2019 Blockbuster Season Preview: June

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

June 7, 2019

Dark Phoenix

Premise: From IMDb: “Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.”
Box Office Prospects: $175 M
Expectations: Good. While Disney hasn’t been the best marketers for their former Fox properties, the advertising here has been adequate. That said, although the original series of films were quite popular, the new series and cast has been less so, so I don’t expect to high a climb for this film.
Oscar Prospects: Weak. The Fox Marvel films have seldom fared well with the Oscars and I don’t see this one overcoming everything else Disney will likely promote ahead of it.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Late Night

Premise: From IMDb: “A late-night talk show host suspects that she may soon be losing her long-running show.”
Box Office Prospects: $85 M
Expectations: Uncertain. While comedies have surprised in the past, this Emma Thompson-led comedy has not been given the best of marketing pushes, which suggests that it may struggle against a Marvel film and an animated sequel at the box office.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. Mindy Kaling may be in line for a writing nomination and Emma Thompson could contend for Best Actress, but for the most part, this film just doesn’t scream “Oscar contender!”
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Premise: From IMDb: “Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day.”
Box Office Prospects: $350 M
Expectations: Excellent. The original film made over $365 million at the box office. Sequels often struggle to match their predecessors, so my estimate might be on the high end. Still, there haven’t been enough great animated options so far this year, so I expect this one to do quite well.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. The first film failed to score an Oscar nomination and the Academy is notoriously sequel-shy, which suggests that without the “beloved” label of the predecessor, it doesn’t likely have much chance.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “A young man searches for home in the changing city that seems to have left him behind.”
Box Office Prospects: $10 M
Expectations: Weak. Indie films that focus on the black experience aren’t usually very popular with moviegoers, so I wouldn’t expect this film to do terribly well.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

June 14, 2019

Men in Black International

Premise: From IMDb: “The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization.”
Box Office Prospects: $250 M
Expectations: Good. The original “Men in Black” pulled in $250 million (inflation adjusted to $492 million), the follow ups were never quite as popular, but all made over $200 million adjusted for inflation. With the stars of Thor: Ragnarok in tow and the seven year distance between this and the last film to wipe away memory of that disliked film, it’s a good bet this one does quite well.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. The first film picked up three nominations for Art Direction, Makeup, and Original Comedy/Musical Score. One of those three catetgories no longer exists and the other two aren’t as likely to apply this time around, so the film’s best chances are in the Visual Effects category. It will be an uphill climb with what all else is out there this year, but it’s doable.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Shaft

Premise: From IMDb: “John Shaft Jr., a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, enlists his family’s help to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death.”
Box Office Prospects: $80 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The 2000 sequel made $70 million at the box office. The original film’s figures aren’t known. However, with the original star Richard Roundtree on board with Samuel L. Jackson reprising his 2000 role and a new generation of Shaft on deck, it could prove quite popular with audiences, or it could struggle.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Dead Don’t Die (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.”
Box Office Prospects: $5 M
Expectations: Weak. Jim Jarmusch is a director that almost no one goes to the theater to see. His most popular film to date was “Broken Flowers” in 2005 and it made a scant $13 million. This could prove to be an exception since the film features a lot of popular and familiar actors in an indie zombie movie. The ceiling, though, is probably under $25 million.
Oscar Prospects: None. Jim Jarmusch just isn’t an Oscar player, especially not for something as unserious as a zombie movie.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

June 21, 2019

Anna

Premise: From IMDb: “Beneath Anna Poliatova’s striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of the world’s most feared government assassins.”
Box Office Prospects: $15 M
Expectations: Weak. Apart from the seeming lack of advertising, this film just hasn’t got anything attached to it that would guarantee it’s success, especially not in wide release.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Child’s Play

Premise: From IMDb: “A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.”
Box Office Prospects: $65 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The original film made $33 million in 1988, which translates to about $72 million today. That’s a pretty good return for an original horror film. It’s been more than 30 years now since that film debuted and the previous sequels didn’t do that well. It could be that this is a surprise hit, but I wouldn’t expect too much out of it.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Toy Story 4

Premise: From IMDb: “When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.”
Box Office Prospects: $450 M
Expectations: Excellent. The first “Toy Story” opened 24 years ago to $191 million ($395 million today) and was unlike anything that had ever been seen. It was seen again four years later in the first sequel. “Toy Story 2” made $245 million ($431 million today). It took eleven years to get the third film and “Toy Story 3” made $415 million just nine years ago ($480 million today). With that kind of increase, one would think the fourth film would post even higher numbers. The problem is that there may be a cap on how high one of these films can climb and the advertising so far hasn’t been that appealing. I’m going for a slight downward tick, but it will still do incredibly well.
Oscar Prospects: Good. When the first two films came out, the industry was still leary of animated films. Only one, “Beauty and the Beast,” had ever been nominated for Best Picture and the Best Animated Feature category didn’t exist. By the time “Toy Story 3” arrived, Best Animated Feature had been around 9 years, so it handily won that category. Further, as a partial response to “WALL-E” and “The Dark Knight” being excluded from Best Picture, rules were changed to increase the category to ten, thus allowing “Up” and then “Toy Story 3” to become the second and third animated films nominated for Best Picture. Since then, not a single animated feature has made the cut. That bodes poorly for “Toy Story 4.” An Animated Feature nomination is assured, anything else is not.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

June 28, 2019

Annabelle Comes Home

Premise: From IMDb: “Third film in the ‘Annabelle’ franchise.”
Box Office Prospects: $110 M
Expectations: Good. The first film made $84 million, the second $102 million. While diminishing returns could apply, the “Conjuring” universe films have shown a notable resilience to box office fatigue, so a slightly upward tick is expected, especially with the direct “Conjuring” inclusion of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson to bolster it.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Yesterday

Premise: From IMDb: “A struggling musician realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles.”
Box Office Prospects: $70 M
Expectations: Uncertain. There’s no telling how a film as idiosyncratic as this could do with audiences. The Beatles are still popular today and this premise is fascinating, but the last Beatles-themed movie to take a stab at the box office, “Across the Universe,” failed to make more than $25 million.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. Director Danny Boyle has finally emerged as an Oscar contender thanks to his major Oscar victories with “Slumdog Millionaire.” While his subsequent films haven’t done much with Oscar, this film has all the right elements to take him back to the Academy Awards.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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