Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Box Office News and Forecast: 'The Last Stand,' 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Hansel And Gretel Witch Hunters,' and 'Beautiful Creatures'

Movie distributors do not release any blockbuster movies in January and February, so one rarely sees any $600M+ movies in those months. Following March, however, the heat starts and major movies hit the cinemas.

1)      The Last Stand (17 Jan, 2013)

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns in another R-rated action movie. With a low budget of $30 million, anything above $40 million domestically would make the film a success. But, Arnold’s star power has diminished over the years.  Arnold's expanded role in The Expendables 2 didn't seem to make a difference in the film's box office performance. A final worldwide gross above $100M would be surprising, expect $66 million globally.

Synopsis: Sheriff Owens is a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled. After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy…

2)      Zero Dark Thirty (24 Jan, 2013)

The popularity that the film has gained from its current Oscar nomination must help its box office performance. With an excellent critical rating of 94%, the film is in a good position to gross more than $40 million in North America. Look for a final global revenue close to $160 million.

Synopsis: For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty reunites the Oscar winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) for the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man.

3)      Gangster Squad (24 Jan, 2013)

Originally set to play in September 2012, Fliescher’s crime movie was bumped to January due to the Aurora shooting of 2012.  In North America and Lebanon, Gangster Squad is playing against Zero Dark Thirty. So, there is going to be some competition considering the fact that they are both action movies. Current predictions place Zero Dark Thirty ahead of Gangster Squad for its opening weekend. Unlike its opponent, the crime thriller has a negative reception with 34% on RottenTomatoes. However, Gangster Squad’s better known cast, most notably Emma Stone—a rising actress in Hollywood—makes it a formidable opponent.

Synopsis: Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and-if he has his way-every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It's enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop...except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD 

4)      Hansel And Gretel Witch Hunters (31 Jan, 2013)

Over the past few years, directors and screenplay writers have been exhuming the old stories and adding “new twists” to them. Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Once Upon a Time (recent TV show) exemplify the recent interest in tales of the past. Hansel And Gretel Witch Hunters is yet another film that can be added to the list. It features Oscar nominated Jeremy Renner who has played in many well-known movies. Unlike the recent children-book based films, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters changes the whole story to a horror genre but keeps the rating PG-13. Such changes may have negative implications and positive ones. However, one thing is certain; it will not be amassing anything above $350 million. Although budget does not always determine final grosses, it still helps in pointing out how much the film should gross. In this case, a budget multiplier greater than 1.8 should seem profitable.   Expect a final worldwide cume of $146 million.

Synopsis: After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches...their past

5)      A Good Day To Die Hard (14 Feb, 2013)

The only sequel in our movie bunch for this month’s edition is the fifth installment of the Die Hard film series.  The franchise has experienced a dwindling increase rate from each sequel. In 2007, Die Hard 4 raked in $383 million globally. Unlike its precedent, Die Hard 5 is R-rated so a smaller audience and fewer admissions are expected.  In North America, the projected revenue is at $128 million—a notable decrease considering inflation. Nonetheless, the expanding international market and the short hiatus may help the film’s international gross. Expect A Good Day To Die Hard to make $329 million worldwide on the high end.

Synopsis: When John McClane's son Jack gets into trouble while in Russia, McClane travels to Moscow to help him out, only to get caught up in a terrorist plot involving the circumstances behind his son's arrest.

6)      Beautiful Creatures (14 Feb, 2013)

At face value, it may look like another Twilight movie or Adams family, but this movie seems to have a good story backing it up. The major problem with book-based films is how the director or the screenwriter is going to adapt it: should they deviate from the main story? Or should they stick to what the mainstream audience liked? Sometimes in adapting, similar to translating, there are changes most of which are necessary to make it movie worthy. Two similar movies are I Am Number Four (32% rotten tomatoes) and The Seeker. (14% rotten tomatoes)  Each of which took in $146 million and $31.4 million respectively.  For such movies, however, critical reception played a major role. I am assuming the film will have a critical reception close to positive. In which case, it should gross $217 million, which is on par with The Lightning Thief. On the low end of the range, it is poised to gross $115 million. 

Synopsis: A young man is drawn to a mysterious young girl who moves to his small town and stumbles on a crypt of her family secrets in this adaptation of Kami Carcia and Margaret Stohl's series of novels.

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