Yesterday, former Biff Bam Pop box office expert Scotty G returned to the site to run down what films will be hitting theatres this May and June. Up next, what’s to come in July and August along with Scotty’s final thoughts on which films will be the winners and losers of the summer of 2012.
July 3rd – The Amazing Spider-Man
This is another highly anticipated film, and it is also another re-boot of a franchise. Andrew Garfield takes over from Tobey Maguire as the title character and we once again get a film about the origins of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. When the trailer first got released, co-workers of mine did not like the dark tone that was on display, and thought it was trying too hard to be like Christopher Nolan’s take on the Batman character. I disagree as I think this is a smart move by director Marc Webb (best known for directing 500 Days of Summer). Distance yourself from the original trilogy as much as possible. Make something that is unique and your own. How this film does will be of interest to me, and I have my doubts about it attaining the levels of the original trilogy. The first Spider-Man was a once-in-a-lifetime film, and it was for my generation a film that was awe-inspiring. We believed a man could fly in the 70’s when Superman hit theatres, and in 2002, we believed a man could swing from buildings with his spider webs. The second film was the best reviewed film in the franchise, scoring a 93% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and was considered to be an improvement on the original, even if it did not gross as much. The third film had a ton of hype going into it, but the last hour of the film alienated fans, causing Spider-Man 3 to have the lowest box office total in the trilogy. See below:
2002 – Spider-Man – $403.7 million domestic gross
2004 – Spider-Man 2 – $373.5 million domestic gross
2007 – Spider-Man 3 – $336.5 million domestic gross
Average Domestic Gross – $371.2 million
I hold Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy in very high regard, but I think it was the right decision to inject new life into the character by rebooting it. The question I have is how to get audiences interested in the character again? Well for one, the casting has me interested. On paper, the producers have assembled a great cast lead by Andrew Garfield as well as Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Rhys Ifans, Sally Field and Campbell Scott. They have also changed the back story of Peter Parker to be a little different than the one that is used in the Raimi trilogy. The plot of The Amazing Spider-Man revolves around Peter Parker teaming up with his father’s old partner, Dr. Curt Connors, which leads to secrets about Peter’s past as well as the birth of a new enemy. The release date for the film shows how much faith the studio has in it, and I think The Amazing Spider-Man will rule the multiplexes for a couple of weeks, until The Dark Knight Rises is released. I think the film will be third highest grossing film of the summer, and with any luck, it will gross around what Spider-Man 3 had.
July 13th – Ice Age: Continental Drift
The 4th installment of the popular franchise follows our heroes, Manny the Mammoth, Diego the Smildon and Sid the Sloth as they embark on an adventure to rejoin their heard, after they get separated. The animals set sail on an iceberg and do what they can to find their way home. As much as I like these characters, the joy of this series for me is the adventures of Scrat, as he yet again tries to get that illusive acorn. It will be interesting to see how this film performs, as each installment has made more money than the last. See below:
2002 – Ice Age – $176.3 million domestic gross
2006 – Ice Age: The Meltdown – $195.3 million domestic gross
2009 – Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $196.5 million domestic gross
Average Domestic Gross – $189.4 million
Unfortunately the film has a lot going against it. 1) It is the last major animated film of the summer to be released, as Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and Brave, so people may get tired of seeing animated films (as much as I hate to believe that theory, I tend to find it to be true for any genre of film). 2) The competition for Ice Age: Continental Drift on its opening weekend is strong, as Ted is also getting released, and I think adults maybe more tempted to go see Ted on its opening weekend, and take the kids to see the latest Ice Agefilm later. This is not a bad thing, as Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs started off slow, but picked up in business as the weeks went on when it was originally released. The major obstacle that Ice Age: Continental Drift has going against it, is the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises are opening the weekend prior and the weekend after the film gets released. I am a fan of this series, but the odds are against the film, and I think the latest Ice Age installment will be the lowest grossing in the franchise.
July 13th – Ted
This is a film that I am very excited for not only because it is from Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, but because the two trailers for it were the two funniest trailers I have seen for a film this year. Ted stars Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis and is about a teddy bear that comes to life and the complications that this causes when the boy that wished for him to come to life grows up and faces the challenges of adulthood, as his girlfriend gives him the ultimatum, it’s either her or the bear. On paper, the synopsis does sound lame, but I changed my tune when I saw the two trailers for it. They were laugh out loud funny, and I hope there are more great comedic moments in the film. The big negative is the release date, as Ted is also sandwiched between The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises, which will cut into its box office, but it will be an alternative choice to the comic book adventure films, as this is the first major comedy to be released in theatres since Dark Shadows. I expect this to be a surprise hit!
