Thursday, July 10, 2008

Box Office Magician

I AM OFTEN CONFUSED. This is not a point of pride. It is a simple fact. Accent on the simple. That is my explanation for last week's Hancock prediction. It's not the box office gross I chose that shows my confusion, but the total days I decided were in the holiday weekend. You see, Hancock was to open on Wednesday the 2nd, but at the last minute the studio decided to let theaters screen in on Tuesday (the 1st) night as well -- thus the 1/2 day. Because calendars are strange and foreign to me, and because my math skills are no better than those of a toddler, I added the days in my head and came up with "4 1/2 days."


Well, even though I had the number of days wrong in the holiday weekend, I still came close to the number for the (actual) 5 1/2-day weekend. And my weekend prediction was one of my most accurate yet. Not that I'll get credit for this from the wife. Oh no, she'll still harp about how right she was about Wanted, and how I was wrong about that. Well, I was wrong about Wanted. Really, really wrong. But I redeemed myself this week. Twofold. Because I also accurately predicted that the movie would not actually be very good (by most people's estimation). Let's run those numbers!

My weekend prediction: $61 million
Actual weekend take: $62.6 million
Accuracy: 97.4% (!!!)
My "4 1/2 day" holiday weekend prediction: $93 million
The 5 1/2 day holiday weekend take: $103.8 million
Accuracy: 89.6%

Onto the new week!

Do you hear that? That quiet? That silence? That inexplainable lull? It's everyone catching their breath before The Dark Knight blows everyone's minds next weekend. I think more people have already bought their advance tickets for The Dark Knight than will actually see movies this weekend. Into this gap falls another action flick based on a comic book.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The way the talking faces on the tee-vee talk about it, Pan's Labyrinth was seen and loved by everyone! Nothing against the movie, but the advance press on H2: The Golden A is talking about P's L as if it were a huge smash hit. In fact, it grossed $37.6 million domestically. Which is pretty good for a movie made for $19 million (that also grossed another $40+ overseas). But the first Hellboy grossed twice that. Now, I totally understand that artistically and critically P's L put director Guillermo del Toro on the map. But I'm not exactly sure of the crossover appeal from Pan's to the second Hellboy movie. However, that said, the ads look good, the advance word is strong, and I actually think it's going to be a minor hit of the summer. It may just surprise people. Starting with its opening weekend.

Opening weekend: $37 million
Total take: $121 million

Meet Dave
Eddie Murphy movies are in a category all their own. You never hear that he's making another one when all of the sudden -- boom! -- the ads are everywhere. Such was the case with this film, whose one-sheet posters look like Eddie himself produced them on his laptop. Since this is a science fiction comedy (tiny Eddie Murphy is piloting a spaceship that looks like human-sized Eddie Murphy, because tiny EM is an alien trying to learn about humans, but along the way, whoops, he falls in love) and Eddie Murphy's previous science fiction comedy was Pluto Nash (total box office: $4 million...yes, four), I'm going to have to say this one won't do very well. Yes. That's what I'll say. Also, I will say that 48 Hrs. is still a great movie and so is Beverly Hills Cop. Maybe I'll see if those are on the cable this weekend instead!

Opening weekend: $17 million
Total take: $59 million

Journey to the Center of the Earth
For those of you who have missed seeing Brendan Fraser in an action/comedy, this is the summer for you! In fact, this is the three-week span for you. Not only do you get Brendan in three incredible, jaw-dropping, Dramamine-defying dimensions in this family film, but in a few weeks, you also get him duking it out with a mummified Jet Li in the latest Mummy film. Wow, that's a lot of handsomeness and wisecracking for one summer, I can tell you that. If this weren't positioned as a family film (and it didn't have the additional marketing hook of 3D), I'd be tempted to utter my ticket sale-guaranteeing phrase of "no one will see this movie." But I think some people will. More than see Meet Dave, in fact. If the question is, "Is America ready for this Journey?" I'd have to reply, "The answer may surprise you!"

Opening weekend: $21 million
Total take: $101 million

1 comment:

Steven said...

Anxious to hear what the Box Office Boob has to offer for Batman's opening weekend. Looking forward to the next post.