Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

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Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

Post by transformers2 »

In true Fast and Furious fashion, diminishing BO returns couldn't get in the way of Dom Torretto and his family from completing their mission to finish in the top spot.

The (hopefully) penultimate entry of the street racing turned globe-trotting blockbuster action movie franchise blasted off to a $67 mil start domestically, which was higher than its $55-60 mil tracking figures going into the weekend but slightly below F9's $70 mil debut in June 2021. As expected, Fast X's international numbers were much better ($251.4 mil to be exact-which was the highest of 2023 so far for an American movie and third highest in series history) and the expectation is that the film will end up around $800 mil worldwide-which should be good enough for Universal to see its grand finale through as planned.

Since Fast X was the only new wide release of the weekend and all of the Mother's Day weekend releases failed to get off the ground, the only other really notable story at the box office was that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 continued to show great legs with a $32.4 mil third frame. Its sitting at $270.4 mil domestic through Monday and although the crowded release calendar that kicks off this weekend could get in the way, it still has a legit chance of banking another $100 mil or so and finishing within striking distance of Vol.2's $389.8 mil total. Pretty damn impressive for a movie that was being dubbed as an underperformer 2 weeks ago.

Wide Releases:
The Little Mermaid (Disney) is the latest classic piece of Mouse House IP to get the live-action remake treatment and honestly, it's kind of shocking it didn't happen sooner. In terms of cultural impact of Disney classics from that era, its only eclipsed by The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and possibly Aladdin. Millions of people who were of a certain age between the film's initial release in 1989 all the way up to somewhere in the early 2000's watched it countless numbers of times, which has allowed the characters and particularly, the songs to become permanently embedded in the zeitgeist in a way that only the most widely beloved pieces of art can.

That widespread, enduring popularity is exactly why all of the criticisms over the look of the VFX, Disney's soulless live action remake and casting of Halle Bailey as Ariel ultimately won't matter at all (sorry shitposting online racists, it's going to be another tough weekend for you!). People know and love this story and whether fans of the original want to bask in the nostalgia for themselves or introduce it to their own kids, they're going to head out to theaters to see this. Plus, by all accounts Rob Marshall did a fine job with the adaptation as the reviews have been respectable overall-which has to got be a refreshing change of pace for Disney after having their recent straight-to-streaming remakes get torn to shreds by critics (to be fair, the Peter Pan & Wendy reviews weren't bad, but the audience reception very much was). It'll likely be more Aladdin ($355.5 mil domestic BO) than The Lion King ($543.6 mil), but Disney will be totally fine with those numbers.
Price: $42 ULT/$46 BO
Predictions: $95-125 mil OW ($110-$140 mil 4-day)/8-18 PTA/14-28 Top 5/high 5 to low 6 IMDB/$235-400 mil total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: It would've been if we didn't all take Super Mario Bros. Movie instead.


After dipping his toes in the acting waters with supporting roles in Green Book, The Irishman and Somewhere in Queens, stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco has made the leap up to leading man with About My Father (Lionsgate). This semi-autobiographical comedy that he also co-wrote sees Maniscalco playing a version of himself that reluctantly agress to invite his overbearing widower father (Robert De Niro) to accompany him to his girlfriend's (Leslie Bibb) family home for the Fourth of July weekend. Sebastian's fears are quickly validated as his cold, working-class Italian immigrant father frequently clashes with her openly affectionate, wealthy family (David Rasche, Kim Cattrall, Andres Holm, Brett Dier). Further complicating matters, Sebastian is planning on proposing. Quite the pickle Mr. Maniscalo has gotten himself into! I wonder if he'll be able to get out of himself it and the families will start to get along by the end of the movie...

The obvious comparison here is last August's Easter Sunday that also featured a very successful stand-up comedian starring in a feature-length sitcom episode loosely based on their own lives. While the other personnel involved with About My Father makes it pretty likely that it won't be as poorly-received by both critics and audiences as Jo Koy's movie, the tracking numbers haven't been promising (mid-single digits) and the lack of buzz surrounding it indicates that Maniscalco's fans aren't jumping at the chance to see him lead a movie. Barring a walk-up sales miracle, About My Father is looking like more a Good Luck Chuck than a Beverly Hills Cop.
Price: $9 ULT/$10 BO
Predictions: $3-8 mil OW ($4-10 mil 4-day)/0-1 PTA/0-2 Top 5/mid to high 5 IMDB/$9-25 mil total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: No


