Friday, May 4, 2018

2018 Box Office Predictions Part 2 (May Through August)

For a couple of years now I've been trying my hand at box office predictions, with mixed results. Sometimes my prognostications are spot on, other times they're wildly inaccurate, proving there's just no telling what the general public is willing to pay to sit through. 

Summer is traditionally the season when studios trot out their big budget tentpole blockbuster movies. Not so this year! There are a couple of decent looking summer movies coming out, but overall this has to be the weakest collection of cineturds I've seen in many a year. In fact if I didn't know better, I'd think this was the January/February Film Dumping Ground!

I blame Disney/Marvel Studios for this. Infinity War came out at the end of April, and I have a feeling most of the studios realized there was no point in even trying to compete with such a juggernaut. Thanks Obama Disney!

I'm also shocked at how few of these films I've heard of. I generally go see a movie every weekend, and as a result am bombarded by dozens of trailers. Somehow I've never seen previews for three fourths of these dogs. That's definitely not a good sign, as it means the studios have so little faith in these films that they're unwilling to even advertise them.

My comments on the various films are in red.

NOTE: This list is for the middle four months of the year. There're too many movies to cover all in one go.

May
Bad Samaritan
A young valet breaks into a man's home and discovers a terrified woman who's chained and gagged. After notifying the police, he soon becomes the target of the psychopath's wrath as he tries to rescue the victim that he left behind. Premieres May 4.

This sounds vaguely familiar to the premise of The Collector, which isn't a good sign. It's also directed by Dean Devlin, the visionary filmmaker who brought us last year's Geostorm. Oy. It stars David Tennant though, so that's good.

Infinity War will still be in full effect when this premieres, so I can't see it making more than $30 - $40 million domestically.

Overboard
A gender-flipped remake of the 1987 movie, which starred real life couple Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. Premieres May 4.

The original film concerned a man who convinced a snooty socialite she was his wife for reasons. It was an iffy concept, but Kurt Russell was able to pull it off through sheer force of his likability and charisma. There's no way in hell a storyline like that would fly here in hypersensitive woke 2018. But apparently if it's a woman who manipulates the man, then it's perfectly OK. 

Screw this movie and everyone involved in it. I hope it bombs so hard it leaves a crater in the cineplex. I hope it makes $25 to $30 million or less here.

Breaking In
A woman takes her two children on a weekend getaway to her late father's secluded, high-tech estate in the countryside. She soon finds herself in a desperate fight to save all of their lives when four men break into the house in search of something. Premieres May 11.

This sounds like a Lifetime Channel movie that somehow got released to theaters. It's directed by James McTeigue, who brought us such classics as V For VendettaNinja Assassin and The Raven. I think it might make $30 to $40 million in the States.

Life of the Party
Dumped by her husband, longtime housewife Deanna turns regret into reset by going back to college. Winding up at the same school as her daughter, Deanna plunges headlong into the campus experience. Premieres May 11.

Wow, a parent going back to college and embarrassing her daughter? What a startlingly original idea! It stars the always grating Melissa McCarthy, and directed by Ben Falcone, who brought us Tammy and The Boss. Somehow those movies made pretty decent money, so I'm gonna say this one'll do the same— between $70 and $80 million here.

Book Club
Four women join a book club and read 50 Shades Of Grey, which inspires them to make a series of outrageous life choices. Premieres May 18.

Really? That's the movie? It's actually about people reading a real-life book? Has that ever happened before? It stars Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, so right there you know no one under 50 is gonna see this thing. Directed by first-timer Bill Holderman. I'm predicting it'll make $30 to $40 million domestically.

Deadpool 2
In this sequel, Deadpool forms a team of superheroes to protect a young mutant boy from the time-traveling Cable. Premieres May 18.

The first film was a MASSIVE hit, grossing $783 million worldwide, against its $58 million budget. I would expect this installment to be a hit as well. 

There're two potential problems though. First of all, it's coming out less than a month after Infinity War, which will still be going strong by then and may siphon away some of its box office. Secondly, original director Tim Miller is out, replaced by David Leitch. He's a stuntman turned director, who brought us John Wick and Atomic Blonde. Both were competent action movies, but they were anything but funny. Who knows, maybe he can pull it off. 

