MAY looks to be a HUGE at the MOVIES
With Hollywood looking to start the summer movie season earlier and earlier this has to be one of the most impressive May schedules I’ve ever seen. Here’s a look at the schedules, release dates and my box-office predictions.
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE- May 1– While Fox has kept a lid on this X-Men spin-off film (They have a 48 hour pre-opening embargo on U.S reviews before its Friday release), I have no doubt it will open big. If Universal can get a $73 million dollar opening out of Fast and Furious in April there’s no reason to think Wolverine can’t do even better. The big question is – will it have legs? My gut feeling is no but considering this is the first big popcorn film out of the gate in Hollywood’s summer season, and pent up demand for these big budget films is high, I’ll predict a $77 million opening. After that it’s a big week to week falloff in ticket sales with the film ultimately pulling in $154 million domestically. As long as there is some decent entertainment value to be found (reviews popping up on Rotten tomatoes are very split with more negative than positive), I believe the studio will keep the Wolverine franchise going and greenlight a sequel – unless of course the film bombs.
STAR TREK- May 8 – With advance reviews though the roof, this JJ Abrams re-boot is starting to generate gotta see it buzz. While the core Trekkie fan base has kept the franchise at bay at the box-office over the last decade, this JJ Abrams reinvention should stir up sizable interest from a vast majority of moviegoers. At least that’s what Paramount is hoping. I’ll predict an $80 million dollar opening weekend and a total domestic gross of $190 million. Under JJ Abrams direction this franchise should live long and prosper for a new generation.
ANGELS AND DEMONS- May 15 – Ron Howard’s sequel to The DiVinci Code brings back Tom Hanks as religious expert Robert Langdon, finding himself involved in another conspiracy involving the Catholic Church. While Catholic league President William Donahue is trying to stir up controversy, the official position of the Vatican in terms of PR is to have none, which is probably a good move. There’s no reason to think this one won’t do very solid business, so I’ll predict an opening weekend gross of $64 million with a final domestic take of $168 million. The Da Vinci Code opened to $77,073,388 in 2006.
TERMINATOR: SALVATION- May 21 – This fourth entry in the popular Sci-fi franchise is generating excellent buzz online with anticipation high. The one thing this film might be missing for some is no Arnold Schwarzenegger as its star. While the effects look top notch, the story has a Mad Max feel (it takes place in 2018 after Judgment Day) and looks so much different than the first three entries in the franchise. While this will not be a problem for the series core fans, it might be for the average summer moviegoer. Still, Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) is the star (John Conner) so I expect it to do very well. I’ll predict a $72 million dollar opening weekend and a $167 million overall domestic take. This is the first entry in the series to be rated PG-13 and not R.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN- May 22 – Critic proof family entertainment which promises to up the anti on special effects the second time around. The first film (which was OK but nothing great) pulled in a very impressive $250,863,268 domestically so this one has a very large built in audience of family moviegoers. Amazingly, Night of the Museum had a so-so $30,433,781 opening weekend, but boy did it have legs at the box-office. I’ll predict an opening weekend of $80 million and a final domestic haul of $205 million. It must be nice to have Ben Stiller’s bank account.
PIXAR’S UP- May 29 – With a storyline much more linear than last year’s critical favorite, Wall-E, expect Up to go up, up and away at the box-office and have solid legs for weeks on end. I’ll predict a $65 million opening weekend and a final overall gross of $190 million.
DRAG ME TO HELL- May 29 – Sam Raimi (Spiderman, Evil Dead) returns to his horror roots in this story about a bank loan officer (Alison Lohman) who has an ancient curse put on her by an old woman that she gave an eviction notice to. While I’m not a fan of the PG-13 rating, it should help it increase the box-office. I’ll predict a $22 million dollar opening and a $55 million overall domestic take.
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