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

Weekend BO Report: ‘The Predator’ Falls Prey To Bad Press With A $24m Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

One of the likely headaches facing Disney in their upcoming acquisition of 20th Century Fox revolves around the decisions to be made about the future of a few Fox franchises. While some, like ‘Kingsman’, ‘X-Men’, and the ‘Fantastic Four’ are nailed on certainties for continued usage and redevelopment, others, such as the ‘Independence Day’ franchise, are potential casualties in Disney’s pursuit of market domination.

Which brings us to ‘The Predator’.

Made on an eye-watering $88m budget (before another $120m was splashed on promo), Shane Black’s latest directing foray succumbed to its poor critical reception and casting controversy by opening to a measly $24.6m – the 3rd worst opening ever for a film released in over 4,000 cinemas. To put this into context, it’s $12m behind ‘Alien: Covenant’s opening, and even $7m behind last summer’s disappointment ‘The Mummy’.

With its Box Office fight lost before it really even begun, ‘The Predator’ series now falls prey to a potential culling by Disney.

The opening mirrors its 2010 prequel ‘Predators’, which made $24.8m in its opening 3 days, on its way to an so-so $52m domestic finish. While that performance benefited from its $40m budget, a similar domestic finish for ‘The Predator’ puts heavy emphasis on its international gross (which has seen a similarly poor start at just $30.1m).

The performance shouldn’t really be a surprise. Its C+ on Cinemascore and ever-dropping Rotten Tomatoes rating (currently 33%) only compounds the misery of the surrounding negative press, which resulted in the film earning just $6m more than second-place ‘The Nun’, which dropped an expected 66% to earn $18.2m. The horror’s current worldwide total of $229.9m leaves it on track to become the biggest ‘Conjurverse’ film to-date.

Our forecast for ‘A Simple Favor’ may have been optimistic, but its $16m opening from a $20m budget is nonetheless a solid start for the mystery-thriller. With 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, currently sits on $19.5m worldwide, and hopes to leg it out in a similar vein to ‘Gone Girl’.

Meanwhile, crime-drama ‘White Boy Rick’s $8.9m puts it just ahead of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ ($8.7m) and ‘Peppermint’ ($6m) as expected, but those over at Sony may be cursing their decision to greenlight its $29m budget.

The Meg’, a joint American-Chinese production, finally broke the $500m worldwide mark this weekend, and earned $3.9m domestically, ahead of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s $2.3m. The action-thriller recently became the biggest domestic hit of the franchise, and currently sits on $216.1m, just ahead of ‘MI:II’s $215.4m. Its weekend earnings scraped ahead of Christian biopic ‘Unbroken: Path to Redemption’, directed by Harold Cronk. Cronk’s second release in consecutive week continued the trend of disappointed openings, as ‘Unbroken’ only got in at number 10 with just $2.2m.

‘The Predator’s poor opening leaves the future of its franchise in a perilous position – is it worth saving? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE

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Weekend BO Report: ‘The Nun’ Delivers A Heavenly Franchise-Best $54m Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

This weekend saw ‘The Nun’s holy ascent up to first place in the Box Office charts, with Corin Hardy’s supernatural prequel earning a scary $53.8m in its 3-day debut, smashing ‘The Conjuring’ franchise’s (better known as the CCU) opening record. All praise be to ‘The Nun’, it seems, as its now the biggest horror opening of the year, and the 4th biggest of all time in the States.

Not bad for a film with just 27% on the Tomatometer.

It’s especially remarkable once you realise that the CCU wasn’t initially planned as a franchise, but only came to existence due to the popularity of ‘The Conjuring’. The first spinoff, 2014s ‘Annabelle’, was helmed by ‘The Conjuring’ cinematographer John R. Leonetti, and grossed $257m worldwide. Fast-forward 4 years and newest edition ‘The Nun’, should easily topple that gross by the end of its BO run.

Its overseas earnings are just as impressive. Opening in around 60 countries, the horror, starring Taissa Farmiga (sister to ‘The Conjuring’ actress Vera Farmiga) and Demián Bichir, reached number one in 54 of them, including the U.K. with $5.3m. A near-$80m international start gives the film $133.1m after just 3 days, leaving it a highly profitable investment – off of a $22m budget – for Warner Bros.

The studio hoped to be the first in over 25 years to hold the top 2 places on the BO charts for four consecutive weeks, but fell short at the final hurdle, as ‘Crazy Rich Asians$13.1m wasn’t enough to stay ahead of new release ‘Peppermint’s $13.4m, but still saw more than double that of fellow WB-er ‘The Meg’ ($6.1m).

