Mister Rogers isn’t the only PBS star getting the silver screen treatment this fall as DowntonAbbey hits theaters next weekend. Based on the acclaimed drama about an aristocratic British clan in the 1920s, the film picks up after the series finale from 2016. Julian Fellowes, creator of the program which aired stateside on the public access channel, did the screenplay. Michael Engler directs with numerous cast members returning including Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Elizabeth McGovern, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton, and Maggie Smith.
Abbey had lots of dedicated followers to go with its multitude of Emmys and they should be curious to see the saga continue. While some could choose to wait and watch the family on the small screen like they’re accustomed to, I suspect a sizable amount will turn up in the cinema.
I was surprised to see this is set to premiere on over 3000 screens. That puts it in contention to compete with Rambo: LastBlood and AdAstra as the weekend’s highest grossing newcomer. My estimate of just over $20 million puts it just ahead of Mr. Stallone and ahead of Mr. Pitt.
DowntonAbbey opening weekend prediction: $20.8 million
Fans of the British period piece series DowntonAbbey, which aired stateside on PBS, will get their fix nearly four years after its conclusion with a film version. Written by its creator Julian Fellowes, Abbey picks up shortly after the events of the series finale with many cast members (Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, and more) returning to their roles.
The show was no stranger to major awards attention, including Golden Globes, BAFTAs, SAGs, and dozens of Emmy nods. Could that TV love translate to Oscar voters noticing the cinematic rendering?
Probably not in major categories. Abbey has a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 80% and while reviews are solid, I don’t see this getting attention in Picture or the acting derbies. On the other hand, Production Design and especially Costume Design could be doable. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…
Steven Spielberg returns to family friendly entertainment with The BFG, which steps into theaters over the Fourth of July weekend. Based on Roald Dahl’s book, the late Melissa Mathison (who wrote E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial) is responsible for the screenplay. Recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance is the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) with Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Rebecca Hall, and Bill Hader in the supporting cast.
Disney is banking on the iconic director and the source material bringing kids and their parents to the multiplexes. Reviews have been mostly solid and it stands at 70% currently on Rotten Tomatoes.
While The BFG is likely to finish highest among the three films opening over the holiday weekend, it could be hindered by its competition. Finding Dory is likely to have a nice third weekend and The Legend of Tarzan could divert some of its audience away.
I look for this to open in the high 20s-low 30s over the Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend and probably get to the mid-high 30s when factoring in Monday’s July 4th.
The BFG opening weekend prediction: $26.6 million (Friday to Sunday), $33.2 million (Friday to Monday)
For my The Legend of Tarzan prediction, click here: