JUMPCUT’s Top 10 Films Of 2018

As our 2018 movie window closes, and another one for 2019 is ready to burst open.

Taking a look back over the last 12 months of film and remembering all those big blockbusters, indie treasures and specialist cinema debuts are one thing, but narrowing them all down to just ten of the best is something else.

The staff at JumpCut Online locked themselves away from social media to draw up their own personal ‘Top 1O’. From that, each nominated film was awarded points (1st = 10, 2nd = 9 etc) until a definitive list was formed.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your debating pleasure, here is that list of the JumpCut Online Top 10 of 2018 in ascending order, based on UK release dates.


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#10 – A Star Is Born
[dir. Bradley Cooper]

Jack (Bradley Cooper), a washed-up, alcoholic musician helps young singer Ally (Lady GaGa) find fame with her natural talent. But his demons threaten to send his career and even his life into a into a downward spiral from which there may be no return…

“The first half of the movie may hit some beats you’ll likely expect, but the second half will knock you for six, diving deep into the aftermath of lovesick decisions, all before reaching a devastating conclusion. Despite the pain and the many, many tears, this is a film that demands an immediate revisit as soon as the credits roll. Cooper has landed a masterpiece on his first go. You could say, a star is born.” – Cameron Frew

 

 

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#9- You Were Never Really Here
[dir. Lynne Ramsay]

Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is a traumatized gun-for-hire who is unafraid of violence. When a job spins out of control, Joe’s nightmares overtake him as a conspiracy is uncovered leading to what may be his death trip or his awakening…

“Truly edge of your seat stuff, and whilst the comparisons with ‘Taxi Driver’ kind of write themselves, it is still amazing on its own merit. Joaquin Phoenix gives an electric, and possibly career-best performance…this is one of the most genuinely thrilling films in a long time, and one which packs a mean punch into a relatively short space. An explosive, and unmissable film.”Sarah Buddery

 

 

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#8 – Avengers: Infinity War
[dirs. Joe & Anthony Russo]

Earth’s mightiest heroes, The Avengers, must reach out to their allies in order to unite and stop Thanos (Josh Brolin), a powerful warlord intent on acquiring the Infinity Stones and using them to wipe out half of all beings in the galaxy and change things forever…

“At its best is epic, emotional and very, very shocking. It has impressive set pieces and of course it’s very funny. The few faults it does have are going to be down purely to the viewer. A knowledge of all that has happened before is essential. This is not the film for newbies….overall this was worth the wait.”Dave Curtis

 

 

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#7 – Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
[dirs. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey]

Young teenager Miles Morales is involved in a freak accident and becomes Spider-Man. When the evil Kingpin creates a powerful machine that blends alternate dimensions, he crosses paths with five Spider-People from other dimensions who must work together and save all of their worlds…

“It’s a universal story that can be loved by everyone, filled with beautifully touching moments for both comic book and non-comic book fans alike, great laughs, and some pretty great music. This movie really showcases what minds like Steve Ditko and Stan Lee saw in these characters and what they wanted to express; a mask is a mask, but what really matters is who is underneath it – and that could be anyone.”Fernando Andrade

 

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#6 – The Shape Of Water
[dir. Guillermo del Toro]

At a top secret research facility in 1960s America, Elisa, (Sally Hawkins) a lonely janitor, forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature (Doug Jones) that is being held in captivity by the brutal Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) who wants to unlock super-human secrets to use against America’s enemies…

“Utterly magical in every sense of the word, and “more” than what you could wish for in all conceivable ways….with incredible performances, absolutely stunning visuals (special nod to the underwater scenes which are totally breathtaking), masterful direction, and a unique and memorable story, ‘The Shape of Water’ deserves to be looked back on with the same fondness and reverence that ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ is. A modern masterpiece, and a truly spectacular film.”Sarah Buddery

 

 

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#5 – First Man
[dir. Damien Chazelle]

American astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) and his wife Janet (Claire Foy) must deal with pressure at work and at home when he is offered a historic NASA space mission; to become the first man to walk on the Moon. But pre-flight tests and training don’t come easy, with many highs and lows that push Neil, and the mission, almost to breaking point…

“Stunning. It’s an astounding achievement for a young director on the winning streak of his life; it has two award-worthy leading performances; it’s gorgeous to look at; it’s amazing to listen to; and it’s an utterly overwhelming experience. See it on the biggest, loudest screen you can. Chazelle, you’ve done it again.”Rhys Bowen-Jones

 

 

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#4 – Phantom Thread
[dir. Paul Thomas Anderson]

Set in 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who becomes his muse and lover and who turns his view on life, and himself, upside down…

“When it comes down to it, ‘Phantom Thread’ is surprisingly quotable, cinematically very pleasing and a joy to watch. The cast all share strong chemistry and with a little help from Johnny Greenwood, Paul Thomas Anderson has created another excellent film which sits very nicely with his back catalogue. If this is Daniel Day-Lewis’ last ever film, then I will happily watch his old films with a smile on my face…but I do hope he changes his mind. He is just too good. He has loads left in the tank.”Dave Curtis

 

 

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#3 – Hereditary
[dir. Ari Aster]

After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets. The mother, Annie (Toni Collette), begins to see her family slow fall apart, and while she is the only one who can hold them together, the supernatural powers surrounding them become too strong to contain…

“There are clear inspirations from classics such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen (and even 2011’s much underrated Kill List). And like those fondly remembered shockers, Aster’s film isn’t perfect – it’s a little overlong, occasionally fumbling around the good stuff towards the end… An outstandingly horrifying achievement from a debut filmmaker, Hereditary is a classic in the making, built on rock-solid, terrifying, atmospheric terror.”Cameron Frew

 

 

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#2 – Roma
[dir. Alfonso Cuarón]

Set in the early 1970s in Mexico City, we follows the life of live-in housekeeper Cleodegaria “Cleo” (Yalitza Aparicio) to an upper-class family. It tells the story of situations; the life Cleo and her family face in and around Mexico City at a time when living and providing was nothing but a struggle for most…

“Visually striking, aurally immersive and emotionally captivating, ‘Roma’ is undoubtedly one of the finest films of the year and arguably Cuarón’s best film. It is certainly his most personal film, and the labour of love that this film represents permeates through every single frame. With exceptional performances, beautiful imagery, and the finest sound design in recent years, ‘Roma’ isn’t just a film which deserves to be seen on the big screen, it is one which deserves to be heard on the big screen. It bears repeating: ‘Roma’ is a masterpiece.” – Sarah Buddery

 

 

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#1 – Mission: Impossible – Fallout
[dir. Christopher McQuarrie]

IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his allies must race against time to find a deadly crime syndicate intent on throwing the world into chaos. CIA agent August Walker (Henry Cavill) is also on hand to make sure IMF can do the job in hand when it becomes clear there is a mole within their ranks…

“Not only is ‘Fallout’ fun to watch, but it is also technically brilliant. From the score to the cinematography and the stunt work, it’s amazing to think about the hours of hard work the crew have had to put in to make a movie like this. They are the real MVP’s. I salute them…It is a proper popcorn flick which only has a few minor flaws. To think this franchise has been going for 22 years and it still feels this fresh and new is a testament to the director and star. I can’t imagine what they have in store for Mission Impossible 7. Surely only outer space beckons now.” – Dave Curtis


So there we have it. Agree or not, that’s the consensus for the Top 10 best films of 2018 from a team who, between them, have probably watched all that has been on offer.

Films that narrowly missed out a spot include ‘Beast’, ‘Black Panther’, ‘Isle Of Dogs’, ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

We can’t wait to do it all again next year for the barnstorming 2019 offerings ahead!

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22nd Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) Award Nominations Announced

The Favourite, Roma, and If Beale Street Could Talk top the nominations list for the 2018 Online Film Critics Society Awards (OFCS). The winners will be revealed 2nd January 2019. 


BEST PICTURE
Annihilation
BlacKkKlansman
Eighth Grade
The Favourite
First Reformed
Hereditary
If Beale Street Could Talk
Roma
A Star Is Born
Suspiria
You Were Never Really Here

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here

BEST LEAD ACTOR

Christian Bale – Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman

BEST LEAD ACTRESS
Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
Toni Collette – Hereditary
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Regina Hall – Support the Girls
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther
Steven Yeun – Burning

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Elizabeth Debicki – Widows
Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Thomasin McKenzie – Leave No Trace
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Eighth Grade
The Favourite
First Reformed
Roma
Sorry to Bother You

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BlacKkKlansman
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
Leave No Trace
Widows

BEST EDITING
The Favourite
First Man
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Roma
Widows

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Cold War
The Favourite
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Roma

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Black Panther
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Suspiria

BEST DEBUT FEATURE

Ari Aster – Hereditary
Bo Burnham – Eighth Grade
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Carlos López Estrada – Blindspotting
Boots Riley – Sorry to Bother You

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Burning
Cold War
Roma
Shoplifters
Zama

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Free Solo
Minding the Gap
Shirkers
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

 

The Odyssey Awards: 2018 Retrospective

As everyone begins to wind down after Christmas, here at JUMPCUT we’re excitedly gearing up for 2019! Before we’re done with 2018 though, we have a few more treats up our sleeve for you, including our most anticipated films of 2019 list and some big news which we’ll be sharing in a few days!

The retrospective features just some of our favourite films this year* (sadly we couldn’t fit them all in!) including A Quiet Place, BlacKkKlansman, Blindspotting, Bumblebee, Hereditary, Widows, Annihilation, Avengers: Infinity War, Love, Simon, and First Man to name but a few.

We’re sure you’ll likely pick up some notable absences from our video, but we aimed to keep it less than 2 minutes long – so not all our choices made the final cut!

We’d love to hear what films you’ve enjoyed this year and if you’ve got your top 10 list firmly nailed, share it with us on Twitter!

 

*based on UK release dates

‘Creed II’ And ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ Triumph, But ‘Robin Hood’ Falls On Its Sword In Record Thanksgiving Weekend (Box Office Report)

Written by Dapo Olowu

2018’s Box Office continues to deliver the goods, this time in the form of a record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday led by the impressive performances of ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ and ‘Creed II’.

Both films finished the 5-day holiday weekend with a combined $140m, which contributed heavily to the record $314m total – besting 2013s $294m, which included the still-standing record opening for ‘Frozen’ ($93.6m), and record gross for ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ ($109.9m).

Still, this time around gave us ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, which warmed the hearts (and wallets) of cinemagoers and earned a smashing $84.8m, including $56.2m from Friday to Sunday. It becomes the second biggest Thanksgiving opening of all time, beating out the likes of Disney companions ‘Coco’ ($72.9m) and ‘Moana’ ($82.1m), and now stands as the 13th time Disney’s topped the charts this year (from only 5 films).

Creed II’ was equally as impressive, with its $56m 5-day gross becoming the 7th biggest Thanksgiving opening ever, and the holiday’s largest live-action release of all time. The records don’t stop, as the film’s Friday to Sunday gross of $35.6m means it’s the biggest ever opening for a sports drama – beating 2009s ‘The Blind Side’ ($34.1m).

It marks Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and Sylvester Stallone’s (cameos included) 2nd biggest openings ever, considering all 3’s ventures into the high-earning world of the MCU. Produced on a $50m budget, the sequel to 2015s ‘Creed’ sees Adonis Creed (Jordan) face Viktor Drago, son of Ivan, who famously killed his father in ‘Rocky IV’.

Internationally, while ‘Creed II’ only entered the U.S. market this weekend, ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ saw its audiences just as enthusiastic, earning $19.5m from China on its way to a $41.5m start. From just 19 countries, its worldwide total currently stands at a strong $127m.

