2016: The Year of Casey Affleck

Nearly a decade ago, Casey Affleck received a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It was that same year in 2007 that he starred in his brother Ben’s well-received directorial debut Gone Baby Gone and appeared for the third time in Oceans Thirteen as part of that blockbuster trilogy.

Since then, Affleck’s career has been a mix of smaller flicks like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Out of the Furnace with supporting roles in studio fare like Tower Heist and Interstellar. He also made a strange excursion into directing with the Joaquin Phoenix “documentary” I’m Still Here.

His 2016 started rather unremarkably with two pics that came and went – The Finest Hours and Triple 9. Yet it was that same time early in the year that word came out from Sundance about Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan’s drama about grief and family. And the word was quite impressive.

At the close of 2016, Manchester stands as a serious awards contender with its star assured a nomination for Best Actor. It is likely it will come down to Affleck and Denzel Washington (Fences) for the win. The former has already picked up a number of critics prizes for his most acclaimed role thus far. He closed out the year by hosting the “Saturday Night Live” Christmas show, including a very amusing bit involving Dunkin Donuts.

The Sundance Film Festival next month will showcase Affleck’s next project – A Ghost Story alongside Rooney Mara. Who knows what that will bring, but it certainly kickstarted a supremely lauded year for Affleck this year.

Box Office Predictions: March 4-6

A quartet of new releases start out the month of March at the box office this weekend. They are Disney Animation’s Zootopia, action sequel London Has Fallen, Tina Fey war comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and British horror entry The Other Side of the Door. You can read my detailed prediction posts on each here:





Zootopia should have no trouble ending the three week domination of Deadpool atop the charts while I expect London to hit the #2 spot, putting Ryan Reynolds’ vulgar superhero in the three spot with Whiskey placing fourth. Box office dud Gods of Egypt should be fifth in its second weekend, as long as its anticipated hefty decline doesn’t allow Kung Fu Panda 3 to remain in the top five. As for The Other Side of the Door, it’s only opening on around 500 screens and my $2.1 million prediction for it leaves it far outside the top five.

And with that, my predictions for the weekend:

  1. Zootopia

Predicted Gross: $54.4 million

2. London Has Fallen

Predicted Gross: $24.6 million

3. Deadpool

Predicted Gross: $16.9 million (representing a drop of 45%)

4. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Predicted Gross: $8.4 million

5. Gods of Egypt

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million (representing a drop of 58%)

Box Office Results (February 26-28)

As anticipated, Deadpool maintained the #1 position for the third weekend in a row. The three new entries were, as Donald Trump might say, “low energy”. Ryan Reynolds’ phenomenon took in $31.1 million (compared to my $28M forecast) for a total of $285M.

Gods of Egypt proved to be the first massive bomb of the year as the inexplicably budgeted $140 million action fantasy grossed just $14.1 million, which was on pace with my $13.9M estimate.

Animated sequel Kung Fu Panda 3 was third in weekend #5 with $8.8 million, in line with my $8.2M projection for a total gross of $128M.

Biblical drama Risen was fourth in its sophomore frame with $6.8 million, right there with my $7.1M prediction for a ten day total of $22M.

Two newcomers had soft debuts for the fifth and sixth slots. Heist thriller Triple 9 earned $6.1 million (just below my prediction of $6.9M) for fifth while Olympic drama Eddie the Eagle was iced in sixth with only $6 million (I was much kinder with an $11.2M estimate).

And that’ll do it for now. folks! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: February 26-28

Like last weekend, a trio of newcomers will attempt to unseat the reign of Deadpool at the box office. They are big budget action fantasy Gods of Egypt, Olympic sports tale Eddie the Eagle, and heist thriller Triple 9. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:




And like last weekend, I don’t see any of them topping the raunchy Ryan Reynolds superhero megahit. Deadpool should lose about half its audience in weekend #3, allowing it to easily come in first. As for newbies, Gods of Egypt and Eddie the Eagle should manage 2nd and 3rd with Triple 9 competing for a top five showing. Holdovers Kung Fu Panda 3 and Risen may lose between 35-40% of its crowds.

And with that, a top 6 predictions for this weekend:

  1. Deadpool

Predicted Gross: $28 million (representing a drop of 50%)

2. Gods of Egypt

Predicted Gross: $13.9 million

3. Eddie the Eagle

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

4. Kung Fu Panda 3

Predicted Gross: $8.2 million (representing a drop of 35%)

5. Risen

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million (representing a drop of 38%)

6. Triple 9

Predicted Gross: $6.9 million

Box Office Results (February 19-21)

As expected, Deadpool continued to rule the charts in its sophomore frame with $56.4 million – in range with my $58.6M estimate. Its two week total stands at an astonishing $236M and, as mentioned above, it should continue its dominance next weekend.

Kung Fu Panda 3 was second with $12.5 million, a bit above my $10.8M projection for a four week haul of $114M.

Biblical drama Risen was the top newcomer in third with $11.8 million, not quite reaching my $14.2M prediction. This is a fair debut and it hopes to experience smallish declines as Easter approaches.

Critically lauded low budget horror pic The Witch debuted in fourth with $8.8 million, ahead of my $6.7M estimate. Considering its reported $1 million budget, this is quite a tidy sum.

Rom com How to Be Single was fifth in its second weekend with $8.2 million, just below my prediction of $9.2M for a two week total of $31M.

Jesse Owens biopic Race had a muted sixth place premiere with $7.3 million, below my $10.6M forecast.

Finally, Ben Stiller’s box office dud of a sequel slipped to seventh with $5.4 million (I said $6.1M) for a total of just $23M.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…


Triple 9 Box Office Prediction

With a cast of familiar faces, John Hillcoat’s heist thriller Triple 9 hits theaters next weekend. Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, and Kate Winslet headline this pic, which is getting pretty decent notices (57% currently on Rotten Tomatoes).

The marketing campaign for Triple 9 hasn’t done a whole lot to set itself apart from other genre fare. Of the three newbies out next weekend (Gods of Egypt, Eddie the Eagle), this seems likeliest to come in third among them. This may even struggle to reach the $10 million opening mark achieved by Hillcoat’s last effort, 2012’s Lawless. I’ll predict it doesn’t for a muted premiere.

Triple 9 opening weekend prediction: $6.9 million

For my Gods of Egypt prediction, click here:


For my Eddie the Eagle prediction, click here: