And welcome back to the July 4th weekend. Two more films open up over this Independence Day week, one a bit of a novelty and the other a potential return to form for a director we thought we lost a long time ago.
Forecast for July 4th Weekend, 2012, Part 2
July 4, 2012
First, a bit of an update. The Amazing Spider-Man debuted to $7.5 million in midnight sneaks, which is neither a tremendous number nor a horrible one. It's a little less than Transformers earned in the same spot five years ago, and about the same as what Spider-Man did in 2002. For right now, I don't see a compelling reason to adjust my prediction up or down, and I'll stick with the 90/76 split from yesterday.
On to new business. Thursday brings another concert documentary, this time from Katy Perry, entitled Part Of Me, which is a savvy little bit of teasing with the title. There's nothing too complex here, and it's a pretty simple inspiring tale about how with big enough boobs and the right marketing team, you too can become one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Did that sound cynical? That felt a little cynical to me.
These concert docs can be hit or miss, ranging from your Justin Biebers and your Miley Cyruses all the way down to your Glees. The lesson here is strike while the iron is hot. I'd say we're not at Peak Katy, but we're not all that far off it, though she probably does not inspire the fanatical behaviour that Biebermania has and does. In 3D because of course it is, I look for this to be in the middle tier of concert films in terms of box office, bringing in about $17 million over three days, and $27 million in five days.
Oliver Stone's Savages apparently did not get the memo that it wasn't supposed to come out on Friday like the other films this week and is the sole new film in the “traditional” spot. We've got the Oliver Stone from Natural Born Killers and Scarface here, as he takes Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson (yes, the pipsqueak from Kick-Ass) and Blake Lively and throws them up against the Mexican mafia in a drug deal gone wrong (are there ever drug deals gone right in the movies? I suppose then there'd be no movie). The whole thing then proceeds to go to hell in True Romancian fashion, with guns and bombs and stabbings and such.
Although this type of movie didn't go away at the end of the '90s, it sure feels that way, and it sticks out in a movie slate that seems dominated by comic book movies and summer tentpoles. Pure, gritty crime films don't seem to be a priority for Hollywood, although I suppose the Fast and Furious franchise comes close after a fashion. Even then, they're catering mostly to car fetishists rather than action fetishists.
There are a few people in this film who need a win, perhaps chief among them being Kitsch, who had his two sure things, John Carter and Battleship, fall out from under him earlier this year. Stone does as well. He had gone over into cuckoo crazy land for awhile, with maybe his last relevant film being Any Given Sunday in 1999. Because of the kind of movie it is and who stars in it (John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro and Salma Hayek get on the poster, but it's the main trio's movie), expectations should probably be taken down a bit. This is no Fast and Furious heist film. However, reviews are rather good for what could have been an exploitative and unpleasant mess, so outright failure should be off the table. Look for around $13 million this weekend.
It's official – Ted is this year's The Hangover, as the R-rated comedy opened to $54 million last weekend, surprising just about everyone, even those who were positive about the film. Seth MacFarlane has officially arrived as a filmmaker, so gird your loins. Like the first, but not the second Hangover film, this one caught people a little off guard and skeptical, so I wouldn't be shocked to see something approaching legs on this, probably around $35 million this weeknd.
Magic Mike probably will not fare quite so well, given that it was heavily front-loaded within the weekend, becoming something of an event film for women. That Friday night became “date” night, and isn't likely to be repeated this week. I foresee a drop to around $18 million here.
That should leave room for Brave to hop back “up” one spot after falling nearly 50% in its second weekend. That's not entirely unprecedented behavior for Pixar, so this isn't a sign that the film is being rejected relative to other entries in the series. It does mean that it's likely not a Finding Nemo or Toy Story 3 type earner, but with about $250 million seeming likely for a domestic total, it's a nice bounceback from Cars 2.
Madea's Witness Protection comes off the same assembly line as all of Tyler Perry's other movies, and this one matched Big Happy Family's $25 million opening weekend. That dropped to $9 million in its second weekend, so this one ought to as well. Dear Tyler Perry: either stop making these or make them be interesting enough to write about in some fashion.
Rounding out our significant films is Madagascar 3, which is due to be the first film in this series to break $200 million, although that won't be this week. It's been remarkably consistent in its four weeks at the box office, and should bring in $7 million more this frame.