June 11-13 Box Office Predictions

The two week spell of horror sequels topping the box office charts should be broken this weekend with the release of the musical adaptation for In the Heights and kiddie follow-up Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/06/02/in-the-heights-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/06/05/peter-rabbit-2-the-runaway-box-office-prediction/

I look for multiplexes playing Heights to not be a quiet place and I’m projecting a mid 20s rollout for what should be a #1 opening. This is despite Lin-Manuel Miranda’s co-creation also playing on HBO Max as the pic is the first real Oscar buzz contender of 2021. I anticipate a healthy female and Latino turnout.

The Rabbit sequel may not match the $25 million achieved by its 2018 predecessor, but I do think it’ll conjure up a mid to high teens posting for what should easily be a second place debut.

As for those horror sequels, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It premiered on the higher end of expectations (more on that below). The previous direct predecessor, 2016’s The Conjuring 2, fell a precipitous 63% in its sophomore outing. Devil will probably suffer a similar decline and that could put it in a third place showdown with the third frame of A Quiet Place Part II. I actually believe Place could edge out Devil for that slot, but it should be awfully close. Disney’s Cruella will round out the top five.

And with that, my take on the weekend ahead:

1. In the Heights

Predicted Gross: $26.8 million

2. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Predicted Gross: $15.9 million

3. A Quiet Place Part II

Predicted Gross: $9.4 million

4. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Predicted Gross: $8.7 million

5. Cruella

Predicted Gross: $6.3 million

Box Office Results (June 11-13)

I was too generous to the holdovers and too miserly with the newcomers this past weekend as The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It opened at #1 with $24 million. My prediction of $19.8 million was off the mark and I had it placing second to A Quiet Place Part II. Oops. The return of the Warrens and their supernatural investigations premiered on the higher end of expectations, but well below the $40 million plus starts of its two predecessors. That said, considering it’s also on HBO Max, it’s a solid haul.

A Quiet Place Part II slipped to second with a 59% decline and $19.2 million. I was far more optimistic at $28.4 million. While I was off, Paramount has to be pleased. The sequel has generated $88 million in ten days.

Cruella was third in its sophomore outing at $11 million (I projected more with $13 million). The Disney live-action remake stands at $43 million.

DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed was fourth with $6.1 million, galloping past my $4.4 million forecast. While I was more skeptical, this is about where it was anticipated to land.

Raya and the Last Dragon was fifth with $1.2 million (I said $1.6 million) and it’s up to $53 million.

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

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It Box Office Prediction

America’s favorite paranormal investigating peeps The Warrens (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) are back in theaters and on HBO Max next week in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. This is the second sequel to the 2013 horror hit and the eighth overall entry in the Conjuring Universe. Michael Chaves (who made the previous series effort The Curse of la Llorona) takes over directorial duties from James Wan, who produces and shares a story credit. Costars include Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, and Julian Hilliard.

Originally scheduled for a September 2020 premiere before its COVID delay, Devil will attempt to reach an opening weekend gross commensurate with its predecessors. That could be a helluva task. Both pics with Conjuring in the title made just over $40 million for their starts. The first two Annabelle spin-offs took in over $30 million out of the gate. Another spin-off, The Nun, actually holds the series record with $53 million. Yet the past two flicks couldn’t match up. The third Annabelle made just over $20 million while the aforementioned la Llorona hit $26 million.

Those dwindling earnings could continue here. I’m a bit surprised that Warner Bros is releasing this just one week after A Quiet Place Part II, which should still be making loud noises at multiplexes. Furthermore, some fans with Max subscriptions will opt to view it in the comfort of their home. This franchise, on the other hand, has often shown an ability to over perform (The Nun hitting $50 million plus was not anticipated). Yet for the reasons described, I believe Devil could end up having the lowest domestic debut of the whole bunch.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It opening weekend prediction: $19.8 million

For my Spirit Untamed prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/05/27/spirit-untamed-box-office-prediction/

The Nun Movie Review

We aren’t exactly blessed with a new horror classic in The Nun, the latest entry in the seemingly endless possibilities for spinoffs in the Conjuring Cinematic Universe. It does, however, manage to rise above the Annabelle creations before it with some style points and an occasional identity of its own. While both Annabelle and its sequel often felt like unnecessary cash grabs, I’ll give director Corin Hardy a bit of credit for creating something a little different. Let’s call it maybe a B- for trying.

