: Click to Play
: December 17th, 2010
for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language.
: Original Screenplay
: A.I., 3D, Virtual Reality, Video Games
, Delayed Sequel, Visual Effects, Same Actor, Multiple Roles
, and more
: Joseph Kosinski
: Garrett Hedlund
, Jeff Bridges
, Olivia Wilde
, Bruce Boxleitner
, and others
at more than $170 million
Box Office Potential
: $225 million
This is the make it or break it film for Geeks. If this one bombs, then all three Geekfest films of the year will have bombed, and I don't think many studios will be interested in making more of these movies in the coming years. There's almost no chance the film won't earn more than Kick-Ass or Scott Pilgram earned combined; in fact, there's a chance it will open with more than those two films made combined. On the other hand, it's going to need to make $400 million worldwide, and that's hardly a sure thing.
First of all, it has been nearly 30 years since Tron first came out, and while that film has a dedicated following, it wasn't a massive hit when it first came out. Also, this is the director, Joseph Kosinski's, first film, so there's no previous films to compare, either in terms of quality or box office potential. The main cast members are not exactly box office powerhouses. Jeff Bridges has starred in a lot of really good movies over his 40-year career, but only two crossed the $100 million milestone. Olivia Wilde hasn't reached that milestone in her career, while Garrett Hedlund hasn't been in a $100 million movie since Troy, and that movie was a box office disappointment. Bruce Boxleitner is mostly known for his TV work, while most of Michael Sheen's recent box office success has come from two films, in neither of which was he the main draw.
Also, while Disney has released two $1 billion movies this year, none of the rest of their releases has reached $400 million worldwide. (That could change with Tangled.)
On the other hand, no other December release is generating this much buzz, while Disney has been pushing the marketing into overdrive for the past month, and then some. Add in the 3D ticket prices, and we could have a $300 million hit on our hands. That would put it at the same level as the The Lord of the Rings films, and slightly better than the first Narnia film, so it is not unprecedented, but it will be tough. Given the buzz, $150 million domestically is on the low end of expectations. Neither extreme is very likely, but between $200 million and $250 million is a very reasonable goal.