Summer Box Office Handicapping – Part 3 – The Heavyweights

Summer Box Office Handicapping – Part 3 – The Heavyweights

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Heavyweights. These movies have been hyped for over a year, and their release date was announced or claimed over two years ago. Every single one of these movies have been in the making for at least two years and in development for longer than that. They are what can make or break studios; a series of summer bombs and not only is a studio chair out of a job, but it might also become bankrupt. Yet with all of this pressure to succeed and open well, you still have to wonder, “how in the HELL did they get greenlight in the first place?”

Also in this section, we will throw in a bonus feature about how to get your significant other into the theater with you (a section I initially devised for my friends over at Girls in their 20s, yet it still has NO traction).

Group 5: Some what based on/loosely follows or has “blank” DNA within the story
These are not sequels or reboots, and they are not completely original products either. Hollywood very rarely drifts away from proven commodities when putting together a summer block buster. Anything that will attract an already established fan base is huge and if it’s a cultie fanatical one, even better.

9. Battleship

Yes, it pains me to put this movie in the top 10, but let’s face it, it is another Transformers just with a different name. No matter how terrible they are, they still manage to make money. This seems like the same thing. It has tons of flashy pieces, incredible visual styling, a proven director (Peter Berg, who has graduated from making somewhat serious movies to a summer block buster director, who does cameos lampooning himself on premium cable), and it has eye candy for both men and women (Brooklyn Decker, Rihanna, Taylor Kitchner, and others). Yet you know in your mind there is no way that the movie will actually be any good, but you wind up sitting through two hours of mind-numbing explosions on a rainy Saturday afternoon. As good as Calvin Johnson is, this is the way I see the Lions (at least for the next five years). Always in contention, winning games and putting up numbers, but never in contention for the belt. Like Battleship, it will open big, get its numbers, but really it’s not going to top most of the these other movies. Box office Prediction: $160-180 mil (tons in global BO that will lead to a crap sequel) Release Date: 5/18
How you get your girl to go see it? First, make sure she has not seen any of the trailers. Then tell her it’s is like Titanic, except on a battleship where a love triangle develops between the hot guy from Friday Night Lights, Eric from Trueblood, and the leading lead (because if you say that it’s a swimsuit model, your very thin chance is completely shot to hell). Finally whisper very quietly, “set against the back drop of an alien invasion.”
How you get your guy to go see it? If you are girl and you are trying to convince your guy to spend “date night” watching the Earth get destroyed by aliens, then you might want to check and make sure your guy is not a girl.

8. Prometheus

Ridley Scott returns to sci-fi and the franchise that he began oh-so-long ago. The main that made the genre what it is today is returning to tell us another tale. I am on board, just like watching Ray Lewis, who has defined the way the linebacking position has been played for the past 10 years, as he returns for what should be his final battle. The trailer looks fantastic, cast looks great, and they have created this creepy, electric buzz about the film by only releasing minimal amounts of footage. I for one am beyond excited, however as good as I think the film will be, I know the end box office will not be as high. Like the Ravens this season, the defense will still be spectacular, but it will all come down to Flacco, which will again hold them back (for this comparision, it will be an R-rating). Box Office Projection: $190 mil – Release Date: 6/8
How you get your girl to go see it?  Sell her more on the scary movie side of it. Chicks like a good scare much more than they will like signing up to see a sci-fi flick. If that doesn’t work, go with the angle that it is from the Gladiator director, with the girl from the Dragon Tattoo and Charlize Theron. Whatever you do, STAY away from the alien, slime, gore, sci-fi angle.
How you get your guy to go see it?  Step 1: Show him the trailer…done…if not, make sure that he has balls.

The Pixar Summer Film
Let’s face it, unless you have been living under a rock for the past 15 years, everyone knows who Pixar is and how they bring their own unique brand of entertainment to movies. Their premises seem sooo far out there (if anyone else pitched a grumpy old man and a boy scout to go on an adventure of self-discovery together as a summer movie, they would have been laughed right out of Hollywood). Yet, Pixar did it to the tune of $300 million dollars. They always deliver and beyond of making bank, they usually are the best reviewed movies of the year.