The title character here first appeared in The Conjuring 2. She’s a demonic nun possessed by evil spirit Valak. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) had to put up with her sister acts of violence in that picture. This prequel and spin-off (preoff?… spinquel??) takes it back two decades earlier to the 1950s in Romania. A nun has committed suicide in a monastery after making the acquaintance of Valak and the Vatican enlists Father Burke (Demian Bechir) to look into it. He’s paired up with Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga), who’s still in the novitiate (or training) stage before taking her vows.

Once they reach the scene of the death, Father and Sister are subject to lots of shadowy lurking, visions of terror, and charming local Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) who provides a couple moments of genuine comic relief. That’s not something often found in this particular Universe and it’s welcome because these pics aren’t worth taking seriously.

2013’s The Conjuring was a very entertaining and scary genre exercise. The direct sequel and the offshoots haven’t come close to its power. And The Nun is nowhere near as entertaining or scary. Yet I wouldn’t classify this one as lazy. The monastery setting creates a sometimes effective claustrophobic feel. We know this franchise is all about jump scares and they’re in bountiful supply. I’ll give Taissa Farmiga props for her ability to act as terrified as her big sister Vera in the main series flicks. Calling this the best spin-off thus far isn’t praise of the highest power, but I’ll confess to it holding my interest better than the doll.

**1/2 (out of four)

The Nun Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (09/05/18): I am revising my estimate up from $38.4 million to $45.4 million

The Conjuring Cinematic Universe rolls along when The Nun debuts next weekend. The fifth entry in the highly successful Warner Bros horror franchise is a prequel to all four previous pictures. Our title character was first glimpsed at in 2016’s The Conjuring 2. Corin Hardy directs a cast that includes Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga (sister of Conjuring star Vera), Jonas Bloquet, and Bonnie Aarons.

Just a couple of weeks back, The Nun received some unexpected publicity when YouTube pulled one of its trailers off the site due to its frightening jump scares. If anything, that notoriety could help peak the curiosity of moviegoers. Not that it necessarily needs it. The opening weekend grosses of this series have been remarkably consistent. Here’s the rundown:

The Conjuring – $41.8 million

Annabelle – $37.1 million

The Conjuring 2 – $40.4 million

Annabelle: Creation – $35 million

I don’t see any compelling reason why The Nun would change that range. You could say it seems pretty (ahem) black and white to me. I’ll predict this scary sister act hits high 30s.

The Nun opening weekend prediction: $45.4 million

For my Peppermint prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/28/peppermint-box-office-prediction/

For my God Bless the Broken Road prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/02/god-bless-the-broken-road-box-office-prediction/

Annabelle: Creation Box Office Prediction

The demented doll made famous four summers ago is back in Annabelle: Creation, a prequel to 2014’s original, which itself was a spin-off of 2013’s breakout horror smash The Conjuring. This follow-up is from director David F. Sandberg, who made last summer’s well-received Lights Out. Stars include Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, and Miranda Otto.

There is one major difference between the 2014 spin-off and its sequel. While Annabelle only obtained a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this one is surprisingly at 100% and is obviously said to be a marked improvement.

How will that translate to box office dollars? Annabelle opened to a better than anticipated $37.1 million and was front loaded in its business with an eventual $84 million domestic gross. The Conjuring 2 from last summer couldn’t quite match its original’s debut (though it was awfully close at $41 million vs. $40 million).

Competition is relatively light, but even with the solid reviews, I don’t expect Creation to quite match the premiere of its predecessor. However, it may leg out better. I’ll say a high 20s to low 30s debut is most probable.

Annabelle: Creation opening weekend prediction: $31.4 million

For my The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/02/the-nut-job-2-nutty-by-nature-box-office-prediction/

For my The Glass Castle prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/03/the-glass-castle-box-office-prediction/

The Conjuring 2 Movie Review

The stars of The Conjuring 2 are not found in the names of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who return here as real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. It’s not found in the name of its director, James Wan, who has proven himself repeatedly as someone who knows how to craft a suspenseful sequence.

No, the stars of The Conjuring 2 can be found by going over to IMDB and looking up the various names that make up its sound department. The biggest hair rising moments in the 2013 original and this sequel are due to them. Every creak of the steps. Each movement of an empty rocking chair. The turns of a creepy zoetrope. One difference this time around – the first Conjuring simply felt a little fresher upon its release.

After a prologue that touches on the Amityville case and the Warren’s involvement, our sequel takes place six years after the events in that Rhode Island farmhouse. That brings us to 1977 and across the pond to England. We have another family – a poor single mom (Frances O’Connor) and her four children being terrorized by their house dwelling demon. One in particular, 11 year old Janet (Madison Wolfe), gets the brunt of the possession.

