Bad Boys for Life Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Update (01/16): Better than expected reviews are pushing my estimate from $38.6 million to $45.6 million

A quarter century after the original made Will Smith an action hero, he teams again with Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life next weekend. This is the duo’s third collaboration playing cops battling European baddies and Michael Bay (who made the first two) is away from the director’s chair with Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah taking over. Franchise players Joe Pantoliano and Theresa Randle are back and newcomers include Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, and Paola Nunez.

The MLK holiday frame caps off a busy few months for the Artist Formerly Known as Fresh Prince. Last summer, he had a huge hit with Aladdin. In the fall, he experienced a flop with Gemini Man and voiced the lead character in the decently performing family pic Spies in Disguise. 

Back in the spring of 1995, the original Boys took in $15 million for its start with an eventual $65 million gross. Eight years later, Bad Boys II tripled that debut with $46 million with an overall tally of $138 million.

Seventeen years is a long break between entries and 2019 showed us that franchise fatigue was real in many cases. One example was Men in Black: International, which Mr. Smith steered clear from.

Mu guess is that part 3 won’t match its predecessor’s earnings and that’s even with the extra Monday due to the holiday. A decent comp could be Ride Along 2, which made $41 million over MLK four years back. That was under the $48 million that the first Ride hauled in. I’ll say Smith and Lawrence’s reported last ride hovers around the $40 million mark.

Bad Boys for Life opening weekend prediction: $45.6 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my Dolittle prediction, click here:

Night School Box Office Prediction

**Blogger’s Update (09/27/18): My estimate has risen to $27.6 million to $31.6 million

One of the most dependable comedic actors at the box office teams with one of the hottest newer names when Night School opens next weekend. Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish headline the pic about a group trying to pass their GED exam. Malcolm D. Lee (who just directed Haddish in her breakout Girls Trip) is behind the camera. The supporting cast includes Rob Riggle, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Taran Killam, Romany Malco, and Keith David.

Hart has been a model of consistency in recent years when it comes to high earners. In addition to just coming off the massive blockbuster Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle, he’s had a handful of $30 million plus openers including Think Like a Man, both Ride Along features, Get Hard, and Central Intelligence. The Think Like a Man sequel almost reached $30 million while About Last Night made $25.6 million for its start. The low-end of the spectrum is The Wedding Ringer with $20.6 million. As for Lee and Haddish’s Trip, it took in $31.2 million.

The collaboration of these talents should yield pleasing results and the likely #1 spot over its made competitor – the animated Smallfoot. I’m a little skeptical this reaches $30 million, though it certainly could. A gross in the mid to high 20s seems more probable.

Night School opening weekend prediction: $31.6 million

For my Smallfoot prediction, click here:

For my Hell Fest prediction, click here:

Fist Fight Box Office Prediction

Ice Cube and Charlie Day headline the comedy Fist Fight, which hits theaters over Presidents Day weekend. A loose remake of the 1987 cult pic Three O’Clock High, costars include Tracy Morgan (in his first film after his auto accident), Jillian Bell, Christina Hendricks, Dennis Haysbert, and Kumail Nanjiani.

Mr. Cube has had his share of laugh inducing hits and franchises over the years with Barbershop, 21/22 Jump Street, and Ride Along. Day is best known for TV’s “It Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and the Horrible Bosses flicks.

Fight pits Cube as a teacher challenging his fellow educator to a schoolyard brawl. With its simple concept, known stars in the genre, and really zero competition when it comes to comedies (save for Lego Batman I suppose), I’ll predict this manages a mid 20s four day debut. It could even fight for the highest opening among the two others newbies (The Great Wall, A Cure for Wellness) over the holiday weekend.

Fist Fight opening weekend prediction: $25.1 million

For my The Great Wall prediction, click here:

For my A Cure for Wellness prediction, click here:

Kevin Hart: What Now? Box Office Prediction

Kevin Hart has been busy at the box office in 2016. Ride Along 2 debuted in January with an overall gross of $90 million (shy of its predecessor, but not bad). This summer came Central Intelligence, his team-up with The Rock that marked his second highest grosser ever at $127 million (after the first Ride Along, which made $134M). While the comedian has broken through on the silver screen in a major way, he hasn’t forgotten his stand-up roots. That leads to Kevin Hart: What Now?, out next weekend, which presents his latest comedy tour with a show taped in 2015 in Philadelphia.

For comparisons sake, it’s been three years since Mr. Hart released his last stand-up pic theatrically. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain had a $10 million premiere with a $32M eventual domestic haul. Comedy concerts released in multiplexes are a rare breed, but there’s some hope this could outshine Explain. The most obvious reason is that Hart has become a much bigger movie star in the three years that have transpired. On the other hand, moviegoers know even more now that Now will likely be available for their viewing pleasure via streaming quite soon.

Add that up and I believe What Now? will manage to outpace Explain for a debut in the low to mid double digits.

