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Box Office Oracle — 12/27/2019-12/29/2019


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 two big new releases, Spies in Disguise and Little Women.

Spies in Disguise

So, there’s Will Smith, and he’s a James Bond-style spy. And there’s Tom Holland, who’s like Q. And then Tom Holland turns Will Smith into a pigeon. Chaos ensues from there.

Spies in Disguise is the first animated movie from Blue Sky Studio’s since they were acquired by Disney as part of the 20th Centure Fox merger, and to the Mouse House’s credit, they have given this one a fairly heavy marketing push. At the same time, they’ve also had it competing against their own hits Frozen II and Star Wars. The good news is that Spies looks very lively and funny from its previews, and reviews have been solid. The bad news is it hasn’t exactly been exploding since it opened on Christmas Day. Granted, weekdays during the holidays make it tricky to predict how individual weekends are going to do–since every day during them is essentially a Saturday–but let’s give Spies $15 million for the next three days and find out where it goes from there.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Go: Blue Sky Studios has made some very solid animated features, including Ice AgeRobots, and Horton Hears a Who!

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Stay Away:  They also made Rio 2.

Today’s Lucky Lotto Numbers: $15 million opening; $79 million finish.

Little Women

Well, there’s yet another adaptation of Little Women in theaters, and that’s probably the only introduction I need to give for this one. Critics are on board praising the film as a “modern version” (whatever that means), and it has a pretty good cast behind it as well.

So far, Women has been doing solid business since opening on Christmas Day. It’s based on a beloved property, after all, which makes this an ideal release date period for such a movie, so we should be looking at a decent weekend here. Of course (and as I have said in the past, I hate using the “gender audience” here, but stats are stats), the target audience for this movie is primarily going to be female, but Bombshell has pretty much well….bombed, so that demographic is now open (and again, God, I hate talking this way. Go to the movies you want to, people, regardless of what private parts you have). Look for $14 million.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Go: Little Women is arguably one of the most popular books ever published.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Stay Away: If you want a “fun movie” for the holidays, you might want to look elsewhere.

Today’s Lucky Lotto Numbers: $14 million opening; $90 million finish.

* Other fun stuff…

* Nothing is going to stop The Rise of Skywalker from leading the box office this weekend. No shit, right?

* But where will it end up? So far, Skywalker is behaving a lot like Rogue One, and will probably finish in the range of $550 million or so.

* If you’ve gone to The Rise of Skywalker (and you probably have), this column from back in 2016 managed to figure out its SPOILER more than three years before it opened.

* I liked the new Jumanji pretty much. Definitely not as good as the last one (or as funny), but still fun. And it earns points for having a bizarrely moving ending.

* Expanding this weekend is Uncut Gems, the Adam Sandler black comedy which is garnering a lot of buzz mainly because of his performance in it.

Man, the new Black Christmas came and went pretty quickly, didn’t it? There are reasons for this, but the main one is probably that it looked really, really bad.

* Happy New Year, all!