Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017 Box Office Predictions Part One RESULTS (January thru April)

Last year my nephew Kyle and I began a tradition of predicting the year's Box Office Hits and Flops. We didn't do so well in 2016, as Kyle's predictions had a 41% accuracy rate, and mine was even worse at 37%. I guess we vastly underestimated the general moviegoing public's willingness to sit through literally anything.

We decided to try our hands at predicticating again this year, and see if we could do better this time. Below are the results of our 2017 Box Office Predictions Part One (January thru April)My predictions are in red, while Kyle's are in blue.

Note: I don't want to have to keep saying this over and over, so keep this in mind— due to marketing and other costs, these days a movie has to make around TWICE its PRODUCTION BUDGET in order to break even. So if a movie cost $100 million to film, it's gotta gross $200 million before it actually makes a dime! Crazy, huh?

OK, let's see how we did!

Underworld: Blood Wars
Bob: The fact that this was supposed to come out last October and was pushed back to this January tells me all I need to know. Plus these movies have historically ALL been "meh" at best. I doubt it'll even, um, break even.

Budget: $35 million
Domestic Gross: $30,348,260 • Foreign Gross: $50,709,541
Worldwide: $81,057,801

Welp, I was right on the nose if you only count the domestic gross. It cost $35 million and only made a shockingly low $30 million. If you add the domestic and foreign grosses, it managed to scrape up $81 million, meaning it just barely moved past the break even point. That has to be a disappointment for Screen Gems, aka SONY.

I'm gonna go ahead and give myself a point for this one.

The Bye Bye Man
Bob: Sounds like the usual watered down PG-13 horror tripe. If its budget is small enough, it might manage to make a bit of money. Teens will pay to see any movie so they can sit in a dark room and text.

Budget: $7 million
Domestic Gross: $22,395,806 • Foreign Gross: $4,271,391
Worldwide: $26,667,197

As I predicted, as bad as this film was (and boy, was it bad) it managed to make a small profit. Another point for me.

Monster Trucks
Bob: It has a $125 million budget (!), so it's gonna have to make at least $250 million just to break even. I don't see it making that much. I'm betting it'll be an expensive flop.

Budget: A whopping $125 million
Domestic Gross: $33,063,274 • Foreign Gross: $31,123,749
Worldwide: $64,493,915

This movie's inexplicably enormous budget doomed it from the start. There was no way it was ever gonna make it past its break even point, due to all the bad press the film received before it ever came out. I still maintain that this was a deliberate tax write-off on the part of Paramount.

Another point for me!

Bob: The film only cost an extremely low $5 million (!), so I actually think it'll do OK. Surely it can clear at least $10 million!

Budget: $9 million
Domestic Gross: $138,120,085 • Foreign Gross: $136,857,851
Worldwide: $274,977,936

Hmm. I predicted it would do "OK." Looks like I was a bit off here. It grossed a very surprising and respectable $138 million here, for an astonishing total of $274 million worldwide. I don't get it, as I thought it was a middling film at best, but SOMEONE must have liked it.

Darn. A miss for me.

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
Bob: I'm predicting a bomb.

Budget: $85 million
Domestic Gross: $44,898,413 • Foreign Gross: $301,249,245
Worldwide: $346,147,658

Well, I predicted a bomb, and I was right if you only count the domestic gross. The film barely racked up half its budget here in the States. It's a much bigger hit overseas though (no doubt due to the diverse, international cast), where it grossed a very impressive $346 million!

I'm going to give myself half a point for this one.

The Red Turtle
Bob: It's a Studio Ghibli film, and they're always well-regarded, but they usually don't get a wide release. There's no way it'll be a huge hit. It'll probably make more on home video.

Budget: $3.7 million
Domestic Gross: $912,825

As I suspected, this film didn't get much of a release, playing in just 115 theaters (for comparison, xXx: Return Of Xander Cage played in 3,651 theaters!). It never played anywhere near me. I have no idea why it had such a limited release. Maybe they intended it to be a home video release, but stuck it in a few theaters and film festivals so it could win some awards?

