den of thieves feature

Movie News – Will Audiences Aim for 12 Strong or Den of Thieves?

***

Box Office Brasserie – Movie News For Movie Lovers

Gunning For Number One

War: Good God, y’all.

If you like gratuitous gunplay—and what jingoistic American doesn’t?—this weekend is your Super Bowl at the box office as two new movies arrive guns blazing–WB’s Afghan war drama “12 Strong” and STX’s body bag blitzkrieg “Den of Thieves.”

Doubtful these R-rated flicks will do much damage—except to each other as friendly fire—especially since “Jumanji” shrapnel will likely leave them mortally wounded, as Sony’s monster money-maker is widely expected to take the box office crown for the third straight weekend of 2018. Worldwide it’s already approaching $700M.

Jerry Bruckheimer produces “12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers,” while Danish commercial director Nicolai Fuglsig makes his directorial debut, but it’s Chris “Thor” Hemsworth that has the most riding on this film, as he has yet to prove he can be a box office draw outside mighty Marvel.

“Rush,” “Black Hat,” “In the Heart of the Sea,” and “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” say no he can’t, but this one really is his fight alone, even though he has a great supporting cast including Michael Shannon and Michael Pena. Not to worry though, it’s back to hammer time with “Avengers: Infinity War” after this.

May do similar business as Michael Bay’s “13 hours”—another declassified war story—which debuted the same weekend two years ago with $16M on its way to just $69M worldwide—Bay’s lowest grossing film of his career.

For some reason, both “12 Strong” and “Den of Thieves” are over two hours long, and “Thieves” clocks in at two hours 20 minutes, which it has absolutely no business doing. I mean, if this shoot-em-up can’t be told in 90 minutes flat, it should be ashamed of itself. The genre demands short and sweet, not long and droning on. Ask John Wick.

I suppose Gerard Butler, 50 Cent, and O’Shea Jackson all need their character arcs in “Den of Thieves” but Christian Gudegast’s (writer of “London Has Fallen” and “A Man Apart”) directorial debut is destined to be a Redbox special in this marketplace.

Make love, not war. Roadside Attractions is going more in that direction with their romantic drama, “Forever My Girl,” which carries a family-friendly PG rating, so it would probably be more accurate to say “make like, not war.” That said, like most of RA’s films, nobody has ever heard of them, as they rarely spatter the media marketplace with advertising and will probably suffer the consequences in wide release.

After three weeks of moderately successful release, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” will expand into stunted wide release in 500+ theaters. His latest seems to be following the same trajectory—on a per theater average basis—as his last film, “Inherent Vice,” which went on to be a box office disappointment, grossing just $14M worldwide.

***

WEEKEND ESTIMATES

  1. Jumanji – $20M
  2. 12 Strong – $15M
  3. The Post – $14M
  4. The Greatest Showman – $9M
  5. Den of Thieves – $8M

***

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.

***

Lead-In Image (“Den of Thieves” Poster) Courtesy of STX; Poster Design by Ignition

den of thieves movie poster