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  1. #1

    Box office (Die Hard)

    I was just checking Rotton Tomatoes to try and check up on some of the box office predictions that we've been talking about this summer. I realize that the big July films are still to come (Harry Potter, Transformers, etc.), but I was interested because Die Hard opened today and while I was really intrigued by the teasers, I was getting very, very wary because there were so few few-release reviews.

    That's usually a bad sign -- keep the movie hidden from critics and heavily advertize the opening.

    So you can imagine my surprise when the mass of reviews for Die Hard came out today -- and were amazingly positive. It was reviewed MUCH better than any of the previous summer action blockbusters -- Spidey, Pirates, Fantastic 4 and even Shrek 3 (I realize that's not an action movie). More significantly, it's getting a significantly higher user rating (92 percent positive) than any of the earlier blockbusters.

    I realize it's still very early and I've always maintained that mindless summer movies are relatively immune to critics. I believe the key to estimating success or failure is the second week's gross -- how does it do in word of mouth?

    I was also interested in the breakdown of the early summer biggies. What's successful these days for a "blockbuster? ... $100 million? $200 million? $300 million?

    I ask because this is what I see so far:

    Spider-Man 3 $332 million in 8 weeks (still got $1.2 million last week ... will top out at $350 million)
    Shrek 3 $307 million (could reach $350 million)
    Pirates 3 $287 million in 5 weeks (still got $2.6 million last week ... will top $300 million, but $350 is a stretch))
    Fantastic Four $97 million in two weeks (dropped from 77 to 20 ... my guess is that it flatlines just under $200 million)

    Evan Almighty debuted at No. 1 ... but only at $31 million, still well ahead of the well-reviewed No. 2 1408 ($20.6 million). I think A Mighty Heart is going to blow up big time -- a $3.8 million opening.

    Looking over some lesser anticipated films, I see that Knocked Up has brought in $109 million in four weeks (and earned $11 million last week, so it's still going strong). Wild Hogs, which got little buzz, made $166 million -- much better than the heavily hyped Blades of Glory ($117 million). Meet the Robinsons, a Disney kid flick, made $96 million. All of those (except Knocked Up) are basically finished.

    Still, did I once read that anywhere near $100 million is a big success for most comedies? It might be disappointing for a big-budget action film, but for the movies above that's pretty good. Can Evan Almighty catch any of them?

    My big question comes back to Die Hard. When we were talking about predictions for the most successful movie of the summer, it got surprisingly little support.

    We won't really know for another couple of weeks, but could we have missed this one??

  2. #2
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    See it!!

    Saw a screening of the new "DieHard" movie tonight at Fox, and the whole audience (me included) LOVED IT!!!

    Bruce Willis was terrific -- without botox or trying to be a 'young guy.'

    It harkens back to some fun action flicks -- DieHardI, True Lies, Lethal WeaponI, etc. Good characters, people to root for and against, fun SFX. Truly a good movie with a Coke and a bucket of popcorn. Enjoy.

  3. #3

    Die Hard rocks!

    The fact that the first thing I did when I returned from the theater was to rush to the computer to post this "Wow!" review should tell you how much I enjoyed it.

    I've mentioned several times that I'm not in the target demographic, but I can't imagine that the teen contingent won't enjoy this. It's the perfect summer roller-coaster, popcorn movie.

    John McClane is a comic book hero and this is a comic book story -- with the catch that he doesn't have any super powers (except maybe for the fact that he's more indestructable than Wolverine ... no spoilers, but take the scene that's in all the previews -- could a real human being jump out of a car moving fast enough to bounce off a concrete barrier with enough speed that it flies high enough to knock down a helicopter???).

    But everything's played for laughs -- every FX generated thrill is followed by some wry McClane comment). I also enjoyed Justin Long (the star of the underrated "Accepted") as the hacker that replaces Samuel L. Jackson as his unwilling tag-along partner.

    Jason, if you read this, remind me again of why you didn't at least include Die Hard in your poll of top simmer movies?