As we've been seen with Plane's decent box office performance earlier this year and the VOD (and later, Netflix) success of Vertical title Last Seen Alive last summer, Gerard Butler remains a pretty viable action star. His latest title Kandahar (Open Road) will test just how high his stock is. This current iteration of Open Road is famously a foreign sales operation masquerading as a traditional distributor that hasn't even had a movie clear $10 mil domestic since theaters opened back up to full capacity in June 2021, the film's plot surrounding an undercover CIA agent (Butler) trying to escape Afghanistan with his translator (Navid Negahban) after his mission is compromised makes it seem like more of a thriller than a straight action movie and unlike the favorable release conditions for an R-rated action romp Plane enjoyed this year, Kandahar will be directly battling with The Machine and Fast X for an audience. Butler's presence gives it the potential to surprise, but right now, I think that it's going to perform more like his previous Open Road project Copshop than his other recent modest successes.
Price: $5 ULT/$4 BO
Predictions: $3-10 mil OW ($4-12 mil 4-day)/0-2 PTA/0-2 Top 5/mid to high 6 IMDB/$8-30 mil total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: Unless it ends up being Plane 2.0 and surprisingly overperforms, no



Having a pair of projects headed up by stand-up comedians releasing on the same weekend is a weird coincidence that isn't overly likely to happen again anytime soon. Adding to the surrealism of this situation is that Bert Krischer's The Machine (Sony/Screen Gems) also features the star comic playing a fictionalized version of himself that has to navigate a sticky situation with their father who just happens to be played by a screen legend (here, it's Mark Hamill fulfilling those duties). This is where the parallels between the two end as The Machine is an over-the-top action movie inspired by Krischer's famous bit about accidentally becoming embedded with the Russian Mafia and aiding them in a train robbery while studying abroad for a semester in Moscow in 1999 opposed to About My Father's completely plausible, likely fact-based story.

Ironically, The Machine's clear separation from reality should give it an advantage over About My Father as it has a clear action comedy hook that could broaden its appeal beyond Krischer's fanbase. Will be that enough to make it a hit? Probably not, but I do like its chances of being the film that emerges from the logjam of new wide releases this weekend to finish in the top 5.
Price: $6 ULT/$6 BO
Predictions: $4-12 mil OW ($5-14 mil 4-day)/0-2 PTA/0-2 Top 5/mid to high 6 IMDB/$12-25 mil total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: It has some wild card appeal given its cheap price tag and overindexing potential, but I wouldn't go as far as to recommend in either format.


Standing out from the pack on this very busy slate is You Hurt My Feelings (A24). Nicole Holfcener's first feature directorial effort since 2018's The Land of Steady Habits is a low-key comedy about a marriage that enters a rough patch when an author (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) accidentally overhears her husband (Tobias Mensies) criticizing her latest book that he had previously told her he loved. The film debuted at Sundance to very good reviews and that level of praise has been echoed by the people that saw it after the Park City festival concluded at the end of January.

Despite all the good will behind it, You Hurt My Feelings doesn't have a clear road map to success in sight. A dialogue-driven comedy centered around how a tiny lie reveals the cracks in what was seemingly a good marriage isn't something that appeals to a broad audience and releasing it wide on a holiday weekend is a baffling strategy by A24 that should only further lessen its BO impact.
Price: $5 ULT/$4 BO
Predictions: $1-4 mil OW ($1.5-5.5 mil 4-day)/0 PTA/0 Top 5/low to mid 7 IMDB/$4-15 mil total BO
Worth Putting on Your Slate?: Despite being a distinct, well-reviewed entry on this weekend's slate, an unknown theater count and its status as the rare non-horror A24 horror title to go immediately wide give it the lowest floor of the bunch.


Weekend Predictions:
1.The Little Mermaid $105 mil ($118 mil 4-day)
2.Fast X $26 mil ($32 mil 4-day)
3.Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 $20 mil ($25 mil 4-day)
4.The Super Mario Bros. Movie $7 mil ($10 mil 4-day)
5.The Machine $5 mil ($6 mil 4-day)

-About My Father $4 mil ($5 mil 4-day)
-Kandahar $3 mil ($4 mil 4-day)
-You Hurt My Feelings $2 mil ($2.5 mi 4-day)

PTA: The Little Mermaid, Fast X, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, The Machine

Tune in next week when Screen breaks down Miles Morales' deeper dive into the Spider-Man multiverse, the latest Stephen King adaptation to find its way it to the big screen and the movie that arguably generated the most positive buzz at Sundance this year.
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

Post by Buscemi2 »

The Machine is straight up getting dumped. Sony isn't doing any Thursday night shows before 9:00 pm, marketing has been terrible, and it hasn't been screened to critics yet. In addition, why would you release one intended star vehicle with a comedian against another intended star vehicle with a comedian? This and About My Father (which also hasn't been screened to critics yet and has also had a non-existent marketing campaign but will have its Thursday shows begin at 3:00 pm) will cannibalize each other.

