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2018 Preview: April

April 1st, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

Well, March has ended and it was a very disappointing month. Black Panther made more than any of the new releases did. The only potential big hit that didn’t miss expectations was Ready Player One. Because of this, 2018 lost its lead over 2017 and is now over $100 million behind last year’s pace. April is usually a terrible month, because it is a dumping ground, especially late in the month. No studio wants to compete with the first monster hit of the Summer. This year, the first monster hit of the summer, Avengers: Infinity War, opens in April. It will make more during its opening weekend than any other April release will make in total. It might make more opening day than any other April release will make in total. The only film that has a real chance to earn more than $100 million is Rampage, a video game adaptation. Last April, The Fate of the Furious earned more than $1.2 billion worldwide, but “only” earned $225.76 million of that domestically. Infinity War should earn more than that opening weekend. The second biggest hit of last April was Smurfs: The Lost Village and Going in Style, both of which earned $45.02 million. If 2018 doesn’t retake the lead by the end of the month, then 2018 is in trouble at the box office.

Weekend of April 6th, 2018

A Quiet Place

The first weekend of the month is a deceptively busy weekend with five films reportedly opening or expanding wide. However, if you dig deeper, it is a lot more subdued. A Quiet Place is widely expected to be the biggest hit of the week, while Blockers is the only other film that’s guaranteed to open truly wide. Isle of Dogs will almost certainly expand at least semi-wide given its start so far. On the other hand, The Miracle Season is expected to open “nationwide” and not truly wide and there’s a better than 50/50 chance Chappaquiddick is going to open in limited release and will hope to expand later. We will be skipping these two movies. This weekend last year, the two biggest new releases were Smurfs: The Lost Village and Going in Style and the new releases this year should top that with ease. Unfortunately, the two biggest films of last year were holdovers, The Boss Baby and Beauty and the Beast, which made $50 million combined. I don’t think 2018 will be able to compete with that.

Last Minute Update: Isle of Dogs is now going “nationwide” on the 6th of April and semi-wide on the 13th, so we pushed its entry to the following week.

Blockers

Blockers
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: BlockersMovie.com/
Distributor: Universal
Release Date: April 6th, 2018
MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, and language throughout, drug content, teen partying, and some graphic nudity
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Prom, Loss Of Virginity, High School, Sex Comedy
Directed By: Kay Cannon
Written By: Eben Russell, Brian Kehoe, Jim Kehoe, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
Starring: Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, Gideon Adlon
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $20 million to $30 million
Box Office Potential: $55 million

When three high school girls, Kathryn Newton, Geraldine Viswanathan, and Gideon Adlon, make a pact to lose their virginity on Prom night, their parents, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz, and John Cena, vow to stop them. On a side note, it is rare to see the girls in films like this being active participants in this and not just a prize for the boys. Perhaps this is why the film’s early reviews are nearly 90% positive. Strong reviews should help the film become a solid midlevel hit and, while I don’t expect it to find an audience internationally, it should break even early in its home market run.

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: AQuietPlaceMovie.com
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: April 6th, 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for terror and some bloody images.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Horror
Keywords: Directing Yourself, Screenplay Written By the Star, Deaf, Sign Language, Limited Dialogue, Family Affair, Psychological Horror
Directed By: John Krasinski
Written By: John Krasinski, Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
Starring: John Krasinski, Emily Blunt
Production Budget: Rumored at $17 million
Box Office Potential: $85 million

A family has to live in silence, as they are hunted by monsters that go after them if they make any noise. At the moment, the film’s Tomatometer Score is 100% positive, while its average score is 8.3 out of 10. This is actually better than Get Out’s reviews. Granted, this film’s reviews will very likely drop before it comes out, but this start is still something to take seriously. If the reviews stay this strong and the word-of-mouth builds, then it could be a surprise $100 million hit.

Weekend of April 13th, 2018

Rampage

There are four films that have been reported as wide releases this week; however, only two of them are guaranteed to open truly wide. Of these, Rampage is widely expected to dominate the box office this weekend and has at least a 50/50 chance at earning $100 million. Truth or Dare is a low-budget horror movie that has a better than average shot at being a financial hit. Like last week, there are two films that some are reporting are opening wide, but are likely not. Borg/McEnroe appears to be opening in limited release and will take some luck to expand significantly. Finally there’s Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, which will likely open in under 2,000 theaters and then disappear immediately. This weekend last year, The Fate of the Furious opened with nearly $100 million. There’s no way 2018 is going to be able to compete with that.