This year’s Thanksgiving turkey goes to ‘Robin Hood’, which was put to the sword with a paltry $14.3m in its first 5 days. It somehow managed to gross below last year’s bomb ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’s 3-day $15.4m opening, and its $9.2m Friday to Sunday will ensure the film goes down as one of the Box Office flops of the year.

It doesn’t get any better, as its 14% on Rotten Tomatoes should stop any chances of a semi-decent Box Office run dead in its tracks, and its international start consisting of just $1.7m from the U.K. and only $7m from 32 other countries means it hasn’t taken well across the globe. Distributing studio Lionsgate, it seems, have finished the year with a whimper, and not a roar.

The final 2 wide releases this weekend came in the form of ‘Green Book’, a critically-acclaimed biopic starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, and Jason Reitman’s ‘The Front Runner’, starring Hugh Jackman. It was a case of opposite fortunes, as ‘Green Book’ over-delivered on its expectations with $7.5m from just 1,000 cinemas, while ‘The Front Runner’ floundered with a poor $888k, for a total of just $1.1m.

It was a memorable Thanksgiving weekend, with records broken and ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ and ‘Creed II’ impressing. Will both films go onto beat their predecessors, or will sequel-itis strike again? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ And ‘Creed 2’ To Feast On A Record-Breaking Thanksgiving Weekend

Written by Dapo Olowu

We’re in for a record-breaking Box Office treat this Thanksgiving weekend, with five (yes, five) new releases wetting the appetites of cinemagoers across the United States. The five-day holiday period kicked off on Wednesday and saw ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’, the sequel to 2012s ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, fight it out against ‘Rocky’ spinoff ‘Creed 2’ with a Thanksgiving record Tuesday preview gross of $3.8m, just ahead of ‘Creed 2’s $3.7m.

Questions were being asked about Disney’s decision to spend $175m on a sequel over 6 years after ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ flattered to deceive in the Box Office. Its so-so $49m opening in November 2012, followed by a $189.4m domestic finish (and $471.2m worldwide gross) off the back of a $165m budget leaves it just 46th on the all-time biggest domestic animated films, and doesn’t even crack the top 50 worldwide.

Ralph Breaks the Internet’s preview gross however shows an audience whose anticipation has sky-rocketed in the half-decade since, with critical reception equaling the lofty heights the first film set. The sequel sees the return of the beloved voices of John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, alongside newbies Gal Gadot and Taraji P. Henson. Director Rich Moore returns to the chair and shares the credit with ‘Zootopia’ writer Phil Johnston.

Disney aims to top the Thanksgiving Box Office charts for the third year in a row, with ‘Moana’ ($56.6m) and ‘Coco’ ($50.8m) providing a glimpse into the potential Box Office prowess of ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’. A $60m 3-day gross, just $7m short of the Thanksgiving record set by Frozen in 2013, and an $84m 5-day total won’t necessarily see Ralph break the internet, but it’ll get mightily close to doing so.

Steven Caple Jr.’s ‘Creed 2’ won’t go down without a fight however. Its $3.7m Tuesday preview gross more than doubles the first’s $1.4m 3 years ago. The lack of Coogler isn’t dampening the excitement either – its Cinemascore of A is the best of the new releases this holiday period.

The film sees Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), son of deceased Apollo, facing off against the son of his father’s killer, Viktor Drago. Sylvester Stallone, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Rocky Balboa in the last film, returns alongside Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad.

It won’t just be Adonis facing a title bid. ‘Creed 2’s forecasted $39m 3-day start will see it break ‘The Blind Side’s $34.1m opening record for a sports movie, and even drawing it close to ‘Creed’s 5-day $42m Thanksgiving start. While ‘Creed’ made a total of $109.8m domestically and $173.6m worldwide in 2015, its sequel has ambitions of breaking the $200m global mark, becoming studio MGM’s biggest hit since 2008s ‘Valkyrie’.

