The Summer of Ca$h
What's left to say?
Even before summer
has officially kicked off, the story of the Trilogies Of Terror has
been emblazoned on news sites and even that paper stuff from here to
China and back. I only wish it was all that interesting (since
it is a lot of what I talk about too).
Here's how it will
go (I think) - Spider-Man III opens in the low 100s, does another
$60 million in the second weekend to be around $200 million after 10
days. Shrek The Third opens to a $90 million 3-day with
Spider-Man III grabbing $35 million more to hit $260 million.
The next weekend it's Pirates III with a $160 million 4-day,
Shrek 3 off to $60 million 4-day ($190m total) and Spider-Man
III to $295 million.
Shrek 3 gets
to $270 million before it faces Surf's Up and then Ratatouille
two weeks later. And Pirates III cracks $400 million before
it gets its first real direct competition with Transformers,
though it may fall out of the #1 slot after three weekends, with Fantastic
Four 2, Evan Almighty, and Ratatouille all likely to win
their weekends. Spider-Man III slows with Pirates
3 and adds another $40 million or so over the month of June.
I do expect this
to be the first $4 billion summer in history, beating the 2004 best
We have never had more than two $300 million in a summer before. I expect
three this year.
If my estimates are right, this could be the first summer with six $200
million-plus movies. We have had a few summers with five $200 million-plus
movies in a summer before. But again, by my estimates this summer's
Top 10 will gross about 20% more domestically than ever before in the
history of summer exhibition... nearly $2.5 billion.
But what will really
be interesting is the second wave, not the Big Three. Evan
Almighty will be a big family film, more so than Bruce Almighty,
which sold itself with T&A jokes. How big can Ratatouille
be after Shrek 3 sucks the market dry and it faces Evan, too?
How big will Transformers
be? Will any adults go? And how will they do with Harry
Potter opening one week later? The same fate that War of
the Worlds faced with Fantastic Four smacking it down in
weekend two by a 46% margin could happen again.
Does I Now Pronounce
You Chuck & Larry just go on Adam Sandler cruise control?
Will the movie with the drag queen in it that is about wholesome family
values, Hairspray, find an audience ... and if it does, will
it become a minor phenom?
The highest grossing
animated film in history that is adapted from another medium is the
first Rugrats, which just barely cracked $100 million.
The 80s is where the successful crossovers mostly live with Pokemon,
Spongepants, and Jimmy Neutron.
Will all the buzz
for Knocked Up overcome its limitations, particularly demographically?
And will Superbad, which is about Seth Rogan's teen years, be
an even bigger hit ... a young response to Old School?
How will loaded
August go? Bourne seems to be in good shape, though he hits that
glass ceiling pretty hard each time, much like Bond. It
was 3 years between Rush Hours the last time ... 6 years this
time. There has never been a $100 million live-action talking
animal movie ... will Underdog beat the curse ... or even Eight
Below's $82 million record? Evan Almighty is one of
two sequels with changes in the lead, as Daddy Day Camp gives
Cuba Gooding, Jr. a chance to chew the scenery.
Speaking of Bourne,
anything under $200 million is expected. Harry Potter can
do $250 million and no one will notice. If Ocean's 13 earns
$13 million for each member of the gang, respectful yawns will come.
Anything between $130 million and $200 million for Fantastic Four
2 won't make much noise ... though anything under $130 million will
start "no more" talk about the series.
It's also the summer
of Bruce Willis (Live Free or Die Hard), Kevin Costner
(Mr Brooks), Jane Fonda (Georgia Rule), Drew
Barrymore (Lucky You), and Nancy Drew. Plus Catherine
Zeta Jones gets her first stand alone lead in a movie, the remake
of Mostly Martha, No Reservations, in which she plays
"Kate." (They should really dump that title!)
When will Michael
Moore land with Sicko? Some think he will wait for
the fall, but the history of Fahrenheit 9/11 says it will be
mid-summer. Meanwhile, people will be overcome with illness, leaving
them walking brainwashed or walking dead with lots o' political subtext
in The Invasion or 20 Weeks Later.
And what of Stardust?
Sleeper or dumper?
Will Sam Jackson
come out of the summer as Oscar bait for Resurrecting The Champ?
Lohan's second movie, I Know You Killed Me, be a same-summer
Will anyone pay
to see Son of Rambow, Goya's Ghosts, This Is England, Rescue Dawn,
Interview, King of Kong, Wristcutters, Daywatch, Crazy Love, Black Sheep,.
A Mighty Heart (not wind), or Eagle vs Shark? (They
should.) And will D.O.A. actually get released? (It should.)
And the studio rankings
for the summer?
1. Disney - Pirates
of The Caribbean: At World's End, Ratatouille, Underdog - $713m
2, Sony - Spider-Man
3, Surf's Up, Superbad, Daddy Day Camp, I Know Who Killed Me - $589m
3. Universal - The
Bourne Ultimatum, Evan Almighty, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and
Larry, Knocked Up, Mr Bean's Holiday - $573m
4. Warner Bros -
Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix, Ocean's 13, No Reservations,
Nancy Drew, The Invasion, License to Wed, Lucky You - $557m
5. DreamWorks -
Shrek The Third, Transformers - $541m
6. New Line - Rush
Hour 3, Hairspray, Martian Child - $349m
7. Fox - Fantastic
Four 2, Live Free Or Die Hard, The Simpsons, Death Sentence - $325m
And so, the horserace
will not appear weekly this summer.
But it will turn up at least once a month and more, as the news demands.)
Week's Box Office Chart
Email David Poland