Another point for me!

A Dog’s Purpose
Bob: Kids might latch onto it, so I think it might be a very mild hit if Rogue One isn't still siphoning money from the box office at the end of January.

Budget: $22 million
Domestic Gross: $64,230,845 • Foreign Gross: $120,670,635
Worldwide: $184,901,480

I'm very surprised by this film's success, especially considering the "animal abuse" bombshell that dropped shortly before it's release. I predicted a "mild hit," which is what I'd call the domestic gross.

I'm gonna give myself a half point for this one.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Bob: I doubt this'll be a massive hit, but I think it'll make a small profit.

Budget: $40 million
Domestic Gross: $26,830,068 • Foreign Gross: $285,412,558
Worldwide: $312,242,626

Well, I predicted it would make a small profit. That was wrong both domestically and abroad. It was a huge flop in the States, and a massive hit overseas. Look for Resident Evil 7 in a year or two!

Darn. Another miss.

Bob: Rings was supposed to come out last year, but was pushed back to the January Film Dumping Ground, which is a bad sign. It's yet another watered down PG-13 horror film which will make back its low budget and turn a very small profit.

Budget: $25 million
Domestic Gross: $27,793,018 • Foreign Gross: $55,287,872
Worldwide: $83,080,890

As I predicted, Rings made a very small profit (as most horror films do), due to its relatively low budget.

Point for me!

The Space Between Us
Bob: I smell a bomb.

Budget: $30 million
Domestic Gross: $7,885,294 • Foreign Gross: $6,908,091
Worldwide: $14,793,385

WOW! When I said "I smell a bomb," I had no idea just how right I was! What. The. Hell? How the hell can a movie gross just $7 million in this day and age? This wasn't a limited release either, it played in 2,812 theaters! Holy crap!

Another BIG point for me. Heck, I oughta get five points for this one!

The Lego Batman Movie
Bob: The Lego Movie brought in $470 million worldwide. I think this one will do even more than that. Kids will be chomping at the bit to see a new Lego adventure, plus ticket prices are slightly higher now.

Kyle: Right now, The Lego Batman Movie appears to be the only kid-family oriented film opening in February, so it should be a modest hit. I don't see it equaling the Lego Movie's numbers, but I predict this bringing in somewhere between $300-350 million.

Budget: $80 million
Domestic Gross: $174,691,628 • Foreign Gross: $134,000,000
Worldwide: $308,691,628

Hmm. Looks like both Kyle and I seriously overestimated the popularity of this film. I'm honestly surprised, as I expected it to do much, much better.

A miss for both of us.

A Cure For Wellness
Bob: It's directed by Gore "Pirates Of The Caribbean" Verbinski, for whatever that's worth. It's rated R, which is a rarity for a horror movie these days, but I don't know if that'll be enough to save it. I'm gonna say bomb.

Budget: $40 million
Domestic Gross: $8,106,986 • Foreign Gross: $18,356,451
Worldwide: $26,463,437

Yikes! Another huge bomb that I predicted! Again, this wasn't some indie-circuit thing, it played in 2,704 theaters. That's just embarrassing.

Another point for me!

The Great Wall
Bob: The movie's already made almost $200 worldwide, which is amazing. Honestly it could go either way here. I definitely don't think it'll be a blockbuster, but it might make a small profit.

Budget: $150 million
Domestic Gross: $45,157,105 • Foreign Gross: $286,800,000
Worldwide: $331,957,105

Whoops! I predicted it might make a small profit here. Just the opposite. That's too bad, as I liked the movie quite a bit. Even with the foreign gross, it just barely squeaked by the break even point.

A miss for me.

Patient Zero
Bob: Not to be confused with the cinematic jewel Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. This one inexplicably stars Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer and Stanley Tucci. What the hell are they all doing in a movie like this? I dunno, I'm gonna say it might make a very, very slight profit.

Hmm. This movie was supposed to premiere on February 17, but it's release date is now listed as "TBD." That's never a good sign.

No points either way, since it never came out.