7. Brave

The story of… I honestly do not know? Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and archery skills to undo a beastly curse. Thanks IMDB, but you know, that is what makes these movies successful. I do not know shit about it, could care less about the voice talents or which lackey’s turn it was to direct it; I just know it’s going to be a great film. I will not miss it in the theaters because it’s a Pixar movie. There will be an engaging story-line, great humor, a fitting challenge, outstanding action, and a satisfying conclusion. Drew Brees, is kind of like Pixar. If he’s there, I know their offense is top 5 in the league and worth watching. If the other pieces of the team come together, then you have a really special year, like 2010 when they won the Super Bowl. Ok, it was the 09 season and that same year it all came together for Pixar as well. Toy Story 3 shattered box office records, but I do not think Brave is on that level, and neither are this year’s Saints. Box Office Projections: $240-250 – Release Date: 6/22
How you get your girl to go see it? Tell her that it is a story about women’s empowerment and breaks down stupid class barriers. Go ahead and add in a bunch of that other feminist mumbo-jumbo. If she still isn’t into it, because she does not want to see a cartoon, then say that digital animated films have more heart, character development, and soul than most of the crap that Hollywood releases. If that fails, give her the choice of the other movie opening that weekend, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
How you get your guy to go see it?  You have to finesse this one. Call it Braveheart with a female lead, or play up the Pixar angle. Tell him you notice that every time Finding Nemo is on TV, he watches at least 30 minutes of it, or that you saw him tearing up at the end of Toy Story 3, or remember just how awesome the Incredibles was? (and none of those are things that this writer does…?)

Group 6: The Major Reboots
Reboots is a popular term that is going around Hollywood right now. Where old franchise TV shows are getting rebooted, which means that the story basically starts over with a new cast, direction, and usually a new general theme. Reboots are around because of Christopher Nolan and Batman Begins. Without that success, no one in their right mind would do the same original story after only ten years.

6. The Bourne Legacy

Here is the late summer block buster. Pretty much the end of the season, so it is a prefect time to release this action film. Bourne plays to a more mature audience than most summer movies and while Matt Damon’s character might have moved on, there will still be plenty of shaky camera and high intensity action scenes to go around. They are your 49er’s. They are going to play brutal physical defense that will leave you rattled and abused. They will win games and Bourne will make money. Box Office Projection: $200 mil – Release Date: 8/3
How you get your girl to go see it? Pop in the second Bourne in the DVD player at home and see if she likes it. If she does, you are set. If not, tell her it is nothing like that. All new cast and crew, so they are taking it a different direction (all lies, but she will only be pissed with you after the movie and at least you caught it on the big screen).
How you get your guy to go see it? Again, any normal guy should not need convincing to see a Bourne movie.

5. The Amazing Spider Man

This is a record for reboots or remakes, or whatever you want to call it. So after Tobey, Kristen, and Sam said “no thanks” to Spider Man 4, the studio decided to just replace them and start the series ALL OVER AGAIN. That’s right, in a mere ten years time from the first Spiderman, we find ourselves back in High School with Peter Parker. Although this time he spends much more time there, develops a Twilight-inspired love triangle and fights a giant lizard. Oh and it’s in 3-D this time. Seriously, did we really need this? It has been just ten years since you told the EXACT same story. Come on, are you really that desperate for another Spiderman that we have to re-do exactly what has already been done before? An attempt to differentiate it is to make it more moody and add more teenage agnist? Seriously, I am dumbfounded. I do not even remember what NFL team they compared to. Oh right, it’s the Chargers. Not sure why, but I don’t think the Chargers will be good, just like I do not know why people will pay $15 a ticket to go see this, but they will. Box Office Prediction: $250 mil (because it comes out on July 4th weekend, and even Hancock made $100 mil that weekend) Release date: 7/3
How you get your girl to go see it? Twilight with spiders and better actors. Don’t fucking mention the giant lizard.
How you get your guy to go see it? Sell the fact that they replaced frumpy faced Kristen Dunst with hotter blonde, Emma Stone.

The Contenders
The top 4… Coming Soon.

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