Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Box Office Review…Before Transformers Destroys It

8 weeks into a fairly underwhelming box office season, let’s recap a few of the high and lowlights.

My best prediction: That Terminator 4 would tank domestically
Now, $120m might not look bad on paper, but do you realize this movie cost $200m to make? If you were a studio exec, would you green light this movie at $50m? Throw in Christian Bale’s rant, the fact that Arnold is fucking up California rather than bad guys and the massive, massive budget and this movie smelled like asshole from the word go. Granted it’s performing well overseas with a little over $200m, but I bet there’s a few unemployed studio execs that aren’t happy with that $120.

My worst prediction: That Up would be Pixar’s first lackluster performer
Note to self, never bet against Pixar. Never. The movie opens with $68, follows up with a monster $44 in its second weekend, $30 in its third and now sits at $231, good for #62 all time. Through four weeks, Up is performing on par with Finding Nemo (the studio’s biggest hit with $340m) and should end up being the studio’s 2nd biggest movie. Shows what I know.

Best Performance: Star Trek
The reinvention is working. With $240m domestically (good for #55 all time) and another $125 internationally, the movie is the early winner of the 2009 box office (for a few more days anyway) and has re-energized a franchise that seemed deader than dead 5 years ago.

Worst Performance: Imagine That
I’m tempted to mention Angels and Demons ($130m to date, $150m production cost), or the aforementioned T4 ($120m, $200m cost) but we have to give special attention to Eddie’s latest turd. $12m on a $55m budget, now that’s stinky. No one takes a dump on celluloid like Eddie Murphy, huh?

Biggest “Sleeper”: The Hangover
One of my biggest media pet peeves: when they completely over-report the possibility of something happening and then act completely shocked when it happens. If ESPN is going to lead with “Cowboys Considering Cutting Ties with TO” for the entire month of February, they can’t say “In Shocking Move, Cowboys Say Adios to TO” when it comes true in March – that shit just doesn’t work. The Hangover is the same way. For months people mentioned how this looked like the sleeper of the summer, now that it’s true, they’re acting shocked about the same thing. Oh well, with $160m after three weeks, this movie is on track for right around $230m, eclipsing Beverly Hills Cop as the biggest R-rated comedy of all time, that’s cool no matter how you slice it.

Best International Performer: Angels and Demons
When the movie opened, I mentioned that the real value for this franchise is overseas; Angels is continuing that trend with $330m abroad and only $130m here. The movie is #79 all time internationally (and should end up between #60-65) but is only #254 domestically. Crazy.

Enough dry humping, let’s slap on an extra ribbed for her pleasure and get this party started. Here’s what I’m predicting for Transformers:

Opening Weekend: $105m (#9 all time)
Opening 5 days (including Weds and Thurs): $148m (#7 all time)
Worldwide Opening Weekend (US and Int.): $240m (#7 all time)

I fucking hate this move, but I can’t fucking wait to watch it open.


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