The final animated feature of summer 2017 arrives next weekend when Leap! debuts in theaters. It will likely earn the least of them all. The tale of an orphan trying to become a ballerina has already opened in other parts of the world under the title Ballerina. It debuted in parts of Europe last December and in Canada this past February with a $57 million global tally.
Featuring the voices of Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Kate McKinnon, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Mel Brooks, the $30 million budgeted pic stands at a decent 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. Its stateside premiere comes in late August where studios aren’t exactly expecting heavy grosses. It may manage to be the biggest debut of the weekend (against All Saints, Birth of the Dragon, and Good Time). That’s not saying much.
Family audiences have seen plenty of animated tales this summer from Despicable Me 3 to Cars 3 to The Emoji Movie to Captain Underpants to The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, which opened poorly just last weekend. With little ones returning to school, Leap! should have a tough road attracting eyeballs. A decent comp could be the Shaun the Sheep Movie from two summers ago, which managed only $4 million in its August premiere. That’s right about where I have this one.
Mid August at the box office comes with some star power as two new pictures open competing for the same audience: Ryan Reynolds/Samuel L. Jackson action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard and Steven Soderbergh’s heist action comedy Logan Lucky with Channing Tatum and Daniel Craig. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:
The newbies could find themselves in a battle for the #1 spot. Lucky is winning on the reviews side with a terrific 96% on Rotten Tomatoes while Bodyguard stands at 55%. However, my inkling is that Mr. Reynolds will edge out Mr. Tatum with a gross in the mid to higher teens with Lucky in the lower teens.
There’s also the matter of Annabelle: Creation, which got off to a strong start this past weekend (more on that below). If Bodyguard and Lucky both underwhelm, the demonic doll has a slight chance to repeat at #1. However, the horror prequel is likely to suffer a drop in the mid to high 50s. If it all pans out as I see it, we will have our fourth weekend of 2017 where no movie manages to top $20 million.
The rest of the top five should be filled out by holdovers Dunkirk and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature in its second frame after a weak start.
Lastly, the Taylor Sheridan directed thriller Wind River with Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen is slated to expand to approximately 600-700 screens. It’s been performing well with critics and in limited release. If that screen count holds true, I’d peg it at $3.1 million this weekend.
And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend:
1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Predicted Gross: $16.7 million
2. Annabelle: Creation
Predicted Gross: $14.6 million (representing a drop of 58%)
3. Logan Lucky
Predicted Gross: $10.5 million
Predicted Gross: $7 million (representing a drop of 36%)
5. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
Predicted Gross: $4.5 million (representing a drop of 46%)
Box Office Results (August 11-13)
Annabelle: Creation scared up some solid business taking in $35 million (beating my $31.4M forecast) to easily place #1. The horror prequel fell just shy of the $37.1 million accomplished by its 2014 predecessor and keeps the Conjuring universe chugging right along.
Dunkirk remained in second with $10.8 million (I was a touch higher at $11.7M). It’s made $153M thus far.
Family audiences largely rejected The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, which debuted in third to just $8.3 million (under my $12.2M prediction). The sequel made less than half of the $19 million achieved out of the gate by the 2014 original. Opening on over 4000 screens, it had a per screen average of just over $2,000. On the bright side, parents who did take their kids to see it probably had plenty of room to roam about the theater. Ouch.
The Dark Tower went from first to fourth with $7.8 million (I said $7.6M). bringing its lackluster two-week tally to only $34M.
Girls Trip placed fifth with $6.4 million (I projected $7.2M) as it stands at $97M and should cross the century mark this week.
The Emoji Movie was #6, also with $6.4 million (I said $6M) for a $63M total.
Finally, Brie Larson drama The Glass Castle had a respectable debut in ninth with $4.6 million (I was close at $4.2M). On a relatively small 1400+ screens, it actually achieved the second highest per screen average of the top ten.
August rolled in like a lamb at the box office and three new releases this weekend will try and pick things up: horror prequel Annabelle: Creation, animated sequel The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, and Brie Larson led drama The Glass Castle. You can peruse my detailed individual prediction posts on each of them here:
Annabelle has received significantly better reviews than its predecessor, yet I still question its ability to open above it (the original was coming hot on the heels of The Conjuring). Still, my estimate for Creation has it easily topping the charts in the low 30s.
My lower teens estimate for Nutty by Nature (yeah you know me) should be good enough for second place considering expectations for holdovers and the weak debut of current #1 The Dark Tower (more on its opening below).
