January 21-23 Box Office Predictions

The trio of S sequels – Scream, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sing 2 – should continue to dominate the box office charts despite the arrival of two newcomers this weekend. We have the historical romance Redeeming Love and long in the can fantasy adventure The King’s Daughter debuting. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

Redeeming Love Box Office Prediction

The King’s Daughter Box Office Prediction

The real drama could be for the #1 spot and that depends on how far Scream drops in its sophomore weekend and how well Spidey holds in its sixth. For some context, Scream 3 back in 2000 fell 53% in its second frame while 2011’s Scream 4 dip was steeper at 62%. With little competition, the fifth installment could see a drop more in part 3’s range, but it could also come close to 60%. No Way Home, if it descends in the mid 30s range, might give it a run for its money at the top. In fact, I’m giving the web slinger an ever so slight edge.

My projection of $2.4 million for Redeeming Love should mean a fourth place showing behind the fifth weekend for Sing 2. The five spot could go to The King’s Man, not the The King’s Daughter.

As mentioned, The King’s Daughter has been collecting dust on the shelf since the fifth year of the Obama administration (read my full post for all the details). I’m forecasting a measly $1 million and that should keep it outside the high five.

Here’s how I’m seeing the top five breaking down:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $13 million

2. Scream

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

3. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $5.3 million

4. Redeeming Love

Predicted Gross: $2.4 million

5. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $1.6 million

Box Office Results (January 14-17)

The four-day MLK weekend knocked Spider-Man off his perch at #1 and delivered pleasing results for Scream. The well-reviewed fifth entry in the quarter century old series took in $33.8 million over the long frame, coming in a bit under my $36.4 million prediction. That’s good for the third best 3-day traditional start in the franchise after Scream 3 ($34 million) and Scream 2 ($32 million) as it made $30 million from Friday to Sunday.

After four weeks at #1, Spider-Man: No Way Home was second with $24.6 million, slightly ahead of my $22.7 million projection. The MCU juggernaut stands at $702 million and passed Black Panther to become the 4th highest domestic earner in history.

Sing 2 was third with $10.3 million (in range with my $9.4 million take) for $121 million overall.

The 355 was fourth in its sophomore outing with $2.7 million (I went with $3.1 million) for $8 million total.

The five spot belonged to The King’s Man at $2.6 million. I incorrectly had it outside the top five. It’s made $29 million.

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

January 14-17 Box Office Predictions

**Blogger’s Note (01/13): On the eve of its premiere, I am upping the 4-day tally for Scream from $29.4 million to $36.4M

**Blogger’s Update (01/11) – GKIDS has announced that Belle will open Friday on approximately 1300 screens. I believe that’s enough that it could post a $3-4 million showing and place fourth. Update is reflected below.

Familiar faces from the quarter century old Scream team are back with some fresh ones as Scream, the fourth sequel to the 1996 original hits multiplexes over the long MLK weekend. The scare fest follow-up looks to dethrone Spider-Man from his four week reign atop the charts. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

Scream Box Office Prediction

My high 20s estimate for Scream should get it to #1. While Omicron concerns could hinder it, Spidey has certainly proved that familiar products can thrive. Horror pics have also proven to be sturdy at the box office in recent times. If anything, I could envision Scream managing to top $30 million but I’ll hedge a bit.

The four-day weekend could mean smallish dips for holdovers as Spider-Man should place second in the low to possibly 20s with Sing 2, The 355, and The King’s Man filling out the high five.

Keep in mind that these projections are for Friday-Monday and this is how I see it:

1. Scream

Predicted Gross: $36.4 million

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $22.7 million

3. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $9.4 million

4. Belle

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

5. The 355

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

Box Office Results (January 7-9)

The web slinger had no trouble staying in first as Spider-Man: No Way Home added $32.6 million to its coffers, a bit ahead of my $29.5 million prediction. The MCU phenomenon is up to $668 million and that places it 6th on the all-time domestic chart.

Sing 2 was once again the runner-up with $11.5 million, in line with my take of $11.9 million. The animated sequel crossed the century mark and stands at $108 million.

Spy thriller The 355 was 2022’s first wide release and, as expected, opened in third with $4.6 million. While nothing to brag about, it debuted in line with expectations and a smidge more than my $3.8 million forecast.

The King’s Man was fourth with $3.2 million compared to my $2.6 million projection. Total is $25 million.

American Underdog rounded out the top five with $2.3 million (I said $2.1 million) for $18 million overall.

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

 

Scream Box Office Prediction

**Blogger’s Note (01/13): On the eve of its premiere, I am upping the 4-day tally for Scream from $29.4 million to $36.4M

The fifth installment of the Scream franchise slashes its way into theaters on January 14th, hoping to bring in a sizable horror fan base. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, makers of V/H/S and Ready or Not, direct as they take reigns of the series from scare master Wes Craven (who helmed the first four and passed away in 2015). Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Marley Shelton, and Roger L. Jackson (as the iconic voice of Ghostface) reprise roles from previous entries. Newcomers include Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, and Jack Quaid.

Nearly a quarter century ago, the low-budget original became a cultural phenomenon and revitalized the genre. Two sequels followed in quick succession in 1997 and 2000 while part 4 hit in 2011. It was a commercial disappointment – taking in only $38 million at the domestic box office (with a $19 million start).

Paramount and Dimension Films are hoping that nostalgia will bring audiences back to the fold. Fright fests, more than any other type of pic in 2021, proved immune to challenges faced in the COVID era in terms of solid openings. The third Conjuring and Candyman each premiered in the low to mid 20s range. Scream will have an extra day of earnings when factoring in the long MLK frame.

January is very desolate in terms of high profile debuts and Scream is by far the biggest one. It marks a major test for theaters as the Omicron variant sweeps across the country. If this fails to perform, don’t be surprised to see delays for upcoming releases. Even with that potential barrier and the underperformance of its predecessor, I envision this managing a mid to possibly late 20s haul when including Monday.

Scream opening weekend prediction: $36.4 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

January 7-9 Box Office Predictions

2022 should look a lot like the final two weekends of 2021 at the box office with Spider-Man: No Way Home and Sing 2 easily in the top two positions.

There is only one newbie entering the marketplace – the female led spy thriller The 355 with Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, and Penelope Cruz. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

The 355 Box Office Prediction

My $3.8 million estimate doesn’t inspire much confidence in its potency and I’ve got it pegged for a third place showing.

Holdovers Spidey and Sing 2 should maintain their chart rankings with the former in mid 20s to possibly $30 million and the latter still above double digits and perhaps reaching low teens. The King’s Man and American Underdog, meanwhile, should round out the top five with both in the $2-3 million range.

Overall it’s a rather quiet frame as we await Scream hitting next weekend and this is how I see it:

1. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Predicted Gross: $29.5 million

2. Sing 2

Predicted Gross: $11.9 million

3. The 355

Predicted Gross: $3.8 million

4. The King’s Man

Predicted Gross: $2.6 million

5. American Underdog

Predicted Gross: $2.1 million

Box Office Results (December 31-January 2)

Spider-Man: No Way Home easily closed out 2021 and began 2022 in first place with $56 million, a bit ahead of my $52.5 million forecast. In three weeks, the MCU mega blockbuster is up to $613 million and that’s already good for 10th domestically all-time.

Sing 2 held the runner-up spot again with $20.1 million – in range with my $19.6 million estimate. The animated sequel has taken in $90 million during its two weeks and should join the century club in short order.

The King’s Man jumped from #4 to #3 with $4.5 million (an estimate since 20th Century Studios hasn’t released a final gross). I said $4.5 million (!) and it’s made $19 million in two weeks of action.

Fourth place belonged to American Underdog in its sophomore outing with $3.9 million, not matching my take of $5.7 million. Total is $14 million.

Finally, The Matrix Resurrections plunged a steep 64% in its second weekend with $3.8 million compared to my $4.8 million projection. The fourth entry in the sci-fi saga has downloaded a weak $30 million thus far.

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

The 355 Box Office Prediction

One thing is for certain – Simon Kinberg’s spy flick The 355 will be the highest grossing movie released in 2022. That’s, of course, because it will be the first and it will hold that title briefly since Scream comes out a week later. Coming out a year after its COVID delay, it marks the second directorial effort from Kinberg (who’s known primarily for his screenwriting). His first was the commercial and critical X-Men misfire Dark Phoenix. 

Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger, Fan Bingbing, Sebastian Stan, and Edgar Ramirez make up the cast. Two of them (Chastain from The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Cruz in Parallel Mothers) may find themselves competing against each other for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars.

January is often seen as a dumping ground for material that isn’t expected to make waves at multiplexes. The 355 is slated to be available for streaming on Peacock 45 days after its cinematic debut.

I don’t see this posting impressive numbers and I would certainly be surprised if it manages to top $10 million. It may be lucky to reach even $5 million.

The 355 opening weekend prediction: $3.8 million

The Friends Zone: A Movie History

Friends: The Reunion premieres today on HBO Max and millions of the show’s fans can rejoice in seeing the six main characters from the NBC sitcom together on the couch once again. Running from 1994 to 2004, the show was an instant smash that continues to gain new followers through streaming services.

I was a viewer going back to the mid 90s. Due to Friends becoming so gigantic at the outset, Hollywood studios quickly tried make the main cast immediate movie stars. This resulted in varying degrees of success.

So in honor of the reunion, let’s take a look back in movie history at this iconic sextet and I’ll rank each actor from 1-6 on their cinematic output!

Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green)

The Friends Zone Cinematic Ranking: 1

Before her casting as Rachel, Aniston’s only significant big screen credit was as a lead in the cult slasher Leprechaun. Yet her filmography during and after Friends easily puts her atop these rankings. She garnered critical raves in the indie dramas The Good Girl and Cake, was the love interest in the now beloved Office Space, and has plenty of comedic hits like Bruce Almighty, Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers, and Murder Mystery. 

Courteney Cox (Monica Geller)

The Friends Zone Cinematic Ranking: 3

Cox is really the only Friendster with notable movie appearances before the show. Just a few months before the Friends premiere, she starred alongside Jim Carrey in the surprise hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Years before that, she acted alongside He-Man and Skeletor in Masters of the Universe. During Friends, she appeared in the horror blockbuster Scream and she’s about to turn up early next year in its fourth sequel. The rest of her filmography is pretty scant, but she’s the only one with a well established franchise.

Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay)

The Friends Zone Cinematic Ranking: 2

Many might call 1997’s cult favorite Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion her finest contribution to the silver screen. Kudrow has also appeared in several supporting roles over the years from The Opposite of Sex to Analyze This and its sequel to Easy A to Booksmart. There’s certainly been some clunkers (Hanging Up and Lucky Numbers), but the voluminous output is enough to rank Kudrow in second.

 

Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani)

The Friends Zone Cinematic Ranking: 6

He found further TV success post Friends (though it took some time after the ill-fated spin-off Joey). LeBlanc’s big screen career never really launched. The 1996 starring vehicle Ed paired him with a primate and was a critical and commercial disaster. To put it another way, the monkey business with Marcel on the TV show was far more profitable. Two years later, his participation in the Lost in Space pic was met with shrugs.

Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing)

The Friends Zone Cinematic Ranking: 4

Perry ranks first among the boys as he had solid performers alongside Bruce Willis in The Whole Nine Yards and Zac Efron in 17 Again. There were, on the other hand, some duds like his pairing with Chris Farley in Almost Heroes and in the Yards sequel. He’s about to appear in his most high profile entry in years with Don’t Look Up from Adam McKay which stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.

David Schwimmer (Ross Geller)

The Friends Zone Cinematic Ranking: 5

The Pallbearer found Schwimmer in a rom com with Gwyneth Paltrow in 1996. It wasn’t quite the loud flop that Ed was, but it certainly came and went with little fanfare. His filmography is rather low-key with supporting appearances in Six Days, Seven Nights and Apt Pupil. His greatest successes can be found in voiceover work as Melman in the Madagascar franchise and on the small screen in the heralded limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson.

And there’s your trip down Friends memory lane, folks! For the real thing, watch the team reunion on HBO Max.

Summer 2000: The Top 10 Hits and More

As I do every summer on the blog, I am looking back at the cinematic seasons of 30, 20, and 10 years ago and recounting the top ten hits, other notable pics, and some misfires. A week ago, I covered the summer of 1990 (when we all were “ghosted”). If you missed it, you can peruse it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/07/18/summer-1990-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

Today brings us to the dawn of the new century. What struck me is that there weren’t a whole lot of outright flops, but the ones that were are rather significant bombs. Let’s take a trip down memory lane of 2000 and were we not entertained?!?!

