Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

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Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

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On the quiet final weekend of an otherwise busy July, Superpets reigned supreme.

Warner Brothers' latest animated project netted an even $23 mil in its debut weekend, which was in line with April's The Bad Guys. Despite its somewhat disappointing start, its respectable day-to-day holds, good WOM and a complete absence of animated/family movies on the schedule for the foreseeable future indicates that it could have better legs than the typical superhero-related property.

As expected, Nope led the holdovers with $18.6 mil and east grabbed the #2 spot. Through 2 weekends, it's sitting at just over $80.5 mil domestic and while it's definitely going to finish below Us and Get Out domestically, it's still going to go down as another hit for Jordan Peele and Universal.

In terms of milestone chasing, Thor: Love and Thunder's march towards outgrossing Ragnarok continues as it cleared $300 mil on Sunday and should be able to bank the $14 mil it needs to become the new highest-grossing entry of the franchise by the end of the week. That's a pretty good accomplishment for an alleged bomb. Elsewhere, Elvis' hopes of hitting $150 mil are in still play after it dropped only 13% in weekend #7 and now sits at $128.9 going into August. Even if Elvis falls short of the $150 mil mark, Warner Brothers has to be thrilled with its box office performance and warm reception.

On the limited front, the polarizing Sharp Stick surprisingly edged out the critically-lauded A Love Song for the PTA crown. The 2 vs. 4 theater count proved to be the difference between this pair of 2022 Sundance debuts as Sharp Stick brought in $9,071 per screen opposed to A Love Song's $4,011. With both set for wider expansions this weekend, it'll be interesting to see which one performs better on a national stage.

Wide Releases:
After focusing on his production company 87Eleven-which produced Nobody, Kate and the upcoming Violent Night-for a bit, David Leitch has returned to the director's chair with his latest action flick Bullet Train (Sony). This comedic assassins on a train picture stars Brad Pitt as an unlucky hitman named Ladybug who agrees to a grab a briefcase that's on board a train traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto as his first gig following a lengthy hiatus. Bad news for Ladybug: the job isn't so simple. Turn out, he isn't the only assassin on the train seeking the case and a famous crime lord known as the White Death (Michael Shannon) just might've lured all of these quietly interconnected killers onto the train to take them out. Joining Pitt and Shannon for these shenanigans is an impressive ensemble cast that includes Brian Tyree Henry, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Joey King, Zazie Beetz, Hiroyuki Sanada, Andrew Koji, Sandra Bullock and rap superstar Bad Bunny in his first prominent acting role.

In terms of positioning on the calendar, Bullet Train couldn't possibly be in a better spot. All of the heavy-hitters are past the big money weekend stages of their runs and as an R-rated ensemble action comedy piece that doesn't feature any superheroes and isn't based on a widely-known piece of IP, it provides a different flavor from anything else on the summer slate-which more or less makes it this summer's answer to Free Guy or Jungle Cruise.


It also helps that Sony has treated Bullet Train as the centerpiece of their summer slate by advertising it like crazy for nearly 5 straight months and August is otherwise populated by low-to-mid budget titles that have ceilings in the $25-50 mil range (with the possible exception of Beast). Barring some of kind of bad WOM-fueled collapse, Bullet Train should own the late summer and has a very good chance of becoming only the third R-rated title of the 2020's after Bad Boys for Life and Nope to date to clear $100 mil at the box office.

Price: $15 ULT/$19 BO
Predictions: $25-40 mil OW/8-18 PTA/11-27 Top 5/high 6 to low 7 IMDb/$80-130 mil total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: If you missed out on Nope, 100%.


Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but Easter Sunday (Universal) seems to be getting flat-out buried. Outside of the obvious but valid question of why the hell an Easter-set movie is being released in August, the usually aggressive Universal hasn't advertised this movie strongly at all. The trailer hasn't been attached to anything of note (in fact, I haven't even seen it played once-which is really rare for a wide release) and they haven't even pulled out the YouTube Ad blitzkrieg they've done for literally every other title that they've released under the Universal banner this year. Not exactly a great sign for the studio's confidence level in a project when they put more advertising dollars behind stuff like Firestarter and Redeeming Love. Unless fans of Jo Koy's standup or members of the notably underrepresented Fillipino-American community show up in droves this weekend, Easter Sunday seems destined to have a short, quiet run at the box office.
Price: $9 ULT/$9 BO
Predictions: $5-10 mil OW/0-1 PTA/0-2 Top 5/mid to high 5 IMDb/$15-30 mil total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: No.



Limited Releases:
Ahead of what is going to be a very busy fall for them on the festival/awards promotion circuit, A24 will be looking to add another mainstream crossover hit to their resume with Bodies Bodies Bodies (A24). The gen-Z whodunit slasher comedy earned raves following its premiere at SXSW back in March and will look to further elevates its buzz with a 1-week limited run ahead of its wide break next weekend.

