Things are starting to heat up now, as more heavy hitters find their way onto our screens and others looking like they’ll be coming up short…
As promised last time, here’s a link to a spreadsheet showing all our competitors and how they are doing with their guesses, alongside the current order of things. Avengers takes the top spot for all so far which is unsurprising, and those playing, I wouldn’t worry about your Prometheus placings. It’s gonna leap-frog a few of those guys by this time next week. Kudos to those placing Dictator and Dark Shadows towards the bottom too, though it looks like some may have come unstuck with American Pie…
Onto the major events of the last few weeks.
PROMETHEUS - $46,073,959 so far
For an opening weekend which doesn’t include a couple major markets, Prometheus is already looking pretty solid. With a sure-to-be-pretty-damn-huge US opening, this could look to meet the expectations of our contestants, with many choosing to place it at the upper end of their lists. In the US it does have a R-rating which could hurt it somewhat, but the 3D/IMAX behemoth does scream to be seen on the big screen, something which is only going to carry it on forward into the coming weeks. It also has the benefit of not having too much 3D competition other than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opening against it through June. European box office could be hurt by the impending Euro 2012 competition, but I don’t feel as much of a buzz around that as there has been around other football competitions in years past, and indeed instead of running a mile away from the football as the dearth of June 2010 attested to during the last World Cup, many studios are giving their films a run out this month, though few look to be as big as this. The drop-offs over the next few weeks will be interesting but we certainly have a player here.
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN - $106,459,400 so far
Starting off at quite the gallop, Snow White and the Huntsman will be looking to leapfrog the likes of Dark Shadows and The Dictator by this time next week. It’s a start which, on the face of it, puts Prometheus in the shade, but when looking at the fact that Snow White has opened in over double the amount of territories, including the US crucially, things don’t look quite as rosy. This is the kind of international opening which won’t make any record books but certainly won’t be making heads roll, something you may not be able to level at Battleship, Universal’s earlier blockbuster, which is sputtering around the $300 million mark despite opening internationally nearly two months ago. Speaking of that film, its US performance has really surprised me, the rah-rah patriotism of the thing translating to a current box office which is only just over double its opening weekend nearly a month on. I may be a John Carter fan, but you have to look at that film’s performance and wonder why Battleship hasn’t attracted quite the level of “bomb” talk the earlier Disney effort attracted right from opening day. But let’s get back to Snow White, this will look to play well through June as a counter-programming blockbuster, which will do well with the female side of the audience, and their boyfriends/husbands, for a while yet.
MEN IN BLACK 3 - $401,952,583 so far
This time last week, things were looking a tad shaky for Men in Black 3, with an opening worldwide weekend which was OK but far from truly impressive. Spearheaded by a second weekend which actually saw its takings rise in the UK week-on-week, the film is over the $400 million mark internationally and will be cresting around the higher end of the table when all is said and done. Its 3D screens will be fairly locked in until Abe Lincoln, and depending on how Prometheus holds up, it may even retain screens after that. The production problems and ballooning budget of this film are well known and it will take a fair bit money more for it to be in the, er, Black , but this is a proposition which may just pay off a little for Sony, who still have The Amazing Spider-man to unleash in a few weeks too. Its position in second place at the moment is very good, but it is worth bearing in mind just how many competitors could well do over $500 million when all is said and done.
In other news, The Lorax looks to be in a bit of a holding pattern as it waits for the school holidays to kick off its next assault at the international box office. Dark Shadows seems to be performing maybe a tad better than it could have done after opening weekend, though struggling to $200 million will impress no-one, especially with a production budget of $150 million. These figures still compare pretty damn favourably to The Dictator, which will likely struggle to get to $150 million, something which seemed to have been predicted by virtually all our contestants. Doing nearly double that film is one of my personal surprises of the game so far, as American Reunion heads towards a possible $250 million worldwide, making many times over what the film did in its own country and proving that nostalgia and broad comedy are a potent mix. Oh and Avengers Assemble? Nothing is even coming close. Indeed, nothing will until the potential double bill of Ice Age 4 and Dark Knight Rises – but even those may struggle.
In the next installment in two weeks time we’ll see some a potential dark horse released, as the incredibly broad-looking Rock of Ages makes its debut, while Prometheus continues its international rollout.
One more thing… I obviously won’t be counting GI Joe anymore. Don’t think anyone wants this going until March…