It was a familiar story for the vigilante-action flick ‘Peppermint’, opening on-par to genre-matching ‘Death Wish’ ($13m), and ‘The Foreigner’ ($13.1m). Its B+ on Cinemascore was furthered its similarities with the pair, and now Pierre Morel’s latest offering will likely finish in the $35m region domestically (again, like the two films). Its R rating predictably drew in the older crowd, with 78% of the opening weekend audience above 25 years old – providing perfect counter-viewing for ‘The Nun’, which saw just 44% of its watchers over 25.

This marks a solid year for Jennifer Garner, whose last film ‘Love Simon’ legged out from a $11.8m start to finish on $40.8m domestically and $66.3m worldwide. John Cho-fronted ‘Searching’ hopes for similar luck, and is currently on track for a domestic finish close to $30m, with its $4.6m weekend. The thriller, now at $32.5m worldwide, beat out ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ as predicted ($3.9m), but the latter now stands at a whopping $726.7m globally, now officially Tom Cruise’s biggest film in his career thus far.

New release ‘God Bless the Broken Road’ flattered to deceive, pulling in a wretched $1.4m from 1,300 theatres, for a per-cinema average of just $1.1k. Although many forecasted an opening closer to ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’s weekend ($3.4m) or even ‘Operation Finale’ ($2.9m), it ended up grossing nearly half of ‘BlacKkKlansman’ ($2.6m) and ‘Alpha’ ($2.5m), for an 11th place finish.

With ‘The Nun’ breaking records just as Andy Muschietti’s ‘It’ did exactly a year ago, just how far can this film go in the Box Office? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Results: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Is The Biggest Comedy Of The Year – After Just 20 Days!

Written by Dapo Olowu

After just three weekends in U.S. release, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ once again topped the charts to become the biggest grossing comedy of the year – ‘Deadpool 2’ not included. A $22m gross over the 3-day weekend marks an 11% fall from 7 days ago, allowing Jon Chu’s adaptation of the bestselling 2013 novel of the same name to hit a hattrick of consecutive number ones.

It left both shark-thriller ‘The Meg’, and ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ (which is just $50m away from breaking $700m worldwide) trailing its wake, with $10.5m and $7m respectively. Its Labor Day total brought in $28.6m, just below the 4-day record set by 2007s Halloween ($30.6m).

By Sunday night, the film had made $110.7m domestically, and currently sits at $117.3m – bigger than the global gross of the previous highest-earning comedy of the year ‘Game Night’, and even above 2017s sensation ‘Girls Trip’. It’s record-breaking $5.3m Australian opening (their biggest for a rom-com) gives the film a $20m overseas cushion, and by the time this sentence is over, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ will be sitting on $140m worldwide.

The biggest new release this weekend was MGM’s ‘Operation Finale’, the historical nazi-drama fronted by Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley. Opening on Wednesday, it earned $7.9m by the end of Monday night, including a $6m Friday to Sunday to put it just behind ‘Searching’s $6.1m. Not the best start for Chris Weitz’s $24m-budgeted flick, which hopes to leg it out post-summer.

The aforementioned ‘Searching’ brought in the weekend’s second best per-cinema average of $5k (after ‘Crazy Rich Asians’), as it played in only 1,200 cinemas but still finished fifth in the rankings. The thriller stars John Cho as David Kim, whose on the hunt for his missing daughter Margot (played by Michelle La). Its $8.1m domestic gross and $15.2m global take makes for a solid start after just 1 weekend in wide release.

In what was a true disappointment this weekend, comedy ‘The Happytime Murders’ capitulated by earning a lowly $4.4m. The gross fell below ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’s $5.3m and ‘Alpha’s $4.5m, and will likely become Melissa McCarthy’s lowest grossing film as a lead. The only solace lies in the fact that it at least outgrossed ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and ‘Mile 22’, whose $4.2m and $3.8m earnings placed them 9th and 10th.

Finally, sci-fi action film ‘Kin’ is a certified flop, after earning just $3m from Friday to Sunday. This gross put it below a Disney expansion for ‘Incredibles 2’, which became the first animated film to ever make $600m domestically, by grossing $3.4m from 2,890 cinemas.

With the end of summer officially upon us, which film has surprised you the most? Can ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ continue its impressive Box Office run? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.  

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Weekend BO Predictions: It’s a Hattrick For ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ On Labor Day

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s holiday-time in the United States, with the 4-day Labor Day weekend promising terrifying lows, dizzying highs, and creamy middles. ‘The Simpsons’ references aside, the next few days will be particularly special for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, which aims to end the summer by becoming the first film since ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ in May to top the Box Office charts for three weekends straight by earning around $24m. That’s just a 3% fall from last weekend and means that not even the three new wide releases – historical drama ‘Operation Finale’, John Cho’s ‘Searching’, and sci-fi ‘Kin’ – can realistically compete with.

By Saturday, Jon Chu’s romantic comedy would’ve passed $100m domestically, and by the end of Monday night, could land itself in the top 20 romantic comedies of all time in the U.S. With a 4-day weekend expected to be around the $29m mark (the extra day usually provides a 20% boost), it’s miles ahead of its nearest competitor ‘The Meg’, which will pull in a brilliant $11.5m from Friday to Sunday in its continued hunt for the $500m global total.

Next is new thriller ‘Searching’, the directorial debut of Aneesh Chaganty, which boasts an impressive 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Drawing similarities with Blumhouse’s 2014 hit ‘Unfriended’ for its ‘POV-of-computer screens’ style, it boasts the far superior critical reception, but its commercial success will be harmed by the underwhelming 1,200 cinema count.

Released last week in just 9 theatres, it earned a surprising $43k per-cinema average and an A on Cinemascore. Can the film, starring John Cho (‘Star Trek’, ‘Harold and Kumar’), Michelle La, and Debra Messing, defy the odds? Possibly. A 3-day gross around $7m is our optimistic view, and should be in amongst ‘The Happytime Murders’ and ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ for a 3rd place finish.

Looking to open close to ‘Searching’ is ‘Operation Finale’, with $5m. The historical drama, directed by Chris Weitz (‘Twilight: New Moon’, ‘About a Boy) and starring Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, and Melanie Laurent, opened on Wednesday to $1m, and tells the true story of the attempts to capture Nazi Adolf Eichmann in the early 60s. A recent Oscar Isaac period piece ‘The Promise’, bombed in the face of controversy with $12.4m worldwide off of a $90m budget, with its 49% on the Tomatometer only slightly worse than ‘Operation Finale’s 61%.

Its $5m gross will marginally improve upon ‘The Promise’s $4.1m, and its budget (around $20m) gives a little bit more breathing space. Still, this will struggle to make an impact against ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ ($6m) and ‘Alpha’ ($5.3m), but should have enough to see off ‘BlacKkKlansman’ ($4.7m) and ‘Kin’.

Kin’s the widest release of the newbies this weekend with over 2,000 cinemas, but will struggle the most to secure a top 10 finish. Not even James Franco and Zoe Kravitz can save this sci-fi action flick, with its 32% on Rotten Tomatoes, from being a flop. We’re seeing similarities between this and ‘The Darkest Minds’, which opened to $5.8m a month ago. The fact that ‘Kin’ doesn’t have the luxury of being based on a popular book, however, brings its estimated opening right down to about $4.6m.

With ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Meg’ proving to be runaway successes, this marks a fruitful period for book adaptations, which raises the question: did you see this coming? Let us know if you did or not on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Mirrors Opening In Historic Weekend

Written by Dapo Olowu

Hands up – who said ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ would gross a sub-$20m second weekend? Well, they (we) were dead wrong, because the romantic-comedy, starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, and Awkwafina, dropped just 6% to earn $24.8m from Friday to Saturday, after it’s opening last weekend of $26.5m.

It’s a weekend fall that marks the 3rd smallest ever for a wide release (in over 3,000 cinemas, not in December, and not during an American holiday weekend, mind you) behind 2011s ‘Puss in Boots’ and 2003s ‘Brother Bear’, and leaves the film on a domestic gross after 2 weekends of $76.6m. The opening weekend multiplier already stands at 2.90x, and will only grow as the film continues to benefit from good reviews, a stellar cast, and strong word of mouth.

The question on the industry’s lips now is: just how far can this thing go? With the U.S. celebrating Labor Day next Monday, the first September weekend itself is notorious for low drops, giving ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ more room to grow. Gone are the comparisons with ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’ and in come the estimates alongside award-winning drama ‘The Help’, which finished on a remarkable $169.7m. It takes a brave somebody to bet against ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ beating that target.

Warner Bros. will be equally happy with the performance of ‘The Meg’, which earned $12.8m to breach the $100m domestic total. Its $411.6m global total so far is just $15m away from another WB monster-flick ‘Rampage’, and a $500m total looks nailed on as weeks go by.

Not all studios can say they’re having such a good year however, as both STX and Global Road faltered this weekend with their releases. While Melissa McCarthy’s ‘The Happytime Murders’ saw a career-low opening for her as lead with just $9.5m, Global Road’s ‘A.X.L.’ brought in just $2.8m off a $10m budget.