10. The Patriot

Domestic Gross: $113 million

Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger teamed up with disaster flick specialist Roland Emmerich for this Revolutionary War era drama that managed to just achieve blockbuster status and barely top its reported $110 million budget stateside.

9. Big Momma’s House

Domestic Gross: $117 million

Negative reviews couldn’t prevent this Martin Lawrence comedy from nearly quadrupling its $30 million budget and spawning two eventual sequels. 30% also happens to be its Rotten Tomatoes score.

8. Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Domestic Gross: $123 million

Eddie Murphy’s sequel to his 1996 hit certainly didn’t get the reviews of its predecessor, but it fell only $5 million short of the domestic gross of part 1 and introduced superstar Janet Jackson as his new love interest. Part 2 also greatly expanded Eddie’s work as other members of the Klump brood. As you can see from numbers 8 and 9, it was a big summer for comedians in fat suits.

7. Dinosaur

Domestic Gross: $137 million

The prehistoric Disney animated adventure is not one of their most talked about titles in recent decades, but it was still a profitable venture that grossed nearly $350 million worldwide.

6. What Lies Beneath

Domestic Gross: $155 million

Despite mixed reviews, Robert Zemeckis’s Hitchcockian thriller starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer landed big with audiences. Its filming schedule is a memorable one. Zemeckis was shooting Cast Away with Tom Hanks and there was a long break in filming so its star could shed weight and grow his long beard. It was enough time for the director to fit in Beneath. 

5. Scary Movie

Domestic Gross: $157 million

The summer’s biggest comedy was a Scream spoof from filmmaker Keenan Ivory Wayans. Shot for less than $20 million, it spawned four sequels and became its own franchise.

4. X-Men

Domestic Gross: $157 million

I recently wrote about the 20th anniversary of X-Men here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/07/14/x-men-at-20-a-look-back/

That post talks about its significant impact on the comic book genre that has dominated the 21st century.

3. The Perfect Storm

Domestic Gross: $182 million

Wolfgang Peterson’s fact based disaster drama with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg was not much of a hit with critics, but crowds were swept up in the waves.

2. Gladiator

Domestic Gross: $187 million

Ridley Scott’s historical action drama kicked off summer 2000 and made a global superstar out of Russell Crowe and provided a juicy supporting part for Joaquin Phoenix. The film became an Oscar darling – winning Best Picture and Crowe taking Best Actor. This is the rare summer popcorn pic that achieved awards glory.

1. Mission: Impossible 2

Domestic Gross: $215 million

This sequel cruised to the top spot of earners for the season. Now that there’s been six editions in the franchise, this John Woo directed experience is generally (and rightfully) considered the weakest of the bunch. Yet that didn’t prevent huge grosses.

And now for some other notable features:

Chicken Run

Domestic Gross: $106 million

This still stands as the highest grossing stop-motion animated feature of all time and it doubled its budget domestically. A sequel is in development, but it was recently announced that lead voice Mel Gibson will not be part of the proceedings.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Domestic Gross: $101 million

Despite poor reviews, Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie’s remake of the 1970s heist pic still zoomed (barely) past $100 million and was a solid performer overseas.

Me, Myself & Irene

Domestic Gross: $90 million

The Farrelly Brothers reunited with their Dumb and Dumber star Jim Carrey for this comedy that earned mixed reaction. This was nowhere near the hit that the brothers had two years earlier with their runaway success There’s Something About Mary, but it still made money.

Space Cowboys

Domestic Gross: $90 million

Clint Eastwood guided this “old guys in space” tale alongside Tommy Lee Jones to a very respectable gross and decent critical reaction.

Hollow Man

Domestic Gross: $73 million

Paul Verhoeven’s take on the H.G. Wells novel starred Kevin Bacon and earned a Visual Effects Oscar nomination (losing to Gladiator). While it didn’t make its budget back stateside, it ended up doubling its price tag when factoring in foreign markets. A direct to video sequel followed.

Shaft

Domestic Gross: $70 million

Samuel L. Jackson took over the iconic private dick role from Richard Roundtree (who costarred here) in this sequel from the late John Singleton. Christian Bale memorably plays a villain here. Another sequel followed in 2019 and it was an outright flop.

Bring It On

Domestic Gross: $68 million

Made for only $11 million, this teen cheerleading comedy was an unexpected hit that gave Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union a boost in their careers. Five direct to video sequels followed as well as a stage musical.

The Cell

Domestic Gross: $61 million

Despite so-so reviews, this twisty supernatural thriller with Jennifer Lopez easily topped its $33 million budget. It has continued to have ardent admirers including the late Roger Ebert, who awarded it four stars.

Coyote Ugly

Domestic Gross: $60 million

This tale about saloon life with Piper Perabo and John Goodman managed to take in over $100 million worldwide against a $45 million budget and has become a cult favorite since.

The Original Kings of Comedy

Domestic Gross: $38 million

A stand-up comedy pic grossing this much in theaters is notable. Spike Lee directed Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, and Cedric the Entertainer and audiences turned out.

As I mentioned, the total bombs aren’t plentiful here. However, they’re notable:

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

Domestic Gross: $26 million

A pet project of Robert De Niro, this loose take on the 1960s animated series grossed a third of its budget domestically and was quickly forgotten.

Titan A.E.

Domestic Gross: $22 million

20th Century Fox had a big failure here at the start of the 21st century with this animated sci-fi tale with Matt Damon as a leading voice. The price tag was reportedly around $90 million and it made just $36 million worldwide.

Battlefield Earth

Domestic Gross: $21 million

Based on a work from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, audiences and critics savaged this sci-fi tale with John Travolta. It won a then record 7 Golden Raspberry Awards and was mocked relentlessly for its poor quality.

And that does it, folks! I’ll have 2010 recounted on the blog in the coming days…

Remembering Wes Craven

If a Mount Rushmore were to exist for horror film directors, there is no question that Wes Craven would be on it. Eyes wide open. Certainly not sleeping. It was with great sadness that film lovers learned of his death at age 76 due to a battle with brain cancer. His influence has been inescapable and that is no understatement. When I learned of his death, I was watching the MTV VMA’s (a horror show of a different kind) and the network was incessantly running promos for their TV version of Scream, based on the franchise he directed.

For over 40 years, Mr. Craven’s work was synonymous with being on the cutting edge of the horror genre. 1972’s The Last House on the Left and 1977’s The Hills Have Eyes are hard edged genre classics. 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street brought the slasher flick to new heights. 1996’s Scream both parodied horror movies while being a brilliantly effective one of its own.

These are the obvious titles that will be discussed with his work but allow me to put forth two more that probably won’t be focused on as much. 1988’s The Serpent and the Rainbow is a voodoo infused underrated effort that is definitely worth a look. 2005’s Red Eye is an effective B movie thriller with taut direction and quality performances from Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy.

Craven is also responsible for 1982’s fun monster pic Swamp Thing and directing Meryl Streep to an Oscar nomination in 1999’s drama Music of My Heart. There were missteps too. His 1995 Eddie Murphy vanity project Vampire in Brooklyn immediately comes to mind. The Scream sequels tended to go down in quality as they continued on.

Yet few filmmakers have defined and redefined a particular genre as much as Wes Craven. His works have and will continue to stand the test of time. One only needs to look at how many of his pictures have already been remade or spawned sequels. The original editions of Elm Street and Scream in particular stand as hallmarks of horror that will continue to make audiences lose sleep and laugh about it forever. When it’s impossible to imagine a genre of film without the contribution of one man, that’s a legacy of greatness. Few directors can make that claim. Wes Craven was one of them. Sleep well, Mr. Craven.

The #1 Movies That May Shock You

So get this… when James Bond made his triumphant return to the silver screen in 2006 with Daniel Craig and Casino Royale, it did not open at #1 at the box office. That’s because it opened against the animated hit Happy Feet and those darn penguins never allowed 007 a top spot.

Yet two years later, the critically massacred Bangkok Dangerous with Nicolas Cage did manage to open atop the charts. This is a picture that’d almost certainly be relegated to a VOD only debut today.

This is one among many surprising examples of films in the last two decades that were fortunate enough to claim that they were the #1 movie in America that you wouldn’t expect. It’s all about timing. And there’s a host of easily forgotten pictures that accomplished the number one feat due to debuting in January or April or September in many cases – often seen as dumping grounds for studios. The reverse holds true. As with Casino Royale and others, the fact that they opened in more competitive weekends prevented them from top dog bragging rights.

Neither Austin Powers (in the original 1997 pic) or Ron Burgundy can claim a first place ribbon. Austin came in second to Kurt Russell’s Breakdown out of the gate. The first Anchorman couldn’t topple the second weekend of Spider-Man 2 in 2004. The 2013 sequel couldn’t get above the second Hobbit flick.

However, David Spade’s Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star somehow hit #1 in 2003 when it came out in the doldrums known as early September. And how about that Classic Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt comedy romp Heartbreakers? It also reigned supreme for a week in April 2001. The 2011 Farrelly Brothers dud Hall Pass with Owen Wilson accomplished the same, but it took his Wedding Crashers three weeks to get to first due to interference from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Even Frozen couldn’t open first and it may be the most beloved kids flick in some time. You know what did? 2003’s Kangaroo Jack and I didn’t see too many kids wearing his Halloween costume…

In 1996, Jean Claudde Van Damme had two #1 premieres with The Quest and Maximum Risk. So did Steven Seagal in 1997 with Fire Down Below and Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen in 2010 with Takers. Much better known action pictures such as Wanted, World War Z, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Bourne Identity cannot claim the same.

How about horror classics Urban Legends: Final Cut, Darkness Falls, The Covenant, The Roommate and The Possession? Number ones they all were. Real genre classics Scream and Saw? Nope.

Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for The Blind Side, but it never got there. Christoph Waltz did for Django Unchained. Same story. These films did open #1 and have a combined zero Oscar nominations among them: Eye of the Beholder and The Musketeer from 2001. SwimFan in 2002. The Forgotten (how appropriate) in 2004. Glory Road in 2006. Lakeview Terrace in 2010.

So, as you can see, longevity counts in box office world and being #1 doesn’t always equate to adoration. Just ask James Bond. And then ask Dickie Roberts.

My Top 25 Michael Jackson Songs Of All Time: Nos. 15-11

Continuing along with my personal Top 25 Michael Jackson Songs Of All Time – tonight comes part three with numbers 15 through 11. You can read my two previous posts covering 25-16 here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/05/13/my-top-25-michael-jackson-songs-of-all-time-nos-25-21/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/05/14/my-top-25-michael-jackson-songs-of-all-time-nos-20-16/

15. “I Wanna Be Where You Are” (from Got To Be There – 1972)

MJ’s oldest song on the list was released when he was just 13 years old and certainly sounds more Jackson 5 than anything else on here with its Motown roots. It reached #2 on the R&B chart. It’s not too well-known anymore, but it should be. This is the only song on the list pre-Off the Wall from 1979, but other noteworthy early MJ songs include “Got To Be There”, “Ben”, and “We’re Almost There”.

14. “Scream” (from HIStory – 1995)

The lead off single from 1995’s HIStory is from mega-producers Jam&Lewis and features his only duet with his sister Janet. It’s my highest track listed from that album, but other quality songs include “They Don’t Care About Us”, “Stranger in Moscow”, “This Time Around”, and “Smile”.

13. “Black or White” (from Dangerous – 1991)

The lead single from 1991’s Dangerous featured a controversial video that included Macaulay Culkin and MJ turning into a panther, but it’s a fantastic song with memorable guitar work from Guns&Roses’ Slash. This is the final Dangerous track included. Those that missed the cut but are great include “Jam”, “Who Is It”, and “Give In To Me”.

12. “Thriller” (from Thriller – 1982)

The title track from the bestselling album of all time is a Halloween time classic with one of the best known music videos ever shot. While one of his most famous songs, there’s plenty of other Thriller tracks still to come in top ten.

11. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” (from Off the Wall – 1979)

The first single from his breakout solo work Off the Wall is a disco-infused club jam that marked MJ’s first #1 single on his own. The track also gave the artist his music video as a solo artist — a medium he would perfect better than anyone before or since.

Tomorrow – we get into the Top Ten! Stay tuned.