September 2016 Box Office Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

September 1, 2016


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4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (September 30th)
Tm Burton's latest fantasy adventure is based on what would be termed a "YA" book, published in 2011 and seemingly ready-made to find itself turned into a rather prototypical Burton film: after the conventional and well-made drama Big Eyes (2014), Burton returns inevitably to his natural form of depicting the odd and fantastical, residents here of an island getaway where their unusual talents are far more appreciated than on the muggle-infested mainland. Asa Butterfield, whose name sounds more than vaguely like a Burton creation itself, is the star, headlining no less than his fifth book adaptation (after The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Nanny McPhee 2, Hugo, and Ender's Game), and a big attraction in the cast is the Miss herself, Eva Green, who was memorable and great as a villainess in Burton's Dark Shadows, and who seems like a most natural fit as the director's new muse.

The trailer is duly quirky and includes a great number of examples of the Peregrine Home's title residents (an invisible boy, a weather manipulator, a mouth-breather whose mouth is in the back of her head, and so on). The villain is the imaginatively-cast Samuel L. Jackson, adorned with burning white eyes, and there's a lot more that happens in the book that isn't in the advertising. Burton's recent critical record with fantasies is somewhat hit-and-miss, and where that review needle lands on this time will determine the film's box office fate. Even with Storks around, I think there's a lot of space here for Miss Peregrine's Children to do well between its release date and Halloween, which I will reasonably assume is Tim Burton's absolute favorite holiday.

Opening weekend: $22 million / Total gross: $75 million


5. Storks (September 23rd)
Opening two weeks after the somewhat minor-seeming animated release The Wild Life, Storks looks to establish itself firmly as September's definitive CGI film, and what more can I saw about such an endeavor? As with most CGI extravaganzas, it features a premise that makes stabs at cleverness (baby-delivering storks branch out into more lucrative pursuits), it has a lively voice cast (Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer, Keegan-Michael Key, and so on), it carries occasionally distinctive advertising and an easy to remember name, and it may receive positive critical notices, as such films often but not always do.

Still, 2016 has already firmly gone through to the CGI well over and over, first with Zootopia, and then with Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets (in descending order of quality, by the way), all of which grossed exorbitant amounts of money and must have at least somewhat exhausted their young audiences. We still have Trolls, Moana, and Sing to go, too, so Storks may get stuck somewhere in the lame-duck session. I may or may not be under-guessing this one, but really, can you blame me? Surely not every CGI film simply must gross $100 million? Say, $60 million ain't bad.

Opening weekend: $25 million / Total gross: $60 million

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