Vice Box Office Prediction

Three years after receiving multiple Oscar nominations for The Big Short, Adam McKay is touching hot button issues yet again with Vice. The biopic of Dick Cheney is out Christmas Day with Christian Bale in the title role. Costars include Amy Adams as wife Lynne, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, Steve Carell as Don Rumsfeld, Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, Jesse Plemons, and Alison Pill.

Like The Big Short, this has been subject to awards recognition already as it led the Golden Globes in number of nominations. The embargo for reviews was up earlier this week and the Rotten Tomatoes rating is currently 67%. That’s a bit less than expected, but a Best Picture nod seems quite possible while nominations for Bale and Adams look assured.

The decision to release Vice in the competitive holiday week could limit its potential out of the gate – yet it could appeal to adult moviegoers and politicos. With Christmas falling on a Tuesday, it’s likely its first threes days of earnings could match or even exceed the traditional weekend that follows. Short took in just over $10 million in its Yuletide 2015 wide expansion. For another comp with similar subject matter, Oliver Stone’s 2008 biopic W. did the exact same number as Short. 

Considering there are six days to ponder, I’ll say $7 million for the weekend with over $7 million added from Tuesday-Thursday.

Vice opening weekend prediction: $7.2 million (Friday to Sunday); $14.8 million (Tuesday to Sunday)

For my Holmes & Watson prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/12/18/holmes-watson-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Vice

One of my most eagerly anticipated Oscar Watch entries screened for the first time yesterday in the form of Vice, Adam McKay’s biopic of Vice President Dick Cheney with Christian Bale in the lead. While official reviews are embargoed until next month, plenty of social media reaction is available. The verdict? Just as Mary Queen of Scots proved to be a potential contender at the AFI Fest earlier this week, so too has this and perhaps more so.

In particular, word of mouth on Bale’s work is rapturous. He could easily find himself in the mix for not only a nomination, but for a Lead Actor win (his most serious competition appears to be Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born). Amy Adams plays wife Lynne and reviews suggest she’s a lock for a Supporting Actress nod. It would mark her sixth nomination and she’s yet to win. As for Sam Rockwell in Supporting Actor as George W. Bush, that appears less certain but possible (he won that race last year for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

For the past several weeks, I’ve had Vice at #9 in a bit of a placeholder position in Best Picture. I feel more confident today that it gets in and I foresee its ranking rising when I update predictions on Thursday. Same goes for McKay’s direction and his original screenplay, where it faces stiff competition from The Favourite, Green Book, and Roma. McKay’s last screenplay (2015’s The Big Short) won him an Adapted Screenplay gold statue. In down the line slots, Editing and especially Makeup and Hairstyling are possibilities.

Bottom line: Vice has likely solidified itself as a contender, with Bale and Adams as threats to win their respective fields. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Nobody’s Fool Box Office Prediction

It’s not a remake of the Paul Newman/Bruce Willis dramedy from almost a quarter century ago, but Nobody’s Fool is in theaters next weekend with some other familiar names. The comedy casts Tiffany Haddish as a recently released prisoner with some unique dating issues. Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, and Whoopi Goldberg costar.

Haddish, of course, broke out on the big screen in a major way last year with her acclaimed supporting role in Girls Trip. Just last month, she had another solid earner alongside Kevin Hart in Night School. This will be the biggest test so far of her newfound star power. It doesn’t hurt that her director is another name audiences know well – Tyler Perry.

In recent years, Perry’s non-Madea features often still manage opening weekends in the mid teens to low 20s. His spring thriller Acrimony took in $17.1 million for its start. His low mark came in 2014 with The Single Moms Club with just $8 million.

My feeling is that Haddish’s involvement should cause this to hit low to mid teens. I do wonder if its numbers could dwindle a bit since many moviegoers just saw her in Night School. For that reason, I’ll go on the lower scale of that range.

Nobody’s Fool opening weekend prediction: $14.5 million

For my Bohemian Rhapsody prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/10/23/bohemian-rhapsody-box-office-prediction/

For my The Nutcracker and the Four Realms prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/10/24/the-nutcracker-and-the-four-realms-box-office-prediction/

Acrimony Box Office Prediction

Tyler Perry leaves Madea aside for Easter next weekend as he directs and writes the psychological thriller Acrimony. The tale of a cheating husband and a vengeful wife stars Taraji P. Henson, Lyriq Bent, Crystle Stewart, and Jazmyn Simon. The Lionsgate release hopes to capitalize on Mr. Perry’s involvement, as well as Ms. Henson, who’s had some successes on the big and small screen.

There are certainly some similar genre comps to put this up against. The trick is figuring out where it will fall. Will it play like Henson’s own No Good Deed from 2014, which debuted to a stellar $24.2 million? Or the $25.6 million achieved by The Perfect Guy in 2015? In 2016, When the Bough Breaks managed $14.2 million. How about some other non-comedic directorial efforts from Perry: $21.6 million opening for Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor or $15.5 million for Good Deeds? On the low end, what about the measly $4.7 million from last year’s Unforgettable?

My hunch is a low to mid teens gross is probably the ticket, just below the gross of Bough.

Acrimony opening weekend prediction: $13.2 million

For my Ready Player One prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/03/20/ready-player-one-box-office-prediction/

For my God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/03/21/gods-not-dead-a-light-in-darkness-box-office-prediction/

The Star Box Office Prediction

Sony Pictures is hoping family and faith-based audiences make the journey to The Star next weekend. The animated tale is centered around some talking animals and their adventures as the first Christmas is occurring. Some familiar faces in both the film and music world provide voices including Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Keegan-Michael Key, Tyler Perry, Kristin Chenoweth, Zachary Levi, Tracy Morgan, Anthony Anderson, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Plummer, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, and even Oprah Winfrey.

Made for a small reported budget of just $18 million, The Star will hope to shine brightly with its intended audience before Pixar’s Coco arrives just five days later for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Prognosticating for this one is a little tricky. I could certainly see it exceeding expectations with a gross high in the teens. However, I believe a more likely scenario is an opening weekend in the lower double digits to maybe lower teens with hope that it holds over well the following holiday weekend (even with the Coco competition).

The Star opening weekend prediction: $10.3 million

For my Justice League prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/07/justice-league-box-office-prediction/

For my Wonder prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/08/wonder-box-office-prediction/

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween Box Office Prediction

Tyler’s Perry Madea character looks to say hello to the #1 spot again next weekend when Boo 2! A Madea Halloween debuts. As is the case with these ventures, the star both directs and writes. Costars include Cassi Davis and Patrice Lovely.

On this same weekend last year, A Madea Halloween opened a bit above expectations with $28 million, ruling the box office for two weeks and grossing $73 million overall. The uptick was a bit of a surprise since the previous holiday themed pic A Madea Christmas earned the lowest opening ($16M) of the six flicks carrying the Madea moniker and lowest overall domestic gross ($52M). 

Last October proved audiences still had love for the character and I don’t see that subsiding much here. Sequelitis may come into small effect, but a smallish decline of close to 20% under its predecessor still gets this in the low to mid 20s and that should be good enough for the top spot.

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween opening weekend prediction: $22.6 million

For my Only the Brave prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/10/11/only-the-brave-box-office-prediction/

For my Geostorm prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/10/12/geostorm-box-office-prediction/

For my The Snowman prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/10/12/the-snowman-box-office-prediction/

Boo! A Madea Halloween Box Office Prediction

Tyler Perry just can’t seem to quit his signature Madea character, even though the franchise’s fortunes have dwindled in recent years. And so it is that Boo! A Madea Halloween hits multiplexes next weekend.

This is the ninth (yes, ninth) pic to feature the tough talking granny and sixth to bear her name. Let’s take a look at the numbers for the previous four. 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail was the high mark with a $41 million opening and $90M overall domestic haul. Both 2011’s Madea’s Big Happy Family and 2012’s Madea’s Witness Protection made $25 million out of the gate and then grossed $53M and $65M, respectively. Yet it slowed down a bit with the last one – 2013’s holiday themed A Madea Christmas, which earned $16 million for its roll out and ended with $52M.

The three year lay-off of Madea sightings could hinder this one a bit more and continue the downward trend. After all, if a Christmas pic featuring the character under performed, this likely doesn’t bode well for Halloween Madea. I’ll say low double digits to low teens is all Boo! manages to scare up.

Boo! A Madea Halloween opening weekend prediction: $12.5 million

For my Jack Reacher: Never Go Back prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/10/11/jack-reacher-never-go-back-box-office-prediction/

For my Ouija: Origin of Evil prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/10/12/ouija-origin-of-evil-box-office-prediction/

For my Keeping Up with the Joneses prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/10/12/keeping-up-with-the-joneses-box-office-prediction/

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Box Office Prediction

Box office prognosticators such as myself were a little shell shocked two summers ago when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made its return to the big screen and posted a $65 million opening weekend. Its eventual domestic haul was $191M. The pizza loving reptiles are back again in Out of the Shadows alongside returnee non-reptile performers Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and William Fichtner. Chris O’Donnell look alike Stephen Amell joins the mix as Casey Jones, as do Tyler Perry and Laura Linney.

The Michael Bay produced franchise may not see much of a drop-off from its predecessor. The well-received 2014 effort (critics weren’t fans, but audiences ate it up) is still fresh in viewers minds. Youngsters who dug the first one and older fans introduced to Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello in the late 80s and early 90s should bring this sequel to a gross in the low 50s.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows opening weekend prediction: $50.3 million

For my Me Before You prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/25/me-before-you-box-office-prediction/

For my Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/26/popstar-never-stop-never-stopping-box-office-prediction/

Box Office Predictions: October 17-19

A trio of new pictures open this Friday to try and end the two week reign of Gone Girl at the top spot: Brad Pitt’s World War II actioner Fury, the Nicholas Sparks adapted romantic drama The Best of Me, and the animated tale The Book of Life. You can read my detailed posts on each here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/12/fury-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/12/the-best-of-me-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/12/the-book-of-life-box-office-prediction/

It’s hard to imagine Fury not having enough firepower to debut at #1, though The Best of Me or The Book of Life or both could surpass expectations. The real battle could be for the runner-up position as Gone Girl is likely to suffer a small decline and Best and Book should open in the same range.

As for other holdovers, I expect Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day to experience a slimmer decline than current #2 Dracula Untold.

And with that, we’ll do a top six projections for the weekend:

1. Fury

Predicted Gross: $26.4 million

2. The Best of Me

Predicted Gross: $17.8 million

3. Gone Girl

Predicted Gross: $17.6 million (representing a drop of 33%)

4. The Book of Life

Predicted Gross: $15.6 million

5. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Predicted Gross: $12.5 million (representing a drop of 32%)

6. Dracula Untold

Predicted Gross: $10.7 million (representing a drop of 54%)

Box Office Results (October 10-12)

David Fincher’s Gone Girl held off newcomers to remain atop the charts for the second week in a row. The water cooler hit based on Gillian Flynn’s novel took in $26.4 million, ahead of my $24.2M prediction and has amassed a terrific $77 million in ten days.

Dracula Untold had a robust beginning to the tune of $23.5 million, well beyond my meager $14.4M estimate. The pic is likely to fade rather quickly, but Universal Pictures has good reason to be pleased with its results.

The family comedy Alexander and its long title of a bad day debuted healthily with $18.3 million, right in range with my $18.7M prediction. The Steve Carell pic should hold up decently in subsequent weekends.

Horror spinoff Annabelle, as expected, dropped precipitously after its strong opening last weekend. It earned $15.8 million, barely above my $14.8M projection. It’s made $61 million so far.

Despite star Robert Downey Jr.’s relentless promotion last week, The Judge had difficulty luring viewers. It grossed just $13.1 million, below my $16.4M estimate. Mixed reviews may have kept some adult viewers away.

Finally, the steamy drama Addicted posted an impressive $7.4 million on a limited number of screens for a seventh place start. This outshined my $4.5M prediction.

That’s all for now, friends!

Gone Girl Movie Review

For better or worse.

The sacred wedding vows that couples take are taken to glorious extremes in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, based on the bestselling phenomenon of a novel written by Gillian Flynn. She also wrote the screenplay and I am pleased to report she remained faithful to her work.

While author Flynn’s faithfulness to her novel will undoubtedly make her readers happy, unbridled devotion is not a trait the principal characters of Nick (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) share with one another. Their romance starts on a positive note, but the complications of life eventually wear their union down. Jealousies arise. The everyday boredom of an existence in the Midwest away from her native New York takes its toll on Amy.

And on their five-year anniversary… Amy becomes the title character. She’s gone. There are clues to what may have happened. Blood samples. Notes left by Amy that she always made for Nick as kind of a scavenger hunt to retrace the history of their relationship. In this case, they may serve as something more.

Nick quickly becomes a suspect as the husband in these instances usually do. The tabloid media feasts on the tale of the missing woman and her significant other who dares to smile at the missing persons press conference. Along the way, Flynn’s screenplay gradually reveals more and more about this couple. For those unfamiliar with the source material, it won’t be what you expect.

Writing a review of Gone Girl is complicated, to say the least. Just as you didn’t want to reveal the many twists to one about to read the book, the same holds true for its film adaptation. So I’ll put it this way – David Fincher was the right guy for this project. Through Seven and The Game and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, there is perhaps no director better at this kind of dark material. As you’d expect, Gone Girl‘s technical aspects are flawless, from the cinematography to the score (by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) to the production design and so forth.

There are details about Amy and Nick’s personas that couldn’t possibly be fully explored in the way the book manages, but the picture come awfully close. The casting is key here and Affleck and Pike nail their roles. Nick is neither your typical panicked husband whose wife has vanished nor the sinister monster who may or may not have done the unthinkable. And Amy is far from just the victim. Pike’s performance in particular is something else with the range of emotions she must go through. Expect her to get a Best Actress nod come Oscar time.

Fincher has a habit of unconventional casting choices and there are two here worthy of special mention: Neil Patrick Harris as a former stalker of Amy’s and Tyler Perry as a brilliant criminal defense attorney. Both shine in their against type casting parts. Carrie Coon also merits a shout out for her strong work as Nick’s twin sister.

Gone Girl, more than anything, is about the facades people put on to get into their relationships, maintain them, and possibly lose them. It’s about asking the question of whether or not you ever truly know the individual you call your soul mate. For better or worse, Nick and Amy take a journey in Gone Girl to find out. The results are often shocking and consistently enthralling to the audience.

***1/2 (out of four)