August 23-25 Box Office Predictions

Expect a rather sleepy weekend at the box office as the dog days of August roll along. We have three releases ahead of us as action threequel Angel Has Fallen, sports themed Christian drama Overcomer, and critically hailed black comedy Ready or Not debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/13/angel-has-fallen-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/14/overcomer-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/16/ready-or-not-box-office-prediction/

While I do have Angel flying to the top spot, I have performing under the premieres of predecessors Olympus and London Has Fallen. I think there’s a chance it goes even lower and finds itself in a race for #1 with the second weekend of Good Boys (which surpassed all prognoses this weekend).

Overcomer is an interesting one. It’s from the director of War Room, which performed spectacularly four summers ago. These faith based pics have a history to over perform, though that’s not always guaranteed. I’m giving it the five spot behind the fourth weekend of Hobbs & Shaw and sixth weekend of The Lion King.

I am not seeking an impressive gross for Ready or Not despite its solid reviews. It’s out on Wednesday. My $5.8 million traditional Friday to Sunday estimate and $7.7 million five-day projection leaves it outside my top five.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. Angel Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $15.2 million

2. Good Boys

Predicted Gross: $12.5 million

3. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $7.9 million

4. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million

5. Overcomer

Predicted Gross: $7.4 million

Box Office Results (August 1618)

It was a frame that saw five new releases and if it wasn’t named Good Boys, it didn’t do well. The aforementioned preteen comedy took in $21.4 million, way beyond my $14.3 million prediction. Boys is the first R rated comedy to hit #1 in over three years and it should manage to leg out decently.

Hobbs & Shaw was second with $14.1 million, a touch more than my $12.8 million estimate. It’s at $133 million.

The Lion King took third at $12.3 million (I said $11.1 million) for a whopping $496 million overall.

The Angry Birds Movie 2, which I said would be #1, struggled in fourth with just $10.3 million from Friday to Sunday and $16 million since its Tuesday opening. That’s well below my expectations of $17.2 million and $25.4 million, respectively.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark rounded out the top five in weekend #2 with $10 million. My prediction? $10 million! Tally is $40 million.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold mined $8.5 million in its sophomore outing for sixth (I said $9.3 million). The unimpressive total is $33 million.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged was lost at sea in seventh place with $8.4 million. I was higher at $10.2 million. The shark sequel couldn’t match the $11 million plus earned by its predecessor two summers ago.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was eighth with $7.6 million, in line with my $7.1 million estimate. The Quentin Tarantino flick stands at $114 million.

I incorrectly had The Art of Racing in the Rain outside the top ten, but it was ninth with $4.5 million. Two-week gross is $17 million.

The Bruce Springsteen inspired dramedy Blinded by the Light failed to find an audience in tenth with $4.3 million (I gave it more at $5.8 million).

Finally, Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette performed even weaker in 11th with a measly $3.4 million compared to my $5.6 million forecast.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

August 16-18 Box Office Predictions

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 The Angry Birds Movie 2, raunchy preteen comedy Good Boys, shark sequel 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, British musical dramedy Blinded by the Light, and Richard Linklater directed mystery comedy Where’d You Go, Bernadette with Cate Blanchett all out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/06/the-angry-birds-movie-2-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/07/good-boys-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/08/47-meters-down-uncaged-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/11/blinded-by-the-light-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/11/whered-you-go-bernadette-box-office-prediction/

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 Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and the fifth weekend of The Lion King. 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 Dora and the Lost City of Gold and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

So while this column is normally estimating the top half of the top 10, I’m doubling it given all the new product:

1. The Angry Birds Movie 2

Predicted Gross: $17.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $25.4 million (Tuesday to Sunday)

2. Good Boys

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

3. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $12.8 million

4. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $11.1 million

5. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

6. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Predicted Gross: $10 million

7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Predicted Gross: $9.3 million

8. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

9. Blinded by the Light

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

10. Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

Box Office Results (August 911)

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 Dora and the Lost City of Gold would fare best among the five newcomers, it was Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark achieving that status. It exceeded most expectations at $20.9 million, well beyond my $14.3 million take.

The Lion King 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.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 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.

The Art of Racing in the Rain 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 The Kitchen was seventh with just $5.5 million compared to my more generous $8.3 million prediction.

Finally, Brian Banks opened in 11th with $2.1 million. I was close at $2.3 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

 

August 9-11 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (08/07): My Scary Stories prediction has risen from $10.7 million to $14.3 million

After several weeks of one giant blockbuster hopeful debuting and having the weekend to itself, a quintet of mid tier titles open in this second weekend of August. We have the kid friendly Dora and the Lost City of Gold based on the Nickelodeon series, PG-13 horror flick Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Melissa McCarthy/Tiffany Haddish crime thriller The Kitchen, dog tale The Art of Racing in the Rain, and wrongful imprisonment drama Brian Banks all out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/31/dora-and-the-lost-city-of-gold-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/31/scary-stories-to-tell-in-the-dark-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/31/the-kitchen-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/31/the-art-of-racing-in-the-rain-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/04/brian-banks-box-office-prediction/

Some weekends, it’s fairly easy to project the order of the top five. This isn’t one of them. A couple of things seem highly likely. After a decent start that was still on the bottom end of expectations, Hobbs & Shaw should manage to repeat in first place. I will say a drop of over 50% is where I see it landing in the sophomore frame.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold seems poised to have to biggest premiere of the five newbies. However, my high teens projection puts it in third behind The Lion King.

I have Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, The Kitchen, and The Art of Racing in the Rain all in the high single digits to low double digits range and all behind the third weekend of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

As for Brian Banks, its lack of promotion and lowly 1500 theater count means my $2.3 million prediction means it shouldn’t even compete for the top five.

So on this weekend of multiple new releases, my top seven take:

1. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $27.5 million

2. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $20.2 million

3. Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Predicted Gross: $19.7 million

4. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Predicted Gross: $11.3 million

6. The Kitchen

Predicted Gross: $8.3 million

7. The Art of Racing in the Rain

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million

Box Office Results (August 24)

Fast and Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw cruised over holdover competition as anticipated, but it couldn’t match the starting earnings of the last several traditional franchise entries. It took in $60 million, under my take of $72.6 million.

The Lion King was second after two weeks of dominance with $38.5 million, right on pace with my $38.7 million projection. The massive total stands at $431 million.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was third in weekend #2 with $20 million, in line with my $20.7 million prediction. The two week haul is $78 million.

SpiderMan: Far From Home took fourth with $7.9 million (I said $7.1 million) for $360 million overall.

Toy Story 4 rounded out the top five with $7.3 million (I was slightly lower with $6.6 million) for a take of $410 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

August 2-4 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (07/31): My Hobbs & Shaw estimate has dropped from $82.6 million to $72.6 million

It might be the last blockbuster of the summer 2019 season as Hobbs & Shaw debuts in the first frame of August. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham headline the first spin-off of the Fast and Furious franchise. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/24/hobbs-shaw-box-office-prediction/

While I don’t have it quite reaching the heights of the last three traditional Fast features, my low 80s projection revs it up for an easy and solid #1 debut, knocking The Lion King from its two week perch atop the charts.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood should slip to third after a fine start (more on that below) with mega hit holdovers SpiderMan: Far From Home and Toy Story 4 filling out the top five.

There is a potential wild card this weekend with The Farewell. The Awkwafina led comedy has been a winner with critics and performed quite well in limited release. It’s slated for nationwide expansion on Friday. However, without a theater count, I’m not totally comfortable placing it in the top five. That could change and I’ll update my post if so.

Here’s how I have the weekend playing out:

1. Hobbs & Shaw

Predicted Gross: $72.6 million

2. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $38.7 million

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Predicted Gross: $20.7 million

4. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million

5. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million

Box Office Results (July 2628)

The Lion King, as anticipated, had no trouble staying put in first in weekend #2, though it did drop a bit further than many (including I) figured. The Disney smash grossed $76.6 million (down 60%) compared to my $86.5 million take. In ten days, King has brought in a ransom of $351 million.

Quentin Tarantino achieved the biggest traditional Friday to Sunday debut of his career with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. With $41 million (I was a touch lower at $38.7 million), the film capitalized on great reviews and the considerable star wattage of Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. It will be interesting to see how Hollywood legs out with a so-so B CinemaScore grade in future weekends.

SpiderMan: Far From Home was third with $12.4 million (I said $13 million) to bring its tally to $344 million.

Toy Story 4 had the four spot at $10.4 million, in line with my $10.8 million prediction. Total is $396 million.

I incorrectly had Crawl outside the high five, but it was fifth with $4 million to bring its three week earnings to $31 million.

Yesterday was sixth with $3 million (I went with $3.6 million) for an impressive $63 million overall.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Movie Review

***There are light spoilers contained in this review. Nothing here should adversely affect your viewing experience, but if you wish to go in totally clean, you may wish wait until watching it.

fairy tale

noun

  • something resembling a fairy tale in being magical, idealized, or extremely happy

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is this writer/director’s version on that definition. It’s certainly hinted at in the title. There’s little doubt that this is his idealized view of a Hollywood that was indeed magical in his eyes. The picture takes place over a period of six months in 1969 as the movie business is undergoing a seismic shift in attitude befitting the era. Films like Easy Rider with their independent and counter culture spirit have overtaken big budget musicals and other weary genre exercises. Young hotshot directors like Roman Polanski are hot off acclaimed stateside debuts like Rosemary’s Baby.

Mid level TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) finds himself at a crossroads. He had a hit western in the 1950s called “Bounty Law”. Years later, he’s primarily cast as the heavy in weekly episodic serials. He doesn’t find it particularly rewarding and he hates the idea of hippies populating his industry. His schmaltzy agent (Al Pacino) wants him to go Italy to shoot low budget spaghetti westerns. Rick sees it as a career death knell.

There is one constant in Rick’s life besides an endless supply of booze. Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) is his trusty stunt double who’s been with him for years. In this fairy tale, Cliff represents the extremely happy. While Rick often hilariously and sometimes touchingly fusses and frets over his standing in the business, Cliff is happy go lucky. This seems, in part, to stem from the fact that he may have gotten away with offing his nagging wife. Guilty or not so, he’s just as happy performing menial household tasks for Rick as he is falling off horses or doing dangerous car stunts.

Another example of the extremely happy is Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). Her and her aforementioned virtuoso hubby Roman Polanski have just moved next door to Rick. She seems to walk on air in her new world of Tinsel Town bliss and is a stunning breeze of fresh air to any room she enters. While Rick is floundering, Sharon is perpetually adorned with a glass slipper.

Of course, we the audience know the real life happenings that ended Sharon’s life in the Hollywood hills. While Charles Manson (Damon Herriman) is giving little screen time himself, notable members of his cult are. They make the acquaintance of Cliff, who ends up at the Spahn ranch in a deliciously climactic and anticlimactic sequence. The primary cult member is Pussycat, played by Margaret Qualley in a standout performance that is both unnerving and charming.

The events of the Manson murders are handled in a manner in which perhaps only this filmmaker could get away with. Inglourious Basterds lovers take note. The Manson aspect is not the main focus at all. Yet when it’s time for that fateful night, it’s handled in an audacious manner that is right in Tarantino’s violent wheelhouse.

That said, as it pertains to screen time, this is probably the director’s least bloody offering to date. Hollywood is more about spending leisurely time with these characters. You get the feeling that Tarantino would have killed to hang out with them fifty years ago, particularly Rick and Cliff. The actors playing them are terrific. DiCaprio has the more complex role as he battles his demons and his battered ego. Pitt’s Cliff is a simpler man, but his work here is every bit equal to DiCaprio’s. Robbie is a ray of sunshine. Her scene where she visits a movie theater playing one of her pics is joyful to witness (and kudos to Tarantino for using the real footage of Tate). Supporting players are too numerous to mention, but it’s always great to see frequent collaborator Kurt Russell in anything. And Mike Moh warrants mention for an uncanny impression of Bruce Lee.

An argument could be made that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Quentin’s “slowest” picture. Due to his intense interest in the late 1960s era where he came of age in Southern California, it could also be said that it’s his most personal. Sometimes personal is code for self indulgent. My take? Getting to indulge in his words and creations is a luxury. Taking the time to savor his characters and the situations he puts them in is endlessly entertaining. This could be called a dark fairy tale when considering its maker. I’d say it’s more melancholy upon completion as this visionary artist contemplates what could have been in his most treasured model of Hollywood.

**** (out of four)

July 26-28 Box Office Predictions

Quentin Tarantino’s acclaimed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt is the sole fresh wide release this weekend. It looks to have a strong second place showing behind the sophomore frame of the record breaking The Lion King. You can find my detailed prediction post on it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/16/once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-box-office-prediction/

I have Mr. Tarantino’s ninth feature just barely topping his previous traditional weekend opening earner from a decade ago, Inglourious Basterds. My original estimate put it in the mid 40s, but I’ve had a gut feeling over the weekend that it won’t quite hit $40 million.

As for the behemoth King, I see a dip in the mid 50s range that would put it in the mid 80s. That’s similar to the drop experienced by last summer’s Incredibles 2.

SpiderMan: Far From Home looks to be third with Toy Story 4 in fourth position. I look for Yesterday to vault over Crawl to remain in fifth place.

And with that, my take on the late July weekend ahead:

1. The Lion King

Predicted Gross: $86.5 million

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Predicted Gross: $38.7 million

3. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $13 million

4. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $10.8 million

5. Yesterday

Predicted Gross: $3.6 million

Box Office Results (July 1921)

Disney’s magical summer continued in two significant ways. The Lion King easily broke the all time July record with a roaring $191.7 million and that’s right in line with my $192.7 million projection. That captures the high mark previously set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by over $20 million.

Secondly, Avengers: Endgame took the #1 spot as the largest worldwide hit in history. At $2.7 billion, it has now edged out Avatar.

After two weeks on top, SpiderMan: Far From Home slipped to second with $21.2 million compared to my $22.4 million take. The three week tally is $319 million.

Toy Story 4 was third with $15.5 million as it elevated over my $13.2 million forecast. Total is $376 million with $400 million in its sights.

Crawl was fourth in weekend #2 with $6 million (I said $5.4 million) for $23 million in two weeks.

Yesterday rounded out the top five and I incorrectly had it outside of that. The musical dramedy made $5 million for $57 million overall.

I had Aladdin holding stronger than it did at $5.5 million. It made $4 million for seventh place behind Stuber ($4.1 million). This Mouse Factory live action rendering is up to $340 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Box Office Prediction

Director Quentin Tarantino and star Leonardo DiCaprio both return to the silver screen for the first time in three and a half years with the release of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood next weekend. Set in the late 1960s, Mr. Tarantino’s latest casts DiCaprio as a washed up TV actor with Brad Pitt as his longtime stunt double. The sprawling supporting players include Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell, Damian Lewis, the late Luke Perry, Damon Herriman, Mike Moh, Zoe Bell, and Al Pacino.

When Hollywood premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, it did so to reviews expected of its director. The Rotten Tomatoes score is at 92% and it could attract Oscar attention. The teaming of DiCaprio (in his first role since his Oscar winning turn in The Revenant) and Pitt and the many Tarantino followers certainly have given this a high profile.

In order to achieve its maker’s largest all-time three day start, Hollywood would need to top the $38 million made by Inglourious Basterds ten years ago. However, that’s a bit of a misnomer. 2012’s Django Unchained opened over Christmas and took in $30 million from Friday to Sunday. Yet it made $63 million over its expanded holiday rollout.

The range here is pretty wide. It’s feasible that Hollywood doesn’t quite reach that high 30s threshold. I think it gets there with a just a few hundred thousand to spare.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opening weekend prediction: $38.7 million