Not all films are eating well this Thanksgiving, however, with Lionsgate’s ‘Robin Hood’ feeding off of Box Office scraps. An estimated $14m 3-day gross doesn’t seem too problematic on the surface, but its bloated $100m budget means that any hopes of the film turning a profit remain as mythical as Robin Hood himself.

Being produced by one of the world’s greatest actors in Leonardo DiCaprio hasn’t seemed to aid the film critically either, as its paltry 11% on Rotten Tomatoes diminishes all hopes of a leggy Box Office run. Opening in just 2,800 cinemas is possibly the icing on the cake for the latest iteration of the British legend, which sees Taron Egerton play Robin of Loxley, Jamie Foxx as Little John, Eve Hewson as Maid Marian, and Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The final two new releases this Thanksgiving holiday come in the form of Oscar hopeful ‘Green Book’ and Hugh Jackman-fronted ‘The Front Runner’. Both are coming off the backs of limited releases, but while ‘Green Book’ may break into the top ten with a 3-day gross close to $5m, ‘The Front Runner’ will be D.O.A., earning just $1m in its 3rd weekend.

We’re likely to see the biggest Thanksgiving weekend ever by Sunday night – propelled by the efforts of ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ and ‘Creed 2’. However, will ‘Robin Hood’ exceed expectations, or hinder this weekend’s potential record-breaking efforts? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ Opens To A Franchise-low $62m In A Less-Than-Magical Weekend

Written by Dapo Olowu

This Box Office weekend saw ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ fall ill to the much rampant ‘sequel-itis’, an affliction affecting many other recent big-budget Hollywood follow-ups. Symptoms vary, but in the case of ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, a mixture of an ordinary critical & moviegoer reception (40% on RT and a B+ on Cinemascore), and a packed film schedule, have seen the film suffer a $10m drop-off from its predecessor 2 years ago, to earn $62.2m – the lowest of the ‘Harry Potter’ films so far.

Of course, ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s condition is nowhere near critical, but way under our $70m+ expectations. Two years ago, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ went onto finish at $234m domestically, and $580m overseas for a total of $814m worldwide. Its lop-sided domestic/international split is a precursor to Warner Bros’ cure for ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’; a focus on its international revenue.

Every ‘Wizarding World’ film has had its ratio somewhere in the 30:70 region, with ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and ‘The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2’ earning just 28% of their respective totals in the U.S. Warner Bros. have taken this into consideration with ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, ditching the staggered international release option to open in 80 major markets across the globe at once.

We’re already seeing the treatment work: the film opened to over $191m overseas this weekend, eclipsing ‘Fantastic Beasts$145.5m international start. ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s international gross from 79 countries included $37.5m from China and over $16m from the U.K, with Japan still to open at the end of the month.

Still, there’ll be many at WB who hoped for a better domestic start. ‘Fantastic Beasts’ earned a surprising opening weekend/domestic total multiplier of 3.15x when it grossed $234m back in 2016, while ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, whose U.S. total seems destined to be the far more frontloaded, should end a domestic finish under $200m. It’s clear as the more U.S. audiences grow weary of a wider ‘Harry Potter’ universe (this is the second of five planned films), international moviegoers aren’t letting go just yet.

It also marks good news for ‘The Grinch’, as Illumination’s comedy remains the biggest opening of the month so far. Its second weekend gross of $38.6m gives it a $127m running total, ahead of Illumination’s last Seuss adaptation ‘The Lorax’ at the same time in its run.

Another of the new releases this weekend, ‘Instant Family’, failed to make an impact, grossing only $14.5m. The PG-13 comedy sees a similar opening to this year’s ‘I Feel Pretty’ ($16m) and ‘Tag’ ($14.9m), two comedies that finished at around $50m. ‘Instant Family’ boasts the best reception of the three, and its A on Cinemascore should grant it some staying power in coming weekends.

Staying power like ‘Daddy’s Home’ and ‘Daddy’s Home 2’, the previous collabs between director Sean Anders and star Mark Wahlberg, would be ideal, with a run like ‘Daddy’s Home’ in particular giving ‘Instant Family’ a $60m finish. Of course, this wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to guarantee profitability, raising the questions of firstly, who greenlit its $48m budget, and then, who forgot to call Will Ferrell to co-star?

