Archive for the ‘Hugh Jackman’ Category

Weekend Preview: Star Trek Will Definitely Take Off, But Will It Be At Warp-Speed?

May 8, 2009

Trekkies, the time for redemption has finally come. Gone are the days when people have no conception of who Captain Kirk or Uhura are. No longer will people scoff at you when you criticize the atrocity of a show that was Star Trek: Enterprise. No longer will you be the only ones at the office that understand the time-space bending properties of black holes. No longer will you be the only ones in the town with Vulcan haircuts. Okay, so maybe that last one isn’t true, but you get my point: Star Trek is cool again! Paramount has worked its tail off over the last few months to wash away the negative, nerdy, frankly lame connotations that the Star Trek franchise has developed over the last few year, and if there’s a film that’s going to succeed in doing so, it is this one. J.J. Abrams’ reimagined Star Trek is so beautifully produced and so lovingly handled. You can tell that everyone involved was really trying to make the best movie they could, and I think that decision will pay off big time. I saw it tonight, and it’s just awesome- the review will come soon. Paramount’s clearly confident about Star Trek, as they’ve advertised the heck out of it and already have a sequel greenlit, and its headed for the easy weekend win.

Comparing Star Trek to X-Men Origins: Wolverine is tricky. To be clear, I do not think that Star Trek is going to open as big as Wolverine did last weekend. Audiences are sure to be skeptical of the outer space franchise after 2002’s disastrous entry Star Trek: Nemesis (which earned a very sad $43 million) and the failed 2003 TV series, and many recession-affected adults are going to hold out to see this one is worth the $10 ticket. The debut of Star Trek actually reminds me a lot of 2005’s Batman Begins. After 1997’s embarrassingly bad Batman And Robin, audiences approached the reboot of the superhero franchise cautiously. Begins started with a humble $48 million during opening weekend on its way to $205 million overall. Star Trek, between its built-in audience and Paramount’s advertising, should be able to top Batman Begins‘ opening weekend, but it won’t hit Wolverine‘s level. That’s not to say that it won’t outgross the quickly falling Wolverine, because (mark my words) it will. Star Trek‘s word-of-mouth is going to be great, and the stellar reviews will convince adults to see the film. Star Trek is beaming into a very wide 3,849 theaters, and including the Thursday night showings, I’m predicting a $67 million weekend and a possible $230 million total, and even though it’s probably way too early to be wondering how big the sequel’s opening will be, I’m a box office analyst, and that’s just what I do! I’m already seeing numbers closer to $100 million…

You’ll have to excuse my extremely biased predictions for Star Trek. I’m still glowing after having watched the movie a few hours ago, and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t affect my judgment. I really do believe $230 million is possible, though! But getting back to reality, there’s only one other new release this weekend: Summit Entertainment’s Next Day Air. The poorly reviewed urban drug comedy is clearly targeting an African American audience, a group all too often underestimated by analysts. Next Day Air is only flying into 1,138 theaters, but I’m predicting a pretty solid cume of $7 million.

On Monday, X-Men Origins: Wolverine earned $5.4 million. On Tuesday, it fell 15% to $4.6 million. On Wednesday it fell another 13% to $4 million. What do these statistics tell us? That Wolverine is fading fast. The superhero flick that kicked off the summer is looking more and more like a flash-in-the-pan success than an actual financial win for Fox. With lackluster word-of-mouth, the fanboy effect, and the direct competition of Star Trek, I think Wolverine will fall by a big 68% to $27.2 million in its second weekend. That would put the actionfest around $130 million for ten days, but it’s got no shot at breaking $200 million anymore.

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, last weekend’s romantic comedy counter programming, should enjoy a solid hold this weekend. The Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner film was never going to be huge, but I don’t think Warner Brothers expected it to. A 40% drop would give Ghosts a $9.2 million weekend and $29 million overall. Here are my predictions for the Top 12:

Predicted Top 12 for May 8-10, 2009
1. Star Trek – $67 million
2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – $27.2 million
3. Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past – $9.2 million
4. Next Day Air – $7 million
5. Obsessed – $6 million
6. Monsters Vs. Aliens – $4.1 million
7. 17 Again – $3.9 million
8. The Soloist – $3.6 million
9. Hannah Montana The Movie – $2.8 million
10. Earth – $2.5 million
11. State Of Play – $1.9 million
12. Fighting – $1.8 million

How much do you think Star Trek will earn this weekend? Let me hear your predictions in the comments! (For real people, commenting is so easy! If you just click here, you’ll instantly be ready to type in your answer!)

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Fox Developing "Deadpool" – Is This A Good Idea?

May 6, 2009

Yesterday, hot on the heels of Wolverine‘s $85 million debut, The Hollywood Reporter broke news that Fox has begun development on a Deadpool spinoff:

[Ryan] Reynolds is attached to reprise the character for what for now is simply being called “Deadpool.” Lauren Shuler Donner and Marvel Studios would act as producers.

Deadpool is known as “the merc with a mouth,” a character that under Reynolds lived up to his billing in “Wolverine” until the end, when the movie deviated from the comic book persona, imbuing him with several superpowers and sewing his mouth shut.

It is understood that Reynolds would regain the ability to mouth off, with the movie going back to the roots of the character known for his slapstick tone and propensity to break the fourth wall. The character also was disfigured in “Wolverine,” though it’s unclear at this time how much the studio would want to mess with Reynolds’ handsome mug.

The project is out to writers.

I think this decision may have been a bit of a premature decision by Fox. Has Wolverine‘s performance really been great enough to justify the sequel? The $85 million opening is certainly a good figure, but it’s 2009, and that means that a movie like Wolverine is going to be extremely frontloaded. Word-of-mouth certainly won’t be great, and there’s a slew of competition (Terminator Salvation, Angels And Demons, Star Trek, Up) coming up for the rest of May. At this point, a $180 million finish seems rather likely, but we’ll have to wait and see how Wolverine holds against Star Trek this weekend before any final judgments are made.

Here’s the thing, though. Fox spent $150 million to produce X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Then they had the prints and advertising costs. Then they had twelve days of reshoots. At the very least, Fox has already shelled out $225 million on this one, and unless Wolverine turns out to be inexplicably leggy, Fox will have to rely on international grosses and DVD sales to see any profit. And this is Wolverine, a well-liked, notable character, we’re talking about here. Deadpool is a totally different ball game. Most people don’t know who Deadpool even is, and I doubt a Deadpool movie is going to be able to transcend the total gross of Wolverine. I would also point out that Ryan Reynolds is not a proven box office draw, but neither is Hugh Jackman, outside of the X-Men universe.

The biggest advice I can give Fox is to make sure the script is good! People will get on board for a quality movie (see last year’s Iron Man), even if they don’t know much about the character. The second most important advice I can give Fox is to spend less money! If the script is good, and you shoot efficiently, I think you can get this whole project off the ground for $150 million. Then, you could launch a new franchise character, gain some sweet profit, and everyone would be happy! Would you see a Deadpool film? Me? I’d be more excited for Gambit!

UPDATE: Reed and I wrote about the same thing at the same time! Read his take on Deadpool!

Fox To Continue Their Destruction Of The X-Men Franchise With Deadpool

May 6, 2009

Warning: minor spoilers.

Like everybody else, I saw Wolverine this weekend, and very much enjoyed it. And by enjoyed it, I mean I was entertained by the fact that it’s an incredible, awesome, adrenaline-pumping, terrible movie. Generally a movie like this either sacrifices story for action (Crank) or action for story (Superman Returns). Wolverine somehow manages to do both. There were times where I thought the story was going the right way, but that the action was somewhat lacking (namely, the first half). Then the story unravels, and ‘Weapon XI’, though fantastic for action, is completely decimated as a character. (And correct me if I’m wrong, but if those samurai swords were in his arm, how could he bend them?)  Then people who should be dead aren’t, and people who should stay dead don’t… It just becomes a little bit of a mess. But I went into it with low expectations and a need for high excitement, which it delivered. After X3, I had to avoid anticipating a great overall movie, such as the one Bryan Singer gave us in X2.

Now, Wolverine had flaws (more Gambit, please), but if you go in expecting them to be there, you shouldn’t be miserable. Fox seems to agree, since they’ve already green-lit a spinoff starring Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. I loved the character, at least in the first part of the movie. As mentioned in code in the above paragraph, he has a pretty terribad ending. Apparently they’re going to try to salvage it. The movie is likely not a prequel either, which might seem most logical. But for those who stayed after the credits, you saw how a sequel might be in the works. Though now he has samurai claws… Pretty lame.

Deadpool seems like a neat mutant. In the comics he is completely aware that he is a fictional character, and is known to constantly break the fourth wall, which could be really intriguing in a movie. It’s also very risky. I’d hate to see it as some sort of freeze cam, Zak Morris meets X-Men type of thing… Though I’d perhaps rather see Gambit, Deadpool has potential to be another mindless, entertaining X-Men movie, which would be okay, but I’d like to think Fox will shoot for something higher.

UPDATE: Grady and I wrote about the same thing at the same time! Whoops! Read his take on Deadpool!

Weekend Fix: Wolverine Starts Off With $87 Million, Leads A Solid Weekend At The Box Office

May 3, 2009

“Summer” is here! It was a very great weekend at the box office, as X-Men Origins: Wolverine started off very strong, Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past had a smaller, but still solid debut, and a slew of films landed in the $5 million range for the weekend. Alas, Battle For Terra, a movie that no one even knew about remained unknown over the weekend, with one of the worst debuts for a wide release in history, but the Top 12 at the box office was still able to stay exactly flat with last year. Check out the full report:

Gosh, what is there even left to write about Wolverine? I feel like it’s all I’ve done over the past few days. The Fox blockbuster continued the remarkable track record of superhero films at the box office, with a blazing $85.1 million opening weekend. Wolverine scored a hot $21,225 per theater average, but it didn’t outshadow every other film at the movies. Last year, when Iron Man opened to $98.6 million, the rest of the Top 12 earned $50 million. This year, against Wolverine‘s $85.1 million opening, the rest of the Top 12 found $65 million, which shows that we have much more depth at the cinema than last year. Now, Wolverine surely got off to a fantastic start, but it’s got a tough road ahead of it. First, there is the issue of frontloadedness. A $35 million Friday leaves Wolverine with an internal multiplier of 2.42, which doesn’t signify good legs. Then there’s the issue of Star Trek and Terminator: Salvation, which debut next week and then on May 21st, respectively. Both films will provide massive competition. Still, Wolverine should be able to make it to $200 million by the end of its run. Look for many more X-Men iterations in the years to come.

Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, a Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner romantic comedy, got off to a moderately good start this weekend, with $15.3 million and an alright $4,827 venue average. Last year, Made Of Honor, which starred Patrick Dempsey, debuted against Iron Man to $14.7 million, on its way to $46 million overall. It looks like Warner Brothers was going for about the same kind of result with Ghosts, and they got it. If we learned anything from P.S. I Love You, it’s that this kind of film is review-proof, so Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past should earn about $40-45 million overall with ease.

The only other new opener was Lionsgate’s Battle For Terra. The unknown 3-D sci-fi animated film earned $1.1 million from 1,162 theaters. That’s an $934 per theater average. That’s awful.

Among holdovers, Obsessed fell 57% to $12.2 million, for a fantastic total of $47 million after ten days, while 17 Again dropped 45% to $6.4 million, for a total of $48 million after seventeen. Monsters Vs. Aliens cotinued to show off its legs (tentacles?) with a great 32% decline to $5.8 million in its sixth weekend. It has earned $182 million thus far. It’s no surprise that Fighting fell the hardest in Top 12. A 62% fall gave the Channing Tatum drama a $4.1 million over the frame and $17.5 million overall. Also, Jamie Foxx’s American Idol appearance may have helped The Soloist fall just 42% this weekend, but Fast And Furious is not having such luck. After a $70 million opening a few weeks ago, the racing flick looks to be petering out around $150 million. Check out the full chart:

