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Summer Looking to Return to Fantastic Ways

June 14th, 2007

After an amazing May, June has shown a bit of weakness and the summer has fallen off its record-setting pace. Things look to turn-around thanks to a super-hero sequel and the buzz suggests Fantastic Four franchise should be up to the task of rescuing a slumping box office, again.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer will go down in history as the greatest movie ever made. I'm not talking about its reviews, or its awards show chances, nor the audience reception, or box office receipts. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer will go down as the greatest movie of all time in a philosophical sense, a metaphysical sense, and even a spiritual sense. "What am I talking about?" you might ask. It's simple. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the sequel to Fantastic Four. That makes it Fantastic Four: Part Two. Four. Two.


I'm not sure what Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer has to do with the answer to life, the universe, and everything, but I'm pretty sure Jessica Alba is at the heart of it. (Perhaps I should consult world-renowned Bootyologist Oliver Willis on a joint research project.)

... What?

Fine. But I still think it's an idea worth checking out.

As for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer's box office chances, it is tracking for an outstanding opening weekend with some of the high-end predictions reaching $80 million. That's optimistic. However, $70 million isn't out of the question. The early buzz was not strong, with many people thinking that making a sequel was a huge mistake. However, while the critical response to the film is not favorable by any definition of the word, the film is earning reviews that are above the 26% positive the original earned. Most people will agree it is marginally better, but not by a huge amount, and as a popcorn flick, it does its job.

At the box office, on the other hand, it should open with $64 million, a sizeable increase over the first film, while overall it should take in $170 million, meaning another sequel is almost inevitable.

After a slightly slower than expected start, Ocean's Thirteen hopes the better word-of-mouth will help it hold on stronger than the previous installment did. That film earned 55% positive reviews and fell 54% during its sophomore stint. Ocean's Thirteen earned 68% positive and is tracking for a sub-50% drop-off, but it will be close. Very, very close. Look for a weekend total of just under $19 million for a 10-day running tally of $70 million and a clear path to $100 million.

Speaking of $100 million, Knocked Up is about $25 million away from that milestone, and should cut that number in half from Friday to Sunday. The film is tracking at between $12 and $13 million, perhaps a little higher. This will give it about $88 million after the weekend, and even though it will start shedding theaters, it should have no trouble reaching nine digits before long.

Next up is Nancy Drew, the best-reviewed wide release of the week, maybe. So far this week, all three films have held that title and there's still a lot of room to move in the Tomatometer scores. Early reviews described the film as fluff, but more and more positive reviews came in and at the moment it is currently sitting at exactly 50% positive. It is still not a sure thing that the girl detective will connect with today's audiences, especially since 'tweens are notoriously fickle, but it does have a shot at second place with $20 million. Or it could bomb and take in less than $5 million. Tracking has it struggling to reach $10 million while missing the top five, but given the historical tendency to underestimate demand, I'm going with fourth place and $12 million opening.

Agree? Disagree? Looking into the mystery of the $8 small pop? Then check out our latest box office contest.

Rounding out the top five should be Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End with $11 million for the weekend and $272 million in total. It has fallen off the $300 million pace and will need a push to get there. Whether or not the studio decided to give it that push is another matter.

The final wide release of the week is DOA: Dead or Alive, although calling 505 theaters a wide release is not strictly accurate. At one point this week, this film was the best-reviewed wide release. You read that right. In fact, its 47% positive puts it within striking distance or reclaiming its crown after the weekend reviews are added in. On the other hand, the film's box office chances are slim, with high-end expectations being less than $3 million and barely making the top ten. On the other hand, most expect it to struggle to reach $1 million while disappearing by the end of its second week of release.

Finally, Ratatouille is getting some sneak peaks this Saturday is over 800 theaters. Check your local listings for details.


Filed under: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Ratatouille, Knocked Up, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Ocean's Thirteen, Nancy Drew, DOA: Dead or Alive