If ‘Instant Family’ was neither here nor there, then ‘Widows’ is the flop of the weekend. With its $12.4m opening (from a $42m budget), the critically-acclaimed crime drama will likely finish on a domestic total around $35m.

Not the best news for director Steve McQueen, whose latest offering actually marks his biggest Box Office opening to date (overtaking ’12 Years a Slave’s $6.7m). It isn’t great news for studio 20th Century Fox either, as this marks another flop in a year where ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ have had to cover the losses of ‘The Darkest Minds’, ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’, ‘Red Sparrow’, and ‘The Predator’.

Widows’ ill-fortune may stem from an audience who didn’t connect with the film. Its B on Cinemascore and 65% audience RT score are just above-average, perhaps due to a marketing campaign that promoted a faster paced, heist-y film than the slower, character-driven story we ended up with. Regardless, it’s likely we’ll remember ‘Widows’ in the future for its award-season success, rather than its Box Office triumphs.

Thanksgiving weekend comes to town next weekend, with three more major releases – ‘Wreck It Ralph 2’, ‘Robin Hood’, and ‘Creed 2’ – looking to inflict damage onto this weekend’s three newbies, but who will hold up the best? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: Poor Reviews Won’t Stop ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s Magical $70m Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s a weekend of four wide releases, but only one will bewitch the Box Office. ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, part of the ever-growing Wizarding World by J.K. Rowling, returns exactly two years after its predecessor opened to a stunning $74.4m. The Warner Bros. production sees the return of its all-star cast, including Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander alongside Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, and Dan Fogler. The biggest news, however, lies with the newer recruits.

While the introduction of a young Dumbledore (Jude Law) will surely boost fan anticipation, the controversial addition of Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald could polarize a fair few. It’s a casting that’s already left some fans scratching their heads as to why Colin Farrell (from the first film) and a little hair bleach wasn’t deemed adequate enough by studio execs. Depp’s recent troubles have been well-publicised, but the 3-time Oscar nominee was still seen as a big enough star to warrant being cast.

Regardless, we can’t underestimate the loyalty of Harry Potter fans. Depp or no Depp, we expect the Potterheads to be out in their droves for this one, even with it being the first of the ‘HP/Wizarding World’ franchise to hold a rotten (44%) rating on the Tomatometer. A magical $71m domestic opening is likely, and with WB pushing this out to over 70 international markets, don’t be surprised to see the film get close to a spellbinding $300m worldwide by Sunday night.

Trailing in its wake is ‘The Grinch’s second weekend, which will put up a strong fight against its child-friendly rival ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ with around $40m. By Saturday, the film will sit on a $100m+ domestic haul, outpacing the likes of the other Illumination-Seuss release ‘The Lorax’.

Now here’s a shock: Steve McQueen’s critically-acclaimed ‘Widows’ looks to suffer a loss against the surprise package of the weekend, Mark Wahlberg’s PG-13 comedy ‘Instant Family’. Directed by Sean Anders, the man behind Wahlberg’s previous festive comedies ‘Daddy’s Home’ and ‘Daddy’s Home 2’, ‘Instant Family’ won’t touch their $30m openings, but a $17m start puts it on-par with this year’s ‘Life of the Party’ ($17.9m) and ‘I Feel Pretty’ ($16m).

Instant Family’ follows Pete (Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne), who decide to adopt three siblings at the same time. The movie’s a relative hit with critics, holding a strong 74% on the Tomatometer and 58 on Metacritic. All looks good for the comedy, although an inflated $48m budget may threaten hopes of pre-digital release profitability.

Steve McQueen’s ‘Widows’, on the other hand, is being tipped for award season success, and stars Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Kaluuya, Brian Tyree Henry, Colin Farrell, and Liam Neeson (alongside many, many others). Its all-star cast also saw a writing team composed of McQueen, previously of ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Shame’, and Gillian Flynn (‘Gone Girl’).

