Blogger’s Note (02/12): My estimate has gone up significantly from $38.7 million to $51.8 million
Based on the Sega video game franchise that dates back nearly three decades, Sonic the Hedgehog premieres over the four-day Presidents Day frame next weekend. From first time director Jeff Fowler, the reported $95 million adventure comedy stars James Marsden, Jim Carrey, Tika Sumpter, and Ben Schwartz doing the motion capture work as the title character.
Movies based on video games have had a checkered box office history. This is a genre littered with disappointments from Super Mario Bros. to Double Dragon to Street Fighter to Assassin’s Creed. On the other hand, last summer’s Pokemon entry Detective Pikachu set a best ever opening for such pics with $54 million.
Sonic is certainly a known entity and family audiences could gravitate towards it now that Jumanji: The Next Level and (to a lesser extent) Dolittle are winding down. This is not expected to reach Pikachu levels, but a Friday to Monday haul in the high 30s to low 40s range is anticipated and likely.
Sonic the Hedgehog opening weekend prediction: $51.8 million (Friday to Monday estimate)
After a sizzling debut over the long Memorial Day weekend, Aladdin could slip to third as two heavy hitters join the fray: monster sequel Godzilla: KingoftheMonsters and critically lauded Elton John biopic Rocketman. We also have low budget Blumhouse horror pic Ma with Octavia Spencer that has breakout potential. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of the newcomers here:
Godzilla should manage to stomp the competition, but I do have it coming in lower than its 2014 predecessor and just under what 2017’s Kong: SkullIsland achieved. As for Rocketman, there’s Oscar nod buzz for star Taron Egerton and the genre heat from last fall’s smash BohemianRhapsody. I have it debuting with about $15 million less than the Queen flick, but that still means mid 30s.
As for Ma, I have it over tripling its puny $5 million budget for fourth place. Aladdin may experience a mid 50s dip after ruling the holiday and JohnWick: Chapter3 – Parabellum should round out the top five.
And with that, my forecast for the weekend:
1. Godzilla: KingoftheMonsters
Predicted Gross: $58.7 million
Predicted Gross: $40.3 million
Predicted Gross: $36.1 million
Predicted Gross: $17.2 million
5. JohnWick: Chapter3 – Parabellum
Predicted Gross: $12.7 million
Despite a poorly received first trailer and questions about its potency with audiences, Disney’s Aladdin exceeded all expectations and granted the studio’s money-making wishes with $116.8 million. That blew away my $74.8 million estimate.
JohnWick: Chapter3 – Parabellum dropped to second with $30.9 million over the four-day, topping my $27 million take. The Keanu Reeves action sequel is already at $107 million in two weeks and has the set the franchise record domestically.
Avengers: Endgame was third with $22 million (I said $22.5 million), hitting an astonishing $803 million.
Pokemon: DetectivePikachu was fourth with $17.2 million compared to my $16.4 million projection and $120 million thus far.
All newbies without a blue genie struggled. Horror superhero tale Brightburn was fifth with $9.6 million. I was right on target at $9.7 million. Acclaimed high school comedy Booksmart was sixth with $8.7 million. Again, I was on the money with an $8.6 million prediction.
It’s Memorial Day at the box office with Disney looking to dominate the four-day holiday weekend with their live-action rendering of Aladdin starring Will Smith. We also have the superhero horror flick Brightburn and critically acclaimed high school comedy Booksmart. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
There’s little doubt that the Fresh Prince’s genie will open at #1. How much it makes is very much in question. My mid 70s forecast is toward the lower end of estimates. While it’s always risky to underestimate the vaunted Mouse Factory marketing machine, they’ve already had one under performer weeks ago with Dumbo and reaction to this particular remake seems mixed.
Slots 2-4 are likely to be held by holdovers and that starts with JohnWick: Chapter3 – Parabellum after its dynamite debut (more on that below). Its gross is probably a bit front loaded, so a dip over 50% wouldn’t be surprising.
On the other hand, Avengers: Endgame should follow the path of other MCU titles that premiered in late April or early May with a minor drop in the 20s. I have PokemonDetectivePikachu slated for a mid 30s subtraction.
As for the newcomers, both have breakout potential but I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on either exceeding expectations. Brightburn should fare a bit better than Booksmart, if for no other reason than its higher screen count.