Isle of Dogs

Isle of Dogs
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: IsleOfDogsMovie.com
Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Release Date: April 13th, 2018 (Expands Wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements and some violent images.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Japan, Missing Pet, Coming of Age, Quarantine, Epidemic, Animal Lead, Talking Animals
Directed By: Wes Anderson
Written By: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Kunichi Nomura
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $40 million to $50 million
Box Office Potential: $25 million

This film had the best start on the theater average chart for any 2018 release thus far. Additionally, Wes Anderson has had a lot of success driving limited releases into mainstream theaters. That said, it is still a Stop-Motion animated film and these almost never find an audience in theaters.

Last Minute Update: The film is now going “nationwide” on the 6th of April and semi-wide on the 13th. This shouldn’t really change its box office chances.

Rampage

Rampage
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: RampageTheMovie.com
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release Date: April 13th, 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief language, and crude gestures.
Source: Based on a Game
Genre: Action
Keywords: Creature Features, Animal Lead, Genetic Engineering, Scientific Experiment Gone Awry, Discredited Scientist
Directed By: Brad Peyton
Written By: Ryan Engle, Ryan J. Condal, Adam Sztykiel, Carlton Cuse, Ryan Engle
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $80 million to $100 million
Box Office Potential: $105 million

I felt kind of bad for Dwayne Johnson when Infinity War got moved up a week to the last weekend of April. When that happened, Rampage went from easily the biggest movie to be released in April this year to basically an afterthought. ... Then I remembered Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle earned $400 million domestically and nearly $1 billion worldwide, so I couldn’t feel that bad for Dwayne Johnson. This film could become one of the biggest video game adaptations and if it can match San Andreas at the worldwide box office, then Warner Bros. will be very happy. Even if it can just barely cross $100 million here and $300 million worldwide, it will break even sometime during its home market run.

Truth or Dare

Truth or Dare
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: BlumhousesTruthOrDare.com
Distributor: Universal
Release Date: April 13th, 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence and disturbing content, alcohol abuse, some sexuality, language and thematic material.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Keywords: Supernatural, Teenage Slasher, Dares
Directed By: Jeff Wadlow
Written By:
Starring: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at under $10 million
Box Office Potential: $35 million

Blumhouse has put out an incredible number of horror films over the past few years and many of these have become box office hits. Last year was its best year ever, with both Split and Get Out earning well over $100 million, while Happy Death Day earned just over $50 million. I really don’t think Truth or Dare will get that far, but it should do better than the company’s average, which is just over $30 million. Considering the average budget of a Blumhouse movie is less than $10 million and its initial advertising budget is likely under $20 million, this is more than enough to break even sooner rather than later.

Weekend of April 20th, 2018

I Feel Pretty

It is the final weekend until Avengers: Infinity War opens, so any film debuting this week has to take that into account. I Feel Pretty doesn’t share a lot of its target audience with Infinity War, so it should fare the best. Super Troopers 2 is a stoner comedy and opening on 4/20 is really the only thing going for it. Up next is Traffik, a low-budget horror movie. It is the third horror movie in as many weeks and that’s just too many to survive. Also opening this week is Dolphins, but other recent Disney Nature documentaries have struggled to the point where I high doubt this film will open truly wide. It might not open semi-wide. This weekend last year, no new releases earned more than $5 million over the weekend. The Fate of the Furious still earned nearly $40 million during this weekend, so 2018 will still lose in the year-over-year comparison.

I Feel Pretty

I Feel Pretty
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: IFeelPretty.movie
Distributor: STX Entertainment
Release Date: April 20th, 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, some partial nudity, and language.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Hallucinations, Fashion
Directed By: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
Written By: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
Starring: Amy Schumer
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $30 million to $40 million
Box Office Potential: $55 million

Amy Schumer plays a woman who gets into an accident and bumps her head. When she comes to, she thinks she’s been affected by a magical spell that made her sexy. She didn’t actually change, but her new confidence boost helps her in her life. It is an interesting setup and should draw in its target audience. If the film can fit between Snatched and Trainwreck then I think the studio will be happy. Given the studio’s track record, I think the lower end is more likely, but it should break even sometime during its initial home market run.

