Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider - Week 1 | Spider-Man 3 | Shrek the Third | Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

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Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider - Week 1

Spider-Man 3
Shrek the Third
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Ratatouille
The Summer Movie Pool opened the way it should with a mega-opening. Just two years ago the pool kicked off with all $19.7 million of Kingdom of Heaven. Boring. Even last year's $47.7 for Mission: Impossible 3 was a little underwhelming, much like the assignments in the film which seemed more like "pretty tough" than "impossible" to pull off. Finally, we get the opening this pool deserves: the biggest in box-office history!

Spider-Man 3 obliterated last year's Pirates 2 opening by $15 million after web-slinging a grand total of $151.1 million in three days. This included midnight shows (and 3am and 6am shows at some theaters - how stale do you think the popcorn was by that point?) as everyone and their Nintendog who had an interest in this film went out to see it. Yes, that also means that in one weekend Spider-Man 3 grossed more than 15 times what From Justin to Kelly totaled in its entire 2003 summer run. Speaking of which, for some reason I enjoy Kelly's new song Never Again more if I envision her singing it to Justin Guarini.

(In Justin's defense though, he was a better singer than any of the guys on this season's Idol. And can someone please explain why Blake's beat-boxing keeps getting called contemporary by the judges? If that's "hip and new" so are pale blue tuxedos and mullets. "Ladies and gentleman, you're next American Idols: Doug E. Fresh and Police Academy's own Michael Winslow!").

Opening on the other side of the spectrum was Lucky You with a bust of $2.7 million. This from the director of L.A. Confidential and 8 Mile (or The Karate Kid of Detroit, as I like to call it)? Sure, this was above Pluto Nash's unfathomable $2.1 million opening in 2002, so it has that going for it. Well done.

The Top Five if Today was Labor Day
#1. Spider-Man 3 - $151 million
#2. Lucky You - $2.7 million
#3. N/A
#4. N/A
#5. N/A

This Week
Take three generations of Hollywood actresses and turn them into three generations of a family and you have a film that has absolutely no connection to the summer blockbuster audience in Georgia Rule. Look, if you want to be a hit with the ladies in the summer, you need a romantic comedy with big star (a la My Best Friend's Wedding) or hip and trendy (a la The Devil Wears Prada). Now, if this was time-warped Jane Fonda using her Barberella moves to smack some sense into Lindsey Lohan, then we might have something.

Can one of the few "thinking man's" horror movies in the last 20 years actually have an "thinking man's" sequel in 28 Weeks Later? Sadly, even if it's a good movie, with all the "big" movies coming out, it'll be lucky to still be in theaters 28 Days Later.

Let's take the Three Amigos with a dash of In The Army Now and this gets you Delta Farce. Honestly, I thought the original Delta Force with Chuck Norris and George Kennedy was already a parody, so this seems a bit like overkill.

Extra Bonus Section:

Ok, here's my pain-staking picks.

To start, for me there's sort of an obvious Top Four where it all comes down to positioning. The Five Pick is a complete crapshoot as anything else could do as well as $200 million or not even crack $100 million and people wouldn't be that surprised.

For the order of the top four I went with...

Pirates
Spidey
Shrek
Harry

I wanted to put Spidey first, but even as Spidey is as mainstream as comic books get, Pirates attracts that crowd plus others who couldn't care less about costumed crime-fighters. I couldn't ignore the $450 mill the last Pirates film made and even though I couldn't care less about #3, all those folks that do "have" to come back for #3 just so that #2 makes any sense whatsoever (even though I doubt it will make any more sense... That was just a "What the crap is going on here?" movie).

Yes, Spidey just opened huge, but Pirates will open even huger and has the Monday holiday to further outpace Spidey... and there will be no "threat" for the top spot until three weeks later with the Silver Surfer (unless Surf's Up can really bring some Happy Feet magic two weeks later). I'm guessing about $475 for Pirates and $450 for Spidey.

Shrek and Harry Potter, this was tough. I really didn't care for Shrek 2 but again, couldn't ignore the $420 it made last time around even if I think this will do much less (especially with Pirates exploding a week after it opens). Harry won't do as well in the summer as he does in the fall, so I gave the nudge to Shrek here. Harry is a lock for about $250, but Shrek can probably top that in the $275-$300 range.

Now, for the bottom five slot... The contenders (in my opinion): Die Hard, Transformers, Silver Surfer, Ratatooie, Bourne, and Evan Almighty.

Tossed out Die Hard with it's R rating and relevance to today's movie-going public. I don't think Die Hard 3 even made the top five the last summer it was out and it was more relevant then.

Transformers has a feeling of $150 mill to me (kinda like what the first FF film and T3 did). With all the competition out there, it won't bankroll that July 4th weekend to glory.

Think this Bourne should do as well as the last one, but that's still only in the $180 range.

Silver Surfer will be bigger than the first FF, but can't see it getting much more than $200 mill with all the competition.

Evan Almighty really could be this summers Night at the Museum, but again, this competition could actually find it getting completely lost. I think it has the highest chance of flopping out of these contenders (no clear stars, an unrecognizable franchise), so my nerves just can't go with it (though I still hope it's a fun movie the whole family can enjoy -- Thanks, Leonard Maltin).

That leaves me with Ratatooie. A film I feel is getting almost no attention and maybe because it doesn't have any of the normal "wow" factors that normally go with Pixar and Brad Bird. I see the trailer and I'm still have "faith" that it'll be good instead of being convinced by what I see. That same faith says Pixar hasn't had a film do less than $200 mill since A Bug's Life almost ten years ago. The Disney marketing machine will start ramping up after Pirates is launched and this could sail well north of $200 mill when all is said and done.

Call it a gut instinct, reasonable faith, or a total guess, but I went with Ratatooie as my #5.

by Matt Neuenburg on 05/07/2007

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Ratatouille, Shrek the Third, Spider-Man 3
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