Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Weekend Box Office: 'Boss Baby' Still Hangs On, June Animation Preview

As May ends, so does a rather dry stretch for animation at the box office...

The Boss Baby fell 39% for the three-day with a $1.7 million gross, $2.4 million for the four-day, a great 19% dip. It currently paces ahead of Home once more, and is - again - looking to make around $175-180 million here. Worldwide, it's now up to $477 million, though this is as of May 28th. International numbers aren't in just yet, so it could be higher. Closer to $500 million, which is surreal to say the least.

Smurfs: The Lost Village is but off the radar. $43 million domestically, $185 million worldwide. More than triple the conservative $60 million budget. Does this series get a theatrical follow-up? Or a direct-to-video one? Or absolutely none at all?

Actually, the shocker for me wasn't quite animation-related, though the film in question has lots of animation in it of some kind, and is a Disney release: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales of Salazar's Revenge.

Recently, Disney had it rough with Memorial Day releases. Brad Bird's misunderstood sci-fi tale Tomorrowland and the belated sequel to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland tanked in their respective years, but the Pirates of the Caribbean series didn't lose too much of its luster in the span of six years. While Dead Men Tell No Tales didn't open great here, it was just enough, but the international opening - as usual - was fantastic. As expected, overseas numbers saved what might've been a big flop. So much for that cautious "The Last Adventure" tag in the trailers, not to mention that post-credits scene...

Next weekend, Captain Underpants may or may not break out. I've heard good early word about it, but projections are suggesting that the movie will open somewhere in the 20s. If it opens with that much, it actually won't be in trouble, because I've also heard that Mikros - the studio that DreamWorks outsourced this riskier picture to - really kept the budget low on this one. That being said, we've seen a particular pattern with DreamWorks films lately.

I think it all started with Home in early 2015. After a string of bombs and consequential misfortunes, DreamWorks was in poor standing when that alien picture was coming out. Projections weren't optimistic, it seemed like Home - a $132 million-costing release - was going to pull yet another Turbo, or do even worse. In the final week before its release, the marketing really kicked into high gear, and the movie opened with an unprecedented $52 million. It did well.

They said Trolls wouldn't open too high either, somewhere in the 20s or low 30s. Opened with $46 million, was a merchandising monster, and is getting a sequel. The Boss Baby, another fine example. 20s/30s, opened with $50 million, is coming up on $500 million worldwide and also has a sequel coming. Watch, Captain Underpants might also shock.

Anyways, it's a good way to finish. I worried that Fox would dump all the remaining DreamWorks movies because of the switcheroo, but that's not the case. How Universal will go about marketing the next wave of DreamWorks movies that aren't sequels remains to be seen, but I'm also curious to see how they handle How To Train Your Dragon 3, because Fox didn't quite pull out all the stops with Kung Fu Panda 3. A domestic smash Dragon 3 would be great, thank you very much.

After Captain Underpants comes Pixar's next, the sequel that a lot of Internet-dweller folk could very well do without: The dreaded Cars 3, which I'm actually shamelessly looking forward to. The marketing campaign for this movie, as I've said before on here, is trying its damnedest to get everyone onboard. Or in the passenger seat, at least. Long seen as Pixar's kiddie sideshow, the marketers are presenting it as a loud, high-octane race story with a big dramatic wreck. I suspect it's going to be another sweet love-letter to what the series is all about with some typically emotional Pixar moments peppered throughout.

I predicted that the thing would open with a fair amount, more than Planes' first installment ($22 million) and a little less than what the first Cars pulled in, unadjusted. Adjust Cars' $60m opening, you get $81 million. Adjust Cars 2's 3D-aided $66m opening, you get $72 million, so that was a slight decrease right there. Movie tre is getting nowhere near that, I suspect. I thought somewhere in the upper 40s was about right, a little more than The Good Dinosaur. If this thing costs near $200 million (the typical cost of a Pixar film), it better hope for good legs and good overseas numbers, despite the merchandise sales.

Despicable Me 3. We all know that's going to be huge. I think it'll land somewhere below Minions' domestic gross of $335 million, but significantly higher than what the first film made unadjusted back in 2010 - $251 million. Despite a huge opening, Minions had so-so legs for an animated family movie, showing that it was actually rather front loaded. Not like similarly-huge openers Toy Story 3 and Finding Dory, both of which made 3.5x times their opening weekend grosses. I'm still sticking with my old prediction, that it'll open somewhere in the 70s and make it past $300 million here when all is said and done.

June in general seems to be a pick-me-up from this month, for we had the flopping Baywatch, Alien: Covenant more-or-less is doing what it was expected to do, and the mega-budgeted King Arthur: Legend of the Sword didn't make much of a mark. This month, in addition to animated films, we have the universally-acclaimed DCEU installment Wonder Woman, another sure-to-be-big Transformers movie, and perhaps The Mummy, the start of yet another shared universe.

What say you?


  1. I'm actually looking forward to seeing the following: Wonder Woman, Captain Underpants, Despicable Me 3, and of course Cars 3.

  2. If you want my box office opinion, I'd say it's hard to predict how much money Captain Underpants will make, but its budget was only $38 million, so even if the numbers aren't great, the film could still be successful enough to encourage a sequel. It is getting good reviews if you can believe it.

    Cars 3 should at least do better than Planes. In fact, the positive buzz its been getting from the trailers could allow it to be the most profitable Cars film of all.

    Despicable 3 is sure to be most successful given the numbers of the other films in the franchise and Illumination's talent for marketing, no question.

    Also, I have a blog of my own where I review animated TV shows called MC Toon Reviews. Check it out and feel free to leave suggestions of what shows I can review in the future. http://mctoonreviews.blogspot.com/