Monday, June 25, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: Reviews of all three films

I watch a lot of movies. I've seen the majority of the blockbusters that have been released in the past ten years. But I had never seen any of Peter Jackson's epic Lord of the Rings films. After hearing loads of great things about them, I decided to rent the first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring. I thought it was okay the first time I saw it, but I didn't think it was anything special. I continued on with the series and tried watching The Two Towers. I was hopelessly lost and I skimmed through the film but didn't watch it in full. But I soon decided that I needed to watch the series in full. So, I went out and bought The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King (I already owned Two Towers) and I watched them virtually back to back to back. And I really enjoyed them. I didn't quite love them as much as some people did but they were all good and sometimes great movies. Here are three short reviews of all three of The Lord of the Rings films.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Fellowship is basically the exposition for the other two films. It introduces the basic storyline, gives some information about the ring, and places a ton of characters in front of us. The whole film is entertaining but it is very long and there are parts that drag. As somebody that has never read the books, I still got the basic storyline and feel of the world. My biggest problem is that the whole film feels like one big long journey (or chase scene). There is no end destination. We know that Frodo (Elijah Wood) will not reach Mount Doom because there's two more films left in the series. The end is basically: come back next year for the Two Towers. I really feel that in some ways the two are like one film. There is a somewhat definite end to the Two Towers, which I'll get to in my review. Also, the action in this film is not very good. Jackson does a lot of quick cuts which makes the action confusing. It also feels somewhat small scale for a major epic. Fellowship has more of an Indiana Jones feel to it than the others. I did enjoy this film but not as much as the others.


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The film picks up where Fellowship left off. The film's first hour or so can be boring but I still found myself interested in the movie. But the last hour and a half is grand, epic entertainment that is amazing and suspenseful. There is a lot of new characters and there is a lot of stuff going on. It can be confusing but I think that in the end the action is worth it and makes sense in the end. I think that the major flaw of Two Towers is that it is not always that entertaining. But I think Peter Jackson got the epic scope of the movie completely right and the action is filmed excellently. I enjoyed this installment more than the original, which is surprising because I always like the original better. Peter Jackson had a tough task with The Two Towers because it obviously has a lot of characters and covers a lot but he does it with ease.


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Return of the King is the epic conclusion to the trilogy. Everything comes into place as Frodo nears Mount Doom and Sauron builds his forces. The whole film blows by and feels short when it really is three hours. That is not an easy task. The film is pretty much action from the start and does not stop. Some of the motivations of why things need to happen are muddled but the epic spectacle and excitement make it unimportant. The action and sadness of Return of the King have a great impact and the epic battles are amazing. The last hour or so is amazing and handled well. The only problem is that the film is twenty minutes too long and that all comes at the end of the film. There are several endings and I was sorta bored. But this was the most entertaining and my favorite of the trilogy.


My verdict is that the films got better as they went along and that doesn't happen often. I can tell from the films that the books were not easy source material to adapt but Peter Jackson did a great job.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What's going on with the Summer Box office?

The summer box office is typically a lucrative time for studios. Its when they release their big-budget adaptations, remakes, and sequels and usually reap the rewards with massive amounts of cash. For some reason, this summer has been different. The first quarter of the year saw a massive rebound from a dismal 2011. There were several solid hits like Safe House, The Vow, The Devil Inside, Contraband and more. Those were followed by big hits like The Lorax and one of the highest grossing films ever with The Hunger Games, which has grossed over $400 million and had one of the largest opening weekend's ever ($152.5 million). So after record-breaking months in February and March, followed by middling grosses in April, Hollywood was primed and ready to reap the rewards in blockbuster season.

The first week of May saw the release of The Avengers, one of the season's most anticipated blockbusters. The Avengers was the culmination of several hit franchises and expectations were sky high, and the film shattered all of them. Marvel's superhero saga opened to $207 million and has gone on to gross around $586 million and will finish with around $600 million. The box office potential for the summer seemed endless. But those hopes were shattered by a really good May that should have been a lot better. Dark Shadows opened to $29.6 million and has grossed $75 million thus far. That film was headlined with Tim Burton and superstar Johnny Depp, two big names stars that usually have grosses of over $100 million. That was followed by mega-flop Battleship which opened at $25.5 million and has grossed $62 million so far. The Dictator and What To Expect When You're Expecting also disappointed. The next film that was sure to be a hit, MIB3, disappointed with a $69 million opening weekend on Memorial Day. That film has grossed $153 million as of today. Everybody pretty much knew what happened in May: The Avengers completely sucked the air out of the box office. That film gave the other films no room to breate and completely dominated the month.

June started out strong with Snow White and the Huntsman. Expectations were low and the film beat them with a $56 million opening. Granted, the film has had little luck with word of mouth, it was still a rebound for the box office. The next weekend was huge with Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted grossing $60 million and Ridley Scott's highly anticipated sci-fi thriller Prometheus grossing $51 million. The box office that weekend was huge and seemed to be back in full swing. Until the grosses for this past weekend came in. Madagascar 3 held well with another $34 million, while Prometheus dropped like a rock to $20.7 million which was based on poor reception. But that was not the real story of the weekend. The real story was that Rock of Ages and That's My Boy completely flopped. Both films were expected to gross around $20-$30 million and both grossed less than $15 million. That's My Boy was headlined by Adam Sandler who is usually a huge box office draw but here his film did nothing. Rock of Ages was a flop that I did not see coming. Rock of Ages was a film that looked like it was going to be a crowd-pleasing favorite but it only got a B cinemascore. The film also dropped on Monday significantly and will go on to gross less than $50 million. The question after this dismal weekend is obviously: what is going on now?

The answer is that we'll have to wait and see. This weekend was one of the weekends this summer that had no real high profile hits, but they really should have performed better than they did. The rest of the summer shows promise but if we don't see more films that aren't as big as The Avengers or The Hunger Games, the box office is in trouble. Next weekend has real promise with Brave. Brave is an original Pixar film that is headlined with a female character and has recieved mixed reviews. I'm not 100% percent convinced that Brave will be a huge hit. I think that after Cars 2, people might be a little more cautious about a Pixar movie but it will still gross over $50 million in its opening weekend for sure. The film might not appeal as much to boys because of the female heroine, but I think parents will still take kids anyways. It will make $55 to $65 million opening weekend in my opinion. The other two films next weekend are another story. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World are both films that will not be widely appealing and I think that they will gross under $15 million. That's the problem with the box office this summer. Movies that aren't huge hits need to at least perform solid with openings over $20 or $30 million and that's not happening so far. The next week is full of films that may perform well like Magic Mike and Ted, which I think may be the breakout hit of the summer. July and August are really strong and I think will see big rebounds. July has three huge films with The Amazing Spider-Man, Ice Age 4 and the most anticipated film of the summer, The Dark Knight Rises. The Dark Knight Rises will be one of the biggest films of all time while The Amazing Spider-Man and Ice Age 4 will be $200 million hits as well. August has a lot of films that are the same kind that haven't succeeded this summer. There's The Bourne Legacy, Total Recall, Hope Springs, The Campaign, and The Expendables 2. Those are all films that should make over $100 million, but if they perform the same as the other films this summer, then they're in trouble.

The bottom line is that the box office will hold on. I think that there's enough there this summer for people to get excited about and one bad weekend will not derail the box office. June has been very strong so far and I think that we will see a good summer and a fantastic 2012.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

'Rock of Ages', 'That's My Boy' bomb, 'Madagascar 3' wins again

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted won the box office again this weekend with $35.5 million. That was half a million off of my original projection, and the film dropped 41% from $60.3 million.The animated threequel has now made $120 million. Fox's Prometheus dropped like a rock to $20.2 million in its second weekend. The film, which somehow finished in second place this weekend has sparked much negative conversation about the ending that leaves a lot of questions unanswered. The film had a 60% drop and the thriller has now made $88.9 million. The star-studded musical Rock of Ages was a big flop with only $15 million in its opening weekend. That was nearly $20 million off my projection and the film can be cited as the latest tentpole to flop. I don't really think that Warner. Brothers intended for this to be a huge opener (although, projections ranged from $20 to $35 million), but they expected the film to make a lot of money off word of mouth and with a B cinemascore, it doesn't look like that will happen. Snow White and the Huntsman finished in fourth with $13.8 million. Huntsman now has a total of $122.5 million but with a production budget of $170 million and middling international totals, the film may not warrent a sequel. Adam Sandler's That's My Boy became the first comedy by Sandler to flop since Little Nicky. The R-rated comedy bombed with $13 million, which was good enough for fifth place. Yikes. MIB3 made another $10 milllion to raise its total to $152.6, while The Avengers dropped softly to $8.8 million for a total of $586.7 milion. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom both made around $2.2 milllion.

