Box Office Oracle — 10/25/2019-10/27/2019

Welcome to the Box Office Oracle–where new movies are pitted against each other for box office supremacy and only one can claim victory. Each week, I will be doing a quick box office prediction for all wide new releases. Sorry, obscure indie films I’ve never heard of, but you aren’t going to be discussed here unless you become big.

This is also something I’m going to keep as free of “controversy” if I can. This means that if, I don’t know, Jon Voight is voicing an evil government agent talking bear in a DreamWorks movie, I’m not going to make a bunch of Trump jokes. If a Tom Cruise actioner comes out, I’m not going to make a bunch of Scientology cracks. You get the idea. I want for this to be kept fun and simple.

So, without any further discussion, let’s get into this weekend’s three big new releases, CountdownBlack & Blue and the rather clumsily titled The Current War: The Director’s Cut.


Winning among the newcomers more or less by default since it’s a horror movie (wait, they still actually open those things in October?), Countdown attempts to do for smartphones what The Ring did for VHS tapes. When all of the cool kids are gushing over a new app which supposedly tells you when you’re going to die, one poor young woman gets far more than she bargained for when she’s told she only has three days to live.

Countdown is reminiscent of the PG-13 horror flicks which absolutely dominated the early 2000’s, but what it lacks is an experienced distributor, as it comes to us from STX Films. As I said when talking about Hustlers a few weeks back, the company has been financially struggling (again, largely thanks to UglyDolls of all things, which is so weird), and that probably explains why you may not have even heard about this movie until the beginning of the month. That said, it’s still going to get a bit of a boost from Halloween, even if it has no chance whatsoever of beating Joker this weekend. Look for $8 million before it sputters quickly.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Go: The trailer is pretty efficiently creepy. Then again, I’m the sort of person who’s so superstitious that I would never in a million years use an app which told me when I was going to die.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Stay Away: If you haven’t gone to Joker yet, by all means, go to that instead.

Today’s Lucky Lotto Numbers: $8 million opening; $23 million finish.

Black & Blue 

Hey, you know that movie about the cop who wildernesses her fellow officers doing some bad crap, and then they all try to kill her because she has a body cam on? The one you had the trailer for at like every other movie this summer? It’s finally playing. Starring Naomie Harris as a rookie officer (what other kind of officer is there in these types of movies?), she’s on the run from apparently every cop in the city, because apparently they’re all corrupt as fuck.

All things considered, this looks like a solid enough action thriller, but the late October release date more or less suggests it’s being thrown away by the studio, especially since Terminator: Dark Fate kicks off the holiday movie season one week from now. Reviews are split on this one as well, with a 48% “freshness” rating over at RT suggesting critics are pretty equally divided on whether or not it delivers. Regardless of that, this for better or worse looks like a movie most will wait on a rental for. Look for $6 million.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Go: I’ll give credit where it’s due when I say that Black & Blue just might have the best title of any movie this year.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Stay Away: Actioners with topical social commentary tend to have mixed results in terms of audience reception, which is something we’ll probably be talking about a lot more when Queen & Slim comes out in a few weeks.

Today’s Lucky Lotto Numbers: $6 million opening; $21 million finish.

The Current War: The Director’s Cut 

Someone’s going down for this.

I’m sorry. You simply don’t give your brand new movie the subtitle “The Director’s Cut.” This movie has never been released, Audiences have not watched it. Therefore, you do not needlessly confused them by giving your film the subtitle “The Director’s Cut” as though it’s a beloved classic that they’ll finally get to experience as the director intended. You do NOT do this. It is stupid and inexcusable, and I don’t give two fucks about it being over the director trying reclaim this long-delayed Thomas Edison biopic after its original distributor TWC went belly-up.

Okay. Rant over. This movie does look pretty good, and hey, I’d pay money to have Benedict Cumberbatch read me a cookbook. That being said, audience interest appears to be virtually non-existent here, hence the late October release date. Look for $4 million.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Go: In addition to Cumberbatch, the movie also stars Tom Holland and Michael Shannon, people who I very much like and enjoy.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Stay Away: Calling your brand new movie “The Director’s Cut” is similar to behaving as though The Oogieloves were already beloved children’s characters who were finally making their big screen debut.

Today’s Lucky Lotto Numbers: $4 million debut; $11 million finish.

Other fun stuff…

* I’m short on time, so I’ll simply wish everyone a happy Halloween!