You all should know the drill by now. We've done this "contest" with the summer movies for the past several years and now we are doing it for the other big movie season, the winter. All you have to do is vote for the films you think will be the top 5 of the season.
I am not going to put the poll up for a couple weeks. I do want to take opinions on which films to include in the poll. It is not as cut and dry as it typically is during the summer. Here are a list of films I am considering for the poll. I am pretty confident about these first 7 being included --
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- Megamind - animated film with Matt Damon, Will Farrell, and Tina Fey
- Tron: Legacy - who cares how many years it has been, you are dying to see it!
- The Tourist - thriller starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp
- Little Fockers - has this franchise died yet?
- Unstoppable - runaway train flick starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine
That leaves 5 more spots in the poll and I have a lot of candidates. Give me opinions on the following--
- Red - Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren in a CIA action-comedy
- Monsters - no-name cast but big buzz. Aliens have landed in Mexico and people trying to get across the border into safe America. Dubbed, "this year's District 9"
- Due Date - Robert Downy Jr and Zach Galif in a buddy road flick
- 127 Hours - Oscar winning director Danny Boyle, story of man trapped while hiking
- Skyline - big effects film about aliens grabbing people in Los Angeles
- Next 3 Days - Russell Crowe tries to break his wife out of prison
- Tangled - Disney's animated film this winter, new take on the Rapunzel story
- Burlesque- Cher and Christina Aquilerra, need I say more?
- Love and Other Drugs - Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal in story about first guy to sell Viagra
- Yogi Bear - combines animation and live action. Justin Timberlake as the voice of Boo-Boo
- How Do You Know - romantic comedy with Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson
- True Grit - Joel and Ethan Coen remake this classic with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon
- Gulliver's Travels - Jack Black stars
I could easily see several of these being big hits. I am seriously considering voting for a couple of them. Let me know which ones you really want to see included in the list of films for our poll.
--Jason "winter is a lot harder than summer to predict!" Evans
Just a thought - and I don't think it could be done within the poll casting itself, but people could post in their replies in the thread - but what about, for the purposes of determining a winner and all, posting a ranked 5 instead of just the top 5. That way, if like many times, we have people get 4 of the 5 films right, we could say that this person is the winner of the winter contest because they got 1,2, and 3 correct and slotted correctly, whereas this person picked them as 1,3,4 or whatever.
I say we throw out Potter:
1. Everyone knows it will be #1.
2. It's technically a fall movie.
LET'S GO DUKE!
As for everyone knowing Potter will be #1, last summer some people did not vote for Iron Man 2 and some did not vote for Toy Story 3. Those were both mortal locks to be in the Top 5. They could have sucked and still made the Top 5.
--Jason "I agree that Potter will be #1 though, that is for sure" Evans
Not sure what time period qualifies as "winter" for your poll...but just saw "The Social Network" and thought it was terrific. Also - note to Jason - just read Jeffrey's article in The Huffington Post - very thoughtful and well written.
LET'S GO DUKE!
The Social Network would not be a good pick anyway. It has made $30 million so far and will not get to $100 million in total boxoffice.
And that brings us to an interesting question-- what will it take in ticket sales to be one of the top 5 of the Holiday season. We know from experience that it takes $200 million to be there for a summer movie. Actually, that has gone up as we had a movie make $235 million this summer and finish 6th.
So, what does it take in a typical winter to make the top 5.
Last year's top 5 were--
- Avatar - $749 mil
- Twilight: New Moon - $296 mil
- Blind Side - $255 mil
- Alvin and Chipmunks 2 - $219
- Sherlock Holmes - $206 mil
- 2012 - $166 mil
But that was an unusually powerful season for movies. Compare it to the year before --
- Twilight - $192 mil
- Madagascar 2 - $180 mil
- Quantum of Solace - $168 mil
- Gran Torino - $148 mil
- Marley & Me - $143 mil
- Slumdog Millionaire - $141 mil
- Benjamin Button - $127 mil
The tough thing is that a lot of those movies made the bulk of their money in February and March, when they were winning awards and getting Oscar nominations.
Anyway, those two lists may give all of you some guidance. I would expect that the cutoff for the top 5 this winter would be around $175 million, not over $200 million like last year.
--Jason "this is gonna be tough!" Evans
Folks, we are gonna start the poll in just a few day so we can vote before the Nov 5th opening of Megamind. If you have any feedback on which of the films mentioned at the top of the thread to include, please let me know!
-Jason "this is not nearly as easy as the summer!!" Evans
I am sure I would have picked Avatar, Twilight 2 and Sherlock Holmes last year. I doubt I would have tapped a Sandra Bulloch movie about football as a big hit. Alvin and Chipmunks 2 making $200 million is a shocker -- it did better than the first Chipmunks movie (which sucked)! I would have gone 3-for-5. I probably would have picked Where The Wild things Are and perhaps A Christmas Carroll as my other 2.
