Billing itself as the first gay rom com from a major studio and featuring an all LGBTQ+ main cast, Universal Pictures releases Bros on September 30th. Nicholas Stoller (director of successful comedies Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Neighbors) is behind the camera with Judd Apatow producing. Billy Eichner of Billy on the Street fame stars alongside Luke Macfarlane. The supporting cast includes Ts Madison, Monica Raymund, Guillermo Diaz, Guy Branum, Amanda Bearse, Jim Rash, Dot-Marie Jones, Bowen Yang, Harvey Fierstein, and Debra Messing.
While this particular humorous tale is making some history, it’s rare nowadays to find any comedy getting a wide release (at least one that’s not animated or filled with action). Bros premiered at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month to glowing reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 94%.
Prognosticators have the range here at $10-15 million. That sounds reasonable and I suspect it’ll start out at the middle of that spectrum. It’ll likely have to settle for a second place showing behind horror pic Smile. However, I could see this legging out well when word-of-mouth gets out. As an aside, I saw Bros at TIFF and can confirm it should be quite the crowdpleaser.
Bros has made quite the splash in its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival prior to its September 30th stateside rollout. This is the first rom com to feature a primarily LGBTQ+ cast. Nicholas Stoller, who’s helmed successful genre fare like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Neighbors, directs. Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane are the lead couple with a supporting cast including Ts Madison, Monica Raymond, Guillermo Diaz, Guy Branum, Amanda Bearse, Bowen Yang, and Debra Messing.
Early word out of Canada is that this is an entertaining and alternately sweet and raunchy romp (something I can confirm having been at the world premiere last night). The Rotten Tomatoes meter stands at 89%. I’m not sure Bros is as much an Oscar player (where there’s a comedic allergy) as it is a Globes contender. Since they differentiate between Drama and Musical/Comedy, I could easily see the Hollywood Foreign Press nominating this for Best Picture and for Eichner in Best Actor.
That said, I wouldn’t say its Academy hopes are completely dashed. There’s usually a lone screenplay nominee that receives no other nods and Stoller and Eichner’s original screenplay could fit that particular bill. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…
Making the leap from the Nickelodeon small screen for a live action rendering, DoraandtheLostCityofGold looks to cash in at theaters next weekend. The family adventure is based on the animated series “Dora the Explorer” that started back in 2000. James Bobin, best known for TheMuppets reimagining and AliceThroughtheLookingGlass, directs. Isabela Moner, recently seen in InstantFamily, is the title character with a supporting cast including Eugenio Derbez, Michael Pena, and Eva Longoria. Danny Trejo and Benicio del Toro provided voice work
Paramount is hopeful that a pot of gold will exist with Latino audiences and kids who’ve made the TV show part of their programming over the last many years. The film is probably review proof and they’ve been mixed so far. This shouldn’t face much trouble having the largest debut of the five pictures arriving over the weekend. I’ll say high teens to low 20s is where this lands.
DoraandtheLostCityofGold opening weekend prediction: $19.7 million
Dreamworks is the first studio with an animated feature for the summer season as Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie hits screens next weekend. Based on a series of well-known childrens books by Dav Pilkey, the film features the voices of Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, and Thomas Middleditch. The screenplay comes from Nicholas Stoller, who made last year’s under performing Storks.
Underpants is certainly more of a question mark than some of the other animated tales this season – namely Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3, both of which arrive in June. That said, Dreamworks has a mostly solid history of producing hits. 2014’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman debuted to $32 million, 2015’s Home exceeded expectations with $52 million, Trolls made $46 million last fall, and The Boss Baby opened to $50 million in March, outpacing its projections.
While I don’t see this effort getting past $40 million (though it could happen), I believe a high 20s to maybe low 30s debut is in the cards as the studio likely hopes for a sequel (based on the title).
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie opening weekend prediction: $27.4 million
As has been discussed on the blog before, comedy is typically the genre that lends itself least to sequels. A major reason: most of ’em aren’t made with a planned follow-up in mind and therefore contrivances must be invented for them to exist.
This general rule applies to Neighbors2: SororityRising, which arrives two years after the success of the original. In 2014, the teaming of Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne vs. Zac Efron’s wild frat next door was a mostly effective raunchy pic with a couple of gags (air bags) that soared. $150 million domestic later, returning director Nicholas Stoller and his stars picked a pretty simple premise for another installment. Put a sorority there instead of a frat and watch similar hijinks ensue!
This happens when college freshman Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz) goes to pledge at sororities and discovers they aren’t allowed to hold the wild bashes that their male counterparts are. So she enlists some other girls and Beastie Boys’s it beside the Radners (Rogen, Byrne) who are now expecting their second child. Kappa Nu is formed with an assist from Teddy (Efron), who’s still a bit salty from what went down when he inhabited the property. He’s also painfully still a man-child and the screenplay does get some decent mileage out of that (his changed friendship with frat bro Dave Franco is an example).
As with the first Neighbors installment, games of one upmanship (or upgirlship I guess) go down. The Radners are terrified because the house is in escrow as they’re set to become suburbanites and the new tenants might not appreciate the newly minted party pad. Shelby and her newfound sisters are determined to stay. And if that all sounds a lot like 2014, it is. Same story, different gender.
Rising gets a some solid chuckles out of exploiting the physique of both Mr. Efron and Mr. Rogen. The best moments come from our lead couple acting as de facto parents to Teddy, yet they’re few and far between. This is due to the familiar tale of Kappa Nu and their schemes that involve some serious felonies that the frat guys would’ve balked at.
There have been plenty of comedic #2’s far worse than this. The trio of Rogen, Byrne, and Efron do give it their all and don’t just go through the motions. Still – this one feels mostly uninspired despite the talent involved and keeps that general comedy sequel rule intact.
Warner Bros keeps the onslaught of animated titles being delivered to theaters going with Storks, opening next weekend. The comedic adventure comes from Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland. Mr. Stroller is known for his live-action genre titles like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, and the Neighbors franchise. The pic features the voices of Andy Samberg, Jennifer Aniston, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Kelsey Grammer, and Ty Burrell.
2016 has been a banner year for animated material with mega-hits like Zootopia, Finding Dory, and The Secret Life of Pets and critically acclaimed fare like Kubo and the Two Strings and Sausage Party. With all those titles mentioned, it’s a distinct possibility that an animated feature will really have to stand out now for family audiences to plunk down their dollars. Whether Storks fits that bill is a legit question.
September has been an occasionally fruitful month for the genre. Hotel Transylvania and its sequel are responsible for the month’s two largest openings at $42 and $48 million, respectively. The two Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs flicks both opened above $30 million. Warner Bros should be ecstatic if Storks manages those numbers.
I don’t believe this will quite reach that level and a debut in the mid to high 20s seems more probable.
Storks opening weekend prediction: $27.9 million
For my The Magnificent Seven prediction, click here:
Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Rose Byrne are back experiencing homeowner drama in a hopefully funny way with Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, out next weekend. This time, it’s the ladies turn to wreak havoc on Mr. Rogen’s famiy with Chloe Grace Moretz leading the way. Nicholas Stoller returns to direct with Dave Franco and Ike Barinholtz back in supporting roles.
Two years ago, Neighbors turned into a major summer hit with a $49 million opening and $150 million domestic gross. A sequel was quickly greenlit and here we are today with the follow-up hoping to match its predecessor’s numbers.
It could be tough to do. There is some genre competition with Russell Crowe/Ryan Gosling’s The Nice Guys opening on the same day. Additionally, many comedic sequels open under the original in general. The fact that only two years has passed could help though. Reviews have been decent as it stands at 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, just under the 73% of the first.
I’ll predict Neighbors 2 rises to just under $40M, about $10M less than what came before it and it’ll probably manage to just reach triple digits when all is said and done.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising opening weekend prediction: $38.2 million
For my The Angry Birds Movie prediction, click here: