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Pirate Monkey's Holiday Spectacular

Weekly guest columnist telling us how they feel about upcoming releases.

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Pirate Monkey's Holiday Spectacular

Postby undeadmonkey » November 2nd, 2009, 6:36 pm

Welcome one; welcome all to the spectacle you have all been waiting for. Tonight we will sail across weird and wonderful seas, visit bizarre places, meet strange creatures, see extravagant performances and behold the most frightening and wonderful things you can imagine...

…. Too much?

I’ve always wanted to do a circus type introduction and I finally got the chance. I hope that introduction to Pirate Monkey’s Holiday Spectacular (thanks to W for the title, it is quite clever if I do say so myself) will suffice. I will mainly be going over the big movies vying for top position this holiday season, although there will be a few limited releases, because who would of thought at this time last year that Gran Torino or Slumdog Millionaire would go on to achieve blockbuster status.

Before I get into that though, Let’s take a look at the top ten of the year so far.
1) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - $402,111,870
2) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - $301,216,215
3) Up -$292,810,074
4) The Hangover - $276,352,952
5) Star Trek - $257,730,019
6) Monsters Vs. Aliens - $198,351,526
7) Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - $196,139,715
8) X-Men Origins: Wolverine - $179,883,157
9) Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian - $177,220,561
10) The Proposal - $163,802,563

Not too many surprises, although no one saw The Hangover coming, or The Proposal for that matter. Up is now Pixar’s second highest grossing film. Monsters Vs Aliens was actually bigger than Ice Age 3. Speaking of Dreamworks, where is that obligatory second animated film of the year? Did anyone else notice that? I guess someone decided to take a vacation, but there’s no need to panic you’ll get three animated films from Dreamworks next year.

Up first to jump through hoops our big top is A Christmas Carol, a 3D retelling of the classic with Carrey as Scrooge. This will actually be the 21st film adaption (and that’s not counting the countless tv adaptions) of this story by Charles Dickens, the first being a short silent film called Marley’s Ghost that was released in 1901. Being the first one out of the gate definitely helps, but that is not all that A Christmas carol has going for it. It is also the only big holiday themed movie coming out this year, plus the 3D upcharge will help as well. Look for at least $150M by the time all is said and done. Although I really wouldn’t be surprised if it got up to $200M, but that’ll depend on if it’s any good.

Taming the lions tonight is 2012, the next in a lengthy procession of Emmerich disaster epics. I thought Independence Day was kind of funny and Day After Tomorrow is a little bit of a guilty pleasure of mine but Godzilla was crap whichever way you slice it and who knows what was going on in 10,000 BC. 2012 should be a little bit better received than the latter two, but how much is anyone’s guess. We don’t know much of the story beyond it’s the end of the world. The trailers so far have mostly shown things getting blown up (which worked for Transformers, but maybe audiences have learned their lesson (doubt it though)). Overall Roland Emmerich has a lifetime gross of $945,206,064 with 7 films. That’s an average of $135M per movie. 2012 will probably make a little more, about $160M-$180M.

Here come the bloodsuckers on tricycles (along with an extra creepy Dakota Fanning). To tell you the truth, the trailer for New Moon looks way better than the first one. Which might have something to do with the gazillion dollars Summit made with the first one. Will that make it better than the first one? I doubt it. Does that matter moneywise? I doubt it…. Again. New Moon will have teenage girls coming out of the theaters telling all their friends how great it was via twitter; they’ll go home and read their books again for the 46th time, then get back in line at the theater the next day. It’s a vicious cycle. New Moon will probably go on to make $250 million; everyone will get over it and then obsessively wait for the next movie to come out.

The monster parade comes out on Thanksgiving weekend. This weekend always has a few films vying for blockbuster status. Old Dogs, which at first glance I thought this was a sequel to Wild Hogs, should do pretty well. There’ll be more people who will make that mistake, which is probably a good thing. $80M-$100M is basically guaranteed. We also have the obligatory action flick which we’ve been seeing the last couple of years. 2008 had Transporter 3. 2007 had Hitman. They earned $31M and $39M, respectively. Ninja Assassin will probably go a little higher with about $45M-$50M. Just because the trailer looks a bit better than the movies I just mentioned. Also competing for your green is The Road. It hasn’t been going too great for this film; it’s had a couple of delays, has had some bad WOM, but it’s RT score is at a healthy 88% with 17 ratings. I think this is one of the riskier picks, it could make up to $100M, but it could also fall flat and only make about $20M. Lastly we have The Princess and The Frog, Disney’s first hand drawn animation since Home on the Range in 2004. The question is though, will this be more of the ‘90s Disney with the like of Lion King, Pocahontas and Aladdin or more of the ‘00s with like of Treasure Planet and Brother Bear. The trailer that I’ve seen looks charming and I think there is enough interest in it for it to do well, It still is an animated children’s movie. I also think it’ll get a lot of older curios people to buy tickets hoping and wondering to see if Disney has recaptured their magic. It’s opening limited on thanksgiving, going wide on December 11th. I think receipts will total about $130M. Plus if Disney really has re-captured that magic of The Lion King or Beauty and The Beast, then I could see it going much higher.

