20 April 2008

Summer 08 Box Office Predictions

Summer is nearly upon us and with lofty box office aspirations for often overhyped movies. This year is a rare treat for me with 4 1/2 superhero films, Indiana Cajones, and some fun looking animated movies. Its hard to not get too excited - I always do, but I guess thats just part of the fun.

Last year, I was pretty close with my Shrek, Bourne, and Potter predicts, and way off with Pirates and Evan Almighty. Hopefully this year I can be a little more accurate, though I honestly feel, with a lot fewer 3quesl, that I am just plain guessing on some of them. Overall, this summer probably wont be as big as last, but I am sure plenty of money will still be made.

Here we go:

9. The Incredible Hulk - $133 Million - June 13

Marvel really wants a Hulk franchise. After 2003's disappointing performance they made this reboot with a new cast, lighter tone, and new but equally obviously-computer rendered effects. I actually liked the 2003 take and wouldn't have minded a straight up sequel with a better villian. I am interested to see Edward Norton, but not too excited to see Arwen in action. I just don't imagine the general public, who didn't really enjoy Hulk 1, giving big green another chance so soon. Also, in a summer full of superheroes, Hulk will need to stand out, and so far it hasn't. Still, I predict a slight edge-out of the original with a $133 million take.

8. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - $137 Million - August 1

2008's 3quel that no one asked for. Mummy 1 was enjoyable enough. Mummy 2 had some OK scenes, but really got silly and added the dreaded annoying kid factor (see also Superman Returns). Having said that, the film broke $200 million and was fairly well received. On the other hand, its been 7 years. Brendan Frasier is kinda dried up, and Rachel Weisz was recast. At least the kid should be gone. The main attraction here is Jet Li. He and the branding should prevent a total bomb, but I do not expect big things here. Maybe the action-light August will give this one modest legs.

7. Kung Fu Panda - $170 Million - June 6

Not all of Dreamwork's films are terrible, though they have been trending in that direction with Bee Movie and Shrek 3 last year. Even Over the Hedge did just modestly, and I quite enjoyed it. Panda should fare well if it is OK and Dreamworks has hopes that it will be their next franchise, so maybe it is a good film. As the first big animated film of the Summer, it should be able to attract a crowd. Besides kids love Pandas. Though missing the big Memorial Day opening is gonna hurt. Also, family friendly Narnia and Indy films may sap its strength a bit. Look for a profitable but reasonable overall take.

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