Blogger’s Note (03/07): As of today, the release date for My Spy has been pushed back (again) from March 13th to April 17th. I am keeping the post up with my current $8 million prediction, but will post updates if the projection moves up or down.
From Guardians of the Galaxy to guarding a sassy 9-year-old girl, Dave Bautista stars in the action comedy My Spy next weekend. From director Peter Segal, maker of such hits as Tommy Boy, 50 First Dates, and Get Smart, the supporting cast includes newcomer Chloe Coleman, Kristin Schaal, and Ken Jeong.
Reviews are fairly decent with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 64%. The pic has experienced delays as it was originally slated for last summer and then January. While Bautista is certainly recognizable from his wrestling days and role as Drax in the Guardians and Avengers series, he’s yet to prove he can open a picture. He’s not exactly in Dwayne Johnson territory.
A better comp could be last November’s Playing with Fire starring John Cena, which also catered to a family crowd. It opened with just under $13 million. However, Fire premiered during a more fruitful box office period. Competition is also considerable with the second weekend of Pixar’s Onward. Due to these factors, I spy a gross under double digits.
Turkey Day weekend is upon us at the box office with two new pictures attempting to harvest some cash while Frozen II should gobble up the bulk of the bucks. We have Rian Johnson’s comedic murder mystery Knives Out and the romantic crime thriller Queen & Slim both rolling out on Wednesday. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
Knives is aiming for a second place showing behind the Disney juggernaut and it should get there. With solid reviews in its corner, I could foresee this topping my high teens Friday to Sunday and mid to high 20s five-day estimate. However, I believe it’s just as likely that this legs out well in subsequent weekends.
As for Queen, it too has critics in its corner. However, a lack of awards chatter and a smallish theater count of around 1500 could mean low double digits for its Wednesday through Sunday tally. That should mean a #5 premiere.
Holdovers Ford v Ferrari and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood appear poised for the kind of minor declines we often find over this holiday frame. That is especially welcome news for Neighborhood, which came in at the low end of its anticipated range this past weekend. I’m calling for mid teens drops for each.
Frozen II is a toughie. There simply aren’t many comps for how this should perform in its sophomore weekend. Most November blockbusters from the Mouse Factory open over Thanksgiving and not the weekend before. I’ll project a mid 30s dip for the Friday to Sunday portion. In all honesty, this is a bit of guesswork.
Here’s how I foresee the weekend playing out:
1. Frozen II
Predicted Gross: $84.4 million
2. Knives Out
Predicted Gross: $18.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $27.7 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
3. Ford v Ferrari
Predicted Gross: $12.8 million
4. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Predicted Gross: $11 million
5. Queen & Slim
Predicted Gross: $6.9 million (Friday to Sunday); $10.1 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
Box Office Results (November 22-24)
Frozen II provided the scorching earnings that the month of November desperately needed. In doing so, it achieved the best traditionally animated (read: not Pixar) Disney start ever and highest ever November animated haul. The sequel took in $130.2 million, just over my $126.7 million projection.
Ford v Ferrari slid to second with $15.7 million with a larger than expected 50% drop. I predicted $18.2 million. It’s at $57 million through 10 days.
As mentioned, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was third with a so-so beginning at $13.2 million, well under my $18.6 million forecast. Its A Cinemscore rating should keep it humming for the next few weeks, however.
The Chadwick Boseman action thriller 21 Bridges underwhelmed with $9.2 million in fourth, on pace with my take of $9.8 million. It could hold decently over the holiday, but it should fade quickly after that.
Midway rounded out the top five and I incorrectly had it on the outside. The World War II pic made $4.6 million for $43 million overall.
Playing with Fire was sixth with $4.5 million (I said $4.9 million) for $31 million at press time.
There’s no doubt that Disney will rule the box office in this pre Thanksgiving frame as Frozen II blasts into theaters along with Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Chadwick Boseman in the action thriller 21 Bridges. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
For the sequel to the 2013 billion dollar plus phenomenon, it’s all about the number and how high I’m willing to let it go (my apologies). Estimates are all over the map with some in the $150 million plus range. That wouldn’t exactly be a shock, but I’m a bit skeptical it reaches that vicinity. Some families may wait until the long holiday weekend. My forecast puts it about $6 million ahead of what Toy Story 4 accomplished over the summer.