While Bodies Bodies Bodies isn't likely to build up enough momentum to become the next Everything Everywhere All at Once or Uncut Gems, it wouldn't be at all surprising if it become a minor hit and a top 5-10 overall earner in the A24 library. The social media-driven marketing has the potential to be very effective in convincing a ton of girls in their late teens to mid 20's to head out (Pete Davidson's presence will probably also help with this) and see it, the cast has enough promising young stars (Amandla Stenberg, Maria Bakalova, Rachel Sennott-who has been widely hailed as the standout here) in it to appeal to the A24 faithful and with its comedic/slasher elements, it stands out from the other horror offerings that are set to release over the next month. If all goes well on the WOM front this weekend, a $30 or so mil run could be in the cards.
Price: $5 ULT/$3 BO
Predictions: $100k-$300k l OW/4-7 PTA/0-3 Top 5/high 5 to low 6 IMDb/$15-35 mil total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: In BO, for sure. ULT is a harder sell even with its initial NYC/LA release, but it could sneak into the top 5 and additional PTA next weekend pick up to make it worth it.


Speaking of SXSW, I Love My Dad (Magnolia)) was the talk of the Competition Section of the Festival and went onto inspire a bidding war among the small distributors after it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. The reason that the interested parties were limited to the Magnolia and IFC's of the world probably has something do with its plot involving a father (Patton Oswalt) who catfishes his estranged adult son (James Morosini-who also serves as the writer/director here) on a dating app in an attempt to rekindle their relationship. Word is that the movie isn't quite as creepy or strange as that setup sounds, but that's not exactly a logline that's going to sit well with some mainstream audiences.

Content aside, I Love My Dad isn't set up for success. Magnolia has a tendency to put their titles in 50-100 theaters from the jump and the reviews haven't been enthusiastic enough to overcome this difficult PTA hurdle. Numbers comparable to last weekend's Resurrection-which ironically is following the same 1 week of theatrical exclusivity before heading to VOD release plan-seems pretty likely.
Price: $3 ULT/$1 BO
Predictions: $45-80k OW/0 PTA/low to mid 6 IMDb/$60-$100k total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: Not at all.


Weekend Predictions:
1.Bullet Train $35 mil
2.DC League of Superpets $13 mil
3.Nope $10.5 mil
4.Thor: Love and Thunder $8 mil
5.Easter Sunday $7 mil

PTA: Bodies Bodies Bodies, Bullet Train, DC League of Superpets, Nope, A Love Song

Tune in next week when Screen previews a slate that includes Katie Aselton's directorial debut, a disaster movie that is almost certainly not going to help Lionsgate snap their coldstreak and an Aubrey Plaza-led crime thriller that's drawn comparisons to the work of the Safdie Brothers that someone on these boards is downright giddy to see.
BRING BRENDAN FRASER BACK TO THE BIG SCREEN DAMN IT
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Re: Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

Post by Buscemi2 »

I'm going to say Bullet Train does much less. Reviews aren't that good and the book that it's based on isn't well-known in the US. I get that you're a Leitch fanboy but most of his success has been in sequels that had pre-built audiences. Also, we only seem to be interested in big ensemble films during Oscar season.

Meanwhile, Mack & Rita is Aselton's third directorial effort.
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Re: Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

Post by transformers2 »

Buscemi2 wrote:
August 2nd, 2022, 10:14 pm
Meanwhile, Mack & Rita is Aselton's third directorial effort.
Well shit, that's an embarrassing blunder. I actually saw Black Rock too!
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Re: Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

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A simple search on Metacritic was my friend here. I knew she'd directed Black Rock but forgot she directed The Freebie, a film I know all of one person seeing as he used a scene from the film for a theatre class project.
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Re: Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

Post by numbersix »

Going to go lower for Bullet Train too. It looks like a fun action film which only means no chance of four quadrant appeal. 25-30m is my prediction (for my draft's sake, I'm hoping closer to $30m).

Agreed on Easter Sunday. Looks like a dud.

I didn't realise Bodiesx3 is opening limited. Might be worth it for Ultimate.

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Re: Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

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Easter Sunday might have opened decently had it stayed in April, as it would have tied in perfectly with the Easter holiday and Jo Koy's tour schedule. But yeah, it's pretty much being dumped (I have seen trailers before other movies but Universal still hasn't screened it to critics).

Of note is that this is one of two films coming out tomorrow with Eva Noblezada in a major role. Luck hits Apple+ tomorrow and has not been getting the reviews John Lasseter hoped for in his comeback attempt.
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Re: Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

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Easter Sunday is getting trashed by critics. Looks like Koy's going to be relegated to supporting roles or Netflix originals after this.
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Re: Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

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Preview totals:
Bullet Train $4.6 mil
Easter Sunday $500k
BRING BRENDAN FRASER BACK TO THE BIG SCREEN DAMN IT
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Re: Tranny Tackles the Cinema: The Films of 8/5

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Weekend Estimates:
Bullet Train $30.1 mil
DC League of Superpets $11.2 mil
Nope $8.5 mil
Thor: Love and Thunder $7.6 mil
Minions: The Rie of Gru $7.1 mil
Top Gun: Maverick $7 mil
Where the Crawdads Sing $5.7 mil
Easter Sunday $5.3 mil
Elvis $4 mil
The Black Phone $1.5 mil

Bodies Bodies Bodies also posted the 2nd best PTA of the year behind Everything Everywhere All at Once with an estimated $227k from 6 theaters
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