  4. #4
    I just got back from watching this with my 14 yr old and he really liked it. And I have to admit that it was the best summer movie I've seen all summer.

    OK that includes all of Pirates and this one. Die Hard 12 (that's what my kid called it) was a fun movie.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    I just got back from watching this with my 14 yr old and he really liked it. And I have to admit that it was the best summer movie I've seen all summer.

    OK that includes all of Pirates and this one. Die Hard 12 (that's what my kid called it) was a fun movie.
    You mean this Die Hard 12?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGfmfPYiO1w

    Die Hungry! (and note - this was from like fifteen years ago I think)
    Last edited by snowdenscold; 06-29-2007 at 12:21 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I was also interested in the breakdown of the early summer biggies. What's successful these days for a "blockbuster? ... $100 million? $200 million? $300 million?
    "Blockbuster" used to be $100 million. Not anymore. I'd say it is about $150 million now. At that level a flick is going to do big business overseas too (usually, domestic gross is about equalled by international gross-- depending on the type of film and stars). Obviously, it depends upon expectations. Superrman Returns made $200 million last summer but was a disappointment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I ask because this is what I see so far:

    Spider-Man 3 $332 million in 8 weeks (still got $1.2 million last week ... will top out at $350 million)
    Shrek 3 $307 million (could reach $350 million)
    Pirates 3 $287 million in 5 weeks (still got $2.6 million last week ... will top $300 million, but $350 is a stretch))
    Fantastic Four $97 million in two weeks (dropped from 77 to 20 ... my guess is that it flatlines just under $200 million)
    Your guesses are fairly close. Spidey is all but done and will come up a few million short of $350 million. Shrek is going to be #2 around $325 mill. Pirates is going to limp across $300 million and get to maybe $310 million. Like you, I think Fantastic Four will come up a short of $200 million-- probably maxing out around $180 million.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Evan Almighty debuted at No. 1 ... but only at $31 million, still well ahead of the well-reviewed No. 2 1408 ($20.6 million). I think A Mighty Heart is going to blow up big time -- a $3.8 million opening.
    Evan is going to be the big bust of the summer. It supposedly cost $200 million to make and will struggle to get past $100 million domestically.

    1408 and A Mighty Heart were never expected to be all that big. you'll probably see hear from A Mighty Heart again around January when awards are announced and it is on DVD. 1408 has good word of mouth working for it among the horror crowd. It could get to $90 or even $100 million, which would be very big for a horror flick. I think it is virtually certain to get past Misery's $61 million to be the 2nd biggest Stephen King adaptation ever (behind Green Mile which made $136 million). Of course, if you adjust for rampant ticket price inflation, King movies like The Shinning ($44 mill in 1980), Carrie ($33 mill in 1976), and Stand By Me ($52 mill in 1986) are much, much bigger hits than they appear to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    Looking over some lesser anticipated films, I see that Knocked Up has brought in $109 million in four weeks (and earned $11 million last week, so it's still going strong). Wild Hogs, which got little buzz, made $166 million -- much better than the heavily hyped Blades of Glory ($117 million). Meet the Robinsons, a Disney kid flick, made $96 million. All of those (except Knocked Up) are basically finished.
    I am betting that strong word of mouth keeps Knocked Up in the top 10 at the boxoffice for several more weeks. It has legs. I am betting it gets to $140 maybe even $150 million, which would be huge for a live-action comedy-- especially consdiering it has no big stars in it. This one cost just $30 million to make. Universal and the other folks behind it at going to make a MINT on Knocked Up. I am betting it will be huge on DVD too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    My big question comes back to Die Hard. When we were talking about predictions for the most successful movie of the summer, it got surprisingly little support.

    We won't really know for another couple of weeks, but could we have missed this one??
    As for the questions about why I did not include Die Hard 4 in my list of movies-- the poll only gives me room for 10 choices and there was not a lot of buzz or chatter about this flick. It appears to be on its way to being one of the surprises of the summer. It is worth noting that its audience is going to be sucked dry by Transformers in a few days though. They cater to exactly the same folks and there is a lot more buzz about Transformers right now. Die Hard will be strong, but I really doubt it makes the top 5 for the summer.

