In 2913, OlympusHasFallen surprised box office prognosticators with a gross of $98 million stateside, eclipsing the earnings of the similarly themed and higher profile WhiteHouseDown from that same year. The Gerard Butler action thriller has now spawned two sequels with AngelHasFallen rising in cinemas next weekend.
Butler’s Secret Service agent now finds himself framed for the attempted assassination of Morgan Freeman’s character. Ric Roman Waugh, best known for directing Dwayne Johnson in Snitch, is behind the camera. Costars include Jada Pinkett Smith, Lance Reddick, Tim Blake Nelson, Piper Perabo, Danny Huston, and Nick Nolte.
As mentioned, Olympus was a sleeper hit that soared out of the gate with $30 million. 2016 follow-up LondonHasFallen couldn’t match those numbers with a $21 million start and $62 million eventual tally.
My expectation is that the third edition will continue the downward trend. Mid to possibly high teens is likely. In the dog days of August, that might be enough for an unremarkable #1 debut.
AngelHasFallen opening weekend prediction: $15.2 million
After premiering in its home country in May at the Cannes Film Festival, the historical love story PortraitofaLadyonFire will make its North American debut at the Toronto Film Festival shortly. It marks the fourth directorial feature for Céline Sciamma and it made a splash with its European rollout. Set in 1770, Portrait centers on a forbidden romance between a would be bride and the woman commissioned to paint her portrait.
It won the Best Screenplay award at Cannes and currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was acquired by Neon and Hulu for stateside distribution later this year. It stands an excellent chance at being France’s official selection for the Best International Feature category at the Academy Awards. Based on its sizzling buzz, its inclusion in that race is a strong possibility. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…
For the second weekend in a row, we have a quintet of new titles populating the marketplace. And like those previous five pictures, all could struggle to break the $20 million mark with some failing to reach double digits. We have the animated sequel TheAngryBirdsMovie2, raunchy preteen comedy GoodBoys, shark sequel 47MetersDown: Uncaged, British musical dramedy BlindedbytheLight, and Richard Linklater directed mystery comedy Where’dYouGo, Bernadette with Cate Blanchett all out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
The Birds follow-up debuts tomorrow in theaters. Even with that early start, I believe the Friday to Sunday traditional gross should be enough for it to fly into the top spot. That said, I have it well under the $33 million debut of its 2016 predecessor.
The earnings of Boys and Meters might be similar, but my projection puts the former ahead. There could be a legit battle between these two newcomers with the third frame of Hobbs & Shaw, the sophomore frame of ScaryStoriestoTellintheDark, and the fifth weekend of TheLionKing. In other words, the placing of the top five could be extremely fluid.
I’m anticipating mid single digits for both Blinded and Bernadette, leaving them well outside the top five and behind DoraandtheLostCityofGold and OnceUponaTimeinHollywood.
So while this column is normally estimating the top half of the top 10, I’m doubling it given all the new product:
Predicted Gross: $17.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $25.4 million (Tuesday to Sunday)
Predicted Gross: $14.3 million
3. Hobbs & Shaw
Predicted Gross: $12.8 million
Predicted Gross: $11.1 million
5. 47MetersDown: Uncaged
Predicted Gross: $10.2 million
Predicted Gross: $10 million
Predicted Gross: $9.3 million
Predicted Gross: $7.1 million
Predicted Gross: $5.8 million
10. Where’dYouGo, Bernadette
Predicted Gross: $5.6 million
Hobbs&Shaw parked in first for the second weekend with $25.2 million, a smidge below my $27.5 million forecast. The two week tally stands at $108 million.
In a weekend where I assumed DoraandtheLostCityofGold would fare best among the five newcomers, it was ScaryStoriestoTellintheDark achieving that status. It exceeded most expectations at $20.9 million, well beyond my $14.3 million take.
TheLionKing was third with $20.2 million. My prediction? $20.2 million! It now is Disney’s largest earning live action title at $473 million.
Aforementioned Dora was fourth with a middling $17.4 million, falling below my projection of $19.7 million.
OnceUponaTimeinHollywood hit the century mark and rounded out the top five. Earning $11.6 million (I said $11.3 million), the total is a cool $100 million.
TheArtofRacingintheRain premiered in sixth with a meh $8.1 million. Good news for me for the second time as I said $8.1 million.
Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish learned audiences wouldn’t turn out for them in a crime thriller. The poorly reviewed TheKitchen was seventh with just $5.5 million compared to my more generous $8.3 million prediction.
Finally, BrianBanks opened in 11th with $2.1 million. I was close at $2.3 million.
