Weekend Box Office Predictions: Ocean’s to Make Some Waves

Ocean's 8

After a tepid start to June, another three new wide releases are looking to get in on that summer money. There’s a pretty obvious victor here (spoiler: it’s the franchise movie).

 

Hereditary (A24)

A24’s a reliable distributor of arthouse fare and has gained a favourable reputation. Their 2016 horror flick The Witch rode a wave of great critical buzz, which was then met by not-as-great general audience reception (some may say that the marketing was slightly misleading), to a $25.14m domestic total off a $8.8m debut. A24’s next horror picture, last year’s It Comes at Night, was quite obviously advertised as a scary flick and was, in actuality, quite obviously a paranoia drama, resulting in just $13.99m from a $5.99m opening.

Like clockwork, we’ve arrived at A24’s acclaimed offering this year – Hereditary, which by and large looks like the most “traditional” horror film in A24’s roster, lest their marketing team is just that spiteful. The film’s sported positive buzz ever since its January premiere at Sundance and currently boasts an impressive 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 8.4/10 from >60 reviews). IMDb has Hereditary at 7.7/10 from >900 ratings. Horror’s been on an upward swing as of late, with Paramount’s A Quiet Place this year at $183.76m, to say nothing of last year’s golden trio of Warner Bros.’ It ($327.48m) and Universal’s Get Out ($176.04m) and Split ($138.29m). Hell, even the new Insidious movie this January managed $67.35m domestically and a franchise-best global take ($167.49m).

Hereditary won’t hit any of those numbers, barring an unexpected overperformance, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A24 simply doesn’t have the resources of a major studio to push a horror movie into the forefront of the public eye, plus they don’t specialize in very commercial, mainstream film. There isn’t an estimated theatre count either, which makes predictions a little harder (all we know is it’s nationwide). I do think that Hereditary will perform a little better than its fellow A24 horrors just by virtue of, you know, coming off as a more accessible genre film. It has the makings of a potential breakout (albeit relatively mild) and I think it can eclipse The Witch’s opening haul to take A24’s #1 debut ever, pending audience reception and final theatre count.

Prediction: $12 million, #4 rank

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Hotel Artemis (Global Road)

Open Road’s restructuring as Global Road perseveres this weekend with their latest release, the Drew Pearce-helmed Hotel Artemis, playing in 2,407 hubs. There’s a pretty great cast (Jodie Foster, Sterling K. Brown, Dave Bautista, Charlie Day, Jeff Goldblum, Sofia Boutella, and others) heading this, but it’s not going to make a whole lot, I reckon.

Chief factor here I suppose is a lack of buzz (e.g., I didn’t know this existed until a couple weeks ago) and Global Road, similar to A24, probably doesn’t have the power to man a full-on marketing campaign. Artemis’ reviews are fine with a 68% score on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 5.9/10 from ~20 reviews) and there aren’t any IMDb ratings to speak of yet. This release date for the crime actioner may not prove fruitful, given it’s directly competing against a higher-profile crime actioner, plus Disney/Pixar’s Incredibles 2 next week is looking bigger by the day, then Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom takes over the week after that. Audiences have plenty of choice and this feels like the movie that’ll get lost in the shuffle. It certainly looks intriguing, but the reviews aren’t strong enough to suggest we’re looking at the next cult hit ala Lionsgate’s John Wick ($43.03m, and it’s worth noting Artemis kinda comes off as Continental: The Movie).

Prediction: $6 million, #7 rank

 

Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.)

The Gary Ross-helmed, all-female ensemble, franchise reboot/spin-off, and general summer movie Ocean’s 8 lands in 4,000+ venues this weekend, 11 years after Ocean’s Thirteen ($117.15m). Will this rejuvenate the series for a new age? Eh, kind of.

First off, yes, the cast is indeed fantastic – *deep breath* Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, and Awkwafina make up the eight of the ocean. Oh, and Warner Bros. produced it for a comparatively modest $70m. The last female-centric franchise reboot, 2016’s Ghostbusters, earned some controversial buzz due to its cast – mostly from 30-year-old children, if you’re not aware), but put up some decent numbers regardless ($128.35m off a $46.02m debut). Unfortunately, it still flopped because it cost way too damn much ($144m) to produce.

Ocean’s 8 hasn’t been the victim of such “controversy,” thankfully. Reviews are positive with a 79% score on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 6.4/10 from ~70 reviews), but no IMDb ratings yet. The only thing holding this back is the franchise itself – the series peaked with 2001’s Ocean’s Eleven ($183.42m), but steadily declined with Ocean’s Twelve ($125.54m) and the aforementioned Thirteen. Adjusted for inflation, Thirteen’s gross stands at $156m, which is a decent target for Ocean’s 8. Nobody’s really been clamoring for another one of these movies and there isn’t much to suggest an outlier performance relative to the rest of the series, which isn’t to say it’s not going to do well because it assuredly will.

Prediction: $40 million, #1 rank

 

HOLDOVERS

Lando A Star Wars Story
Credit: Disney

2. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney) – $13.2 million (-55%), $174.1m cume
3. Deadpool 2 (Fox) – $12.7 million (-45%), $278.1m cume
5. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) – $6.8 million (-35%), $654.4m cume
6. Adrift (STX) – $6.4 million (-45%), $23.2m cume
8. Book Club (Paramount) – $4.6 million (-35%), $56.9m cume
9. Upgrade (BH Tilt), $2.3 million (-50%), $9.2m cume
10. Life of the Party (Warner Bros.) – $2.1 million (-40%), $50.3m cume

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