The R-rated crime-thriller, based on the 1983 TV show of the same name, sees a group of widowed women attempt to pull off a heist in order to repay a debt owed by their dead husbands.

Opening in just 2,800 cinemas may be a slight hinderance, especially in comparison to ‘Instant Family’s 3,300 and ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s 4,200, but never discredit the allure of great film-making in the Box Office; ‘BlacKkKlansman’ opened to over $10m from just 1,500 cinemas in the summer. A $16m-ish opening will suit the $42m-budget ‘Widows’, which hopes to keep up a strong run in upcoming weeks.

The final release of the weekend sees biographical drama ‘A Private War, starring Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, and Stanley Tucci open into 870 cinemas in its third weekend. It may not enter the top ten with a $900k weekend, but can take solace in strong reception within the festival-circuit and in theatrical release.  

With Thanksgiving weekend on the horizon, which of these films will need a holiday weekend the most? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

Weekend BO Results: ‘The Grinch’s $68m Continues A Record Box Office Year

Written by Dapo Olowu

This weekend, according to Comscore, saw the domestic Box Office for 2018 reach the $10bn mark quicker than any other year in history. Fitting then, that we’d have ‘The Grinch’ steal a massive $67.6m to hit the top spot and continue the trend.

It not only continues a strong year, but a great record for studio Illumination; just one of their nine releases failed to open at number one – 2016s ‘Sing’ peaked at number 2, and ironically stands as the biggest ever film to never reach the top spot (grossing $270.4m domestically).

The Grinch’ is only Illumination’s 6th biggest opening, earning a little under 2012s ‘The Lorax’ ($70.2m). A similar performance would leave ‘The Grinch’ on a respectable domestic total of $206m, although I’m forecasting a bigger gross once the festive period really kicks in. It won’t match the heights of 2000s ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ starring Jim Carrey however, which made a whopping $260m 18 years ago.

The year’s ‘Grinch’ stars the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character, who plans to steal Christmas away from the residents of Whoville, which include Rashida Jones and Cameron Seely. It may have landed well in the states, but its international release was more muted, earning around $12.7m from 23 markets.

The international sphere was dominated by ‘Venom’, whose $111m opening in China means it’s the country’s second biggest superhero opening of all time, behind ‘Infinity War’ ($191m). ‘Venom’ now sits on a remarkable $676.2m worldwide, and its $4.9m weekend gives it a domestic total thus far of $206.3m.

This wasn’t the only big news of the weekend. Fox’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ fell by just 40% to earn $31.2m in its second weekend – pushing the domestic total to $100m in just two weekends. Now just $14m away from $300m worldwide, it seems as if the years of development hell were worth it in the end for Rami Malek-fronted Queen biopic.

While new release ‘Overlord’s $10.2m opening was nothing special (we did warn about that $38m budget), ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’s $7.8m start was dreadful. Costing $5m more than Paramount’s war-horror ‘Overlord’, ‘Spider’s Web’ will most likely be pulled out of cinemas by the month’s end.

Overlord’ didn’t fair much better, but can take solace in a stronger critical reception, and a likely finish around the $30m mark. Finally, Amazon’s Oscar bait drama ‘Beautiful Boy’, starring Steve Carrell, Timothee Chalamet, and Amy Ryan (and produced by Brad Pitt) earned $1.5m from 840 cinemas as expected.

After its big opening, how will ‘The Grinch’ do against child-friendly competition in the form of ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ next weekend? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

 

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Weekend BO Predictions: Illumination To Light Up Box Office As ‘The Grinch’ Takes $66m

Written by Dapo Olowu

Christmas comes early this Box Office weekend, with ‘The Grinch’ hoping to snatch any holiday cheer away from the other movie hopefuls. The animated remake of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ from 2000 (itself based off of Dr. Seuss’ 1957 book) features the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, alongside Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, and Cameron Seely.

