2018: The Year of Josh Brolin

He’s been an Oscar nominee for Milk, the star of Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men, a Man in Black for the third entry of that franchise, and (of course) the big brother in The Goonies. And in 2018, Josh Brolin was unquestionably the king of the summer sequel, setting up roles that will continue for some time.

It all started with the summer season’s biggest blockbuster – Avengers: Infinity War. As villainous Thanos, Brolin pretty much stole the show against the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. A few weeks later, the actor starred alongside Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool 2, which stands as the year’s fifth top earner. Sicario: Day of the Soldado followed shortly after that with Brolin reprising his role as a CIA agent barking orders to Benicio del Toro. That follow-up managed to top the gross of its 2015 predecessor.

We can expect to see him in all three of these parts again. In summer 2019, Thanos will be back in Avengers: Endgame. He’s signed a four picture deal to be Cable in that cinematic universe. A third Sicario feature is planned.

In a career that kicked off over three decades ago alongside One-Eyed Willy and Sloth, Brolin established a trio of characters that we’ll likely see onscreen for the foreseeable future.

2018: The Year of Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt has had a decade filled with acclaimed performances in high-profile features including Looper, Edge of Tomorrow, Sicario (she sat out its sequel this summer), and The Girl on the Train. In 2018, this rose to an even greater level with a pair of very different titles.

In April, Blunt headlined the horror pic of the year with A Quiet Place directed by her husband John Krasinski. Her role as an expectant mother trying to protect her unborn baby and other children from monsters drew critical raves. The film debuted to a stunning $50 million and took in $188 million domestically.

This month, she took on the iconic role made famous over 50 years ago by Julie Andrews in the Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns. Reviews were mostly strong for it as well, especially for Blunt’s take on the British nanny. It, too, should leg out to a stateside gross approaching $200 million.

2019 is expected to be a quiet one for the actress while she’ll star alongside Dwayne Johnson in the summer of 2020 with the Mouse Factory’s Jungle Cruise. As for this year, it was anything but quiet for Ms. Blunt.

Box Office Predictions: July 13-15

Adam Sandler’s animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation and Dwayne Johnson’s action pic Skyscraper debut this weekend in what could be an interesting battle for #1 and especially #2 at the box office. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the newcomers here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/03/hotel-transylvania-3-summer-vacation-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/03/skyscraper-box-office-prediction/

My low 40s estimate for Transylvania puts it in the pole position to top the charts. However, if it were to come in under expectations  and not reach the numbers of its predecessors, the door could be open for Ant-Man and the Wasp (in its sophomore frame) or Skyscraper to be a spoiler. It’s dangerous to underestimate the drawing potency of Johnson, but my low 30s projection for his latest puts Skyscraper in a razor-thin battle for #2 with Marvel’s latest.

Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom should be 4th and 5th.

And with that, my projections for the weekend’s top 5:

1. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Predicted Gross: $43.6 million

2. Ant-Man and the Wasp

Predicted Gross: $33.4 million

3. Skyscraper

Predicted Gross: $33.2 million

4. Incredibles 2

Predicted Gross: $16.6 million

5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Predicted Gross: $14.2 million

Box Office Results (July 6-8) 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is 20 for 20 as far as #1 openers as Ant-Man and the Wasp buzzed in with $75.8 million, falling under my $86.4 million projection. That debut is on the lower end of expectations for the sequel and ranks 16th out of 20 for MCU openers. That said, it still managed to gross nearly $20 million more than its 2015 predecessor for its start. I expect it to fall in the mid 50s in weekend #2, creating a photo finish with Skyscraper for the runner-up spot to Transylvania. 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom fell to second after two weeks on top with $28.6 million (I was close at $28.2 million) to brings it tally to $333 million.

Incredibles 2 was close behind in third with $28.4 million (I said $27.8 million) as the Pixar phenom crossed the $500 million mark at $503 million. In just four weeks, it is already the studio’s largest earner surpassing Finding Dory. 

The First Purge was fourth and continued the franchise’s run of high grosses compared to their low budgets. The Blumhouse horror pic took in $17.3 million over the Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend compared to my $22.8 million estimate. It opened on Wednesday and has taken in $31.2 million for the five-day overall. I was much closer on that figure with my $31.4 million prediction.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado took quite a hit in its second weekend. It was fifth after dropping 60% to $7.6 million (I was higher with $10.1 million). It’s total is $35 million.

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

Box Office Predictions: July 6-8

The first full weekend of July kicks off with the release of a sequel and a prequel: Marvel’s AntMan and the Wasp and Blumhouse’s The First Purge. You can peruse my detailed predictions on both of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/06/26/ant-man-and-the-wasp-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/06/27/the-first-purge-box-office-prediction/

The return of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly in the MCU’s 20th offering should easily dominate the charts. I have AntMan achieving the MCU’s 14th largest haul with a mid 80s premiere.

As for The First Purge, the prequel and fourth series entry in six summers debuts on Wednesday. This has been a sturdy franchise and each subsequent feature has actually managed to out gross the previous one. I foresee a low to mid 20s three-day traditional weekend gross and low 30s for the five-day total. That forecast places the fourth Purge in fourth.

That could be a battle for the two spot as I see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2 experiencing similar earnings in their third and fourth weekends, respectively.

And in keeping with the all sequels/prequels theme, Sicario: Day of the Soldado should round out the top five. Here are my projections for the high-five:

1. AntMan and the Wasp

Predicted Gross: $86.4 million

2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Predicted Gross: $28.2 million

3. Incredibles 2 

Predicted Gross: $27.8 million

4. The First Purge

Predicted Gross: $22.8 million (Friday to Sunday), $31.4 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

5. Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Predicted Gross: $10.1 million

Box Office Results (June 29-July 1)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom had no trouble ruling the box office for a second weekend with $60.9 million in receipts (in line with my $62.1 million estimate). The dino sequel’s ten-day tally stands at $265 million.

Incredibles 2 continued its remarkable run in second with $46.4 million (I was lower at $42.8 million) for $440 million overall. The Pixar sequel is already the 2nd highest grossing picture from the studio and it should shortly surpass the $486 million earned by Finding Dory to become #1.

The good news for sequels kept on coming as Sicario: Day of the Soldado performed on the very high-end of expectations with $19 million, well exceeding my $13.8 million prediction.

Basketball comedy Uncle Drew opened in fourth with $15.2 million, just below my $16.4 million estimate. This debut was pretty much right in line with its tracking.

Ocean’s 8 rounded out the top five and continued its meager decline from week to week. It grossed $8.3 million (topping my $7 million projection) for $115 million total.

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

Box Office Predictions: June 29-July 1

The basketball themed comedy Uncle Drew and crime thriller sequel Sicario: Day of the Soldado debut in theaters this weekend and they could battle it out for the third spot behind returning blockbusters Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the two newbies right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/06/19/uncle-drew-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/06/19/sicario-day-of-the-soldado-box-office-prediction/

Of the two newcomers, I am giving Drew the slight edge over Sicario. I also believe that if one of them over performs my estimate, it will be the former. My low to mid teens projections on both means Jurassic and Incredibles should easily maintain their 1-2 slots on the charts.

Kingdom came in on the higher end of expectations this weekend (more on that below) and now we move to how far it will drop. Its predecessor dipped just 49% in its sophomore frame after its (at the time) record-breaking $208 million opening. Kingdom should fall farther and I foresee a mid-high 50s decline.

The percentage drop for Incredibles 2 was more pronounced than I projected in weekend #2 and that should subside a bit this weekend (I’ll say 46%).

The women of Ocean’s 8 should round out the top five. And with that, those 5 estimates for the frame ahead:

1. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Predicted Gross: $62.1 million

2. Incredibles 2

Predicted Gross: $42.8 million

3. Uncle Drew

Predicted Gross: $16.4 million

4. Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Predicted Gross: $13.8 million

5. Ocean’s 8

Predicted Gross: $7 million

Box Office Results (June 22-24)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom easily ruled the box office grossing $148 million out of the gate. I was a bit lower at $140.4 million. The dino sequel, as mentioned, performed on the higher end of expectations while earning $60 million less for its start than Jurassic World in 2015. Its debut gives it the fourth largest in 2018 behind Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, and Incredibles 2.

Speaking of Incredibles 2, it fell to second with $80.3 million and didn’t reach my forecast of $94.9 million. Its two-week total sits at an incredible $349 million.

Ocean’s 8 held up nicely in third with $11.5 million to bring its tally to a cool $100 million. I was a tad lower at $9.8 million.

Tag was fourth with $8.2 million (I said $7.7 million) for $30 million in two weeks.

Deadpool 2 took the five-spot with $5.2 million (I said $4.9 million) to hit the triple century mark at $304 million.

Solo: A Star Wars Story was sixth at $4.5 million (I said $5.4 million) for $202 million overall.

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

Oscar Watch – Sicario: Day of the Soldado

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom isn’t the only high-profile sequel to a 2015 release coming to a theater near you this month. Sicario: Day of the Soldado follows up on the critically acclaimed Denis Villeneuve crime drama that garnered three Oscar nominations in that year. Soldado debuts a week from tomorrow and reviews are already out.

The verdict? Somewhat mixed as it stands at 65% on Rotten Tomatoes at press time. That’s a pretty far cry from the 93% that its predecessor earned. Interestingly, I’ve seen at least two critical reactions that compare it to Rambo: First Blood Part II. Go figure. Even with its great buzz from reviewers, 2015’s Sicario missed out on the big nominations, including Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Benicio del Toro for Supporting Actor. The pic did receive nods for the Cinematography of Roger Deakins, the late Johann Johannsson’s Score, and Sound Editing. Deakins does not return here and he finally won a long deserved statue for last year’s Blade Runner 2049. Villeneuve was busy with 2049 as well and Stefano Sollima takes over directorial duties here.

Bottom line: the Soldado reaction leaves it as an extreme long-shot for any recognition, while part 1 found itself more in the mix.

Uncle Drew Box Office Prediction

A convergence of current and former NBA stars and comedians gather for Uncle Drew, out next weekend. The sports comedy that comes with prosthetic makeup aplenty is based on a title character first seen in Pepsi commercials with Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving playing him. Other basketball notables in the cast include Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie. On the funny side – Lil Rel Howery, Nick Kroll, Tiffany Haddish, J.B. Smoove, and Mike Epps. Charles Stone III, perhaps best known for making Drumline, directs.

Uncle Drew hopes to bring in a sizable African-American crowd and lovers of the game it humorously covers. The pic could certainly achieve sleeper status with a gross in the high teens. It actually has a somewhat similar opening weekend range as Sicario: Day of the Soldado, which debuts against it. The two newcomers should battle for third place between Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles 2.

For now, I’m giving Drew a slight edge with a forecast between $16-$17 million.

Uncle Drew opening weekend prediction: $16.4 million

For my Sicario: Day of the Soldado prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/06/19/sicario-day-of-the-soldado-box-office-prediction/