Tag Archive: Summer movie preview


Two highly anticipated sequels and one new film on the block look to take advantage of the lucrative Memorial Day weekend. What film will come out on top?

This is going to come down to a (pardon the pun) race between “The Hangover Part III” and “Fast and Furious 6”. Todd Phillips’ latest wisely decided to open one day early. But this one has a lot working against it. The second film opened big a couple of years back, but then went away quickly, not even matching its predecessor, despite opening twice as big. Third films in franchises, (“Shrek the Third”, “Spider-Man 3”, “The Matrix Revolutions”) rarely perform as well as the first two installments. And the second one was hated by critics and fans a like. This one’s getting trashed by the critics too, so this one won’t come close to the first two film’s grosses. Still, a five-day opening of $95-105 million seems possible, but expect it also to fade fast.

“Fast and Furious 6” on the other hand is hot on the heels of “Fast Five”, which became the highest grossing film in the franchise and the most critically loved one as well. The film sees Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson return, as well as Michelle Rodriguez and a lot of others. Luke Evans joins as the villain. This film may have a tough time matching the last film because of all the competition this summer, but Universal clearly believes in this film, hiring “Saw” director James Wan to take over from Justin Lin for “Fast and Furious 7”. This one has a lot of pent up demand and is a lot more accessible than “The Hangover Part III”, though it still targets males.

A four-day opening north of $100 million should be the standard (If you include Thursday night shows).

“Epic” seems like the odd film out. It should be a hit. It’s the first animated film since “The Croods” and families will be looking for a movie to see. But, animated action films always tend to be a tougher sell and previews have given off very different tones for the film. A voice cast that includes Pit Bull, Christoph Waltz, Amanda Seyfreid, Beyonce and Colin Farrell is an interesting mix. And this one should be a modest hit over the four-day weekend. However, this is also a film that could break out in a big way if families are determined to see a film, though I think most will wait for “Despicable Me 2” and “Monsters University”. But I think a four-day opening of $45 million plus is within reach.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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It’s been a good first few weeks for the summer movie season. “Iron Man 3” had the second biggest opening weekend ever. “The Great Gatsby” exceeded expectations. Now that hot streak should continue with J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek Into Darkness” starring Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and more. How big will it open?

Well opening tonight obviously will hurt its opening weekend. But this has turned into a must-see movie event. The first film opened to $79 million and while four years between films is a long time, it could have a similar effect like “The Matrix: Reloaded” had for pent up demand. It should be in line for a huge opening tonight/Thursday, earning at least $25-30 million. That momentum should carry it into the weekend. but opening a day early will prevent it from cracking $100 million this weekend. Still, an opening around $90 million is certainly possible. The big question will be how much will it earn in its entire domestic run? There’s a lot of competition this summer, starting next weekend with “Fast and Furious 6” and “The Hangover Part III”. Then there’s “After Earth” and “Man of Steel” not far on the horizon. That means unless this is universally loved as not just a great summer movie, but one of the best films of the decade, this film is going to make around the same total gross that the first film made, which would put it in the $280-290 million range.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Next week, one of the biggest movies of the summer (“Iron Man 3”) kicks off the summer movie season. May sees the releases of “Iron Man 3”, “The Great Gatsby”, “Star Trek Into Darkness”, “Epic”, “Fast and Furious 6”, “The Hangover Part III” and “After Earth”. Several smaller, but highly anticipated films like “After Shock”, “Before Midnight” and “The Iceman” are all hitting theaters in May as well. Which film are you looking forward to the most?

For me, it’s a tough call. I am absolutely, positively insanely excited to see “Before Midnight” starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy from director Richard Linklater. If you haven’t seen “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”, do yourself a favor and check them out ASAP. They are wonderful films and I’m hoping the third film can live up to the first two. That being said, it’s hard not to get excited for the big movies. “The Great Gatsby” from Baz Luhrmann is the biggest question mark of the month for me. He has an eye for style and loves to use some surprising music in his films. But “Australia” was overly long and boring and frankly this close to release and all anyone is talking about is the soundtrack. What about, you know, the cast? Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan will get me to check this film out, but I get the feeling this is going to be style over substance.