Illumination Entertainment, the creators of the ‘Despicable Me’ and ‘Minions’ franchise (as well as ‘The Lorax’, ‘The Secret Life of Pets’, and the incoming ‘Shrek’ reboot), helm this on behalf of parent company Universal, and kept the budget down to a respectable $75m. Such is the skill of the company’s production team that none of their films have ever cost more than $80m (that being last year’s ‘Despicable Me 3’).

In comparison, rivals Pixar’s latest offering ‘Incredibles 2’ earlier this year cost a whopping $200m. This hasn’t stopped Illumination from raking in the cash – both ‘Despicable Me 3’ and ‘Minions’ topped $1bn worldwide, and although ‘The Grinch’ probably won’t hit these heights, we’re still expecting big numbers.

Its so-so 65% on the Tomatometer won’t dampen audience excitement for this, although previous weeks of kid-friendly cinema might. In the past month alone, U.S. cinemagoers have been treated to ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Goosebumps 2’, and ‘Smallfoot’, which may have already scratched the necessary itch.

Regardless, we’re being more optimistic so while ‘Despicable Me’ opened to $56.4m in 2010, we at JUMPCUT forecast around $66m, just below that of 2012s ‘The Lorax’, Illumination’s other Dr. Seuss adaptation ($70.2m). ‘The Grinch’ will surely then get off to a bright start by Sunday evening, and although it may not be stealing the hearts of critics, it’ll have no problem taking first place in the Box Office.

Of course, ‘The Grinch’ isn’t the only new release this weekend. J.J. Abrams and Paramount release ‘Overlord’, an action-horror set in WW2-stricken France. A big question surrounding this film is its link to the ‘Cloverfield’ franchise, and while Abrams has denied it in the past, the creepy alien/monster theme from the previous ‘Cloverfield’ films continue to rear their head(s) in this one.

Overlord’ is directed by Julius Avery and follows American soldiers (played by Wyatt Russell, Jovan Adepo, John Magaro and others) who discover secret Nazi experiments taking place during the war. Critically, it’s a hit, with 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, and can also take solace in the fact that its audience couldn’t be further away from this weekend’s big hitter ‘The Grinch’s if it tried.

The R-rated horror does however come with a somewhat-hefty $38m budget which, when compared to some of the horrors we’ve seen recently, is a bit bloated. Still, the film has a good chance of opening strongly, especially in the face of nearest competitor ‘Halloween’s recent woes (it fell a massive 66% last weekend). We’re thinking a $20m-ish 3-day start, a solid opening for such a budget.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ has a similar budget of $40m, but won’t share ‘Overlord’s Box Office success this weekend. Sure, it has the brand loyalty that comes with ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ book franchise, but considering the last film opened to just $12.8m (although ended at $232.6m worldwide) and starred Rooney Mara, not Claire Foy, as Lisbeth Salander, we can’t see a major shock happening hee.

Spider’s Web’ stars Foy as Salander, a computer hacker who tries to rescue and seek vengeance for women who’ve been victims of violence. It also features LaKeith Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, and Stephen Merchant, a completely new cast from the 2011 prequel directed by David Fincher and starring Mara and Daniel Craig.

Now helmed by Fede Álvarez (2016sDon’t Breathe’) and produced on half the budget after Sony decided to go for a soft reboot (after the 2011 film was itself a reboot of a Swedish trilogy starring Noomi Rapace), ‘Spider’s Web’ will aim to open in the region of $10m. While its predecessor opened during the Christmas holiday period and benefited from ‘The Greatest Showman’-like legs, ‘Spider’s Web’s performance will now almost entirely depend on a good audience reception in coming weeks.

Finally, we have ‘Beautiful Boy’ starring Steve Carrell and Timothee Chalamet. The drama is ramping up its cinema count by 300 to 840, and should earn just $1.3m to keep it outside the top ten.

Four new wide releases but one clear winner: ‘The Grinch’. Is Illumination becoming a serious competitor to Disney/Pixar? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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