Weekend Forecast for April 13-15, 2018

By Reagen Sulewski

April 13, 2018

Is this that old Madonna movie?

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One imagines the people behind this weekend's top new film looking at the schedule for April and thinking, “Well, at least that opening weekend is locked down.” I mean, it probably still is, but you're not breathing as easy as you were one weekend ago.

Another in the line of video game adaptations, Rampage wears its origins pretty loosely on its sleeve compared to the side-scroller it came from. In the game, humans transformed into beasts were set about to destroy cities, where in this movie, genetically modified animals (Hollywood's heard of CRISPR now, people!) are sent out into the world to do the destruction themselves, followed by kindly primatologist Dwayne Johnson (who could probably punch a building over on his own anyway) who's attempting to save his charge, a gorilla named George.

What follows, then, is 90 minutes or so of CGI animal mayhem from the camera of director Brad Peyton, who's worked with Johnson twice before in San Andreas and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, both themselves containing a high level of random action, and each inexplicably popular despite their generic looks.

This was due, no doubt, to the presence of Johnson, who after a couple of fits and starts, has become the action star he's been trying to be for the better part of two decades. Things really kicked off for him after joining the Fast & Furious franchise. It hasn't been complete smooth sailing since then (Hercules? Baywatch?) but he's been good for a solid level of hype on all his movies, which is half the battle. This looks like it'll be closer to that weaker group rather than more successful ones, but coming off the Jumanji sequel, Johnson definitely has momentum on his side. Also starring Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Malin Akerman and Joe Mangianello (but really, who cares. Monsters! Destroying!), it looks headed for about a $30 million opening weekend.

When you look at the premise of Truth or Dare, you start to wonder why a horror film like this doesn't exist yet – until you realize there's been at least three in the last three years with the same general idea, they've just been low budget garbage dumps. This version, from buzz indie studio Blumhouse, ups the ante a little but not to a huge degree, other than the marketing.

Starring Lucy Hale and a bunch of other anonymous teen and 20 something actors, it goes off the basic idea of Truth or Dare, but makes it real if you refuse the dare or lie, Final Destination style (an evil spirit has followed them back from a trip to Mexico, which makes this a new entry in the “foreigners are all gonna kill ya” genre). It's a pretty witless looking film overall, and reviews peg it as a rather inferior entry in Blumhouse's stable (they got a Best Picture nomination last year, I mean what?), and which should debut at about $9 million, buried in the wake of A Quiet Place.




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Isle of Dogs expands into wide release after a number of weeks as a limited film. Wes Anderson's quirk factory has fired up again, as this is a film about a futuristic-Japan that has expelled all of its dogs to a floating island of garbage after they all develop a deadly flu, where one in particular is pursued by a young boy, his owner. Did I mention it's mostly told from the dogs' perspectives and is stop motion animated? You just keep being you, Wes.

With voices of Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Frances McDormand... well, I could go on, but it's a solid lineup of very recognizable names and voices. Although it has received great reviews, it's also received a small amount of criticism for what looks like a fetishizing of Japanese culture from a western perspective. Likely what's going to limit it more is the style and extreme-weirdness, though he's proven time and again that he can get buy in on his concepts. Indeed, this has already taken in $12 million and made the top ten last weekend. Expanding to 1,900 or so venues, it should find a wide release weekend take of $8 million.

Having opened on Wednesday in 700 venues, the general result for Beirut is already pretty clear. The Jon Hamm hostage drama tells the story of the beleaguered Lebanese city in the 1980s. From the director of Transsiberian and The Machinist and the writer of the Bourne movies, it's a superior looking thriller that has been getting great reviews, and may have finally figured out what to do with Hamm on the big screen. However, in its debut, it grossed only $200,000, a piddly sum even in a national release mid week. I'd expect a little better results on the weekend – did people even know this was out? - but only around $3 million.

In what is apparently a real movie, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero wraps up our new films list. An animated film with Paw Patrol level of quality, it tells the story – apparently real – of a dog during World War I that became the most decorated animal of the war for the US. A war film is a tough thing to hang a children's film on, what with all the shooting and killing, but Sgt. Stubby takes a fairly sanitized look at it, with a tourist guide's view to Paris thrown in for good measure. Opening in about 1,700 venues, this should see about $2 million this weekend.

Returning films are led by the shocking A Quiet Place, which blew past estimates for $50 million last weekend. The nearly silent horror film about an alien invasion captured imaginations and built heavily off its rapturous reviews, potentially making director John Krasinski the best new thing in horror. Even with the great reviews and word-of-mouth, it'll struggle to find great legs, being a horror film and all, and should drop to about $25 million.

Ready Player One didn't fall as badly as might have been expected for such a buzzy film, losing about 40 percent of its opening to take in $24 million, and it has since crossed the $100 million mark. This should bring in about $14 million this weekend as it heads towards about $160 million domestic.

Blockers found its way to around $20 million. The raunchy comedy did a little better than expectations, putting it in the general area of films like Neighbors and Pineapple Express, making it a fairly modest hit. I'd look for about $12 million in its second frame.

Black Panther continues to chug along, having become the third highest domestic grossing film ever, passing Titanic last weekend. The $700 million mark is still very much in play, and it should take in about $6 million here.


Forecast: Weekend of April 13-15, 2018
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Rampage 4,101 New 30.2
2 A Quiet Place N/A N/A 25.6
3 Ready Player One 3,661 -573 14.4
4 Blockers 3,418 +39 13.7
5 Truth or Dare 3,029 New 9.7
6 Isle of Dogs 1,939 +1,385 8.7
7 Black Panther 2,180 -567 6.3
8 I Can Only Imagine 2,563 -331 4.8
9 Tyler Perry's Acrimony 1,332 -674 4.5
10 Beirut 755 New 3.6

     


 
 

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