    I'll predict right now that Die Hard 4 makes a little more than $40 million this weekend but comes in second to Ratatouille's $55-60 million.

    -Jason "Rat will have legs too-- as all Pixar flicks do" Evans

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukemomLA View Post
    Saw a screening of the new "DieHard" movie tonight at Fox, and the whole audience (me included) LOVED IT!!!

    Bruce Willis was terrific -- without botox or trying to be a 'young guy.'

    It harkens back to some fun action flicks -- DieHardI, True Lies, Lethal WeaponI, etc. Good characters, people to root for and against, fun SFX. Truly a good movie with a Coke and a bucket of popcorn. Enjoy.
    Do you work at Fox? I saw the movie at Fox on Tuesday and thought it was good entertainment. That said, the BO for the last couple days isn't as high as I would have liked to see (about $9 mil Wednesday, about $5.8 mil thursday). Hopefully the weekend will step things up again.

  8. #8
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    Jason - I think that most of your estimates are fairly good, although I think that you are probably giving too much credit to some of the movies for having extended legs. I would love to see Fan 4 hit $180MM, for instance, but it's unlikely.

    I'm afraid that you're definitely right about Transformers taking a lot of wind out of Die Hard's sails, but hopefully the fact that Die Hard is quite enjoyable will help out some.

  9. #9
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    Hello Clipsfan

    I'm also a Clipsfan and no, I don't work at Fox. I just really enjoyed this movie -- as did the audience that night. (And most other friends who saw it over the week-end). It will do very well overseas, and even better on DVD, IMHO.

  10. #10
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    Die Hard is better than you think

    I reluctantly saw Die Hard this weekend. It was much better than I thought it would be. While it pushes the suspension of disbelief, it really is a lot of fun.

    Dave

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ojaidave View Post
    I reluctantly saw Die Hard this weekend. It was much better than I thought it would be. While it pushes the suspension of disbelief, it really is a lot of fun.

    Dave
    I'm curious. Did you "believe" the first three Die Hards? Do you "believe" that Jack Bauer is that indestructible or that 50+ people can fall out of the sky and survive a plane crash?

    All these movies and TV shows are just for fun, not believing they are true stories.
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  12. #12

    Jason - what are your predictions for transformers?

    How do you see this one playing out at the box office? Is there a chance it turns into the surprise winner at the box office this summer? I assume it cost a fortune to make, but it sold out quickly for every showing around where I live.

  13. #13
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    Saw this last night instead of fireworks -- really enjoyed it! I've loved the "Mac" kid ever since his days on "Ed," so it was good to see him in a prominent role (even if he was somewhat young-Keanu-ish.)

    Two things that bothered me -- the superfluous semi-truck vs. Jet scene; and the fact that they were not doing the car vs. helicopter scene on any blocks in DC that I recognized. Come on, if you're going to claim to be in DC, at least shoot the film in DC. ("Jackal" still wins for worst DC representation; come on -- flying through the DC skyscrapers? Puhlease. Runner up prize goes to "No Way Out" for the heart-of-Georgetown metro station. I wish.)

    Still, a thrill-ride from start to finish, and a total "summer" flick, which is a good thing in my book. I'd rate it as tied with Die Hard 2.

    (I still liked Transformers better, however.)

  14. #14
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    Austin, TX
    I watched Die Hard on Wed and Transformers on Thurs.

    I have to agree that by the end of the jumping on the jet thing got to be laughable, but not in a bad way.

    I was also a fan of Ed and enjoyed seeing Justin Long as the computer geek in DH. I totally enjoyed DH. I live in LA so I recognized lots of the highway scenes because they were shot here and mucked up traffic royally for us. DH was a perfect summer action flick--things explode, one liners are nice, Bruce Willis. (I'm a fan.)

    This was a summer action flick I think I'll actually remember which puts it head and shoulders above most of them.

    (I liked this better than TF, sorry to say.)

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