2019 Blockbuster Season Preview: May

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

May 3, 2019

The Intruder

Premise: From IMDb: “A psychological thriller about a young married couple who buys a beautiful Napa Valley house on several acres of land only to find that the man they bought it from refuses to let go of the property.”
Box Office Prospects: $45 M
Expectations: Uncertain. These kind of house-stalking movies have been known to be modestly popular, but not popular enough to be box office sensations.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Long Shot

Premise: From IMDb: “When Fred Flarsky reunites with his first crush, one of the most influential women in the world, Charlotte Field, he charms her. As she prepares to make a run for the Presidency, Charlotte hires Fred as her speechwriter and sparks fly.”
Box Office Prospects: $70 M
Expectations: Uncertain. It’s always hard to tell if a comedy is going to go over big or fade into obscurity. This one has all the potential of being a major success, but the advertising has seemingly been anemic.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Uglydolls

Premise: From IMDb: “An animated adventure in which the free-spirited UglyDolls confront what it means to be different, struggle with a desire to be loved, and ultimately discover who you truly are is what matters most.”
Box Office Prospects: $55 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Sometimes animated films outperform expectations. Other times, they flop badly. Unless it’s Pixar, Disney, or Illumination, there is no guarantee of success. This one boasts a famous cast, but it’s a musical that has barely been advertised as such. That could mean it ends up a flop since no one will know for sure they want to see it based on the current advertising.
Oscar Prospects: Weak. There are only a handful of studios who can earn Best Animated Feature nominations on nearly every picture. That also means there’s very little room for films that aren’t from those studios. This film probably has little shot, but if critics and audiences rally around it, it could.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

May 10, 2019

Detective Pikachu

Premise: From IMDb: “In a world where people collect pocket monsters (Pokémon) to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent monster who seeks to be a detective.”
Box Office Prospects: $45 M
Expectations: Uncertain. It’s now been a decade since Pokemon: The First Movie pulled in $85 million at the box office. Since then, every other attempt has fizzled at the box office. This is also the first live-action version, which could help, as could the voice work by Ryan Reynolds.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Hustle

Premise: From IMDb: “A remake of the 1988 comedy, ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, in which two down-and-out con artists engage in a “loser leaves town” contest.”
Box Office Prospects: $80 M
Expectations: Uncertain. This movie has Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson, which could spell box office success. Yet, the film has gotten too little advertising it seems, suggesting the film isn’t likely to be a big box office performer. Maybe the studios know something we don’t.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Poms

Premise: From IMDb: “Poms is a comedy about a group of women who form a cheer leading squad at their retirement community, proving that you’re never too old to ‘bring it!'”
Box Office Prospects: $55 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Comedies about the elderly trying to recapture their youth have been hit or miss over the years, but mostly miss. This film starring Diane Keaton doesn’t have nearly as much going for it as it should.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

May 17, 2019

A Dog’s Journey

Premise: From IMDb: “A dog finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he meets.”
Box Office Prospects: $55 M
Expectations: Uncertain. This sequel to the $64 million success A Dog’s Purpose is coming out two years later in a more prime spot. With minimal competition, it could turn into a huge success, but returning to the same well for a film like this rarely results in improvement on prior figures.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Premise: From IMDb: “Super-Assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.”
Box Office Prospects: $100 M
Expectations: Good. The first film was a minor production scoring a scant $43 million at the box office. However, it developed such a following that the sequel three years later pulled in $92 million. The third film in the series, barely two years after its prior entry, is sure to outperform the previous film as this character seems to have resonated with audiences in ways that were not expected back in 2014.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Sun Is Also a Star

Premise: From IMDb: “A teenager finds love at a difficult time in her family’s life.”
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The Young Adult adaptation movement continues unabated even though box office hasn’t been good. The Fault in Our Stars made $124 and set expectations high for such endeavors, but that is the only non-fantasy, non-sci-fi, non-dystopian adaptation to make more than $51 million at the box office. All of the others since have made less, and in many cases far less. Five Feet Apart looks like it will stumble past that mark, but I would be shocked if this one made much of a dent with audiences.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

May 24, 2019

Aladdin

Premise: From IMDb: “A live-action retelling of the 1992 Disney film of the same name.”
Box Office Prospects: $200 M
Expectations: Good. Disney’s live-action adaptations of their prior films have been largely behemoths. That doesn’t take into account Dumbo tally, which will barely pass $100 million. Aladdin is far more recent and is more likely to perform at Cinderella levels given audience anticipation. That said, Disney is releasing three of these this year, which suggests that at least two of them aren’t that good and they don’t have a lot of hope for standing on there own. With The Lion King getting the lion’s share of advertising, I suspect this one is a miss as well and I may be significantly overestimating.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. Even if it’s not a box office success, the production design and costume design could be Oscar contenders, as could the visual effects. If there’s an original song, that could also contend. That said, I doubt the film can overcome The Lion King‘s likely bigger pull with the Oscars and Disney’s likely decision to focus on that film rather than its others.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Booksmart

Premise: From IMDb: “2 academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high school graduation, realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram 4 years of fun into 1 night.”
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The trailer is humorous, but the premise may not be a box office magnet. It has no star power involved, so it might be utterly lost in a weekend of fantasy.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

BrightBurn

Premise: From IMDb: “What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?”
Box Office Prospects: $75 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The film has been advertising like mad, but the premise isn’t something that blockbusters are usually made from. Having said that, the premise could be the right kind of original to surprise us.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

May 31, 2019

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Premise: From IMDb: “The new story follows the heroic efforts of the cryptozoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient superspecies, thought to be mere myths, rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.”
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Expectations: Good. 1998’s Godzilla made $136 million. 2014’s took in $200. This year, five years later, we have another attempt at bringing the grand Japanese beast to the big screen. It doesn’t look like a sequel to 2014’s, so it might not have that built in audience. That said, it should still perform well because monster disaster movies are solid box office performers.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. The film could make a play for the Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination or even nominations in Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, but there’s far too much competition this year and those categories have been drifting away from big budget spectacles in recent years, so there aren’t nearly as many spaces available for it to compete for.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Ma

Premise: From IMDb: “In this new psychological horror-thriller from Tate Taylor and Blumhouse, a lonely woman befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn’t get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host.”
Box Office Prospects: $55 M
Expectations: Uncertain. While it seems to want to go after the Get Out and A Quiet Place crowds, the film seems a bit more generic than those, sporting no major inventive twist. Still there aren’t many horror flicks during this period at the box office, so it could surprise.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Rocketman

Premise: From IMDb: “The story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin.”
Box Office Prospects: $200 M
Expectations: Good. There’s no guarantee that this Elton John biopic pulls in the same figures as Bohemian Rhapsody, but it could do well with the magnetic chemistry of Taron Egerton on board.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. The film will need good to great reviews to avoid being compared to Bohemian Rhapsody and then it will have to be remembered until the end of the year, both very big hurdles to clear. I could see it performing as well as the Queen biopic, but I could also see it being utterly ignored.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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