2018 Summer Season Preview Wrap-Up: May

Let’s take a look back at our prior preview and see where we were right, wrong, and everything in between.

May 4, 2018

Bad Samaritan

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $1.5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. I don’t see there being a huge audience for this film, except perhaps when it comes to home viewing.”
Box Office Results: $3.4 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] It was a poor choice of release on the first weekend in May, but it outperformed my expectations, which is at least something.

Overboard

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $55 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. The 31-year-old film that this film is a remake of, would have made about $60 million 2018 dollars. I suspect the sequel will underperform that since neither star is as popular as Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn were at that time.”
Box Office Results: $50.3 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] Although the performance is dismal, with this being one of the better performing films of May, it’s a solid outing.

Tully

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Uncertain. If Jason Reitman’s film can manage to win over critics, he could be on his way back to the Oscars, where he hasn’t been in almost a decade.”
Oscar Results: Although critics were supportive, the flop at the box office will doom the film’s chances. Jason Reitman has another shot later this year, so he shouldn’t worry too much about it. Charlize Theron, on the other hand, doesn’t have any other options.
Box Office Prospects: $30 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. Jason Reitman’s last few films weren’t box offits hits and this number doubles two of them. However, the trailer has a certain charm and with strong reviews, it could do well on the specialty side of the box office.”
Box Office Results: $9.3 M
Thoughts: [Flop] Jason Reitman’s pull on the box office has always been questionable. Usually, his strong turns have been the result of major Oscar contention and critical acclaim. While this had the latter, it doesn’t have the former, and so it flopped.

May 11, 2018

Breaking In

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $45 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. The target audience will show up, but perhaps not in the numbers the studio is hoping.”
Box Office Results: $46.5 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] Home invasion thrillers are always a tough sell, though this one performed right around where I expected it to.

Life of the Party

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $65 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertain. I suspect this will be one of Melissa McCarthy’s weaker box office performers.”
Box Office Results: $52.9 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] Melissa McCarthy’s star hasn’t faded exactly, her choices of films have. This box office tally, coming in fourth for all films released in May, is disappointing.

Revenge (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $10 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertan. The film is likely to do decently well at the specialty box office.”
Box Office Results: $0.102 M
Thoughts: [Flop] The acclaim this film received should have pushed it to specialty box office heights. Instead, it crashed hard and performed poorly.

The Seagull (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Weak. Finding Oscar potential in a period drama like this would have been appropriate twenty years ago, but today, it’s just one of a dozen inconsequential efforts.”
Oscar Results: The film never quite caught on with critics, which would make it a tough sell to the Academy.
Box Office Prospects: $1 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. The film’s prospects are limited. Although Saoirse Ronan is a terrific actress, the film looks to be a very minor effort for her, which will mean a minor box office perofrmance.”
Box Office Results: $1.3 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] This is about where underhyped period dramas should perform on the specialty circuit, which is disappointing, but not unexpected.

May 18, 2018

Book Club

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $75 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. With these stars in this type of effort, it’s sure to be a decent hit with its target audience and possibly those outside the target.”
Box Office Results: $68.6 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] The number three box office performer for May is unsurprisingly a film about four older women finding renewed life at the hands of a smutty book. With the star power involved, it should have performed better, but ultimately, this isn’t terrible for a film of its type.

Deadpool 2

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: When I said there were no chances for this film at the Oscars, it was before I realized there was an original song written for the film, sung James Bond style over the opening credits by Celine Dion. Those two facts give the film a better than average chance at Oscar consideration.
Box Office Prospects: $250 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Good. The first film was a surprise success taking in more than $360 million at the box office. Can lightning strike twice? It’s unlikely. There’s already rumor that the film is inferior to the original and doesn’t have the same spark. That won’t stop it from being popular, but I doubt it will approach its prior highs.”
Box Office Results: $318.5 (STILL IN LIMITED RELEASE) M
Thoughts: [Major Success] The first film was a surprise success and sequels always dip from their predecessors. However, Deadpool 2 managed to make that dip much less severe than anticipated, which is an incredible success.

Show Dogs

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $60 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Uncertian. Looking back at how much Beverly Hills Chihuahua made has given me concern because that film was hugely successful even if it wasn’t a hit with critics. This film could do solid numbers, but I suspect that it’s probably not going to be as popular.”
Box Office Results: $17.8 M
Thoughts: [Major Flop] What a dismal box office performance for a hyped, wide release. It just goes to show you that even films that look horrendously stupid won’t be automatic hits.

On Chesil Beach (Limited)

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Weak. The film has Saoirse Ronan in it, so it’s impossible to totally count it out, but I suspect that we will need to.”
Oscar Results: Saoirse Ronan has more opportunities later this year, so the film’s weak box office performance is more a sign that it won’t be for this film than anything else.
Box Office Prospects: $2 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. This indie drama has potential, but even the specialty circuit is a tough nut to crack and I expect that this period romance might not be enough for those cinemagoers.”
Box Office Results: $0.746 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] This period drama undperformed slightly, which is disappointing, but also which doesn’t surprise.

May 25, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “Good. All of the current crop of Star Wars films have been Oscar nominees. Rogue One picked up two. The Last Jedi picked up four. The Force Awakens nabbed five. So, you can probably expect two at the least, both tech categories.”
Oscar Results: Never count out a Star Wars film, even when it doesn’t do as well as others at the box office.
Box Office Prospects: $550 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Excellent. The Star Wars franchise always produces hits. We only have one non-trilogy outing to look at for comparison. Rogue One pulled in $532 million and that was with characters that weren’t beloved. Solo has one of the most beloved of the original trilogy’s characters. That’s one of the reasons I suspect that this film won’t perform as well as we think. However, looking over the inflation-adjusted numbers, no Star Wars film has made less than $477 million. So, I suspect the $500 million range would be expected, but if early reports of a terrible production schedule mean a bad movie, it might underperform.”
Box Office Results: $213.8 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] It’s difficult to imagine how $213 million at the box office is disappointing, but for a Star Wars franchise film, it certainly is. By no measure a flop, the film still severely underperformed expectations.

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