As for The Glass Castle, the current theater count is 1400 which is pretty low. Even though it’s based on a popular book from 2005, the marketing campaign seems rather quiet and I’ve got it outside the top five at $4.2 million. Note that this number could be revised up (and maybe down though doubtful) as the week rolls along.
Dunkirk may just fall one spot to third with Tower dropping to fourth. The five spot could be a battle between The Emoji Movie and Girls Trip. And with that, we’ll do a top 6 projections for this particular weekend:
1. Annabelle: Creation
Predicted Gross: $31.4 million
2. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature
Predicted Gross: $12.2 million
Predicted Gross: $11.7 million (representing a drop of 31%)
4. The Dark Tower
Predicted Gross: $7.6 million (representing a drop of 60%)
5. Girls Trip
Predicted Gross: $7.2 million (representing a drop of 37%)
6. The Emoji Movie
Predicted Gross: $6 million (representing a drop of 50%)
Box Office Results (August 4-6)
The long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower experienced four revisions down from my original prediction post which put it in the mid 30s (that seems like a long time ago). It soon became clear the pic wasn’t going to perform too well and that bore out with $19.1 million (my final prediction was $18.4M). That’s still good for first place, but it’s a pretty darn soft debut. Poor reviews and word-of-mouth took its toll. This was only the third weekend of the year (and first of the summer) to feature a #1 movie performing under $20M (though I’d anticipate more later in the month).
Dunkirk dropped to second after two weeks on top with $17.1 million (ahead of my predicted $15.5M) for a total of $133M.
The Emoji Movie was third in its sophomore frame with $12 million (I said $11.4M) to bring its two-week tally to $49M.
Girls Trip took the four spot with $11.4 million, a bit shy of my $12.9M projection to bring the sleeper hit’s total to $85M.
The Halle Berry thriller Kidnap had a decent little opening in fifth with $10 million, easily outpacing my $6.8M projection. Its double digit debut was certainly on the higher end of expectations.
For Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, its performance was underwhelming. Despite very positive reviews, the 1960s set racial drama placed 8th with just $7.1 million compared to my $11.6M forecast.
Blogger’s Note (08/03): On eve of debut, revising Dark Tower down significantly
The month of August begins at the box office with three new releases hitting multiplexes: the long in the works Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, Kathryn Bigelow’s 1960s set racial drama Detroit, and Halle Berry’s oft delayed thriller Kidnap. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
Over the past week, I have considerably revised my Dark Tower estimate down from a mid 30s debut to now mid 20s. That should be enough to get it to #1, however.
Detroit is garnering highly positive reviews and could certainly over perform, but I’ve got it pegged in the low double digits with a likelihood it plays well through the month. That might be good for anywhere between third and fifth – depending on holdover activity for Emoji Movie and Girls Trip.
Kidnap could surprise (no one thought Berry’s The Call would do the business it did), but I’m not projecting much for it. My $6.8M estimate puts it outside the top five.
As for holdovers, Dunkirk should slide to second after two weeks on top. Animated movies typically suffer smallish drops in their sophomore weekend, but The Emoji Movie could be an exception to the rule after its dismal reviews and so-so B Cinemascore grade. Girls Trip should continue to impress in week #3.
And with that, my top 5 predictions for the weekend ahead:
1. The Dark Tower
Predicted Gross: $18.4 million
Predicted Gross: $15.5 million (representing a drop of 42%)
3. Girls Trip
Predicted Gross: $12.9 million (representing a drop of 34%)
Predicted Gross: $11.6 million
5. The Emoji Movie
Predicted Gross: $11.4 million (representing a drop of 54%)
Box Office Results (July 28-30)
Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dunkirk was the first pic since Wonder Woman to stay atop the charts for two weeks in a row as it grossed $26.6 million (under my $32.8M projection) for a two-week total of $101 million.
The Emoji Movie settled for second place with $24.5 million, a bit below my $28.4M forecast. As mentioned, poor reviews and word-of-mouth could keep this from performing well in subsequent weekends.
Girls Trip continued its fantastic run as the comedy of the summer with $19.6 million compared to my $17.3M estimate. Its earned $65 million thus far with the century mark firmly in its sights.
Charlize Theron’s spy thriller Atomic Blonde did rather underwhelming business with $18.2 million, on target with my $18.6M prediction. Mostly solid reviews couldn’t keep this from a mediocre start.
Spider-Man: Homecoming rounded out the top five with $13.2 million (I said $12M) for a $278M overall tally.
As July draws to a close this weekend, we have two new entries attempting to knock Dunkirk off its #1 perch. They are the animated pic The Emoji Movie and Charlize Theron action spy thriller Atomic Blonde. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:
I’m expecting The Emoji Movie to post a debut in the upper 20s – not as high as The Angry Birds Movie from last summer ($38 million) but better than this summer’s Captain Underpants ($23 million).
As for Atomic Blonde, I’ve been consistently revising my projection down since last Wednesday. Even though the pic is getting decent reviews, I’ve gone from $26 million down to high teens. That would likely give it a third place showing (depending on how far Girls Trip drops).
Neither of those openings may be enough to keep Dunkirk from the top spot. I anticipate the critically heralded Chris Nolan war drama to experience a rather small decline in the mid 30s range (more on its opening below).
Girls Trip, coming off a terrific debut, may also experience a smallish decline. The comedy of the summer should benefit from an A+ Cinemascore rating and strong word of mouth. I have it pegged at a 40s dip.
Spider-Man: Homecoming should round out the top five. And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend:
Predicted Gross: $32.8 million (representing a drop of 34%)
2. The Emoji Movie
Predicted Gross: $28.4 million
3. Atomic Blonde
Predicted Gross: $18.6 million
4. Girls Trip
Predicted Gross: $17.3 million (representing a drop of 44%)
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Predicted Gross: $12 million (representing a drop of 45%)
Box Office Results (July 21-23)
Dunkirk landed on top debuting with a strong $50.5 million (surpassing my $44.7M prediction). Topping the $47 million debut of his last effort Interstellar, look for Nolan’s latest to experience rather meager declines throughout August.
Girls Trip broke the R rated comedy curse of this summer with a magnificent $31.2 million opening for 2nd place, topping my $27.3M estimate. Its budget is only a reported $30 million, so there’s likely champagne bottles popping over at Universal Pictures.
Spider-Man: Homecoming was third with $22.1 million, a tad above my $20.6M projection for a three-week tally of $251 million.
War for the Planet of the Apes dropped significantly in its sophomore frame, placing fourth with $20.8 million (I said $23.5M). The third franchise entry in the Apes saga has taken in $98 million.
While the debut news was celebratory for Dunkirk and Girls Trip, the same cannot be said for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The Luc Besson mega-budgeted science fiction spectacle premiered to a weak $17 million in fifth place, in line with my $17.8M prediction. Look for it to fade quickly stateside while hoping to make some of its budget back overseas.
Blogger’s Note (07/23): I am revising my estimate down from my original projection to a high teens debut.
Charlize Theron is in her second high-profile action flick of 2017 as Atomic Blonde hits theaters next weekend. The Oscar winner plays an MI6 agent teamed up with James McAvoy. The spy thriller costars John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones and is directed by John Wick‘s David Leitch.
Blonde premiered this spring at the South by Southwest Festival to solid word-of-mouth and reviews have been mostly pleasing as it stands at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Theron appeared in this spring’s The Fate of the Furious and McAvoy is fresh off his blockbuster starring role in Split.
Shot for a meager $30 million, the pic should have no trouble being a profitable venture for its studio. It could reach close to its budget in the first weekend, though I’ll estimate it falls a bit under that in the mid 20s. That may mean a debut in third place behind The Emoji Movie and the second weekend of Dunkirk, depending on how that opens on Friday.
Atomic Blonde opening weekend prediction: $18.6 million
If nothing else, Sony Pictures Animation’s The Emoji Movie will go down in film lore as having Sir Patrick Stewart provide the voice of what is commonly called the “poop emoji”. He’s one of several famous faces lending voice to those things we send on our phones all day. They include T.J. Miller, Anna Faris, James Corden, Sofia Vergara, Christina Aguilera, and Rob Riggle.
The reported $50 million budgeted 3D computer-animated comedy isn’t the first pic based on something we associate with our iPhones and droids. That would be last summer’s The Angry Birds Movie, which debuted to $38 million. I don’t see Emoji quite reaching those numbers, yet I don’t see it as low as the $23 million earned out of the gate for this summer’s Captain Underpants, another non-sequel ‘toon.
I am forecasting this will basically fall between those debuts. In doing so, it may create a serious three-way battle for box office supremacy next weekend with the premiere of Atomic Blonde and the second weekend of Dunkirk.
The Emoji Movie opening weekend prediction: $28.4 million