Forget about the calendar, summer actually begins in North America this coming Thursday night when previews of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2” come to a multiplex near you. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
As for this past weekend there were a couple of nice surprises for an industry treading water until Baby Groot arrives, as both the Bollywood and Latin markets over-indexed this weekend.
First off, “How to Be a Latin Lover” ended up at the apex of our projections with a snappy USD $11 million. Star Eugenio Derbez was everywhere on social media and adding a few American stars such as Rob Lowe and yes, Raquel Welch, didn’t hurt either. And did we mention that gross came from only 1,100 screens?
Then, practically out of nowehere, comes the Telugu film, “Baahubati 2: The Conclusion”. All that particular film did this past weekend was set the record for largest Bollywood opening of all time with an amazing USD $10 million (on only 400 screens), which beat the previous record holder “Dhoom 3”’s USD $8 million debut.
STX’s “The Circle” opened below industry expectations, but right in line with our projection of last Monday, with USD $9 million. As we figured last week, the film seemed to miss its two main demographics in that it felt too old for an Emma Watson movie and Tom Hanks’ fans would prefer not to see a movie about a millennial. Oh and then there’s the D+ Cinemascore, a grade usually attributed to low budget horror titles.
OK, it’s time to get to the heavy lifting.
“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2:” (BV)—Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan and the rest of the Guardians gang return for one of the most anticipated sequels of the year. The first GOTG was something of a surprise, grossing USD $333 million in August of 2014. What is interesting is that the overseas market was just OK on the film with a take of USD $440 million. Maybe foreign markets can’t appreciate a soundtrack that included the likes of The Raspberries and Blue Swede. In addition to the aforementioned stars, director James Gunn returns to the helmer’s chair and he brought Kurt Russell with him to co-star because, well, it’s Kurt Russell and he should be in every film.
The Verdict: The first GOTG opened to USD $94 million back in 2014 and Vol. 2 is primed to debut far north of that. The over/under in the industry is USD $150 million. We’re going to opt for the over and say USD $160 million. After all, what other movie can you find both Parliament and Glen Campbell on its soundtrack.
ALSO OPENING— Weinstein has its transgender drama, “3 Generations” which stars Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon. The company was in a battle with the ratings board trying to get a PG-13 on the film. They finally had to cut some scenes to get it.
Speaking of Naomi, her ex Live Schreiber stars in IFC’s boxing drama, “Chuck”, about the Bayonne Bleeder, Chuck Wepner. The film also stars comedian Jim Gaffigan and, wait for it, Naomi Watts. There’s also the thriller, “The Dinner”, with Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan and Rebecca Hall. A24 has the return to the screen of Debra Winger in the rom/com “The Lovers” and Abramorama continues its run of fine documentaries with “Mr. Chibbs”, a life-after-basketball doc starring former NBA star Kenny Anderson.
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