Kevin Hart: What Now? opening weekend prediction: $13.5 million

For my The Accountant prediction, click here:

For my Max Steel prediction, click here:

Sequelitis: A 2016 Story

Over Memorial Day weekend this year, Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass opened to an abysmal $33 million over the holiday weekend, immediately making it one of the biggest bombs of 2016. How poor was that opening? It’s the sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, which made $116 million in its first weekend (which was a three-day frame, not a four-day one). Looking Glass will be lucky to make $80M in its entire domestic run, nearly $40M under what Wonderland earned in its premiere weekend. Ouch.

Is there an easy explanation? Did Disney take too long with the six year hiatus between franchise entries? Perhaps. Did the negative tabloid publicity surrounding star Johnny Depp hurt? Maybe.

Yet another explanation is likely part of the equation. In 2016, moviegoers have seemed to catch a case of “sequelitis” and their symptoms have been affecting box office grosses for a number of pictures already this year.

Over that same Memorial Day weekend, X-Men: Apocalypse ruled the charts with a $79 million debut. That would seem impressive, except X-Men: Days of Future Past made $110 million over the same weekend just two years earlier.

This story has repeated itself repeatedly in recent months. Ride Along 2 was expected to build on its predecessor’s opening weekend. The 2014 original cruised to a $41M opening. The sequel: $35M. When all was said and done, the first Ride made $44M more than its follow-up.

Other comedies have suffered the same fate. 2001’s Zoolander actually only made $45 million in its initial run, but became a major cult hit in subsequent years. It’s long gestating sequel would surely earn more. It didn’t. Just $28M.

2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding became the unexpected smash of that year with $241M stateside. Part 2? $59 million (to be fair, this was on the higher end of many expectations, but still just 25% of what the first Wedding did).

2014’s Neighbors? $150 million. Last month’s Neighbors: Sorority Rising? It should top out at around $60M.

Barbershop: The Next Cut will make $55 million, under the $75M and $65M of its predecessors (though still not bad).

The action crowd has showed their ambivalence. London Has Fallen earned a just OK $62 million compared to Olympus Has Fallen‘s $98M.

2014’s Divergent made $150 million. 2015’s Insurgent: $130 million. This year’s Allegiant: a troubling $66 million.

Then there’s The Huntsman Winter’s War, which may not even reach $50 million. It’s the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, which made $155 million.

Just this weekend, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows took in $35 million in its debut, which is a shell of the $65 million that the first made two summers ago.

Faith based audiences propelled God’s Not Dead to a heavenly $60 million gross in 2014. Part 2? $20 million.

Kung Fu Panda 3 performed decently with $143 million, but couldn’t match part 1’s $215M or part 2’s $165M.

Seeing a trend here, folks?

There have been rare exceptions in 2016 so far. 10 Cloverfield Lane managed $72 million. Even though that’s below the $80M of Cloverfield, it’s still a solid gross and a profitable venture for its studio.

And Captain America: Civil War was widely expected to outdo the respective $176M and $259M earnings of the first two entries. This was due to it basically being The Avengers 3. It did and will top $400M domestically.

Coming this weekend: two more sequels will try to avoid the 2016 trend and both actually have a decent chance of succeeding. The Conjuring 2 is receiving positive reviews and its studio is hoping the goodwill left over from the 2013 original will propel it to similar grosses (I’m predicting it’ll make $42 million for its start, slightly above the first).

Now You See Me 2 is hoping to match the $29 million made by the 2013 original for its beginning. I’m predicting $24M.

If both of these titles come in below expectations, that may truly show that crowds are just plain sick and tired of seeing roman numerals and numbers behind titles. Looking over the remainder of the 2016 calendar, there’s a heap of sequels that could also struggle to match what came before them. They include:

The Purge: Election Year. Bridget Jones’s Baby. Underworld: Blood Wars. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Ouija 2. Bad Santa 2.

Even this month’s Independence Day: Resurgence is an iffy proposition to capitalize on the nostalgia factor from the 1996 original. It appears unlikely to match the $306M earned 20 years ago by the first one.

Next month’s Star Trek Beyond could have trouble matching the $228M made by part 2 in 2013.

Inferno, the third Tom Hanks thriller based on Dan Brown’s novels, is a question mark to match the $133M that Angels & Demons made in 2011 and certainly won’t approach The Da Vinci Code‘s $217M a decade ago.

When it comes to 2016 sequels, it might not all be bad news. Finding Dory (out June 17) shouldn’t have much trouble topping the $70M that Nemo made in 2003 (though whether it reaches its eventual gross of $380M is a mystery).

And July’s Jason Bourne should benefit from having Matt Damon return to the franchise after nine years away. It should manage to outpace the $113M made by Jeremy Renner’s The Bourne Legacy in 2012. However, could it approach the $227M earned by Damon’s last one, 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum? Probably not.

