Rango, The Adjustment Bureau, and Beastly
I normally predict movie grosses in my The Week Ahead post.
I didn’t do it this week (I had a bit of a cold), so I thought I’d take a separate post for it.
First, this is the biggest geek movie weekend of the year so far…and that makes it a tougher call. It’s quite a range: Rango should appeal kids and parents, The Adjustment Bureau is for adults, and Beastly is for tweens and young teens. It may make for the first really successful weekend of the year, and you’ll hear about that.
Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp have combined for box office dynamite. The three Pirates movies are huuuuuge. Verbinski also directed The Weather Man (with Nic Cage), The Ring, The Mexican, and Mousehunt. That’s a couple of sixty millioners, a blockbuster 100 plus…and a Nic Cage movie. ;) That’s a very solid record. Depp, of course, is a great box office draw…laugh at The Tourist, if you want, but it has dogroed (domestic grossed) more than $60 mill. Will that translate to a cartoon starring non-cute reptiles, amphibians, and rodents? I think so. Johnny Depp has gotten his face out there in connection with this movie. One of last year’s top ten movies, How to Train Your Dragon, was a March Animation release…with scaly stars. I’m not going to say it’s going to be that kind of blockbuster. The real question there is the emotional connection with the audience. Toy Story 3, Dragon, Despicable Me…they all have a lot of heart. Still, I’m going to put this between 1 and 200 mill dogro. It does face another animated challenger, Mars Needs Moms on March 11th…but I don’t think that’s going to head this picture off at the pass, pardnuh.
If everybody who watches Fringe goes to see this, it will be a huge hit…but I don’t think that’s happening. I’m concerned about this one. Matt Damon has absolutely had huge hits (he was in True Grit last year…but also Hereafter and Green Zone), but I’m worried about the accessibility of the story. Philip K. Dick wrote the source story, and he’s not always the easier person with whom to connect (nor would he want to be). The marketing has been unfocused: is it a love story, an action movie, or The Twilight Zone? I think this is going to have some real fans, but be more of a secondary market (streaming video, DVD) kind of movie. I’m not sure it will even get to $40m, and Rango may trounce it this weekend. I’m going to go with between $40 and $79.
I think this one may be in trouble, despite the presence of Neil Patrick Harris. Again, there will be people for who it is their “favoritest movie ever”, but I don’t think it is going to draw most adults. I think you are mostly looking at a tween female audience. While that demo can help a movie to big success (see Twilight), it takes both a huge commitment from that group and others to really drive a picture. I overestimated that audience with I Am Number Four…which also starred Alex Pettyfer. That movie has dogroed $22m so far, and seems like much more of a big screen experience (more special effectsy and big movements on the screen). I think this one is better suited to watching at home. Arguably, it loses some of its audience to Red Riding Hood in its second week Sorry, NPH, but I’m afraid I’m going with this one not dogroing $40m.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.