July 20th – The Dark Knight Rises
This is by far and away the most anticipated movie of the summer. The final installment of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy has not had a lot of information released about it, but we have heard that the film takes place around 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight. The main setup for the film is that Batman is in hiding after the death of Harvey Dent, to preserve the illusion that he was Gotham’s savior. When a new villain comes to Gotham City, Batman is forced to return from his exile to stop Bane and save the city he loves one last time. The marketing for The Dark Knight was massive back in 2008. The viral marketing campaign for the film is regarded as one of the best in movie history. The release of the first image of Heath Ledger as The Joker made everyone step back in awe at how amazing his take on the character was. It also (and I hate to say this) benefitted from Heath Ledger’s death, because it was another story for the media to talk about in regards to the release of the film. The Dark Knight Rises has had a more muted marketing campaign, but with the release of each new trailer, the anticipation builds and builds for July 20th. The film did receive some criticism when the IMAX trailer got released, as some audiences complained that they couldn’t understand Bane’s voice, but when I saw it, I didn’t find it that distracting at all. Christopher Nolan did listen to the complaints of audiences from the IMAX trailer and the feedback on Bane’s voice in the latest trailer is much improved. As much as The Dark Knight Rises is the most anticipated film of the summer, I don’t think that it can out gross The Dark Knight, as that film was a once in a lifetime event that had so much going for it. Here’s how the Christopher Nolan directed Batman films have done:
2005 – Batman Begins – $205.3 million domestic gross
2008 – The Dark Knight – $533.3 million domestic gross
Average Domestic Gross – $369.3 million
Remember, only two films have grossed more at the domestic box office than The Dark Knight and they were Avatar and Titanic, so it is not an easy task that The Dark Knight Rises faces to gross more than the previous installment. I’m predicting that The Dark Knight Rises will be the highest grossing film of the summer, with a box office total of $490 million.
July 27th – Neighborhood Watch
This film is a comedy that stars Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill and is about a group of neighbors that use the neighborhood watch program in order to get away from their families and hang out with the guys. Unfortunately, they uncover a plot that threatens to destroy their very existence, because aliens are looking to rule the world, and only they can stop it. The alien sub-plot was hidden in the first trailer for the film, so we’ll see if they decide to include it in the upcoming marketing campaign. I think this film has a lot going against it. The film received some negative publicity just because of the name “Neighborhood Watch”, and the association that has with the Trayvon Martin case, and it just seems to be a film that will get lost in the crowd this summer. We’ll wait and see, but I do not have high expectations for Neighborhood Watch at all.
August 3rd – The Bourne Legacy
Jeremy Renner stars in the latest instalment of the Bourne franchise, and while not much is known about the plot of the film just yet, the poster for the film has the great line “There Was Never Just One”. I’m assuming based on that description, that the plot line of the “Treadstone Program” will be continued. The Bourne films have made more money with each installment, so Jeremy Renner has some big shoes to fill. See below:
2002 – The Bourne Identity – $121.6 million domestic gross
2004 – The Bourne Supremacy – $176.2 million domestic gross
2007 – The Bourne Ultimatum – $227.4 million domestic gross
Average Domestic Gross – $175.1 million
I think that the casting of Jeremy Renner is great, and his profile will be up thanks to his role in The Avengers. The trailer for the film looks great, and I think the film will do well at the box office, as this is a beloved franchise. I don’t think it will gross more than The Bourne Supremacy or The Bourne Ultimatum, but if it grosses around $150 million, I would consider that a success as the rumored budget is around $90 million.
August 3rd – Total Recall
This remake of the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger film stars Colin Farrell and actually has nothing to do with Mars. The plot revolves around two countries – Euroamerica and New Shanghai – fighting for power in the not too distant future. Colin Farrell enters the picture as a person who thinks his memory has been tampered with, and he believes he is a spy for one of the countries, but he does not know whose side he is on. If there is one thing I can guarantee, it is that it will definitely be a much different take from the 1990 version. As much as I like the trailer, and the fact that it was shot in Toronto and I think Colin Farrell is a solid actor, this film has bomb written all over it. It reportedly cost $200 million to make (and there is no way I see this film making back that money at the domestic box office), it is being released in August against another action film – The Bourne Legacy – and audiences will have been exposed to a ton of action films already in the summer, so their might be some fatigue in seeing yet another action film. What makes matters worse is that this is a science-fiction action film, and I know the premise will turn off some audiences. I want this film to do well, but I don’t think it will out gross the 1990 version (which had a $119.4 million domestic gross). I hate to say this, but Total Recall will be a bomb this summer.
August 17th – The Expendables 2
The final major release of the summer is this film, which stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Let’s be honest, no one cares what the plot of the film is. People are going to see this film to see all the major action stars in the same movie. I think it was a smart call to do a sequel, as the first film was just all right, and I think there is a ton of potential to make a lot more money than the first one film (The Expendables had a domestic gross of $103.1 million back in 2010). The film is being released on almost the exact date that the original was, and it hopes to close out the summer with a bang. Whether it does or not, is an entirely different story!
On paper, this looks to be a strong summer at the box office, but we will see how it plays out! I always look forward to reading your thoughts on what I write, so please feel free to post your comments! Have a great summer everyone and I hope you see a ton of films!
Scotty G’s Predictions for Box Office Totals This Summer
1) The Dark Knight Rises – $490 million
2) The Avengers – $385 million
3) The Amazing Spider-Man – $330 million
Prediction for Misfires of the Summer
Men in Black 3
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
*The release dates for the films are subject to change.
**All box office numbers were taken from the website Box Office Mojo – http://www.boxofficemojo.com