Top 12 Actuals For May 1-3

# Movie Title 3-Day Gross % Change AVG. Total
1 X-Men Origins: Wolverine $85,058,003 New $20,751 $85,058,003
2 Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past $15,411,434 -51% $4,854 $15,411,434
3 Obsessed $12,052,151 -57% $4,794 $46,854,485
4 17 Again $6,361,358 -45% $1,954 $48,503,817
5 Monsters Vs. Aliens $5,803,429 -32% $2,210 $182,407,971
6 The Soloist $5,654,558 -42% $2,781 $18,162,695
7 Earth $4,340,235 -53% $2,406 $22,004,284
8 Hannah Montana The Movie $4,164,185 -62% $1,477 $70,946,323
9 Fighting $4,011,465 -37% $1,735 $17,344,805
10 State Of Play $3,715,980 -47% $1,520 $30,944,180
11 Fast And Furious $2,763,875 -56% $1,085 $149,806,190
12 Battle For Terra $1,082,362 New $934 $1,082,362
All Numbers Provided By Exhibitor Relations Co.

Also, Gitesh Pandya (Box Office Guru) and Nicole Sperling (EW) won the Analysts Challenge this week! Their guesses of $85 million were the closest of anyone’s! Great work, guys!

Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine Is One Ridiculous, Wild Ride!

May 2, 2009

About five minutes into X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hugh Jackman (as Logan) and his wife (Lynn Collins) leave their mountain-top shack and drive their beaten up truck through the Canadian forest to a lumber yard. As enormous machinery lifts gigantic trees in the background, Jackman, clad in heavy duty pants and a flannel shirt, with an axe slung over his shoulder and a chewed up cigar in his mouth, steps out of the car, kisses his wife goodbye, and throws the axe to one of his fellow bearded buddies, before stepping into the truck bed and riding off to work. The whole scene exists as if to say, “Look how manly Wolverine is! He’s a badass that’s hairy, tough, and gruff! He’s strong and looks like a wild animal!” In all reality, the scene actually sets up the film quite well, for that’s about as subtle as Wolverine ever gets. Bombastic, clichéd, cheesy, and explosive, Wolverine elicited much the same reaction as when I saw 300: It’s definitely not good, but it’s awesome!

The plot is roughly summed up like this: Logan was once a part of group of bad mutants that used their powers to accomplish some decidedly bad things. Alongside Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds), John Wraith (Will.I.Am), Agent Zero (Daniel Henney), Bolt (Dominic Monaghan – LOST actor #1), The Blob (Kevin Durand – LOST actor #2), and his brother, Victor/Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber), Logan worked as a criminal for years. Somewhere along the line, though, Logan has a change of heart, decides to turn from his evil ways, move to Canada, get married, and live a humble life as a lumberjack. (Keep in mind, I never read the X-Men comic books, and I’m sure that massive liberties were taken in constructing Wolverine’s past, but I’m going on that I was presented with.) Logan’s woodsy life is all well and good until his brother shows up one day and wreaks massive havoc on him and his wife. Turns out, Sabretooth is working for William Stryker (Danny Huston), a scientist who wants to “help” Logan, who renames himself “Wolverine” because of some ridiculous fable, become much more powerful by bonding a newly engineered indestructible metal, adamantium, to his entire skeleton. For the record, I was so happy when this actually happened- the three boney claws that came out of Logan’s hands before were just gross looking.

Anyway, it turns out that Stryker has a hidden agenda, and Wolverine is not keen on helping him after his metalization is complete. He lets his inner animal rage, and he runs away. From there, the rest of the movie follows Wolverine’s journey to take revenge upon his brother and bring down the company that made him into his new self. Along the way, Wolvy gets into about 10-20 fights, almost decapitates his brother about 30-40 times, gets stabbed and instantly heals about 50-60 times, and entertains the audience for about 70-80 minutes. We also meet a myriad of other mutants along the way, and it becomes abundantly clear that Fox is planning on making many more of these “Origins” movies with the introduction of Emma Frost, Cyclops, and Deadpool. And while it’s certainly fun to see all these characters come to life on the big screen, one of them stands out above the rest:

Gambit! Thank goodness we finally get Gambit! As a fan of the 1992 X-Men TV series, I was always sad that he was left out of the original film trilogy, but I can see why- he’s so similar to Wolverine. Friday Night Lights’ Taylor Kitsch was perfectly cast as the sarcastic, rebellious, poker-playing, kinetic-engergy-controlling Cajun, and it was a delight to watch the Southern gent go up against Wolverine. In my favorite scene in the film, Gambit and Wolverine go head-to-head in a game of Texas Hold’em poker, and it appears that the filmmakers wanted to give a shoutout to the legions of online poker nerds, as the scene features poker pro, Daniel Negreanu! But the card game quickly escalates into an all-out brawl in the alleyway with some of the coolest special effects I’ve ever seen. Forget 2011’s Magneto, I want to see X-Men Origins: Gambit! The Gambit effects in New Orleans are second only to the effects in the Wolverine‘s final fight scene, which I won’t give away, but trust me: it’s amazing.

Wolverine is far from a perfect film. The dialogue is often ridiculous, and the story is completely secondary to the action. The film serves simply to show audiences how Wolverine got to where he was at the beginning of 2001’s X-Men, and the ending (I mean the first ending, not the other two that roll during and after the credits) feels very abrupt. Still, Director Gavin Hood had to spin a lot of plates at once, since Wolverine had to serve as a sequel to the X-Men franchise, a prequel to the X-Men story, and a foundation for all future X-Men movies that Fox and Marvel want to produce. Of course, a better script would have helped tremendously, but for what it is, which is a summer popcorn flick, I was more than entertained. Liev Schreiber plays the antagonist effectively, and Hugh Jackman has true screen presence, and even if he does flex and roar a few too many times throughout the film, Wolverine is definitely a fun character.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is the perfect film for these recessionary (or if you’re a college student- final exam) times. It allows you to turn off your brain, kick back, laugh at the dialogue, and enjoy the special effects and excitement. For a couple of hours, you forget about the stress of life and instead walk in the shoes of an adamantium-lined superhero. Like I said before, it’s not good, but it’s awesome. I’ll give it a B.

Now I want to hear from you! Let’s hear what you thought about Wolverine in the comments!

Friday Estimates: Wolverine Slices Its Way To A $35 Million Friday

May 2, 2009

Steve Mason has posted his early Friday Estimates for May 1, 2009 over at Big Hollywood, and it looks like X-Men Origins: Wolverine has gotten off to a fantastic start with $34.75 million on its first day of release! I may have overestimated Wolverine‘s potential a tad bit, but it’s still headed for a phenomenal $85-90 million weekend, and a great start to the “Summer.” As a side note, I just saw the film (review can be read HERE), and it wasn’t great, but I totally had fun watching it. It definitely fits into the Era of Easy Entertainment. Also, Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past found a solid $6 million on Friday, and it should grab about $18 million over the frame, while Battle For Terra didn’t put up much of a fight at all, with a wretched $300,000 on Friday. Here are all the early Friday numbers:

Exclusive Steve Mason Early Friday Estimates
1.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine – $34.75M, $8,478 PTA, $34.75M cume
2. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past – $6M, $1,890 PTA, $6M
3. Obsessed – $4.2M, $1,671 PTA, $39M cume
4. 17 Again – $2.22M, $682 PTA, $44.36M cume
5. The Soloist – $1.7M, $836 PTA, $14.2M cume
6. Earth – $1.45M, $804 PTA, $19.11M cume
7. Monsters vs. Aliens – $1.41M, $537 PTA, $178M cume
8. Fighting – $1.4M, $608 PTA, $14.73M cume
9. State of Play – $1.28M, $527 PTA, $28.51M cume
10. Hannah Montana: The Movie – $1.1M, $390 PTA, $67.88M cume
*NEW – Battle For Terra – $300,000, $258 PTA, $300,000 cume

What do you think of this performance? And if you’ve seen Wolverine, did you like it? Let your inner animal rage in the comments!

Wolverine Earns $5 Million At Midnight Showings! Plus, What Everyone Else Predicted!

May 1, 2009

UPDATE: I’ve posted the full Friday Estimates here.

I just saw this posted over at Deadline Hollywood Daily. Nikki Finke tells us:

Friday 12:01 AM screenings at 2,000 theaters have Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine opening to close to $5 million, which is amazing.

You know, I’m feeling pretty good about my $96 million prediction for Wolverine right about now, even though it is a bit higher than any other analysts. Here’s what everyone else is predicting for the blockbuster:

C.S. Stowbridge (The-Numbers) – “just north of $90 million”
Steve Mason (SlashFilm and Big Hollywood) – $92 million
Gitesh Pandya (Box Office Guru) – $85 million
Phil Contrino (Box Office Magazine) – $90 million
Reagen Sulewski (Box Office Prophets) – $91.3 million
Nicole Sperling (EW) – $85 million

Who will prove to be closest? Check back throughout the weekend for updates as they come!

Weekend Preview: Wolverine Slashes Into Theaters To The Start "Summer"

May 1, 2009

For whatever reason, somewhere over the course of the last few decades, a Hollywood executive must have thought it was a good idea to claim that the first week in May was the start of Summer movie season. Logical? No. Summer doesn’t actually begin for another 7 weeks, and I see no reason why the whole world should follow anything that Hollywood says, but for whatever reason, we’ve all bought into this lie, and its expected that the first film of the “Summer” (seriously, though, we aren’t even halfway through Spring!) will be huge. “Huge” would certainly be an appropriate term to describe this weekend last year, as Iron Man found $98.6 million in its opening weekend on its way to a $318 million finish. This year, the debut of X-Men Origins: Wolverine begs the question: Which is stronger, iron or adamantium? Also, Matthew McConaughey opens his latest romantic comedy, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, and an animated movie I honestly know nothing about, Battle for Terra, hits screens.

Sorry Beyonce, but your brief reign atop the box office chart here ends with the opening of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The rebellious Marvel character that Hugh Jackman popularized in the first three X-Men films gets his own treatment with Wolverine, which also serves as a foundation for the dozens of “Origins” spinoffs that Fox will instantly put into production if Wolverine breaks out. Advertising has been pervasive, and awareness is huge for Wolverine, and if the success of Fast And Furious is any indication, audiences are more than game for a loud, explosive action movie this year, and it doesn’t even matter if reviews aren’t great.. Some analysts have argued that audiences might be getting tired of Wolverine as a character after the trilogy of X-Men films, but in this Era of Easy Entertainment, comfortable familiarity is what sells, so I don’t think that should have a negative effect on box office. Wolverine is clawing its way into a whopping 4,099 theaters, and it should have no trouble trouncing the rest of the Top 12. Look for $96 million by the end of this weekend, and a greenlight for Magneto and Gambit by Monday.

With a film as huge as Wolverine hitting screens, everything else ends up seeming like an afterthought. Still, Warner Brothers may be able to find a decent gross for the rom-com Ghosts of Girlfirends Past, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. This is a classic example of counter-programming, and as The Devil Wears Prada showed us in 2006 when it debuted to $27 million against Superman Returns, there’s more than enough room for two big openers in one weekend. Personally, I don’t understand why people like McConaughey so much. He has always come across to me as smarmy, cocky, and dumb. Ladies, if that’s what you’re looking for in a man, then I’ve sadly got little to offer you. Despite my disapproval, though, McConaughey is a proven draw, and Garner makes for a likable romantic lead. Reviews are saying that the fantasy comedy is lacking in originality and humor, which is pretty much consistent with every other romantic comedy released these days, but advertising has been strong, and this provides women with an option other than Wolverine. Popping up in 3,175 theaters, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past could nab $20 million this weekend.

What the heck is Battle For Terra? I’ve seen literally no advertising for this Lionsgate release. With a little cyber-sleuthing, though, I’ve gathered that it’s a 3-D sci-fi animated film about a space war between aliens and humans. Reviews are only alright, there is zero awareness for this title, and similarly themed Monsters Vs. Aliens, even in its sixth week, will outshadow this one for sure. Terra zaps itself into just 1,159 theaters this weekend, and a gross of $3 million should result.

Among holdovers, we’ll probably see some larger-than-usual drops due to Wolverine‘s debut. Last week’s champ, Obsessed, which was destined to be front-loaded anyway, will probably fall by a steep 60% to about $11.5 million. Fighting has a lot working against it. It’s a teen film, which always signifies a big second weekend drop, and it’s an action film, which looks a lot less cool than Wolverine. The Channing Tatum feature might find $4.5 million. It will be interesting to see if Jamie Foxx’s non-sequitur appearance on American Idol this week will soften the second weekend drop for The Soloist. Still, unless there is some sort of divine intervention, The Soloist (with its $60 million pricetag) won’t be considered a hit. Give it $4.7 million as well. Disney’s re-edited version of the popular Planet Earth miniseries, Earth, actually has the best chance for a solid holdover this weekend. Appealing to families and intellectuals alike, Earth has been doing well during the week, and it might find $5.5 million over the weekend frame.

Predicted Top 12 For May 1-3, 2009
1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – $96 million
2. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past – $20 million
3. Obsessed – $11.5 million
4. 17 Again – $6 million
5. Earth – $5.5 million
6. Monsters Vs. Aliens – $5.5 million
7. The Soloist – $4.7 million
8. Fighting – $4.5 million
9. State Of Play – $4 million
10. Hannah Montana The Movie – $3.6 million
11. Fast And Furious – $3.3 million
12. Battle For Terra – $3 million

How much do you think Wolverine will earn at the box office this weekend? Can it break the $100 million barrier? Put your predictions in the comments!

Wolverine Leaked Online! What Does This Mean For Its Box Office?!

April 2, 2009

As you may have heard, late on Tuesday evening, a high quality version of Fox’s hotly anticipated X-Men Origins: Wolverine leaked online. The blockbuster wasn’t slated for release until May 1, and even though Fox quickly had the file removed, copies have been popping up quickly on multiple file-sharing websites. Fox released a major damage-control statement earlier today:

Last night, a stolen, incomplete and early version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was posted illegally on websites. It was without many effects and had missing scenes and temporary sound and music. We immediately contacted the appropriate legal authorities and had it removed. We forensically mark our content so we can identify sources that make it available or download it. The source of the initial leak and any subsequent postings will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law — the courts have handed down significant criminal sentences for such acts. The FBI and MPAA are also actively investigating the crime. We are encouraged by the support of fansites condemning piracy and this illegal posting and pointing out that such theft undermines the enormous efforts of the filmmakers and actors and, above all, hurts fans of the film.

The question now is how this leak will affect Wolverine‘s box office performance. My answer is: not that much. I think there a few things at play, here. First off, as much as the TV and film industries want the public to believe that all entertainment is moving online, that’s not exactly the case. Internet viewing of movies and TV shows still represents the vast, vast minority of the viewing public. Most everyone sticks with the traditional way of watching movies in theaters, or waiting to rent them on DVD. Most people just aren’t internet-savvy enough to figure it out. (Hey, I’m pretty wired myself, and I can’t do Bittorrent!) Second, Wolverine is the kind of film people want to see on the big screen. It’s part of the fun, and I think that most people are willing to wait one more month and get the full, sensory experience instead of watching it on their computer early. Finally, there’s the fanboy factor. The only people that are clamoring to snag a downloadable copy of Wolverine are the ones who are going to see it 18 times on opening weekend anyway.

All in all, I sincerely doubt that Wolverine‘s box office will be much affected by the leak. Fox is doing a good job of controlling the multiple copies, and I really don’t think we need to worry too much. EW has put together it’s own collection of thoughts on the issue, which you should check out here. I still think Wolverine should be able to rake in $75 million in its opening weekend, no problem. What do you think? Am I being too lax? Could this leak really damage Wolverine‘s prospects at the movies? Let me know in the comments!