Tag Archives: The Nice Guys

The Predator Box Office Prediction

Over three decades ago, Shane Black costarred in the classic sci-fi adventure tale Predator. Like most cast members, he didn’t manage to survive the proceedings like Arnold Schwarzenegger did. He did go on to an impressive writing and directing career that includes the screenplays for Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, and The Long Kiss Goodnight and serving double duty for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, and The Nice Guys. Things come full circle next weekend for Black as he directs and co-writes The Predator, the latest iteration of the long running franchise.

Not counting the two Alien vs. Predator extravaganzas, this is the fourth traditional entry in the series behind the 1987’s original, its 1990 sequel, and the 2010 reboot Predators. Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Wonder star Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, and Thomas Jane populate the human troupe battling the deadly creatures.

It’s actually the first teaming of this franchise with the Alien series that resulted in the largest debut featuring the title character in 2004 – to the tune of a $38.2 million. Predators set the high mark over parts 1 and 2 (due to inflation) with a $24.7 million start. Its overall gross was very front-loaded as it ended up with $52 million.

The eight year inflation should allow The Predator to exceed that, but I don’t see it coming close to the high 30s number that AVP achieved. I would say high 20s is the more reasonable expectation and that should allow it to place #1 at the box office (something Predators couldn’t manage in the heat of significant summer competition). As a comp for 2018, I’ve got this earning a similar debut to this spring’s Pacific Rim Uprising. 

The Predator opening weekend prediction: $27.4 million

For my A Simple Favor prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/05/a-simple-favor-box-office-prediction/

For my White Boy Rick prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/06/white-boy-rick-box-office-prediction/

For my Unbroken: Path to Redemption prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/06/unbroken-path-to-redemption-box-office-prediction/

The Non-Sequel Actors

Next weekend sees the release of two high-profile sequels: The Equalizer 2 and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. The pair of part II’s have something rather interesting in common: they serve as the first sequels that their stars Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep have ever appeared in. Pretty surprising huh? Both have been mega-stars for decades and have never followed up on a character until now.

This got me thinking: what other major actors have never been in a sequel? And it’s not an easy list to cobble together.

Some actors are known for their cases of sequelitis. We know Samuel L. Jackson has appeared in a multitude of them, including Marvel Cinematic Universe pics and franchises ranging from Star Wars to xXx to Incredibles. He was John McClane’s sidekick in Die Hard with a Vengeance. And looking early in his filmography, 1990 saw him appearing in The Exorcist III and The Return of Superfly. There’s also Patriot Games from 1992 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 from 2004. Son of Shaft will be out next year. Dude loves his m****f***ing sequels!

Sylvester Stallone has made a career of out of them. Creed II will mark his 15th sequel by my count. There’s the Rocky, Rambo, and Expendables series and there’s also Staying Alive (which he directed and had a cameo in), Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the just released Escape Plan 2: Hades.

Eddie Murphy has returned in the following series: 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop, The Nutty Professor, Dr. Dolittle, and Shrek. There could be a part II of Coming to America on the horizon.

Harrison Ford has the famous series like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and the Jack Ryan pictures. There’s also More American Graffiti, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and last year’s Blade Runner 2049.

OK, back to thespians who don’t constantly appear in sequels. Leonardo DiCaprio? Well, who can forget one of his first roles as Josh in 1991’s Critters 3? 

Matthew McConaughey has a similar situation. Since he’s become known, no sequels (not even returning in Magic Mike XXL). Yet one of his first roles was in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. 

Unlike his 80s comedic counterparts Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, and Steve Martin (all in plenty of them), I couldn’t immediately think of any sequel that John Candy did. Yet he provided a voice-over in the 1990 Disney animated follow-up The Rescuers Down Under. 

With Marlon Brando, I guess it depends on how you look at it. He refused to come back for a flashback cameo in The Godfather Part II. Yet he did appear in 2006’s Superman Returns… with a caveat. That footage was culled completely from his work nearly three decades earlier in Superman and it happened two years after his death.

So here’s the deal… it is really tough to come up with performers in the modern age who haven’t appeared in at least one sequel. However, here’s five of them and feel free to list others in the comments!

Warren Beatty

He’s famously picky about his projects and he’s never played the same man twice. There were rumors that he wanted to do another Dick Tracy, but it never materialized.

Annette Bening

Beatty’s wife has had a long and distinguished career free of sequels. She was originally cast as Catwoman in 1992’s Batman Returns but dropped out due to pregnancy.

Russell Crowe

The Oscar winner has yet to return to a role, though I’d certainly sign up for The Nice Guys II. P.S. – I do not count Man of Steel as a sequel.

Jodie Foster

She declined to return as Clarice Starling in 2001’s Hannibal after an Oscar-winning turn in The Silence of the Lambs ten years earlier. That was her biggest chance at a sequel and there are none before or after.

Jake Gyllenhaal

His first role was as Billy Crystal’s son in City Slickers, but he was nowhere to be found for part II or any other sequel. However, that long streak ends next summer with Spider-Man: Far From Home.

And there you go! As I said, feel free to chime in with your own non-sequel actors…

The Nice Guys Movie Review

Shane Black knows his way around kick ass action flicks injected with humor – much of it loaded with profanity, kids in danger, and booze and cigarettes. This is the man who wrote Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout and The Long Kiss Goodnight. Fans of Black can spot the rhythm of his screenplays a mile away. I suspect, by the way, that Quentin Tarantino was influenced by some of Black’s beats for his later compositions.

In 2005, he directed his first feature, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It was an often hilariously trippy private eye tale for the ages and truly ushered in the comeback of one Robert Downey Jr. (with a glorious Val Kilmer at his side). The Nice Guys puts the auteur right back in Bang Bang territory after a nice excursion into blockbuster land with 2010’s Iron Man 3.

For admirers who have gobbled up Black’s words over the past three decades, this is a return to form that doesn’t quite match his finest work. Yet it’s satisfying nonetheless and contains some real laugh out loud moments. This is a buddy flick that would’ve been right at home being made in the 1980s, but it’s set in 1977 Los Angeles. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are both private eyes. Neither is exceptionally bright and in true Black fashion, Gosling’s teenage daughter is often the smartest person in the room. Crowe is more an enforcer who transacts business through broken bones. Gosling is more of a con artist.

The pair become embroiled in a dense plot that involves murdered porn stars, an endangered porn actress whose Mom (Kim Basinger) runs the Justice Department, and an assortment of goons and henchman who would be right at home tormenting Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans in Last Boy Scout. The plot is secondary in these proceedings to the dialogue.

Black revels in these shady characters who occasionally experience flashes of humanity. Not too much though and that’s what we kind of hope for and expect. One character gives up his years long sobriety by our conclusion and it’s practically treated as a moment of valor. I wouldn’t have it any other way from the guy behind the camera and typewriter (he probably doesn’t use a typewriter anymore, but I prefer to believe otherwise).

Crowe and Gosling seem to be having a ball, too. Matt Bomer stands out as the most memorable henchman in a pic filled with disposable ones. There were more lines and setups that killed in Kiss Kiss to put it on another level from this. There’s more than enough of that bloody Black humor to make this worthwhile, including the most unexpected use of Richard Nixon since at least Point Break.

*** (out of four)

Box Office Predictions: May 27-30

It’s Memorial Day weekend coming up at the summer box office with two high-profile sequels debuting – X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/18/x-men-apocalypse-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/18/alice-through-the-looking-glass-box-office-prediction/

I expect the Mutants to fairly easily top The Mad Hatter, with Apocalypse just edging the century mark for its four-day holiday frame with Looking Glass getting to the mid-60s. That would mean both entries would come in below what their predecessors managed in 2014 and 2010, respectively.

As for holdovers, The Angry Birds Movie should slide to third after a robust 1st place debut (more on that below) with Captain America: Civil War and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (which struggled this last weekend) rounding out the top five.

And with that, my top 5 predictions for the Memorial Day frame which encapsulates my three and four-day forecasts:

  1. X-Men: Apocalypse

Predicted Gross: $82.8 million (Friday to Sunday), $100.4 million (Friday to Monday)

2. Alice Through the Looking Glass

Predicted Gross: $53.6 million (Friday to Sunday), $67.7 million (Friday to Monday)

3. The Angry Birds Movie

Predicted Gross: $20.4 million (Friday to Sunday), $24.5 million (Friday to Monday)

4. Captain America: Civil War

Predicted Gross: $18.1 million (Friday to Sunday), $22.2 million (Friday to Monday)

5. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Predicted Gross: $10.4 million (Friday to Sunday), $12.2 million (Friday to Monday)

Box Office Results (May 20-22)

The first feature film based on an app nabbed the #1 spot as The Angry Birds Movie soared to a $38.1 million opening, a bit above my $34.5M projection. This was on the higher end of expectations for the animated pic.

After two weeks on top, Captain America: Civil War slipped to second with $32.9 million, just under my $35.1M forecast for a three-week total of $347M.

The news was not good for Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and company as Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising grossed an unimpressive $21.7 million for third. I went way over with $38.2M, which I should predicted for those ill-tempered birds. Considering the original made $49M out of the gate, we can safely assume Neighbors 3 won’t happen. This continues a recent trend of comedy sequels (think: Horrible Bosses, Zoolander) under performing.

Despite mostly glowing reviews, The Nice Guys with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling finished fourth with $11.2 million in its opening, under my $14.4M prediction.

The Jungle Book rounded out the top five with $10.9 million and I predicted… $10.9M! Yay! Almost makes up for the Neighbors thing, but not really…

And there you have it, folks! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: May 20-22

The third weekend of summer 2016 brings some intrigue into the season as the Seth Rogen/Zac Efron raunchy sequel Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, app based animated tale The Angry Birds Movie, and Russell Crowe/Ryan Gosling action comedy The Nice Guys all debut. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each one of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/11/neighbors-2-sorority-rising-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/11/the-angry-birds-movie-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/11/the-nice-guys-box-office-prediction/

All three titles have question marks. All three titles could over perform or under perform. And as I see it, it could create a genuine three-way race for the top spot between Neighbors, Birds, and current two-week champion Captain America: Civil War.

Meanwhile, The Nice Guys has been the beneficiary of solid reviews and a robust marketing campaign and it could certainly rise above the mid-teens gross I have it pegged at. Having said that, it’s difficult to see it moving into the top 3. The Jungle Book should round out the top five.

The closeness of that top 3 reflects my belief that there will only be about a $4 million difference between those pictures, with Neighbors being the victor, Captain America and his avengers friends and foes in second, and those Birds taking third. We shall see how it all shakes out in this highly unpredictable frame which will get even more interesting when potential heavy hitters X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass arrive Memorial Day weekend.

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

  1. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Predicted Gross: $38.2 million

2. Captain America: Civil War

Predicted Gross: $35.1 million (representing a drop of 51%)

3. The Angry Birds Movie

Predicted Gross: $34.5 million

4. The Nice Guys

Predicted Gross: $14.4 million

5. The Jungle Book

Predicted Gross: $10.9 million (representing a drop of 36%)

Box Office Results (May 13-15)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier easily remained #1 (as expected) for the second weekend in a row as it grossed $72.6 million, just under my $76.8M estimate. The Marvel tale has amassed $295M in ten days. It will come in under the number of the two Avengers entries but has already become the highest grossing Cap flick as The Winter Soldier topped out at $259M domestic.

Disney held the runner-up position again as The Jungle Book swung another $17.1 million (in range with my $18.6M prediction) for a five-week total of $311M.

The George Clooney/Julia Roberts thriller Money Monster debuted in third with $14.7 million, managing to come in at the top end of its expectations and managing to top my $12.7M prediction. While it will almost surely drop out of the top five this weekend, look for it to have fairly smallish declines and maybe reach an eventual gross of $50-$60M.

Opening lightly in fourth place was the Kevin Bacon horror flick The Darkness with $4.9 million, just under my $5.6M prognosis. Look for the low-budget Blumhouse offering to be VOD ready soon.

Mother’s Day plummeted in weekend #3 since it didn’t have that whole actual Mother’s Day holiday working this time around. The rom com earned $3.2 million (below my $4.7M forecast) for a total of $28M.

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

The Nice Guys Box Office Prediction

Shane Black was known as a high-priced screenwriter in the 1980s and 90s with features like Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero, and The Long Kiss Goodnight to his credit. In 2005, he made his directorial debut with the critical hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and then made a mega-hit in 2010 with Iron Man 3. His third feature is The Nice Guys, out next weekend.

Set in 1970s L.A., this buddy cop action/comedy stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling and its release date could be a hindrance for box office success. Many comedy fans may turn their attention to its competition, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. Strong reviews could help and that could get this to low teens.

Even though trailers and TV spots have been pretty darn funny in my view, among newbies Neighbors and Angry Birds – it’s highly likely that Nice Guys will finish last. It stands a better shot at becoming a cult hit than an actual one.

The Nice Guys opening weekend prediction: $14.4 million

For my Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/11/neighbors-2-sorority-rising-box-office-prediction/

For my The Angry Birds Movie prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/11/the-angry-birds-movie-box-office-prediction/

16 for ’16: Todd’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2016

With 2015 by the wayside, it’s time to focus on the upcoming releases for the New Year and that means listing my 16 most eagerly awaited features! Obviously, I’m going by pedigree alone pretty much and not buzz (I’ll note that Fantastic Four made my 2015 cut, if that tells you something).

2016 appears to be jam packed with both sequels and superhero pics. Just to give you an idea, here’s some sequels that didn’t make the cut: Zoolander No. 2, London Has Fallen, Ride Alone 2, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, Rings, Barbershop: The Next Cut, The Huntsman Winter’s War, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, The Conjuring 2, Now You See Me 2, Finding Dory, Independence Day: Resurgence, Ice Age: Collision Course, The Purge 3, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Underworld 5, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Ouija 2, Bad Santa 2, and Inferno (the third Tom Hanks Robert Langdon flick). As for comic book related fare, X-Men: Apocalypse, Doctor Strange, and Gambit didn’t make the list of sweet 16.

Others that closely missed the cut: The Jungle Book remake from director Jon Favreau; The Magnificent Seven remake with Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke; and Jodie Foster’s political thriller Money Monster starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

So what DID make it? Here’s my alphabetical list:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Never mind that the trailer looks like a bit of a mess. And maybe ignore that Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel was a major mixed bag. This “sequel” brings Ben Affleck’s Caped Crusader in to fight with Henry Cavill’s Supes with Wonder Woman joining the party as well, in addition to Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. The curiosity factor alone allows it to make this list. (March 25)

The BFG

This fantasy adventure has some seriously impressive pedigree: it’s based on Roald Dahl’s book and the screenplay is written by the late Melissa Mathison, who penned E.T. The director? Steven Spielberg. ‘Nuff said. (July 1)

Captain America: Civil War

The second Captain America pic, 2013’s Winter Soldier, ranks high in pantheon of MCU titles and this third go round is basically a quasi-Avengers experience with Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, and our new Spider-Man Tom Holland joining the mix. (May 6)

Deadpool

Our third comic book adaptation sounds in many ways to be the most intriguing (save for one a little further down this list). Deadpool casts Ryan Reynolds (whose superhero movie history include a pretty bad Green Lantern flick) in this hard R rated pic infused with comedy and its trailers inspire hope. This is said to tie in with the X-Men franchise at some future juncture. (February 12)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Based on J.K. Rowling’s novel and from Harry Potter director David Yates comes this return to the world of wizardry that stars Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne. Warner Bros. is anticipating at least a trilogy out of this. (November 18)

The Founder

From the director of The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks comes this biopic of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, played by Michael Keaton. Don’t be surprised to see this one surrounded by Oscar buzz. (November 25)

NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Ghostbusters

Bridesmaids and Spy maker Paul Feig reboots the famous 80s franchise with Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, and current SNL castmates Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon. (July 15)

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Hail, Caesar!

Anything from the Coen Brothers is worthy of my anticipation and this 1950s Hollywood set comedy features George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, and Ralph Fiennes. (February 5)

The Nice Guys

A little over a decade ago, screenwriter/director Shane Black started off Robert Downey Jr.’s improbable comeback with the hilarious action comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang before move onto direct Iron Man 3. This 70s set action comedy looks extremely promising and stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. (May 20)

Passengers

Little is known about this sci-fi romance from The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum. Yet it is headlined by mega-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. I’m in. (December 25)

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The Force Awakens just became the biggest domestic grosser of all time (in under four weeks) and this December brings the first spin-off, taking place between episodes III and IV. It focuses on a team of rebels tasked with stealing the plans for the Death Star and is directed by Gareth Edwards, who made 2014’s effective Godzilla reboot. This should rule the holiday season in 2016. (December 16)

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Silence

Like the Coens, anything from Martin Scorsese is worthy of inclusion and this historical epic focused on Jesuit priests in Japan stars Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson. (No Release Date at Press Time)

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Star Trek Beyond

J.J. Abrams has exited the franchise as director to concentrate on a different one while Justin Lin (maker of four Fast and Furious entries) takes over. Let’s see if he keeps the momentum Abrams brought fourth speeding along. (July 22)

Suicide Squad

This is my most anticipated comic book adaptation of the many in 2016. Fury director David Ayer gathers a group of super villains together to hopefully do some good. The cast includes Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto as The Joker. The trailer is terrific. (August 5)

Sully

Clint Eastwood follows up his cultural phenomenon American Sniper with this biopic of the pilot who famously landed on the Hudson, with Tom Hanks in the title role. Another pic that could be ripe for Oscar bait. (September 9)

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Untitled Bourne Film

When Jeremy Renner stepped in for Matt Damon for this celebrated action franchise, audiences reacted with mostly ambivalence. So Damon is back, paired with Paul Greengrass, director of the winning second and third pics in the series. Tommy Lee Jones and Alicia Vikander costar. (July 29)

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And there you have it! We’ll see you at the movies in 2016 and I hope this helped you a little bit…