Saturday, March 24, 2012

"The Hunger Games" and "The Lorax" shine, "John Carter" flops and a preview for the rest of 2012

The last month has been an interesting one at the box office. The box office had already been up considerably this year with surprise hits like The Devil Inside, The Vow, Safe House, and Chronicle and March has only helped the booming box office that had January's best total gross since 200 and February's best since 2004. The Lorax started off the month with a shocking opening weekend gross of $70.2 million, which blew away all expectations for the film. The Lorax gone on to gross $167 million so far. Disney's $250 million dollar film, John Carter, flopped with an opening weekend around $30 million and a total gross around $58 million. 21 Jump Street did a bit better with a opening of $35 million and a total of $56 million so far. The box office was down slightly for the first time this year with those two weekends. Then came The Hunger Games. Lionsgate's dystopian thriller was first projected to barely beat the first Twilight film's opening gross of $69 million. Then projections continued to increase until yesterday, when The Hunger Games opened to $19.7 million at midnight and made $68 million on opening day. The projection is that The Hunger Games will gross anywhere between $135 million and $160 million for the weekend. With a record-breaking film and a major disappointment, March has been an interesting month so far. It has been so crazy, that I am now going to look ahead to the coming months up until September and what to expect for those films. The total grosses shown at the end of each month are for the film's total gross, not just what the film will gross that month.

THE REST OF MARCH

The Hunger Games will probably open to around $145 million and continue to do strong business in the next week and likely get to $200 million by the end of next weekend. Next weekend marks the opening of Wrath of the Titans and Mirror Mirror. Clash of the Titans opened to $61 million back in 2010, but that film was poorly received, and I think this one will gross around $45 million for the weekend and $140 million total, but those are on the high end of my expectations. Mirror Mirror looks really dumb, and while it may do business with families desperate for a movie, I don't think it will make more than $20 million on it's first weekend and $60 million total. In the end, The Hunger Games will still rule the month of March.

1. The Hunger Games- $290 million
2. The Lorax- $200 million
3. Wrath of the Titans- $140 million
4. 21 Jump Street- $110 million
5. John Carter- $75 million

APRIL

April is without a doubt the weakest month of the year. American Reunion starts out the month and that may make around $35 million opening weekend and $100 million total. Titanic 3D also opens that week and it will fare decently with a total gross around $30 million. The following weekend has The Cabin in the Woods, which will be no blockbuster even with rave reviews. The Three Stooges may do okay with families but not much more than that. Lockout, which stars Guy Pearce, sounds like a sure flop, with a total gross probably around $15 million. Zac Efron's The Lucky One, should do good business as a date night movie and open to around $30 million. Disney's Chimpanzee and Warner Bros. To The Arctic should both do decent business for the cost, but they won't be smash hits. The Five Year Engagement, which stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt may prove to be the biggest hit of the month, but that doesn't say much. The Raven flops and Pirates! Band of Misfits clicks with families. The box office will take a significant drop for the first time in 2012.

1.American Reunion- $100 million
2. The Five Year Engagement- $85 million
3. The Lucky One- $80 million
4. Pirates! Band of Misfits- $70 million
5. The Three Stooges- $60 million

MAY

May is a strong warm up to summer. This year, May once again features several big-time films. The month starts off with Joss Whedon's obvious blockbuster The Avengers. The question several people are asking is whether the numbers will be at the level of Iron Man or Thor. Iron Man is in the movie, and nothing like this has ever been done, so I'm projecting an opening weekend of $155 million and a total gross of $360 million. The following weekend will still be topped by The Avengers, but Dark Shadows and The Dictator will likely post strong openings of around $45 million. Battleship won't be as big as Transformers, but should still do decently as a major summer popcorn flick. What to Expect When You're Expecting should deliver a lackluster romantic comedy, but it may earn decent money. Men in Black III will be a big film but I don't see an opening weekend more than $85 million. The box office will take a slight increase for this May, but The Avengers will definitely carry the month.

