Bumblebee Box Office Prediction

Times have changed in significant ways for the Transformers franchise that started eleven years ago. They manifest themselves with the release next weekend of Bumblebee, a prequel to the multi-billion series. For starters, Michael Bay is not in the director’s chair for the first time after making the first five. Travis Knight, most known for the acclaimed animated Kubo and the Two Strings, takes over those duties. Hailee Steinfeld headlines the 1980s set tale alongside John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, and the voice of Dylan O’Brien as the title Autobot.

A second major difference: Bumblebee is unexpectedly getting very good reviews with a current Rotten Tomatoes rating of 97%. Nearly every sequel since the 2007 original has been critically lambasted while still bringing in the bucks. Positive word-of-mouth should only help, but competition is fierce as the holidays approach. Two days before this debuts, Mary Poppins Returns is out and will take away family audiences. Opening directly against it is Aquaman, which will siphon away action fans.

Which brings us to point #3 – expectations have fallen for the franchise and Paramount hopes its best revenge is better than anticipated returns. This will almost surely have the smallest premiere of the series. That’s even with the caveat that four of the five Transformers pics got early jumps and opened during the middle of the week. The series showed rust in the summer of 2017 when The Last Knight had a $44 million traditional Friday to Sunday rollout and a $130 million domestic haul (by far the lowest of the quintet).

Add all that up and I’m not convinced the pleasing critical (ahem) buzz gets this beyond mid 20s considering its venerable competitors.

Bumblebee opening weekend prediction: $26.2 million


For my Aquaman prediction, click here:


For my Mary Poppins Returns prediction, click here:


For my Second Act prediction, click here:


For my Welcome to Marwen prediction, click here:


Oscar Watch: Bumblebee

Alright, stay with me here. You might be thinking it’s silly to see a post with Bumblebee and Oscar Watch in the same title. However, let us not forget that the Transformers franchise (despite mostly negative reviews) has garnered seven nominations from the Academy over the last decade plus.

In 2007, the original film received three nods (Best Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing). Two years later, sequel Revenge of the Fallen got a Sound Mixing mention. In 2011, Dark of the Moon nabbed the same three category nods as part one. Follow-ups Age of Extinction and The Last Knight went empty-handed in the Academy’s tech categories.

This brings us to Bumblebee, the 1980s set prequel that opens on December 21. Critical reaction has been surprisingly strong and it stands at 100% at the moment on Rotten Tomatoes. Many reviews suggest it’s the best of the series.

Last week, the pic made the shortlist of 20 entries eligible for Best Visual Effects. Therefore, it’s got a chance and the sound races could come into play as well. My feeling is that some other high-profile blockbusters will get in before this. Yet I wouldn’t totally count it out based on the positive notices.

Bottom line: this franchise has shown its ability in three categories to get attention. Bumblebee has an outside chance at recognition. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Transformers: The Last Knight Box Office Prediction

A week from today, Transformers: The Last Knight appears primed to easily rule the #1 spot. The question is how the fifth entry in the franchise performs compared to its predecessors. Michael Bay is back in the director’s chair (reportedly for the final time) with returning cast members Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, and John Turturro. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Nicola Peltz are new to the series. Most importantly, Optimus, Bumblebee, and plenty of Autobots and Decepticons return in their CG form.

The pic, with its reported $260 million budget, faces no other features opening directly against it. This Transformers franchise has shown itself to be critic proof over its decade of existence. That said, Knight‘s predecessor posted a series low domestically.

Let’s take a trip down box office grosses lane for these bots, shall we?

Transformers (2007)

Opening Weekend: $70.5 million three-day opening with $155 million over six-day July 4th weekend roll out. $319 million total domestic gross.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Opening Weekend: $108.9 million three-day opening with $200 million five-day roll out. $402 million total domestic gross.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Opening Weekend: $97.8 million three-day opening with $180.6 million six-day July 4th weekend roll out. $352 million total domestic gross.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)

Opening Weekend: $100 million. $245 million total domestic gross.

As you can see, Age of Extinction earned more than $100 million less than the third entry. It’s also the only one that opened over a regular three-day release. The Last Knight debuts on Wednesday so you’ll be witnessing my guesstimate for its traditional weekend and five-day gross.

Whew… got all that?

Knight appears likely to suffer from franchise fatigue stateside. It’s worth noting that this franchise makes a killing overseas and that should not change.  I could see a three-day haul in the mid to high with a five-day take of just over $80 million.

Transformers: The Last Knight opening weekend prediction: $57.8 million (Friday to Sunday), $81.5 million (Friday to Sunday)

Summer 2015 Movies: The Predicted Century Club

The 2015 Summer Movie Season officially kicks off two weeks from today when Avengers: Age of Ultron blasts into theaters. It will compete for the largest domestic opening of all time (where it needs to beat its predecessor) and is highly likely to be the season’s highest earner. That got me to thinking – while Ultron is poised to gross $500 million or higher, it’s been the $100 million mark that studios still like to brag about. This prompted me to look at the past five summer flick seasons and how many pictures reached that milestone.

