Summer Box Office Predictions 2011

1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Release date: June 29

Plot summary: The Autobots are back in action after discovering a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon. They find themselves racing with the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets in order to ultimately save the human race in some form.

Why it will rule: The first Transformers movie was a $320 million hit and the second skyrocketed to a $410 million hit. Both of those movies were without the third dimension however, which is likely to add somewhere near an additional 25% to box office receipts. Dark of the Moon will enjoy a few of the finer luxuries summer has to offer: an IMAX slot and the Fourth of July weekend it usually dons. Director Michael Bay promises to not necessarily make the third film bigger than Revenge of the Fallen, but darker and more emotional, getting into the mythos and character development, something Nolan has faired well from at the box office.

Why it will fail: Michael Bay has never made a dark, emotional movie with character development in his career. Audiences saw what a car wreck Revenge of the Fallen was and it was panned by every known critic. Given what information is known about the plot and teaser, we have no reason to believe Dark of the Moon will be any different from the first two, except that it will be sans Megan Fox, the eye candy that seemed to bring in salivating young males by the droves. Another critical disaster and story-less film may not be a box office pounding for Bay, but it also isn’t going to be the same out of the world hit unless the trailer is another Linkin Park jammed visual trip.

Estimated box office: $120 million OW / $385 million domestic

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Release date: July 15

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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 Continue reading

TRAILER: Tron Legacy

Tron Legacy
Directed by: Joesph Kosinski
Written by: Adam Horowitz, Richard Jefferies, Edward Kitsis
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Gerrett Hedlund, Michael Sheen

Rumors were true, Tron Legacy will be a sequel to the 1982 film which was one of the first films to rely heavily on early forms of CGI. Only this time audiences will be able to enjoy the Tron world in CGI’s prime and new exploration into 3D technology. Producing the project is the original writer and director, but to write the project Disney has doing what it does best, using full corporate synergy by employing nearly the entire Lost staff. Directing the project is first time director Joesph Kosinski, who only has a few video came commercials to his name. But it makes sense, given a few of the motion capture images look like video game characters.

It’s safe to call it a cross between Star Trek and The Dark Knight trailers, the former for plot reasons, the latter for stylistic. There seems to be enough plot to keep the story up to pace with visually magnificent Tron world, which looks like it might be the best of 3D yet. Disney is clearly dedicating itself to take full advantage of the new technology, although it doesn’t see to want to take too many risks since every film so far has been a remake or sequel (sans Up, but those were pre-Avatar days). Overall, it looks exciting as hell, and seems to take itself pretty seriously. Continue reading