Box Office Oracle — 01/03/2020-01/05/2020

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 solo big new release, The Grudge.

The Grudge

2020 kicks off with this reboot of the horror franchise from the early 2000’s which involved a demonic force that creeps around and often sounds like its burping before it kills you. 2004’s The Grudge was a surprise hit, but that one benefited from having some star power in the form of Sarah Michelle Gellar. 2006’s The Grudge 2 wasn’t nearly as successful, probably at least in part because it killed off Gellar’s character in the trailer, but mainly because it was fucking confusing. The new film seems to be simplifying things somewhat by centering on a young couple being terrorized, while also amping up the gore in order to get an R rating, because that’s what sells these days.

The best comparison we can come up with for how this might do are other start-of-the-year horror movies, like The Devil Inside ($33 million opening weekend) and Insidious: The Last Key ($29 million opening). Numbers of that level don’t seem very likely here, however, given that audience hunger for this one doesn’t appear to be especially high. Look for $12 million.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Go: The Grudge was a pretty decent horror movie.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Stay Away: The Grudge 2 wasn’t.

Today’s Lucky Lotto Numbers: $12 million opening; $25 million finish.

Other fun stuff…

* Star Wars is going to lead the box office for the third week in a row.

* I non-ironically recommend Spies in Disguise, an absolute delight which is probably one of the most pleasant surprises of 2019. Very fun and very funny, it’s Blue Sky’s best animated movie in years.

* And speaking of 2019, here’s my top ten, previously posted in the comments section for The Pits..

1. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
2. Alita: Battle Angel
3. Frozen II
4. Joker
5. Spider-Man: Far From Home
6. Toy Story 4
7. Knives Out
8. Brightburn
9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
10. John Wick: Chapter 3

* Happy New Year, all!