In 2010, it was 13 movies that reached the mark: Toy Story 3, Iron Man 2, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Inception, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After, The Karate Kid, Grown Ups, The Last Airbender, The Other Guys, Salt, Robin Hood, and The Expendables.

Things improved in 2011 with 18 films reaching the century club: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Hangover Part II, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Cars 2, Thor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Captain America: First Avenger, The Help, Bridesmaids, Kung Fu Panda 2, X-Men: First Class, The Smurfs, Super 8, Horrible Bosses, Green Lantern, Bad Teacher, and Cowboys and Aliens.

The low mark was the following year in 2012 with just 12: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Brave, Ted, Madagascar 3, Men in Black 3, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Snow White and the Huntsman, Prometheus, Magic Mike, and The Bourne Legacy.

Yet the high mark came the following summer in 2013 with 19: Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Fast and Furious 6, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, The Heat, We’re the Millers, The Great Gatsby, The Conjuring, Grown Ups 2, The Wolverine, Now You See Me, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Hangover Part III, Epic, Pacific Rim, and This is the End.

2014 dipped with 14: Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Maleficent, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, 22 Jump Street, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Neighbors, Lucy, The Fault in Our Stars, and Edge of Tomorrow. 

That averages out to 15 pictures earning $100M plus per summer over this decade.

So where do I have 2015 matching up? Not breaking records, but in good shape. My predictions for the year’s $100M earners is 16 and they are as follows (in order of release date): Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, Pitch Perfect 2, Tomorrowland, San Andreas, Spy, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Ted 2, Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys, Minions, Ant-Man, Trainwreck, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and Fantastic Four. 

Of course, there’s always sleepers. And there’s others that I could have predicted but think will fall short: the Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara comedy Hot Pursuit, horror remake Poltergeist, the film version of Entourage, the Adam Sandler video game inspired action comedy Pixels, the Vacation reboot, and the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton are among them.

As predicted, summer 2015 should see its number of century club inductees on the slightly high end without reaching the heights of 2013. And as always, you’ll see box office predictions every Saturday from me on each and every one of ’em!

Box Office Predictions: July 25-27

Three new titles open Friday to challenge current two week champ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for box office dominance. They are the Scarlett Johannson action pic Lucy, The Rock led Hercules, and the Michael Douglas/Diane Keaton rom com And So It Goes. You can read my detailed prediction posts on each here:




As I see it, Lucy and Hercules may fight it out for the #1 position. If both underwhelm, there is an outside chance for Dawn to three-peat. As for other holdovers, current #2 The Purge: Anarchy is likely to suffer the typically big decline that horror titles do, though I’m not predicting it’ll drop as precipitously as the original fell (75%) last summer. The animated Planes: Fire & Rescue should have the smallest decline of all titles in its sophomore weekend while And So It Goes may have to settle for a sixth place debut.

And with that – my predictions for this coming weekend’s top 6:

1. Lucy

Predicted Gross: $28.1 million

2. Hercules

Predicted Gross: $21.4 million

3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Predicted Gross: $19.4 million (representing a drop of 46%)

4. Planes: Fire & Rescue

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million (representing a drop of 36%)

5. The Purge: Anarchy

Predicted Gross: $10.3 million (representing a drop of 65%)

6. And So It Goes

Predicted Gross: $9.3 million

Box Office Results (July 18-20)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes remained #1 for the second week in a row with $36.2 million, just above my $34.6M projection. The well-reviewed sequel has earned $139 million in ten days and a gross north of $200 million seems in the cards.

I far underestimated The Purge: Anarchy, which debuted strongly at second with $29.8 million – way beyond my $15.5M prediction. I incorrectly surmised that audience’s dislike of the original would hurt this. It didn’t. Expect a part 3 next year.

Disney’s Planes: Fire & Rescue opened third with a decent $17.5 million, under my generous $25.4M estimate. It couldn’t match the $22 million that its predecessor accomplished last summer, but it should hold well in future weekends.

The bomb of the weekend was undoubtedly the Cameron Diaz comedy Sex Tape, which stumbled out of the gate with $14.6 million – about half of my $29.1M projection. Oops. There’s no doubt that highly negative reviews hurt this and this will go down as one of the season’s biggest flops.

In fifth was holdover Transformers: Age of Extinction with $9.8 million in its fourth weekend, above my $7.7M estimate. It’s taken in $227 million so far and should get to $250 million, which will most likely allow it to be summer’s highest domestic grosser.

That’s all for now, everyone!


Box Office Predictions: July 18-20

We’ve got three new titles populating theaters this coming Friday: the Cameron Diaz/Jason Segel comedy Sex Tape, the horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy and Disney’s animated sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue. You can find my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:




These newbies could create a legitimate three-way race for the #1 spot. The main question is whether Sex Tape or Planes could exceed my expectations and knock current champ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from its perch? It’s certainly possible. Some could make the argument that the Purge sequel could over perform and compete, but I just don’t see that happening.

Ultimately I’m predicting the Apes will keep their considerable monkey business at #1 with the new entries coming in second through fourth. The well-reviewed Apes flick is likely to lose 45-55% of its audience in its sophomore frame. Transformers: Age of Extinction should fall to fifth.

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

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Predicted Gross: $34.6 million (representing a drop of 52%)

2. Sex Tape

Predicted Gross: $29.1 million

3. Planes: Fire & Rescue

Predicted Gross: $25.4 million

4. The Purge: Anarchy

Predicted Gross: $15.5 million

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Predicted Gross: $7.7 million (representing a drop of 53%)

Box Office Results (July 11-13)

As expected, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes dominated the weekend with a very solid $72.6 million haul – though it did fall a little short of my $77.2M projection. This is a great start for it and pretty much guarantees more franchise entrees in the near future.

Falling to second in weekend #3 was Transformers: Age of Extinction with $16.3 million, right in range with my $16.8M prediction. The fourth film in the Michael Bay series has earned $208 million so far. It will likely top out around $250 million and will easily be the lowest domestic grosser of the franchise.

Melissa McCarthy’s critically panned Tammy held up a bit better than I figured, placing third with $12.5 million – above my $10.7M estimate. The comedy has earned $56 million in two weeks.

In fourth was 22 Jump Street with $6.5 million, just outshining my $5.6M prediction. The sequel has earned $171 million. In fifth was How to Train Your Dragon 2 with $6 million. My prediction? $6 million! The animated sequel has earned a less than expected $152 million. Finally, Earth to Echo was sixth in weekend #2 with $5.4 million, in line with my $5.2M projection. Its taken in $24 million in two weeks.

And that’s all for now, friends!


Box Office Predictions: July 11-13

This coming weekend, there’s bound to be lots of monkey business at the box office as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opens. It looks on course to absolutely dominate the weekend and you can find my detailed prediction post on it here:


As I will talk about in just a minute, the Fourth of July holiday box office was unimpressive and that’s being kind. Dawn is the only new entry coming and all the holdovers should have drops ranging from high 30s to mid 50s. Current #1 and #2 Transformers: Age of Extinction and Tammy should suffer the largest drops.

And with that, I’ll predict the top six for the weekend:

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Predicted Gross: $77.2 million

2. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Predicted Gross: $16.8 million (representing a drop of 54%)

3. Tammy

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million (representing a drop of 50%)

4. How to Train Your Dragon 2

Predicted Gross: $6 million (representing a drop of 43%)

5. 22 Jump Street

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million (representing a drop of 43%)

6. Earth to Echo

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million (representing a drop of 39%)

Box Office Results (July 4-6)

As mentioned, this was a bad Fourth of July at the movies. How bad? Adjusted for inflation, it’s the poorest performance in 27 summers. Ouch. Summer 2014 is currently running 20% behind last summer. Transformers: Age of Extinction held onto the top spot with $37 million, but it’s 63% drop is troubling and Extinction will certainly be the lowest domestic grosser of the franchise. It couldn’t match my $42.2M estimate. The robot extravaganza has earned $175 million so far.

Melissa McCarthy’s Tammy got off to a middling start with $21.5 million over the Friday to Sunday portion of the weekend and $33.3 million since its Wednesday debut. This is below my respective estimates of $27.3M and $42.9M. Bad reviews and negative audience reaction (a troubling C+ on CinemaScore) likely contributed to its so-so premiere and it shouldn’t have the strong legs that many summer comedies develop.

In third was 22 Jump Street in its fourth weekend with $9.8 million, just above my $8.9M prediction. The blockbuster sequel stands at $159 million.

Landing with disappointing results in fourth was the horror flick Deliver Us from Evil with just $9.7 million over the traditional weekend and $15.2 million since Wednesday. It fell short of my respective estimates of $13.1M and $20.6M. Like most titles in its genre, expect this one to fall fast next weekend.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 made $8.9 million in weekend #4 for firth place, above my $7.8M projection. The animated sequel has brought in lackluster results and stands at $140 million so far, well below expectations.

Another kiddie pic debuted in sixth as I predicted with Earth to Echo earning a muted $8.3 million over the weekend and $13.5 million since Wednesday. This is just slightly higher than my estimates of $8M and $12.3M, respectively.

That’s all for now!