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??
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.
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?
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.
Die Hungry! (and note - this was from like fifteen years ago I think)
Last edited by snowdenscold; 06-29-2007 at 12:21 AM.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!
Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
9F 9F 9F
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.
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.)
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.)