I think it'll likely make $800 to $850 million worldwide.

Show Dogs
A detective finds adventure with his partner, canine cop who has to go under cover at the world's most exclusive dog show. So basically it's Miss Congeniality, but with talking dogs. Got it. Premieres May 18.

It's a kids' movie, and they usually do well no matter how bad they are. It's directed by Raja Gosnell, who brought us such cinematic gems as Home Alone 3Big Momma's House, the Scooby-Doo films, Beverly Hills Chihuahua and both Smurf movies. Jesus, half his resume consists of talking dog movies!

Kids have no taste, so they'll flock to any movie marketed to them. The Smurfs 2 made $347 million worldwide. I think this one might surprise me and make $150 to $200 million.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
A prequel telling us the incredibly necessary and compelling story of how Han Solo met Chewbacca, won the Millennium Falcon from Lando and acquired his iconic blaster. Premieres May 25.

This film was wracked with production problems from the start. Star Alden Ehrenreich was reportedly so bad that Disney had to hire an acting coach for him. Then they fired the original directors and replaced them with Ron Frakin' Howard, who reportedly reshot almost all the film. Those are both huge red flags.

It's a Star Wars movie though, so it's pretty much guaranteed to rake in the cash. I'm wondering though if this will be the point where Star Wars fatigue finally starts to set in? The Force Awakens grossed $936 million here in the States, while The Last Jedi brought in $620 million and Rogue One made just $532 million.

Honestly this one could go either way. I think it might make $550 to $600 million Stateside. 

By the way, I'm not making any predictions here, but I'd just like to point out that there's a film coming out called Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town. I can't wait to see how the public asks for a ticket to that movie! We're very near the end of civilization.

June
Upgrade
A brutal mugging leaves a man paralyzed, until he's implanted with a chip that restores his mobility and gives him superstrength. He then uses his newfound powers to seek revenge on the ones who attacked him. Premieres June 1.

The trailer looks interesting, although it feels very similar to Sony's upcoming Venom movie. It's written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who co-created Saw and Insidious, so that's a good sign. It'll probably have a limited release though, so I wouldn't expect it to make more than $30 to $40 million here.

Action Point
Johnny Knoxville, who's getting too old for this sort of thing, stars as the owner of a low-rent, out-of-control amusement park where the rides are designed with minimum safety for maximum fun. Premieres June 1. 

The film's directed by Tim Kirkby, who directed The Blind Spot and a ton of TV shows. I see little or no interest in this movie, and would be surprised if it makes over $40 million here.

Hereditary
When Ellen passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. Sorry, every site I visit has that exact same plot description. Premieres June 8.

The trailer looks genuinely creepy, and looks promising. It's directed by Ari Aster though, who's previously done nothing but a series of short films. Honestly this one could go either way. I think it'll make $50 to $60 million Stateside.

Ocean's 8
Think Ocean's 11, but with chicks. Yawn. Premieres June 8.

The trailer didn't do anything for me, but it's directed by Gary Ross, who brought us Pleasantville, Seabiscuit and The Hunger Games. So it could turn out OK. I think this one might surprise me and make $400 to $450 million here.

The Incredibles 2
In this sequel  Elastigirl springs into action to save the day, while Mr. Incredible faces his greatest challenge yet— taking care of his three children. Premieres June 15.

I loved the original film, what with its retro design aesthetic and fun storyline. This one brings back writer/director Brad Bird, which is a huge plus. 

Not sure why it took a whopping FOURTEEN years to make a sequel though. There's a whole crop of kids out there who weren't even alive when the first film came out. Will they care about a follow up? The original made $261 million domestically. I think this one could do even better, at $350 to $400 million. 

Superfly
A remake of the 1972 blaxploitation classic. Premieres June 15.

The original film was a cultural touchstone, and grossed $30 million against its minuscule $500,000 budget. That $30 million would be the equivalent of $179 million today, so it was a big deal. Can history repeat itself?

It's directed by someone who calls himself "Director X." He's directed a ton of music videos, and little else. Can he handle an actual film? The box office will tell. By the way, this is a (shudder) Sony movie, and they're the worst. That kills any interest I may have had in it right there. $40 to $50 million here.

