The Sun Is Also a Star Box Office Prediction

The genre of young adult romances has its share of misses at the box office recently. The Sun Is Also a Star will try to reverse that next weekend and that could be tough. Yara Shahidi (best known for TV’s “Black-ish”) is a bright college student who connects with exchange student Charles Melton (of Netflix’s “Riverdale”). Complications arise when her family faces deportation. Costars include Jake Choi, John Leguizamo, and Hill Harper.

Sun is directed by Ry Russo-Young. She’s already had one YA genre flop in the form of Before I Fall, which opened in 2017 to just $4.6 million. The pic is based on a novel by Nicola Yoon, who also wrote Everything, Everything. Its film adaptation two years ago performed better and debuted to just over $11 million.

I don’t see this reaching the heights of the latter or going quite as low as the former. Mid to possibly upper single digits appears likely.

The Sun Is Also a Star opening weekend prediction: $5.5 million

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Kin Box Office Prediction

Labor Day weekend brings the sci-fi pic Kin, which hopes to bring in a family and teen audience that have had plenty to see this summer. It’s not based on a YA novel, but it could pass as such an adaptation. That may not be great news as the genre seems to be dwindling.

Jonathan and Josh Baker direct with a cast including Jack Reynor, Myles Truitt, Zoe Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Dennis Quaid, and James Franco as a crime lord (the guy is certainly eclectic).

The Lionsgate release seems to be flying well under the radar and the Labor Day release date doesn’t inspire much confidence in its prospects. This is typically a slow time of year on the box office calendar and I’m getting a bit of a Darkest Minds vibe here.

That means I foresee a holiday debut in the mid single digits.

Kin opening weekend prediction: $3.9 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

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For my The Little Stranger prediction, click here:

The Darkest Minds Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (08/02/18) – On the eve of its premiere, I am revising my estimate from $8.7 million to $6.3 million

Based on a series of YA novels from Alexandra Bracken, The Darkest Minds debuts in theaters next weekend. The dystopian adventures stars Amandla Stenberg (from last year’s Everything, Everything), Mandy Moore, Gwendoline Christie, and Bradley Whitford. Jennifer Yuh Nelson (best known for making parts 2 and 3 of the animated Kung Fu Panda  franchise) directs.

We are far removed from the YA adaptation heyday of The Hunger Games and Twilight series. 20th Century Fox doesn’t seem to be hyping this one much. Instead of anything near Katniss or Bella numbers, I could see this struggling to reach double digits. The best comp could be 2013’s The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which made a piddling $9.3 million for its start and effectively ended any chance of future sequels. That will probably be the case here with a dark opening for Minds.

The Darkest Minds opening weekend prediction: $6.3 million

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Everything, Everything Box Office Prediction

Warner Bros. is out with a new YA flick based on a book next weekend when Everything, Everything debuts. The romance casts Amandla Stenberg (best known as Rue from The Hunger Games) who suffers from SCID, also known as “Bubble Baby Disease”. The aforementioned romantic plot involves Nick Robinson (best known as the older brother in Jurassic World). Stella Meghie directs this adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s debut novel.

I wouldn’t expect anything near The Fault in Our Stars numbers here. That said, previous genre entries have a habit of hitting double digits. Everything is out in 2800 theaters and I think it stands a fair shot at outperforming Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, which is obviously going for an even younger demographic.

I’ll predict this does manage to top $10M for a third place showing this weekend.

Everything, Everything opening weekend prediction: $12.3 million

For my Alien: Covenant prediction, click here:

For my Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul prediction, click here:

Before I Fall Box Office Prediction

Looking for the teen dramatic thriller version of Groundhog Day? It appears you can find it next weekend when Before I Fall debuts. Based on a 2010 YA bestseller by Lauren Oliver, the pic centers on a teen (Zoey Deutch) living the final day of her life repeatedly. Costars include Halston Sage, Logan Miller, and Jennifer Beals (yep, the star of Flashdance!).

Fall premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to some positive reviews and it sits at 64%  currently on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, the Open Roads release isn’t expected to rise much with audiences. The marketing campaign has been rather low key and I suspect a mid to possibly high single digits opening is the probable result.

Before I Fall opening weekend prediction: $5.3 million

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The Divergent Series: Allegiant Box Office Prediction

Shailene Woodley and company are back next weekend in The Divergent Series: Allegiant, the third entry in the YA adaptations from author Veronica Roth. The dystopian sci fi pic arrives in the same March slot as its predecessors, 2014’s Divergent and last year’s Insurgent. Director Robert Schwentke is back behind the camera and costars include Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts, Jeff Daniels, Octavia Spencer, and Zoe Kravitz.

Second installment Insurgent saw a slight dip from the first entry. While Divergent debuted to $54 million and eventually grossed $150M domestic, Insurgent opened at $52 million with an overall $130M tally. Reviews for Allegiant haven’t been kind… it sits at 0% currently on Rotten Tomaotes and I look for its returns to continue diminishing. Even the third and fourth Hunger Games pics saw dips from the first two and this should follow suit.

I’ll say this first Allegiant (the second part arrives in March 2017) will be the first of the series to fall below the $50M mark out of the gate with low to mid 40s being more probable.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant opening weekend prediction: $43.7 million

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The 5th Wave Box Office Prediction

Adapted from a popular 2013 YA novel by Rick Yancey, Chloe Grace Moretz stars in the alien invasion flick The 5th Wave, out next weekend. Costarring Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maria Bello, and Liev Schrieber, Columbia Pictures hopes to capture the wave of hunger gaming, diverging, and maze running that have made those entries into hits.

