THOUGHTS ON AVENGERS OPENING WEEKEND & WHAT IT MEANS FOR THIS SUMMER

We knew The Avengers was going to have a big opening weekend at the box office, but if only we knew beforehand just how big. Not only did The Avengers break the record for biggest opening weekend, it demolished the previous record of $169 million, held by last year’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, with a colossal $207 million. It’s likely to make more than  $450 million in the U.S. alone, and will definitely bring in well over $1 billion globally (probably securing the #3 or 4 spot on the all time highest grossing list).

Before this weekend, there were a small handful of movies coming out this summer I thought were going to open around, if not slightly above Avengers. Now that it’s in the stratosphere, I’ll tell you why they all probably won’t.
PROMETHEUS
I never really saw this one as having a phenomenal opening weekend, but it seems some still do. Prometheus is playing to a niche audience. As a straight, gritty sci-fi flick, one which those under 17 can’t get in without a parent or guardian, it can only pull in so many people. That, and it opens against Madagascar 3. They’re two completely different audiences, but one has the ability to dwarf the other.
However, the flick has done a great job of getting its core audience excited for it, and if the movie is good, said audience will likely pay to go see it more than once. It will also be helped out by 3D and IMAX ticket prices in the long run.
WHY IT WON’T MATCH AVENGERS OPENING:
It’s not completely accessible
It opens against a popular animated sequel
WHY IT WILL STILL MAKE MONEY: 
Word of mouth will likely be good/repeat business
Boost from 3D and IMAX.
OPENING WEEKEND ESTIMATE: $46-53 million
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

I just recently came across a headline on E-Online asking if The Avengers massive opening “crushed The Amazing Spider-Man‘s chances for summer dominance?”

No, the fact the The Amazing Spider-Man exists and when it comes out is what will keep it from dominating this summer.

Despite the footage from the movie looking only better and better, the denizens of the internet love to continually voice their nitpicks ever so loudly. The fact that the movie is five years removed from the last one, the looks of both Spider-Man and The Lizard, the edgier tone,  and the use of the origin story has all been used by some as absolute proof the movie will suck.

One can only hope such screeches aren’t taken too seriously in the overall picture. How good the whole film is should dictate how much money it makes, not what looks disagreeable from a trailer.

The other factor that could help/hurt Spider-Man’s numbers is when it opens. The Fourth of July weekend has always been kind to prospective (usually certain) blockbusters. Spidey’s opening day, July 3rd,  is a Tuesday, which gives it most of the week and that weekend to perform, similar to the first Transformers movie.

We can expect a high opening day/week, but this will also mean that there’s no chance for any kind of record breaking weekend (Friday – Sunday) since many will rush out during the week to catch it.

A dark horse in the race will also be how well G.I. Joe – Retaliation opens, just 4 days before. If it gets good word of mouth, there may be some competition to contend with.

WHY IT WON’T MATCH AVENGERS OPENING: 
It’s Tuesday opening takes away weekend business
It has more apprehension than the other two superhero movies of the summer
G.I. Joe could be good

WHY IT WILL STILL MAKE MONEY:
It’s Spider-Man. Who gives a shit of the web shooters aren’t organic? You’ll go see it.
The different tone could pull in a larger audience
It’s in 3D and IMAX
It’s got a solid 17 days to dominate before that movie comes out

OPENING WEEK/WEEKEND ESTIMATES: $70-80 mill, Tuesday-Thursday; $80-90 mill, Friday – Saturday

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES


If there was one movie coming out this summer I thought was going to have the highest opening weekend, this was it. My faith has been shaken to the core.
The Avengers‘ mammoth opened brought with it some discussion, not just as to why it did so well, but how it may have a leg up over Batman. It ultimately comes down to two things: audience and 3D.
While myself and millions of others stand by Nolan’s decision to avoid 3D for his Dark Knight swan song, it’s hard to deny the financial boost it’s given movies like Avengers, Harry Potter 8, Transformers 3, the re-release of Titanic, and Pirates 4; all in, or about to be in, the Billion Dollar Club.
However, The Dark Knight Rises should bring in a pretty penny from its IMAX showings. The Dark Knight kick-started the idea of shooting a studio movie in IMAX and is still highly regarded for it. The hour-plus amount of IMAX footage is one of the most hotly anticipated aspects of Rises.
But more important is the audience that’s going to see it in the first place. 13-35 year old males, like myself, are the target audience and are most likely to rush out and see it at least twice (I wonder if I’ll break my Dark Knight record of six trips to the theater on this one). But what of everyone else? 
Nolan’s Batman movies are dark, realistic, complex, often frightening psychological stories with their fair share of disturbing content. In other words, not something you’d be overjoyed to bring your kids to. Sure, kids are obviously going to want to go see a Batman movie, but parents know by now what this iteration contains, and a good number will be more apprehensive about it, with good reason. 
I think having a stronger female character this time around with Catwoman, not to mention getting Anne Hathaway to play her, along with the inclusion of the ever popular Joseph Gordon Levitt, should solidify the female fanbase, and probably bring in some who were otherwise uninterested.
The Dark Knight Rises will no doubt be a crowd-pleaser, albeit darker and ballsier in some of its decisions than Avengers. Audiences have been chomping at the bit for this movie ever since the credits rolled on The Dark Knight. Thus, it’s reasonable to assume that while Rises won’t have the 3D boost and quite as diverse an audience, word of mouth and general awareness will put it right around Avengers final tally at the end of the summer.
WHY IT WON’T MATCH AVENGERS OPENING: 
Far darker, edgier, and less family friendly than earth’s mightiest heroes
Doesn’t have the 3D bump

WHY IT WILL STILL MAKE MONEY:
Final. Nolan. Batman. Movie. In. IMAX.

OPENING WEEKEND ESTIMATE: $175-185 million

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