May 23, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The young summer movie season has been a bit of a box office roller coaster. It began on a high with Iron Man, fell miserably with Speed Racer, and then rebounded, although not as high as had been hoped, with Prince Caspian. As for perceived quality, it has been a decline from week to week, with Prince Caspian pulling up the rear. This weekend, featuring the return of a beloved character, should feature a strong rebound in terms of box office and quality. Well, that is what I am hoping for anyway.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (2008, 122 minutes, PG-13, action/adventure, trailer) Nineteen years ago we learned that a man known as Indiana Jones, "Indy" to his friends, was actually named Junior. This year, Junior returns to the big screen in a new grand adventure with his son at his side. That's right, his son. Now, I would love to give you a brief plot description, but beyond the presence of a son, I have been doing my best to avoid reading much about it. I am doing my best to keep my expectations in check, a difficult task for anyone. I am primarily hoping to not be disappointed. From the clips I have seen it looks like a lot of fun, and I will leave it at that. We will all learn my reactions soon enough. For now, I am just looking forward to seeing Harrison Ford in the fedora and carrying a whip again.

Originally, the new Indiana Jones adventure was slated to have some new competition, but those plans changed, leaving Indy as the lone hero entering the box office fray. The competition was to be none other than Postal, the latest opus from the film making genius that is Uwe Boll. It appears that no theaters had any real desire to waste cinematic real estate on what is sure to be an awful film that will draw smaller audiences than his last outing, In the Name of the King (which I will admit to going to see). Postal was originally set to open in 1500 theaters, a number that was downgraded to four. Yes, four. This has set Uwe Boll off into conspiracy theories, doing whatever he can to get some attention. Poor guy.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • The Children of Huang Shi
  • The Edge of Heaven
  • Postal
  • War, Inc.

Box Office Predictions
The big question this weekend is just how much will Indiana Jones make? For the holiday weekend, it will surely top $100 million, probably end up in the $120-130 million range. I guess the question for the three day is if it will cross $100 million. I think it will get close, but not quite make it. As for the rest of the field, the top three are a lock, with Prince Caspian and Iron Man finishing second and third. The rest of the field is a bit more wide open and will probably just be last week's list, just shifted down one.

Here is how I think the top ten field will play out for the three day weekend:

RankTitleBox Office
1Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull$98 million
2The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian$28 million
3Iron Man$19 million
4What Happens in Vegas$9 million
5Speed Racer$5 million
6Made of Honor$4 million
7Baby Mama$3.5 million
8Forgetting Sarah Marshall$2 million
9Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay$1.25 million
10The Forbidden Kingdom$1 million


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