Cold Pursuit Box Office Prediction

As they say, revenge is a film best served with Liam Neeson in it and Summit Entertainment hopes that holds true next weekend with Cold Pursuit. The action thriller casts Neeson as a snow plow driver avenging the murder of his son with his particular set of skills. Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland is behind the camera and costars include Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum, Tom Bateman, and William Forsythe.

We are a decade past the star’s career resurgence with the sleeper hit Taken and its two sequels. What followed were $20 million plus openers like Unknown and NonStop. The sub genre of Neeson tough guy flicks, however, has seen its grosses dwindle in recent years. A Walk Among the Tombstones, Run All Night, and last year’s The Commuter all debuted in the low double digits to low teens range.

Reviews have been surprisingly strong and the Rotten Tomatoes score is at 93%. Several critics have praised an apparent well-placed sense of humor. Yet I’m skeptical that will give Cold Pursuit a hot premiere. I’ll predict this falls right in line with his later entries.

Cold Pursuit opening weekend prediction: $12.8 million

For my The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/01/29/the-lego-movie-2-the-second-part-box-office-prediction/

For my What Men Want prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/01/30/what-men-want-box-office-prediction/

For my The Prodigy prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/01/31/the-prodigy-box-office-prediction/

The Commuter Movie Review

Director Jaume Collet-Serra and his aging action star Liam Neeson collaborate for the fourth time with The Commuter. If you remember their 2014 effort NonStop quite vividly, good for you because I had forgotten much of it. That pic put Mr. Neeson in a precarious position on a long flight in which he was forced to commit potential crimes commanded by shadowy villains. Four years later, this one puts Mr. Neeson in a precarious position on a long train ride in which he is forced to commit potential crimes commanded by shadowy villains. If that makes you think The Commuter doesn’t exactly aim high, you’d be correct.

The trick with these movies is whether we can successfully put our brains aside and just enjoy the junk food genre offerings. This time around, the director and star don’t make it very easy for us. Neeson is Michael, an ex NYC cop turned life insurance agent for the last decade. He’s 60 (as he reminds us a few times) with a wife (Elizabeth McGovern) and son about to enter college. It’s tough for the family man to make ends meet and that’s thrown into chaos when he’s unceremoniously fired. Each day he makes a long commute home and on the day of his unexpected dismissal, more surprises follow. He’s approached on the train by Joanna (Vera Farmiga) and she offers an opportunity. There’s $100,000 for Michael if he can identify and place a GPS tracker on a passenger who goes by Prynne. Farmiga’s Conjuring hubby Patrick Wilson turns up as Michael’s old partner.

This is all tied to a murder investigation and Prynne is a witness. Joanna’s benefactors want Prynne eliminated and Michael is their ticket to make that happen. All this leads to Michael having to make a series of moral decisions while intermittently kicking an appropriate amount of baddie butt. We also are introduced to the train’s other passengers – some of whom are given perfunctory subplots while we await Prynne’s grand reveal.

The Commuter, quite frankly, is totally ludicrous and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The same could certainly be said of Unknown (the first Collet-Serra/Neeson joint) or NonStop. Yet I found both to be slightly more entertaining than this. The screenplay (which somehow took three people to write it) does too little to engage us with its silly plot and a couple of decently choreographed action sequences aren’t enough to save it. Neeson gives it his earnest and occasionally intense all. Bless his heart for not coasting as the story does.

** (out of four)

The Commuter Box Office Prediction

It’s been nine years since Liam Neeson reinvented himself as everyone’s go to elder action star with Taken. The last couple of years have seen him focusing on other genres,  but he’s back in kick ass mode next weekend with The Commuter. This marks his fourth collaboration with director Jaume Collet-Serra after Unknown, NonStop, and Run All Night. Costars include Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga (presumably doing no conjuring work), as well as Sam Neill, Jonathan Banks, and Elizabeth McGovern.

Mr. Neeson’s first two pictures with this director came while he was still packing in audiences with the Taken franchise. That helped propel Unknown and NonStop to openings above $20 million. Run All Night (and another more recent Neeson action flick A Walk Among the Tombstones) both failed to reach the teens in their debuts.

The Commuter has received decent reviews so far and sits at 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, recent evidence has shown the star’s box office potency in the genre has waned. I’ll predict this reaches low to possibly higher teens for its four-day MLK weekend debut.

The Commuter opening weekend prediction: $14.6 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my The Post prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/04/the-post-box-office-prediction/

For my Paddington 2 prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/03/paddington-2-box-office-prediction/

For my Proud Mary prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/03/proud-mary-box-office-prediction/

 

Box Office Predictions: March 27-29

The last week of March brings two titles to the multiplex that could easily place first and second: the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard and Dreamworks animated flick Home. You can peruse my detailed projections on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/03/21/get-hard-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/03/21/home-box-office-prediction/

Get Hard should rule the weekend unless its quite negative reviews give it a softer opening (so to speak) than expected. Home should manage an OK debut for an animated pic.

As for holdovers, Insurgent opened a little lighter than anticipated and it should lose more than half its audience in weekend two, like predecessor Divergent did. Cinderella should place fourth in weekend #3 while nearly two month old Kingsman: The Secret Service may stay at the five spot.

And with that, my projections for the weekend’s top five:

1. Get Hard

Predicted Gross: $30.3 million

2. Home

Predicted Gross: $24.6 million

3. Insurgent

Predicted Gross: $24 million (representing a drop of 54%)

4. Cinderella

Predicted Gross: $19.1 million (representing a drop of 45%)

5. Kingsman: The Secret Service

Predicted Gross: $3.5 million (representing a drop of 25%)

Box Office Results (March 20-22)

As mentioned, YA sequel Insurgent came in a bit lower than expected with $52.2 million, under my generous $62.1M prediction and slightly under what Divergent accomplished a year ago. This is certainly not a huge letdown for the studio, but most prognosticators had this debuting higher than the original.

Cinderella dropped to second in its sophomore frame with $34.9 million, just below my $36.9M projection. The Disney live-action hit has amassed $122 million in ten days.

Liam Neeson’s action dud Run All Night was third in weekend #2 with $5 million, in line with my $5.6M estimate. It’s made just $19 million so far.

Neeson’s Taken director stumbled with The Gunman, Sean Penn’s action thriller which flopped with just $5 million out of the gate, below my $6.8M prediction.

Kingsman: The Secret Service managed to stay in the top five with $4.6 million. I incorrectly didn’t include it in the top five. Its total stands at $114 million.

Finally, faith based drama Do You Believe? bombed with a paltry $3.5 million for sixth place. Many similar themed pictures debuted to bigger than expected results in 2014 and I incorrectly believed this would, estimating a $12.3M opening. Oops.

That’s all for now, folks! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: March 20-22

For the second weekend in a row, a big budget blockbuster geared towards the female audience will likely dominate a B action movie with Liam Neeson connections. YA sequel Insurgent comes out a year following its predecessor Divergent and I have it debuting to even bigger numbers. The Gunman comes from the director of Neeson’s Taken and stars Sean Penn. The wild card newbie is faith based drama Do You Believe?, which could carry on the recent tradition of these types of pics premiering with larger than anticipated results. You can find detailed prediction posts on all three newcomers here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/03/14/insurgent-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/03/14/the-gunman-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/03/14/do-you-believe-box-office-prediction/

As you can see, I expect Insurgent to easily top the charts. Disney’s live action Cinderella retelling should be #2 after its very strong rollout this past weekend (more on that below). I anticipate it’ll drop in the mid 40s range.

I have Do You Believe? posting healthier numbers than The Gunman, which has been the victim of some pretty brutal reviews so far. The underperforming Liam Neeson thriller Run All Night should round out the top five after its muted opening this last weekend.

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

1. Insurgent

Predicted Gross: $62.1 million

2. Cinderella

Predicted Gross: $36.9 million (representing a drop of 45%)

3. Do You Believe?

Predicted Gross: $12.3 millon

4. The Gunman

Predicted Gross: $6.8 million

5. Run All Night

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 49%)

Box Office Results (March 13-15)

Well, call me the belle of the ball this weekend! Disney’s Cinderella got off to a terrific start with $67.8 million. My prediction? $67.8 million! Holla!! Female audiences turned out in droves for the acclaimed feature. Having a short film from the Frozen team airing before it probably didn’t hurt either.

The news was not near as good for Liam Neeson as Run All Night stumbled with just $11 million, a little short of my $12.1 million. Reviews were OK but having this arrive so soon after Taken 3 was probably a misstep.

Kingsman: The Secret Service was third and it’s posted solid holds from week to week. I incorrectly had its outside the top five but it earned $6.2 million to boost its current cume to $107 million.

Focus and Chappie each made $5.7 million for fourth and fifth, right around my respective projections of $5.6 million and $6.1 million. The Will Smith caper has made a middling $43 million while Chappie stands at a weak $23 million. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was sixth with $5.6 million, in line with my $6 million estimate. It’s made $18 million through two weeks.

And that will wrap it up for now…. Until next time!

 

 

Box Office Predictions: March 13-15

It may be Friday the 13th coming up, but Disney’s live-action Cinderella seems poised to reverse some recent bad luck at the box office. The Kenneth Branagh directed tale, which has been receiving highly positive reviews, should easily dominate the charts this weekend.

Results may not be as positive for the Liam Neeson action thriller Run All Night, which is likely to gross nowhere near what the star’s Taken franchise has accomplished.

They are the two new releases this weekend and you can peruse my detailed predictions posts on each here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/03/07/cinderella-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/03/07/run-all-night-box-office-prediction/

Cinderella and Run All Night should populate spots #1 and #2. The rest of the top five could be a close race between leftovers Chappie, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Focus.

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

1. Cinderella

Predicted Gross: $67.8 million

2. Run All Night

Predicted Gross: $12.1 million

3. Chappie

Predicted Gross: $6.1 million (representing a drop of 54%)

4. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Predicted Gross: $6 million (representing a drop of 30%)

5. Focus

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 44%)

Box Office Results (March 6-8)

Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi robot pic Chappie might be able to claim it opened #1, though that’s about the only item the studio can brag about. In what is so far the worst box office weekend of 2015, Chappie debuted to a weak $13.3 million, more than $10 million below my $23.8M estimate. The director has seen diminishing returns from his Oscar nominated District 9 to Elysium to this.

Will Smith’s Focus fell to second in its sophomore frame with $10 million, in line with my $10.2M estimate. Its total stands at an unimpressive $34 million, far under what most movies featuring the Fresh Prince usually earn.

Sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a lone bright spot with a solid $8.5 million (especially considering its low number of screens). This put it right with my $8.6M projection.

Kingsman: The Secret Service added $8.3 million to its $98 million haul, just over my $7.7M prediction.

I incorrectly had the SpongeBob movie outside of the top five and it placed there with $6.6 million (total: $148M).

That’s because I incorrectly placed the critically drubbed Vince Vaughn comedy Unfinished Business in the top five. It landed with a resounding thud in 10th place with just $4.7 million (I said $8.4M). This is easily Vaughn’s worst opening for a comedy and continues his recent streak of bad luck in theaters.

Lastly, American Sniper achieved a milestone as it has earned $337 million. That officially makes it the highest grossing film of 2014 after edging out the $336 million that the third Hunger Games entry accomplished.

That’s all for now, folks! Until next time…

Run All Night Box Office Prediction

Liam Neeson is yet again back in action mode with Run All Night, out Friday. Since his reinvention as a B movie shoot em up lead seven years ago with Taken, Neeson has managed to star in a string of successful genre pics. This one finds him as an aging hitman with Ed Harris, Joel Kinnaman, and Common in the cast.

The advertisements have done little to make Run All Night look like anything other than a run of the mill entry into Neeson’s filmography. Perhaps the largest hindrance it faces is the fact that it arrives just two months following Taken 3. While that movie was successful, it made about $50 million less than the second pic and it probably gave many filmgoers their fill of Neeson inspired violence.

While the weak box office should guarantee it a second place debut (far behind Cinderella), I have a feeling this will open on pace with the actor’s September dud A Walk Among the Tombstones, which managed just $12.7 million out of the gate.

Run All Night opening weekend prediction: $12.1 million

For my Cinderella prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/03/07/cinderella-box-office-prediction/