The Girl With All The Gifts
Bob: This one actually looks interesting, and much better than Patient Zero. It's a British film, and unfortunately didn't do well there, which is a bad sign. It'll probably get spotty distribution in the States, so I don't foresee a huge hit.

Welp, this one apparently never made it to theaters here and went straight to home video, which should probably tell you something about its quality.

Again, no points either way.

Get Out
Bob: If the budget's low enough, I think it'll probably be a very low-level hit.

Budget: $4.5 million
Domestic Gross: $172,534,250 • Foreign Gross: $21,153,229
Worldwide: $193,687,479

The budget info wasn't available when I made my prediction, but it's listed now. And boy, is it ever a tiny budget at $4.5 million! With a production cost that low, pretty much ANYTHING it made was guaranteed to be profit.

I said it'd be a "very low-level hit." It was much more than low level, grossing almost fifty times its budget!

Darn. Another miss.

Rock Dog
Bob: It was supposed to come out last year, which is all I need to know. BOMB!

Budget: $60 million (!)
Domestic Gross: $9,420,546
Worldwide: $9,420,546

Looks like I was right. Despite the fact that it looks like a direct-to-video CGI cartoon, it somehow cost a whopping $60 million! And it only grossed a sixth of that, worldwide. I'd call that a bomb!

Point for me!

Bob: Unlike the vast majority of fanboys who lost their collective minds over this trailer, it honestly didn't do anything for me. I think it looks dull as hell. But I think it'll be a big hit, mostly because Joe Public will think it's a Marvel Studios movie.

Kyle: This won't do Deadpool numbers but should do better than X-Men: Apocalypse. I predict this grossing in the $630-$675 million range.

Budget: $97 million
Domestic Gross: $224,508,170 • Foreign Gross: $383,233,488
Worldwide: $607,741,658

Welp, as I predicted, it was a pretty big hit. And I ended up liking it more than I expected as well. It came pretty close to Kyle's oddly specific $630 million prediction.

Point for both of us!

Kong: Skull Island
Bob: This looks a lot like a remake of the 1976 King Kong, which was a wonderfully cheesetastic train wreck. It looks kind of fun though, so I think it'll be a moderate hit.

Kyle: Not a bomb, but not a huge hit either. This will be a steady mainstay on cable networks like FX and TNT five years from now.

Budget: $185 million
Domestic Gross: $167,066,744 • Foreign Gross: $398,100,000
Worldwide: $565,166,744

Welp, I was completely wrong about this film. I said it'd be a moderate hit, and it didn't even make back its budget in the States, but was a pretty big hit overseas.

Another miss for us both.

Bob: Supposedly this movie wowed the festival circuit last year. it's a French film though, so that means it probably won't get a very wide release, and will only play in select markets. So it's not gonna make much money, no matter how good it might be.

Budget: $3.8 million
Domestic Gross: $514,870

Well, I was right on the money here. Based on that astonishingly tiny gross, I'm assuming it played on the festival circuit only.

Point for me!

Beauty and the Beast
Bob: Disney. Live action remake of a beloved animated classic. Nuff said. Massive box office hit.

Budget: $160 million
Domestic Gross: $498,225,739 • Foreign Gross: $724,050,444
Worldwide: $1,222,276,183

I'd call crossing over into BILLION dollar territory a massive box office hit. Actually it's continuing to rake in money, as it's STILL playing around here, two months after its release.

Point for me!

The Belko Experiment
Bob: Sounds interesting, and I like pretty much everything James Gunn's ever done. It comes out the same weekend as Beauty And The Beast though, so... it's gonna underperform.

Budget: $5 million
Domestic Gross: $9,697,090

I'd call grossing less than twice its production budget "underperforming."
Point for me.

Bob: I watched the trailer and it looks interesting, but it seems to be the same "alien possession" story we've seen a hundred times before. I predict an expensive film that won't be a bomb, but won't make its money back either.

Kyle: This looks like a pretty interesting SciFi movie. Originally schedule for release on memorial day weekend, it was moved back to March to avoid competing with the new Pirates of the Carribbean movie (another hard skip for me). I always enjoy some of the more under that radar scifi movies like Moon and I an cautiously optimistic for this one.

