Chandler, Arizona, United States

There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story.
Profile continued . . .


Saturday, May 03, 2008

this entry brought to you by thom yorke, "analyze"

I love movies. Love 'em. And, like a lot of people on the Internet, I like watching markets. Everybody is an armchair market spectator, sharing predictions with what's going to be a hit over the summer and what's not. I'm no exception. I think if I were interested in sports, I would be interested in the speculation of predicting who was going to make it to the playoffs or not, who was going to come in first in their division, that sort of thing. But I care nothing about sports, so that interest is converted to movies. I absolutely love predicting what's going to do what business at the box office, and a few years ago, the year The Matrix, X-2, and T3 came out, I wrote my predictions for the summer movies, and then, after the summer was over, I looked back to see how I did. I intended on this being a recurring feature every year, and for some reason that didn't happen.

This year, however, with so many blockbusters, with so few looking like disasters (last year, it was kinda obvious the three threequels, Shrek, Pirates, and Spider-Man, were going to disappoint), I decided to throw my hat in, and hopefully I'll keep this feature going in future years. This year, I'm even going to guess specifically how the business is going to do, guessing what's going to be in the top ten, whereas before I just guessed whether they'd be hits or misses. This should make it interesting when I get around to seeing how well I did at the end of the summer. Anyway, on to the movies...

May 1st

Iron Man
They've done a really good job marketing Iron Man-- it looks like a lot of fun, and as has been mentioned about a billion times, Robert Downey Jr. is absolutely perfect casting as Tony Stark. The trailers have Iron Man flying around and looking absolutely awesome. Out of all the movies listed here, Iron Man is the only one we know how the critics have reacted, and they have been extremely positive-- a whopping 94% fresh, which is absolutely mind-blowing (it's the best reviewed movie of the year so far! Who expected that?), and that can do nothing but help. Iron Man, though a tier one hero back in the 60's, is a bit of a second tier hero now, with much less known about him by the general public than, say, Spider-Man or Batman, so if it misses, it'll be because of lack of interest in the character himself. Still, the dense marketing penetration and some great looking trailers have done a great job of getting Iron Man on everybody's mind-- I predict Iron Man will be a big box office draw (being first in line to come out certainly doesn't hurt it), and while it won't take in as much as some of the competition this summer, I'm sure everybody at the production company will be very, very pleased.
Prediction: Direct Hit. It'll be the second biggest opener in May, and will be in the top 5 of the summer overall.

May 2nd

Made of Honor
The only reason I'm putting this on the list is because I think somebody is hoping to get some How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days money going here. Every summer there's a few romantic comedies that come to counter balance all the testosterone in the theaters. The girlfriends will go see Iron Man, but only if their boyfriends promise to go see Made of Honor, and the fact that McDreamy is starring is definitely going to be a draw. For one week. I have no doubt that this is not the romantic comedy that'll get girlfriends in the theaters, and I have no doubt it'll quickly disappear. There have been shitty romantic comedies that have made lots of money over the years, but this one looks even shittier. I'd hope that rom-com fans are thinking the same thing.

Prediction: Super Miss. It'll debut at number two, then instantly slip out of the top ten, to not be heard from until September when it gets released on DVD. It'll make somebody some money in the long run because the budget can't have been that big, but who cares?

May 9th

Speed Racer
I can't be the only person who thinks this movie looks absolutely awful. It looks pretty, yes, and I'm sure there are going to be sequences that are going to be mind-boggling. But it also looks lifeless-- do you remember Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow? I actually enjoyed that movie, because I thought it presented an awesome world. The characters were one dimensional and the acting flat, but it worked well with the backdrop, which was a throwback. The acting in Speed Racer looks flat and the characters look one dimensional from the trailers, but instead of a campy throwback backdrop, the backdrop here seems to be a hyper-slick video game, rather than the goofy, bright cartoon it's based on. Plus, it's directed by the Wachowski Bros, who disappointed with the last Matrix films, and while I would've liked them to have taken a step back and done something along the lines of Bound, the really interesting, intense thriller they did before Matrix, they instead decided to dial it up even further. On the other hand, it's the only movie that's rated PG for quite a while that doesn't also involve an epic war, which means it'll be more dangerous than, say, Panda Fu, but still fun for the whole family, so it just might be a surprise. Still, I doubt it.
Prediction: Miss. I think it'll get a rotten rating for starters. Something tells me it won't even knock Iron Man out of number 1, and if it does, it won't be by much. It won't be a flop, but it won't be until DVD before it makes its money back.

