Category: Looking at the Weekend

Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 20-22, 2019

Contemplative science fiction, television movie made for cinemas, or 80s action staple returned. Those are the three films trying to unseat It Chapter Two form the top spot at the box office and each of them have the kinds of positive and negative attributes that could elevate or sink them. Ad Astra follows in a long tradition of sci-fi on the big screen and that alone could push it to the top of the box office, but this is more along the lines of Arrival than Star Wars, and its pensive elements might not make it a big sell. Downton Abbey makes the transition to the big screen after six seasons on the small screen. Leaving television behind four years ago has given creator Julian Fellows an opportunity to transfer his successful and popular show to the big screen, but TV on the big screen, unless completely re-adapted, hasn’t found a lot of success, so this will be an interesting test case. Will it follow the Sex and the City trajectory of success or the Entourage flop? Finally, there’s Rambo: Last Blood, the supposedly final film in the very popular 80s action franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. The film’s biggest issue is that no one asked for the film and after the dismal disappointment of the prior attempt to revive the character, there can’t be a lot of hope for this one.

Ultimately, it’s probable that enough people don’t know that Ad Astra is supposed to be more cerebral than action-oriented and will give it their weekend dollars, but never underestimate the staff of Downton Abbey.

Our Highest Rated Films: Downton Abbey, Ad Astra
Our Best Awards Ratings: Ad Astra (Oscars); Downton Abbey (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Diego Maradona
Midnight Diner
Midnight Traveler
Tazza: One Eyed Jack
Where’s My Roy Cohn?
The Zoya Factor

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Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 13-15, 2019

In the wake of the towering, if weaker-than-anticipated, opening weekend of It Chapter Two, the likelihood of either of this week’s new releases topping the box office is rather slim, but both films will be competitive with one another for the second-place finish. Hustlers, by its more action-heavy and entertainment-oriented concept, has the advantage this week, though The Goldfinch, based on a beloved and well-regarded novel, could surprise. Both films want to bring in adult audiences, but the audience overlap is sure to be minimal and the end result being the powerhouse personalities of Hustlers probably give it the advantage.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Goldfinch
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Goldfinch (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Chasing Einstein
Cracked Up
Desolation Center
Liam: As It Was
Section 375
You Are Here: A Come from Away Story

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Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 6-8, 2019

There’s only one film releasing wide this week and it’s sure to be the top film of the week and the month. It Chapter Two opens wide and is sure to challenge its predecessor’s weekend total at the box office. Nothing, not even holdovers, have a chance.

Our Highest Rated Films: Edie
Our Best Awards Ratings: None

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Blink of an Eye
Gags the Clown
Chhichhore
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice
Rapid Response

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 30-Sep. 1, 2019

There’s not much competition on Labor Day weekend for the box office crown. Don’t Let Go is the only new wide release (Saaho is also supposedly releasing wide, but it’s not the kind of film that tops the box office), so it will be the only one with a chance of taking down Angel Has Fallen and it might, but who really knows with Labor Day.

Our Highest Rated Films: Don’t Let Go, [email protected] Caen
Our Best Awards Ratings: None

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Saaho (Wide)
Ne Zha

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 23-25, 2019

Even with the solid debut of Good Boys, another week at the top is unlikely considering the film didn’t pull in much over $20 million. That leaves two films with solid potential of winning the weekend. Overcomer is the latest Christian-themed film destined for release and while the genre hasn’t produced a lot of hits recently, this one could be different with a black lead rather than a white one. That said, it’s going to face a very difficult road to the top against the third film in the “Has Fallen” series. Angel Has Fallen may not have the gravitas of the original, but it should pull in a nice opening weekend. London Has Fallen, in spite of performing poorly compared to the original, still managed a $21 million opening. If this one approaches that amount, it should take the top spot.

Our Highest Rated Films: Give Me Liberty
Our Best Awards Ratings: Vita & Virginia (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool
Overcomer
RUSH: Cinema Strangiato 2019
Tigers Are Not Afraid

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 16-18, 2019

Two films have the potential for topping the week’s box office. 47 Meters Down: Unchaged follows on the heels of a cult-loved predecessor, which could help it improve on that film’s paltry $11 million opening. The more likely winner is The Angry Birds Movie 2, which has a far more successful predecessor to build off of. That Hobbs & Shaw had a commonplace, but notable slide in its second weekend, it’s unlikely to take the top for a third week in a row.

Our Highest Rated Films: Blinded by the Light
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Aquarela (Limited)
Cold Case Hammarskjold (Limited)
End of the Century (Limited)
Mission Mangal (Limited)
ZZ Top: The Little Ol’ Band from Texas (Limited)

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 9-11, 2019

With five films going into wide release this weekend, it’s likely that none of them will do incredibly well, at least their studios don’t expect them to. Either that or they think the competition is weak enough for them to come out on top. At 1,500 theaters, Brian Banks is the easiest of the five to remove from any list of potential #1 finishers. The other four films release in more than 2,700 theaters each with Dora and the Lost City of Gold topping out at 3,500. Below that is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark with 3,000 and The Art of Racing in the Rain on 2,800. The Kitchen rounds out the list in the lower position. Of these, devoted fanbases are likely to push Scary Stories and Dora into contention for the top release of the weekend while The Art of Racing in the Rain could sneak past both for a top finish. I give the edge to Scary Stories because its teen-targeted audience is much more likely to turn out for a PG-13-rated horror film than former Dora the Explorer fans who’ve never grown out of their love for her.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Kitchen, After the Wedding
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

One Child Nation

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 2-4, 2019

The Fast & Furious franchise has proven formiddable at the box office, which could give Hobbs & Shaw, a spin-off franchise, a straight track to the top of the box office. With Lion King fading further in its third week, Hobbs & Shaw should have no problem taking the top spot, but whether it can reach as high as the main series remains to be seen.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Nightingale
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Jay Myself

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 26-28, 2019

Although The Lion King will be taking its second weekend at the top of the box office, Quentin Tarantino’s latest film will be making a play for the top spot. Yet, it will be impossible for him to take the top spot from Disney’s “live-action” adaptation. Tarantino has never pulled in more than $38 million for the opening weekend of one of his films. The Lion King would have to have an uncharacteristic precipitous drop to make less than that in its second weekend. Still, Tarainto’s film is the only wide release and a second-place finish is all but certain.

Our Highest Rated Films: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Our Best Awards Ratings: Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Honeyland
Mike Wallace Is Here

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 19-20, 2019

Disney’s live-action remakes have been relatively successful, but the ones that have met with lukewarm critical response have done less than stellar business at the box office. The Lion King, in spite of its massive marketing push and July berth, has received relatively minor support from critics, with most reviews on the negative side. The film will still open incredibly well; however, I doubt it will be a record-shattering weekend and it certain won’t result in a result as potent as the original film’s 1996 take, at least when adjusted for inflation ($312.8 million original and $672.4 adjusted for inflation).

Our Highest Rated Films: Rosie
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Lion King

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Between Me and My Mind
David Crosby: Remember My Name
TINY: The Life of Erin Blackwell

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 12-14, 2019

Spider-Man: Far from Home is likely to take a second victory lap at the top of the charts this weekend as the week’s two new releases aren’t likely to compete. Crawl appeals to creature horror film lovers while Stuber appeals to buddy-cop comedies, two extremely narrow demographics. Stuber has the most potential for cross-demo appeal, so I expect it to finish second.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Farewell
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Farewell

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable
The Cure – Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 5-7, 2019

The only competition for the latest “Avengers” film is a horror film that looks to be in the vein of The Wicker Man, otherwise known as a non-threat. Spider-Man: Far from Home should handily win the weekend pulling in huge numbers for Sony.

Our Highest Rated Films: Spider-Man: Far from Home
Our Best Awards Ratings: Spider-Man: Far from Home

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 28-30, 2019

With the second weekend of Toy Story 4 likely dominating the box office, it comes down to two new films, one fresh and one an extension. The extension in question is the latest cash grab in the Conjuring and Annabelle universes, bring them both together in Annabelle Comes Home unless audiences have tired of the series, it should put up a strong fight for the second position at the weekend box office. That leaves the newer film, the clever narrative of Yesterday, to fight for third against a slew of holdovers suffering from intense amounts of diminishing returns. That could help bolster its chances, that is if audiences will give it a chance.

Our Highest Rated Films: Yesterday; Ophelia
Our Best Awards Ratings: Yesterday

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The Last Whistle
Maiden
The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith
Three Peaks

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 21-23, 2019

Toy Story 4 will dwarf all competitors this weekend and will likely top the $110 million opening weekend of the third film. The rebirth of Child’s Play will be lucky to make a quarter of that.

Our Highest Rated Films: Toy Story
Our Best Awards Ratings: Toy Story (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 14-16, 2019

Two wide releases and a 1,500-theater expansion. The likelihood of any of the three taking the top spot is high. The one most likely to come in first is the one opening in 3,800-plus theaters, almost 1,000 more than its next best competitor. Men in Black: International is the fourth film in the series to release in this part of the year. The first film opened for the July 4th holiday in 1997 and took in a suitable $51 million opening (roughly $100 million in 2019 dollars). It went on to gross $250 million ($492 million adjusted for inflation). The second film opened slightly higher over the same frame in 2002 with a $52 million opening (just under $81 million today), but finished well below with $190 million (or $295 million inflated). That was five years removed. The third film, with the same cast, debuted 10 years later to a disappointing $54 million ($60 million today) with a lifetime cume of $179 million ($199 million in today’s dollars). With that steep a dive, can the fourth film, releasing 22 years after the original, do better? The bonus is that it’s a new cast with Chris Hemsworth stepping into the experienced MIB role Tommy Lee Jones occupied previously while the plucky upstart (Will Smith then) is Hemsworth’s Thor: Ragnarok co-star Tessa Thompson. Their nearest competition is Shaft starring both prior incarnations of the legendary character in tow. The 2000 version took in $70 million off a $21 million debut ($117 million / $36 million adjusted for inflation). While a strong opening and tally is expected for this third outing, it won’t be enough to top Men in Black: International, which will benefit from Hemsworth’s bankability and Thompson’s rising star.

Our Highest Rated Films: Men in Black International
Our Best Awards Ratings: Men in Black International

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

5B

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