Horror pics have faced a tough road so far in 2020 as The Grudge, The Turning, Gretel & Hansel, and Fantasy Island have all posted lackluster debuts. This weekend, I don’t see the trend stopping with Brahms: The Boy II. I do see it changing next Friday with The Invisible Man. From director Leigh Whannell (who recently made Insidious: Chapter 3 and Upgrade), this is an update of the H.G. Wells novel that was turned into a classic 1933 James Whale tale. Elisabeth Moss (who co-starred in last year’s Us) headlines a cast that includes Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, and Harriet Dyer.
This project was originally intended as a vehicle for Johnny Depp as part of Universal’s plans for a franchise that began with 2017’s The Mummy. When that pic brought in less than expected returns, the monster series was scrapped. The Invisible Man has undergone a significant transformation with Blumhouse co-producing. Per usual with that production company, the budget is tiny (a reported $7 million).
Early word-of-mouth is strong with screening members reporting a tense and effective crowd pleaser. Whannell appears to be a filmmaker on the upswing and Moss certainly has her fans from The Handmaid’s Tale and more.
I believe Invisible will be quite visible on the radar screens of genre moviegoers and break the streak of scary disappointments over the past few weeks. A gross of over $30 million might be the result.
The Invisible Man opening weekend prediction: $33.8 million
Released four years ago, horror pic The Boy managed to gross its budget in the first three days of release. Even though audiences and critics were generally unimpressed, we now have the sequel Brahms: The Boy II out next weekend. William Brent Bell is back in the director’s chair with Katie Holmes in the lead. Costars include Ralph Ineson and Owain Yeoman.
Originally slated for last summer and then December, Brahms looks to cater to fright fest fans who have shunned their offerings thus far in 2020. The Grudge opened to $11.4 million and that middling number was a high point. The Turning followed with $6.9 million and then Gretel & Hansel with $6.1 million.
The Boy made $10.8 million for its start in January 2016 with an eventual $35 million domestic gross. I just don’t see much anticipation for the follow-up and will predict it begins with just over half of its predecessor’s number. For horror enthusiasts, it looks like the following weekend’s The Invisible Man will be the first genre success of the year. Don’t count on Brahms to be much of one.
Brahms: The Boy II opening weekend prediction: $5.5 million
For my The Call of the Wild prediction, click here:
Blogger’s Note (01/29): Revising my The Rhythm Section projection from $8 million down to $6.5 million and that means I’m taking it from 3rd to 4th place
Super Bowl weekend at the box office is usually a sluggish one and this year should be no different. Two titles premiere with the Blake Lively spy thriller The Rhythm Section and Brothers Grimm horror reimagining Gretel & Hansel. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on the pair here:
Let’s start with Gretel & Hansel. It’s been a rough year already for horror flicks (see The Turning below) and I don’t expect this to change that. My $5.1 million estimate puts it outside of the top five.
As for Rhythm, I believe it will fail to reach double digits and that probably means a third place showing behind two-week champ Bad Boys for Life and Oscar front runner 1917. In its third frame, the disappointing Dolittle should drop to fourth and I’m actually predicting a tie for fifth between holiday holdover Jumanji: The Next Level and The Gentlemen in its sophomore outing.
And with that, my top 6 forecast for a weekend where grosses should be really soft in Kansas City and San Francisco (and Miami) on Sunday:
1. Bad Boys for Life
Predicted Gross: $19.8 million
Predicted Gross: $11 million
Predicted Gross: $6.9 million
4. The Rhythm Section
Predicted Gross: $6.5 million
5. Jumanji: The Next Level
Predicted Gross: $5.6 million
6. The Gentlemen
Predicted Gross: $5.6 million
Box Office Results (January 24-26)
Bad Boys for Life easily held the top spot in its second weekend with a robust $34 million, topping my $31.1 million prediction. The Will Smith/Martin Lawrence threequel has amassed $120 million in its first ten days. For context, the second Boys in 2003 took in $138 million for its whole domestic run.
1917 was second with $15.9 million, in line with my $16.4 million take. The WWI epic has crossed the century mark at $103 million at it continues to build awards momentum for the following weekend.
Dolittle was third with $12.1 million (I was right there at $12.4 million) for an underwhelming two-week tally of $44 million.
Guy Ritchie’s crime caper The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey had the best debut in fourth at $10.6 million, just ahead of my $9.6 million projection. That’s pretty much right in line with expectations.
Jumanji: The Next Level rounded out the top five with $7.7 million and I incorrectly had it outside the high five. Total is $283 million as the triple century mark looks achievable.
Finally, critically drubbed horror pic The Turning was sixth with a weak $6.9 million showing. I was higher at $9 million. To add insult to injury, audiences hated it as it was marked with a rare F Cinemascore grade. That’s the second this year after The Grudge.
Blogger’s Note (01/22): Revising my The Turning estimate down from to $12.2 million to $9 million
Two new titles open wide this weekend, but the Bad Boys ain’t going nowhere from the #1 spot after a scorching debut. We have the supernatural horror pic The Turning and Guy Ritchie comedic crime caper The Gentlemen with Matthew McConaughey premiering. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:
I question whether either newcomer can hit the teens. I have The Turning almost getting there and placing fourth just behind the second weekend of Dolittle. As for The Gentlemen, I’m forecasting that it struggles to reach double digits and that should put it in the five spot.
Bad Boys for Life should lose about half its Friday to Sunday opening weekend haul and that would put it in the low 30s and far ahead of the pack. As for potential Best Picture winner 1917, look for it to jump up a spot to second as its drop shouldn’t be as pronounced as the Dolittle one.
And with that, my top 5 take on the weekend:
1. Bad Boys for Life
Predicted Gross: $31.1 million
Predicted Gross: $16.4 million
Predicted Gross: $12.4 million
4. The Gentlemen
Predicted Gross: $9.6 million
5. The Turning
Predicted Gross: $9 million
Box Office Results (January 17-20)
Sporting the second best MLK long weekend gross of all time, sequelitis certainly was no issue for the return of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys for Life. The action comedy exploded beyond expectations (with good reviews to boot) for $73 million over the four-day frame. That dwarfs my measly $45.6 million projection. Surprise surprise! A fourth edition has already been announced.
Don’t expect to see Dolittle 2. The Robert Downey Jr. family adventure made $28.3 million and that did top my $22.3 million estimate. However, with poor critical reaction and a bloated $175 million budget, it’s still a subpar result.
1917 dropped to third with $26.9 million, under my $34.4 million forecast. The Oscar hopeful is up to $81 million and it should hit the century club by this weekend.
Jumanji: The Next Level was fourth with $12.6 million (I said $11.8 million) for $273 million overall.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker rounded out the top five with $10.5 million compared to my $9.6 million prediction. Total is $494 million.
I incorrectly had Little Women outside of my top six projections, but it was 6th with $8.2 million. The Best Picture nominee is at $86 million.
Finally, I had Just Mercy holding better in its second weekend of wide release. It earned $7.5 million, below my $10.2 million take for a middling $21 million.
Blogger’s Note (01/22): I’m revising my estimate down from $12.2 million to $9 million
Universal Pictures is hoping horror fans turn out next weekend for The Turning. The supernatural tale is based on the late 19th century Henry James novel The Turn of the Shrew. Floria Sigismondi, best known for her music video and TV work, directs. Mackenzie Davis and Joely Richardson star along with Finn Wolfhard (of Stranger Things and It fame) and Brooklyn Prince (from The Florida Project) as orphans with some dark secrets.
The project was originally set to film back in 2016 before production was halted and its original director and writer were fired. Over one year later, it was back on track with a new team. Will the troubled development mean troubling box office returns? My feeling is yes.
Low double digits to low teens appears most probable. It’s always worth noting that horror can over perform, but I’m not seeing it here.
The Turning opening weekend prediction: $9 million