July 13th - 15th - Only one movie dares to come out the weekend before Dark Knight Rises and that is the fourth installment of the Ice Age series, Ice Age: Continental Drift. And quite honestly it has nothing to fear. One, it's the exact opposite type of movie than DKR, a light-hearted animated kids movie. Parents with younger kids will be taking their kids to see Ice Age during July while the rest of the country will be seeing DKR. The second thing is that, Ice Age 4 doesn't even need to come out in the US to be successful. While the previous three movies all fell just shy of $200M here in the US, they got increasingly more popular internationally to the point where the third movie made nearly $700M overseas, making it the highest grossing animated movie ever. Yeah, you heard that right. And the fourth one is looking to either match or top that number. It opened last weekend in 35 markets and was number one in every single country, breaking opening weekend foreign records all over the place. I don't know why the rest of the world is obsessed with Ice Age, but they are, so it is what it is. Domestically there has already been two animated hits this summer (Madagascar 3 and Brave) and I don't know if there will be three. I will be surprised if Ice Age 4 got over $150M here. But like I said, that doesn't really matter much.
July 20th - 22nd - And here it is. The Dark Knight Rises. It is wisely the only movie to premier this weekend. If other movies did come out the same weekend, no one would see them. When the Dark Knight opened back in 2008, it shattered the opening weekend record and went on to become the second highest grossing movie ever domestically. It was also extremely well liked as many labeled it the best comic book movie ever. Those facts combined with the anticipation factor create the perfect formula for success. Seriously, a lot of people are going to see this movie. The question is, how well will it do compared to the Avengers? Despite everything that DKR has going for it, I believe it will fall short of the Avengers and have to settle with second place on the year. I think it has a good chance of topping Dark Knight's 155M opening weekend record and even topping Dark Knight's overall total of 530M, but I think that $207M/610M+ are hard numbers to compete with. Also in terms of best movies of the year, I personally think I will end up enjoying Avengers more as well. I have some question marks with this movie. One, Anne Hathaway? Seriously, out of all the people in the world you could've cast as Catwoman, you decided that Anne Hathaway was the best option? Bad choice. I hoped that the trailers would prove me wrong, but they didn't, so I am nervous that I will disappointed with her in the movie as well. Second, I fear that there may be a forced romance in this movie. Someone thought it was a brilliant idea to kill off his previous love interest in the second movie (I'm still angry about that if you couldn't tell) and now they have brought in two new females to this one. I hope there is no romance story line, but I fear there will be. Also, I am nervous about how it will all end. I think I am one of the only people on earth that was angry at the way Dark Knight ended. Christopher Nolan likes the dark, unhappy endings in his movies and I fear that he is going to continue that trend here in this one, which I don't know what I think. But will see what happens. One great decision was to bring on Tom Hardy as Bane. He is amazing. If you don't believe me just go watch Warrior. And speaking of Tom Hardy, I find it interesting that Nolan brought several people from Inception, namely Tom Hardy, Marion Collitard, and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt. Plus they already had Michael Cane. So it's like Inception 2: The Dark Knight Rises. :). Anywho, lets move on to the final week.
July 27th - 29th - To be quite honest, this weekend doesn't matter much. Dark Knight Rises will dominate in it's second weekend and the two movies trying to challenge it won't do much of anything. Although, they are both different than Dark Knight Rises. First up is Step Up Revolution. If you are a fan of the Step Up movies, then be my guest. If you don't know what it is, it is a music drama. I really have no interest, so I haven't payed much attention to them. The other one is the first R-rated comedy since Ted. Being that there are none of them for most of July means that Ted will have a great box office run. The R-rated comedy that I am thinking of is The Watch. It unites Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill, so those actors might attract a few people, but not enough to challenge Dark Knight Rises at all.