summermoviefeature

A Hairy Time For Movies This Weekend?

Box Office Brasserie: Movie News For Movie Lovers

It’s the weekend everyone has been dreading all summer long—that one where you look at the new movies opening in theaters and sigh deeply, wondering where the time went and lament the fact that big-time blockbusters have now dropped the mic and walked off the stage.

For some, this is a joyous occasion as, the big, loud (and sometimes obnoxious) films are slowly purged from theaters and more dramatic, thoughtful films enter the marketplace.

But hold on just one-hot minute, folks, we’re certainly not talking about this weekend, not in wide release anyway.  Not by a long shot.

I highly doubt droves of denizens will turn out for the films studios have put on the docket: Fox’s video-game reboot “Hitman: Agent 47,” Lionsgate’s doing their best “Natural Born Killers” impression with “American Ultra,” and Focus Feature’s “Sinister 2.”

These are niche films, wayward projects that are just hoping, dreaming of catching some of the late-summer love that might still be lingering in cinemas. But don’t hold your breath.

The last couple weekends of summer are typically some of the lowest grossing of the year, and rarely does a film break out with much wide appeal. This is a sidewalk sale, folks.

So let’s get down to the business of breaking down these box office bottom-feeders, shall we? Let’s start with “Hitman: Agent 47.” Um, first off, who exactly asked for this film?

2007’s edition, “Hitman,” scored a weak domestic opening of $13M; however, it went on to gross $99M worldwide. Not bad…for a video game adaptation.  Somehow, this new edition is plugging into 3,100+ theaters, which leads me to believe there is some serious black sorcery going on in distribution channels.

If “Agent 47” makes $13M this weekend, it will be considered lucky—hell, if it grosses half that…it will be pretty fortunate. That’s how bad video game adaptations are these days. And no, I won’t do another worst video game adaptation list. It’s just depressing.

It’s bad enough that my daughter considers “Pixels” one of her top 5 films this summer, although she only saw 7 of them, so I take a certain comfort in that, and that her #1-#3 films are “Shaun the Sheep,” “Minions” and “Inside Out.”

Taste is an acquired trait, but there is a fine line between taste and tasteless. That brings us to the career of Kristen Stewart. While the success of “Twilight” brought her international fame, it hasn’t really turned her into a bankable movie actress.

Is that even important, though? And moreover, has that been by choice? The only big-budget feature she’s starred in since vamping it up was “Snow White and the Huntsman” and that did well enough (nearly $400M worldwide) to warrant a sequel…without her, mind you.

Stewart has mostly sunk her teeth into independent fare, and this will be her first real test as a “name” on a poster with Jesse Eisenberg. The R-rated flick will likely be a cult classic one day, but the sad truth about cult classics is that they never get their due in theaters.

Remember what happened to the too-cool-for-school “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World?” It opened with $10M and ended up with just $30M despite wielding massive hype. “American Ultra” has nowhere near the amount of build up, so it could be in for a rude awakening.

In 2,700+ theaters, “America Ultra” might be able to eek out $10M, but will probably settle for less, despite heartfelt outpouring from Stewart’s massive, and often-times scary, Twitter-brigade.

The top-opener of this little-ballyhooed trio will likely be “Sinister 2,” which arrives three years after the original Blumhouse production scared up $18M in its debut and $77M worldwide on a measly $3M budget.

Jason Blum, maestro of micro-budget mayhem, will easily break even on opening weekend as the budget is likely under $10M. That’s kind of success is exactly why he has dozens upon dozens of films in production with a handful of studios.

In 2,700+ theaters, expect upwards of $16M in its debut.

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WEEKEND ESTIMATES

  1. Straight Outta Compton – $31M
  2. Sinister 2 – $16M
  3. Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation – $11M
  4. Hitman: Agent 47 – $10M
  5. American Ultra – $7M

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TOP WORLDWIDE GROSSING FILMS OF THE SUMMER (SO FAR)

1. Jurassic World – $1.6B

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.4B

3. Minions – $963M

4. Inside Out – $640M

5. San Andreas – $468M

6. Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation -$378M

7. Mad Max: Fury Road – $373M

8. Ant-Man – $348M

9. Terminator: Genysis – $324M

10. Pitch Perfect 2 – $284M

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THE SOUNDTRACK OF SUMMER

Adios, summer, but we’ll be happy to see you again next year!

Seriously, go away, summer!

Theatergoers in the month of August be like…

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CHOICE NON-CUT OF THE WEEK: Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” (aka “Avengers Once Again”) (May 6, 2016)

While you’re lamenting the end of another summer blockbuster season, feast your eyes on the inception 2016’s summer season, which will, for the first time in the history of Hollywood, feature a sequel, reboot or superhero flick… Every. Single. Weekend.

That’s right folks, because you asked for it, from the first weekend in May through Labor Day of summer 2016…you will get sequels, reboots and superhero flicks up the yin-yang. And you will like it.

Marvel showed a 30 second clip at the Disney’s annual summit, D23, but lemme tell ya…you’re not missing much…like seriously, I think 15 seconds of that was just a flying ship.

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It’s that time of the season…at least according to Target and Wal-Mart who already have their Halloween decor lining the aisles. Candy Corn and Pumpkin Spice everything: I’ve missed you so.

Check out a couple chill pills that will spill into theaters soon.

Fox’s “Victor Frankenstein” (Nov. 25, 2015)

A24’s “The Witch” (2016 TBA)

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Jeff Bock, NewsWhistle’s movie editor, is the senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at Jeff@NewsWhistle.com.

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“American Ultra” Image Courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment; Poster Design by LA