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Box Office Predictions: Noah vs. Divergent

This week, biblical epic Noah will face off against last week's book office champ, Divergent.

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Box Office Predictions:

1. Noah - $39 million. Starring Russell Crowe (Man of Steel) and directed by auteur Darren Aronofski (Black Swan), this film has been the subject of a lot of controversy, which also means it has gotten a lot of attention. Despite Paramount fearing Christian backlash and including disclaimers on the film and its promotional material, I think Noah will be financially successful. Its well-known stars, respected director, lots of action, and positive reviews (76% on Rotten Tomatoes) should help it have a solid opening weekend.

2. Divergent - $22 million. Last weekend this film debuted of $56 million, a great haul, though it didn't surpass any expectations. Due to middling reviews and the trend of Young Adult adaptations, it should have a steep drop in its second weekend, especially facing Noah as competition in the action genre. Expect Divergent to fall at least 55% this week.

3. Muppets Most Wanted - 11 million. The Muppets sequel disappointed last week with only $16 million (about half of 2011 film's $29 million opening). Still, positive word of mouth and the fact that family films generally have longer legs should help. Expect a 30% drop.

4. Sabotage - $9 million. The other new release of the week stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (Escape Plan) and is directed by David Ayer (End of Watch). Arnold has not been much of a box office draw recently, outside of the Expendables franchise. Expect a soft debut.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel - $8 million. Wes Anderson's latest (Moonrise Kingdom) is getting rave reviews and has excellent word of mouth. It is expanding into theaters and could turn out to be his most financially successful film yet.

Check back Sunday to see how well my predictions hold up.

Weekend Box Office: Divergent Soars, Muppets Most Wanted Falls

A new weekly segment where I predict how much money films will make at the Box Office this weekend.

Update Sunday 3/23 - Weekend Actuals

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The weekend actuals are in, courtesy of Box Office Mojo, and I got 4/5 right!

1. Divergent - $56 million. This prediction was spot on, within $1 million of the actual. This is enough for Divergent to be considered a success (if nowhere near as successful as The Hunger Games), and thanks to its mid-range budget of $85 we can except to see its sequel, Insurgent, in 2015.

2. Muppets Most Wanted - $16.5 million. While I guessed the order correctly, the Muppets sequel took in much less than I expected (I was off by 8.5 million). It will have a hard time making back it's $50 million budget domestically.

3. Peabody and Sherman - 11.7 million. This one was much closer, off by just 1.3 million. The film held pretty strongly against the Muppets, but still has a way to go to make back it's hefty $145 million budget.

4. 300: Rise of an Empire - 8.6 million. Another good prediction, off by just 1.4 million. The 300 sequel fell steeply from last week, but the film has still made $93 million so far, headed past its $110 million budget.

5. God's Not Dead - 8.5 million. Here's the one that came out of nowhere, the christian film surprised me by breaking the top 5.


Original Predictions: 

1. Divergent - $57 million. Based on the popular young adult novel, Divergent hopes to follow in the footsteps of Twilight and The Hunger Games to become the next big franchise. Despite it's underwhelming and generic looking trailers, and its poor critical receptions (35% on Rotten Tomatoes), Fandango is reporting that there is plenty of interest in this film. I'm expecting a big opening weekend followed by a sharp drop next week.

2. Muppets Most Wanted - $25 million. The 2011 Muppets Movie was a hit, making $88 million at the domestic box office, but with a few exceptions, most sequels to family movies make less than their predecessor. With this, and the fact that it's facing a lot of competition from a surprisingly strong performance by Peabody and Sherman, expect a slightly disappointing opening weekend for the Disney sequel.

3. Peabody and Sherman - $13 million. After surprisingly taking first place last weekend with $21 million, this film has held up pretty well, and will compete for the same family audience as Muppets Most Wanted. Expect another 30% drop for a respectable third weekend in release.

4. 300: Rise of an Empire - $10 million. After a 57% fall last weekend, the sequel to 300 will have another steep drop this week, especially since it's facing tough competition from Divergent for audiences hungry for action. 

5. Need for Speed - $8 million. After a disappointing opening weekend  last week (Third place with $17 million), I expect what interest there was to have waned for this film. It should fall about 50%.

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In other news, Frozen just broke another record for DVD/Blu-Ray sales, selling 3.2 million discs in it's first day of release (March 18).

 

Check back next week to see how close my predictions were to the actual numbers, and for another round of Box Office Predictions.

Oscar Watch: Predictions and Opinions
Best Picture Nominees:  American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity,  and  Her

Best Picture Nominees: American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and Her

UPDATE March 3, 2014: The Academy Awards were last night, and 10/10 predictions came true!

With the the Academy Awards less than week away (next Sunday, hosted by Ellen DeGenerous) I thought I'd give a rundown of my predictions for the big night, and which films I think deserve (and don't deserve) the recognition.

Best Picture

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave, the year's most widely respected film
Might Win: Gravity, the most gripping and entertaining film of the year
Should Win: Her, the most beautiful and timely film of the year
Should Not Win: American Hustle, slightly overindulgant acting without a compelling plot

Best Director

Will/Should Win: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Might Win: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Best Actor

Will Win: Mathew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Might Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actress

Will/Should Win: Cate Blanchet, Blue Jasmine

Best Supporting Actor

Will/Should Win: Jered Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Might Win: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Best Supporting Actress

Will/Should Win: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Might Win: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Best Original Screenplay

Will/Should Win: Her
Could Win: Nebraska
Should Not Win: American Hustle

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Might Win: Before Midnight

Best Documentary Feature

Will Win: 20 Feet From Stardom
Should Win: The Act of Killing

Best Animated Feature

Will/Should Win: Frozen