Studios are clearing their summer slates as the season sets to close with an angry squawk and a whimper.
Leading another run of what forecasters expect to be middling titles, the second installment in the game-turned-film franchise "Angry Birds" crashed into cinemas early with a Tuesday release, wringing as much from its opening as possible. BoxOffice.com believes the strategy should yield some results, projecting an opening forecast of $21.6 million through the end of the Aug. 16 weekend for "The Angry Birds Movie 2." Variety and Deadline Hollywood fly a little lower with a forecast range of $16 million to $18 million for the six-day opening.
That lands expectations at about half of what the first Angry Birds film recorded in 2016 at $38.2 million, but Sony Corp.'s Columbia Pictures could still end up in the black with some "help from overseas," as Deadline puts it. First off, the sequel will cost a bit less than the first film at $65 million compared to $73.8 million. The original also ended up pecking out total revenue of $434.8 million after just $107.5 million at the domestic box office. In the end, it stayed aloft with $145.3 million in net profits, according to Kagan, a media market research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence.
"The Angry Birds Movie 2"
Source: Columbia Pictures
If it opens above $20 million, the debut could look more like "The Emoji Movie," which launched to $24.5 million in 2017 against a $50.5 million production budget. That animated title went on to collect $299.7 million in total revenue and $66.9 million in net profits, according to Kagan.
Critics were also giving some lift to the film, attaching a 73% "fresh" rating to it on Rotten Tomatoes, as of 8:30 a.m. ET, Aug. 16.
As for just the three weekend days, BoxOffice.com expects the animated title to land behind Universal Pictures' raunchy comedy "Good Boys," giving that film a shot at $15.6 million over a $13.8 million forecast for "The Angry Birds Movie 2." Variety, however, believes the boys are not quite that good, with a forecast range of $12 million to $15 million. Deadline only expects $11 million to $12 million for the comedy's opening weekend.
Kagan compares the film to cult classic comedy "Superbad," as well as other drug-fueled romps like "Pineapple Express," "Dope" and "The Sitter." While the latter two of those suffered net losses for their studios, according to Kagan, they also opened lower than forecasts anticipate for "Good Boys." The average opening of Kagan's five comparisons was $18.3 million against an average production budget of $20.6 million, leading to an average net profit of $33.3 million.
Another debut film, monster-shark thriller "47 Meters Down: Uncaged," could challenge "Good Boys," with Deadline giving them the same forecast range. Variety believes it will devour between $11 million to $14 million during its box office open. However, BoxOffice.com thinks "Uncaged" will sink well below "Good Boys" at $11.2 million for the weekend.
Those forecasts put it close to its predecessor, "47 Meters Down," which opened in 2017 to $11.2 million against a $5.3 million microbudget. That title went on to collect $75.1 million in total revenue, but it still was not enough to keep the film from drowning in a $10.4 million loss, according to Kagan.
Critics were not throwing "Uncaged" a life preserver either, giving it a 53% "rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes, as of 8:30 a.m. ET, Aug. 16.
Two other titles will drop for the late-summer weekend, with both eyeing openings in the $4 million to $6 million range, according to forecasters.
Warner Bros.' coming-of-age musical "Blinded by Light" was critics' favorite for the weekend, radiating a 90% "fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes, as of 8:30 a.m. ET, Aug. 16. The Sundance Film Festival darling compares to "Slumdog Millionaire" in theme and 2003's "Bend it Like Beckham" by director, as well as youth dramas like "The Edge of Seventeen" and "Love, Simon." Kagan's entire list of comparisons averaged an opening of $6.0 million and went on to average total revenue of $180.3 million and average net profits of $57.5 million.
Lastly, comedy adaption "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" could be lost in the run of debuts. The film also had a meager 49% "rotten" score on Rotten Tomatoes, as of 8:30 a.m. ET, Aug. 16. On the high end, Kagan compares it to women-led tiles "Ocean's 8" and "Bad Moms," but it also compares to 2015's "Ricki and the Flash" in terms of target audience and expected debut projections. That Meryl Streep title opened to $6.6 million and went on to a $28.3 million loss.