December 2006 Forecast
By David Mumpower
December 1, 2006
Me in July of 1996: Dragonheart will do well.
Me in July of 2002: Reign of Fire will do well.
Me in December of 2006: Eragon will do well.
I fall for this every few years. I would argue that the third time is a charm, but I do not blame you for not believing me.
4) Charlotte's Web
2006 has seen almost as many CGI family films as horror titles. At least, it feels that way to consumers. Saturation has clearly set in, and this explains the diminishing returns for what would otherwise be adorable looking projects like....hmm, I can't think of a single under-performing CGI family film that looked good. Do you think there could be a message in that, Hollywood suits? Am I being too subtle here? So, what sets Charlotte's Web apart? Name recognition. That's it. That is what I am banking on being the key to a great opening weekend and a brilliant holdover during the holiday season.
5) Blood Diamond
Fun fact: Leonardo DiCaprio's last three movies (The Departed, The Aviator and Catch Me If You Can) averaged $127 million in domestic receipts while each crossed the $100 million barrier. Is it possible that the pre-teen girls who carried Titanic to historically unmatched box office receipts still carry that secret torch to this day? Do you want to bank against an actor on this much of a hot streak when he performs in a movie that looks this good? Yeah, me neither.
6) The Holiday
Face it, a good chick flick is one of the safest plays in the industry and at no time is this truer than December. There was Cold Mountain, Waiting to Exhale, What Women Want, Stepmom, Maid in Manhattan, You've Got Mail, Two Weeks Notice, Jerry Maguire, and the granddaddy of them all, Titanic. Some of them are good/great movies and others are trash, but the principle holds across the board. All of the movies I mentioned there earned at least $67 million. All of them but Waiting to Exhale went over $90 million. Look at the list again and be honest about how surprising you find this news. In a world where Two Weeks Notice earns $93.3 million, all bets are off for a December chick flick starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet.