After the first genuine flop in the live-action Star Wars universe (thanks to some excessive spending), three new movies enter the marketplace this weekend. None of them are expected to make much of an impression.
Action Point (Paramount)
The biggest thing going for the Johnny Knoxville-starring Action Point is that it’s basically a Jackass movie. The biggest thing going against Action Point is that it actually isn’t a Jackass movie. The movie, which cost a modest $19 million to produce – along with the $10m-costing Book Club and $17m-costing A Quiet Place, Paramount’s playing budgets rather smartly lately – follows Knoxville’s daredevil character operating a roadside theme park. Real stunts and hilarity from human injury ensues.
One wonders why Paramount didn’t just gather the Jackass crew, give them money to build a danger theme park, set a few cameras on them and let ’em go crazy instead of attaching a narrative to all of this, but we’re here now. There aren’t any reviews for Action Point yet and it’s doubtful reviews are going to make a lick of difference – this isn’t a critics’ movie. Regarding box office, Knoxville’s been decently lucrative in these “watch me hurt myself for shits and giggles” roles, with the last major one, 2013’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, grossing $102m domestically off a $32.06m debut. Aside from that, Knoxville’s not much of a draw.
According to BoxOffice Pro, Action Point’s social media trends are on par with 2016’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, a flop that opened to $4.7m on its way to $9.64m, which isn’t a terrific position to be in. Action Point’s premise is more accessible and less niche, however, so I think walk up business will be a bit stronger. More so if it successfully taps into the Jackass fanbase. Still, it’d be surprising if those broke out, given Paramount’s releasing the film in a surprisingly low ~2,000 venues (not anticipating much, perhaps?).
Prediction: $8 million, #5 rank
Adrift follows the true story of a couple (played by Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin) sailing into a devastating hurricane and becoming stranded in the Pacific, having to find a way to civilization sans any useful knickknacks like navigation or communication tools.
Adrift’s release date and leading man immediately calls to mind 2016’s Me Before You, a fellow June romance which also starred Claflin and made $56.25m off a $18.72m opening. Whereas Me Before You was an adaptation of a popular book, Adrift has the benefit of the “true story” hook. Woodley and Claflin aren’t necessarily draws, but they’ve both been a part of some notable hits; Woodley led the (eventually ill-fated) Divergent movies and 2014’s The Fault in Our Stars ($124.87m), Claflin was a supporting player in the Hunger Games sequels.
Good reviews can boost a film like this, but we’ve yet to see any (slightly concerning), so that’s up in the air. You can also draw some strong parallels between Adrift and last autumn’s The Mountain Between Us – both movies cost $35m to produce and both movies are romantic survival dramas about braving natural elements. Downside is that Mountain Between Us didn’t move any mountains at all, opening to $10.55m on its way to $30.35m domestically, and it starred familiar faces Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.
STX is distributing Adrift and they haven’t had a slew of hits (they also don’t have the resources of a major film studio), but Adrift could do okay, lest critics tear it apart.
Prediction: $11 million, #3 rank
Upgrade (BH Tilt)
Upgrade is the latest film from BH Tilt, a distribution unit for Blumhouse Productions that specializes in minimal marketing and releasing in theatres that over-index on whatever film’s respective genre. Which is to say these movies don’t make a whole lot.
Anyway, Upgrade follows a dude (Logan Marshall-Green, aka the poor man’s Tom Hardy) in a tech-controlled future who’s implanted with a sentient computer chip named Stem. Upgrade’s trailers make it look like a good time, if you’re into R-rated action-comedy-horror-whatever, and the film has a swell 84% score on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 6.9/10 from ~20 reviews as of this writing). Despite that, Upgrade’s kind of a nobody in the marketplace. The trailer above has notched just over 400,000 views and BH Tilt won’t go on any sort of marketing blitz, I reckon.
Upgrade has all the makings of a cult film (and rightfully so, if reviews are accurate), but with an estimated 1,400 theatre count and bearing in mind BH Tilt’s highest-grossing tilt is 2016’s The Darkness ($4.95m opening/$10.75m total), it doesn’t have the makings of a box office hit. Not that it was really expected to anyway.
Prediction: $3 million, #8 rank
1. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney) – $33.8 million (-60%), $153.9m cume 2. Deadpool 2 (Fox) – $21.7 million (-50%), $254.1m cume 4. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) – $10.4 million (-40%), $642.4m cume 6. Book Club (Paramount) – $7.1 million (-35%), $46.5m cume 7. Life of the Party (Warner Bros.) – $3.2 million (-40%), $45.9m cume 9. Breaking In (Universal) – $2.1 million (-50%), $40.6m cume 10. Show Dogs (Global Road) – $2 million (-40%), $15.3m cume