Box Office Oracle — 01/17/2020-01/19/2020

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 two big new releases, Bad Boys for Life and Doolittle.

Bad Boys for Life 

Serving as one of those “I probably don’t have to explain what this movie is, do I?” titles, Bad Boys for Life–which seems to have been in and out of development purgatory for like forever–finally arrives in theaters. For those keeping score, Bad Boys II came out in 2003.

So, yeah, it’s been a while, but this still looks to be exactly what you would expect from a third Bad Boys flick, even with Michael Bay not returning to direct this time around (a tad ironic, given that this franchise is more or less what coined the term “Bayham”). With Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back and exchanging wisecracks and bullets like they did many years ago, it should be enough to ensure a strong debut. Look for $50 million.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Go: The trailers are super fun, and Smith and Lawrence still have great comedic chemistry together.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Stay Away: This looks a lot like the last two films, so if that doesn’t sound like your cup of adrenaline-infused tea, stay away.

Today’s Lucky Lotto Numbers: $50 million debut; $135 million finish.


Uh, oh.

Well, for a while at least this was sounding like it might be a big hit. Originally set for release this summer, the prospect of Iron Man as Dr. Doolittle sounded like a magical one…at least until those reviews came in, which might explain why this one was given an odd January date. The expensive would-be tentpole finds its titular hero going on a wild treasure hunt with a bunch of wacky talking animals, and gee, when I word it that way, it all sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?

The good news is that Downey Jr. does provide some very healthy star power, and the trailers have been fittingly enchanting. But those reviews…ouch! Granted, when critics go this nuts when bashing a movie, they sometimes go overboard (hey, I kind of liked Dark Phoenix). But it’s (almost) always going to have an impact on box office, even on a family movie like this one. Look for Doolittle to get stuck in the zoo with $15 million, which would be very bad against what is a massive production budget upwards of $100 million.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Go: Robert Downey Jr. is worth watching in literally anything. I’d watch that man read the dictionary to me.

Why Your Fortune Cookie Tells You To Stay Away: The movie is getting “rewarded” with “0 stars” reviews. Take that however you will.

Today’s Lucky Lotto Numbers: $15 million debut; $52 million finish.

Other fun stuff…

* With 11 Oscar nominations and more than $1 billion in the bank, Joker has done pretty well for a movie the press warned me people might get shot at.

* When I searched “Doolittle” on Google a few days ago, I got more news results for Nationals closer Sean Doolittle than I did for the new movie.

* What will YOU be doing this weekend? Sound off in the comments below!