Enter the Warrens, who have their doubts regarding the case’s authenticity. They eventually figure out that this lower class family doesn’t have a 2016 level sound effects department at their disposal. There’s a creepy nun that doesn’t quite match the heebie jeebie level of Annabelle in the original, but comes close from time to time. Speaking of, the nun is getting her own spin-off feature just like Annabelle did. Let’s hope the sister’s act is more worthwhile than the doll’s.

Nothing here really equals what made part 1 such an unexpected treat. A team as talented as this will make us jump up in our seats at least a few times and that occurs here. And the added benefit that this is all real (allegedly) doesn’t hurt. True story or not, despite it being directed better than most other genre entries and that aforementioned ace sound team – The Conjuring 2 can’t help but occasionally suffer from a been there, heard that scary sound effect before feeling.

**1/2 (out of four)

Box Office Predictions: June 24-26

Three new releases populate the final weekend in June as Independence Day: Resurgence, Free State of Jones, and The Shallows all debut. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/15/independence-day-resurgence-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/15/free-state-of-jones-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/15/the-shallows-box-office-prediction/

Let’s get Free State and The Shallows out the way first, as I expect both to open in the low double digits and likely place fourth and fifth. I look for Central Intelligence to lose over half its opening audience, which should place it firmly in third.

The real battle could be for the top spot between current champ Finding Dory and Resurgence. I’m anticipating that Dory won’t quite drop 50%, which gives it the edge in my view.

And with that, my top 5 predictions for the weekend:

  1. Finding Dory

Predicted Gross: $69.8 million (representing a drop of 48%)

2. Independence Day: Resurgence

Predicted Gross: $63.5 million

3. Central Intelligence

Predicted Gross: $15.2 million (representing a drop of 57%)

4. Free State of Jones

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

5. The Shallows

Predicted Gross: $10.4 million

Box Office Results (June 17-19)

The Cleveland Cavaliers weren’t the only ones making history this weekend as Disney/Pixar’s Finding Dory had the largest animated debut in box office history with $135 million. This easily swam past my $127.3M prediction and topped the $121 million previous record held by Shrek the Third. The sequel to the 2003 classic provided a much needed boost to a summer that is lagging behind the previous one.

Central Intelligence, as expected, had a sturdy second place debut with $35.5 million, comparable to my $34.1M projection. The debut is in line with recent premieres for costar Kevin Hart and having Dwayne Johnson at his side didn’t hurt.

Holdovers in their sophomore frames held the three-five spots. All experienced precipitous  declines and all came in below my estimates. The Conjuring 2 was third with $14.8 million (I said $20.3M) for a $71 million total. Now You See Me 2 was fourth with $9.3 million (I said $12.5M) for a gross of $41 million. Warcraft was fifth with $7.2 million (I said $8.9M). It’s made $38 million.

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

Box Office Predictions: June 17-19

Disney/Pixar looks to have their biggest debut ever while Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart team up for an action comedy as Finding Dory and Central Intelligence premiere this weekend. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/08/finding-dory-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/08/central-intelligence-box-office-prediction/

My estimates do have that animated fish pulling off Pixar’s largest opening weekend haul with Intelligence performing similarly to Hart’s two last pics, Ride Along 2 and Get Hard.

As for holdovers, I look for current champ The Conjuring 2 to lose about half its audience. Another sequel, Now You See Me 2, should experience a better sophomore hold than Warcraft.

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

  1. Finding Dory

Predicted Gross: $117.3 million

2. Central Intelligence

Predicted Gross: $34.1 million

3. The Conjuring 2

Predicted Gross: $20.3 million (representing a drop of 49%)

4. Now You See Me 2

Predicted Gross: $12.5 million (representing a drop of 44%)

5. Warcraft

Predicted Gross: $8.9 million (representing a drop of 63%)

Box Office Results (June 10-12)

Horror fans turned out for The Conjuring 2 as it debuted on top with $40.4 million, just below my $42.6 million estimate and just under the $41.5 million that the original made in its first weekend in 2013.

The video game based Warcraft managed a pretty minor debut with $24.1 million – though it did barely outdo my $23.3M projection. Mostly scathing reviews and poor word of mouth didn’t help for the mega-budget production, but it is doing well overseas.

