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