July 5-7 Box Office Predictions

The box office could use some fireworks this weekend and they should come courtesy of the MCU with tomorrow’s release of SpiderMan: Far From Home. On Wednesday, the critically acclaimed horror pic Midsommar hits the market. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/25/spider-man-far-from-home-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/26/midsommar-box-office-prediction/

Spidey will easily dominate the long holiday weekend and I have it slinging nearly $200 million over its six-day rollout with just over $90 million of that coming in the traditional Friday to Sunday frame.

As for Midsommar, I’m a bit more skeptical that a large audience will turn up. I’m putting it at low teens for the five day period with under $10 million for the regular weekend.

Toy Story 4 should relinquish the top spot and fall to second place after two weeks in first. Yesterday, after a healthy start, should continue to ride solid word of mouth and remain in third. That would vault it over Annabelle Comes Home in its sophomore outing and that demented doll sequel is likely to duke it out with Midsommar for fourth place.

And with that, my patriotic forecast for the week ahead:

1. SpiderMan: Far From Home

Predicted Gross: $92.5 million (Friday to Sunday); $190.4 million (Tuesday to Sunday)

2. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $28.9 million

3. Yesterday

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

4. Annabelle Comes Home

Predicted Gross: $8.1 million

5. Midsommar

Predicted Gross: $7.8 million (Friday to Sunday); $13.2 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

Box Office Results (June 2830)

Toy Story 4 played again atop the charts with $59.7 million, in line with my $60.3 million prediction. The Pixar fourquel stands at $238 million after ten days of release.

Annabelle Comes Home opened in second and with a bit less than anticipated. The Conjuring Cinematic Universe entry took in $20.2 million from Friday to Sunday with $31.1 million since the Wednesday start. That’s less than its predecessors, but not too shabby considering the reported $30 million budget. I went higher with respective projections of $27.4 million and $38 million.

Yesterday had a rocking start in third at $17 million, blowing away my $9.1 million forecast. With a sturdy A- CinemaScore grade, I expect this to stick around for a while.

Aladdin reached the triple century mark ($306 million overall) and was fourth with $10.1 million (I said $9.7 million).

Finally, The Secret Life of Pets 2 held the five spot with $7.3 million compared to my $5.7 million prediction. Total is $131 million.

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

2019 Midyear Oscar Report

We are officially at the midpoint of this thing called 2019 and that means a midyear Oscar report is before you today on the blog. First things first: as awards watchers already know, the bulk of the eventual nominees will come your way in the second half of the year. It will likely be festivals such as Toronto and Venice that produce their initial screenings.

We have, however, already had Cannes and Sundance producing first looks at some contenders. The most high profile is Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which is out July 26 but debuted in the French Riviera. The celebrated auteur’s ninth feature immediately became a player in Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Leonardo DiCaprio (Actor), Brad Pitt (probably Supporting Actor), and Margot Robbie (Supporting Actress), as well as down the line tech races.

Cannes also served as the launching point for two contenders in the newly termed Best International Feature Film. They are Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory and Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, which won the Palme d’Or. With Glory, expect lots of chatter for its star Antonio Banderas to receive his first nod in Actor.

As for other possibilities in the lead Actor derby, we have Taron Egerton’s portrayal of Elton John in Rocketman. If Rami Malek could take home the gold last year for Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s certainly feasible that Egerton will have his supporters. Cannes also debuted  the horror pic The Lighthouse with raves for Willem Dafoe. And though it’s a reach, there could be a push for Robert Downey Jr. to garner recognition for his decade plus embodiment of Tony Stark/Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame.

When it comes to Endgame, I would anticipate talk for a Picture nod, especially after Black Panther became the first comic book pic to get one last year. At this juncture, I’ll say it gets plenty of chatter and no nomination. Yet that paradigm could shift.

Sundance gave us the true life political drama The Report. That pic features both Adam Driver and Annette Bening in roles that drew acclaim. It’s out stateside in late September and is one to keep an eye on.

2019 has produced numerous female lead performances that could all be classified as dark horse contenders. The list includes Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Julianne Moore (Gloria Bell), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell), Elle Fanning (Teen Spirit), Florence Pugh (Midsommar), and Jessie Buckley (Wild Rose).

