Weekend Box Office Predictions: Oh Hi, Deadpool

You didn't think Infinity War could last forever, did you?

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In a perfect, omnipotent Disney world, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War would conquer weekend upon weekend, destroying records with aplomb. But alas, Fox’s Deadpool 2 decided to join the fray this weekend. Don’t fret, though, since this might benefit Disney in the long run anyway – lest they make Deadpool a PG-13 affair, but let’s not humour that. A couple other movies come out this weekend, too, if you were interested.

Book Club (Paramount)

Paramount’s kind of been the black sheep of the major Hollywood studios for the past while, fortunately bouncing back with this April’s A Quiet Place ($170.23m and counting). Can they continue this hopeful resurgence with Book Club?

Book Club is textbook counter-programming, its biggest advantage. It’s also a movie that skews older – starring the likes of Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen – and those movies tend to have long legs in lieu of a big debut. As such, it’s harder to pin down predictions based on metrics like social media; alas, #BookClub reached 5.1 million unique users of late, comparing favourably to this month’s Charlize Theron-starrer Tully, which prior to release notched 2.2 million.

There’s no budget information for Book Club yet, though I imagine the production cost’s somewhere around $30m. Review-wise, Book Club stands at 80% on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing (avg. critic score being 5.6/10 from just 5 reviews, so expect the score overall to go down). Warner Bros.’ Going in Style last year notched a $11.93m debut from 3,061 hubs, the same $3,898 per-theatre average would give Book Club a $10.9m opening (Paramount’s releasing it in an estimated 2,800 venues). That’s a realistic number, give or take a couple million, but not enough to gloat.

Prediction: $10 million, #3 rank

 

Deadpool 2 (Fox)

The first Deadpool was an unprecedented smash, opening with $132.43m (all-time R-rated opening record) on its way to a giant $363.07m domestic tally (second-highest grossing R-rated gross ever, behind 2004’s The Passion of the Christ) and $783.11m globally. That was off a $58m budget, to boot.

Deadpool 2 was initially set to release on June 1st, arguably a better release date since it wouldn’t have to deal with big-shots like Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 and Universal’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom for a couple weeks, versus facing Disney/Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story head-on next week, but here we are. There have been many a theory as to why Fox made this date change – some say it was to push Solo off its Memorial Day slot, some say it was disgruntled might-be-out-of-a-job Fox executives deliberately sabotaging the film so as to spite Disney, while others claim it was a move devised by Disney to damage the grosses so they could modify it for their needs. Those last two have little-to-no basis, but that first option seems as good a reason as any. Bear in mind the decision seemed a little… stranger when Infinity War was scheduled for the beginning of the month. Alas.

Luckily for Deadpool 2, reception has been glowing and there’s considerable hype, albeit perhaps not as fervent as that for the first flick. Deadpool 2 has a 87% score on Rotten Tomatoes (avg. critic score being 7.2/10 from >130 reviews), higher than the first film’s 83%, and a 8.6/10 rating on IMDb from >8,000 scores. Marketing has promised more of the same, but bigger, and it’s had its fair share of gimmicks, including a Celine Dion song for the film whose brilliant music video has racked up 20+ million views on YouTube. There’s really no reason to believe Deadpool 2 will drop significantly from its predecessor, and I’d wager the superhero momentum from Infinity War could give Wade Wilson and co. a boost. Tracking pegs the film at $150m, around the first film’s 4-day $152.19m opening, and I’d hedge bets on that. Deadpool 2’s legs might not match the first film’s 2.74x multiple, though it’s a pretty safe contender to take the #1 R-rated opening given its great notices.

Prediction: $150 million, #1 rank

 

Show Dogs (Global Road)

Will Arnett, we hardly knew ye. Show Dogs follows, and I’m just going to copy-paste the IMDb synopsis since there’s no way I can do this justice: “Max, a macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog in a prestigious Dog Show, along with his human partner, to avert a disaster from happening.” Fantastic.

Director Raja Gosnell has experience with the dog flick, helming the two live-action Scooby-Doo features ($153.29m and $84.22m, respectively) and 2008’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua ($94.51m), with the caveat that those had the backing of major studios (in this case, Warner Bros. and Disney), which Global Road Entertainment decidedly is not – its first release was this March’s Midnight Sun, which made a non-starter $9.56m. The last major canine film, Universal’s A Dog’s Purpose in 2017, grossed $64.51m off a $18.22m debut. There’s an audience for dog movies, certainly, but this just doesn’t look good enough to make a pretty penny. It does have the strangest RuPaul appearance, so use that to excite your children.

Global Road is opening Show Dogs in an estimated 3,145 venues, and it’s doubtful critical reception will sway this one way or another. Speaking of, there aren’t any reviews, but there’s a not very surprising 5.2/10 score on IMDb from >60 ratings (low sample size, so take that with a grain of salt). No budget information on Show Dogs, but it’s expected to open in the high single digits.

Prediction: $8 million, #5 rank

 

HOLDOVERS

© Walt Disney Pictures

2. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) – $31 million (-50%), $597.9m cume
4. Life of the Party (Warner Bros.) – $8.9 million (-50%), $32m cume
6. Breaking In (Universal) – $7.9 million (-55%), $30.6m cume
7. Overboard (Lionsgate/Pantelion) – $5.9 million (-40%), $37.3m cume
8. A Quiet Place (Paramount) – $4.5 million (-30%), $176.6m cume
9. I Feel Pretty (STX) – $2.5 million (-35%), $47.8m cume
10. Rampage (Warner Bros.) – $1.6 million (-55%), $92.6m cume

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