May 25, 2007

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Bug

This month has been huge. Already, we have seen two of the three biggest openings in history. This weekend we are likely to see a third movie enter the opening weekend stratosphere. May is frontloaded with a good portion of the expected hits of the summer. The first two opened to mixed reviews, and that trend is not likely to change. No matter what you think, the third outing for Johnny Depp and his rum swilling gaggle will make a gaggle of money. All I can hope for is that it is nearly as entertaining as the first two. It will have little competition in the way of other new releases, as only one will be joining it at the cineplex, and it is a bit of counter-programming that will pick up the horror-loving leftovers that don't make it into see the swashbuckler.

Pitates of the Caribbean: At World's End. (2007, 168 minutes, PG-13, action, trailer) Less than a year after the second installment, we are now face to face with one of the most higly anticipated films of the summer. Now we can learn the fate of good old Captatin Jack, last seen being swalled by the Kraken, Davy Jones nasty beastie. Barbossa returned and will lead the ragtag group to the furthest oceans in an effort to get Jack while all manner of trouble bubbles up around them. Frankly, I cannot wait for this, and despite its potentially excessive runtime, I will be there at some point during the opening weekend. I have really enjoyed both films so far, and what I have seen in trailers, I do not think this will disappoint. Of course, I thought the same thing going into Spider-Man 3.

Bug. (2007, 102 minutes, R, horror, trailer) William Friedkin returns to the world of horror with this latest entry. Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, and Harry Connick Jr. star in this film about little bodily invaders. I believe this was originally slated for release late last year, but was pushed back for some unknown reason. Despite the awful title, this one does look pretty creepy. There is a strong feeling of paranoia throughout the clips I have seen thus far. Whether or not it actually succeeds in being a creepy movie will be seen this weekend, I hope that it does.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Angel-A
  • Boss of it All
  • Paprika
  • Ten Canoes

Box Office Predictions
Last week, Shrek the Third had the biggest opening ever for an animated film, the third biggest opening ever, and the second $100 million opener of the year and the month. This week sees the third of this summers Big Three take a shot at the record books. I think that the near 3 hour length of Pirates may hurt its chances, but that is countered by the sheer number of theaters that is opening in. If nothing else, these big hits are proving to be more front loaded than years past, and the bunching together of the major releases all but guarantees that they will drop quickly at first before reaching a level of stability. Pirates will make a play for the top spot, Shrek will see a drop in the neighborhoos of 50-55% and Spidey will slip down into the teens. The only new competition, Bug, will see a modest open before slipping down rather quickly.

Here is how I think the top ten field will play out:

RankTitleBox Office
1Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End$140 million
2Shrek the Third$55 million
3Spider-Man 3$16 million
4Bug$5 million
5Disturbia$2.5 million
628 Weeks Later

$2.5 million

7Waitress$2 million
8Georgia Rule$2 million
9Fracture$1.5 million
10The Invisible$1 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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