What Happens in Vegas...
I'm mentioning this one for the same reason I mentioned Made of Honor-- this has been scheduled specifically to counter program the rest of the summer, only this time the studio is doubtlessly hoping it's a rom-com that dudes are going to be able to agree to see with their girlfriends, because it's got something to do with Ashton Kutcher getting married to Cameron Diaz, and being forced to stay married for 6 months so he can keep 3 million dollars, which sounds way more dude-friendly. A frat-bro gets married to a chick and has to ditch her? Dude! Except Cameron Diaz hasn't been a draw in the box office in absolutely years, and this doesn't look like anything that's going to change that. Nobody cares about Diaz. I have no idea what people think of Kutcher-- I think most people are annoyed as hell with him, but people have surprised me before. Either way, the plot to this movie looks like shit, and while it doesn't look as awful as Made of Honor, I can still tell you the ending: they fall in love and realize getting married wasn't so bad.
Prediction: Flop. While it doesn't look as bad as Made of Honor and will probably have a slightly higher rating at Rottentomatoes, at least Honor has McDreamy, a person who certain audiences may actually want to see. This one has nothing but has beens, which is never a good sign for rom-coms.

May 16th

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The first one was a huge mega blockbuster that actually surprised speculators, who were expecting King Kong to come out the highest grossing movie of the year. Of course, it didn't, and it was pretty damned strong competition. Chronicles of Narnia got a huge up-sell from their wise choice to push heavy to Christian markets, who rushed to theaters in droves to see it, despite the fact that I didn't think the Christian themes were any more overt than, say, Superman or The Matrix. Anyway, it was a movie that did spectacularly well, and I expect that this one will do extremely well again. In fact, if there's a movie on this list that will upset me and blow past my predicted number one and two box office draws, this'll be it. I certainly hope not, as I found the first one overwrought and boring, and don't expect this one to please me any more than the first one did. In fact, the only downside I see to Chronicles of Narnia is its close proximity to Indiana Jones, a movie that I'm (almost) positive will blow it away.
Prediction: Direct Hit. I'm sure it'll get good ratings at Rottentomatoes, and I predict that it'll land at number three overall in the summer's boxoffice draw. If it weren't out a week before Indiana Jones, it would absolutely trounce the competition.

May 23rd

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
This is the big one. I have a feeling that George Lucas has come up with a weird plot that's going to disappoint some people on paper, which is why I won't spill what I've heard. I happen to think that Steven Spielburg is going to take this weird plot and turn it into magic, and I think it's going to blow your socks off. This isn't just someone who loves Indiana Jones talking-- everybody loves Indiana Jones, Lucas and Spielburg know it, and I have absolute faith that there's no way this would be released without everyone involved absolutely sure this is going to be completely worth every single penny spent by every member of the audience. I think it won't be the best in the series-- if you thought Raiders couldn't be beat, it won't be. If you couldn't resist Sean Connory's charm in Last Crusade and list that one as your favorite because of it, that'll still be your favorite. But Harrison Ford looks awesome as Indi, Shia Labeouf is bound to please as Indi's sidekick (son?). And dude, it's not going to have any CGI. Spielburg has promised it'll all be old-school stunts and special effects. Nothing, not nothing, could make me happier than that.
Prediction: Mega Hit. I think this is going to be the number one movie of the year, and the fact that it's opening so early means that it's got weeks with which to pile on cash on top of all that other cash-- and it'll be two weeks before the next action flick to topple it, meaning Indi will have the roost to itself for a while. In fact, it could make an unannounced, surprise release at theaters tomorrow and would still shatter records. I think it won't be reviewed as well as you would hope-- I'm thinking in the high 70's at Rottentomatoes, only because I'm bound to think a few people's expectations will be too high. But this movie is going to be earth shattering.

May 30th

Sex and the City: The Movie
I know absolutely nothing about Sex and the City, other than the fact that it's got something to do with Sarah Jessica Parker and somebody known only as Mr. Big, whatever that means. I do know that men are annoyed with it, but it's a cultural phenomenon. I have no idea how the movie is going to rate at, although I suspect it'll get a rotten rating. But the important part is this: the other chick baiting movies this summer are pretenders. This is the real thing.
Prediction: Hit. It's not going to bring in a hojillion dollars, but there's going to be girls going there in flocks-- and I don't mean that as a derogatory statement. Their boyfriends are going to shrug it off, which is just as well-- the ladies are going to want to go together, just like how they watched the shows at home together. I imagine a box office draw of about 90 million dollars.

The Strangers
I don't know much about this movie, other than the fact that it's a horror movie starring Liv Tyler, and the trailer looks really fucking creepy. The "true events" tag at the beginning is sure to invite the curious who want to see something different than Sex and the City.
Prediction: Sleeper Hit. I knew nothing about this movie and even considered leaving it off the list, but then I saw the trailer, and it looks absolutely chilling, and I think people are going to like it. I bet it's going to double its 10 million budget theatrically and do no more, disappear off the list, then sell solidly on DVD, chilling the fuck out of audiences along the way.

with love from CRS @ 12:01 PM 


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