Despite its disappointing box office grosses, Olivia Wilde’s coming of age comedy Booksmart might be considered in Original Screenplay. Same goes for The Farewell ahead of its release in a couple weeks.

For Best Animated Feature, Toy Story 4 looks to be a slam dunk for a nomination and that also holds true for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Already released titles such as Missing Link and The Secret Life of Pets 2 are likely on the outside looking in.

As for documentaries, keep an eye on Apollo 11, The Biggest Little Farm, and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese. I would say Apollo is a strong contender for inclusion.

And that’s your report, ladies and gentlemen! Get ready for a whole bunch of Oscar speculation in the second half of the year…

June 28-30 Box Office Predictions

Another creepy doll looks to hit the runner-up spot while Toy Story 4 stays in first place this weekend as Conjuring Cinematic Universe entry Annabelle Comes Home debuts. We also have the high concept musical comedy Yesterday out and you can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both newcomers here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/18/annabelle-comes-home-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/21/yesterday-box-office-prediction/

It seems awfully risky in the summer of 2019 to project that a sequel will come close to meeting expectations. Not even Toy Story 4 managed to do that (more on that below), but that’s where I’m at by saying Annabelle will gross in the high 20s for its Friday to Sunday earnings and high 30s when taking in the Wednesday and Thursday money.

As mentioned, Pixar’s fourth pairing of Woody and Buzz should have no trouble maintaining top position. Toy Story 3 dipped 46% in its sophomore frame and I look for this to lose around half its volume.

Yesterday, in my view, once had breakout potential. However, so-so reviews don’t help. My estimate for The Beatles themed pic puts it just behind Aladdin in fourth place. The Secret Life of Pets 2 may stay put in fifth as I figure the drops for Child’s Play and Men in Black: International will be more severe.

And with that, my top five for the weekend:

1. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $60.3 million

2. Annabelle Comes Home

Predicted Gross: $27.4 million (Friday to Sunday), $38 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

3. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $9.7 million

4. Yesterday

Predicted Gross: $9.1 million

5. The Secret Life of Pets 2

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million

Box Office Results (June 2123)

Pixar scored yet another hit with Toy Story 4. Yet the acclaimed sequel (arriving nine years after part three) unquestionably made less than anticipated at $120.9 million. While that’s $10 million over its predecessor, that’s a far cry from my $167.5 million forecast. And even if you think I was being generous, the floor for most projections was around $140 million. I wouldn’t feel too bad for Disney as they’re having a terrific year thus far.

The return of Chucky was met with ambivalence as Child’s Play was second with $14 million compared to my $17.6 million prediction. Look for it to fade fast, especially with that other dastardly doll arriving Wednesday. The reboot only cost a reported $10 million to make so United Artists shouldn’t be too upset either.

Aladdin was third with $13.2 million (I said $13 million) and it’s up to $288 million in the coffers.

Men in Black: International tumbled from first to fourth with $10.7 million, below my $13.1 million projection for just $52 million. This reboot, like Dark Phoenix before it, looks to come in under $100 million domestically.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 rounded out the top five with $10.2 million. I was higher at $12.6 million. The three-week tally is $117 million.

Finally, the Luc Besson action thriller Anna was a flop in ninth with $3.6 million. My prediction? $3.6 million! That almost makes up for being $40 million plus off Toy Story 4! Ok maybe not…

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

June 21-23 Box Office Predictions

Blogger’s Note (06/19): and it’s a significant one. Revising my Toy Story 4 estimate down from $191.5 million to $167.5 million.

It’s a toy fest at the box office this weekend as Pixar’s massive franchise and an iconic demonic doll look to populate the 1-2 spots on the charts. Toy Story 4 and the reboot of Child’s Play are the big debuts, as well as Luc Besson’s action thriller Anna. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/12/toy-story-4-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/13/childs-play-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/13/anna-box-office-prediction/

The question for the fourth iteration of Woody and Buzz is not whether it opens at #1, but whether or not it sets the all-time opening record for an animated feature. Unlike what we’ve seen in the past few weekends, this should not be a sequel that fails to meet expectations. In order to nab the record, it needs to top Pixar’s Incredibles 2 from last summer. That sequel made $182 million out of the gate. I’m predicting Toy Story 4 will outdo it by nearly $10 million.

