director of X-Men: First Class, serves behind the camera with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Alfred the Butler (Michael Caine) in supporting roles. Oscar winner Colin Firth headlines.

The spy action comedy has been receiving mostly strong critical notices and it stands at 80% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. Kingsman could serve as smart counter programming for the male audience as much of the female audience will be watching Christian Grey and whips and blindfolds. Trailers and TV spots have been prevalent and well produced.

I’ll estimate that Kingsman manages a sturdy debut of around $30 million. That’s less than half what I’m predicting Fifty Shades makes, but it’s still quite good for this picture.

Kingsman: The Secret Service opening weekend prediction: $30.6 million

For my Fifty Shades of Grey prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/02/07/fifty-shades-of-grey-box-office-prediction/