Box Office Predictions
Title's self-explanatory. If you're sick of these articles. Don't click. This article is LONG.
First thing's first, this is just an opinion piece. I don't know for sure which film's going to earn what. Films that I think will be huge hits could tank or film that I think will bomb could perform really well. I don't claim final say on any of this. So, feel free to disagree, and refrain from being a d*ck.
Another note that I'd like to make is that I'll only be focusing mostly on Superhero films here, as I'm not familiar with many non-superhero comic book properties which are going to be adapted in the next couple of years. If there are any more, feel free to post your prediction for them in the comments section.
We've had a bit of a CBM boom since 2008, when The Dark Knight and Iron Man both took the world by storm. Over the course of four years, CBMs have seen a noticeable rise in prominence in Hollywood, with several of those CBMs going on to become some of the highest grossing films of their respective years, in turn, further progressing CBMs as a big deal. Now both films culminated this year in The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers respectively. Nolan's Bat-trilogy's done, while MCU will continue to expand. Regardless, the point is that the CBM boom continues, and the next couple of years indicate just that, with several major (and a few minor) properties lined up for big screen adaptations. And since discussing's what we do here, why not discuss how well we think these films are gonna do? Here's my predictions:
Iron Man 3 (3rd May, 2013)
As MCU's direct follow-up to the Avengers, and considering it's about their flagship character, I expect this film to do particularly well. Though I wouldn't go quite as far as to say that it will cross the Billion dollar mark. That's because although it's a followup to The Avengers, it features only one of its character. Albeit their flagship character, but only one. The appeal of the Avengers was several heroes battling together on the screen Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, and to a lesser extent Black Widow and Hawkeye. It was a summer event of gigantic proportions, both for comic book nerds like you and me, and the general audiences who (even if they hadn't seen all the solo films) were at least familiar with the names and knew this was meant to be something special (yes, I am implying that many in the general audiences have a sheep mentality and will at least try something if they know it's supposed to be a big deal). So, will following up an event of such a massive scale with a regular solo flick, actually hurt Iron Man 3? Maybe. But of course, there's also the fact that Iron Man has undeniably increased in popularity following the film. Since more people now like the character, naturally more people will go watch his solo film. In addition to all that, we should also consider the possibility that people may be suffering from a bit of an Iron Man fatigue. When Iron Man 3 comes out next year, we'd have had Iron Man on film in all but two years (2009, 2011) from 2008-2013. Now that's a lot of movies. Could some audience members decide that they;ve had their fill of Iron Man, and will hold off for now (when this film comes out)? All things considered, how well will it fare at the box office?
I would say something about the story with the Mandarin and the Extremis armor. But I don't think that will make much of an impact on the box office. The film will sell itself on the Iron Man name. If people have decided to see the film already, the storyline won't change their mind. If people have decided not to see it, the storyline won't change their mind.
I, personally, don't see it reaching the heights of the Avengers due to what I explained above. At the same time, it will certainly receive a massive boost considering the popularity of the Avengers. I think the Iron -Man fatigue will hurt it a bit with certain members of the audience (I know at least 10-15 people who suffer from it) but not to the point of make-or-break.
Man of Steel (14th June, 2013)
I have heard whispers that Superman isn't relevant anymore. That people can't relate to him. He is just too strong. He is just too perfect. He has become a relic. That big blue boy scout.
I call bullshit. Superman is as relevant as ever. Why? Because it's f*cking SUPERMAN. Now, you're probably thinking I'm just fangasming here. So, I'll give some justification. Back in 2006, Superman Returns was about to come out. And people were excited to see what they could do with Superman with (then) today's filmmaking technology. It was creating buzz, it was tracking well. And guess what? It's five day opening was a record-setting one for Warner Bros. So, it opened pretty well. But then something happened. Something that has been the downfall of many films before Returns, and will continue to the downfall of many that come after it. Boring. It was boring as all hell. It was a poorly characterized, poorly written, boring film, that made more than a few questionable decisions along the way. Most notably, "Stalker-man", and the decision to bog itself down with 30 year old continuity --which wasn't anything to write home about anyways.
Why didn't they just start with a clean slate, where we see an updated origins allowing newer audiences to connect with the character (It's not a foreign concept at Warner Bros, they did that with Batman an year earlier)? Why did they throw $209Mil on this, and not feature proper action, when that could be one of the big draws of the character? Why did they do Lex Luthor again? Why was Lex Luthor still the lame, gayass Gene HACK-man version? Why did they cast a charisma vacuum for Lois Lane? Why did they not go all the way in humanizing Supes, just far enough to be in creepy stalker territory? Why? Why? Why? It just poses too many questions. Although regardless of that, it still ended up outgrossing Batman Begins world-wide. But due to strong word of mouth and DVD sales, The Batman reboot went on to glory, and Returns with its poor word of mouth and DVD sales, ended up in the sh*tter. Now combine that with the fact that Superman comic books still sell really well, and the character is still considered a celebrated icon as opposed to a relic of the past. And it leads me to conclude that it was the filmmaker that failed (Bryan Singer, no surprises there), and not the character.
Superman can still succeed, if they make him a good movie. Now, judging from the SDCC trailer, Man Of Steel seems to have got it right. It is humanizing the character, adding drama, romance, ACTION, etc. into things. And promising us the first good Superman movie (Chris Reeves was GREAT casting but his films sucked). It's a recipe for a massive success.
But the teasers have brought a potential problem to my attention. What I saw was some dude fishing and hitchhiking for a while before flying at a distance for a couple of seconds. The atmosphere was "grey", the mood was dull. What the hell was that? And then it hit me. They have been constantly hammering in how they are 'humanizing' the character. Whether it be Nolan, or Snyder, or Cavill. The 'humanizing' is all they can seem to talk about. Could it be that they are under the false impression that Returns failed because Supes didn't brood enough? If this is the approach they continue to take with the marketing, they might end up scaring off potential audiences by causing unpleasant flashbacks to Returns. Judging by the SDCC trailer again, I'd say the film itself will be a lot more than just fishing, hitchhiking, and brooding. They've even said that a large part of it will take place on Krypton. So I'm concluding that this problem's only limited to the marketing. Now, drawing a Batman parallel here, there is the fact that the teaser for every Nolan bat-film has been sh*t only to be redeemed by the full trailer. Since, it's a lot of the same people working on it, I'll guess, they rectify this marketing issue with the full-length trailer.
Now what's left is arguably the most recognizable and iconic superhero property, Zack Snyder direction (particularly the action), Team Nolan's story, a pretty good cast of actors, and an approach to humanize him (without hopefully going too far). And that's, again, a recipe for a massive hit.
[[If they don't knock it off with the boring marketing: $500Mil]]
The Wolverine (26th July, 2013)
Man, oh man, do I have low expectations from this film. This film is coming out at a point where a lot of exciting new properties are stealing the spotlight from the X-Men franchise, which is frequently derided for its messy continuity, crappy third and fourth entries in the franchise, and an increase in public apathy towards the franchise, as exhibited by the comparatively lower numbers for First Class despite being the best film of the bunch. Add to that the fact that the credits of it's writers include The Tourist, Constantine and Total Recall (2012). Personally, I even hate Hugh Jackman's portrayal of Wolverine, but since most people seem to like him in the role, I can't count that as a factor in it's potential box office performance.
This film is being hyped as a return to form (there never was one, again just my opinion, so I won't objectively count that against it), and a standalone film. It adapts one of Wolverine's best solo storylines, and it's one that Jackman pushed for because he too thought it's one of WOlvie's best. If nothing else, Jackman and company are certainly trying their best to make a great movie. So what will it be?
As much as I feel bad for Jackman, because he does try, I can't see this film making too much of a splash at the box office. They're gonna try to distance themselves from the 2009 debacle, but it ain't gonna happen. It's too fresh in everybody's memory. And add to that the vanishing popularity of the franchise, I'm gonna have to say bet on this one to be a bit of a disappointment. First Class was a great film, but that didn't change anything, nor will the quality of this. It will do 'ok' business, and probably make back the money that was invested in it (which, as a rule of thumb, is twice the production budget), but it will be largely ignored and forgotten considering it's being released in the same year as three other major CBMs.
Thor - The Dark World (8th November, 2013)
Well for this film, I have pretty much the exact same to say as Iron Man 3. It does have the added bonus of featuring TWO prominent Avengers characters, in Thor and Loki (the main villain). But it has the disadvantage of not being released in the summer (where it could have flourished). It didn't even get to be released closer to Thanksgiving because Disney chose to give that choice date to their film Frozen. AND, it will release a couple of weeks before Hunger Games 2. And let's face it, it's a sh*t series but will be a massive hit, and will hurt Thor after it's done with the first couple of weeks (big budget films make a decent chunk of their money even after the first two weeks).
We should also consider the fact that this time round, most of the film will take place in the other realms. So there will be lots more fantasy to it, which was the much better parts of the first film. So quality wise it should be an improvement.
I would have given it about $600Mil had it been released at a more convenient date, but for the date it has been saddled with, I'm guessing about...
Kick-Ass 2 (28th June, 2013)
Let's face it, the Kick-Ass comic series has a pretty niche readership. Yet, the first film was a moderate success (considering it's low budget). So how did that happen? Scott Pilgrim proved that relying solely on geeks for niche market films is a bad idea. Well, essentially because a fair amount of those geeks don't like paying for... anything. Scott Pilgrim was arguably creating more of a favorable buzz than Kick-Ass was. Yet Kick-Ass succeeded and Scott Pilgrim failed.
Now you could think about the situation a million different ways. In my opinion, it was because Kick-Ass was more accessible to general audiences than Scott Pilgrim (grounded in reality) and also had a lot of things tweaked to make it 'nicer'. Of course, I don't mean that Matthew Vaughn declawed the film, what I am saying is that the comics are mostly a deconstruction of the idea of superheroes. The film changed a few things and made it a simultaneous deconstruction and reconstruction of the idea of superheroes. And that balanced out the grit in a way that it didn't cross into "violent just for the sake of being violent" territory.
This film won't have that edge. They've already said that this will be a pretty faithful adaptation of the comic. Which I don't really see as a good thing when it comes to financial success. The Kick-Ass 2 comic was already criticized for being overly "violent for the sake of it" in several places, as compared to the first series. Even a lot of people who liked the first series, disliked the second, so it's already lost a few viewers from the niche geek crowd there.
So, it will go overboard with how "dark" it is. It won't make any changes to the comic book to balance that out, effectively driving out members of the general audience that went to see the first. And it will thus be mostly reliant on die-hard niche geeks, which aren't the most reliable source of income for any film. I don't expect it to bomb, but it will certainly make noticeably less than the first film's $80Mil+
Now begin the predictions for films coming out in 2014, which we know very little about. Of course, whatever I say here will be based mostly on speculation. But who cares? It's not some official paperwork we're doing here. We're allowed to speculate based on what little info we have on the following right now. Besides, it's not like most of you aren't already judging these movies anyways. So no point pretending like we don't already have a guess on how it's gonna turn out. Here are mine:
Captain America - The Winter Soldier (4th April, 2014)
Same as Iron Man and Thor, Cap will benefit from the Avengers, but a little less than the other two, because by the time this comes out, it'd have been nearly two years since then. That's a fair amount of time for excitement to die down a little, I think. In terms of release date, it's again saddled with a non-Summer release date like Thor, which could hurt this film. Sidenote - I cannot believe they didn't nab 4th of July, 2014 for this. It's WIDE open. But then again, it's one week after Transformers so... Still, there's other open spots during Summer 2014, but I digress.
The storyline that they are using is one of Cap's best storylines. I think this story would've worked better in a later installment. It just seems a little much considering all the other stuff they're trying to juggle: the Man-Out-Of-Time dealt with, Peggy's story, introducing the Falcon, doing all of Winter Soldier's story, possibly introducing Sharon Carter, and SHIELD. Now SHIELD comes both with the good and the bad. Adding SHIELD means Cap will be most directly capitalizing on Avengers' success (although, that still won't be as advantgeous as it would've been had Cap 2 come out in 2013). But at the same time, SHIELD will be eating the screentime that needs to go into developing all the other threads. I think this film's gonna f*ck it up by cramming too much content into too little time, leaving everything underdeveloped.
Now going back to the release date thing, there is also the fact that it's releasing in a pretty zone. In that there aren't really any major films releasing right before or right after it (Noah doesn't count because Cap & that film will have very different audiences for them). So, like Hunger Games, it could benefit from a lack of direct competition, although definitely not to Hunger Games' extent (as that had an army of squealing fangirls who are ready to shell out their money supporting it, which Cap really doesn't).
So my guess, is that it'll do better than the first film, but not by much.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2nd May, 2014)
It has a nice release date. It kicks off the summer, with not that many hard-hitters right before or after it. I don't predict Robopocalypse to be that big at all, nor do I expect Godzilla to be a major threat at the box-office.
It has largely cleared the issues that came with it being a reboot of a recent and successful franchise. People have begun to change their minds about this new series, and many have hailed it as superior to the Raimi franchise.
It is finally free of a lot of creative inhibitions that it suffered from the first time round. Amazing Spidey had to retread a lot of the same ground as Raimi's first film, while simultaneously try to differentiate itself from it. This was really the source of almost all the problems with the film. They took out "great power, great responsibility" to be different They had to cut out the wrestling out of fear of feeling like the same film. It had a villain that was unfortunately very similar to Gobby, AND suffered from minimal screentime due to the origins eating up a large chunk of the screentime. The parents angle was (let's be honest) added just so that they could say it's a different story (although it was not). Not to mention, they had to put it all together in a hurry to prevent Spidey's rights reverting back to Marvel. Which I am sure many of you would have celebrated - not me, MCU's got a hard-on for Iron Man. That is not the ideal environment for Marvel's top solo Superhero (yep, Amazing Spidey still grossed more than Iron Man 1 & 2).
So now with about $750Mil in the bank, they have not only overcome all the reboot baggage, but have done so while being the most successful reboot of all time (Dark Knight was the film that came after the reboot, Batman Begins).
Now, what we're left with for the sequel are: a perfect Peter Parker in Andrew Garfield. Better (other) characters. Better actors. Better chemistry between the leads (about f*cking time in these Spidey films). Better special effects. Little tweaks like the web shooters are a bonus (no, not a necessity, but a bonus). Then all of it is grounded in something that feels less corny/cheesy/melodramatic, and more human. They also finally gave Spidey the humor and cocky demeanor (although this needs a bit pf polishing on the writers' part). And finally, a great set-up for multiple villains, assuming they are going to use Oscorp as the source of many of the villains' origins --it's not such an "out there" theory as many villain actually do have ties to Oscorp even in the comics.
Of course, combine all this with the loss of reboot baggage and stigma, and frankly, we have potentially the best Spidey film to date. Raimi improved greatly upon his first film because by Spidey 2, he had become a lot more experienced with directing a large scale film. Webbs already outdid Raimi's movies 1 & 3 on his first try. So it's not that hard to believe he could deliver the best Spidey film ever, given all that I have mentioned above.
Financially speaking, The first Raimi Spidey film actually broke the billion dollar mark (inflation adjusted) and the other two came pretty close. Spidey has a pretty big and generous fanbase, considering every Spidey film thus far has been in the Top 50 highest grossing films of all time (no easy feat).
If Webb makes another film of the same quality, I would say $850-900Mil.
But I honestly think Webb will deliver a film of a much superior quality considering all the things I have said: reboot baggage, gone. reboot stigma, gone. terrific film in first try, check. almost every little element needed for a good Spidey film in place or introduced, check. Massive Spidey fanbase that has now warned up to the reboot, check.
So yeah, all things considered...
Yep, I am aware some of you will call me all sorts of names for this but I don't care. This is my opinion, if you disagree, feel free to say so in the comments section.
Ninja Turtles (16th May, 2014 --likely to change)
What? It has just as much in common with TMNT as the film will.
Complete sh*t. It'll be the next Battleship, rather than Transformers. Because it rapes the source material way more than Transformers raped theirs. And that is saying something.
Yes, I know the leaked script isn't the one they're going with. But it tells us one very important thing about this production:
Prediction: $200Mil --Which will be a bomb, considering a huge budget
X-Men - Days of Future Past (18th July, 2014)
I have already explained the problems with the X-Men franchise above. Now, this could be a great movie with a potential to reinvigorate the franchise.
BUT releasing on the same day as the final Hobbit film (and thus the final film of the Lord of the Rings franchise) is suicide. This film will get hurt REAL bad. Probably won't all out-bomb due to a fair amount of people who like CBMs and don't care for Middle Earth (but that's not a large crowd).
Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1, 2014)
I can't believe they gave this the choice Summer date over Captain America. Nor do I understand Kevin Feige's fetish with GOTG. Thanos could be effectively introduced through other means, he doesn't need a whole film, with its own set of heroes and all that, just to hype him up.
I think this film will be Marvel's first major misstep. It has been compared to Star Wars but I don't see this coming anywhere close to the success of that franchise. Star Wars had a relatable, human, teenager as the perfect medium for the audience to enter this whole interesting universe of characters, creatures, and adventures. GOTG is not the same. Trust me, I've read multiple issues. A Star Wars, this does not make. It wasn't even interesting enough to sustain itself in the comics medium as it got cancelled soon after it began. And I expect it to face similar apathy in live action form.
Of course, there's also the fact that it doesn't come with a nice big pre-built audience who liked the source material (like Iron Man, Cap & Thor sis), because there just aren't all that many people who even know, read, or liked the comics.
Prediction: $150Mil --bomb, considering it'll be big budget
Ant-Man (Release Date TBA)
Ant Man is lame. This movie will be the second misstep for MCU.
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