2017: The Year of Blumhouse

As 2018 is nearly upon us, today begins an exploration on what and who made a lasting impression on film in 2017. And it does start with a what – in this case, a studio.

Blumhouse Productions, founded by Jason Blum, kicked off in 2009 with found footage hit Paranormal Activity. It was a massive money maker that spawned numerous sequels. From then on, Blumhouse became known for their low-budget horror flicks. This includes the Insidious, Ouija, Purge, and Sinister franchises.

Yet 2017 has marked their banner year. This started immediately in January with M. Night Shyamalan’s comeback pic Split, which debuted to $40 million and earned $138 million overall domestically. Shyamalan will be working with the studio once again with its spin-off/sequel Glass, due in 2019.

The success kept going in February with the release of Jordan Peele’s Get Out. Earning $33 million out of the gate, the acclaimed horror comedy went on to make $175 million. It’s even garnering Oscar buzz, something rare for Blumhouse (a notable exception was 2014’s Whiplash).

In the fall, Happy Death Day premiered to $26 million and $55 million total. Not all of the studio’s offerings landed with audiences this year, including The Belko Experiment, Birth of the Dragon, and Sleight.

Still, there’s little doubt 2017 has offered Blumhouse its most high-profile successes. 2018 will look to replicate the wins with new Purge and Insidious editions and a reboot of the Halloween franchise.

My look back on the winners in 2017 onscreen will continue…

Doctor Strange Box Office Prediction

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s mega billion dollar alliance with Disney rolls along as Doctor Strange opens in theaters next weekend. Based on the character created by Steve Ditko over a half century ago, this is the 14th entry in the MCU that began with Iron Man in 2008.

And that first Tony Stark pic over eight years ago is the film many critics are comparing the Doctor to. Benedict Cumberbatch is the title character with a stellar supporting cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, and Mads Mikkelsen. Scott Derrickson (most known for horror flicks such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister) directs. Advance word of mouth for the reported $165 million has been quite encouraging, with reviewers praising Cumberbatch’s performance, the striking visuals, and an origin story said to be satisfying in the way that Iron Man’s was. It stands at 97% currently on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is only the second MCU feature to open in the autumn season. 2013’s sequel Thor: The Dark World premiered to $85.7 million in early November. That’s probably the range that Strange is looking to debut at, but I’m not sure it’ll quite get there. I certainly don’t see it reaching the $94 million accomplished by Star Lord and his Guardians of the Galaxy or the $98 million that Robert Downey Jr.’s signature character got the first time out of the gate. Yet I see it outpacing the $65 million that Thor opened to in his first solo saga and $57 million from Ant-Man in summer 2015. The buzz for this one seems stronger.

Ultimately, I think this manages a mid to high 70s opening weekend. Low 80s is reachable. Regardless, this should be a new franchise for the Mouse Factory’s comic book division.

Doctor Strange opening weekend prediction: $77.3 million

For my Trolls prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/10/26/trolls-box-office-prediction/

For my Hacksaw Ridge prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/10/26/hacksaw-ridge-box-office-prediction/

 

Sinister 2 Box Office Prediction

Sinister 2 opens next Friday and hopes to replicate the success of its 2012 predecessor that became a sleeper hit. This time around, expectations may be a little higher but I’m not convinced it’ll even reach the domestic take of its predecessor.

The original Sinister capitalized on solid reviews and opened to a robust $18 million in October 2012 on its way to a $48 million domestic haul. The sequel only finds one returning cast member with James Ransone as a cop. Ethan Hawke, the film’s original star, is nowhere to be found which makes sense if you’ve seen the picture.

While horror enthusiasts mostly regarded Sinister with approval, I’m not so sure fans will rush out to see its sequel. I believe Sinister 2 will have a tough time even matching the $18M mark and an opening in the mid teens seems more likely.

Sinister 2 opening weekend prediction: $16.2 million

For my American Ultra prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/08/13/american-ultra-box-office-prediction/

For my Hitman: Agent 47 prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/08/13/hitman-agent-47-box-office-prediction/