May 2009 Forecast

May 2009 Forecast

By Max Braden

May 1, 2009

Which of you is Amelia Earhart?

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Weekend Starting May 1st

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

On the eve of the summer's first huge blockbuster opening, I'll admit to some concern about it being overhyped. But when I think of any drawbacks I see from the trailer - over the top CGI, Schreiber's old man fingernails, Danny Huston being Danny Huston - I realize it doesn't matter. I'm going to see it no matter what. Everyone is going. Why? Because it's Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. His character is arguably the most popular of the X-Men series because he's the most dynamic and the team maverick - Han Solo with claws. So a movie that focuses on his character is bound to open bigger than The Last Stand's $100+ million Memorial Day weekend three years ago.

Forecast: $120 million opening weekend

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

Matthew McConaughey's been pretty much the go-to guy for romantic comedies since Hugh Grant, co-starring with Kate Hudson twice (How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, and Fool's Gold), Sarah Jessica Parker (Failure to Launch) and Jennifer Lopez (The Wedding Planner). Here he's paired with Jennifer Garner and the recycled gimmick of a Christmas Carol-type life review of the womanizer who let the right girl get away. Garner had a similar sci-fi-rom-com with 13 Going on 30 three years ago. That movie and McConaughey's past three romcoms each opened in the low 20s, so I expect this to do this same.

Forecast: $21 million opening, falling far short of the $100 million gross mark

Battle For Terra

So I see this trailer for some other-world scifi adventure that looks like a war between ant aliens, and I think: "Huh." It's got some nifty background cgi, but none of the approachable characters of animated adventures we usually praise. Why? Probably because this is neither a Pixar or Dreamworks or even Fox Animation release, but one from Lionsgate, by a rookie director. Being released in 3D might help it, but by not much - if you can't enchant the kids, there's no hope.

Forecast: $4 million


Weekend Starting May 8

Star Trek

As a child of the 1980s, I was a fairly typical fan of the Star Trek movies, siding with neither the Lucas or Roddenberry universes. I just enjoyed the sci-fi action. I caught up with The Next Generation in college, watched Deep Space Nine, and even saw most of Voyager. But both the movie and TV series became forgettable. Is Star Trek: Enterprise still on tv? I have no idea. A reboot seems like the logical direction to go, especially since it worked for Batman and Bond. But none of the actors jump out at me. The trailer looks like it was directed by someone high on drugs, and I miss Jerry Goldsmith's sweeping music. I think all that adds up to a lot of trepidation on opening weekend. On the otherhand, a new next generation of fans could be interested. If it's good, I expect a moderate opening but long legs.

Forecast: $40 million, eventually passing $150 million.

Next Day Air

A mistaken shipment of drugs is a great setup, and this looks like a fun companion movie to Snatch and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Depending on how wide a release Summit gives it, I expect a pretty good performance at the box office.

Forecast: $10 million.

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