Perhaps these disappointing results for so many sequels will cause studios to give us more original programming, but don’t hold your breath. Next year is already packed with follow-ups and some of them already look like they could be in trouble.

For instance, it’s probably safe to assume Disney is sweating over the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean flick, Dead Men Tell No Tales. Same goes for Lionsgate with their final Divergent pic, Ascendant.

Some of the 2017 sequels that may not have much to worry about: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Fast 8. And, of course, Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Yet given the recent trends, who knows? No one thought Alice or Huntsman or Allegiant would do that poorly and it’s contributed to a bad… and maybe badly needed downturn for sequels in 2016.


Box Office Predictions: February 5-7

Three new offerings open up Friday to challenge current champ Kung Fu Panda 3: star studded Coen Brothers comedy Hail, Caesar!, Nicholas Sparks novel adaptation The Choice, and genre mashup Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

As I see it, none of these newbies is likely to keep Panda from remaining on top for a second consecutive weekend. In fact, box office numbers should take a hit this weekend, especially on Sunday when the main competition comes from Peyton Manning and Cam Newton.

Caesar! looks best positioned for the runner-up spot while Choice and Pride could fight it out with holdover The Revenant (and possibly Star Wars) for the rest of the top five. And with that, my predictions for the Super Bowl weekend (I’m going Carolina over Denver 38-24 by the way):

  1. Kung Fu Panda 3

Predicted Gross: $21.6 million (representing a drop of 47%)

2. Hail, Caesar!

Predicted Gross: $14.3 million

3. The Choice

Predicted Gross: $9.6 million

4. The Revenant

Predicted Gross: $8.3 million (representing a drop of 36%)

5. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million

Box Office Results (January 29-31)

As expected, Dreamworks Animated Kung Fu Panda 3 topped the charts with a solid $41.2 million, right in line with my $41.7M estimate. The threequel did post the lowest debut for the series so far.

Second place belonged to The Revenant with $12.7 million in its fourth weekend of wide release. It outpaced my $9.8 million prediction and its total stands at $138M.

Third place was Star Wars: The Force Awakens at $11.1 million, ahead of my $8.6M forecast for a cumultation of $895M.

The Finest Hours got off to a weak start (especially with a reported $80M budget) at $10.2 million for fourth place. My prediction? $10.2 million!

Fifth place was holdover Ride Along 2 at $8.4 million for a $70M total. I incorrectly had it outside the top five.

That’s because I gave way too much credit to the Marlon Wayans spoof Fifty Shades of Black. I had it opening second with $16 million. It opened tenth with a pathetic $5.9M. Oops. I’ll take solace in my great guesses for Panda and Hours.

Last (and least): the Natalie Portman Western Jane Got a Gun, which bombed terribly with only $835K for a 17th place showing, less than half my apparently generous $1.7 million projection.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…



Box Office Predictions: January 29-31

The final weekend of January brings four new offerings to the multiplexes: animated threequel Kung Fu Panda 3, Marlon Wayans spoof Fifty Shades of Black, true life rescue drama The Finest Hours, and Western Jane Got a Gun with Natalie Portman. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them right here:

As I see it, Panda should have no trouble topping the charts with Fifty Shades coming in as a distant runner-up. The Revenant and Star Wars could find themselves in a competition for the three and four spots with The Finest Hours, which I have underperforming (especially considering its reported $80M budget). As for Jane, opening on just approximately 550 screens, my $1.7 million estimate for it should leave it outside the top ten.

And with that, my top five predictions for the weekend:

  1. Kung Fu Panda 3

Predicted Gross: $41.7 million

2. Fifty Shades of Black

Predicted Gross: $16 million

3. The Finest Hours

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

4. The Revenant

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million (representing a drop of 39%)

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (representing a drop of 38%)

Box Office Results (January 22-24)

In a slow weekend where the winter storms in D.C. and NYC likely had a negative impact, Leonardo DiCaprio moved up to #1 with The Revenant. The potential Oscar favorite took in $16 million (under my $19.6M prediction) for a total of $119M.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was second with $14 million, a bit under my $15.9M estimate and its record setting total now sits at $879M.

Last week’s champ Ride Along 2 suffered a huge drop in weekend #2 with $12.4 million (below my $16.8M projection). The Kevin Hart/Ice Cube sequel stands at $58 million and is unlikely to reach $100M – pretty disappointing considering the original just two years ago took in $134M.

A trio of newcomers all failed to make a splash and populated the 4-6 spots. All three opened a bit under my projections. The critically savaged Robert De Niro/Zac Efron comedy Dirty Grandpa placed fourth with $11.6 million (I said $14.6M).

Fifth place was British horror pic The Boy with a muted $10.7 million (my projection was $12.1M). Sixth place was YA adventure flick The 5th Wave with just $10.3 million (I said $11.4M). Look for all three to fade quickly.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…