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Summer Movie Box Office Predictions

Summer Movie Box Office Predictions

So I figured with “Iron Man 2” en route to the summer’s first big fat weekend (it’s likely to gross around $130 million – one of the five best openings of all time), I’d geek out and take a stab at predicting what will go down financially from here on. The obvious guess is that four sequels – “Toy Story 3,” “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” “Iron Man 2” and “Shrek Forever After” – will dominate and each gross $300-$450 million. They could really come in any order (though this weekend suggests “Iron Man” is not a “Dark Knight”-sized wonder), but my bet is “Toy Story 3” – which has high anticipation from a very wide array of demographics, will end up the king of the summer.

Beyond those four, though, things are a lot more financially murky and creatively uninspired. Does anyone honestly want to see “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time”? Or “Jonah Hex,” “The Karate Kid,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “The A-Team,” “Robin Hood,” “Knight & Day,” “The Grown Ups”? My guess is enough do for most of those films to push them into the $100 million club, but $200 million seems unlikely to me.

The films that I predict do stand the best chance at that number are films that think outside the traditional summer box. Two films that will continue to show the power of the female dollar – “Eat, Pray Love” and “Sex and the City 2,” and two films that look likely to offer something a little different with Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” and M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Last Airbender.” While “SATC 2” has a built in audience and is pretty much guaranteed a huge opening, the other three are something of question marks… “Inception” needs to get fantastic reviews and huge word of mouth, both of which I wouldn’t bet against happening. “Last Airbender” is not exactly coming from a long line of box office or critical hits from its director M. Night Shyamalan (his last few films didn’t even hit $65 million), but buzz is there and it could mark a career turn around for Shyamalan? I’m skeptical but that’s where I’m laying my bet. And I’m going a bit on a limb to suggest “Eat, Pray, Love” has $200 million in it, but Julia Roberts+a book that seemingly every woman over 35 owns and loves seems a pretty unbeatable combo.

Anyway, here’s my rundown of what I’m suspecting will be the season’s top 20 grossers:

1. Toy Story 3
Opening: $122 million
Total: $427 million

2. Iron Man 2
Opening: $132 million
Total: $354 million

3. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Opening: $98 million
Total: $346 million

4. Shrek Forever After
Opening: $107 million
Total: $324 million

5. Inception
Opening: $69 million
Total: $217 million

The rest after the jump.

6. Eat, Pray, Love
Opening: $52 million
Total: $202 million

7. Sex and the City 2
Opening: $74 million
Total: $196 million

8. The Last Airbender
Opening: $53 million
Total: $180 million

9. Despicable Me
Opening: $49 million
Total: $171 million

10. The A Team
Opening: $66 million
Total: $164 million

11. Knight and Day
Opening: $50 million
Total: $152 million

12. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Opening: $61 million
Total: $141 million

13. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Opening: $41 million
Total: $127 million

14. Robin Hood
Opening: $46 million
Total: $122 million

15. Grown Ups
Opening: $45 million
Total: $120 million

16. Salt
Opening: $40 million
Total: $112 million

17. The Other Guys
Opening: $38 million
Total: $109 million

18. Predators
Opening: $46 million
Total: $102 million

19. The Karate Kid
Opening: $37 million
Total: $97 million

20. Dinner For Schmucks
Opening: $33 million
Total: $92 million

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I am not seeing Last Airbender until it comes out on digital cable. You were wrong about Sex and the City and Karate Kid.. Saw both loved both..but i guess the targeted audience are rich white people and lately people are noticing lack of diversity in films, and don’t give me the crap that there are, cause they are just token minorities that are wasting the space, i want to see other race saying something that i don’t expect from then thats why Karate Kid did so well. Thats where i come in with airbender and King of Persia, won’t watch it or give my money to them since they fail to target non white people. Persians are from Iran, they could have had brown skin but they casted a white man.. The non white person is the villian in i was pretty much screaming hell no! not another status quo in hollywood. You could disagree thinking that i am silly..but this is the line of work I am in, and i would really love if these movies that ignore miniorities in lead roles to make less than what the producer thought it would make by casting white male. Just my opinion. Twilight is comming on the same week as airbender. I hope it does extremely extremely well against airbender, there is a 3rd installment curse though, but i will watch this movie frequently that opening week.


well lets see IRON MAN 2 is flop, SHREK 4 is flop a TOY STORY 3 it will be ok -330ml
and i watch Prince of Persia its solid move full of action i like it very much …
But last Airbender – it looks so plastic and i dont think it will be good,more like big flop
and sorcers aprentist it may be 150 … thats not bed, but it just ok for movie witch
Disney invest 150 plus inte.250ml its solid

Rob T.

Interesting predictions as usual, but are your box office figures international or just for the U.S.? If the latter, then I don’t think Toy Story 3 is going to wind up at $427 million domestically, even given that it’s a sequel (last installment in the series was more than 10 years ago) and in 3-D (Up, Pixar’s last 3-D movie, topped out at $293 million domestically). Not that I think it couldn’t happen, but that it would count as a very major success for Pixar (and 3-D movies) if it did.

Also, it’s interesting that you cite The Last Airbender as one of “two films that look likely to offer an unusually large dose of originality,” since it’s a live-action adaptation of the popular TV cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. (Three guesses as to why the title was revised, and the first two don’t count.)

Artistically this represents a downturn for Shyamalan, who’s never directed a story conceived by someone else before (a fact disguised by the “written and directed by…” credit in all the previews). I suspect he took the job as much for the chance to re-establish himself as a bankable filmmaker as for the chance to make a worthwhile film.

The Last Airbender will probably do about as well as you say on opening weekend, but it could as easily be a major flop as a major blockbuster, especially if Shyamalan has truly lost his bearings as a writer/director. I’m not likely to watch it myself unless it gets stellar reviews, but I hope it does well enough to encourage a studio to generously fund Shyamalan’s next original project.

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