Super Troopers 2

Super Troopers 2
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: FoxSearchlight.com/SuperTroopers2/
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: April 20th, 2018
MPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug material and some graphic nudity.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Directing Yourself, Screenplay Written By the Star, Delayed Sequel, Crowdfunding, Canada, RCMP / Mounties, Police life, Corrupt Cops, Ensemble
Directed By: Jay Chandrasekhar
Written By: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter
Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, Erik Stolhanske
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $5 million to $10 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million

This is a comedy sequel, a delayed sequel, and a crowdfunded film. That’s a lot to overcome. Comedy sequels rarely live up to their predecessors, although a fellow stoner comedy franchise, Harold and Kumar, showed it can be done, but films like this are in the minority. Delayed sequels are a risk, because the target audience might have moved on and are no longer interested in the franchise. Finally, crowdfunded films tend to struggle at the box office, because almost always, one of the rewards for supporting the film is free tickets to the movie. It’s hard to sell tickets when the most eager fans already have them. On the other hand, with ticket price inflation, it shouldn’t open too far behind the original and I seriously doubt it cost more than $10 million to make.

Traffik

Traffik
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: Traffik.movie/
Distributor: Lionsgate
Release Date: April 20th, 2018
MPAA Rating: R for violent and disturbing material, language throughout, some drug use and sexual content.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Keywords: Cabin in the Woods, Motorcycle Gangs, Gangs, Organized Crime, Human-Trafficking, Sex Crimes, Prostitution
Directed By: Deon Taylor
Written By: Deon Taylor
Starring: Paula Patton, Omar Epps
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at under $10 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million

This is the third low-budget horror movie released in as many weeks. I think the target audience will be tired of these movies by then. The buzz is so quiet that I’m concerned it might open in less than 2,000 theaters.

Weekend of April 27th, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

This week Avengers: Infinity War opens. It’s part of the MCU. What more do you need to know? This weekend last year, the total box office was barely more than $100 million. Infinity War could make that opening day.

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: Marvel.com/Avengers
Distributor: Walt Disney
Release Date: April 27th, 2018
MPAA Rating:
Source: Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Genre: Adventure
Keywords: Marvel Comics, Robot, End of the World, Hallucinations, Super Villains, Ensemble, Franchise Crossover, Outer Space, Gods and Goddesses
Directed By: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Written By: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Benedict Wong, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $250 million to $300 million
Box Office Potential: $650 million

First of all... Look at that list of names. Oh my god.

Avengers: Infinity War is expected to destroy April box office records. Biggest April weekend, biggest April day, etc. “Will it beat Black Panther?” is the only real question most analysts have. Most believe Infinity War will have a faster start; however, it likely won’t have as long legs. I’m not saying that because I think Infinity War’s reviews will be weak, but because the competition will be stronger. Black Panther had six weeks before it had to deal with a $100 million hit. Infinity War will have only three weeks without any prime competition.

Expectations seem to range from the low to mid $500 million range to just above $700 million. I think the high end is slightly more likely than the low end, but Avengers: Infinity War will still have a tough time matching Black Panther in the end.

Filed under: Monthly Preview, Avengers: Infinity War, Rampage, Super Troopers 2, Blockers, Chappaquiddick, Isle of Dogs, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, A Quiet Place, I Feel Pretty, Borg vs McEnroe, Traffik, The Miracle Season, Disneynature: Blue, Truth or Dare, Harold & Kumar, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Wes Anderson, Bob Balaban, Ike Barinholtz, Paul Bettany, Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, John Cena, Jay Chandrasekhar, Don Cheadle, Bradley Cooper, Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Vin Diesel, Robert Downey, Jr., Omar Epps, Chris Evans, Jeff Goldblum, Naomie Harris, Kevin Heffernan, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Dwayne Johnson, John Krasinski, Stan Lee, Steve Lemme, Leslie Mann, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Paula Patton, Tyler Posey, Chris Pratt, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Soter, Sebastian Stan, Erik Stolhanske, Benedict Wong, Brad Peyton, Stephen McFeely, Deon Taylor, Tom Holland, Adam Sztykiel, Roman Coppola, Jack Kirby, Elizabeth Olsen, Lucy Hale, Kathryn Newton, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, Danai Gurira, Chadwick Boseman, Amy Schumer, Kay Cannon, Dave Bautista, Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Christopher Markus, Jeff Wadlow, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Ryan Engle, Letitia Wright, Kunichi Nomura, Ryan J. Condal, Scott Beck, Bryan Woods, Carlton Cuse, Eben Russell, Violett Beane, Koyu Rankin, Gideon Adlon, Brian Kehoe, Jim Kehoe, Geraldine Viswanathan
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