And with that, a top 6 take on my Friday to Monday predictions:
Predicted Gross: $74.8 million
2. JohnWick: Chapter3 – Parabellum
Predicted Gross: $27 million
3. Avengers: Endgame
Predicted Gross: $22.5 million
Predicted Gross: $16.4 million
Predicted Gross: $9.7 million
Predicted Gross: $8.6 million
JohnWick: Chapter3 – Parabellum sped to a terrific start and zoomed past most projections, including mine. The Keanu Reeves sequel made $56.8 million compared to my $45.8 million estimate. That sets the franchise record by over $25 million and is good for Mr. Reeves second largest opening ever behind TheMatrixReloaded.
Avengers: Endgame dropped to second after three weeks on top with $29.9 million, in line with my $28.5 million prediction. The massive tally is at $771 million.
In its sophomore outing, PokemonDetectivePikachu was third with $25.1 million. I was right there at $25.2 million as it approaches the century mark with $94 million.
ADog’sJourney flopped with just $8 million in fourth compared to my $11.8 million projection. That’s less than half of what predecessor ADog’sPurpose achieved. Woof.
TheHustle rounded out the top five with $6.1 million (I said $7.1 million) for $23 million overall.
Finally, YA romance TheSunIsAlsoaStar had a dim start in eighth with just $2.5 million. I went higher at $5.5 million.
Blogger’s Note (05/15): My Parabellum prediction has risen from $37.8 million to $45.8 million
The three-week reign of Avengers: Endgame atop the charts should end this weekend at the hands of Keanu Reeves as his action threequel John Wick: Chapter3 – Parabellum is unveiled. We also have canine sequel ADog’sJourney and YA romance TheSunIsAlsoaStar out. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
Mr. Wick appears poised for a healthy start in first. The 2014 original made $14 million out of the gate but became a cult favorite shortly thereafter. Its 2017 follow-up brought in $30 million. Some have Parabellum in the mid 40s range, but I’m thinking high 30s is more probable. That should still be more than enough to ensure it the #1 slot.
A mid 50s dip should drop Endgame to second with PokemonDetectivePikachu in third. I have ADog’sJourney tapped for just under teens (not matching the $18 million earned by predecessor ADog’sPurpose).
My $5.5 million forecast for TheSunIsAlsoaStar likely leaves it in sixth with TheHustle rounding out the top five in its sophomore frame.
Here’s how I have the weekend playing out:
1. JohnWick: Chapter3 – Parabellum
Predicted Gross: $45.8 million
2. Avengers: Endgame
Predicted Gross: $28.5 million
Predicted Gross: $25.2 million
Predicted Gross: $11.8 million
Predicted Gross: $7.1 million
It was a three-peat for the gargantuan superhero squad as Avengers: Endgame took in $63.2 million (below my $71.2 million take). The film has amassed a jaw-dropping $723 million total. That’s the fourth heftiest third weekend in box office history and it’s climbed to third all-time domestically in overall gross, with Avatar well in its sights.
PokemonDetectivePikachu got a silver medal with a decent $54.3 million, under my $64.8 million projection. The Ryan Reynolds voiced pic fell within the range of expectations, albeit on the lower end.
TheHustle with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson was third and opened right in line with estimates at $13 million (I said $13.4 million). A weak B- CinemaScore grade indicates audiences weren’t impressed.
Fourth place belonged to TheIntruder as it had a nice hold in weekend #2. I incorrectly had it outside the top five, but it made $7.1 million for a two-week haul of $21 million.
LongShot was in the five spot with $6.2 million (I said $5.5 million) and $19 million total.
The Diane Keaton cheerleading comedy Poms was a dud in sixth with just $5.3 million. I reached higher at $8.7 million.
Tolkien was another disappointment in ninth with a measly $2.2 million. I went with $3.1 million.
Blogger’s Update (05/08): I am downgrading my Pikachu estimate from $74.8 million to $64.8 million and now giving Endgame a third weekend atop the charts
I’m predicting a photo finish as Avengers: Endgame gets legitimate competition in the form of PokemonDetectivePikachu featuring the vocal stylings of Ryan Reynolds this weekend. We also have a pair of comedies marketed to the female crowd: Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson in the DirtyRottenScoundrels remake TheHustle and Diane Keaton cheerleading flick Poms. In more limited release, there’s the biopic Tolkien with Nicholas Hoult. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of the newcomers here:
About that photo finish… estimates for Pokemon are all over the map and they have been dropping a bit in recent days. I’ve landed with it having a debut in the mid 70s range. That puts it where I expect Endgame to be. If the record breaking superhero epic manages to top $68 million this weekend, it will achieve the second best third weekend of all time behind StarWars: TheForceAwakens. That would match what it did this past weekend (more on that below).