Next up are the ballet dancers on elephants. Invictus is Clint Eastwood’s latest, a biopic of Nelson Mandela. If you’re hoping for another Gran Torino, I think you might be disappointed. I don’t know what it is, but Eastwood’s biopics don’t tend to do so well. Look for $30M, more like The Changeling or Flags of our Fathers, than the $150M of Gran Torino. The Lovely Bones is Peter Jackson’s first film since King Kong in 2005. I think one of the reasons District 9 opened so well was because it had Jackson’s name it (of course the great WOM and repeat business was because it was actually good). I think The Lovely Bones could make $50M on Jackson’s name alone. This movie has a lot more going for it though. It’s a bestseller. It has an A list cast, Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Michael Imperioli and Saoirse Ronan. (That’s 8 oscar nominations and 2 wins between them). It’s opening limited on the 11th of December, and expanding on 25th.

Walking the tightrope tonight is Avatar. This one is difficult to decipher because of all the hype. On one hand you could get The Dark Knight or Paranormal Activity; on the other hand you can get Cloverfield or Watchmen. The new trailer that came out this weekend was better received than the teaser that came out in August. There’ll be some people that are curious about this ‘new technology’ that Cameron has developed and the people that have seen it in 3D have said it was great. I’ve read quite a few articles calling this the death of James Cameron’s career, which I seriously doubt even if it does flop. This film could gross from as little as $150M to as much as $350M.

For our grand finales in our flying trapeze acts, we have Alvin 2 The Squeakquel (I still cant believe that someone got paid to come up with that) and Sherlock Holmes. Alvin was well received, kids thought they were ‘cool’, parents and grandparents thought they were cute. I would be really surprised if the sequel didn’t make a little more than the first one, $230M. Now for a more interesting subject, there hasn’t been a Sherlock Holmes feature film since 1988. That was the year I was born and I personally have never seen any Sherlock adaptations. I remember reading the books in school and I loved them. Mr Madonna’s (can we still call him that) take on it seems very interesting and the trailers have been well received, but Ritchie’s highest grossing film is Snatch with $30M. Grant it, this looks like his break to have a blockbuster film on his resume, but how much more over that is hard to tell. So I’m going to guess with a more conservative $150M-$170M. Rachel McAdams does look scrumptious though.

To wrap up our show, I’m going to give you my actual predictions because in the column I’ve just been giving estimations. I might be horribly wrong or dead on with these predictions, either way, here goes.

1. Avatar - $280M
2. Twilight 2 - $248M
3. Alvin 2 - $232M
4. A Christmas Carol - $200M
5. 2012 - $180M
6. Sherlock Holmes - $170M
7. The Princess and the Frog - $165M
8. The Lovely Bones - $150M
9. Old Dogs - $90M
10. Invictus - $55M
11. The Road - $50
12. Ninja Assasin - $45M

Well I hope you enjoyed the illustrious performances and bizarre spectacles. I’ve had fun (I realize this post is a bit longer than Shryke's are, so i thought about dividing it into two week special, but i thought what the hell, if your gonna read it, you'll read it, and if you wont, it wont matter if its in two shorter post a week apart) and my opinions are definitely not up for debate. The Pirate Monkey knows all. (i cant tell if my sarcasm is coming across... of course its up for debate, thats what these lovely forums are for)

I bid you fond farewell and the next time the fog rolls in, be sure to come check out our three ring festival to see the mystical and the magical (i really wish i could use a cloud of smoke and *poof*, but im not sure how to do that on here)
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Re: Pirate Monkey's Holiday Spectacular

Postby Buscemi » November 2nd, 2009, 7:08 pm

I'm going to say that Alvin will be the big Holiday movie. Avatar will stop at $150 million, The Lovely Bones won't come close to blockbuster status (from reading the book, I can tell you it's more Revolutionary Road than Lord Of The Rings) and The Princess and The Frog won't hit blockbuster status either.

Meanwhile, The Blind Side and Did You Hear About The Morgans? could both completely surprise and do well.
Everything on this post is strictly the opinion and only the opinion of Buscemi.

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Re: Pirate Monkey's Holiday Spectacular

Postby Shrykespeare » November 2nd, 2009, 11:14 pm

Perish the thought, UDM. I LIKE long posts. It shows a lot of thought (or, at the very least, a lot of rambling), which I approve of. Good stuff.
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Re: Pirate Monkey's Holiday Spectacular

Postby W » November 3rd, 2009, 12:00 am

Very informative. I am a fan of Princess and the Frog's chances as well as 2012, but Avatar is probably the one that I disagree with most. In my estimation, it makes closer to half $150 M than 300.
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Re: Pirate Monkey's Holiday Spectacular

Postby Geezer » November 3rd, 2009, 12:19 am

I think you vastly overestimate the potential of The Lovely Bones. Maybe I'm wrong but I can't see more than 50 million, if that.
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