Frozen 2 to dominate November, Terminator and Charlie's Angels to battle for biggest flop
By Julien Rodger
November should easily be won by Frozen 2. Like the first film demographic appeal is in its favor with themes like emotional repression that make its characters appealing to adults while also cleaning up with kids. Both males and females loved the first. Frozen became a merchandise and DVD juggernaut after the first’s 400.7 million and pent up demand for the sequel should only help it like Incredibles 2. In contrast to the many sequels nobody asked for, this is one everyone asked for. If Frozen 2 has a major opening such as 175 million and is well received, it’s in position to be one of the biggest films of all time by performing great over the holiday weekdays in December and January. Avengers: Endgame is out of reach, but Frozen 2 can challenge 600 million.
Terminator: Dark Fate and Charlie’s Angels will duke it out for flop of the year. On the bright side for Dark Fate, its 69% on Rottentomatoes is a big upgrade over Genisys’ 27% and Salvation’s 33%, and reuniting Linda Hamilton and Arnold could draw some interest. But after the previous film grossed 89.7 million the Terminator horse is still quite beaten dead, and early international numbers aren’t promising. Even with an over 30 million opening, it’s likely to fall under 100 million domestic for a film that has a 170 million budget.
Charlie’s Angels has one third the budget of Terminator at 48 million, but is likely to have the more ignominious opening and struggle to break 15 million opening weekend. The film is a remake of a remake of a TV show that like Baywatch is no longer relevant to younger audiences, and no longer necessary with characters like Black Widow normalizing kicking people’s butts and look sexy at the same time. The previous two versions had the signature beautiful blonde of their era in Farrah Fawcett and Cameron Diaz, but they had no chance securing Margot Robbie who is wise enough to keep her brand eternally strong by working with high quality directors that will deliver her Oscar nominations. The comparative lack of star power of the new Charlie’s Angels compared to Diaz, Barrymore and Liu make it appear a cheap derivative.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood should ride Best Picture nominee level reviews (96% RT), Tom Hanks popularity and sentimentality for Mr. Rogers to an over 100 million total buoyed by the holidays. The only drawback could be people rebelling against the marketing painting Mr. Rogers as the lead when he is apparently very much supporting, but the film should be a crowd pleaser enough to make up for it. Ford vs Ferrari is an old school underdog sports movie, the question is whether people will embrace its familiar beats, or whether people have moved on from these Hollywood-ized true stories. Good reviews at 88% RT and the likability of Matt Damon and Christian Bale could help push it to the leggy hit side and over 80 million total.
Last Christmas looked like another ill fated attempt to make Emilia Clarke: Julia Roberts-lite romcom actress happen until seeing its director is the Paul Feig and writer is Emma Thompson. If the wit of its director and writer comes through, it has a chance to be the new instant new romcom classic and perennial Christmas watch people have been dying for. The Good Liar is a sleeper to make 50 million as Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen in a conman tale could appeal to Red-type audiences, but not alienating those looking for a drama as well. Doctor Sleep looks to be an under 50 million total disappointment as despite perfect adult Danny casting in Ewan McGregor and the King brandname, most people are reluctant to see a masterpiece receive a sequel as it will never live up to the original film, even if in this case it’s adapted from King’s 2013 sequel. The film’s release date also works against it as it misses Halloween season by only a few weeks.