Thursday, June 6, 2013

Movie Preview: June 2013

The box office in 2013 started off very abysmal, but this past month of May lit a spark that got it going. Thanks to strong success from sequels Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Fast and Furious 6, as well as some help from somewhat surprising hit, The Great Gatsby, May 2013 broke the May box office record with $1.14B. So far this past May has produced four movies that crossed the $100M mark, those being the previously mentioned movies, but the total should end up at six as Hangover Part III and Epic near their way towards the mark. This current month will try to continue the Summer success and has a great chance of doing so with a few surefire hits. The June record is currently held by 2009, a month that saw Transformers 2, The Hangover, and Up contribute huge dollars. With Man of Steel and Monsters University on the schedule, June of 2013 will try to challenge that record, but only time will tell if it succeeds. Meanwhile, there are a lot of great options to see, so let's jump into our week by week look at the month of June.

June 7th - 9th - 

The first weekend in June is oftentimes viewed as the weakest week of the month and while that is not always the case, it certainly will be this year as there are two movies opening up in the shadow of Man of Steel and for the most part, audiences will choose to wait and save their money for Man of Steel. This may cause Now You See Me and Fast and Furious 6 to battle it out for first place. Although, if there is a new movie this weekend to jump out and steal first place, the chatter so far is that The Purge may be the one to do so. The Purge is an R-rated horror/thriller in which there is one 12 hour period per year in which any and all crime. Specifically we follow a family that is just trying to make it through the purge, but they run into several different problems in the process. You can easily see the messages there that will try to be portrayed. Either that or it will be an excuse for a really violent movie.

The second wide release on this quiet weekend is The Internship. This movie reunites the Wedding Crashers duo Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson to star in a movie that looks like one big advertisement for Google. Comedies this year have had a really tough time attracting crowds, especially the PG-13 comedies. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Admission, and Scary Movie V are some recent examples. You would think that a combo of Wilson and Vaughn might attract crowds like they did in Wedding Crashers, which made over $200M back in 2005, but with the boring premise of a big Google advertisement, I would be surprised to see The Internship get a final total that equals that movie's opening weekend of $34M.

Yes, we are done with wide releases this weekend, but there is one notable limited release this weekend that I want to mention and that would be Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. Yes, I did just talk about comedies flopping this year, but this one is different. One, it's a remake of a classic Shakespeare play if you didn't know that already. Two, it's Joss Whedon. Already a TV mastermind, Whedon's work on The Avengers will has made him a huge name in the movie business as well and this being his next movie after The Avengers should get the movie plenty of attention. Cast-wise, Whedon is working with several people he's worked with in the past, so that makes it more interesting. Taking the limited release route means that the movie's success will depend on word of mouth and that will gauge how quick it expands to a wide release.

June 14th - 16th - 

The second weekend of June is definitely the most anticipated weekend of the month as Superman once again returns to the big screen in Man of Steel. This starts DC's attempt to replicate Marvel's huge success with The Avengers. DC has been trying to do a Justice League movie for a long time, but talks died off for a while until of course The Avengers happened. That sparked Justice League talks once again because of The Avengers worked out, why not Justice League? Man of Steel was planned before that talk sparked up again, but if Man of Steel turns out to be a huge success, it will definitely help out. Superman has always been a beloved character to Americans as the Superman comics have been around for quite some time. Superman movies started in 1978 and that original Superman movie to this day is considered one of the best Superhero movies of all time. Three sequels followed in the 80's and then we had a 20 year gap until Superman was brought back in 2006 with Superman Returns. That one was generally considered a failure and no sequels to it were made and so Man of Steel will be starting the franchise over again, with hopes of better success this time around. Financially, Man of Steel will be one of the biggest movies of the year. It probably won't beat Iron Man 3's numbers, but it will come close and ultimately have no problem become the highest grossing Superman movie ever. That, of course, is before we adjust for inflation because if we adjust for inflation we will see how lucrative the Superman movies are. Superman, Superman II, and Superman Returns earned $455M, $309M, and $242M respectively when looked at in terms of today's movie prices. Man of Steel needs to earn at least the adjusted total of Superman Returns to avoid being considered a disappointment. My guess is that it ends somewhere between Superman and Superman II.

