Summer Box Office Handicapping – Part 4 – The Top 4

Summer Box Office Handicapping – Part 4 – The Top 4

It’s finally here! These should be your first four picks in your draft. However, because I ran out of summer movies and The Hunger Games is blowing up, they are included. If you were to select it, you would receive half of its grosses. In this case, you would be looking at $190 to 200 mil, because it looks like Hunger Games is headed for around $400 mil. That fact alone gives the movie merit in this Preview (it seems that March has become the time to launch a moderately budgeted blockbuster, as long as it has a built in fan base). People this time of year are DYING to go to the movies. They made Clash of the Titans a hit and if you actually have a great product, like the Hunger Games, you can rack up, because there will not be another event movie for at least another month. Anyway, back to the list. Every single one of these movies has almost everything one would want in a summer block buster. So without further delay, here are the four movies that are most likely to take home the summer box office crown.

4. Men in Black 3

Will Smith is as close to there is in Hollywood as “a sure thing.” When he is doing action, it’s almost always a lock. Even I, Robot opened north of $70 million. So bring him back to one of his more successful franchises and you have a box office gold. However, add in the 70’s “fish out of water” vibe, the fact that production was stopped or halted due to serious script re-writes, and now things don’t seem so sure. Reviews and scripts hardly matter though when Will is involved. Look at Hancock, which made no sense and still opened north of $100 mil. Let’s put it this way, Will Smith is the Steelers of Hollywood. They might not be flashy and they do not win it every year, but damn they are solid as shit just about every time they step onto the field. Box office Prediction: $225 to 250 mil – Release Date: 5/25
How to get your girl to go see it? Will Smith’s blend of humor and action is usually a universal draw. Sell up the comedy side of it, show her the first one on DVD and you should be good to go. Stay away from that train wreck sequel with Johnny Knoxville (so glad Hollywood got tired of him–now if only we could do the same with Seth Rogen).
How to get your buy to go see it? I really should have thought this section through, because most big summer movies are marketed towards the male demographic and if you can’t get them excited about it, then you are in trouble. Which makes me think, I can not think of a recent summer blockbuster marketed towards the female demographic. If Twilight is any indication, girls ages 14-23 will FANATICALLY watch the biggest pieces of shit everrrrrrr (cough…Breaking Dawn).

3. The Hunger Games

If I would have published this article in early March and said Hunger Games would be racing past $300 million in record time, everyone would have done their best Adam Sandler and told me THEY’RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU!!! Yet here we are and Jennifer Lawerence’s agent is still missing under the Avalanche of scripts he received. The Hunger Games is already the biggest story of the year and poised to be the biggest earner as well. I would almost say without a doubt that it would be, if it were not for the next two films. That being said, The Hunger Games, like the Giants, always rock out of the gate. It will be a battle of attrition to see if they can stay on top. I also like the comparison of J-Law to Eli. She was struggling under the shadow of other young actresses who were more successful, but less talented, and then after an Oscar Nod (Eli’s First Super Bowl), she got a chance to really shine in the Games (this year’s playoffs for Eli). No need to cover the other business, the movie is already out. I still haven’t seen it though…

2. The Avengers

It’s been four movies in the making to introduce everyone to each of the characters on their own and now they are throwing them all into one geek, fanboy orgasm of a movie. Then to top it all off, they gave the keys to the car, to fan-boy fave Joss Wheedon. So big things are expected; especially when you factor in that all of the leads successfully launched their own Franchises in the past five years. It started with Ironman and Robert Downey Jr., followed by Thor and Chris Hemsworth (which I actually think might have been the best of the bunch, and almost bet that if anyone can steal the spotlight from Downey Jr., it’s Thor). Finally we met our team leader, Captain America and Chris Evans. Over the course of each of these films, we were introduced to the rest of the team as peripheral characters. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. They have aligned superstar talent, generated massive fanboy appeal, but will it be enough to take it all home? Expectations were high for Ironman 2 and it did disappoint. Box office has been solid for Thor and Captain America, but not great. All in all, this is a contender, but in the end, do they have enough? Can Tom Brady deliver one more championship home? Just like The Avengers, I think it’s close, but not this year. Box Office Prediction: $275-300 mil. Release Date: 5/4
How to get your girl to go see it? Push the man-candy of Hemsworth, Evans, and Downey Jr (if shes into that), if that doesn’t work join all the other guys not getting laid at the midnight show.

1. The Dark Knight Rises

This one is going to be massive, even though there has only been what amounts to half of a trailer released. The buzz is huge! That’s what happens when you shatter record after record with the previous installment. Then, hype it up to be the EPIC conclusion to the Dark Knight Legend and of course people are going to be excited. Nolan’s track record speaks for itself. His movies possess a superior quality that most summer blockbusters lack. He challenges the viewer, as well as engages them with incredible visuals. However, there are a few things that could stop this juggernaut. The Dark Knight, created a fantastic buzz through a remarkable viral campaign, which so far this one has not yet established. It also benefited from the untimely passing of Heath Ledger, who with out a doubt carried the film. His portrayal of the Joker was one of the greatest on-screen villains in recent memory. While I have faith that Bane and Cat-woman will be worthy adversaries, I do not think they will become legendary like Ledger’s Joker (the more I think about it, the most important part of a superhero movie is the villain). Every super hero movie that has failed or not been as successful, is directly due to the villain. People have to identify with the character, while completely hating his guts. If the villain is weak, like that in The Green Lantern and the second Fantastic Four, then the movie will bomb. This pains me, because I think Nolan created the perfect villain in The Dark Knight and there is no way in HELL Hathaway and Hardy can hold Ledger’s jock. Overall, I think The Dark Knight Rises will end up being the highest grossing movie of the summer, much like I think that the Packers will win the Super Bowl. I do not think that TDKR has a shot at Avatar’s record box office or The Deathly Hallows Part 2 opening weekend records, because like the Packers, they have weakness. Box Office Projections: $400 mil (anything less and it will be a HUGE disappointment). Opening Weekend: $160 mil (if it doesn’t hit $160, then like Ari said, pull the trigger with me standing behind you). – Release Date: 7/18
How to get your girl to go see it? Sell it as a fun rom-com with Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale…okay so you’re not dating a complete idiot here, because there is really no way she will not know what the movie is about. Starting in June and especially July, the shit will be EVERYWHERE. So hope she is cool like my girl and is ready to battle the crowds opening night…
How to get your guy to go see it? Tell him that all of his friends will go and if doesn’t then he’s a little bitch. Besides, the only way a guy will not want to see this is because he is pissed off at Christopher Nolan for causing the studios to think they need to relaunch EVERYTHING in a darker, grittier, fashion. I guarantee that at least 10 pitches a month involved something along the lines of “we are going to reboot darker, grittier, and more realistic than before; aka Nolanize, Nolan-esque, or Nolan-like the shit out of it.” This will probably not be a bad thing, but none of them have the talent or skill that he does, so we end up with complete shit.

IT took us a while, but now we are done. Although I might have lost the whole Football analogy somewhere in there, but you get the idea. Hopefully this helps and makes your summer movie experience that much more enjoyable!

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