The two films I’m not excited for are “The Hangover Part III” and “After Earth”. For “The Hangover”, the good news is it won’t be the worst in the trilogy, but that’s only because the second film was so terrible. Todd Phillips really didn’t hit it with another road trip comedy, “Due Date” and this one will likely have a few funny moments, but fall flat a a whole. And “After Earth”. All I have to say is this: M. Night Shyamalan. The trailer had the unintended effect of making me laugh. I don’t have high hopes for that film at all.

I am excited for “Iron Man 3”. I think the change in director will do the series some good and Robert Downey Jr. should shine. But part of me does wonder if I’ll get Marvel fatigue pretty soon. “Star Trek Into Darkness” looks amazing. But let’s not forget with expectations sky rocketing, the first film was light on action and if you look at J.J. Abrams’ history, action is not his strongest suit. “Fast and Furious 6”, well there’s nothing wrong with a good action film. “Epic” looks like Fern Gully, but hey, I’m intrigued. “Before Midnight” tops my list of most anticipated film of May with ‘Iron Man 3″, FF6 and “Star Trek” close behind.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

July brings some uncertain times for a lot of films this month.

July 3

“The Amazing Spider-Man”

The reboot tries to capture some of the magic from Spidey’s first two big screen adventures. The film is easily the least high profile of the three big comic book films coming out this summer. But, the trailers have been building a lot of buzz for the film. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone look to be solid leads and director Marc Webb looks like he’s crafted a different enough take on the character. This one may not make nearly as much as the other installments in its opening weekend, but it should have stronger legs until “The Dark Knight Rises” comes out.

Opening weekend: $95-100 million

Total box office gross: $280-285 million

July 6

“Savages”

The grisly action film starring Benicio Del Toro and Aaron Johnson has the potential to break out due to the fact that audiences may be looking for a film more grounded in reality than all the animated and ridiculous summer action movies already out by that point. That being said, awareness isn’t very high for that film right now and it’s going to have some tough time getting any awareness in time to see a significant bump in its box office.

Opening weekend: $35-40 million

Total box office gross: $100-105 million

July 13

“Ice Age: Continental Drift”

How well this film does I think completely depends on how well received Pixar’s “Brave” is. If “Brave” is up to Pixar’s usual standards, expect “Ice Age” to open decently but lose a lot of its audiences in the following weeks back to “Brave”. The Ice Age films have been wildly successful.

Opening weekend: $70-75 million

Total box office gross: $160-165 million

“Ted” 

The comedy from Seth McFarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg has the potential to be the R rated comedy hit of the summer. Two things working against it. One, R rated comedies have been hit or miss. Two, “TDKR” opens the following weekend.

Opening weekend: $20-25 million

Total box office gross: $65-70 million

July 20

“The Dark Knight Rises”

Here we go. The only other film this year that has a real shot at breaking the opening weekend record set by “The Avengers”. I didn’t think the latter would earn that much and I don’t think this one will earn that much either. Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale welcome Tom Hardy and others to the franchise. But, there’s not nearly as much buzz for this film as the last one.

Opening weekend: $170-175 million

Total box office gross: $450-455 million

July 27

“Neighborhood Watch”

The all-star comedy stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and others. If there was going to be a big summer hit comedy, this would be the most obvious choice. One has to wonder, as weird as this may sound, whether there’s any backlash from the Travon Martin case. Remember, “30 Minutes or Less” saw a big negative impact after there was a similar real life case.

Opening weekend: $45-50 million

Total box office gross: $125-130 million

“Step Up Revolution”

They keep making these films, so obviously, there’s a core group of fans who love these movies. Never been a fan, but I see no reason why this won’t be as successful as the others.

Opening weekend: $25-30 million

Total box office gross: $60-65 million

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Ah, summer. So many movies coming out. So much hype. And with hype comes disappointment as films fail to meet expectations. Which movies this summer do you think will fall flat? To start the discussion, I’m not including films like “Battleship” which…let’s face it, I know very few people who actually think it will be good.

