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Antrax
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01 Jun 2019, 1:04 pm

I've been tracking the box office for movies for years as a hobby. Thought I'd share my amateur analysis. This week's early weekend estimates.

New Releases:
1. Godzilla King of Monsters: ~$50 million

This is a significant (and in my opinion not unexpected) contraction from Godzilla in 2014. That movie was also very frontloaded as well so if Godzilla King of Monsters follows suit it will just barely top $100 million. No production budget is listed, but Godzilla was $160 million and Kong Skull Island was $185 million so somewhere in the range of $175-200 million would be a reasonable guess. This feels like a movie that could be rescued by the international market. If its international can hold steady with its predecessors it will be looking at a worldwide take around $450 million which would be just enough to be considered profitable (rule of thumb is 2.5x production budget). Still this is a worrying sign for Warner Bros Monster Universe as ideally the franchise would still be growing at this point and not already contracting. If Kong vs. Godzilla turns in a similar or worse performance it will probably be the last film in the universe.

3. Rocketman: ~$25 million

With a production budget of just $40 million dollars the Elton John biopic is looking very good on the profitability. It's take is a bit below pre-weekend expectations and this result is half of what Bohemian Rhapsody did a year ago, but that movie was a true phenomenon and overall this is a strong result for a biopic. With stellar reviews and the long play such films have a final take around $80-100 million domestic is probably where it will end up.

4. Ma: ~$18 million

If you're wondering why Hollywood makes a million low budget horror movies this is why. Ma is going to make over 3 times its production budget ($5 million) at the domestic box office on opening weekend alone. Blumhouse is killing it in the low-budget horror game and it looks like they have another moderate sized hit on their hands. Unless it holds up much better than the average horror film a final take around $40-50 million would be within expectations for a "mere" 1000% return on investment.

Significant holdovers:

2. Aladdin: ~40 million
This is my own personal estimate based on the Friday number ($12 million) and might be a bit conservative. This is a 56% drop from its stellar opening last weekend. With a cumalative that should be around $180 million, Aladdin's carpet will take it flying past $200 million next week, and will be looking to finish in the $250-275 range. Its internationals are pretty weak with only Japan left to open so it's worldwide will probably finish in the $500-600 range. A solid hit for Disney and will be profitable against its budget ($183 million), but shows that the margin of error on these live action reimaginings is not all that high.

5. John Wick Parabellum: ~11 million
John Wick is holding pretty well for an R-rated actioner. Its looking at a final domestic take of about $140 million and worldwide of $250 million-$300 million range. That's astonishing growth for a franchise that has seen a 125% increase from movie 1 to movie 2 and an additional 60% increase from movie 2 to movie 3. I wouldn't expect much more with John Wick chapter 4 though as these type of movies tend to have a ceiling around what chapter 3 is already doing.

6. Avengers Endgame: ~8 million

$90,411,303. That's how much Endgame needs to make at the worldwide box office in order to pass Avatar and become the biggest movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation). At this point its pacing more like Avengers: Age of Ultorn than Infinity War or the original. That means it can expect about another 25 million at the US box office and will have to pick up the other 65 million internationally. If it maintains a 70-30% split it will clear that with about $85 million, but in general certain countries yank movies faster than the U.S. This is looking like it will be very very close. One thing to keep an eye on is if Disney gives it a push to reach that benchmark or not. Given that they now own Avatar per the fox deal, opinions are split on whether they'll be interested in doing that. ‬

Hope you enjoyed my amateur analysis. Feel free to mock my predictions when they prove inaccurate.


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09 Jun 2019, 4:12 pm

Week 2:

New Releases:

1. Secret Life Of Pets 2: $47 million
This is a stunning 50+% contraction from the $104 million that Secret Life of Pets opened with 3 years ago. It's in line with the tracking but wow. From a profitability standpoint it is fine against that $80 million budget, but its highly unusual for a direct sequel to a wildly successful film on a 3 year timeline does this poorly.

2. Dark Phoenix: $33 million
This is a brutal result as I can't remember the last time a major studio superhero film opened with less than 50 million. Oh wait yes I can it was notorious bomb Fantastic Four in 2015, but before that was... Batman Begins in 2005 (and it made 48 million on opening weekend before doing a 4x multiplier). Throw in the grave reviews, a B- cinema score and this one is dead on arrival.

Significant Holdovers:
3. Aladdin: $24.5 million
Aladdin shows it has legs as it drops a nifty 43% in its third weekend. I also apparently underestimated its international potential as its now doing a highly respectable 40-60 split for $230 million domestic and $604 million worldwide. This is now in solid hit territory and could push near $800 million global by the time it's done.

4. Godzilla King of Monsters: $15.5 million
Dropping like a stone with a 67.5% second weekend drop. That's actually a bit better than Godzilla in 2014 which had the memorial weekend boost and dropped 66% (so probably like 72% without the holiday bump). It's clear this going to play more like Godzilla and less like Kong Skull-Island and $100 million is not a guarantee. The production budget is now being listed at $170 million so it needs ~$425 million worldwide to not be an outright money loser. Worldwide stands at $292 million and the solid international take may yet rescue it, but a movie like this should not be staring down "barely making" the profitibility line.

5. Rocketman: $14 million
A decent but unspectacular for a biopic 44% second weekend drop has this moving looking good. More impressive for this kind of film is the 50-50 domestic-international take (although appeal in the UK seems to be driving a lot of that). At $100 million worldwide it is already at profitability and is a nice little hit for paramount.

6. Ma: $7.8 million
A 56% drop is quite good for a horror movie, and suggests that this movie is a hit with its target audience. At $40 million dollars its already 8x its miniscule budget and a domestic run nearing $50 million looks possible.

8. Avengers: Endgame: $4.8 million
This is probably a good point for me to explain what I consider a significant holdover. For example John Wick has a higher box office take, but I'm not talking about it because its in its 4th week of release and is outside the top 5. I will in general discuss the top 5, 2nd weekends of movies that opened in the top 5 the previous week, and later weekends of movies that are doing something interesting. In the case of Endgame that is chasing down Avatar's all-time global record unadjusted for inflation. Endgame is 58 million dollars short of Avatar on a worldwide basis. Assuming an age of ultron pace it can expect to add ~ another 15 million domestically, and would need 43 million internationally to get there. Simply put without a theater bump its not going to make it. Possible reasons for a bump: Disney wants to push it over the record or there is a surge of repeat viewing prior to Spiderman: Far From Home. I'll keep track of this one a little while longer, but at this point I expect Avatar to just barely hold onto its crown at the worldwide champ.


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10 Jun 2019, 3:27 pm

@ Brother Antrax: I'd like to add a few thoughts myself if it's okay with you.

Given that The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Dark Phoenix both underperformed over the weekend (the latter more severely than the former), it is clear that they both were each others' competition and knocked each other out cold.

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have stated that they are pleased with the $47 million opening against the $80 million production budget The Secret Life of Pets 2 was given, so it is likely a third Secret Life of Pets film could be given the green-light. Add in relatively good reviews and satisfied audiences as factors for this good box office opening and another sequel could arrive within the next three years like Despicable Me 3 which was released two years ago.

With Dark Phoenix having already bombed out with critics and audiences alike, it would not be surprising if this is released on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital HD sooner than expected when Marvel pulls this from theaters. Despite the performances by James McAvoy and Sophie Turner (as Professor X and Jean Grey, respectively) receiving some praise even in bad reviews, many had some idea Dark Phoenix was going to be an awful X-Men movie even before production began with some calling this the worst X-Men film since X-Men: The Last Stand. With the X-Men movie franchise now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what Marvel could do to make up for financial losses is to set all future X-Men movies to the side and turn attention to X-Men movies that focus on primarily one character.
The Wolverine and Logan are good examples of such strategies that paid off well.

Aladdin is definitely another hit for Disney with this of course being a live-action remake of the 1992 animated classic of the same name. Likewise in a manner that the remakes of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast did in their respective years of release (2016 and 2017), Disney does know a good release strategy from a bad one. Given that Aladdin opened strong on its opening weekend on May 24th ahead of
The Secret Life of Pets 2, all Disney could need is an extra $15-20 million to make sure Aladdin stays in the top five this weekend even with Men In Black International being competition for all movies in the top five. However, the $15-20 million weekend gross could be an overestimate.


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10 Jun 2019, 6:37 pm

AnonymousAnonymous wrote:
@ Brother Antrax: I'd like to add a few thoughts myself if it's okay with you.

Given that The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Dark Phoenix both underperformed over the weekend (the latter more severely than the former), it is clear that they both were each others' competition and knocked each other out cold.

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have stated that they are pleased with the $47 million opening against the $80 million production budget The Secret Life of Pets 2 was given, so it is likely a third Secret Life of Pets film could be given the green-light. Add in relatively good reviews and satisfied audiences as factors for this good box office opening and another sequel could arrive within the next three years like Despicable Me 3 which was released two years ago.



Of course I welcome discussion. I'm sure competition hurt both films a bit, but I think the dark phoenix audience and the secret life of pets audience is at least a bit different.

Regarding Universal/Illumination's quote, yes it will be a fairly profitable film. The first film was an absolute monster though, and they're basically saying "Well it's a shame the mine ran out of gold, but we're really happy that we're still mining a fair amount of silver."


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10 Jun 2019, 10:29 pm

Antrax wrote:
AnonymousAnonymous wrote:
@ Brother Antrax: I'd like to add a few thoughts myself if it's okay with you.

Given that The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Dark Phoenix both underperformed over the weekend (the latter more severely than the former), it is clear that they both were each others' competition and knocked each other out cold.

Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment have stated that they are pleased with the $47 million opening against the $80 million production budget The Secret Life of Pets 2 was given, so it is likely a third Secret Life of Pets film could be given the green-light. Add in relatively good reviews and satisfied audiences as factors for this good box office opening and another sequel could arrive within the next three years like Despicable Me 3 which was released two years ago.



Of course I welcome discussion. I'm sure competition hurt both films a bit, but I think the dark phoenix audience and the secret life of pets audience is at least a bit different.

Regarding Universal/Illumination's quote, yes it will be a fairly profitable film. The first film was an absolute monster though, and they're basically saying "Well it's a shame the mine ran out of gold, but we're really happy that we're still mining a fair amount of silver."


@ Brother Antrax: Film has been a strong interest of mine for many years much to the relative annoyance of people I know, so if you want to discuss film with me, PM me anytime.

As for my own early weekend estimates, here they are with some details alongside.
New Releases:

Men In Black International: $40 million to maybe as high as $60 million
Reason: Given that this is of course a comic book movie like Dark Phoenix, many have speculated ahead of Dark Phoenix that a $40 million opening could make the MIB franchise popular once again despite eight years having gone by since Men In Black 3 was released, but with Dark Phoenix having bombed out, $40 million should be enough to push it out of the way should MIB International be received well by critics and audiences alike. The popularity of leads Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson along with Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson (returning as Agent O from Men In Black 3) in supporting roles could make MIB International a good hit for Sony.

Should MIB International open at $60 million, it could easily push The Secret Life of Pets 2 out of the #1 box office spot given the production budget for MIB International being listed at $110 million. Regardless of how critics receive it, the popularity of Hemsworth, both Thompsons, and Neeson is one factor that could bring audiences to see it.


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12 Jun 2019, 11:15 am

Without checking any tracking or official predictions, I'll semi-blindly guess MIB:International at 35 million. That will easily be good enough for #1 at the box office.

I think the MIB brand has cooled a lot, and there are some fans of that brand that are mad we don't have Will Smith back again.

I think Hemsworth and Thompson are a draw, but I get the feeling its a wait and see enterprise for a lot of people. The 35% on rotten tomatoes could deflate the opening from that perspective.


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16 Jun 2019, 8:08 pm

Week 4:

New Releases:
1. Men In Black International: 28.5 million
Soft opening as even my uninspiring guess of 35 million proved too high. With a 28-72 domestic international split this movie is living upto its name. Against a 110 million production budget it might just be able to eke out a decent enough worldwide total.

6. Shaft: 8.3 million
Without production budget it's hard to say just how bad a result this is, but it certainly feels like a movie that is pretty dead on arrival. Maybe even with Samuel Jackson they were able to keep it low budget enough, but I'm guessing not.

Significant Holdovers:

2. Secret life of pets 2: 23.8 million
A 49% fall is ok, but you have to think with Toy Story 4 opening next weekend that it will drop like a stone next week. Fortunately the budget is pretty low at 80 million, so it will make plenty of money but this has to be a major disappointment.

3. Aladdin: 16.7 million
A cool 32% drop this week means Aladdin is just raking in the cash. Already at 700 million worldwide it has a shot at 300 million domestic and 800 million worldwide. That is what we call killing it.

4. Dark Phoenix: 9 million
Off a weak opening a stunning 72% drop is um really really bad.

5. Rocketman: 8.8 million
With a 36.3% drop and a 133 million worldwide gross, the Elton John biopic has found its legs and is doing just fine for its budget range.


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