Rocketman, the biopic of legendary piano man Elton John, exists in familiar territory. Yet it manages to do so in an often inventive fashion with a commanding performance by its lead. The pic is directed by Dexter Fletcher, who filled in on BohemianRhapsody when Bryan Singer was dumped. They share similar themes of a shy boy coming into his own as an eventual iconic music figure. Unlike Rhapsody, Taron Egerton quite capably and bravely provides the vocal work of the man he’s playing.
The opening finds Elton in a high place both literally and figuratively as he’s about to once again play to a sold out crowd. He’s also at a low in terms of multiple kinds of addiction. Finally asking for help via Alcoholics Anonymous, Lee Hall’s screenplay then provides the framework for flashbacks of his life. It begins with him as the pint sized Reginald Dwight in 1950s England. He’s ignored by his father (Steven Mackintosh) and treated with ambivalence by his mum (Bryce Dallas Howard). His discovery of the piano is a watershed moment. Reginald has natural talent but a laser focus on perfecting the craft.
His most significant encounter comes through Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell). He writes the songs and Elton provides the melodies. Bernie is often the only figure in his life who genuinely cares about the newly christened Elton. Fighting through timidity, the newly named vocalist gets loud on the mic and with his outfits. Fame, fortune, and drug addiction follow as they so frequently do.
Those plot points are as known as the lyrics to many Elton tunes. Lucky for us, this isn’t just about a musician. It’s a genuine musical with tightly choreographed numbers set to high energy bangers like “Saturday Night’s Alright” and “The Bitch is Back” and contemplative pieces like “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” and the title track. It has the second best movie scene set to “Tiny Dancer”. It’s a tall order to top AlmostFamous.
Elton’s love life and homosexuality are explored from an ill-conceived marriage to a woman to his turbulent romance with manager John Reid (Richard Madden). By the time “I’m Still Standing” rises over the speakers, I felt pretty satisfied with this journey through his career and road to sobriety. There’s certainly a theme of Elton forging through his issues and creating his own reality with his outlandish persona. He may not have written all of the words that skyrocketed him to superstardom, but he provided the unforgettable notes. Rocketman often succeeds at capturing them.
Acclaimed director Richard Linklater brings his adaptation of a 2012 bestseller to the big screen with Where’dYouGo, Bernadette. Based on Maria Semple’s comedic mystery, the pic casts two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett in the title role of an agoraphobic wife and mother who disappears. The story finds her daughter (Emma Nelson) tracking her whereabouts. Costars include Billy Crudup, Kristin Wiig, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne, Steve Zahn, and Megan Mullaly.
It’s been five years since Linklater’s Boyhood bowed to critical praise and multiple Academy nominations. Since then, his efforts EverybodyWantsSome!! and LastFlagFlying have underwhelmed at the box office. The late summer release date here is curious as Bernadette is foregoing the festival circuit that often builds buzz for titles such as this.
Without that kind of chatter, the film will rely on fans of its source material. That could be a challenge for it to break out of mid single digits territory.
Where’dYouGo, Bernadette opening weekend prediction: $5.6 million
For my TheAngryBirdsMovie2 prediction, click here:
The British import BlindedbytheLight illuminates theaters this coming weekend after receiving glowing reviews from its debut earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. From director Gurinder Chadha, who made the breakout hit BendItLikeBeckham, the dramedy focuses on a teenager whose life is transformed by the music of Bruce Springsteen. Viveik Kalra is said teenager and the supporting cast includes Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, and Nell Williams.
As mentioned, Blinded was shown on the fest circuit and a 92% Rotten Tomatoes score followed. The pic would love to follow in the footsteps of this summer’s sleeper hit Yesterday, which rode its Beatles musical connection to impressive box office grosses. The ability for this to over perform is possible, but the likely scenario is a mid single digits premiere while it hopes to develop legs over subsequent weekends.
BlindedbytheLight opening weekend prediction: $5.8 million
For my TheAngryBirdsMovie2 prediction, click here:
Two years after the original turned into an unanticipated summer success, shark sequel 47MetersDown: Uncaged is unlocked in theaters next weekend. While director Johannes Roberts is back behind the camera, a whole new cast of potential chum is present. That includes Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx (daughter of Jamie), Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone (daughter of Sly), John Corbett, and Nia Long. Original star Mandy Moore is off somewhere and hopefully dry.
In June 2017, the first Meters had an interesting journey to the big screen. A measly $5 million production, it was originally slated to be a VOD only release. After it was acquired by Entertainment Studios and perhaps assisted by Moore’s exposure in the hit series “This Is Us”, it was put into multiplexes and had an $11.2 million debut. Doubling its price tag out of the gate, it legged out quite well for its genre and ended up at $44 million.
The follow-up won’t be able to surprise everyone and come out of nowhere. Expectations are that it should at least match the start of its predecessor. I’ll project that it falls short of that by around a million.
47MetersDown: Uncaged opening weekend prediction: $10.2 million
For my TheAngryBirdsMovie2 prediction, click here: