May 2010 Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

May 7, 2010

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Opening weekend: $108 million / Total gross: $279 million

3. Sex and the City 2 (May 27, 2010)

They're back. That cumbersome quartet, last seen terrorizing the big screen just a short two years ago, return once more unto the big screen - and none too soon, as fans of this series will probably tell you. The trailer seems to have kept things interesting, what with a change of location (Abu Dhabi? Really?), a few choice cameos (Penelope Cruz, Miley Cyrus), and some old TV characters making the transition to film for the first time. Do I see a box office increase over the first film? Not quite. But there's enough momentum to keep the numbers from imploding. Maybe no third movie, though? C'mon.

Opening weekend: $53 million / Total gross: $135 million

4. Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time (May 28, 2010)

Ah, finally, we get to something that's not a sequel! This is based on a video game, though, but nobody's perfect. Regardless of its pedigree, Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia is clearly aiming for the kind of tone that lifted his Pirates of the Caribbean out of the rut of summer blockbusters and into cultural benchmark status. Continuing the recent trend of historical fantasy, this one features Jake Gyllenhaal, who's... uh... interestingly... cast in the title role, with Gemma Arterton seemingly reprising her role from Clash of the Titans (in spirit, anyway), and Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina also around and looking as properly villainous as the eye-liner they're wearing will allow. But hey, silly is as silly does, and that Memorial Day slot ought to provide enough leverage for an okay opening and a squint over the $100 million finish line - at minimum. Really, though, and certainly more so than the three heavy-hitters listed above, Prince of Persia will sink or swim based on critical reception. Either way, those omnipresent ladies from New York are going to trounce this one on opening weekend. It's just what they do.

Opening weekend: $49 million / Total gross: $133 million


5. Robin Hood (May 14, 2010)

Here's what Universal is bringing to the Robin Hood table this summer: a prestigious star-director combo (Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott) that's been hit-and-miss lately, a perennial Oscar nominee not particularly known for her box office prowess (Cate Blanchett), a finely-tuned cast of character actors, an apparent attempt at historical realism, with no fantasy elements, and a nearly two and a half hour running time. A mixed bag you, say? More to the point, Robin Hood's been placed onto the cursed second weekend of May slot (cursed because, years ago, all the way back in 1980, on the second weekend of May, there was this movie about a group of camp counselors out in the woods who encounter a revenge-seeking madwoman...) What I'm getting at with all of this, I think, is that Robin Hood does not look like a box office winner to me; if had come out in 2004, in fact, it would have grossed something like $62 million and we would all have been writing about how it's part of the death of the historical action genre. So what can one make of it now, especially since it seems like a film that exists so clearly out of time? Maybe I'm low-balling the numbers here, but my gut is strong on this one. The comparisons to Scott's own Kingdom of Heaven, not to mention Alexander, King Arthur, and all the rest, are just too obvious to ignore.

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