The real battle could be for #2 between Neighborhood and the second frame of Ford v Ferrari. The latter debuted at the top of its anticipated range and scored a scorching A+ Cinemascore grade. The second weekend drop could be minimal and put it in the high teens range. That’s just where I expect the neighborhood for Beautiful to be and I’ll give it the slight edge.
Bridges is lacking buzz despite the presence of Black Panther and my high single digits projection puts it in fourth with Playing with Fire rounding out the top five in its third weekend.
Here’s my take on how I see it playing out:
1. Frozen II
Predicted Gross: $126.7 million
2. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Predicted Gross: $18.6 million
3. Ford v Ferrari
Predicted Gross: $18.2 million
4. 21 Bridges
Predicted Gross: $9.8 million
5. Playing with Fire
Predicted Gross: $4.9 million
Box Office Results (November 15-17)
As mentioned, Ford v Ferrari had a rock solid showing and gave Disney its first #1 opening for a Fox owned property. The Oscar hopeful zoomed off with $31.4 million, ahead of my $24.4 million prediction. Expect sturdy holds in the weeks ahead.
An unexpected pileup happened for second place as Midway edged competitors out with $8.5 million. It didn’t reach my $10.2 million forecast and has taken in $34 million in two weeks.
Third place went to perhaps the story of the weekend as Charlie’s Angels absolutely tanked with a paltry $8.3 million, well under my projection of $14.2 million. It’s yet another example of serious 2019 franchise fatigue.
Playing with Fire was fourth and it also made $8.3 million. My guess? $8.3 million! Hey, I got something right! It’s at $25 million after ten days.
Last Christmas was fifth with $6.4 million (I said $7 million) for $22 million overall.
Finally, newcomer The Good Liar was seventh with just $5.6 million, in range with my take of $6 million.
It’s been a distressingly sluggish November at the box office thus far and it might take Frozen II to heat it back up. That doesn’t come out until weekend. For this frame, we have the racing pic and Oscar hopeful Ford v Ferrari with Matt Damon and Christian Bale, the reboot of the Charlie’s Angels franchise with Kristen Stewart, and the Ian McKellen/Helen Mirren thriller The Good Liar. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:
Some estimates have Ford zooming to the top spot with $30 million plus. I’m skeptical. While it should have no trouble hitting #1, I believe mid 20s is the more likely scenario as it hopes to flex strong leg muscle over the holiday season.
Audiences have shown a distaste with unasked for reboots all year and I expect that to continue with Angels, which has failed to generate significant buzz. My low teens projection would guarantee no more editions of this series into the future.
As for Liar, solid reviews and Oscar chatter would’ve helped and it hasn’t achieved either. My $6 million take leaves it outside of the top five.
When it comes to holdovers, Midway was a surprise #1 due to the massive underperforming of Doctor Sleep (more on that below). A dip in the early to mid 40s should put it in fifth.
I expect Playing with Fire and Last Christmas to have the best holds in their sophomore weekends in the 30s region, while Sleep should plummet in the mid 50s or more. This means Sleep may find its way below the high five. I anticipate that being the case and here’s how I envision the weekend:
1. Ford v Ferrari
Predicted Gross: $24.4 million
2. Charlie’s Angels
Predicted Gross: $14.2 million
Predicted Gross: $10.2 million
4. Playing with Fire
Predicted Gross: $8.3 million
5. Last Christmas
Predicted Gross: $7 million
Box Office Results (November 8-10)
It isn’t often that the film you pick to be at #4 tops the charts, but it happened this weekend as Midway led a sleepy frame with $17.8 million. That’s above my $13 million prediction. With a reported budget of $100 million, Lionsgate might not be popping champagne corks. Yet they do have bragging rights.
That World War II pic has Doctor Sleep to thank for its relative success. The Shining sequel was a massive failure with just $14.1 million for second place. That’s considerably under my $24.8 million projection. Warner Bros is fortunate to still be counting that Joker cash because there’s absolutely zero positive way to spin this.
John Cena’s family comedy Playing with Fire surpassed expectations in third with $12.7 million, well above my $7.9 million take. It looks poised for a healthy holiday run.