The former continues the downward-trend in the openings of R-rated comedies this year, after ‘Blockers’ ($20.6m), ‘Super Troopers 2’ ($15.2m), ‘Tag’ ($14.9m), and ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ ($12.1m) in recent months. Its $40m budget draws similarities to 2017s ‘The House’, starring Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell, which opened to $8.7m and finished on $26.5m in the U.S. Although ‘The Happytime Murders’ looks to slightly improve on this, its C- on Cinemascore practically ensures it’ll flop, meaning another poor financial showing for STX. It’s last release, ‘Mile 22’, only just reached $25m domestically after a $6.4m weekend.

Meanwhile, ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ is just $6m away from $200m in the U.S. after its $8.1m weekend. Its current worldwide total of $538.8m puts it just behind ‘M:I2’ as the 4th biggest in the franchise so far. ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’s $6.3m gross put it just ahead of ‘Alpha’ ($6m), ‘BlacKkKlansman’ ($5.1m), and ‘Slender Man’ ($2.8m).

How far can ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ go? Could it hit a $200m domestic total? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Strike Gold Again As ‘The Happytime Murders’ Can’t Muster A Smile

Written by Dapo Olowu

It won’t be a joyous affair for ‘The Happytime Murders’ this weekend, as Jon Chu’s rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, based on the bestselling 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan, looks to kill any chance of being overthrown. A sub-$20m gross will take pole position for the first time since February, when ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’s $10.9m was enough to hold off competition from ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure’ and ‘Winchester’.

It draws similarities to last year’s drab August finish; just 12 months ago, ‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ needed just $10.3m to top the worst Box Office weekend in 15 years – this time around, we’re a little luckier, as ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ aims to flash the cash with a total close to $17m, a few days after Warner Bros. announced a sequel is in works.

Melissa McCarthy’s second comedy of the year in ‘The Happytime Murders’ on the other hand, is a sad sight. The R-rated Sesame Street ‘adaptation’ pales in critical comparison to similar movies, as its 29% on the Tomatometer can’t hold a candle to ‘Team America: World Police’s 77%, or ‘Sausage Party’s 82%, let alone ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s 97% (or even ‘Space Jam’s 38%).

It doesn’t help that its lead is unpredictable when opening at the Box Office: for every ‘The Heat’ ($39.1m off $43m), Melissa McCarthy’s had a ‘Life of the Party’ ($17.9m off $30m) meaning this $40m comedy is anything but a guaranteed success.

It’s directed by ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ and ‘Muppet Treasure Island’ director Brian Henson (son of Muppets creators Jim & Jane Henson), and stars McCarthy alongside Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks, and Joel McHale. Set in a world where puppets and humans co-exist, Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy) aims to find a serial killer murdering cast members of the 1980s show ‘The Happytime Gang’.

Recent R-rated comedies (from ‘Game Night’ to ‘The Spy Who Dumped Mecomes to mind) have all opened in the low-to-mid-teens region, and it’s likely that ‘The Happytime Murders’ uniqueness in its puppetry won’t give it a helping hand (nor will its 3,224 cinema count), with a $14.5m gross on the cards. This will be followed by Jason Statham-led ‘The Meg’, which should (barring a freak collapse) make it over the $100m domestic mark this weekend by earning $10.8m.

One film that won’t even get close to that number is ‘Mile 22’, looking to muster some dignity in its second weekend after its poor $13.7m showing 7 days ago. A $6.9m gross will be enough to put it ahead of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ ($6.5m), ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ ($5.8m), and fellow second-weekender ‘Alpha’ ($5.3m). ‘BlacKkKlansman’ is already Focus Features’ biggest film of the year both domestically and worldwide, and looks to build on its $30m global gross with a weekend earning of around $5m, beating ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’s $2.4m.

Finally, this weekend is rounded off by the second new wide release of the weekend, ‘A.X.L’ In a market inundated with franchises and remakes, it’s lovely to see an original family-adventure film about a dog made from top-grade military tech. The film stars Thomas Jane and Alex Neustaedter, and will only open in approximately 1,600 cinemas. Global Road, whose torrid time this year in the Box Office (think Show Dogs’, ‘Midnight Sun’, andHotel Artemis’) has culminated in being partly taken over by its creditors, are looking to complete its flop-quadrant with an opening around $2m.

It’s looking like being a close weekend between the top 2, so can ‘The Happytime Murders’ spring an upset, or will ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ hold onto first place? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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