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2012 Spring Preview Wrap-Up: April

April 6, 2012

American Reunion

Box Office Prediction: $150 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Unknown. It's been 11 years since the last American Pie film was released and it did better-than-the-original numbers. Yet, 11 years is a long time to go without a big screen outing, so it's not easily quantifiable if this will be a hit or not. I'm going out on a limb and predicting it will do quite well with people curious to see where the gang has been for the last decade."
Box Office Results: $56.8 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] If this weren't a franchise film, this total would be an expected result, but it should have done much better than it did. I guess the younger audience who made it a success have grown up unlike the film's characters.

Titanic 3D

Box Office Prediction: $120 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Strong. Although the 3D conversion craze is going to hit its plateau this year, I think. There's something old fashioned about this release strategy. Before home video, popular films were often given sporadic re-releases so new generations could experience a timeless classic. Studios don't need the excuse to do it, but with so many people watching these old movies on the small screen after they've left the theater, it's hard to find a way to draw people back. 3D is that excuse and it seems to be working."
Box Office Results: $57.9 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] I seem to have overpredicted this one, relying more on a satisfying media push and an anniversary curiosity to make it a success. No such luck. So, although this total isn't what I predicted, I wouldn't say it was a flop considering the general movement 3D re-releases have had all year.

April 13, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods

Box Office Prediction: $35.0 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Weak. It seems like a fresh concept, but that doesn't always work for horror films, especially when they don't deal with the supernatural or the religious. Still, my hunch is that being new won't stop it from looking stale to most horror fans, leading it to a lackluster opening and final tally. I could be surprised, though."
Box Office Results: $42.1 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] It did better than I expected, but after the seemingly rapturous reviews, I would have expected even better. My suspicion is that hard core horror fans may not have been as interested as they might be on DVD.

The Lady

Box Office Prediction: $3 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Mediocre. The film was Oscar-eligible last year and didn't get enough attention, so it doesn't seem like the film has what it takes to do more than perfunctory art house business."
Box Office Results: It is still showing as having been released on this date, but there is no reported box office total.
Thoughts: [Major Flop] If you can't even report the box office numbers, then your film is an unmitigated flop. Without knowing the specific reasons, the film's lack of Oscar prospects likely hurt the film in terms of appealing to the target audience.

Movie 43

Box Office Prediction: $40 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Weak. The film doesn't even have a title, one month prior to release (unless they stick with the generic). There's been very little promotion and short films strung together into a pseudo-narrative haven't done big box office. Yet, there's the possibility its stars could draw a few curious people to the theater and with a last-minute push of advertising, it could still perform adequately for its style."
Box Office Results: N/A
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] The film has been pushed back to 2013.

Monsieur Lazhar

Box Office Prediction: $2 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Mediocre. It may have an Oscar nomination, but that doesn't mean anything when it isn't also a winner. The current winner has only amassed about $4 million, so you shouldn't even expect that here."
Box Office Results: $2.0 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] It didn't win the Oscar, so this total is fairly solid all things considered.

The Three Stooges

Box Office Prediction: $75 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Low. This movie has potential bomb written all over it. Why try to recapture what made the Three Stooges special? Greed, obviously, but fans of the Stooges are likely to avoid the film out of a sense of loyalty and new audiences probably won't get what's so great about them unless it's The Farrelly Bros. turn it into an unnecessary gross-out comedy, then it could be huge, but disappointing to anyone who expects better."
Box Office Results: $44.3 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] The Farrelly Brothers should have made this a success, but not even a film that many considered sacrilege could overcome that kind of bad press.

April 20, 2012

Chimpanzee

Oscar Prospects: What I said: "None."
Oscar Results: I remain convinced the film will not be an Oscar contender.
Box Office Prediction: $15 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Low. After Earth stormed on the scene with an impressive $32 million (impressive for a nature documentary, of course), DisneyNature has released a new Earth Day film every year. The box office numbers have continuously decreased, but I expect the $15 million range will be where it all tapers to."
Box Office Results: $29.0 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] After steadily decreasing revenues for the Earth Day DisneyNature films, this solid result should guarantee further docs in the coming years and possibly a few such films from other studios..

Lockout

Box Office Prediction: $60 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Low. The concept is so unexciting that it could sell a lot of tickets. But sci-fi has to be done really well to be a hit and the trailer just doesn't give me high expectations."
Box Office Results: $14.3 M
Thoughts: [Flop] Science Fiction is a fickle genre and this is proof that an unsatisfying concept can't convince audiences to check it out.

The Lucky One

Box Office Prediction: $70 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Modest. Nicholas Spark has done quite well at the box office, but his totals are always sub-$100 million. And it takes a fairly strong lead to make that happen. Zac Efron is not that kind of lead, though the premise may be just enough to draw in the money and make it Efron's best starring performance (box office wise) yet."
Box Office Results: $60.5 M
Thoughts: [Minor Success] Efron isn't a box office draw, but this result proves he's more of a compelling figure than the Twilight Trio.

Think Like a Man

Box Office Prediction: $50 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Mediocre. It's a niche film for a niche audience that might play well, but won't play to everyone, which will mean a lot to its overall box office performance."
Box Office Results: $91.5 M
Thoughts: [Major Success] Steve Harvey's legions of fans have made this film a huge success. Will he be the new Godsend of the ethnic box office? Tyler Perry seems to have fizzled, so there needs to be a new heir.

April 27, 2012

The Five-Year Engagement

Box Office Prediction: $55 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Mediocre. Neither Emily Blunt or Jason Segel have proven they can make a film a box office hit and the trailer doesn't even look that funny."
Box Office Results: $28.7 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] As expected, the film managed to flop at the box office with eager comedy fans not finding much interest in the film.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Oscar Prospects: What I said: "I had though Aardman had a lock on an Oscar nomination last year, but didn't, so at this point, I'm not sure if this one can hang on ten months."
Oscar Results: The solid response from critics may keep this one in play as the year progresses considering how many other animated films this year have come out with less-than-spectacular reviews.
Box Office Prediction: $50 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Modest. Aardman has never been the behemoth at the box office that Walt Disney, DreamWorks or Pixar have been, so a $50 million total would be about on par for their previous works."
Box Office Results: $31.1 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] It's less than I would have expected, but all things considered, seems a fitting total for an Aardman film. Aardman has never appealed to wide audiences, which is a shame, but the result is still stronger than most non-CGI fare these days.

The Raven

Oscar Prospects: What I said: "While the film isn't likely to compete in many places, Art Direction and Costume Design cannot be ruled out."
Oscar Results: The complete failure of the film at the box office combined with mixed reviews will probably keep this one out of every Oscar category, including the creative ones.
Box Office Prediction: $70 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Modest. The combination of genre thriller and murder mystery should help The Raven crossover where The Woman in Black could not. Escaping genre stereotypes (Woman was advertised as horror while Raven is being identified as mystery) may help the John Cusack starrer perform well at the box office."
Box Office Results: $16.0 M
Thoughts: [Flop] Teen stars who come off of successful franchises have shown a notable lack of drawing power. Radcliffe's failure to eke out more than a mediocre flop total of $16 million shows audiences won't follow their favorite young actors everywhere. Either this will give Radcliffe the desire to make bigger, more accessible films or it will lead him to more actor-driven films, which is the direction I'd personally prefer.

Safe

Box Office Prediction: $30 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Weak. Unless he stars in films with bigger names than his, Jason Statham is as far from a box office idol as you can get. His best B.O. performance on his own Transporter 2 6 years ago. And that had the benefit of being a sequel to a surprise home video hit. his films average on the low side of $30 million, so I have little expectation he'll be able to do better this time out. How does this guy keep making movies when no one seems to want to see them."
Box Office Results: $17.1 M
Thoughts: [Flop] Even for Statham this is a terrible total. While this isn't the worst performance of his films since his rise to action mediocrity in The Transporter, it's his second worst. Unfortunately, this won't likely blunt his career much, though following in the footsteps of Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steven Segal just isn't in the cards for him. That might help his longevity, however.

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