Reviews are negative so far with just a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and there doesn’t seem to be much excitement generated around this. As I see it, this has little hope of breaking out like the aforementioned movies. I see this performing similarly to The Giver, which debuted to $12.3 million in the summer of 2014.

The 5th Wave opening weekend prediction: $11.4 million

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The Maze Runner Movie Review

The Maze Runner is another film that can thank its existence to the YA… Hey, that’s the little kid from Love Actually!!! The one that played Liam Neeson’s son!! The kid that played the drums while his elementary school crush sang Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” and broke numerous airport protocols with the help of Mr. Bean so he could get a kiss on the cheek from her!! Yes, that was my honest first reaction during about the first 15 minutes of this movie as I saw actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster all grown up. Let it be known: I adore Love Actually and I’m not afraid to say it.

Where were we? Ahh yes. The Maze Runner indeed is another film, like Divergent, that can thank its existence to the recent YA boom made largely popular by the Hunger Games and their movie adaptations. This, too, is based on a popular series of novels by James Dashner and deals with teenagers put in perilous situations where they must learn to work together. We open with 16 year old Thomas (Dylan O’Brien, who was 22 when this was made) waking up in a strange land where he has no recollection of who he is or how he arrived there (and not like a blacked out college kid that drank too much the night before way). The large field he finds himself in has been dubbed The Glade by its inhabitants, who are all also young boys in the same predicament. Including Love Actually dude!! Thomas soon learns that he’s the latest arrival in a series of men that arrive like clockwork every month. They’re surrounded by an enormous maze and the field dwellers have spent considerable time attempting to figure out how to get out of it with no luck.

There are rules in the community. Only men tasked as “runners” are permitted to enter the maze for investigatory purposes. If you don’t make it out by a certain time of day, you’re a dead man and scrawled names on the maze wall serve as their memorial. Thomas is understandably confused but also intrigued and his tenacity to solve the maze riddle is not totally met with approval, especially from Gally played by Will Poulter (the dude who sang TLC’s “Waterfalls” in We’re the Millers). There’s also Alby (Ami Ameen), who’s the resident OG (Original Glader). And Chuck (Blake Cooper), Thomas’s portly sidekick who is basically the community’s Chunk from The Goonies. And then a girl shows up (Kaya Scodelario), who actually knows her name and also seems to know Thomas. She’s not given a whole lot to do and I’m assuming her role becomes more pronounced in the sequels. There’s also that kid from Love Actually!!

Once Thomas and his cohorts enter the maze after he jumps the line to become a Runner, we soon discover it might be the gigantic robot spider creatures (or Grievers) causing a good deal of the problems. These creatures (who frankly look quite CG) contribute to the action sequences, which are handled fairly well but are nothing special or new whatsoever.

Eventually Patricia Clarkson shows up to explain the plot and also because it’s a rule that at least one Oscar nominated actor appear in these pictures, a la Woody Harrelson and Kate Winslet. As far as acting is concerned, O’Brien gives a serviceable performance as our lead, but 16? I don’t think so. Poulter stands out a bit, proving he can play a jerk after only knowing him as a virginal sweetie from We’re the Millers. And Love Actually kid is just fine.

Ranking The Maze Runner among the first editions of these YA novel based adaptations is rather simple. It isn’t as good as The Hunger Games but it’s better than Divergent. The plot is somewhat ridiculous once we are apprised of it, but director Wes Ball moves things along and it’s mostly entertaining while it lasts (though it kind of loses steam as it goes along). It sets itself perfectly up for a sequel (which is currently #1 at the box office) and there’s just enough in this original that I’ll likely watch its follow up like I did this one. On the couch and less surprised at seeing that Love Actually drummer boy kid.

**1/2 (out of four)

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials Box Office Prediction

Premiering one year after its predecessor, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials hopes to built upon the solid grosses the franchise began with and perhaps surpass them. The dystopian series, based on popular YA novels by T.S. Nowlin, brings back original stars including Dylan O’Brien and Patricia Clarkson along with some other recognizable faces like Giancarlo Esposito, Barry Pepper and Lili Taylor.

Some prognosticators have Scorch Trails debuting considerably higher than the first film. I’m just not convinced. The original opened on the same weekend last year to the tune of $32.5 million with an eventual domestic gross of $102M. Predictions reflecting a belief that this will manage mid 40s or higher seem a tad lofty for me.

For comparison sake, a similarly themed franchise that began with Divergent made $54 million out of the gate and its sequel this year Insurgent rolled out with a slightly smaller $52 million. I do believe Scorch Trials will outdo the first, but not by much at all.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials opening weekend prediction: $33.8 million


If I Stay Box Office Prediction

Summit Entertainment is the studio de jour for young adult flicks and they’ve got another one this Friday with If I Stay, based on the novel by Gayle Forman. The film centers on a teen played by Chloe Grace Moritz of Kick Ass fame dealing with love and loss and is directed by R.J. Cutler, who seems a bit out of his element because he’s known more for making political documentaries.

If I Stay would love to follow in the footsteps of an earlier pic this summer, The Fault in Our Stars. That seems unlikely to occur as it’s been curiously under marketed and the late summer release is often somewhat of a dumping ground for studios. If Stay can debut above $15 million, the studio should consider that a success. I wonder if it will even manage double digits. My prediction is that it will get there, but not by much and my estimate puts it in the same range as another YA movie, The Giver, from this past weekend.

If I Stay opening weekend prediction: $12.1 million

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