Tag
A comedy about a group of adults who play a yearly, no-holds barred game of tag, in which they risk their jobs, relationships and lives to take one another down. Premieres June 15.

It's got an impressive cast, but it's directed by Jeff Tomsic, who's done nothing but short films up to this point. $30 to $40 million Stateside.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Four years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that's about to erupt. Premieres June 22.

The previous film grossed an astonishing $1.6 BILLION worldwide, proving people will see anything with CGI dinosaurs in it. 


For some reason previous director Colin Trevorrow isn't returning for this installment, which seems like a red flag. He's being replaced by J.A. Bayona, who previously directed a bunch of films you never heard of such as The Orphanage, The Impossible and A Monster Calls. That's another bad sign.

The public doesn't care about directors though, so I think this one will do around the same or a little better. $1.5 to $2 billion worldwide.

July
The First Purge
A prequel to the popular franchise, detailing the origin of the Purge. Premieres July 4.

I hated the first film, loved the second and was ambivalent about the third. As with nearly all prequels, this one doesn't sound all that interesting. It's directed by Gerard McMurray, whose only previous film wassBurning Sands, whatever that is.

The previous film grossed $118 million worldwide. For some reason I think this one will do about the same or worse. Maybe $120 million worldwide.

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ant-Man joins forces with the Wasp on an urgent new mission to uncover secrets from the past. Premieres July 6.

I loved everything about the first film, and have high hopes for this sequel. It's directed by Peyton Reed, who also helmed the original. At this point Marvel can do no wrong, so I expect this to be another hit for them. The first film grossed $519 million worldwide, which is a bit low for a Marvel movie these days. I expect this one to do a bit better. $600 to $650 worldwide.

Hotel Transylvania 3
Everyone's favorite monster family is back in this threequel (how's that for a word?). This time the gang goes on a luxury cruise (so it has nothing to do with a hotel), but their dream vacation turns into a nightmare when ship captain Erika has a plan to destroy monsterkind. Premieres July 412.

There're two things about this film that are pretty darned scary. First of all it stars Adam Sandler, although mercifully you don't actually have to look at him here, and only hear his voice. Secondly, it's a (shudder) Sony film. If that doesn't send shivers down your spine, nothing will.

Because they're family films and kids have no taste, the first movie grossed $358 million worldwide, while the second pulled in $473 million. I'd expect this one to do the same or better. $500 to $550 million worldwide.


Skyscraper
Think Die Hard, but with Dwayne Johnson in the John McClane role. Premieres July 13.

This actually looks like it could be a fun popcorn movie. Plus who doesn't love the Rock? It's directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber though, who doesn't exactly have an impressive resume. He previously directed Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh (?), We're The Millers and Central Intelligence.

Johnson's previous film Rampage has already racked up $350 million worldwide (and counting). I think this one could make $350 to $400 million worldwide.

The Equalizer 2
In this sequel, Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves? Premieres July 20.

Was the world really clamoring for an Equalizer sequel? The original film grossed a surprising $192 million worldwide, so maybe they were. This one's directed by Antoine Fuqua, who brought us the original film, along with King Arthur (meh), Shooter, Brooklyn's Finest, Olympus Has Fallen and Southpaw.

Oh, did I mention it's a (shudder) Sony movie? Well, it is. That's definitely a mark against it.

I think this one'll do a little worse than the original. Maybe $170 to $180 million here.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
In this sequel, Sophie finds out more about her mother's past while seeking guidance on how to handle her pregnancy. Premieres July 20.

The original film grossed an astonishing $609 million worldwide! That's amazing to me. Original director Phyllida Lloyd is out this time though. She's been replaced by Ol Parker, whoever the hell that is, who brought us such classics as Imagine Me & You and Now Is Good. That could possibly be a concern this time out.

I think it'll probably make slightly more than the original, at $650 to $700 million worldwide.

Mission: Impossible— Fallout
Ethan Hunt and his IMF team find themselves in a race against time after a mission goes wrong. Isn't that pretty much the plot of all of them? Premieres July 27.

This films have always been box office champs, which explains why there's six of them. It's directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who previously helmed The Way Of The Gun, Jack Reacher and Mission: Impossible— Rogue NationThe previous one grossed $682 million worldwide, and I'd expect this one to do the same, if not better. $700 to $800 million worldwide.

