Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Summer Movie Preview, part 2

See here for Part 1.

And vote in the best-of-TV survey.

The race to predict who's going to be the big box-office champ is so incredibly AMERICAN in many ways. It's a bit crass and vulgar (predicated, as it is, on forcing works of art to face off against each other in a commercial venue), but it also seems a rousing argument for capitalism.

Now, I don't know much about box office numbers, but as I stated yesterday, I could see this summer being HUGE. And if it's not huge, it'll be horrible and continue talk of the "box office slump."

But let's take a look. Jon's numbers are almost certain to be better than mine, but I'll give it the old college try.

Jon's Big Box-Office Predictions

1.) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - $400M
My craziest Prediction of the summer, but unless the running time hurts the film (As Todd foolishly believes), I can see the audience that fell in love with the original in theaters and on DVD returning for a second go-round.

2.) Cars - $300M
Possibly a bit on the high side, but until POTC2, it has the family market pretty much to itself.

3.) The Da Vinci Code - $270M
I can see this going MUCH higher (As in $300M+), but for now, I'll lowball it.

4.) Superman Returns - $240M
This could go anywhere from $200M to $300M. Personally, I'll go for the low side of the middle.

5.) X-Men: The Last Stand - $235M
Being the final X-Men (supposedly) and opening on the biggest weekend of the year will cause massive frontloading, but it should still finish just above the second one.

6.) Mission: Impossible 3 - $195M
It should kick off the summer with an opening that could top last year's entire Top 12 ($78.5M), then fall like a rock from there.

7.) Over the Hedge - $165M
Another potential underprediction, but with the amount of competition this will have (Opening the same weekend as The Da Vinci Code, Cars in its 4th week), this would be a very good total.

8.) Click - $150M
I have a gut feeling this will go lower, but the idea of Adam Sandler Having a Life Remote Control is close enough to Jim Carrey Being God to work, I guess.

9.) Poseidon - $120M
Opening the week after M:I-3 and the week before The Da Vinci Code will chop its legs into sushi, but a big opening will cushion said Leg Sushi.

10.) The Break-Up - $105M
If Failure to Launch's surprise breakout success showed anything, it’s that audiences are craving Studio RomComs. AND Vince Vaughn is hot Post-Wedding Crashers.

Todd's Big Box-Office Predictions

1.) Superman Returns - $375M
Call me crazy, but I think all of the negative buzz in the world isn't going to matter. The first film with Christopher Reeve ALSO had rumors swirling around it, and it did pretty well. I think Singer's going to stay true enough to the myth that grandparents and grandchildren alike have enjoyed all of these years to ensure a big box office take. The only thing that could sink this would be a run time that's over two-and-a-half hours.

2.) The DaVinci Code - $325M
I go back and forth on this one. The studio is selling it poorly. But the book has sold so well. The tracking is surprisingly low. But the book's fans are almost cultish. Tom Hanks has a mullet. But even the people who DIDN'T like the book are going to go see it. Basically, the book has sold over 40 million copies. And its many fans are deeply loyal. So, what we have here, is Harry Potter for old people.

3.) Cars - $315M
This is almost certainly going to be too long, meaning it won't catch up to Finding Nemo (which, let's not forget, was pretty long itself, as was The Incredibles). And the "take the time to taste the Welch's" central theme of the film isn't going to resonate with kids as much as their parents, but this film has the kid market almost wholly to itself (well, not really. . .see below) for nearly a month.

4.) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - $305M
Obviously, I'm predicting the theoretical biggest summer ever. I think those gas prices are going to be TOO high to do much OTHER than go to the movies. But, honestly, I'm not buying the hype on the box office for this one. EVERYONE I know wants to see it, but everyone also forgets that the first film was a bit too long, and sequels aren't known for their brevity, generally. But if this has a running time of under two hours, watch out. It'll become a sensation.

5.) Mission: Impossible 3 - $240M
And now, the steep drop-off. Obviously, we don't know just HOW bad Tom Cruise's image has gotten. But the early tracking on this (and the poor tracking on Poseidon) along with the great reviews coming in from geek corners make me think this could be a film that makes a whole lot of money very quickly and then fades immediately.

6.) Over the Hedge - $215M
This is also not a popular opinion, but I think this is going to soak up more dollars than any of us are predicting. I could even see it making it to $250 million. Libby's second rule of the universe is "Kids will watch any old s***," and this looks to not be all that bad. (She's also predicting The DaVinci Code to be the summer's biggest film, and she works at a movie theater, so you'd best be listening to her.)

7.) Click - $195M
I dunno. This just seems like a winner to me. Clearly, I'm the only person who thinks that. But, hey, if I'm right, I'm right.

8.) X-Men: The Last Stand - $180M
Jon's right about how frontloaded this will be, but I don't see it crawling its way above $200 million. Not at all.

9.) The Break-Up - $140M
Another steep drop-off. Jon's right that romantic comedies are big business right now, and I think Vince Vaughn's fans will let themselves be dragged to this by their girlfriends. And, hey, naked Jennifer Anison. You could do a lot worse.

10.) Nacho Libre - $115M
Call me crazy (again), but I think this will do surprisingly well. The kids at Libby's theatre stand and look up at the standee like it descended from Heaven. And since there's little else in the way of comedies the whole family will want to see, those who can't see Cars will see this.

But what are your predictions? Comment away!


Jon said...

After the new trailer for Superman, you might want to lower that prediction some. I'd probably lower mine to $220M or so (King Kong range, another heavily hyped nostalgic film that people thought would cover wide demos).

Todd VanDerWerff said...


I LIKED the trailer quite a bit! I liked the Pirates trailer too. I want to see how they play with an audience (I suspect the Superman trailer will look better blown up real big.)

Then, I'm a sucker for popcorn movies.

That said, I think the films you and I both have as the top four can only be done in by one of two things 1.) a bad publicity campaign or 2.) a LONG running time (this, ultimately, did Kong in).

And, naturally, the Superman campaign isn't the best right now. But they have time to turn it around, unlike those DaVinci Coders.

Todd VanDerWerff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RC said...

all i know is movies like "Poseidon" are on the list of vomit enducing movies i created a couple days ago for my blog...

good guessess though...

i think da vinci code will triumph.

people don't read lots of books...and i imagine everyone who's read the book in the us will see the movie and drag a couple members of their family along for the ride...can't see cars being in the top 2...not enough girls to go see a cars movie...more of the thomas the tank engine club.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

DanielR said...

I have a feeling that MI:III will not make 250 M but 170 M to 200

---Michael Bluth