Friday, January 05, 2007

The Billion-Dollar Dozen: Summer 2007

Geesh. I knew I had forgotten a few would-be blockbusters for summer 2007, but how did I miss the next “Ocean’s” and Pixar movies, not to mention Bruce Willis’ “Die Hard” reprise and the surefire abomination that will be “Rush Hour 3”? Just proves my point, though: This year may be the worst of all time for pre-release hype. It’s going to be unbearable.
So, since it almost feels like summer outside anyway, might as well predict how the blockbuster season will go down now:

$350 million-plus
1. “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (May 25)
2. “Shrek the Third” (May 18)
3. “Spider-Man 3” (May 4)
Even though the second installments of both the “Pirates” and “Shrek” franchises topped $400 million domestically, these three films might cannibalize each other this May—a trend I see coming for the entire summer, actually. The biggest question of the year will be answered quickly with these monsters: Will all of America really go to the movies en masse three times in one month?

$250-$300 million
4. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (July 13)
5. “Ratatouille” (June 29)
What is that funny-looking name on the last line, you ask? It’s the cumbersome title for the next Disney/Pixar effort, helmed by Brad Bird (the genius behind my fave of the Pixar stable, “The Incredibles”). Harry is a guaranteed hit, and Pixar hasn’t missed yet.

$150-$200 million
6. “The Bourne Ultimatum” (Aug. 3)
7. “Live Free or Die Hard” (July 4)
8. “Rush Hour 3” (Aug. 10)
Paul Greengrass returns for his second straight Bourne flick, which is awesome news, and the trailer for “Die Hard 4,” a film that seemed ridiculous when I first heard about it, looks decent. As for “Rush Hour,” the last installment made an obscene $226 million, but I’m factoring in blockbuster fatigue.

$100-$150 million
9. “Ocean’s 13” (June 8)
10. “The Simpsons Movie” (July 27)
11. “Transformers” (July 4)
12. “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (June 15)
This final group should all open huge but will probably flame out quickly. Those opening-weekend hauls should be enough to hit triple digits by the time all is said and done, although it wouldn’t surprise me if “Oceans” is the only one to actually cross that plateau.

Other movies to keep an eye on that I have absolutely no idea how they’ll place (also, keep in mind there isn’t a romantic comedy on this entire entry—one is bound to pop up and make some decent money):
• “Bratz” (Aug. 17)
• “Delta Farce” (May 11)
• “Evan Almighty” (June 22)
• “The Invasion” (Aug. 17)
• “Hostel: Part II” (June 8)
• “Nancy Drew” (June 15)

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