Oscar Watch: Aladdin

Just a day before its theatrical release, Disney’s live-action update of Aladdin had its review embargo lifted. The big-budget fantasy, which casts Will Smith in the genie role made iconic by Robin Williams in the 1992 animated feature, could’ve certainly fared worse. Based upon fears from a poorly received first trailer, some wondered if the pic would be a disaster. Most critics, while certainly mixed with some negative, haven’t been too harsh. It stands at 60% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. Particular praise has gone to the performances of Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, who respectively play the title character and Princess Jasmine.

When it comes to these updates of studio classics, many in the past decade have scored technical nods. This includes Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast. In 2019, Aladdin will find itself competing for space with three other Disney live-action renderings: the already released Dumbo, this summer’s The Lion King, and this winter’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Don’t be surprised if The Lion King gets the lions share of attention.

That said, Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling could be the two best possibilities here. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Aladdin Box Office Prediction

The second of four live-action renderings of Disney animated features in 2019, Aladdin is wishing for bountiful box office returns over Memorial Day weekend. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the musical fantasy adventure casts Will Smith as the genie in a role made iconic in 1992 by Robin Williams. In the title role is Mena Massoud with Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. Costars include Marwan Kenzari, Nasim Pedrad, and Billy Magnussen.

Reaction to the teaser was mixed at best. The full trailer was better received. The film follows this spring’s Dumbo, which was a bit of a disappointment with a $45 million opening gross. The Lion King will follow later this summer with Maleficent: Mistress of Evil in the year’s fourth quarter.

While there’s little doubt Aladdin will rule the holiday frame, it’s got a wide range of possibilities. The Mouse Factory’s largest start for one of its reimaginings was 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, which roared to $174 million. Don’t expect anywhere near that kind of number. Some forecasts are putting this in the $100 million four-day ballpark, but I have serious doubts about that.

I could actually see this performing similarly to Mr. Smith’s other Memorial Day opener – 2012’s MIB 3, which earned $69 million. For a Disney comp, there’s 2015’s Cinderella with its $67 million haul. Given that there’s an extra day involved, I’ll bump Aladdin up slightly.

Aladdin opening weekend prediction: $74.8 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Brightburn prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/15/brightburn-box-office-prediction/

For my Booksmart prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/17/booksmart-box-office-prediction/

Power Rangers Box Office Prediction

Lionsgate is hoping that a wave of 90s nostalgia will propel Power Rangers to powerful grosses when it debuts next weekend. The reported $105 million product is a reboot of the popular kids cartoon that spawned two (not very well-regarded) pics in the mid 1990s.

Franchise creator Haim Saban produces this venture with Dean Israelite directing. A cast of relative unknowns (Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Becky G, Ludi Lin) play our young title characters. More familiar faces including Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, and the voice of Bill Hader are among the supporting cast.

Rangers is banking on capturing the same audience that responded well to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles refresh recently. Its 2014 return spawned a much more than expected $65 million opening. Last year’s sequel, Out of the Shadows, didn’t measure up with a $35 million premiere.

My instinct is that Power Rangers could certainly over perform, but it will likely reach the mid 30s that Shadows accomplished. I believe those initial Turtles numbers could be unreachable. The earlier Rangers flicks weren’t huge successes. In 1995, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers made $13 million out of the gate with an eventual $38M overall tally. Its spin-off two years later, Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie, was an outright flop with only $8 million total domestically.

Bottom line: I believe the nostalgia factor will come into play and should be enough to make this is a solid second behind the sophomore weekend of Beauty and the Beast.

Power Rangers opening weekend prediction: $33.8 million

For my Life prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/03/15/life-box-office-prediction/

For my CHiPs prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/03/16/chips-box-office-prediction/