Category: Looking at the Weekend

Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 18-20, 2017

Two new movies will target the same audience demographic, namely those that enjoy action thrillers. While one is a heist film (Logan Lucky), the other is an action comedy (The Hitman’s Bodyguard). The latter has been heavily advertised in theaters and other venues. The former has not. On top of that, well known faces Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson star in Hitman, which should give it plenty of attention going into the weekend for an easy first-place finish.

Our Highest Rated Films: Gook, Patti Cake$
Our Best Awards Ratings: None

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Lemon
Marjorie Prime
Sidemen: Long Road to Glory

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 11-13, 2017

The Conjuring made a lot of money at the box office in 2013 ($137 million). Its prequel, Annabelle, made less, but still impressive amounts of money ($84 million). The first film’s sequel, The Conjuring 2, was off the original, but higher than the prequel ($102 million). Now, we have the prequel to the prequel, Annabelle: Creation, coming out to the cineplex. Regardless of how each film performed, they all opened over $37 million, which will be more than enough to make it the number one film of the week. The Glass Castle isn’t the type of movie that opens strong, especially with mediocre reviews so far, and Nut Job 2 will be lucky to make as much as its predecessor did on opening weekend, $19 million. Even if it tops that by a bit, it won’t be able to topple Annabelle

Our Highest Rated Films: The Nile Hilton Incident, Ingrid Goes West, A Taxi Driver
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Glass Castle (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Bedeviled
Once Upon a Time
Paradise Club
Whose Streets?

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 4-6, 2017

The long anticipated adaptation of the popular Stephen King sci-fi western should open to strong numbers against the third weekend of Dunkirk and second of The Emoji Movie. It should easily top the week’s other new wide release Kidnap and will likely outperform the wide expansion of Detroit, though that competition might be more fierce.

Our Highest Rated Films: Detroit
Our Best Awards Ratings: Detroit (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The Ghoul
It’s Not Yet Dark
Jab Harry Met Sejal
Step

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 28-30, 2017

Animation vs. action at the box office with two movies attempt to dethrone Dunkirk, which is expected to have a solid hold-over. In The Emoji Movie‘s favor is that there hasn’t been an animation or children-targeted release in a month when Despicable Me 3 opened. There should be pent-up desire to see the film. However, early reviews have been non-existent because the studio is afraid of negative press and has refused to screen it for critics. Meanwhile, Atomic Blonde is riding a solid 81% Rotten Tomatoes rating (though, the 6.8 average rating isn’t spectacular), which suggests it could be a strong player for the weekend. Looking back at Charlize Theron’s action openings and they haven’t been spectacular when she’s been the main draw, but have been astronomical when paired with others. However, the stylish action film might be able to delve into the Baby Driver-type support and run away with the box office. I suspect Atomic Blonde will come in second because even crappy animation is box office ambrosia.

Our Highest Rated Films: Atomic Blonde, Menashe
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Emoji Movie (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story
I Dream In Another Language
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 21-23, 2017

A week of competition awaits us. While the last several weeks have seen mostly one-man competitions, this promises to be a weekend where different reactions to the film release could result in different outcomes. Although the second weekend of War for the Planet of the Apes will be a decent one, the two films battling it out for the top spot are new releases. In terms of openings, outside of the Batman trilogy he directed, Christopher Nolan’s films have either opened soft (The Prestige, Insomnia) or solidly (Inception, Interstellar). This gives Dunkirk an opportunity to open between $40 million and $60 million. The best comparison I can think of to Dunkirk is Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. That film opened to $30 million in 1998, which translates to about $57 million today. That seems like a good target for this film.

The other competitor is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets from director Luc Besson. Besson hasn’t had a lot of box office luck. Only two of his films, adjusted for inflation, have topped $100 million at the overall box office. Only one of those (Lucy) had a major opening ($43 million). The Fifth Element wasn’t too far behind with an adjusted $32 million opening. Since this film feels more akin to Fifth Element than Lucy, a $30-$40 million opening seems solid. However, the film has been heavily advertised and looks gorgeous. Science fiction has done a bit better at the box office than it did when Fifth Element released in 1997, so it could add another $10 to $30 million to that total putting it on a collision course with Dunkirk. Who will win? We’ll find out in a week.

Our Highest Rated Films: Dunkirk
Our Best Awards Ratings: Dunkirk (Oscars); Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Scales: Mermaids Are Real
The Midwife (Read our Looking at the Weekend commentary here.)

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Looking at the Weekend: July 14-16, 2017

With a strong opening weekend of $117 million, Spider-Man: Homecoming will be pushing hard to claim the top spot a second week in a row. If it drops 50% in its second weekend, that will be roughly $58.5 million. That would create just enough of a drop to allow War for the Planet of the Apes to crest in for a win. The first of the prequel films opened to $54.8 million, but it’s follow-up pulled in $72.6 million. If it further improves, Spidey won’t stand a chance, but if franchise fatigue has set in, it may fall into the middle range between those two points making for a tight race.

Our Highest Rated Films: War for the Planet of the Apes
Our Best Awards Ratings: War for the Planet of the Apes (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The Big Sick (Expanding) (Read our Looking at the Weekend commentary here.)
Almost Sunrise
Birthright: A War Story
The Possession of Janet Moses

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 7-9, 2017

After the solid, but unexceptional opening for Despicable Me 3, the third iteration of Spider-Man on the big screen since 2002 should handily win the weekend. With the added star wattage of Robert Downey, Jr., the film may top the $100 million mark. Despicable could have a soft second-weekend drop thanks to it being a children’s film at a time with few, but it’s $72 million just isn’t going to translate into a very big second weekend.

Our Highest Rated Films: Spider-Man: Homecoming
Our Best Awards Ratings: Spider-Man: Homecoming (Oscars); Ghost Story (Oscars & Spirit Awards)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

City of Ghosts
Santoalla
Superpowerless
Swim Team
Undercover Grandpa

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 30-Jul. 2, 2017

Always bet on yellow. While R-rated comedies have had success in the past, The House looks like it will go down in ignominious defeat to two of this weekend’s new films. Despicable Me 3 may feature its yellow-skinned minions, but Gru (Steve Carell) and company have proven time and again that this franchise is dependable. So dependable that a number one finish is almost guaranteed. Giving it a run for its money is Baby Driver, which has been building buzz in recent weeks and was so assured of success that the studio moved it form the doldrums of August into a prime July 4 weekend slot. The House will probably come in a distant third. The big question is whether the frequently delayed Amityville: The Awakening will be much of a figure at all. Will it top House or will it bottom-dwell the top ten? My guess is that it finishes poorly dooming the franchise before it can reboot.

Our Highest Rated Films: Baby Driver
Our Best Awards Ratings: Baby Driver (Globes/Oscars); Despicable Me 3 (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography
Reset (Ni Shi Ying Jiu)
The Skyjacker’s Tale

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 23-25, 2017

There’s no competition for Transformers: The Last Knight. Wonder Woman should have a decent fourth weekend, but not enough to take it into the top spot. Cars 3 had a relatively soft opening, which means its second weekend drop, even if small, is going to drop it below Wonder Woman. So, even if Transformers gets bad reviews, which it will, the $100 million opening of the prior film, in spite of bad reviews, won’t dissuade moviegoers to check it out.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Beguiled
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Beguiled (Oscars); Transformers: The Last Knight (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Alien Arrival
F(l)ag Football
Food Evolution
The Operative
The Ornithologist
Tubelight

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 16-18, 2017

It cannot be underestimated. Although Cars is the weakest series in the Pixar universe, the box office hasn’t seen a lot of animated films recently, so its ripe for a conquering. Cars 3 will do incredibly well and will likely knock Wonder Woman off its throne. That is, of course, unless the film doesn’t live up to the original and is constantly compared to the much-maligned sequel. Then things could get dicey. Rough Night will likely do well and 47 Meters Down could be a spoiler.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Book of Henry; The Journey
Our Best Awards Ratings: Cars 3 (Oscars); Maudie (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started it All
Jasmine
The K-LOVE Fan Awards “Ignite Hope”
Pray for Rain
Warriors of the Dawn

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 9-11, 2017

It will be an interesting fight between the second weekend of Wonder Woman and the first weekend of The Mummy. The ad blitz Mummy has been getting should put it on top, but considering they waited until tonight to start holding screenings of the film, perhaps the critics will eviscerate it and destroy its chances at number one. I give it the edge, but Wonder Woman could be on top again.

Our Highest Rated Films: My Cousin Rachel, The Hero
Our Best Awards Ratings: Beatriz at Dinner (Oscars/Critics), The Hero (Oscars/Critics)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Miles
Night School
Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 2-4, 2017

Trading on its strong reviews, the latest effort in the DC Extended Universe should pull an easy win at the box office. Wonder Woman has no serious competition for the top spot this week. Its chief competitor is the DreamWorks animated film Captain Underpants, which looks squarely targeted at children, which may allow it to do solid business, but certainly nothing spectacular. The second weekend of Pirates of the Caribbean won’t generate much enthusiasm, so the path is clear. Can Wonder Woman top $100 million in its opening weekend? That’s entirely possible, but I’m going to suggest it opens below simply because of mitigating factors that shouldn’t be mitigating in the least, but will be.

Our Highest Rated Films: Wonder Woman
Our Best Awards Ratings: Wonder Woman (Oscars), Dean (Critics/Spirit Awards)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

3 Idiotas
God of War
Love, Kennedy

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Looking at the Weekend: May 26-28, 2017

When you have a venerable franchise against a movie that no one seems to be clamoring for, the venerable franchise should win. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales maybe the latest in a series that’s grown long in the tooth, but its main competition is Baywatch, a film that hopes to tap into the audience that made 21 Jump Street a surprise hit. The difference here is critics. They have been consistently negative on both films and, for Baywatch, that’s not a good sign since Jump Street did fairly well with critics.

Our Highest Rated Films: Pirates of the Caribbean (sort of)
Our Best Awards Ratings: Baywatch (Razzies)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Buena Vista Social Club: Adios
The Here After
Long Strange Trip – The Untold Story of The Grateful Dead

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Looking at the Weekend: May 19-21, 2017

Although the previous film, Prometheus was ravaged by critics and fans, the new Alien: Covenant should still prove to be a potent box office foe. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 will likely go down to defeat. The rest of the week’s new films don’t stand a chance.

Our Highest Rated Films: Alien: Covenant
Our Best Awards Ratings: Alien: Covenant (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Champion

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Looking at the Weekend: May 12-14, 2017

A second week at the top of the charts is expected for Guardians of the Galaxy, but second place will come down to a fight between Guy Ritchie’s latest derivation on the period literary drama and the return of Amy Schumer and long out-of-the-business Goldie Hawn. Neither film sports a truly great trailer, so it all comes down to what people are looking for Guardians features most of the same genres as both with Snatched being a more raucous comedy and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword being a more violent drama. All things considered, the trailer for Snatched just doesn’t look appealing enough to make it a huge hit whereas the King Arthur trailer at least promises the kind of action and visuals that made Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes a hit.

Our Highest Rated Films: Whisky Galore
Our Best Awards Ratings: King Arthur (Oscars), Snatched (Globes), Manifesto (Critics)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Generation Iron 2
The Last Shaman
Meri Pyaari Bindu
Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe

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