Summer 2010 Box Office Predictions

It’s no surprise that the movies that appeared in my 25 most anticipated films of 2010 piece are not the same films you will see on the list below. As we have learned from year’s past, critical consensus has no bearing on the Summer movie season. No matter how many critics decried Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, it still managed to become the summer’s biggest winner and the second highest grossing film of 2009.

However, positive word can help a film’s overall gross and with sites like Twitter and other forms of social networking, that word is getting out faster than ever. This summer has a lot of potential for big money with a wide variety of selections to reach a diverse audience. I expect it will follow the trend and increase the overall Box Office total from 2009 thanks to higher ticket prices, 3D, and IMAX.

So without further ado:

Summer 2010 Box Office Predictions

1) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – July 2nd
Opening: $120 million | Overall Total: $390 million

Never underestimate the power of the Twi-hards. They successfully made New Moon the highest grossing opening weekend of all-time and their audience is only growing with each sequel. With the first time a Twilight film is released during the summer, the junior high and high school girls will be able to go each and every day to see the dreamy Edward fight Dracula or whatever. There’s no 3D for this one, but expect repeat viewings to be enough to put it on top.

2) Iron Man 2May 7th
Opening: $90 million | Overall Total: $330 million

The first film of the summer always makes a big dent and this year the first summer film happens to also be one of the most anticipated. Robert Downey, Jr. has proven his audience drawing power with the first Iron Man and the recently successful Sherlock Holmes. The film has had a huge marketing campaign and has the promise of being a technical marvel, which truly defines the summer escapist experience that audiences are searching for. It is also being released in IMAX, which will inflate its numbers.

3) Toy Story 3 – June 18th
Opening: $75 million | Overall Total: $320 million

Threequels have the blessing/curse combination of typically being bad movies that make a ton of money. However, with Pixar it will probably be more of a blessing/blessing combination. Over the past several years, Pixar has proven themselves a serious force in the summer box office with brand new films. Imagine the money earning power they can have with recognizable characters and voices.

4) Inception – July 16th
Opening: $45 million | Overall Total: $300 million

Outside of the movie geek strata, this is probably not the movie on everybody’s summer wish list. However, Christopher Nolan is a solid director and if this movie is as great as it looks, it will have real staying power. It has a great cast and the benefit of being released late in the summer, which gives it less major competition.

5) Shrek Forever After – May 21st
Opening: $60 million | Overall Total: $285 million

All of the Shrek films are in the top 50 highest grossing films of all-time. The recent musical adaptation was a commercial success on Broadway and on tour. Apparently people are not sick of the big green ogre and when he hits theatres this summer, expect the family crowd to flock to their nearest cinema and drive-in.

6) Robin Hood – May 14th
Opening: $50 million | Overall Total: $230 million

More than any other film this summer I feel Robin Hood‘s Box Office totals are really dependent on the film’s quality. It is sandwiched between Iron Man 2 and Shrek Forever After, two films that will be guaranteed moneymakers. For Robin Hood to hang on and be a serious contender, it has to have staying power and make modest totals throughout May and June. However, I think Russell Crowe can deliver and Ridley Scott is due for a hit.

7) Sex and the City 2 – May 28th
Opening: $40 million | Overall Total: $210 million

May 28th is ladies night out! This is the film that will draw in the adult women ages 20 – 50 audience. They’re not the type to rush out on Friday night, but they will definitely see the film. If they can drag their husbands and boyfriends than they can double the Box Office!

8) The Last Airbender – July 2nd
Opening: $35 million | Overall Total: $180 million

I am so thankful that I don’t have kids. I can just see the fight that will be going on July 2nd, when its family night out at the movies, between teenage Suzie who has ready every Twilight book and her little brother Billy who has Last Airbender Velcro sneakers. I predict Twilight will dominate, but The Last Airbender will definitely have its audience.

9) The A-Team – June 11th
Opening: $30 million | Overall Total: $160 million

This is one of those movies that I can not imagine possibly being good, but I’m definitely going to see it anyway. It sort of has its own weekend with its only competition being The Karate Kid. Maybe this will be the weekend that people choose to stay home or go see the May releases a second or third time. I’ll look forward to this as the third film at the drive-in.

10) Despicable Me – July 9th
Opening: $30 million | Overall Total: $150 million

It won’t compete with Toy Story 3, but it does have the advantage of being 3D, which always boosts an animated film’s Box Office. This film’s marketing campaign has been clever and gradual and family crowds will flock to this movie. It could be one of the summer’s sleeper hits.

Those are my picks – what do think will be the big films of the summer?

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  • Owen

    I definitely think Prince of Persia will be within the top 10. I also don’t think that Twilight will end the summer as the top grossing film. Maybe I have too much faith in humanity, but I expect it not to draw a lot of casual viewers.

  • Owen

    Neither of the first two Twilight movies cracked $300 Mil, let alone gotten close to 400. Despite this being a summer release, I don’t think that it will be able to generate enough of a new or repeat audience to generate an extra 100 million over the people that saw the second movie in the winter.

    Also, Twilight won’t be shown in 3D or IMAX, which will help generate extra revenue for both Iron Man 2 and Toy Story, among others. Not that they are worth the extra price of admission, but some people are willing to pay it.

    My Top Ten would be-
    1. Iron Man 2
    2. Toy Story 3
    3. Shrek 4
    4. Twilight
    5. Robin Hood
    6. Inception
    7. SATC2
    8. Despicable Me
    9. Prince of Persia
    10. The A-Team

  • The movie fan in me so badly wanted to not choose ‘Twilight’, but the fact that I work with high schoolers daily and seeing how well ‘New Moon’ did until ‘Avatar’ came out, I can’t deny the inevitable power of the Eclipse.

  • Agree with “Twilight” likely winding up as #1 (groan), but I think “Inception” will do a lot better than you expect. Nolan is now a household name thanks to “The Dark Knight”.

  • Jose

    Pretty sure that Iron Man 2 will make a lot more tham that. Sequels usually make almost $100 million more than the first one’ total, and the last Iron Man made $318 million, maybe $385 million for the sequel?

  • Jose

    Also, not sure about Eclipse being number one since even a bunch of my Twilight addicted friends are more excited for Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3 than Eclipse, plus New Moon didn’t have the number one opening weekend of all time. It made about $140 million opening weekend, Dark Knight still holds the record for biggest opening weekend ever. You’re also forgetting the fact that the Twilight films have no legs, New Moon made $70 million on Friday than averaged $35 million on Saturday and Sunday, and then the weekend after it made about $40 million.

  • Iron Man 2 will probably only be top for one weekend, because ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Shrek Forever After’ open immediately after it.

    It will have to really be strong to make that much money.

  • Jose

    Hate to burst your bubble Owen, but Eclipse will be shown in IMAX, plus am I the only one who believes that Robin Hood will be a flop?

  • Also, each successive ‘Twilight’ film has made more money than its predecessor.

    Oh, well. Box Office predictions are always wrong anyway. Who predicted ‘The Hangover’ as the 4th highest grossing summer film last year?

  • Owen

    I feel bad for the people willing to see that trash in IMAX. My feelings on it is that Twilight has a very specific fanbase, and that fanbase turned out well for the last movie…but I can’t see this movie somehow generating 100 mil extra in new audience over the second one.

  • Owen, this will probably make you very sad:

    Twitter Reviews of ‘Eclipse’ Screening:

    “@Nicolediscogrll I just saw Eclipse. Oh my F****G god. Best movie I have ever seen. The fight scenes the love scenes oh my god. Hands the whole time and cried and omfg. This isn’t real. I love you Oprah. You will NOT be disappointed and the love sceenes are f’ng HOT. Turned me on a little.”

  • Sia

    I will say that that Eclipse is a fan favorite and it will break box office records. Hate all you want but you can’t deny the passion those fans have for it’s franchise.

  • Max

    These predictions are somewhat strange. You overestimate the domestic box office gross by a lot, in hindsight (which is fine), but your opening weekend projections are weirdly low. Films with the opening weekends you’ve suggested almost never make the overall grosses you’ve predicted; and Iron Man 2 was never going to open below Iron Man 1 (which cracked 100 million).

  • Jeremy

    Well, no matter what movie comes out, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows will pass everyone’s expectation and prove to be an A+ film.

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