June 22-24 Projections

Next weekend, another animated movie will rule the box office, this time in the form of Pixar's Brave. Despite a rare misfire in Cars 2, Pixar is still the animation king at the box office. The last animated movie with a heroine was Disney's Tangled, which opened to $48.8 million. Brave should open significantly higher than that movie because of the Pixar brand. Look for Brave to gross around $57 million next weekend. Also opening is the high concept action-horror flick Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I think that this film has  flop written all over it and will open at around $10 million. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World will open less than Vampire Hunter, but it could make more in the long run. Look for a total of around $8 million. Madagascar 3 will drop harder because of Brave and Prometheus will drop less.

1. Brave- $57 million
2. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted- $16 million
3. Prometheus- $11 million
4. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter- $10 million
5. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World- $8 million
6. Rock of Ages- $7 milllion
8. Snow White and the Huntsman- $6.5 million
9. The Avengers- $6 milllion
10. MIB3- $5.5 million

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted review

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted was not a film that I was originally excited about. I enjoyed the original, but I really hated the sequel. But after several commercials on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, I decided that it would  be worth it to go to the theater and check it out. Not only is Madagascar 3 a major surprise because it's a sequel to a franchise that wasn't great to begin with, but it's also the best of the series thus far. I don't really remember the 2008 sequel, Escape 2 Africa very well, so if I point out something that I think is a flaw, but really isn't, I'll be glad to have somebody point it out to me in the comments.

Madagascar 3 picks up with the four animals Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) still stuck in Africa. The penguins, monkeys, and King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) have left for Monte Carlo to gamble and the four animals decide to travel there, get the penguins and monkeys, and go back home to New York. The four animals go and retrieve the penguins in a delightful chase sequence that has them being chased by Capitan Chantel Dubois (Frances McDormand). The destruction and action is done in a fantastic fashion. This was personally my favorite sequence of the entire film. The animals eventually end up hitching a ride with some circus animals and they must come up with an act to impress a talent scout to get back to NYC.

The first half hour is amazing and as entertaining an animated movie as you're going to get. It feels like a crime caper film and it is paced wonderfully. When the get to the circus, there are some really good things, and some things that could have been executed better. The character of Vitaly (Bryan Cranston) is handled very well, and I liked how they gave him a back story. Stefano (Martin Short) is also a character that I really enjoyed and he provided some good emotion to the story at times. I felt like the directors/screenwriters handled the character of Gia (Jessica Chastain) very poorly. We know hardly anything about who she is, and she serves no purpose to the story besides being a love interest for Alex.

The film is somewhat funny, but there aren't a ton of LOL moments. There are a few things that were pretty funny, but nothing that had me laughing really hard. The thing is, the movie doesn't really need to be funny for me to enjoy it. It had a solid plot and beautiful animation that will wow you. The part that I really felt was handled poorly was the end of the middle section. Alex has a big motivational speech for the animals to rally together and put on a show and then the film spends a good fifteen minutes with the animals practicing their acts. I think a Rocky-style montage would have been good there, and then a bit more character development which is what those fifteen minutes do in the film. The ending of the film is spectacular. A brightly animated extravaganza that is perfect for the film.

I think that Madagascar 3 is a very strong animated film. While it does have some flaws, I think that it developed the new characters very well and does a lot of good things as well. The plot is very predictable and I kept telling the person I saw it with everything that was going to happen next but it didn't take away from the entertainment value of the film. I have always felt that the Madagascar series has a darker edge to it that I think other animated movies don't have and that does show in the climax. There are some dark undertones to the plot. I feel that in some ways, its more Toy Story 3 than it is Shrek although the Shrek films can also be dark. Although I haven't enjoyed Dreamworks recent work (Puss in Boots, Megamind was ok), I had a lot of fun with Europe's Most Wanted. Madagascar 3 is a fun animated film that is the most colorful animated movie I think I have ever seen and I really enjoyed. By the way, the "Afro Circus" thing that is really prominent in the marketing only really comes into play at the end.

THE FINAL GRADE:  B+                                          (7.8/10)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

'Madagascar 3', 'Prometheus' lead massive June weekend

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Ridley Scott's sci-fi thriller Prometheus led the box office this weekend. Dreamworks' Animation's threequel toppled Prometheus with $60.3 million. Prometheus wasn't far behind with a $50 million opening. While the opening for Madagascar 3 isn't spectacular, it's still above expectations (though not mine). The threequel broke the streak of animated sequels making considerably less than its predecessors. Two examples of this are Kung Fu Panda 2 which made $165 million compared to the $215 for the original, and Happy Feet Two which made $64 million compared to the $198 million the original made. Madagascar 3 benefited from the lack of animated movies in the marketplace (the last big animated film was Universal's The Lorax) along with an addictive "Afro Circus" themed marketing campaign. It ranks as the fifth largest Dreamworks animation release ever, according to studio estimates. Meanwhile, Prometheus didn't live up to some expectations with its $50 million debut, but it was still pretty good for an original, R-rated, sci-fi horror pic. Ridley Scott's epic ranks as the twelve largest opening for an R-rated film and had a good Friday. But there is some worry that the film won't hold well over the next few weeks, given that the film received a B cinemascore and has been the talk of much negative conversation (mostly involving the fact that the film doesn't give any answers to its questions). The film should still hold pretty well because there aren't many action blockbusters until late June.

Snow White and the Huntsman dropped to $23.02 million, which is off nearly 60% from last weekend. The film was the target of poor word of mouth and disappointed in its second weekend. MIB3 dipped to $13.5 million and raised its total to $135.5 million. The Avengers grossed another $10.8 million and raised its total to $571 million. The film could still reach $600 million. The Hunger Games finally crossed $400 million and Moonrise Kingdom finished in the top ten.

June 15-17 Predictions

Next week will be pretty big. Not because there's any huge releases coming out, but because there are about four films that could hit $30 million. Rock of Ages, the Tom Cruise starred musical, is receiving a ton of positive buzz and could become a big hit and I think if it has good word of mouth, it could have legs. I'm going to put it at a $35 million opening weekend. I think that it's not something that people are going to rush out and see, but it will still have a decent opening. That's My Boy is one of the rare Adam Sandler comedies that is rated R. The film is also opening on father's day weekend and Sandler is still a box office draw. Expect about $25 million for that film. Madagascar 3 should drop softly to around $35 million and Prometheus should fall a lot harder to about $23 million. The Avengers will make another $5 million and Snow White will make another $10 million.

1. Rock of Ages- $35.5 million
2. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted- $35 million
3. That's My Boy-$26 million
4. Prometheus- $23 million
5. Snow White and the Huntsman- $10 million
6. MIB3- $6.7 million
7. The Avengers- $5.5 million

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grading Change...again

I have once again changed my grading system. I am reverting back to stars and films will receive any number of stars out of four. So far this year my favorite movies have been.....

1. The Avengers- 5 stars out of 5
2. The Hunger Games- 4.5 stars out of 5
3. MIB3- 3.5 stars out of 5
4. John Carter- 3 stars out of 5
5. Snow White and the Huntsman- 2.5 stars out of 5

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Snow White and the Huntsman review

Snow White and the Huntsman was one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. The trailers were fantastic and I loved the idea of a different spin on the Snow White tale. The clips came out and were fantastic and I was really excited going in. But I have to say that it missed the mark. Huntsman tries to be an epic Lord of the Rings style tale mixed with the mood of Alice in Wonderland. But it just didn't always work. Huntsman is better in its second half when the dwarfs are introduced and the battle scenes get crisper. The first hour is a boring slog though.

Snow White and the Huntsman tells the tale of Snow White, who is played by Kristen Stewart. Snow White's mother died and her father, the king, remarried the evil witch Ravenna (Charlize Theron) who kills the king and takes over the kingdom. She also imprisons Snow White. Snow White lives in the north tower dungeon for years as Ravenna puts her evil rule on the kingdom. When the mirror tells Ravenna that Snow White is the reason her power is waning, she orders her brother, Finn (Sam Spruell) to retrieve Snow White and bring the girl to her so that she can consume her heart and become immortal. Snow White injures Finn and escapes into the dark forest. Ravenna forces the drunken Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to hunt her down and bring her back to the kingdom. Snow White eventually finds herself teaming up with the Huntsman to lead a revolution against the evil queen.

The film had several good things about it. The visuals are absolutely fantastic and blew me away. The dwarfs, played by actors such as Ian McShane, Toby Jones, and Nick Frost hit the mark and gave some much needed comic relief to the ridiculously serious story. The actors are pretty good too with Stewart and Theron turning in good performances. Theron, despite not being as fantastic as everyone says, is still good. Hemsworth and Sam Clafin missed the mark. There is no reason for Clafin's character, William to be in the story and Hemsworth isn't given a lot to work with. The action is pretty good, though first time director Rupert Sanders has the same problem Peter Jackson did with the first LOTR movie. The action is cut too quickly and doesn't allow for good tracking shots. There are a lot of battle scenes; some good, some bad. The final siege is somewhat underwhelming and so is the climax between Ravenna and Snow White.

Now to the bad. The film doesn't pick up until the dwarfs show up, and even then it founders. The first hour and a half maybe is a boring slog that seems to go nowhere. I was only interested in seeing what Sam Spruell's character was going to do next. I thought that he was an interesting character that held my interest at some times. The film just never feels like it's going anywhere. Snow White is this loving person the whole movie and then she wakes up and just decides to give this angry, fiery speech about how we need to attack the queen and tell her to stick it. It just doesn't work. She will barely hurt a fly and now she's this butt-kicking warrior princess that kills at random. Really! They middle act is boring. The screenwriters seemed to run out of innovative ideas to happen to the characters. They have Finn and his men attack Snow White at least five times. For at least forty five minutes, they wander through the forest and I swore that I was watching Lawrence of Arabia with the desert scene. It was that boring.

All in all, Snow White and the Huntsman is not a terrible movie. It's okay and pretty much a rental. What they really needed was somebody to fill the middle section with interesting stuff. Snow White and the Huntsman could have been much better and is the summer's somewhat disappointing.

THE FINAL GRADE:  C-                                              (5/10)

Snow White and the Huntsman rules the box office

Universal has had a rough couple of months. After two back-to-back smash hits in Safe House and The Lorax, the studio found themselves with two flops. The Five-Year Engagement was a major miss and the studio's $209 million board game adaptation Battleship was worse. So, it had to be a relief when Snow White and the Huntsman significantly over performed with a $56.2 million opening weekend. Universal had projected a low to mid $30s opening, while analysts predicted higher with low to mid $40s. Despite the performance not living up to my prediction last week, even I knew that a $65 million opening was virtually impossible. The fact that an original fantasy film that wasn't in 3D opened this high is spectacular. Huntsman opened just higher than Sony's MIB3 did in 3D last weekend and that was over a holiday weekend. Snow White and the Huntsman has finally seemed to break the summer box office slump that claimed victims such as Battleship and Dark Shadows after The Avengers destroyed tons of records. In second place this weekend was MIB3 with a 49% drop to $28 million. That is a decent drop but the film will come nowhere close to the $250 million the original grossed or even the $190 million that the much panned sequel mustered. MIB3 is now at $112 million.

The Avengers crossed more milestones this weekend. On Friday, the film became the 3rd highest grossing film of all time both domestically and worldwide. The Avengers made another $20.2 million this weekend to raise its total to $552.7 million in the US. Battleship finished fourth with a $4.8 million gross. The film has now made $55 million and will finish its run with less than John Carter. The Dictator finished fifth with $4.7 million and has raised its total to $50 million. The other film that opened this weekend, the drama For Greater Glory opened to $1.8 million.

June 8-10 predictions

Next weekend will be big. June 8 marks the release of two major summer releases in the form of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus. Both are somewhat difficult to predict but I think both will be hits. Madagascar 3 is the first big animated movie since The Lorax and besides Brave and Ice Age 4, there isn't much else out there for families this summer. The film may fall victim to franchise fatigue, but I don't see that happening. The original grossed $47 million in its opening weekend, while the sequel grossed $63 million. With the extra 3D surcharge and the scarcity of kids animated films this summer, expect Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted to open to $66 million. Prometheus is a lot harder to predict. Prometheus is an R-rated science fiction horror movie with little in terms of recognizable stars and it may or may not be an Alien prequel. But this film has a lot of strong advance buzz and has been labeled as the next "event" movie of the summer. It has already posted strong box office returns in the UK and I don't see any reason that it can't do better here. Expect a debut of around $55 million for Prometheus. I'm being really modest, this film could be a smash, but I have significantly over-guessed on MIB3 and SWATH, so I'm being conservative here. Expect SWATH to drop to around $30 million. After all, a lot of schools get out that week and there is no real PG-13 movie to see opening next weekend.

1. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted- $66 million
2. Prometheus- $55 million
3. Snow White and the Huntsman- $30 million
4. MIB3- $13 million
5. The Avengers- $10 million

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fox, Disney add and shuffle release dates

It was a busy day for release dates Thursday as Fox and Disney added and moved films around. Fox's additions were the most substantial. They added Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to May 23, 2014 and an Untitled X-Men: First Class sequel to July 18, 2014. Both are highly anticipated sequels to 2011 hits and I'm excited for both. Fox also added Independence Day 3D to July 3, 2013 and moved Walking With Dinosaurs from October 11, 2013 to December 20, 2013

Meanwhile, Disney has moved back The Lone Ranger and moved Thor 2 forward. The Lone Ranger was moved from its current release date of May 31, 2013 to July 3, 2013 to capitalize on the Fourth of July weekend with Steven Spielberg's Robopocalypse moved to 2014. The studio also moved Thor 2 from November 15, 2013 to November 8, 2013. That decision was most likely influenced by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opening a week after Thor 2 and two weeks of little competition is better than one.

Steven Spielberg's Robopocalpyse was moved to 2014, likely because of complicated Visual F/X. The film is now scheduled to be released on April 25, 2014 in what I consider to be a blockbuster April. Along with Robopocalypse, there is Captain America 2 and Stretch Armstrong.

Also, last week Paramount moved GI Joe: Retaliation to March 29, 2013 blaming a 3D conversion. The true reason is that the film needed re-shoots and was getting back mediocre scores from test screenings. Ted took the film's June 29 release date.

June box office preview

The Avengers sucked the air out of the box office in May with nearly $530 million but it will be interesting to see if the box office continues to perform softly in June. Besides The Avengers, May was ridden with strong disappointments. Dark Shadows performed softly for a Tim Burton movie with a $29 million opening and a total of $66 million so far. Battleship became the second Taylor Kitsch starred flop of the year with an opening of $25 million and a meager $49 million total. The Dictator also fell hard with a soft $45 million thus far. Evne MIB3 underwhelmed with a $69 million memorial day weekend. June has insane amounts of promise and it could definitely break the record held by June 2009. But that depends on if films with lots of promise like Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus flop. Here are my projections for the month of June.

1. Brave- $250 million

It's Pixar and it should do fantastic. Cars 2 was met with negative buzz and thus only made $190 million domestically. This film should be a rebound for the studios and be a strong hit.

2. Prometheus- $210 million

Prometheus is one of the most heavily hyped films of the summer and the film is already doing fantastic business overseas. The reviews have been good and there are so many things going for the film. The one question mark is whether the R rating will hurt the film's box office performance. If it was going to hurt it's ability to make money, I don't think Fox would have let that rating go by and I see this film being a huge hit.

3. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted- $205 million

Madagascar made $193 million. Madagascar 2 made $180 million. There is no reason that this threequel can't do better. It has received good reviews out of Cannes, has an addicting marketing campaign that is mostly about a zebra with an Afro and it also has a prime summer release date. Franchise fatigue could set in but with so few animated and family films this summer, I can't see this being a disappointment.

4. Snow White and the Huntsman- $150 million

I am a big believer in this film and its box office potential. This film is going to be a surprise hit and will make a good amount of money. I could be significantly off in my projections for this film. But I think that the film will make a lot more money than people think.

5. Rock of Ages- $135 million

This Tom Cruise musical has really limited wide appeal but it should bring in several different demographics. The film is one that would typically not be seen in summer but with a significant amount of stars, a good soundtrack, and the gimmick of getting to see Tom Cruise sing should bring in a good amount of people. In addition, the movie looks really fun. Expect a solid hit from this film.

In addition to those five films, I expect That's My Boy to gross $70 million, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to gross $60 million, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World to gross $45 million, Magic Mike to gross $65 million, Madea's Witness Protection to gross $30 million, and People Like Us to gross $25 million. Also, I think that Seth MacFarlane's Ted is going to be the sleeper hit of the summer with $80 million. June should see very strong box office returns and could break 2009's record June.