My pick is “Prometheus”. I understand the buzz is very high. And the first trailers looked intriguing. Also, there’s some cool rumors floating out there like this one about what Ridley Scott could be setting up. But, as I said before, when’s the last time Scott’s made a great film? “Robin Hood” sure wasn’t it. Neither was “Kingdom of Heaven”. I’d argue you have to go back to “Gladiator” for Scott’s last great film. The latest footage for “Prometheus” for me, makes it look way too like just another “Alien” film. And, frankly, that’s not enough. “Alien” is still a classic. But the times have changed. If all he can pull out of his bag of tricks is a storyline of humans discovering a foreign place only to be attacked by foreign creatures (in this case aliens) then…well… the movie sort sounds…slightly more intriguing then say “Battleship”. At least with “Battleship” I’ll get to see a lot of dumb action. An intriguing science fiction film only works if the filmmaker can do something new or something so great like “2001: A Space Odyssey”. This just has stinker written all over it to me.

With “The Avengers”, “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Dark Knight Rises” all coming out, my guess is one is going to not meet expectations. Doesn’t look like it will be “The Avengers” based on early reviews. I gotta be honest. I think it’ll be “The Dark Knight Rises” that disappoints. Now, I liked “The Dark Knight”. It was an excellent film. I just didn’t find it to be the masterpiece that everyone else thought. The trailers for TDKR all just lack excitement for me. I know lots of films have messages about society, but this one isn’t even trying to hide it. I’m ok with message films. But, come on. Really? The 99 percent are the reason Gotham’s going down the crapper? You’re also looking at a less interesting villain in Bane and the trailers showed way too many money shots.

One potential disappointment, though I really hope I do like it, is Pixar’s “Brave”. Look, no studio can always great great films. But, “Cars 2” was just so…average. But, Pixar’s back to original ideas so let’s hope this one continues. It just, for some reason, looks to me too much like the normal adventure kids movie and not like films like “Toy Story 3”, “Up” and “Wall E” that could attract audiences of all ages.

“The Bourne Legacy” starring Jeremy Renner is also on my potential bust list. Look, I was never a huge fan of the “Bourne” series, but I think they’re on a little thin ice all of a sudden saying “There was never just one.”

Other films for me are “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. All I have to say is no. Just…no. Also, the marketing campaign has done a great job for “Snow White and the Huntsman” making it look very stylish. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint and fall flat on its face as an average action film. My final film on my list is “G.I. Joe: Retaliation”. Yes, I know the first one wasn’t that good. But, like Snow White, the marketing has been very good. And this looks like it could be a lot of popcorn action flick fun. Besides, The Rock helped save the “Fast and Furious” franchise.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Yes it’s no surprise. But, “The Avengers” pulled in a massive $185.1 million internationally since making its world premiere last Wednesday. That total is more than “Battleship” made in two and a half weeks and people were impressed by that movie’s totals. Better new for “The Avengers” is that it still has about 30 percent of its openings worldwide still to come. The film, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and others and is directed by Joss Whedon hits theaters this weekend in the U.S.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

After May ends, movie goers are in for a jam packed June full of sequels and a couple original films that are hoping to avoid tanking.

June begins with two very different films: “Snow White and the Huntsman”, which stars Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron and “Piranha 3DD”.  This could be a case of two disappointing openings. Frankly, as much fun as the first Piranha film was, it’s not like anyone was thinking, oh man I can’t wait for the sequel. Not to mention, films like “Shark Night” bombed already. I think this attempt at milking a franchise out of what should have been a one-hit deal is going to backfire. That being said, while this latest Snow White film looked like the superior of the Snow White films to come out this year, it has a very “Robin Hood” esque vibe to me. And “Robin Hood” (The one with Russell Crowe) didn’t exactly wow critics or audiences. “Snow White” should open in the $40 to $50 million range. Piranha I feel like is going to bomb with maybe around $20 million.

June 8 sees Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” hit theaters. This one’s getting a lot of buzz. My problem with it is when’s the last good Ridley Scott film you’ve seen? Exactly. But, I think buzz will carry it to a $45 million opening.

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” will open big I think. An established franchise plus a lack of strong family films before then means I think this will open around $60 million.

June 15 sees another interesting battle. “That’s My Boy” starring Andy Sandberg and Adam Sandler. Sandler’s films have opened well generally. But, he’s also had some bad ones and it’ll be interesting to see how it affects his box office gross. Still, Sandler’s films have done well in the summer and around $40 million should be expected. “Rock of Ages” is a bit of a wild card. It’s got an all star cast and films like “Hairspray” have been successful. Around $30 million should be it, more if it can get good buzz going beforehand.

June 22 is where things get interesting. “Brave” sees the first original Pixar film in a couple years. There’s a lot riding on this film after “Cars 2” received bad reviews. However, the lead character being female will be a much bigger draw for female audiences. And, if the reviews go back to normal about being up to par with Pixar’s other great films, then this will open big and have great legs. This won’t approach “Toy Story 3” numbers but look for it to beat “Cars 2” and open around $70 million.

Next up is “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”. Look, this one I’m just not excited for. And it bothers me that this will probably make more money than the upcoming Lincoln film with Daniel Day-Lewis. Anyways, director  Timur Bekmambetovs last film that I saw was the disappointing “9”. This film will not be that good. I’m sensing bomb here with around $25-30 million.

Finally there’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “Magic Mike”. “Mike” will be playing to the female crowd. It doesn’t look like it’ll have as wide of an appeal as “Bridesmaids” nor does it look as good, but it’ll still open strongly around $30 million. “G.I. Joe” I’m calling it, will be the surprise of the summer.  The first trailers look better, much better. And guys will be looking for an action film. It’s got Bruce Willis and the Rock and the action looks more fun. $70 million.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

The summer movie season is almost upon us. May 4th is just a few weeks away with Marvel Studio’s “The Avengers” kicking things off.

May 4th

“The Avengers” hits theaters first and is expected to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer. Starring Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Tom Hiddelston (Loki) and more the film’s truly got an all-star cast. The anticipation is high and the trailers have done a suitable job getting people excited. One wonders how big it can open just because aside from “Iron Man” none of the other Marvel films really broke out at the box office. The film will open well north of $100 million and should reach $300 million easily. The question becomes can it hit $400 million or more? My guess is it just might only because there’s not a huge amount of competition it has to face in May. Look for an opening weekend around $140 to $150 million.

May 11th 

Johnny Depp and director Tim Burton reteam again for “Dark Shadows”. The film also stars frequent collaborators Helena Bonham Carter as well as Eva Green, Jackie Earl Haley Chloe Grace Moretz. The marketing blitz has begun for this film. And Depp is a huge draw. But, the subject material has always been Burton’s greatest asset and weakness. Films like “Sweeney Todd” never got a wide audience in theaters just because it was so off beat. I’m afraid that will be the case here. An opening weekend around $45 to $55 million, but not enough to knock off “The Avengers” in its second weekend.

May 18th

“The Dictator” opens on the 16th, “Battleship” finally hits in the states and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” hopes to be the breakout comedy of the summer, much like “Bridesmaids” (which was also released in May) did last summer.

“The Dictator” is an important point for Sascha Baron Cohen’s career. He’s recently had a strong role in “Hugo” but his last comedy “Bruno” went away very fast. It’s time to see whether “Borat” was an aberration or a sign of things to come. The film also stars Ana Faris and Megan Fox. The trailers have been getting a lot of laughs at the theaters I’ve been to, so an opening around $30 million, in line with “Borat” should be expected.

“Battleship” is likely to get very negative reviews. But, it opened very well internationally. Taylor Kitsch may need this movie to be a hit since his last blockbuster “John Carter” bombed…badly. Director Peter Berg has not had a movie well received by the critics since “Friday Night Lights” (in terms of fresh ratings on rottentomatoes) so this is an important film too. It may get trashed, but its big loud and dumb. The question is will this be more of a “Speed Racer” sized disappointment or a “Transformers” sized hit. I think the latter. Its opening weekend should be around $50 to$60 million.

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” brings stars a surprisingly fun cast together. Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, the underrated Anna Kendrick and the overrated Brooklyn Decker along with Matthew Morrison, Chris Rock and Elizabeth Banks. This could be a very funny film. And its release date certainly makes it seem like its hoping for a “Bridesmaids” type run. Its success won’t be in its opening weekend. But word of mouth on the quality of the movie will make this sink or swim.

May 25th 

“Men in Black III” starring Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin. You’re either excited for this film or you couldn’t care less. It’s been a while since “Men in Black II” long enough that a large number of younger audience members might not even know what “Men in Black” is. I hate to say this. But I get the same feeling about this film as I did for “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” and I’m one who is excited for it. I just see this being the lowest grossing film in the series and opening with $60-70 million.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.