June 21-23 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (06/19): and it’s a significant one. Revising my Toy Story 4 estimate down from $191.5 million to $167.5 million.

It’s a toy fest at the box office this weekend as Pixar’s massive franchise and an iconic demonic doll look to populate the 1-2 spots on the charts. Toy Story 4 and the reboot of Child’s Play are the big debuts, as well as Luc Besson’s action thriller Anna. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/12/toy-story-4-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/13/childs-play-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/13/anna-box-office-prediction/

The question for the fourth iteration of Woody and Buzz is not whether it opens at #1, but whether or not it sets the all-time opening record for an animated feature. Unlike what we’ve seen in the past few weekends, this should not be a sequel that fails to meet expectations. In order to nab the record, it needs to top Pixar’s Incredibles 2 from last summer. That sequel made $182 million out of the gate. I’m predicting Toy Story 4 will outdo it by nearly $10 million.

I’m projecting that Child’s Play will reach high teens and that should be enough to put it in second place. I figure enough horror fans can assist Chucky’s return to multiplexes to get it there (as long as they’re not all holding their money for next week’s Annabelle Comes Home).

The real battle could be for the third position. Men in Black: International was a major flop. While I don’t see it plummeting over 70% like Dark Phoenix, a mid 50s (and maybe a bit more) dip is certainly feasible. That puts it in a horse race with The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Aladdin, which could benefit from drive-in pairings with Toy Story.

As for Anna, my lowly $3.6 million puts it outside the top five.

Here’s how I have it playing out:

1. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $167.5 million

2. Child’s Play

Predicted Gross: $17.6 million

3. Men in Black: International

Predicted Gross: $13.1 million

4. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $13 million

5. The Secret Life of Pets 2

Predicted Gross: $12.6 million

Box Office Results (June 1416)

While Will Smith’s genie in Aladdin is raking up the bucks, Sony was not granted their wish of a successful franchise reboot with Men in Black: International. The film opened in first, but with a disappointing $30 million (on target with my $30.7 million projection). Don’t look for Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson to don the shades again – though you’ll probably see them revise their Thor characters again.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 dropped to second with $24.4 million (I said $23.4 million) as it sniffs the century mark at $92 million after two weeks.

Aladdin was third with $17.3 million, topping my $15.7 million forecast. It’s up to $264 million as it should cross $300 million domestically.

Rocketman was fourth and I incorrectly had it outside the top five. The Elton John biopic took in $9.4 million and it’s at $52 million overall.

After its poor debut, Dark Phoenix tumbled to fifth with $9.3 million. I was more generous at $11.8 million. With just $52 million in ten days, this looks to be the first X-Men entry that won’t reach $100 million stateside.

The sequel and reboot fatigue manifested itself again with Shaft, which flopped in sixth with only $8.9 million, coming in far below my $16.8 million prediction.

Late Night expanded nationwide to so-so results in ninth place with $5.2 million, a touch more than my $4.5 million take.

Finally, zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die was 12th on just over 600 screens with $2.5 million compared to my $1.8 million projection.

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

June 14-16 Box Office Predictions

A variety of new pictures debut or expand this weekend with franchise reboot Men in Black: International, another franchise reboot Shaft, critically appreciated comedy Late Night, and not so critically appreciated comedy The Dead Don’t Die hitting screens. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/05/men-in-black-international-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/06/shaft-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/__trashed/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/the-dead-dont-die-box-office-prediction/

With Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson taking over lead roles from Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, International hopes to bring in a new generation of alien crime fighter aficionados. Yet this could go the way of last weekend’s Dark Phoenix, which set a franchise low for an opening weekend. I predict that a low 30s haul will achieve that dubious mark, but it should have little difficulty hitting #1.

My mid teens estimate for Shaft should put it in third after the sophomore frame of current champ The Secret Life of Pets 2, which itself suffered from an acute case of sequelitis.

The rest of the top five should be filled by holdovers Aladdin and Phoenix, which I anticipate having a severe drop just like Godzilla: King of the Monsters did in its second weekend.

