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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Weekenders- June 29-July 1

     This weekend, June 29-July 1, is looking to be a very surprising one at the box office. Ted, Magic Mike, People Like Us, and Madea's Witness Protection are all opening. Brave will be enjoying its second weekend after a stellar opening. The Amazing Spider Man also swings into cinemas on Tuesday. This is one of those not-so-often weekends that will appeal to everyone; Magic Mike will have adult females (at least I hope that), Ted will have adult males and teens, Brave will have kids and girls too young for Mike (sad day), Madea will have the African-American crowd, and People Like Us will have the drama crowd. See, something for everyone.
     2012 has been a strong year for Channing Tatum and its getting even stronger. If GI Joe 2 had kept its first release date, Channing would have two movies out this weekend. Maybe Paramount moved GI Joe because girls wouldn't be able to handle double the Channing? Magic Mike stars Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, and Cody Horn. No Mike is not a magician, he's a stripper. Of course Magic Mike will include more than just stripping, it will have an actual story; Mike currently has a 79% score on RT, but stripping seems to be the main focus of the advertising. The R rating will actually help this movie, but the lack of male interest will not; Sex and the City 2 was 90% female on opening weekend, Mike should be in that ballpark. Magic Mike is also not in 3D ladies.
     Mike's main competition is Ted. Ted is from the Family Guy creator, Seth MacFarlane. It stars Seth, Mark Wahlberg, and Mila Kunis. Mark's character has grown up with Ted as a child, and now Ted is foul-mouth, stoner/slacker. Yes, a teddy bear is smoking and drinking in this! It may sound absurd, but the trailers and previews have been getting great reactions and Ted has been getting good reviews as well, currently sitting at 71% on RT; so most critics obviously don't mind. Ted is looking to be a good summer comedy and counter programming for Mike, as Ted will attract more males, plus the Family Guy crowd, (Ted even sounds like Peter).
     Madea's Witness Protection is Tyler Perry's latest. Madea Goes To Jail opened to an outstanding $40 million in 2009, but 2011's Big Happy Family stumbled with a $25 million opening, and eventually earning a little over half of Madea's Jail. Witness Protection will be missing much of the cast you'd usually see in a Madea movie, plus the "witness protection" story may feel off to some every-release Madea viewers. Strangely, no reviews are currently on RT for this, even though it opens tomorrow, but judging by past Madea releases, critics will likely stomp on Witness Protection.
     People Like Us stars Elizabeth Banks and Chris Pine. It is about Chris Pine's character who must find his sister, who he never knew he had, and deliver a 6 figure sum to her. This sounds like a road trip comedy, but it is actually a drama. Reviews have been standard, with a current 68% on RT, but lack of promotion and the saturated market may leave People Like Us shoved to the side for the weekend.
     Pixars Brave opened to a $66 million last week and with positive word of mouth and reviews, and being the only new children's movie out, Brave should have a good drop this weekend, and if Mike isn't a sudden box office surpise, then Brave should retain its #1 spot. Girls, this is in 3D.
     The Amazing Spider Man swings into over 4,000 cinemas on Tuesday in 3D. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, and Dennis Leary, this is the reboot of the 2002 Spider Man. Even though this is a reboot, most of the aspects of this movie are new, you will not feel like your watching Spider Man 1 over again. The RT score is at 76% so far, but that will fluctuate and can either go up or down, but regardless, Amazing Spider Man will be a nice summer blockbuster and should please everyone who's been waiting to see him back on screen for 5 years.
     My weekend predictions are that Brave and Magic Mike crack over $40 million, and Ted should see a stellar opening in the mid $30 million's. Madea should end up somewhere between $18-26 million, and People Like Us should land in with a sub $12 million opening. Great weekend all around.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How High Will 'The Dark Knight' "Rise"?

     On July 20, 2012, fanboys across the world will all feel like they have died and gone to comic book movie heaven. The last installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman series, The Dark Knight Rises, will finally be released after four years of anticipation.
     The advanced IMAX ticket sales for this film went on sale a few weeks ago and the websites crashed. Fans truly are ready for this. Avengers was a runaway success and has now grossed so much, its highly unlikely that Rises will match it, but settling for #2 does not mean the film is a slouch, as Rises could end up the better film critically and could still come near, gross wise.
     Batman Begins was released in 2005, and even though it grossed $205 million domestic, and $372 million worldwide, it was still on the low end for a Batman movie when prices are adjusted. Then in 2008, the world was in awe when The Dark Knight set the then opening weekend record and went on to become the then #2 movie of all time, improving a massive $328 million domestic and $629.2 million worldwide on its predecessor. The Dark Knight is also considered one of the best films ever on IMDB and it managed a 94% on RT, which is amazing for a summer blockbuster. The film won several awards, including the late Heath Ledger for his performance as the Joker. Dark Knight is now an instant classic and has redefined how many comic book movies are now made.
      That success has led to high expectations for The Dark Knight Rises. It held a high probability of setting the opening weekend record, again, but since The Avengers opened so high, its hard to imagine Rises to reach that level without 3D. Most 3rd movies are considered disappointments to their predecessors; Nolan should be able to avoid that. This movie features Bane and Catwoman as the villains, and judging by the trailers, this will not only be a non stop physical movie, but a very emotional one. Critics love emotions, and Nolan has done well delivering with the first two with 85% and 94% RT scores respectively.
     2012 has been a strange year. This year has improved greatly over last year, its good Rises comes out this year instead of last. Rises features virtually no competition; July 2012 is relatively empty and Rises gets the entire July 20th weekend to itself.
     Rises will not benefit from 3D surcharges, but it will have IMAX. There is also no Joker, which is no doubt the biggest villain draw, but Bane and Catwoman should both give a good showdown. Rises may also be hindered by the tone. The Nolan series have contained a darker tone, which may turn off some parents taking kids, as opposed to Avengers or Spider Man, and the movies runtime may be too much for some people at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Honestly Rises has few drawbacks, but a plethora of benefits, which is the reason it will be a box office mega monster.
     When Rises is released in one month, the box office will crash; Rises is poised for an opening of at least $150 million, and thats on a bad day, and the sky is really the limit with the total; the reception of the film will determine that. My personal opening prediction is $185 million. Midnight shows will be big, opening day will be big, opening weekend will be big, July and August will be big, and big is an understatement for this.
     Here is a link for the latest trailer! Rises is released worldwide July 20 and is rated PG-13, obviously. It stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon- Levitt, and Garry Oldman. Directed, written, and produced Christopher Nolan, and music by Hans Zimmer. On July 20, if your movie theater is being shut down by fire marshals or if your internet crashes, or if you see everyone in costume at your local Wal-Mart or superstore, blame The Dark Knight Rises; a fire will rise.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

'Madagascar' and 'Prometheus' Land On A Record

     Madagascar: Europe's Most Wanted, and Prometheus together have set a Hollywood milestone. Madagascar 3 opened to $60.3 million and Prometheus opened to $50 million; which makes last weekend only the second time in history that two movies have opened to $50million on the same weekend. The first time this has happened was the June 27-29 weekend when Wall-E opened to $63 million and Wanted opened to $50.9 million. There have been other weekends where two movies have finished above $50 million for the 3-day, but only one was an opener.
     June so far has been off to a great start; Avengers and MIB3 have held up well, and Snow White and the Huntsman opened to an impressive $56.2 million without 3D or IMAX boosts. June still has Rock of Ages, That's My Boy, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (lol), Brave, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Ted, Magic Mike, Madea's Witness Protection, and People Like Us. Surprisingly none of these movies are sequels and the only recognizable character is Madea. Nonetheless, this month should still be a steller one, leading up to an even bigger July.