Saturday, November 19, 2011

2012 Preview and Forecast

As 2011 finishes, only three movies have past the billion dollar milestone--Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. See who's our next star in the billion dollar club for 2012. Is it the Avengers? The Hobbit - Part 1? The Dark Knight Rises? Twilight - Breaking Dawn Part 2? Can 2012 end up as the first year to produce 4 or more billion dollar films?

2011 was behind in a big way from the very beginning. 2010 benefited immensely from the fact that Avatar, a film released in December 2009, made more than $380 million. Since an Avatar-level blockbuster doesn't happen every year, it's no surprise that 2011 simply wasn't able to catch up. While there were plenty of duds released in 2011, it's unfair to label a year that produced three billion-dollar worldwide hits—Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2—as a complete failure. 

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance(February 17, 2012)

Our sequels don't seem to stop with 2011; Ghost Rider 2 follows the first rider starring Nicholas Cage. The first film in the series didn't perform very well at the box office but at least it doubled its production budget of $110 million to rake in $229 million worldwide with equal shares domestically and internationally. The upcoming sequel is supposed to be released in 3D, increasing the revenue of the film. Expect it to gross between $270-320 million, with higher grosses internationally.
Chance*: 1%
Final Gross: $300 million

Wrath of the Titans (March 30, 2012)

The sequel of Clash of the Titans starts the year with WoT. Released on March 30, it’s the second film in the Clash of the Titans franchise distributed by Warner's Bros. and starring Sam Worthington, and Liam Neeson. The predecessor brought in good numbers at the box office while most critics disparaged its 3D post-conversion. Although its predecessors gross was a mere $493 million, it still stands a chance in joining the club, but not so likely. The sequel is also supposed to be released in 3D, probably better than the previous. WoT should perform better than its predecessor, starting with international numbers. In North America, it's less likely that it will make a huge increase due to the lack of interest in 3D. Nonetheless, it should see a nice increase from $163 million to around $180 million. The international market is much more avid for 3D, but by then who knows it may change; it should out-gross the first film in the franchise to gross about $480 million. Expect it to gross around $560 million worldwide. It’s very unlikely that it would pass the billion dollar milestone, even with high ticket pricing.
Chance*: 15%
Final Gross: $510 million 

Men in Black III (May 25, 2012)

After 10 years, the "men" are back. MIB2 grossed an estimate $442 million in 2002, with $190 million from North America (43.1%), and $251 million overseas. It has some similarities with the Toy Story franchise, with one difference--not the last film in the series. Nevertheless, it still has a chance to gross over billion considering that it’s going to be released in 3D as well. And often times a hiatus can also be good for the franchise since it gives time to make new fans from the TV. Look for it to gross $629 million.
Chance* : 40%
Final Gross: $629 million 

The Avengers (May 4, 2012)

After 8 films from the Avengers, 6 of them are now going to merge to make The Avengers, with most of them grossing over $400 million. Iron Man 2 is the highest-grossing Avenger film with about $624 million globally. The ensemble movie is a very good candidate for the billion dollar club since it encompasses 4 different series in the Marvel Comic. The merging of 4 different films should attract fans of all 4 series, whereby it would make more money due to more fans. Each of the four films should have gained a lot of fans throughout the years. Of course, fans should be taken mostly by the appearance of Iron Man, while the Hulk doesn't seem to be attractive. On Facebook, Iron Man has 5.5 million likes while others have less--Thor, Captain America have around 1.2 million fans. The least of all is the Incredible Hulk with 454,099 likes. Such a merging should call in a lot of fans and probably be the highest-grossing Marvel movie. Although, the combination of all the likes adds up to a poor estimate 9 million, it is still has some potential in it.

The marketing of the film hasn't entered the spot-light yet, but soon enough it should. If the marketing of the film is powerful, it has a higher chance in becoming a billion dollar movie. Another new aspect to the film (or to Iron Man only) is the 3D. With 3D, the international revenue should see a note-worthy increase, but not so much in North America. Currently, the international market has grown tremendously since 1990's, with more theaters, 3D venues, and markets opening. Expect it to gross over $800 million worldwide.
Chance*: 62%
Final Gross: $800 million 

The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3, 2012)

Seeing from 2011, reboots haven't been much of a success starting with X-men: First Class. But maybe, the Spider-man reboot may have better luck. The first Spider-man grossed in a powerful $821,708,551 worldwide, with a staggering $403 million from North America; the second performed lower but still had a strong cume of $721 million worldwide, with noted decrease in the North American market revenue. Spider-man 3, on the other hand, earned the title of highest-grossing Marvel Comic film with $891 million worldwide. The Amazing Spider-Man has a high chance of grossing $1 billion worldwide, considering the fact that it's going to be released in 3D. Now, reboots like X-men: First Class don't perform very well at the box-office, but the fact that it’s almost the same plot as the first Spider-man doesn't put it in better light. However, X-men: First Class was released a year after X-men Origins: Wolverine, while the Spider-man reboot took a longer break of 5 years. Breaks for films are very important since it allows fans to forget previous movies and start newly.

The Amazing Spider-Man could reach the billion dollar milestone, but it's going to take a strong marketing effort from Sony Pictures International to convince fans that there is something different and better in this movie. Otherwise, it may gross below the first movie, even though, it’s going to be released in 3D which would give a good increase to the international market. But, let’s just hope that the fans have some alacrity left in them for Spider-man. Look for it to gross over $800 million.
Chance*: 80%
Final Gross: $830 million 

Ice Age: Continental Drift (July 13, 2012)

The comic PG rated film is back in another "Ice Age." The Ice Age franchise has seen an strong escalation in total revenue from the first Ice Age, which grossed $383 million worldwide, to the third Ice Age, which grossed $886 million. Now if that same rise applies to Ice Age 4, then it has a very high chance of passing the billion dollar mark. However, Ice Age 3 was the first film in the franchise to be in 3D which enhanced the total revenue tremendously for the international market with $690 million (50% increase from Ice Age 2). The North American market, on the other hand, didn't see a jump (0.006% increase from Ice Age 2, and 11% from Ice Age). Based on our current schedule, the films date doesn't seem to summon any animated competitors so children and parents wouldn't have a difficult choice for that week. The only way the film is going to pass thee billion dollar milestone is if it rakes in more than $210 million in North America. Look for it to gross around $980 million.
Chance*: 82%
Final Gross: $930 million
The Dark Knight Rises (July 20, 2012)

The Dark Knight Rises is the last film in the Nolan directed Batman series which will not be released in 3D. The Dark Knight was the last non-3D film to reach the billion dollar mark, with a staggering $533.1 million from North America and a decent $468.8 million internationally, for a worldwide total of $1.002 billion. It's the lowest-grossing film in the billion dollar club both internationally and globally. After 4 years, the film is back with its finale without Heath Ledger. Most finales have been successful lately like HP8 and Transformers 3--both of which passed the billion dollar mark. However, both of these film were released in 3D, a crucial key for the success of the film. Without 3D, it makes it more difficult for the film to pull in good numbers internationally. Only two non-3D films pulled in over $700 million internationally, being Titanic and The Lord of the Rings 3(the last film in the franchise.) With such comparisons, it seems possible for the Dark Knight Rises to pull in over $600 million internationally, and surely should pass the $500 million mark overseas due to recent release--Inception, also directed by Nolan, passed the $500 million mark internationally. Most of the times sequels of super-hero movies always experience an increase in the international revenue due to more theaters, markets, and fans over the years

Up till now, the marketing of the film hasn't been very effective and would require strong techniques in order  to gross anywhere close to its predecessor domestically. In North America, it should easily gross over $300 million, but its going to be very hard to out-gross the Dark Knight's domestic revenue due to more competition and other reasons. That 1% only exists since it's not going to be released in 3D due to the fact that 3D boosts the international revenue plethorically.
Chance*: 100%
Final Gross: $990+ million
Resident Evil: Retribution(2012)

After the game, and 4 films, comes another Resident Evil with more 3D pump in it. It will be released 2 years after the fourth film, signifying a good break. It's expected to be released in 3D in order to gross anywhere near its predecessor which grossed globally $296.2 million with more than $236 million internationally. Neither critics nor North America enjoys Resident evil; all disparaging it. Considering this fact, it doesn't seem possible to see Resident Evil 5 out-grossing the previous film domestically, but internationally its far more likely. Expect it to gross $330 million worldwide, with $58 million domestically and $272 million internationally.
Chance*: 0%
Final Gross: $272 million  
The Lost Symbol(2012)

The Lost Symbol is expected to be released in 2012 with Tom Hanks as Dr. Langdon. The highest-grossing film in the series, Da Vinci Code, pulled in $758 million worldwide with $217.5 in North America and $540.7 million internationally. The prequel raked in $486 million worldwide with drastic decline internationally($353 million) and domestically ($133 million). The Lost Symbol should gross higher than Angel and Demons internationally, but domestically it is unlikely to gross anywhere near the first film in the series. If it is released in 3D, it will experience a powerful increase internationally. It should out-gross Angel and Demons, if its as mysterious and intriguing, with 3D it would easily pass the $600 million mark. Expect it to gross $516 million worldwide ($660 million if in 3D)
Chance*: 40%
Final Gross: $516 million~$660 million
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2(November 26, 2012)

If the first one grosses anywhere near $800 million worldwide without 3D, with the second being in 3D, it has a high chance of taking the opening weekend record from Harry Potter 7 domestically and pass the billion dollar line mark.  Prediction from now requires present information to analysed, and with this data the numbers appear to be around $800 million worldwide. Look for it to gross $740 million worldwide. The brake between both parts is much longer than Harry Potter and can be more useful as discussed in other articles. Competition isn't clear yet but by the end of 2011 more accurate results will be available.
Chance*: 60%
Final Gross: $740 million 
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey(3D) (Dec. 14, 2012)

After the Lord of the Rings, the prelude finally comes nine years later. The Lord of the Rings trilogy made over $2.9 billion worldwide, with topped by Return of the King with an incredible $1.12 billion in 2003. Although it won't be as well-attended as Return of the King, that doesn't seem to stop it from passing the billion dollar mark due to 3D ticket prices and nine years of ticket inflation. Although it isn't very clear from now, the success of the film, it should easily gross over $800 million worldwide. After the marketing of the film is revealed, it would pull it out of the shadow and rise to its glory.
Chance*: 90%
Final Gross: $875 million

Edward Ghazaley
Editor & President
Box office Analyst

Note: Opening dates are for US, only. International dates may vary, and dates shown here may change.
* Chance in this article denotes the probability of the film passing the billion dollar milestone and in turn joining the billion dollar club.

Expect full reviews of the following films and updated forecasts for the above films

The Bourne Legacy
The Expendables 2
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
John Carter
Snow White and the Huntsman
Total Recall

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