1. The Avengers- $360 million
2. Men in Black III- $210 million
3. Battleship- $185 million
4. Dark Shadows- $160 million
5. The Dictator- $155 million

JUNE

June will open strong with Snow White and the Huntsman, which is generating strong buzz and is my sleeper hit for this year, with my projected opening weekend of $70 million and a total gross of $210 million. That film will be followed by one of the summer's most anticipated, Prometheus. Prometheus is in an Avatar situation. Ridley Scott's return to science fiction is highly anticipated within the sci-fi community, but if it gets an R-rating, it will not do strong business.Prometheus will need strong word of mouth to succeed. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is released the following weekend, but I don't think it will open as big as the other films. Expect a series low $45 million. The following week is Tom Cruise's Rock of Ages and Adam Sandler's That's My Boy. Both films look okay, but I wouldn't expect more than a $35 million opening for Rock of Ages and a $30 million for That's My Boy. The following week is Pixar's definite hit Brave, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the Steve Carell comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Brave will likely gross $70 million opening weekend and if it's good, $250 million total.Vampire Hunter will open to $50 million likely. Carell's comedy will likely not do as well. G.I. Joe: Retaliation opens the following week and with a revamped cast, expect a bit more money for the sequel. Retaliation will likely score a $55 million opening weekend.The box office will be down because there is no major blockbuster to carry the month.

1. Brave- $250 million
2. Snow White and the Huntsman- $210 million
3. Prometheus- $180 million
4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation- $175 million
5. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted- $160 million

JULY

July will have two of the biggest blockbusters of the year and another animated sequel. The month opens with The Amazing Spider-Man, which is now being projected as one of biggest movies of the year. Expect $190 million over the 6-day opening weekend and a total of $330 million. Also opening independence day weekend is Oliver Stone's drug drama Savages. The film may become an adult hit that could reach $40 million opening weekend and $110 million total. The following weekend is Ice Age: Continental Drift and Seth MacFarlane's comedy Ted. Ice Age will open around $45 million and become a family hit in a season that is scarce on animated films. Ted will likely open to around $20 million and do okay overall. The big hit comes the next week. The Dark Knight Rises opens on July 20 and will become the year's biggest smash. The Dark Knight Rises will open to $75 million opening day, $175 million opening weekend and $550 million total. Nolan has another smash hit. The following week marks the release of Neighborhood Watch and Step Up 4. Neighborhood Watch might reach $100 million total or higher if it has good word of mouth, and Step Up 4 will do okay. July sees a significant spike from last year.

1. The Dark Knight Rises- $550 million
2. The Amazing Spider- Man- $330 million
3. Ice Age: Continental Drift- $195 million
4. Neighborhood Watch- $115 million
5. Savages- $110 million

AUGUST

The Bourne Legacy and Total Recall start off a pretty strong August. Jeremy Renner may carry some of his recent fame in films like Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol and The Hurt Locker into Bourne but it won't make as much as the Matt Damon Bourne movies. Total Recall will also do good business. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days also opens that week. The following week marks the release of The Campaign starring Will Ferrell and Sparkle starring the late Whitney Houston. Sparkle will have stronger business because of Houston's death but it won't be a hit and neither will The Campaign. The following week marks the release of The Expendables 2, Paranorman, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. The Expendables 2 will do just as well as the first film which means a total gross of $100 million. Paranorman will do as well as Coraline, a very similar film. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is the wild card that may draw in viewers sick of the typical summer blockbuster fare. The following week has Premium Rush and The Apparition, both look destined to flop. August 31 marks the release of The Wettest Country in the World, which may be a sleeper hit. August is unusually strong in 2012.

1. The Bourne Legacy- $205 million
2. Total Recall- $160 million
3. The Expendables 2- $100 million
4. Paranorman- $75 million
5. The Wettest Country in the World- $60 million

SEPTEMBER

The Cold Light of Day opens September with what looks to be a flop. The following week marks a couple of hits with Ben Affleck's Argo and Resident Evil: Retribution. Argo will make around $80 million and Resident Evil $50 million. Finding Nemo 3D is also released that week. The long awaited Killing Them Softly will likely debut softly but Adam Sandler's  Hotel Transylvania may do better and Dredd may also be a surprise hit. Looper may also do okay, but it's not a big budget blockbuster so it won't be huge. Another weak September in 2012.

1. Hotel Transylvania- $110 million
2. Argo- $80 million
3. Resident Evil: Retribution- $50 million
4. Finding Nemo 3D- $50 million
5. Looper- $35 million

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