Budget: $58 million
Domestic Gross: $30,189,466 • Foreign Gross: $63,577,006
Worldwide: $93,757,472

I'm gonna give myself a point here, as it didn't come anywhere near close to making its money back. Kyle said he was "cautiously optimistic" for it, so I'd say that's a miss for him.

Power Rangers
Bob: Who's this movie for? Fans of the original will be put off by all the puzzling changes made to the characters and hardware, and people who never watched the show won't go see this anyway. It's gonna be one expensive flop.

Budget: $100 million
Domestic Gross: $85,080,980 • Foreign Gross: $54,881,952
Worldwide: $139,962,932

Yep. Expensive flop. Lionsgate had big plans for this film, hoping it would start a whole Power Rangers franchise. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Part 2, unless it's a very, very stripped-down, low budget affair.

Point for me.

Ghost in the Shell
Bob: No matter how good it might be, the white washing controversy is gonna hurt it. It's gonna have an uphill climb just to break even. I smell a bomb.

Kyle: I love the original anime movie and manga this is based on. I just don't see why an asian actress wasn't cast in the lead. That being said, I predict this grossing similar to Scarlet Johansson's 2014 film Lucy, which did $463 million.

Budget: $110 million
Domestic Gross: $40,540,778 • Foreign Gross: $129,131,608
Worldwide: $169,672,386

Wow. When I said I smelled a bomb, I had no idea how right I was. It made an embarrassing $40 million here in the States, and made slightly more than its budget overseas. Maybe making a live action movie of a twenty four year old anime that was innovative in its time but now seems stale wasn't such a great idea after all?

Point for me. A miss for Kyle, who predicted it would gross $400 million (!).

Bob: Supposedly a hit at last year's Sundance Film Festival. Everyone's comparing it to Chronicle, which I liked OK, but... eh. I don't see this being a hit.

Budget: $250,000 (no, that's not a typo!)
Domestic Gross: $3,858,730

I don't even think this played at any cineplexes around here. If I did it must have only been out for a week before it was yanked. I don't remember sI'm not really sure how to call this one. A gross of almost $4 million bucks is laughably low these days, but when you put it up against its paltry $250,000 budget, suddenly it becomes massively profitable.

I'll give myself half a point here.

Smurfs: The Lost Village
Bob: Jesus, they're still making these things? The original Smurfs grossed $563 million worldwide, while Smurfs 2 made $347 million. Looks like the Smurfs films are following the law of diminishing returns. It'll probably make around $150 million. Depending on the budget, that's probably not enough to make it a hit.

Budget: $60 million
Domestic Gross: $43,198,127 • Foreign Gross: $139,501,190
Worldwide: $182,699,317

Hmm. I said it wouldn't be a hit, but due to it's low budget, it actually made a slight profit.

Darn. Another miss.

Bob: NOPE! Bomb.

Apparently this is another one that went direct to video, as I can't find ANY info on it now.

No points either way.

The Circle
Bob: The titular Circle is obviously a thinly disguised Google. The trailer looked like a whole lot of "meh" to me though, so I'm gonna say it might make a very small profit.

Budget: $18 million
Domestic Gross: $20,091,354

Ouch! Are you kidding me? After being in theaters for an entire month, this film could only manage to scrape up a measly $20 million, which is little more than its production cost. I'm not sure if it just hasn't played overseas yet, or if it's not going to. If it does, the foreign market could help it, but I'm gonna go ahead and call it a flop.

Another miss.

So that's it for our 2017 Box Office Predictions Part One (January thru April). Let's see how we did!

Bob: 66% Accuracy Rate

Kyle: 20% Accuracy Rate

Welp, I got 66%, which is much better than last year's dismal 37%. Believe it or not, that's still considered a lowly D+ on the standard grading scale. No wonder I hated school so much!

Unfortunately Kyle did worse this year, with 20%. Probably because he hasn't had as much time to become as cynical as I am.

Stay tuned for our 2017 Box Office Predictions Part One (May thru August) results!

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