As for Late Night, it had a terrific limited release on just four screens this past weekend, but it could face some difficulties with its 1500 theater release. My $4.5 million forecast puts it outside the top five. Same for The Dead Don’t Die, which I have at $1.8 million at its approximately 550 theater count.

And with that, my top five estimates for the weekend ahead:

1. Men in Black: International

Predicted Gross: $30.7 million

2. The Secret Life of Pets 2

Predicted Gross: $23.4 million

3. Shaft

Predicted Gross: $16.8 million

4. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $15.7 million

5. Dark Phoenix

Predicted Gross: $11.8 million

Box Office Results (June 79)

It was not a good weekend to be a sequel as the two newbies placed 1-2, but with significantly less cash than their predecessors. The Secret Life of Pets 2 was first with $46.6 million, well under my estimate of $65.2 million. That’s not even half of the $104 million achieved by its 2016 predecessor and with Toy Story 4 on the horizon, it could fade quickly.

The X-Men franchise cratered as Dark Phoenix was second with $32.8 million compared to my $45.3 million projection. The previous lowest premiere in the series occurred in 2013 when The Wolverine made $53 million out of the gate. This fell more than $20 million under that. Studio Fox didn’t even bother sugarcoating it… it’s a serious flop. New owner Disney will need to figure out a new way to make this series of characters viable into the future.

Aladdin was third with $24.6 million (I said $26.5 million) for a three-week tally of $232 million.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters fell hard in its second frame with $15.4 million, under my $16.9 million prediction. It’s at $78 million.

Rocketman was fifth in its sophomore outing at $13.8 million (I said $14.9 million) for a ten day total of $50 million.

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

June 7-9 Box Office Predictions

If there’s a theme to this first full June weekend at the box office, it might be sequels not matching up to what’s come before. The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Dark Phoenix are the two newbies hitting screens and you can peruse my detailed predictions for each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/29/the-secret-life-of-pets-2-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/30/dark-phoenix-box-office-prediction/

The original Pets got off to an animated start three summers ago with $104 million. Part 2 is not expected to match it and I’m going with a mid 60s beginning. It should still face no issues topping the charts as the prospects for Dark Phoenix look dim.

It’s the final entry in the current iteration of the X-Men Universe and buzz appears lackluster (especially after the ho-hum reaction to 2016’s XMen: Apocalypse). My mid 40s take gives it the worst premiere of any X title thus far.

As for holdovers, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a big disappointment and I anticipate a sophomore decline in the mid 50s range. That could drop it to fourth place with Aladdin in third and Rocketman rounding out the top five.

Here’s how I have the top 5 panning out:

1. The Secret Life of Pets 2

Predicted Gross: $65.2 million

2. Dark Phoenix

Predicted Gross: $45.3 million

3. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $26.5 million

4. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million

5. Rocketman

Predicted Gross: $14.9 million

Box Office Results (May 31June 2)

As mentioned, Godzilla: King of the Monsters landed with a thud with $47.7 million – well below my $58.7 million projection. The reported $200 million dollar production made just over half of what 2014’s Godzilla ($91 million) took in for its start. Additionally it couldn’t reach the heights of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island and its $61 million rollout. The two creatures will face each other next spring in Godzilla vs. Kong.

Aladdin was second with $42.8 million in weekend #2 and held up a bit better than my $40.3 million estimate. The Disney live-action hit has amassed $185 million total.

The Elton John biopic Rocketman had a decent start in third with $25.7 million. I thought it would fly higher at $36.1 million. It’s still a fine opening for an R rated counter programming offering in blockbuster season, though it is just half of what Bohemian Rhapsody accomplished a few short months ago.

Blumhouse horror pic Ma with Octavia Spencer was fourth and landed in line with expectations at $18 million (I said $17.2 million). Considering its tiny $5 million price tag, it’s yet another profitable success for the studio.

John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum was fifth with $11 million (I went with $12.7 million) as it brought its earnings to $125 million.

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

 

May 31-June 2 Box Office Predictions

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: King of the Monsters 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:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/23/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/23/rocketman-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/24/ma-box-office-prediction/

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: Skull Island achieved. As for Rocketman, there’s Oscar nod buzz for star Taron Egerton and the genre heat from last fall’s smash Bohemian Rhapsody. 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 John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum should round out the top five.

And with that, my forecast for the weekend:

1. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Predicted Gross: $58.7 million

2. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $40.3 million

3. Rocketman

Predicted Gross: $36.1 million

4. Ma

Predicted Gross: $17.2 million

5. John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

Box Office Results (May 2427)

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.

John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum 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: Detective Pikachu 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.

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

Oscar Watch: Pain and Glory

It’s been over three decades since Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar was first on the radar screen of Oscar voters. In 1988, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown nabbed a nod for Foreign Language Film. Eleven years later, All About My Mother won the award. In 2002, Almodóvar won for his original screenplay for Talk to Her.

This year’s Cannes Film Festival has provided further chances for the auteur to garner favor from the Academy. Pain and Glory casts Antonio Banderas as an aging director focused on his past. The drama has earned praise from critics as it stands at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. If the pic turns out to be Spain’s selection for the newly termed Best International Feature Film, it could definitely get in. An inclusion for Almodóvar’s script is also possible.

Another opportunity lies with Banderas. The veteran actor has never been nominated and he’s earning kudos here (he won Best Actor at Cannes). The French festival has given us three other contenders in the lead actor space: Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman and Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Bottom line: it’s been some time since Almodóvar has been a factor come Oscar time, but Pain and Glory could change that. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Rocketman Box Office Prediction

After a stellar premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Rocketman plays its way into theaters next weekend. The long planned biopic of legendary piano man Elton John starring Taron Egerton comes on the heels of similar genre entry and smash hit Bohemian Rhapsody. It even shares a director in Dexter Fletcher, who filled in on the Freddie Mercury tale after Bryan Singer was dropped from the project. Costars here include Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The film’s French Riviera rollout resulted in praise for Egerton. An Oscar nod for him (especially after Rami Malek won in 2018 as Mercury) is certainly feasible. Some reviews were mixed, but this currently holds an 88% Rotten Tomatoes score.

As mentioned, the easiest comp is Rhapsody, which debuted to an amazing $51 million in November with $216 million total domestically. However, while buzz is strong here, it likely won’t reach those heights in the busy summer season. I still think mid to high 30s can be reached and that would have Elton’s story still standing tall.

Rocketman opening weekend prediction: $36.1 million

For my Godzilla: King of the Monsters prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/23/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-box-office-prediction/

For my Ma prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/24/ma-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Rocketman

The Cannes Film Festival is in full swing over in France and the highest profile feature so far has screened (with Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood following next week). That would be Rocketman, a flashy musical biopic featuring Taron Egerton as legendary performer Elton John. Costars include Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Ahead of its May 31st stateside bow, festival goers rewarded the pic with a lengthy standing ovation (with Elton and Egerton attending). This might prove to be an audience pleaser. Some early reviews are glowing while others are more mixed.

Box office could be strong, but will this blast off with awards voters? We have very recent history to consider. I’m referring, of course, to last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Despite its rocky critical reaction, that film was a hit with audiences and Oscar voters. The Freddie Mercury biopic ended up winning four gold statues, including Rami Malek’s portrayal of the Queen frontman in Best Actor.

Rhapsody made an astonishing $903 million worldwide. Rocketman may not reach that territory. If it does, it could be impossible to ignore. Yet even if it turns out to be a sizable crowd favorite, Academy voters could nominate this in a variety of categories. That includes Picture, Actor, and the sound races (for which Bohemian was victorious in both). The comparisons between Rhapsody and Rocketman don’t end there. Dexter Fletcher took over directorial duties from Bryan Singer on the former. He is behind the camera again for the latter.

Bottom line: there’s a chance that voters might not honor Mr. John like they did Mr. Mercury, but Cannes reaction at least indicates it’s a possibility. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…