Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blockbuster Summer: week 2.

Not that there's anything at stake here, it's just that we rarely go on record predicting box-office receipts. But since this may be the most competitive weekend of the entire summer, we'll throw caution to the wind and say it out loud - in print... when the numbers are in and the tallies are being written into the ledgers on Monday morning, Star Trek will have beamed into first place at the box-office, phaser-stunning last week's number one opener, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Since we're feeling cocky, we'll even make a numbers prediction - the new and reengineered Star Trek (courtesy of director J.J. Abrams) will be the first movie of the year to pull in over 100 million in its weekend bow. By necessity, that has to mean Wolverine will sink to a less than 50 million dollar weekend, we'll say somewhere in the low forties sounds about right. Still, adding it all up, this will be another fantastic weekend for Hollywood.

And we're still holding on our last column. In spite of an 87 million opening, Wolverine is still set to fade into the darkest corners of the projection booth by the time Memorial Day weekend 2009 is history. The excitement of six major films all being released this month makes remembering who came first a real chore for attention deficit movie fans and the target demographic for Wolverine is exactly that segment of the audience. So here's how we see the standings for May movies. Remember, you have to let the summer run it's course to see what the total box-office takes will be. Not that we'd take these odds to Vegas, but when the air takes back it's chill, we think May's movie slate looks like this...

#1 Star Trek - with damn near or just over 300 million.

#2 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian - the biggest grossing comedy of 2009.

#3 Up - Disney and Pixar are no longer a given for record breakers, and we think Up may very well be the first Pixar release to miss number 1 on it's first weekend, but ultimately 3D will save the day and turn in a Wall*e -like 200 million plus.

#4 Terminator Salvation - just eclipsing Wolverine with great word of mouth helping it's overall take.

#5 X-Men Origins: Wolverine - yes, number 5, we think the most dangerous handshake on film since Edward Scissorhands lands around the 200 million mark. If its box-office legs go longer than we expect, Terminator will show some damage.

#6 Angels and Demons - we don't expect miracles, get it?, but we do expect a healthy plus 100 million. Adults will hit theaters for the first time this summer on May 15th. It's interesting to us that the Vatican is already officially laying off the indignant and offended line, calling the film a "harmless" entertainment. Meanwhile, director Ron Howard insists that the Vatican used back channels to hamper and impede filming.

And there you have it. A column you can print out and hold up to our nose this September. And there's now something else to look forward to each month, watching us backtrack, finesse and just plain make up excuses if we look like we're way off come Monday.

Have a great weekend.

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