Summer Box Office Predictions

1. Inception

Release date: July 16th

Plot summary: Dom Cobb (DiCaprio) is an agent who has the technology to enter the minds of business tycoons to retrieve their strategies and sell them to the highest bidder. But the mind is no safe place for Dom and his team who find themselves in a place where things can rearrange and people can have powers outside of reality. When a heist goes wrong, one CEO seeks to steal the technology from the thieves attacking him.

Why it will rule: Just a few short summers ago, Christopher Nolan delivered audiences The Dark Knight, a domestic and overseas smash that made $1 billion worldwide and nabbed the attention of critics and mainstream audiences alike. Nolan’s talent lies in making brilliant narratives into dark, compelling films that are popularized by their own quality. Add in Leonardo DiCaprio and his latest success with Scorsese’s Shutter Island and Warner Bros. incredible marketing team for dark blockbusters, it looks to be a hit. All that and the trailer proves that this is going to be Memento mind-bending with The Dark Knight effects squad and July release.

Why it will fail: With the exception of the Batman franchise, Nolan has yet to have a real big blockbuster. Without the branding, and without knowing what it is really about, audiences might turn down this smarter box office fair for more Transformers style blow em’ up blockbusters as entertainment. Also, this movie is missing the Heath Ledger effect.

Estimated box office: $100 million OW / $410 million Domestic

2. Toy Story 3

Release date: June 18th

Plot summary: With Andy going off to college, the old gang forgoes being thrown away by escaping to a donation box for a daycare. The toys must assimilate to life at the daycare, which doesn’t go quite as well as they planned. The toys then decide to return home before Andy heads off to college.

Why it will rule: Disney is a marketing machine and Pixar has yet to produce a film that hasn’t been a mega-hit. Given that the first two Toy Story films were the number first and third top grossing films of their release years, and that nearly a decade later the franchise stands to lose no fans, only gain new ones, Toy Story 3 is bound to be a commercial hit.

Why it will fail: There really is no reason the latest installment will fail or even disappoint. The top 3 grossing films of the year so far are all 3D movies, one being another Disney flick another being animated. Plus it’s Pixar… and a sequel. Seriously, no reason to fail. Expect this to follow the same sort of success as Alice in Wonderland.

Estimated box office: $115 million OW / $365 million

3. Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Release date: June 30th

Plot summary: Honestly, I don’t give a shit enough to look it up. But from the trailer I guess its something to do with an army of vampires are coming from Seattle to the little hicktown in Washington to get Bella or Edward… because they’re so worth that effort. Anyways, wolves and vamps finally stop fighting over the much too pale Bella and fight together to save her. How romantic.

Why it will rule: The Twilight franchise is pure gold. Summit is genius for rushing the films to release them so close together so the franchise doesn’t fade like they know it would if they waited two or three lunar cycles. New Moon only added more blood-thirsty teens to the fan base, and there is a possibility the third will pick up some more and peak the franchise with it’s hot Wednesday before the fourth of July weekend release.

Why it will fail: Competition may be a key plot device in the films, but its something that the actual film has yet to face. Leftovers from Knight and Day, Toy Story 3 and Grown Ups and then facing The Last Airbender, Despicable Me and Inception, this Twilight is going to enjoy a clear night sky like it usually does in early November. There is also a chance that Twilight has already peaked its popularity with New Moon and the big joke it has become is going to keep people away.

Estimated box office: $90 million OW / $320 million Domestic

4. Iron Man 2

Release date: May 7th

Plot summary: Now that the secret of billionaire Tony Stark living a dual life as Iron Man is out, Stark is being forced by the government and press to reveal the technology which has created his world saving ego. Of course this becomes even harder with the government deciding to reproduce the suit on their own and Stark facing a whole new clad of enemies.

Why it will rule: The first Iron Man was a smash. The studio pretty much followed the same marketing campaign as the first film, locking a Superbowl spot, using the Black Sabbath song and pushing the ever-charming Robert Downey Jr. hot off his success with Sherlock Holmes. It will come as the first big summer tentpole, after about three weeks of a weak April release schedule so a grand opening weekend is expected.

Why it will fail: The trailer looks so meh. Mickey Rourke is a phenomenal actor, but looks to being a terrible farce of a villain from what we’ve seen so far. With so many big names and villains attached, it’s looking really familiar to a certain Spider-Man movie that came out a few years ago and underperformed for the franchise. The film is bound to have a great opening weekend, but will audiences keep coming if the reviews are poor and it underwhelms?

Estimated box office: $110 million OW / $295 million Domestic

5. Shrek Forever After

Release date: May 21

Plot summary: As some midlife crisis, Shrek is feeling trapped with his life and pacts a pack with Rumpelstiltskin to get back his old single life again. This leads Shrek to some new version of Far Far Away in which Rumpelstiltskin is a king and ogres are hunted and of course, he and Fiona have not met, Shrek begins a journey similar to his first journey in order to get back his old life.

Why it will rule: The past three Shrek films have generated $1 billion alone domestically. Dreamworks studios does a good job pushing their films to being monster commercial hits even if they are only mediocre. With this being the last of the franchise, expect the studio to make a big push to milk the most they can out of it. Also, it’s in 3D, whatever that means.

Why it will fail: Shrek has been jammed down audiences throats for a whole decade now, and so far they’ve ate it up, but most franchises don’t venture out into a fourth film. And with good reason. It might be time that the Shrek franchise has run its course, and with a terrible third installment and much better animated 3D films to see this summer, audiences may finally not find this green booger looking guy so charming anymore.

Estimated box office: $70 million OW / $250 million Domestic

Read 2011’s box office predictions HERE.

18 thoughts on “Summer Box Office Predictions

  1. Wow, you have some crystal ball don’t you? he..he.. With all the curiosity surrounding Inception, it might actually break all kinds of records, but since we don’t know the MPAA rating yet, which will affect BO performance. If it garners a PG-13, then it just might be well over 100 mill for its Opening Weekend. Iron Man 2 however, is poised to gross a boat load of money. The $295 million prediction actually seems kinda low. I guess we’ll just have to see. I’m actually curious how The Expendables will pan out, that’s on a lot of people’s anticipated list.

    • Yeah, Iron Man 2 might be a little low, but right after its release we have Robin Hood, Shrek and a whole slew of films coming out, so I don’t expect Iron Man 2 to have strong legs, even if they are made of iron.

      I can’t wait to see what surprises this summer.

    • me too you know.. this year i keep on going to the movies.. my friends said i am crazy, i almost spend my pocketmoney watching those movies!! lol
      i can’t resist.. this year is full with great movies.
      the most anticipated one in june is eclipse.. june 30, never forget it. 🙂

  2. I think your estimate for Iron Man 2 is low. Iron Man did better than Batman Begins so there is a possibility that Iron Man 2 does even better than The Dark Knight which grossed $1 billion worldwide.

    • It is a little low most likely, but I think the franchise is going to peak with this one. It’s not like Batman and The Dark Knight by any means. Batman had 3 years on DVD and lots of buzz with its trailer and Heath Ledger to get people excited for it. The trailer for Iron Man 2 makes it look like a gimmick, not The Dark Knight. I think everybody who is going to see Iron Man 2 already went and seen Iron Man. The max I would give it is $350 million, there is no way it will reach $520 million like TDK.

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  4. iron man 2 coming in 4th? Hahaha…that’s utterly ridiculous. Who cares if the reviews suck? Just look at last year’s Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen. it was panned by critics everywhere and still pulled in $400 million plus. Inception pulling in $400 million? ROFLMAO. this site is ridiculous…who runs this thing? a 8 yr old kid?

    • Iron Man 2 doesn’t have the pre- 4th of July weekend release date like Transformers 2 did where it earned 75% of its money ($300 million). After the fanboy rush and the holiday bonus, audiences pretty much dropped off.

      I’ve already admitted my estimated for Iron Man 2 are a tad modest, but I’ve provided adequate explanation if you cared to read.

      Also, if you look at the Writer’s page you will find that the page is managed by 2 college students who are majoring in journalism, film criticism and film production, film criticism and write film journalism for prestigious campus newspapers.

      The site is primarily a review site anyways. These predictions were more for fun than anything. I don’t think you look to a two month old blog to place your Vegas bets. At least I hope not.

  5. Wow you have really put Inception at way too high a level.. It will NOT do over 400 million it will be lucky to cross 150 million. Possibly 200 if it’s very very lucky. Unless you’re talking worldwide gross than yes it has the chance of making 400 million. Shrek will do 300 million at the N/A box office It may not do much past that but it will do 300… It will be close in animation between toy story 3 and Shrek 4 although shrek will have the bigger opening weekend.

    • I think the third Shrek movie sucked so bad and so much time has passed since the franchise was gold that nobody really cares all that much to put it over the 300 mark, but it could very easily, you are right.

      I am speaking domestically about Inception. By looking at the second trailer, the fanbase for The Dark Knight will show up and I think Inception looks to do for narrative what Avatar did for 3D, only on a smaller scale, obviously, nobody gives a shit about story. It’s going to do better than 200 for sure, 400 is definitely a high mark, but its got a lot going for it.

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  8. I’m just saying, so far you’ve been dead on with your predictions here. Sure, a couple million this way or that, but you’re in the near vicinity for everything that’s come out, and it looks like Eclipse and Toy Story 3 will end near where you have them (TS3 probably a ways higher). So I can only hope Inception makes you 5 for 5! (I’ve got Inception in this summer movie pool I”m in, and I need it to be a big hit badly. I had Knight & Day too).

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