Game Night Box Office Prediction

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are a couple whose night of innocent fun goes horribly wrong in the comedy Game Night, opening next Friday. From John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the guys behind Horrible Bosses and the 2015 Vacation reboot, the pic costars Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Michael C. Hall, Jesse Plemons, and Jeffrey Wright.

Night could manage to appeal to moviegoers looking for a straight comedy in the midst of other genre fare in the marketplace. Black Panther will certainly being tearing up competition in weekend #2 and Annihilation is also out there for sci-fi fans. As far as movies reaching for the funny bone, this stands alone.

I could envision Game Night performing similarly to recent Bateman outings like Horrible Bosses 2 and Office Christmas Party. That would put it in the mid teens range for its start.

Game Night opening weekend prediction: $16.3 million

For my Annihilation prediction, click here:


Office Christmas Party Movie Review

A good portion of the populace can probably relate to that work holiday gathering we’d rather forget. Maybe one or several drinks too many. Perhaps a comment to a coworker that doesn’t seem wise later in the light of day. There’s a lot of funny directions you can go with the concept of Office Christmas Party, but the film mostly misuses them as it hurls in too many directions. The end result is one we’ll forget quickly after we’ve experienced it.

Director Will Speck and Josh Gordon give us their third major feature. It’s not as good as their first (Blades of Glory) nor as bad as their last (The Switch). The latter featured Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston and so does this. Bateman is chief tech officer of Chicago corporation Zenotech, a family business run by Aniston. She’s the unfriendly task master and bottom line efficiency expert that her employees are afraid of. Her brother (T.J. Miller) is the free spirit who runs the day-to-day operations. He’s not great at his job, but his minions adore him.

Tough financial times cause the possibility of the Windy City branch closing. Bateman and Miller decide to throw an all-out Yuletide bash in a last-ditch attempt to woo a big money client (Courtney B. Vance, last seen gloriously chewing scenery as Johnnie Cochran in “The People Vs. O.J. Simpson”). Here, instead of memorably defending America’s most notorious running back, he gets sprayed in the face with a snow machine filled with cocaine.

There’s plenty of R rated comedy as the employees let loose and there’s a lot of them and their subplots to keep up with. We have the single mom (Vanessa Bayer) looking for companionship (it’s one of the more humorous ones). There’s Bateman’s assistant (Olivia Munn) and their romantic tension (it’s one of the more boring ones). And supremely talented comedic actors like Kate McKinnon (who has her moments) and Rob Corddry are in the mix as well. Jillian Bell, who made a hilarious villain in 22 Jump Street, plays a drug dealer here and her inclusion is mostly wasted. The main plot involves the love/hate relationship between siblings Miller and Aniston and it doesn’t provide much (other than a chance to see the former “Friends” star berate a little girl in an airport).

With this cast, there are bound to be some decently humorous bits here and there, but Office Christmas Party might have been more successful with a little more focus among the ribaldry.

** (out of four)


Box Office Predictions: December 30-January 2

Well, it’s both the final box office weekend of 2016 and first one of 2017 and that means four-day holiday estimates once again. There are no new titles premiering over the New Years frame as Christmas holdovers look to dominate the charts.

During the last two years where we saw New Years Day fall on a Sunday (2005, 2011), returning films routinely saw increases compared to the three-day portion of the Christmas weekend. While many may not match the four-day takes of the previous weekend, I wouldn’t look for any precipitous drops for anything.

Bottom line – this weekend should look a whole lot like the one that just concluded with Rogue One and Sing easily in the one and two spots, some Oscar hopefuls continuing their stellar runs, and some Christmas disappointments (more on that below) hoping for a soft cushion in their sophomore frames.

With that, we’ll do a top 10 Estimates for the Friday to Monday weekend ahead:

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $79.9 million

2. Sing

Predicted Gross: $56.6 million

3. Passengers

Predicted Gross: $18.3 million

4. Why Him?

Predicted Gross: $16.1 million

5. Moana

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

6. Assassin’s Creed

Predicted Gross: $12.2 million

7. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $10 million

8. Fences

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

9. Office Christmas Party

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

10. Collateral Beauty

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

Box Office Results (December 2326)

As expected, Rogue One ruled the holiday box office, bringing in $96.1 million over the Friday to Monday Christmas weekend. This is just over my $92.8M prediction to bring its total to a merry $318 million.

Illumination Entertainment’s animated Sing posted a strong second place debut to the tune of $55.8 million from Friday to Monday and $75.5 million since its Wednesday opening (in line with my respective estimates of $55.3M and $74.1M).

The news was not quite as jolly for the Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt sci-fi thriller Passengers. Met with generally mediocre reviews, the pic made $30 million since its Wednesday premiere and $22.6 million over the weekend. My prognoses were higher at $42M and $31.4M.

James Franco/Bryan Cranston comedy Why Him? had a decent opening with $15.5 million, a bit above my $13.2M prediction. It could enjoy a nice hold this weekend.

Video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed posted unimpressive results with $14.8 million from Friday to Monday and $22.2 million since Wednesday, not reaching my predictions of $19.8M and $28.1M.

Disney’s Moana earned $12.5 million (compared to my $10.1M forecast) for a $185 million haul.

Denzel Washington’s Fences took in a healthy $11.6 million (I was lower at $8.6M) in just two days as it opened on Christmas.

Another strong Oscar hopeful, La La Land, also expanded on the holiday and brought in $9.2 million. I was lower again with a $7.5M estimate.

Office Christmas Party made $7 million (I said $6.2M) to bring its gross to $44M.

Finally, Will Smith flop Collateral Beauty rounded out the top ten with $6.3 million (I said $5.3M) for an underwhelming tally of $17M.

**On a personal note and as a movie lover, I do want to mention the sad news of the day and simply say Rest In Peace to the great and iconic Carrie Fisher.

That does it for now. Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: December 23-26

Ho Ho Ho!!!

It’s Christmas weekend at the box office and it’s expected to be a bustling one as five new pictures open in wide release, an Oscar front runner continues to expand, and the second weekend of Rogue One is upon us.

The five newbies are: animated musical Sing, Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt sci fi romantic thriller Passengers, video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed with Michael Fassbender, James Franco/Bryan Cranston comedy Why Him?, and Denzel Washington family drama Fences. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them right here:

When it comes to crunching the numbers for the fresh product, one must consider the release dates of each. Sing, Passengers, and Assassin’s Creed all debut this Wednesday. Why Him? will be out Friday. Fences won’t be out until Christmas Day on Sunday, so it’s only two days of grosses to factor in for it.

As I see it, Sing should rather easily be tops among the newbies with Passengers in third. I do wonder if the mostly negative reviews for the J. Law title could hinder it, but I’m still going with a low 40s four-day. I have Creed and Why Him? rounding out the top five with Fences managing a seventh place showing for its 48 hour haul.

As for the second weekend of Rogue One, a 40% dip would put it in the low  90s and that would be good for the 4th largest second weekend of all time. Last year’s record setter The Force Awakens fell just 39% in its sophomore frame (and that was just 3 day gross) for a $149M gross.

As for other holdovers, the holiday weekend typically sees either small drops (and sometimes slight increases) and that’s reflected in my estimates. Additionally, La La Land (currently on 200 screens) is expected to triple its theater count and it should experience a more significant bump.

And with that- I’m doing a top ten predictions for this crazy four-day weekend:

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $92.8 million (representing a 40% drop)

2. Sing

Predicted Gross: $55.3 million (Friday to Monday), $74.1 million (Wednesday to Monday)

3. Passengers

Predicted Gross: $31.4 million (Friday to Monday), $42 million (Wednesday to Monday)

4. Assassin’s Creed

Predicted Gross: $19.8 million (Friday to Monday), $28.1 million (Wednesday to Monday)

5. Why Him?

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

6. Moana

Predicted Gross: $10.1 million (representing a drop of 21%)

7. Fences

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (Sunday-Monday)

8. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million

9. Office Christmas Party 

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million (representing a drop of 28%)


10. Collateral Beauty

Predicted Gross: $5.3 million (representing a drop of 25%)

Box Office Results (December 16-18)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blasted off with an impressive $155 million, good for the 12th largest domestic debut of all time. While it didn’t match my generous $168.3M projection, this is still a fine start for the first spin-off in the heralded franchise and its A Cinemascore grade bodes well for its second weekend and beyond.

Another Disney title – their animated hit Moana – was second with $12.7 million (above my $9M estimate) for a $162M total.

Office Christmas Party was third in its second weekend with $8.5 million, ahead of my $7.1M forecast for a tally of $31M.

The news was not so festive for Will Smith as his critically drubbed Collateral Beauty gave the star his worst wide opening of his career. It made just $7.1 million, well under my $11.4M prediction. I’ve got it experiencing a meager decline over Christmas weekend, but any way you look at it, this is a huge disappointment.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was fourth with $5 million (in line with my $4.8M take) for a $207M haul.

Two Oscar contenders held the six and seven spots. Manchester by the Sea earned $4.2 million in its expansion (I was close with $4.4M) for a total of just over $14M. The aforementioned La La Land continued its sizzling per screen averages with $4.1 million (I said $4.2M) to put its take at just over $5M. As mentioned, it should continue to impress over the holidays and awards season.

And that does it for now, folks! Wishing you a Merry Christmas this weekend and and hopefully a joyous time at the movies…

Why Him? Box Office Prediction

Audiences looking for laughs over the holidays have an option with Why Him?, the latest comedy from John Hamburg, director of Along Came Polly and I Love You, Man. The pic casts James Franco as an eccentric tech billionaire who doesn’t meet the approval of his fiancée’s pop Bryan Cranston. Zoey Deutch, Megan Mullaly, Griffin Gluck, and Keegan-Michael Key costar.

Him opens on Friday the 23rd, unlike three other big releases that debut on Wednesday, so my estimate is a simple four-day here. This could benefit from being the only new comedy out on a packed Christmas weekend (Office Christmas Party will be in its third weekend).

That said, reviews have been rather weak as it stands at 42% on Rotten Tomatoes. Last year, Daddy’s Home cleaned up on the festive weekend with nearly $40 million out of the gate. Yet that one had the more bankable Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Why Him? might be lucky to do a bit over a third of that for its start.

Why Him? opening weekend prediction: $13.2 million (Friday to Monday)

For my Passengers prediction, click here:

For my Sing prediction, click here:

For my Assassin’s Creed prediction, click here:

For my Fences prediction, click here:

Box Office Predictions: December 16-18

It’s going to be one heck of an interesting weekend at the box office as Will Smith’s latest hits theaters and two serious Oscar hopefuls expand their theater counts. Collateral Beauty debuts while Manchester by the Sea and La La Land gain screens. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on Beauty here:

Oh and I almost forgot… there’s this spin-off flick called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opening as well. My take on its opening weekend gross is here:

In all seriousness, Rogue will certainly dominate the box office and I’ve got it slated for the 8th largest domestic opening of all time (just topping this spring’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).

As for Will Smith’s drama, I’ve got Beauty managing a low double digits gross, which would likely put it in second with Moana and Office Christmas Party dropping to third and fourth.

As for the awards hopefuls, Manchester is expanding its theater count to around 1200 and that might be good enough for 5th or 6th, depending on how far Fantastic Beasts falls in its fifth weekend.

Then there’s La La Land, which currently holds the front runner status for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It had a sizzling debut this weekend on only 5 screens. At press time, it’s uncertain just how many screens it’ll expand to on Friday, but if it’s around 200 or so, it could easily enter the top 10 at as high at #7.

This is how the blog readers feel about my Rogue and Beauty estimates:

Rogue One – 43% Just About Right, 37% Too Low, 20% Too High

Collateral Beauty – 39% Too High, 33% Too Low, 28% Just About Right

And here’s a top 7 estimates for the weekend:

1. Rogue One:  A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $168.3 million

2. Collateral Beauty

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million

3. Moana

Predicted Gross: $9 million (representing a drop of 52%)

4. Office Christmas Party

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million (representing a drop of 55%)

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Precicted Gross: $4.8 million (representing a drop of 54%)

6. Manchester by the Sea

Predicted Gross: $4.4 million

7. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

Box Office Results (December 9-11)

Disney’s Moana held the top spot for the third week in a row with $18.5 million, just under my $19.6M estimate for a total of $144M thus far.

Jennifer Aniston/Jason Bateman comedy Office Christmas Party had a decent debut in second with $16.8 million, a bit under my $18.4M prognosis. With a fairly weak Cinemascore grade of B, it’ll still look to play well throughout the holiday season.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was third with $10.4 million, in line with my $10M estimate for a $198M tally.

Arrival was fourth with $5.5 million (I said $5M) for a $81M total and $100M looking within reach.

I incorrectly had Doctor Strange outside of my predicted top 6, but it was fifth with $4.5 million. It’s earned $222M.

Allied was sixth with $3.9 million (I said $4.7M) and it’s made $35M.

Seventh place actually belonged to Nocturnal Animals, which expanded its screen count and earned a middling $3.1M.

Finally, we come to Miss Sloane with Jessica Chastain. I predicted it at sixth with $4.6 million, but it only managed a lackluster $1.8M for 11th place.

And that’s all for now, folks! Until next time…



Box Office Predictions: December 9-11

In the weekend before Rogue One and then a slew of Christmas releases populate the multiplexes, we have two pics opening in wide release: holiday comedy Office Christmas Party and Jessica Chastain political drama Miss Sloane. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

Actually, there’s a third film scheduled to come out in wide (or semi-wide) release and that’s Tom Ford’s thriller Nocturnal Animals with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. The problem is that I don’t have a screen count on it at press time, so predicting its number is a bit of guesswork. I’ll say it manages $2.3M. However, when its count is released, I reserve to right to change that estimate.

Back to the newbies with theater counts. Office Christmas Party may benefit from being the only comedy out there (Bad Santa 2 has come and gone) and with its recognizable cast, I’ve got it pegged to manage a #2 opening, just behind Moana‘s third weekend.

Fantastic Beasts should slip to third with holdovers Arrival and Allied filling out the top five, with Sloane very close behind.

Here’s how I have the top 6 projected for this weekend:


1. Moana

Predicted Gross: $19.6 million (representing a drop of 32%)

2. Office Christmas Party

Predicted Gross: $18.4 million

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Predicted Gross: $10 million (representing a drop of 45%)

4. Arrival

Predicted Gross: $5 million (representing a drop of 31%)

5. Allied

Predicted Gross: $4.7 million (representing a drop of 34%)

6. Miss Sloane

Predicted Gross: $4.6 million

Box Office Results (December 2-4)

The post Thanksgiving holiday weekend is typically a pretty sleepy one at the box office and 2016 was no different.

Disney’s Moana easily held the top spot for the second weekend in a row grossing $28.2 million (on pace with my $28.8M projection). The animated hit has amassed $119M thus far.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them held the #2 position with $18.1 million, a bit under my $20.9M prediction for an overall gross of $183M.

Other holdovers held up quite well over the weekend. Arrival was third with $7.2 million (above my $5.9M estimate) for a $73M total. Allied was fourth with $7 million (I said $5.9M for it as well). It’s grossed $28M. Doctor Strange was fifth with $6.6 million (I said $6.1M). The Marvel property stands at $215M.

Last and least, horror pic Incarnate landed in ninth with a blah $2.5 million, though it did manage to just outpace my $1.7M forecast.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Check out the blog tomorrow when my Rogue One: A Star Wars Story box office prediction is posted. Until then…