Speaking of the Yuletide season, rom com Last Christmas opened fourth with $11.4 million. That’s under its anticipated numbers and I had it at $16.9 million. However, with a smallish price tag of $30 million, it too looks for meager declines ahead.
Terminator: Dark Fate plummeted to fifth with $10.8 million compared to my guesstimate of $13.2 million. The highly disappointing two-week tally is $48 million and the $100 million mark domestically appears out of reach.
Joker was sixth with $9.2 million, on pace with my $9.1 million prediction for $313 million overall.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was seventh at $8.4 million (I said $7.2 million) as it nears the century figure at $97 million.
Harriet was eighth in its sophomore outing with $7.4 million (I went with $7.7 million) for $23 million total.
It’s a busy weekend at the box office as four new titles enter the marketplace: Shining sequel Doctor Sleep, Paul Feig directed rom com Last Christmas, Roland Emmerich made WWII action pic Midway, and John Cena led family comedy Playing with Fire. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them all here:
Barring a rather major over performance from Christmas, the #1 spot this weekend should go to Doctor Sleep. I’m putting right in its expected range of mid 20s. Reviews are solid though not spectacular and the horror pic may have trouble finding the youth audience that the genre typically depends on. The crowd is likely to skew a bit older due to the classic 1980 Kubrick film it’s following.
There is certainly a shot that Christmas celebrates a higher start than my mid teens projection, but the best hope could be for small drops in the weekends ahead.
Those two newbies seemed destined to hold the 1-2 positions as Terminator: Dark Fate had a dim start last weekend. While I don’t see it dropping in the plus 60s range like Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Men in Black International did over the summer, a mid 50s fall is feasible. That could put it in a close race for third with Midway in the low teens.
Harriet came in on the plus side of its expectations and I foresee a dip in the low to mid 30s. That could put it close to where I expect final newcomer Fire to hit and where the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil earnings are.
With all this activity, let’s expand that top five to eight, shall we?
1. Doctor Sleep
Predicted Gross: $24.8 million
2. Last Christmas
Predicted Gross: $16.9 million
3. Terminator: Dark Fate
Predicted Gross: $13.2 million
Predicted Gross: $13 million
Predicted Gross: $9.1 million
6. Playing with Fire
Predicted Gross: $7.9 million
Predicted Gross: $7.7 million
8. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Predicted Gross: $7.2 million
Box Office Results (November 1-3)
The reunification of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton hit #1 as expected, but its premiere was a major disappointment. Dark Fate took in $29 million, well below forecasts (including my $38.1 million take). While that doesn’t quite mark the previous franchise low of 2015’s Genisys at $27 million (which actually hit low 40s in a five-day holiday rollout), it’s clear that the fate of this will be as a big financial loser domestically.
Joker was second with $13.5 million, a touch more than my $12.2 million prediction. Its total is an incredible $299 million.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil was close behind in third with $13 million, reaching beyond my $10.2 million projection for an $85 million tally.
As mentioned, Harriet hit its mark (and might have saved Cynthia Erivo’s Oscar chances) with $11.6 million. I was lower at $8.2 million. Look for this to have smallish declines as it achieved an A+ Cinemascore grade.
The Addams Family rounded out the top five at $8.2 million (I said $7 million) for a snappy haul of $85 million.
The weekend’s other newbies both struggled at the bottom of the top ten. Motherless Brooklyn was ninth at just $3.5 million, in line with my $3.2 million prediction. The animated Arctic Dogs was a bad, bad performer in tenth with $2.9 million (less than my $4.5 million projection).
John Cena follows the career path of fellow grappler Dwayne Johnson with the release of Playing with Fire next weekend. The family comedy casts him as a firefighter caring for rambunctious kids along with his coworkers. Andy Fickman directs and the cast includes Keegan-Michael Key, John Leguizamo, Brianna Hildebrand, Dennis Haysbert, and Judy Greer.
The Paramount release is essentially taking the studio’s Instant Family slot from last year. That pic scored a fairly decent $14.7 million for its start and legged out to a $67 million domestic gross. Cena hasn’t proven himself to be a player in this genre, however, and I’d say Mark Wahlberg’s star power is a bit brighter.
The best hope for Fire is that it develops small dips in subsequent weekends if word of mouth is solid, but I believe it’ll be fortunate to reach double digits in its premiere.
Playing with Fire opening weekend prediction: $7.9 million