I’m projecting that Child’s Play will reach high teens and that should be enough to put it in second place. I figure enough horror fans can assist Chucky’s return to multiplexes to get it there (as long as they’re not all holding their money for next week’s Annabelle Comes Home).

The real battle could be for the third position. Men in Black: International was a major flop. While I don’t see it plummeting over 70% like Dark Phoenix, a mid 50s (and maybe a bit more) dip is certainly feasible. That puts it in a horse race with The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Aladdin, which could benefit from drive-in pairings with Toy Story.

As for Anna, my lowly $3.6 million puts it outside the top five.

Here’s how I have it playing out:

1. Toy Story 4

Predicted Gross: $167.5 million

2. Child’s Play

Predicted Gross: $17.6 million

3. Men in Black: International

Predicted Gross: $13.1 million

4. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $13 million

5. The Secret Life of Pets 2

Predicted Gross: $12.6 million

Box Office Results (June 1416)

While Will Smith’s genie in Aladdin is raking up the bucks, Sony was not granted their wish of a successful franchise reboot with Men in Black: International. The film opened in first, but with a disappointing $30 million (on target with my $30.7 million projection). Don’t look for Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson to don the shades again – though you’ll probably see them revise their Thor characters again.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 dropped to second with $24.4 million (I said $23.4 million) as it sniffs the century mark at $92 million after two weeks.

Aladdin was third with $17.3 million, topping my $15.7 million forecast. It’s up to $264 million as it should cross $300 million domestically.

Rocketman was fourth and I incorrectly had it outside the top five. The Elton John biopic took in $9.4 million and it’s at $52 million overall.

After its poor debut, Dark Phoenix tumbled to fifth with $9.3 million. I was more generous at $11.8 million. With just $52 million in ten days, this looks to be the first X-Men entry that won’t reach $100 million stateside.

The sequel and reboot fatigue manifested itself again with Shaft, which flopped in sixth with only $8.9 million, coming in far below my $16.8 million prediction.

Late Night expanded nationwide to so-so results in ninth place with $5.2 million, a touch more than my $4.5 million take.

Finally, zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die was 12th on just over 600 screens with $2.5 million compared to my $1.8 million projection.

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

June 14-16 Box Office Predictions

A variety of new pictures debut or expand this weekend with franchise reboot Men in Black: International, another franchise reboot Shaft, critically appreciated comedy Late Night, and not so critically appreciated comedy The Dead Don’t Die hitting screens. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/05/men-in-black-international-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/06/shaft-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/__trashed/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/the-dead-dont-die-box-office-prediction/

With Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson taking over lead roles from Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, International hopes to bring in a new generation of alien crime fighter aficionados. Yet this could go the way of last weekend’s Dark Phoenix, which set a franchise low for an opening weekend. I predict that a low 30s haul will achieve that dubious mark, but it should have little difficulty hitting #1.

My mid teens estimate for Shaft should put it in third after the sophomore frame of current champ The Secret Life of Pets 2, which itself suffered from an acute case of sequelitis.

The rest of the top five should be filled by holdovers Aladdin and Phoenix, which I anticipate having a severe drop just like Godzilla: King of the Monsters did in its second weekend.

As for Late Night, it had a terrific limited release on just four screens this past weekend, but it could face some difficulties with its 1500 theater release. My $4.5 million forecast puts it outside the top five. Same for The Dead Don’t Die, which I have at $1.8 million at its approximately 550 theater count.

And with that, my top five estimates for the weekend ahead:

1. Men in Black: International

Predicted Gross: $30.7 million

2. The Secret Life of Pets 2

Predicted Gross: $23.4 million

3. Shaft

Predicted Gross: $16.8 million

4. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $15.7 million

5. Dark Phoenix

Predicted Gross: $11.8 million

Box Office Results (June 79)

It was not a good weekend to be a sequel as the two newbies placed 1-2, but with significantly less cash than their predecessors. The Secret Life of Pets 2 was first with $46.6 million, well under my estimate of $65.2 million. That’s not even half of the $104 million achieved by its 2016 predecessor and with Toy Story 4 on the horizon, it could fade quickly.

The X-Men franchise cratered as Dark Phoenix was second with $32.8 million compared to my $45.3 million projection. The previous lowest premiere in the series occurred in 2013 when The Wolverine made $53 million out of the gate. This fell more than $20 million under that. Studio Fox didn’t even bother sugarcoating it… it’s a serious flop. New owner Disney will need to figure out a new way to make this series of characters viable into the future.

Aladdin was third with $24.6 million (I said $26.5 million) for a three-week tally of $232 million.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters fell hard in its second frame with $15.4 million, under my $16.9 million prediction. It’s at $78 million.

Rocketman was fifth in its sophomore outing at $13.8 million (I said $14.9 million) for a ten day total of $50 million.

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

June 7-9 Box Office Predictions

If there’s a theme to this first full June weekend at the box office, it might be sequels not matching up to what’s come before. The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Dark Phoenix are the two newbies hitting screens and you can peruse my detailed predictions for each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/29/the-secret-life-of-pets-2-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/30/dark-phoenix-box-office-prediction/

The original Pets got off to an animated start three summers ago with $104 million. Part 2 is not expected to match it and I’m going with a mid 60s beginning. It should still face no issues topping the charts as the prospects for Dark Phoenix look dim.

It’s the final entry in the current iteration of the X-Men Universe and buzz appears lackluster (especially after the ho-hum reaction to 2016’s XMen: Apocalypse). My mid 40s take gives it the worst premiere of any X title thus far.

As for holdovers, Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a big disappointment and I anticipate a sophomore decline in the mid 50s range. That could drop it to fourth place with Aladdin in third and Rocketman rounding out the top five.

Here’s how I have the top 5 panning out:

1. The Secret Life of Pets 2

Predicted Gross: $65.2 million

2. Dark Phoenix

Predicted Gross: $45.3 million

3. Aladdin

Predicted Gross: $26.5 million

4. Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million

5. Rocketman

Predicted Gross: $14.9 million

Box Office Results (May 31June 2)

As mentioned, Godzilla: King of the Monsters landed with a thud with $47.7 million – well below my $58.7 million projection. The reported $200 million dollar production made just over half of what 2014’s Godzilla ($91 million) took in for its start. Additionally it couldn’t reach the heights of 2017’s Kong: Skull Island and its $61 million rollout. The two creatures will face each other next spring in Godzilla vs. Kong.

Aladdin was second with $42.8 million in weekend #2 and held up a bit better than my $40.3 million estimate. The Disney live-action hit has amassed $185 million total.

The Elton John biopic Rocketman had a decent start in third with $25.7 million. I thought it would fly higher at $36.1 million. It’s still a fine opening for an R rated counter programming offering in blockbuster season, though it is just half of what Bohemian Rhapsody accomplished a few short months ago.

Blumhouse horror pic Ma with Octavia Spencer was fourth and landed in line with expectations at $18 million (I said $17.2 million). Considering its tiny $5 million price tag, it’s yet another profitable success for the studio.

John Wick: Chapter 3Parabellum was fifth with $11 million (I went with $12.7 million) as it brought its earnings to $125 million.

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

 

The Secret Life of Pets 2 Box Office Prediction

Illumination Entertainment is back in the summer blockbuster animation game next weekend with the release of The Secret Life of Pets 2. The follow-up to the 2016 smash has Chris Renaud back in the director’s chair. Returning voices include Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, and  Jenny Slate. Patton Oswalt takes over the lead role of Max after Louis C.K. was dropped after recent controversies. Other familiar faces providing new voiceover work to the franchise include Tiffany Haddish, Nick Kroll, and Harrison Ford.

Three summers ago, the first Pets had a scorching start with a $104 million start and $368 million eventual domestic gross. It’s worth noting that competition on its opening weekend wasn’t as strong as Dark Phoenix will premiere against this. This sequel is garnering reviews in line with its predecessor. Part 1 ended up with a 73% Rotten Tomatoes score while this is at 68%.

I look for this to perform similarly to Illumination’s last two efforts. Despicable Me 3 earned $72 million for its beginning two summers ago and Dr. SeussThe Grinch made $67 million and perhaps a bit under.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 opening weekend prediction: $65.2 million

For my Dark Phoenix prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/05/30/dark-phoenix-box-office-prediction/