Category: Looking at the Weekend

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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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 7-9, 2019

Two potential huge hits release this weekend and the edge goes to the animated feature. Dark Phoenix is the culmination of the 19-year Fox franchise of X-Men films focusing on the rise of the Phoenix, Jean Grey’s powerful alter ego that threatened to destroy the X-Men and everyone around her. It’s bittersweet that the franchise that really set the standard for modern superhero films, from which the Marvel Cinematic Universe owes a great deal. Unfortunately, the advertising has been light and since Disney now owns the Fox catalog, it’s expected that they would diminish the chances of its final X-Men film so that it would make sense to roll it into the MCU, though where it would have an effective place remains to be seen. As such, will struggle to match the $65 million opening of the last film teaming of these characters. A better shot at a stellar debut rests with the animated sequel The Secret Life of Pets 2. Following three years after the $368 million hit and a brilliant set of early character trailers, the film is going to aim for the $104 million opening the first film hit. While I suspect it will fail to reach that high, it will still be enough to give it the top position at this week’s box office.

Our Highest Rated Films: Dark Phoenix, Late Night, The Secret Life of Pets 2
Our Best Awards Ratings: Dark Phoenix, Late Night, The Secret Life of Pets 2

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Chasing the Dragon 2: Wild Wild Bunch
The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil
Ghost Fleet
This One’s for the Ladies

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Looking at the Weekend: May 31-Jun. 2, 2019

With the stellar debut of Aladdin, there are only two challengers who could top it and both have a distinct possibility to do so. Rocketman will be going after the same crowds that made Bohemian Rhapsody a success and early word is that most of the problems of Bohemian are missing from Rocketman, which will likely benefit that film. However, it should be known that Bohemian made only $51 million in its opening weekend in early November last year. The predecessor for Godzilla: King of Monsters, titled simply Godzilla, pulled in over $93 million at the box office five years ago (inflation-adjusted to $100 million). While five years is a long time to go without an entry in the series, the prior Godzilla film in 1998 made $44 million ($84 million adjusted for inflation) in its opening weekend. Clearly, there’s a love for Gojira (the original Japanese monster) that should easily outpace Elton John’s popularity. King of Monsters could easily top $100 million thanks to featuring three of Godzilla’s most fearsome competitors, Rodan, Ghidorah, and Mothra.

Our Highest Rated Films: Rocketman
Our Best Awards Ratings: Godzilla: King of the Monsters; Rocketman

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Leaving Home, Coming Home: A Portrait of Robert Frank

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Looking at the Weekend: May 24-26, 2019

With Avengers: Endgame effectively dethroned and John Wick: Chapter 3 debuting strong, the three new releases will have to overpower it to hit number one. Aladdin should be more than capable of accomplishing that. BrightBurn will either soar or falter and Booksmart will struggle opening wide.

Our Highest Rated Films: Aladdin
Our Best Awards Ratings: Aladdin

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Echo in the Canyon
Funny Story
Halston
India’s Most Wanted
The Proposal

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Looking at the Weekend: May 17-19, 2019

While it’s possible Avengers: Endgame makes its final appearance in the number one position, it’s also possible, it falls just enough to let one of these films top it. As much as I want to say that John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum will be that film, A Dog’s Journey also has a strong claim to take the top spot and both could top Avengers. The Sun Is Also a Star is likely to be an also-ran.

Our Highest Rated Films: Trial by Fire; The Souvenir
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The Third Wife
The Wandering Soap Opera

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Looking at the Weekend: May 10-12, 2019

A trio of unlikely hits opens this weekend, the third likely victory for Avengers: Endgame. Among these, Detective Pikachu has the best chance of topping the list thanks to the popularity of the Pokémon universe of games and movies. The Hustle just hasn’t had enough advertising done on its behalf and Poms seems like a misfire waiting to happen.

Our Highest Rated Films: Pokemon: Detective Pikachu
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

All Is True
Biggest Little Farm
Charlie Says
Student of the Year 2

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Looking at the Weekend: May 3-5, 2019

While Avengers: Endgame will remain atop the box office, but what will come in second? There are two possibilities. The first is UglyDolls, an animated musical with a lot of big names, but a terrible bunch of previews. The other option is Long Shot starring Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen as a presidential candidate and the journalist who she knew in High School.

Our Highest Rated Films: Bolden, Shadow
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Ask Dr. Ruth
Meeting Gorbachev
Non-Fiction

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

Will Avengers: Endgame top Avengers: Infinity War‘s $257 million to earn the top all-time opening? The length might be prohibited, but it’s the end of an era, so it may well do it in spite of that fact.

Our Highest Rated Films: Avengers: Endgame; The White Crow
Our Best Awards Ratings: Avengers: Endgame

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Looking at the Weekend: Apr. 19-21, 2019

There isn’t a lot of competition, which makes the task of hitting number one at the box office all the more easy. That’s especially true when a supernatural horror flick like The Curse of La Llorona is releasing wide.

Our Highest Rated Films: Stuck; Penguins
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Kalank
Grass
Hagazussa
High on the Hog
Rafiki
Red Joan
Under the Silver Lake

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

The biggest question is whether Hellboy can overcome the inevitable bad reviews (the film wasn’t screened for critics) and top After, which will also have to overcome bad reviews. Could the likely poorly reviewed Little surprise everyone and win? The only other wide release this week could benefit from the collapse of the others thanks to its likely strong reviews (Laika’s always done well with critics). The others would have to crash with less than $15 million for that outcome though, as Laika, in spite of a stellar history with critics, has never managed to muster more than $17 million at the box office for opening weekend.

Our Highest Rated Films: Missing Link
Our Best Awards Ratings: Missing Link

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Girls of the Sun

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