I’m giving Pikachu an ever so slight edge to nab the #1 spot. We shall see if that changes as the week goes on.
As for the fresh comedies, TheHustle and Poms should get the three and four spots, respectively. I’ve downgraded both of my forecasts today, especially after seeing the disappointing gross of LongShot.
Tolkien is only hitting a smallish 1300 screens and my $3.1 million projection leaves it outside the top five. Speaking of the five position, that could be interesting as TheIntruder, LongShot, and UglyDolls could all get it depending on their sophomore dips. I’ll give LongShot a minor edge.
And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:
1. Avengers: Endgame
Predicted Gross: $71.2 million
Predicted Gross: $64.8 million
Predicted Gross: $13.4 million
Predicted Gross: $8.7 million
Predicted Gross: $5.5 million
Avengers: Endgame finally found a record it couldn’t smash this weekend, though I’m sure Disney isn’t too upset about that. In its second weekend, it grossed $147.3 million and that fell under my $153.6 million estimate. That’s also just under the $149 million earned by TheForceAwakens in its second weekend, so it had to settle for runner-up record status. With $621 million in the bank, Endgame is already the #9 domestic earner in history. Even more impressively, the film is already #2 worldwide as it surpassed Titanic and is behind only Avatar.
All new titles came in under expectations. As predicted, thriller TheIntruder performed the best in second with $10.8 million. While quite a bit under my $15.2 million estimate, it’s a solid performance considering it cost a scant $8 million to produce.
LongShot with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron couldn’t connect with audiences despite solid reviews. Its third place showing was only $9.7 million compared to my $13.1 million projection.
The news was even worse for the animated UglyDolls. It bombed in fourth with $8.6 million. I went higher at $13.8 million.
CaptainMarvel rounded out the top five with $4.2 million (I said $5.9 million). Total stands at $420 million.
Blogger’s Update (05/08): I am downgrading my estimate from $74.8 million to $64.8 million
Ryan Reynolds hangs up the Deadpool costume for a bit in order to lend his voice to another hoped for franchise when PokemonDetectivePikachu debuts next weekend. Based on a 2016 video game, the Pokémon series has been thriving for nearly a quarter century in various iterations on Nintendo and on the big screen. Rob Letterman, who was behind the camera on Gulliver’sTravels and Goosebumps, directs. A mix of live-action and animation, the supporting cast includes Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Ken Watanabe, and Bill Nighy.
Warner Bros is certainly hoping a slew of follow-up features are in the cards. A sequel has already been commissioned. With Reynolds in the lead and the popularity of the source material, the studio might find itself in luck. Estimates for the opening weekend gross are wide-ranging – everywhere from $50 million to over $100 million. If it falls on the lower end of that spectrum, it may not top the box office due to the third weekend of the record-breaking Avengers: Endgame.
In 1999, Pokemon: TheFirstMovie opened to $31 million and ended up with $85 million. Sequel Pokemon: TheMovie2000 couldn’t replicate that success with a $19 million start and $43 overall gross. By 2001, the series had run out of gas when Pokemon3: TheMovie opened to $8 million and petered out at $17 million.
Expectations are different this time around. I’ll say Pikachu (The Movie) has an opening in the middle of its huge range and that’s about $10-15 million under what the first movie accomplished overall 20 years ago.
PokemonDetectivePikachu opening weekend prediction: $64.8 million
STX Entertainment is hoping affinity for a popular plush toy brings youngsters out next weekend for UglyDolls. The animated musical comedy takes it characters from a line of squishy creatures launched in 2001. Kelly Asbury, who did Shrek2 and Gnomeo & Juliet, directs and Robert Rodriguez (of all people) has a story credit. The voice cast is mostly a mix of musicians and comedians and they include Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Janelle Monáe, Pitbull, Blake Shelton, Wanda Sykes, Gabriel Iglesias, Emma Roberts, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX.
While UglyDolls looks to pack movie houses, it could face resistance and absolutely faces serious competition. It arrives the week after Avengers: Endgame, which should still be minting money. Furthermore, this debuts the weekend before Pokemon: DetectivePikachu, which hopes to bring in a sizable family audience.
This could get lost in the shuffle and I suspect it might. The possibility certainly exists for a high teens to even $20 million start, but I suspect low to mid teens is where this ends up.
UglyDolls opening weekend prediction: $13.8 million