August
Christopher Robin
Christopher Robin's all grown up, and lost his sense of imagination. It's up to Pooh & Co. to help rekindle it for him. So it's Hook, but with Pooh characters. Got it. Premieres August 3.

Not to be confused with the very similarly titled Goodbye Christopher Robin, which was about the life of real life author A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie The Pooh. Why the hell would Disney make a movie with two thirds of the same title?

It's directed by Marc Foster, who gave us the similarly themed Finding Neverland. He also directed Monster's Ball, The Kite Runner, Machine Gun Preacher and World War Z! Which of course makes him the perfect choice to direct a whimsical movie about rediscovering your childhood. 


I can't see this being a huge hit, as Star Wars & Marvel aside, everything Disney touches isn't gold (I'm lookin' at you, A Wrinkle In Time!). Slightly similar stuffed bear movie Paddington 2 made $40 million domestically, and I think this one will likely do the same. I predict $40 to $50 million here.

The Darkest Minds
When teens mysteriously develop powerful new abilities, they are declared a threat by the government and detained. Sounds like an off-brand New Mutants movie. Premieres August 3.

It's directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, whose only previous films were Kung Fu Panda 2 and 3. Apparently this is the first time she's directed actual people. I'm thinking $30 to $40 million Stateside.

Mile 22
An intelligence office has to smuggle a mysterious policeman out of the country. Premieres August 3.

Director Peter Berg continues his love affair with Mark Wahlberg here. The team previously worked together on Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day. Jesus, get a room, guys! Berg's grosses are all over the scale, so it's hard to predict this one. I'm gonna say it might make $50 to $60 here.

The Meg
A massive, prehistoric Megalodon attacks a deep sea sub, and it's up to Jason Statham to save it. Premieres August 10.

The trailer looks like it could be fun, but there are some red flags. First of all, I remember reading the book when it came out way back in 1997. The movie's been in Development Hell ever since, which is generally a sign that no one can figure out how to make the story work. 

Secondly, it's directed by Jon Turtletaub, who gave us cinematic classics such as 3 Ninjas, Cool Runnings, Phenomenon, the National Treasure movies, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Last Vegas. Oy. Those all range from downright awful to utterly meh. I think this one might make $70 to $80 million domestically.

Alpha
20,000 years ago, a young man is separated from his tribe and left for dead. He befriends a young wolf, and the two have to work together to survive. Premieres August 17.

I swear I saw this trailer over a year ago. That implies it's been shelved, which is always a bad sign. On the other hand, it's directed by Albert Hughes though. He's one half of the Hughes Brothers, who directed Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, From Hell and The Book Of Eli. So that's good. But it's a (shudder) Sony movie though, so we're back to bad.

I don't see there being much interest in this one, so I think it might make $30 to $40 million here.

The Happytime Murders
Two detectives— one a puppet, the other human— are forced to work together to find a killer who is murdering the cast of the beloved kids' show. Premieres August 17.

I liked this movie the first time I saw it, when it was called Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It also has the faint stench of Theodore Rex about it as well. It stars Melissa "I Ruined The Ghostbusters Remake" McCarthy, so that's a mark against it. It's directed by Brian Henson though, son of Muppet creator Jim Henson. So who knows, it could be good. I think it'll make $50 to $60 million domestically.

Replicas

Keanu Reeves stars as a scientist who clones his family after they're killed in a horrific auto accident. Premieres August 24.

Wow, this sounds disturbingly close to Reeves' real life. His daughter was stillborn, and his real-life wife was killed in a car wreck. That had to be an awkward film set. It's directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, who gave us such hits as Hollywood Palms and Traitor. $30 to $40 million here.

Slender Man
Terror strikes when four teenage girls in a small town perform a ritual to debunk the lore of a tall, thin, horrifying figure known as the Slender Man. They soon fear that the legend is true when one of them suddenly goes missing. Premieres August 24.

I have a great idea! Let's make a lame PG-13 horror movie based on a legend that inspired a real life murder! The kids'll love it! It's directed by Sylvain White, who helmed such hits as Stomp The Yard and The Losers, which is a concern. It's also another (shudder) Sony movie, so that tells me all I need to know. $20 to $30 million  Stateside. 

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