Human Torch, come light up the box office. And produce some ‘fire’works, along the way too.
Once again, don’t blame me if some of the below are repetition of what I have already mentioned in the August Box Office Preview– I have already put most of my analysis for the new films there, so repetition is inevitable here (especially for Fantastic Four)
This weekend sees a four way brawl towards being the top new opener of the week- and the fight goes on between Fantastic Four, The Gift, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Ricki and the Flash. However, as if there was much to argue about, it looks pretty obvious which of those four will emerge right on top. If you’re still unsure, I guess you gotta read on to find out. Anyway, here goes my individual film analysis:
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS: $37 MILLION
FINAL GROSS PREDICTIONS: $90 MILLION
Whew. Fantastic Four. The last time it was adapted into a film series, it failed, mostly due to its disappointing reception. Fox wants to give it yet another shot, seeing that they have successfully injected some life into their otherwise ailing X-Men universe. Here they come, with a brand new cast which is much younger in comparison. Oh, and to rhyme with the rest of the X-Men universe, here’s your favorite dark, gritty take that you have all been longing for. This production has been riddled controversy, including the casting of Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm, and putting Josh Trank in as the director. Josh Trank hasn’t really been satisfied with the way things are going, and has reportedly showed signs of opposition on set, though they were mostly denied. Marketing hasn’t really demonstrated much confidence either, using catchphrases which we have encountered before (and doesn’t come close to sounding beefy) like ‘With Great Power comes Great Responsibility’. There’s of course more phrases which I swear I’ve heard before, but I’m too lazy to figure out their origins. Well, that’s what I wrote on my August preview. It wasn’t really that long ago when I wrote that. But now, it looks like things have taken a turn for the worst. Fantastic Four might have seemed like hope amidst a dark future, one which many would get hopeful for, after the hopeful teaser trailer, but it looks like that was merely an example of adding dressing to the salad- reviews have been nothing short of catastrophic, having a 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes after 123 reviews. In comparison, that’s worse than the already widely derided and cheesy 2005 version of Fantastic Four and its subsequent sequel, both of which earned 27% and 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And that easily makes it into the top 3 list of worst reviewed superhero movies ever (or is it the worst?) Things don’t look bright for this film, for people are probably going to take a wait-and-see approach for this one after its horrible take the last time round. Add to the fact that this film seems like a fallback in genre advancements- in simpler terms, a return to the simpler days prior-Avengers, and as I have previously mentioned in my Superhero Saturation article, simply won’t be as appealing as before, due to the raising of moviegoer’s standards. Social media has been relatively quiet as well for a superhero movie. Therefore, I’m predicting a really quiet weekend for this film, far below what market analysts are expecting ($40-45 million is a ridiculously high bar for this film, honestly)
RICKI AND THE FLASH
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS: $7 MILLION
FINAL GROSS PREDICTIONS: $23 MILLION
Meryl Streep really can play everything. Regardless of genre, she’s willing to try things out. Just like hoe Tom Cruise always finds new ways to one-up his stunts, Streep always finds new types of roles to play and show that she can win an Oscar no matter what material you throw her with. She’s going to be a rock star this time, in Ricki and the Flash. Nothing much to say about this film, sadly, due to my hardly existent knowledge on this film except what you can get online. Regardless, it’s undeniable that Meryl Streep has formed quite a small bit of gathering, after her Oscar wins and nominations, and people will probably be interested to check this out purely based on star power. After all, this is a star-driven project. Don’t expect anything higher than $10 million- I’m going much smaller than that.
SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS: $5 MILLION
FINAL GROSS PREDICTIONS: $20 MILLION
Shaun the Sheep Movie has already been out since February in the UK. And it has finished its run in several overseas market either, and only now will it finally have a chance to be savored by the North American crowd. Shaun the Sheep Movie is coming off fabulous reviews (99% on Rotten Tomatoes after 101 reviews) and a $59.7 million overseas gross, and it looks likely to repeat this is in the US. As we have seen from British animated films, Paddington was a hit here back in January, where it opened to $19 million. Perhaps this will capitalize on the otherwise really quiet and deprived kids market. They haven’t really seen decent animated film in theaters since Minions, as Pixels was a relative PG-13, not that kids-friendly and unenjoyable entertainment piece. Of course, I’m not expecting this film to come close- even overseas numbers pale in comparison- and hence am projecting for a much smaller opening. Based on what we see so far, it seems like that really is true. Shaun the Sheep Movie opened early on Wednesday and earned $853k, and dropped to $715k on Thursday. With such quiet numbers (that gives it around $1.5 million after two days), its unlikely this film sees a huge uptick in ticket sales over the weekend. For that, I’m projecting only $5 million over its opening weekend, a figure which will be driven by how strong family turn out happens to be.
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS: $4 MILLION
FINAL GROSS PREDICTIONS: $14 MILLION
The Gift is Joel Egerton’s first film in which he serves under the director’s capacity. Early reviews have indicated generally favorable reviews, which definitely bodes well for the film’s arthouse prospects. More specifically, it has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment after 72 reviews. However, this looks likely to play more like an arthouse film, and open into less than 2000 theaters. Here’s hoping star power can be on this film’s side- there’s Jason Bateman in the lead, after all.
Onto holdover news, Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation is going to be clinching on to the runner-up position this weekend, after a massive opening the previous weekend. Over its opening weekend, the latest installment in the action-spy franchise earned $55.5 million, on the heels of encouraging reviews which promised one of the best Mission Impossible films to date. Lets take a look back at past installments in the franchise, with the exception of Ghost Protocol (it released in Winter, so had a really different hold pattern, and summer is generally more front-loaded in nature). Mission Impossible 3 opened back in May 2006 and dipped 47.6% on its second weekend. Part 2 opened in the same month back in 2000 and dipped 53.3% from its 5-day opening, but that comparison isn’t fair, due to its different release pattern. Mission Impossible 3, though, opened in a period where people tended to be more laid back- people these days rush out for Midnight or Thursday previews, due to hype and long-term anticipation. Mission Impossible fans should have been well-informed, after a plethora of great reviews and lots of marketing dominated the web and televisions. Therefore, it’s only wise to expect a bigger drop here- somewhere around 50% seems plausible, but anything higher will be a surprise, considering word of mouth is supposed to be setting in. Meanwhile, for Vacation, the story is likely to be different- its coming off a disappointing opening and horrendous reviews. Nothing’s going to save this, and a 55% decline is likely.
This weekend last year saw an equally huge pool of new openers, but at least they seemed more appealing- we had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles open to $65.6 million, being yet another surprise in an otherwise quiet summer (apart from GoTG). Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t a one-weekend affair though, but it had to suffer a 55.3% dip to $42.1 million due to the typical Marvel front-loading and hype on its opening weekend. Into the Storm and The Hundred Foot Journey were big in their own rights, taking up the next two positions with $17.3 million and $11.0 million respectively. The top 10 earned $169.7 million, a figure which will definitely be unreachable yet again, leading to the second straight down week.
Here’s my top 10 estimates for the weekend (new films are bolded):
1)Fantastic Four- $37 million (NEW!!!)
2)Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation- $28.3 million (-49%)
3)Ricki and the Flash- $7 million (NEW!!!)
4)Ant-Man- $6.8 million (-47%)
5)Vacation- $6.6 million (-55%)
8)Trainwreck- $5.6 million (-42%)
7)Shaun the Sheep Movie- $5 million (NEW!!!)
8)Pixels- $4.4 million (-58%)
9)The Gift- $4 million (NEW!!!)
10)Southpaw- $3.9 million (-49%)
TOP 10 PREDICTIONS: $108.6 million (-36%)
Check back next week for my predictions on The Man From U.N.C.L.E and Straight Outta Compton, in which both looks like potential sleeper hits that might end the summer with a high.