Another sequel to a 2013 hit, Now You See Me 2, came in third with $22.3 million. I went just over with a $24.1M forecast. This doesn’t match the $29 million that the first made.

Last weekend’s #1 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows slipped to fourth with $14.3 million, on target with my $14.4M prediction for an underwhelming two week tally of $60M.

X-Men: Apocalypse was fifth with $9.9 million (I said $10.4M) for a $136M total and Me Before You was sixth with $9 million (I said $10M) for a gross of $36M.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…

Sequelitis: A 2016 Story

Over Memorial Day weekend this year, Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass opened to an abysmal $33 million over the holiday weekend, immediately making it one of the biggest bombs of 2016. How poor was that opening? It’s the sequel to 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, which made $116 million in its first weekend (which was a three-day frame, not a four-day one). Looking Glass will be lucky to make $80M in its entire domestic run, nearly $40M under what Wonderland earned in its premiere weekend. Ouch.

Is there an easy explanation? Did Disney take too long with the six year hiatus between franchise entries? Perhaps. Did the negative tabloid publicity surrounding star Johnny Depp hurt? Maybe.

Yet another explanation is likely part of the equation. In 2016, moviegoers have seemed to catch a case of “sequelitis” and their symptoms have been affecting box office grosses for a number of pictures already this year.

Over that same Memorial Day weekend, X-Men: Apocalypse ruled the charts with a $79 million debut. That would seem impressive, except X-Men: Days of Future Past made $110 million over the same weekend just two years earlier.

This story has repeated itself repeatedly in recent months. Ride Along 2 was expected to build on its predecessor’s opening weekend. The 2014 original cruised to a $41M opening. The sequel: $35M. When all was said and done, the first Ride made $44M more than its follow-up.

Other comedies have suffered the same fate. 2001’s Zoolander actually only made $45 million in its initial run, but became a major cult hit in subsequent years. It’s long gestating sequel would surely earn more. It didn’t. Just $28M.

2002’s My Big Fat Greek Wedding became the unexpected smash of that year with $241M stateside. Part 2? $59 million (to be fair, this was on the higher end of many expectations, but still just 25% of what the first Wedding did).

2014’s Neighbors? $150 million. Last month’s Neighbors: Sorority Rising? It should top out at around $60M.

Barbershop: The Next Cut will make $55 million, under the $75M and $65M of its predecessors (though still not bad).

The action crowd has showed their ambivalence. London Has Fallen earned a just OK $62 million compared to Olympus Has Fallen‘s $98M.

2014’s Divergent made $150 million. 2015’s Insurgent: $130 million. This year’s Allegiant: a troubling $66 million.

Then there’s The Huntsman Winter’s War, which may not even reach $50 million. It’s the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, which made $155 million.

Just this weekend, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows took in $35 million in its debut, which is a shell of the $65 million that the first made two summers ago.

Faith based audiences propelled God’s Not Dead to a heavenly $60 million gross in 2014. Part 2? $20 million.

Kung Fu Panda 3 performed decently with $143 million, but couldn’t match part 1’s $215M or part 2’s $165M.

Seeing a trend here, folks?

There have been rare exceptions in 2016 so far. 10 Cloverfield Lane managed $72 million. Even though that’s below the $80M of Cloverfield, it’s still a solid gross and a profitable venture for its studio.

And Captain America: Civil War was widely expected to outdo the respective $176M and $259M earnings of the first two entries. This was due to it basically being The Avengers 3. It did and will top $400M domestically.

Coming this weekend: two more sequels will try to avoid the 2016 trend and both actually have a decent chance of succeeding. The Conjuring 2 is receiving positive reviews and its studio is hoping the goodwill left over from the 2013 original will propel it to similar grosses (I’m predicting it’ll make $42 million for its start, slightly above the first).

Now You See Me 2 is hoping to match the $29 million made by the 2013 original for its beginning. I’m predicting $24M.

If both of these titles come in below expectations, that may truly show that crowds are just plain sick and tired of seeing roman numerals and numbers behind titles. Looking over the remainder of the 2016 calendar, there’s a heap of sequels that could also struggle to match what came before them. They include:

The Purge: Election Year. Bridget Jones’s Baby. Underworld: Blood Wars. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Ouija 2. Bad Santa 2.

Even this month’s Independence Day: Resurgence is an iffy proposition to capitalize on the nostalgia factor from the 1996 original. It appears unlikely to match the $306M earned 20 years ago by the first one.

Next month’s Star Trek Beyond could have trouble matching the $228M made by part 2 in 2013.

Inferno, the third Tom Hanks thriller based on Dan Brown’s novels, is a question mark to match the $133M that Angels & Demons made in 2011 and certainly won’t approach The Da Vinci Code‘s $217M a decade ago.

When it comes to 2016 sequels, it might not all be bad news. Finding Dory (out June 17) shouldn’t have much trouble topping the $70M that Nemo made in 2003 (though whether it reaches its eventual gross of $380M is a mystery).

And July’s Jason Bourne should benefit from having Matt Damon return to the franchise after nine years away. It should manage to outpace the $113M made by Jeremy Renner’s The Bourne Legacy in 2012. However, could it approach the $227M earned by Damon’s last one, 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum? Probably not.

Perhaps these disappointing results for so many sequels will cause studios to give us more original programming, but don’t hold your breath. Next year is already packed with follow-ups and some of them already look like they could be in trouble.

For instance, it’s probably safe to assume Disney is sweating over the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean flick, Dead Men Tell No Tales. Same goes for Lionsgate with their final Divergent pic, Ascendant.

Some of the 2017 sequels that may not have much to worry about: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Fast 8. And, of course, Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Yet given the recent trends, who knows? No one thought Alice or Huntsman or Allegiant would do that poorly and it’s contributed to a bad… and maybe badly needed downturn for sequels in 2016.

 

Box Office Predictions: June 10-12

The attack of the sequels continues in the second weekend of June 2016 as The Conjuring 2 and Now You See Me 2 debut. Both are follow-ups to massive summer 2013 hits and both will attempt to match or outdo their predecessors out of the gate. And there’s the long-awaited Warcraft, based on the two decades old video game with a fervent following. You can read my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/01/the-conjuring-2-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/01/now-you-see-me-2-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/01/warcraft-box-office-prediction/

As I see it, the three newbies should populate the top 3 spots this weekend. However, other prognosticators may differ with my placement of them. I have Conjuring 2 slightly outpacing the original and rather easily placing first. On the other hand, I’m predicting Now You See Me 2 will come in a bit under the $29M accomplished by its predecessor and finish second.

Warcraft is the biggest question mark, in my estimation. Even with its devoted fan base, word of mouth has been troubling, competition is fierce, and I’m having difficulty seeing it expand beyond its core audience. That puts it third in my book in a photo finish with Now You See Me 2. 

After an unimpressive opening (more on that below), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows should drop to fourth. The five spot could be a close one between the third weekend of X-Men: Apocalypse and the second weekend of Me Before You, which performed quite well in its debut.

And with that, my top 6 predictions for the weekend:

  1. The Conjuring 2

Predicted Gross: $42.6 million

2. Now You See Me 2

Predicted Gross: $24.1 million

3. Warcraft

Predicted Gross: $23.3 million

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Predicted Gross: $14.4 million (representing a drop of 59%)

5. X-Men: Apocalypse

Predicted Gross: $10.4 million (representing a drop of 54%)

6. Me Before You

Predicted Gross: $10 million (representing a drop of 47%)

Box Office Results (June 3-5)

There was little question that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows would rule the weekend, but its eventual take was none too impressive. The sequel made $35.3 million, well below my $50.3M prediction. Shadows continues the 2016 trend of sequels coming in considerably below their predecessors. The 2014 reboot of the franchise made $65M in its opening weekend.

X-Men: Apocalypse (another sequel not matching its previous entry) dropped to second with $22.8 million, a bit under my $25.3M forecast for a two-week total of $116M.

The British romantic drama Me Before You had an impressive roll-out with $18.7 million compared to my meager $11.5M estimate. The film, which received mostly positive reviews, was the beneficiary of a sizable female turnout in a sea of the mostly male-driven material populating the multiplexes.

Alice Through the Looking Glass continued its putrid run in weekend #2 with $11.3 million, though it did top my $10M prediction. The Disney bomb has grossed just $51 million in ten days… less than half of what 2010’s Alice in Wonderland earned in its first weekend.

The Angry Birds Movie was fifth with $10.2 million (in line with my $9.8M projection) for an $87M tally so far.

Captain America: Civil War was sixth with $7.8 million (I said $7.6M) for a total of $389M and $400M right around the corner.

I did a top seven predictions for this weekend and incorrectly had under performing Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising outside that group. It placed 7th with $4.8 million for an overall $48M gross.

That’s because I had Andy Samberg’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping at seventh, yet it charted in 8th with a weak $4.6 million opening (I said $5.6M).

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