The previous year would also have been tough. Madagascar 2 and Quantum of Solace would have been on my list. I don't think I would have realized how huge Twilight was going to be as I have no teenage daughters I likely would have picked Benjamin Button, which was close but was a miss. My other choices would have likely been from among Valkyrie, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and Yes Man. Whew, that would have been brutally bad!
--Jason "aside from Potter, I have about 9 or 10 others that are on my list right now" Evans
I think you put in
and then either "Other"
I agree, this won't be easy. Getting 4 out of 5 will be impressive.
Personally, the only movies on either list that I have any interest in seeing are the Harry Potter flic (okay, I'm a Potter geek), Red (I love Helen Mirren -- interesting that she gets more face time in the TV ads that Bruce Willis), and the True Grit remake (only because of the Coen Brothers).
Then again, I've been out of touch with most popular trends over the last few years, so don't go by me.
BTW: Runaway Train is one of my alltime guilty pleasures ... Unstoppable looks very much like a remake ... only not as visually beautiful.
"Stone" looks pretty chilling. Going to go see that this weekend.
Edward Norton, even as a "bad" guy, meeeeeeooooowwww!
JE - we need the poll! Red starts today.
I'll be shocked if Red makes more than $20 million this weekend. The reviews are good but not great (71% on RT, 60 on Metacritic). I would peg its likely total boxoffice ceiling at around $100 million. Only a sucker would vote for an October movie
-Jason "I should not have included Red in my list of possibilities" Evans
The summer contest was roughly a four-month period (first weekend of May to first weekend of September), so this should be the same: November, December, January, February. The cutoff date for box office should be March 6, a full week after the Oscars.
You could probably come up with a list of 12 big budget, family-friendly films in that period of time, but it makes more sense to mix it up a little.
Here are my suggestions, in release order:
Due Date (11/5)
Harry Potter 7.1 (11/19)
Black Swan (12/1 or 12/3)
The Tourist (12/10)
Chronicles of Narnia 3 (12/10)
TRON: Legacy (12/17)
Yogi Bear (12/17)
Little Fockers (12/22)
The Green Hornet (1/14)
And an equal number of alternates:
For Colored Girls (11/5)
Morning Glory (11/12)
The Next Three Days (11/19)
The King's Speech (11/26)
The Company Men (12/10)
How Do You Know (12/17)
Gulliver's Travels (12/22)
The Dilemma (1/14)
The Roommate (2/4)
Just Go with It (2/11)
I Am Number Four (2/18)
Ultimately, I chose to leave off February films because they are like August films: too little, too late. (The Roommate could make $200 million if every guy who is turned on by the trailer would actually pay to see the movie, but they won't, so it won't.)
Also, I don't see an Oscar juggernaut in this bunch. I imagine The King's Speech and 127 Hours have the most breakout potential, but in the $75-100 million range. I don't know what to make of Black Swan (by comparison, The Wrestler made $26 million), so I thought it should make the list because it's so damn tempting.
Finally, I think Megamind and TRON: Legacy are sucker bets.
On the flip side, I would have liked to have seen more Morgan Freeman.
Karl Urban was pretty decent too. Oddly, I don't even see his names in any of the billing (much less top), and he was probably second to Willis in screen time.
I think we have to cut it off with films in December simply because January and February films almost never make big boxoffice money. As far as I can tell, there have only been two films in history to be released in January and gross more than $100 million -- Paul Blart ($146 mil) and Taken ($145 mil). February is a little better with nine $100 million films led by Passion of the Christ ($370 mil), Hitch ($175 mil), and Hannibal ($165 mil). Still, that is nothing compared to the huge number of Nov/Dec films that make $200+ mil.
Additionally, there is nothing opening in Jan/Feb that is expected to be a $100 mill film. I suppose Just Go With It, I Am Number Four, or Green Hornet have the best chance to make it there, but none of them are (at this point) likely to get there.
So, I a gonna leave this with Nov/Dec films and I think we will probably close it in mid-Janaury or whenever it becomes clear what the top 5 will be. If we have to keep it going a little longer than usual because it is close (like we had to with Despicable vs. Shrek this summer) then we will just keep it open.
I do like the idea of a spring contest. Maybe we will start a new contest in January for Feb/Mar/Apr films. That could be fun.
--Jason "I can't add a poll to this thread, so the poll will be in a new thread" Evans
Taken made $145M? Man, I told you Jason, but you didn't believe me.
LET'S GO DUKE!