Usually opening up alongside a huge movie like this is very risky and thus most movies avoid doing it, but This is the End is doing just that. Either it will end up dying a terrible death or it will provide some good counter-programming to Man of Steel as it is going for the crowd that enjoys the R-rated raunchy comedies. Being that The Hangover Part III opened up at the end of May and The Heat opens up at the end of June, This is the End got stuck in this spot and if Man of Steel does kill it, it will exit theaters fast as The Heat will swallow it up either way in two weeks, so it has a very small window of success. Electing to opening on Wednesday the 12th is thus a pretty good idea. The premise of This is the End is a comedy that makes fun of all the end of the world movies and drama of late and stars a whole slew of actors playing... uhhh... themselves. Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and a bunch of others are at a party at James Franco's house when the Apocalypse happens. This many celebrities in a raunchy comedy reminds me of another movie that came out this year that did a similar thing, that being Movie 43 in January. Movie 43 earned close to nothing, so that is a bad omen for This is the End.

June 21st - 23rd - 

The third weekend of June will probably end up being the biggest weekend of June financially. Not only will it be Man of Steel's second weekend, but there are two new movies opening up that should do fantastic business as well. The most likely candidate to take away the crown from Man of Steel will be Pixar's movie this year in Monsters University. This movie is of course a prequel movie to the beloved Monsters Inc. My personal opinion is that making this movie was a head-scratching move for Pixar. While I love Monsters Inc, I think it is a stand alone movie. A sequel was definitely not needed and even Pixar knew that, but I honestly don't think a prequel was necessary either. But it is happening as so now we get to follow Mike, Sully, and crew as they go to college to prepare to be scarers. The twist is that Mike and Sully are rivals at Monsters University and so we get to watch that relationship develop. My bold prediction on the movie? Mike and Sully become friends in the end. Of Pixar's 13 movies, 10 of them have ended up above $200M and most of the 13 have opened between $60M - $70M , so Monsters University will most likely do the same. And at the very least, the kids are guaranteed to love it.

Providing some great counter-programming to the family-oriented Monsters University is the most recent zombie movie, World War Z. Obviously opening up at the same time as Monsters University won't hurt it at all as the two movies will attract complete opposite crowds, but the challenge that will be present will be last week's Man of Steel that will still be attracting huge crowds. But despite that, it still should do well and thus continue the huge success of the Summer of 2013. It once again continues the craze this year of end of the world movies and is the second zombie movie of the year, the first one being Warm Bodies. Helping the movie out is the fact that it is based the book World War Z and that is a book that is well-liked, so the chances of this being just a brainless zombie movie is minimal. Also it stars Brad Pitt, so that is a huge plus as he is a well liked actor.

June 28th - 30th - 

After what should be two positive weeks in a row, the final weekend of June should leave June on a positive note with two additional movies. It will be a week void of huge blockbusters like the previous two weeks with Man of Steel and Monsters University, but both of the new movies could easily pass the $100M mark. First up is the second R-rated comedy of the month, The Heat. The movie stars Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, the former playing a police officer and the latter being an FBI agent. The two are paired up to catch a drug lord and the back and forth banter between McCarthy and Bullock  is what will make this movie a success. It's turning out to be a good year for McCarthy as she was the reason why Identity Thief was such a huge hit earlier this year and my guess is that The Heat will end up having similar success as that movie which opened to $34M and ended up with $134M.

The casual movie goer might raise an eyebrow at this final movie of June as White House Down is the second movie this year with the premise of the White House being attacked. Opening this past March, Olympus Has Fallen was the first. Some might falsely consider White House Down a copy and thus ignore it, but the truth is that White House Down started production first, but just took longer to get to theaters. Olympus Has Fallen did turn out to be a decent hit as it earned just under $100M, but White House Down looks to be the bigger of the two. The most obvious advantage that it has is a lighter PG-13 rating compared to the R that Olympus Has Fallen was slapped with. Also, White House Down is directed by Roland Emmerich, a director with a very good track record as five of his nine movies have ended up with more than $100M, those five being Independence Day, Godzilla, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012.  Those numbers get more impressive as you adjust for ticket price inflation. Add that to the fact that White House Down stars Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx and this movie is in pretty good shape. It should provide an interesting battle for the box office's top spot in this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment