Friday, January 10, 2014

Hercules Wars with Sexy Operating Systems and America at the Box Office

I don't often chime in with my prediction in these intros to Scott's article, but I do want to say that I personally think Scott was far too kind to the Legend of Hercules.  The films looks awful and it isn't even showing anywhere near my city, so I'm guessing something approaching closer to mega-flop number like 4 million or less.  I also want to add that they once already did a Rubik's Cube Saturday morning cartoon, but I don't think Peter Berg was attached.

Anyway, enough mumblings from this corner, and check out another great informative look at this weekend's new release's chances at box office gold.

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Sitting down at the computer to begin typing this, I was hoping to become inspired by the fresh and original content that would be gracing theatres this weekend in their debuts. Sadness came when I realized that there was only one film opening, and that sadness turned to despair when I remembered that this is the weekend that The Legend of Hercules comes into theatres. The good news is that there are two Oscar hopefuls that are expanding into wide release that I can spend some time chatting about, so not all is lost.

First, though, on to the matter at hand, this is talking about The Legend of Hercules. It is hard to predict a good opening for this movie that really appears to be four years too late. When the latest round of 3D mania came into theatres with Avatar, there were many films to quickly jump onto the scene to gobble up some of that cash as people wanted movies to leap out at them. In the spring of 2010 Clash of the Titans brought its sword and sandal tale to cinemas in the third dimension (I saw it in theatre on a date with my wife, something that I paid for later). That is when the iron was hot, something that Conan the Barbarian witnessed firsthand as it was a year late to the party and only made $63 million world-wide on an budget of $90 million.

All three of these movies have in common similar trailers, visuals, and… well, that’s about all, but that’s about all these susbtanceless films have. My negativity is in here because this is not a genre that people are begging for, and it baffles me that a trailer that looks like it should have come out four years ago is being backed by a budget of $70 million. History has been quite clear in its message that Conan learned the hard way. Perhaps Greek demigods don’t read the box office reports.

Legend of Hercules Opening Weekend Prediction - $8 million

From loin cloths to high-fastening pants we go, as the Oscar hopeful Her, directed by Spike Jonze expands from limited release to over 1,700 theatres. The premise of this film looks very intriguing as it is a story about a man (played by Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his operating system (played by Scarlett Johansson). The critics are loving this film, and it is really getting some traction as it heads towards Oscar season. The concept is one that could alienate a lot of audience members, but is also so original that it could drag many people out to spend money on admission.

For predicting its chances, this is a very hard one as it is a very unique story, which has some incredible star power thanks to the support of Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, and Olivia Wilde. When The Master (also starring Phoenix) expanded last year, although it was only to around 800 theatres, it was able to average $5,500 per theatre. I could see this concept, the critical acclaim, and the star power of this film easily getting it a per theatre average this weekend of $5,000.

Her Wide Release Expansion Weekend Prediction - $8.5 million

Also expanding to wide release this weekend is Lone Survivor, an action movie based on the real life instances of a SEAL team in 2005. It is directed by Peter Berg, who may be most widely known as the director of the box office flop Battleship, a movie which took all of the non-stop action and adventure from the Hasbro game of guessing where stuff is and put it in the big budget extravaganza that people had been begging for ever since the game came on the market. They said it was the story that could never be told, that it was too ambitious a project, and the concept of boats on an X and Y axis was too ethereal a philosophy to be contained by a script, and even to be processed by the human imagination.

Berg proved them wrong by grounding the film with alien invaders, a bold move which may have been too far ahead of its time. Audiences did not relate to this classic tale, and perhaps it was the misstep of the aliens that put the brakes on the development of other Hasbro classics that so easily lend themselves to film format, such as the scripts for Stratego: The Movie and Rubik’s Cube: Eternal Conflict.

All joking aside, Berg is someone who I admire for giving me The Kingdom, a movie that critics may not have gotten too pumped about, but is one of my favourites. Lone Survivor stars Mark Wahlberg, who has proven drawing power at the box office. As well, it is the type of story that can appeal to Americans as this movie has the patriotic nature of heroic soldier against the odds. While the flag waving may not draw in a world-wide audience, it will play well with the domestic crowd. During the same weekend last year, Zero Dark Thirty was able to draw almost $30 million, and I see Lone Survivor getting a very similar number.

Lone Survivor Wide Release Expansion Weekend Prediction - $28 million

2 comments:

  1. Scott Martin10:35 am

    Chris may be right, and it could be that I am being too kind towards the chances of Hercules. Over at Rotten Tomatoes it has 0%, although it has only been reviewed by fifteen critics on the sit. I think it would be best if Chris were to see this film and then perhaps the movie's sweet style may be able to seduce him into championing this film.

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  2. This movie has the son of Zeus to champion it; there is nothing I could do that would top that.

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