Also, I think The Little Mermaid opens to less. Buzz has been light, backlash has been heavier than previous Disney remakes, and early word is mixed. It probably won't even hit $75 million four-day.
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

Post by BanksIsDaFuture »

The Machine has 7PM showings tomorrow, plus 9PM showings are being livestreamed the red carpet from the premiere.
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

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I now see one theatre near me is doing a 7:00 pm show. But it shows how little faith Sony has in the film if they aren't doing many Thursday night shows for it compared to the other openers.
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

Post by BanksIsDaFuture »

Buscemi2 wrote:
May 24th, 2023, 7:25 pm
I now see one theatre near me is doing a 7:00 pm show. But it shows how little faith Sony has in the film if they aren't doing many Thursday night shows for it compared to the other openers.
Definitely, I've noticed Sony has only promoted The Machine on their socials and attaching trailers to their own movies. They're spending no money in traditional ways and seem to be relying heavy on Bert to sell this himself. I'm a fan of his and I hope it does well, but I'm not expecting it to do over $8M this weekend.

Bert has pushing the hell out of this and doing everything he can personally and this may be his only shot at getting a movie in theaters. He's already sold his next movie pitch, Fat Astronauts, with Tom to Netflix, I believe.

He's a super earnest guy, he recently did a great 3 hour podcast with Kevin Smith that got really deep and personal with them both: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXwG2a2 ... YMHStudios.

Other than that, great write-up Tranny. TLM could easily do $125 over the 4 day weekend.

Agree also with your other point, Busc, I don't know what Lionsgate was thinking scheduling their stand-up's-personal-story-turned-movie-starring-a-big-movie-star-from-the-70s-and-80s-as-the-comic's-father against Sony's. It seems odd and really could split the audience. As a fan of Bert, I can only hope About My Father tanks. :twisted:
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

Post by BanksIsDaFuture »

Also, if nobody happens to know what The Machine story is, here you go! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paG1-lP ... tKreischer
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

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Still no reviews out for The Machine but it looks like Bert's fans love it, as it has a 99% user score on Rotten Tomatoes. So maybe it ends up being critic-proof for those who enjoy his stand-up.
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

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Preview totals:
The Little Mermaid $10.3 mil
The Machine $850k
About My Father $285k
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

Post by Buscemi2 »

Cinemascores:

The Little Mermaid: A
About My Father: B+
Kandahar: B+

The Machine's score isn't in yet but if polled, I'd have to imagine it's in the A/A- range.
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

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4-day weekend estimates:
The Little Mermaid $117.5 mil
Fast X $28.6 mil
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 $26.6 mil
The Super Mario Bros. Movie $8.3 mil
The Machine $6 mil
About My Father $5.3 mil
Kandahar $3 mil
You Hurt My Feelings $1.8 mil
Evil Dead Rise $1.3 mil
Book Club: The Next Chapter $1.1 mil
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

Post by Buscemi2 »

Certain entertainment YouTube channels are delusional. They're trying to claim The Little Mermaid flopped and that there were fights at showings. How are these channels able to get money for their misinformation and hate speech (many of these channels use a certain word as a slur) but a channel on history or true crime is always threatened with demonetization or even bans for simply saying words like war or abuse or meth even though it relates to the story in question and is from a video that is factual and well-researched? A real double standard for a site that claims to fight ignorance.

These are also the same idiots that try to claim the Snydercut was necessary and that Justice League was a hit even though the original release lost millions and the Snydercut was never released theatrically outside of a single showing earlier this year. Some people just only seem to want to believe what they think is true.
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Re: Tranny Tackles The Cinema: The Films of 5/26

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YouTube has always been awful at policing shit on their platform that is worthy of policing. That's precisely why it's such a large forum for culture war grifters who pedal hate-fueled, often conspiratorial trash to bigots who gobble it up despite claiming that Hollywood consists of nothing but liberal pedophiles who make awful movies and shows that they wouldn't be caught dead consuming. A change in their polices is long overdue, but it would be a pleasant surprise if it actually happened.

Moving on, here are the 4-day actuals:
1.The Little Mermaid $118.8 mil
2.Fast X $28.5 mil
3.Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 $26.8 mil
4.The Super Mario Bros. Movie $8.2 mil
5.The Machine $5.9 mil
6.About My Father $5.4 mil
7.Kandahar $2.8 mil
8.You Hurt My Feelings $1.8 mil
9.Evil Dead Rise $1.3 mil
10.Book Club: The Next Chapter $1.1 mil

PTA:
1.The Little Mermaid $27,504
2.Fast X $6,980
3.Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 $6,809
4.The Super Mario Bros. Movie $2,630
5.The Machine $2,439

-About My Father $2,190
-You Hurt My Feelings $1,936
-Kandahar $1,342
BRING BRENDAN FRASER BACK TO THE BIG SCREEN DAMN IT
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