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.

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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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Weekend BO Report: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Delivers A Regal $50m+ In Mixed Weekend

Not since 9th February have we seen all three new wide releases finish on the podium in a Box Office weekend. That weekend, ‘Fifty Shades Freed’, ‘Peter Rabbit’, and ‘The 15:17 to Paris’ took home the medals for Universal, Sony, and Warner Bros. This time around, the other half of Hollywood’s big six studios delivered the goods, as Fox’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker’, and Paramount’s ‘Nobody Fool’ earned $51.1m, $20.4m, and $13.7m alike to top the charts.

We kick things off with Rami Malek’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, which beat our optimistic $45m forecast by grossing just $1m less than its entire budget. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s already broken-even, but considering the $73m earned from overseas 64 markets this weekend (and the $12.5m already brought in from the U.K.’s early release) giving the Queen biopic a royal worldwide total of $143m, it’s surely close.

Bohemian Rhapsody’ follows Freddie Mercury (Malek) and the rise of rock band Queen from 1970 up until the famous Live-Aid concert of 1985. Understandably, its opening weekend audience reflected the time period, with 78% being over the age of 25. Gender wasn’t nearly as skewed however, with women slightly edging the split with 51%.

The hope now is for a strong Box Office run in the face of little upcoming competition. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Fox’s 2nd biggest opening of the year (behind ‘Deadpool 2), will now look towards recent music-centric movies like ‘Mamma Mia 2’ and ‘A Star is Born’, which have gone down like a treat with cinemagoers, earning $120.8m and $165.5m each. A performance like ‘Mamma Mia 2’s would see the film finishing a little over $170m; a real possibility considering its ‘A’ on Cinemascore, and surely a welcome one for a studio whose only hits this year come from the aforementioned ‘Deadpool 2’, and ‘Maze Runner 3’.

While ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ over-delivered this weekend, ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ neutralised any possible Box Office-forecast gains, bringing in a paltry $20.4m. It didn’t fare much better internationally, earning $38.5m for a $58.5m worldwide start. The story here lies in an over-inflated budget of $130m, partly caused by a production that saw over a month’s worth of reshoots, resulting in the film having two directors, with Joe Johnston receiving a credit alongside Lasse Hallström.

It wasn’t just this that doomed the film – a $20.4m start would barely suffice for a film costing half that amount. Its poor release date (too early for Christmas, too soon after a series of PG competitors) is compounded by the fact that two more Disney releases in ‘Wreck it Ralph 2’ and ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ open by the end of the year, as well as ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ hitting cinemas in the next week, which should all stop any possibilities of ‘Nutcracker’ becoming a sleeper hit.

To make matters worse, its 34% on Rotten Tomatoes was backed up by an average ‘B+’ on Cinemascore. At best, it can hope for legs like another Disney bomb ‘A Wrinkle in Time’, whose 3x multiplier would give ‘Nutcracker’ a domestic total of just $61m.

It continues what’s been a strange year for Disney. On one hand, they’ve released record-breakers in ‘Infinity War’, ‘Black Panther’, and ‘Incredibles 2’, but also some of the biggest flops in recent history in ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and ‘Solo’. ‘The Nutcracker’ is surely added to the latter pile, which Disney hopes to keep at just 3 films for the rest of the year.

We’ve had a hit, we’ve had a flop, now for somewhere in the middle. In third place this Box Office weekend was Tyler Perry’s latest foray, ‘Nobody’s Fool’. Made on a $19m budget and earning $14m in its 3-day debut, ‘Nobody’s Fool’ met its estimates and but never really exceeded its expectations. Perhaps it was the lack of ‘Tyler Perry’ (or ‘Madea’) in the title, or the adverse effects of having Tiffany Haddish lead yet another comedy (‘Night School’ is still out in 1,300 cinemas), but could this have grossed more?

Probably not. Let’s not forget, this is a solid start for the R-rated comedy, whose gross is just a little under that of this year’s ‘Tag’ ($14.9m), but comfortably above ‘The Happytime Murders’ ($9.5m). Paramount will hope the film is less like previous release ‘Action Point’ ($2.4m opening, $5.1m domestic total) and more towards ‘Book Club’ ($13.6m opening, $68.6m domestic total), although its poor critical reception threatens any real chance of such a leggy run.

Three new films slot into the top three slots. How far can ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ go? How badly will ‘The Nutcracker’ do? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: Disneys Bites The Dust As ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Opens at $45m

Written by Dapo Olowu

Well, they did say they would rock us.

As U.S. cinemagoers gear up for the release of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, it’s easy to forget the other 2 new films in ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘Nobody’s Fool’ wanting to ‘break free’ from the musical biopic’s shadow. Still, ‘the show must go on’, and ‘BR’ is destined to be the ‘killer queen’ out of a bunch of ‘under pressure’ releases.

‘Don’t stop me now’ readers, the puns are out in full force, as are Rami Malek and co. in 20th Century Fox’s latest offering. Such is the anticipation that its rotten 58% on the Tomatometer will merely dent its opening gross – a gross that has steadily risen over the past month.

A recent Fandango report claims that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s presales outstrip that of ‘Mamma Mia 2’ and ‘A Star is Born’, two high-earning musicals released this year. Considering ‘MM2’, the sequel to one of the biggest musicals of all time, opened to $35m, and ‘A Star is Born’ earned $43m in its first 3 days, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s gross could be truly massive.

To be specific, we’re predicting $45m, which could even rise as the weekend draws close. This isn’t surprising considering the film’s production has been on industry lips since 2010. Back then, it was ‘Borat’ star Sacha Baron Cohen cast as Freddie Mercury, although creative differences led to his departure. After Ben Whishaw (don’t ask) replaced him and then too quickly left, the film was batted around for a while until Fox fast-tracked it last year, with Malek as the lead.

On-set troubles with director Bryan Singer, including an ‘unexpected unavailability’, led to his firing the replacement, Dexter Fletcher, to complete the last few weeks of production. Still, it’s been rather smooth sailing in the aftermath, as negative PR’s been kept to a minimum (Singer’s even still got the directing credit). With a budget of $52m, the film, also starring Lucy Boynton, Aiden Gillen, Tom Hollander, and Mike Myers, should have 0 problems proclaiming ‘We Are The Champions’ by Sunday night.

If ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s a success, then ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ is a Disney disaster. It won’t be for the first time this year either, what with ‘Solo’ and ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ (maybe even add ‘Christopher Robin’ in there too). What makes ‘The Nutcracker’ so interesting, however, is the fact its release directly follows those in a similar mould. In the last month alone we’ve seen ‘Goosebumps 2’ and ‘The House with a Clock in its Walls’ two (albeit horror) PG fantasy films which have opened around the $20m mark.

Throw in the aforementioned ‘AWiT’, alongside ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ and ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ from recent memory all grossing similar amounts in their first 3 days, and a $21m opening was almost destined for Disney’s latest release. On a medium-sized budget, this wouldn’t be the worst situation to be in, but Disney spent an eye-watering $130m+ producing this bomb, which will struggle to remain in the top ten in a few weeks.

The critical reception doesn’t help its case either; its 35% on Rotten Tomatoes makes this Disney’s worst-rated film since last summer’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’. Like the Pirates franchise, ‘The Nutcracker’ stars Kiera Knightley, as well as MacKenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman, Jack Whitehall, and Miranda Hart. It follows the story of ‘The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’ from 1816 about a young girl who finds a magical Nutcracker doll. Oh how Disney could do with some magic in the Box Office right about now.

The final release of the weekend is Tyler Perry’s ‘Nobody’s Fool’. Released by Paramount, this $19m-budgeted comedy stars Tika Sumpter, Tiffany Haddish, and Whoopi Goldberg, and follows Tanya (Haddish) potentially being catfished in an online relationship.

If its premise doesn’t drastically differentiate itself from the rest of this weekend’s releases, its R-rating surely does, and by having the smallest of the 3 films’ cinema counts with just 2,400, its doomed to be the lowest earner of the newbies this weekend.

However, a flop it is not. Being the first Tyler Perry movie in nearly forever not to have his name in the title doesn’t change the fact that since 2007, just one of his 16 films (yes, 16) has opened under $15m. Love him or loathe him, he’s got an audience, as does Haddish, so we see this one starting solidly with $14m.

Three new films but only one is the victor. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ looks to top the charts with some ease, but will it really beat ‘A Star is Born’s $42.9m opening? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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