Another summer season weekend, another superhero film. Green Lantern is this weekend’s heavy hitter and while it does boast the “sexiest man alive,” it’s also battling some pretty harsh reviews. No, its poor critical reception won’t be detrimental to its box office performance, but it certainly could keep Thor‘s $65.7 million opening out of reach. Also, minus The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. hasn’t had much luck in the superhero department. Superman Returns opened with just $52.5 million on a whopping $270 million budget back in 2006, then there was Watchmen in 2009, which opened strong, but fizzle out fast, and, most recently, Jonah Hex which bombed in every way possible. In the end, Green Lantern will likely find itself on par with X-Men: First Class with about $55 million.
Also potentially making waves this weekend is Mr. Popper’s Penguins. It’s actually been quite a while since our last family friendly film, so at this point, between that and school letting out, the kiddies are likely foaming at the mouth for something mommy-approved. Now, the question is, will Mr. Popper’s Penguins be Alvin and the Chipmunks good or Marmaduke bad? (Referring to the quality of the box office intake, of course.) There actually hasn’t been a solid performance by a family film in June in quite a while. Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties bombed in 2006, Surf’s Up only started with $17.6 million in 2007, Imagine That crashed and burned in 2009 and well, we all remember what happened to Marmaduke last year. On the other hand, if we look at Jim Carrey’s recent films, the outlook is a little brighter. For example, should Mr. Popper’s Penguins open with something along the lines of A Christmas Carol, it could start its run with a decent $30 million.
Now, onto the veterans. Ultimately, Super 8 will have a nice and lengthy run, but, just like Cloverfield, it could suffer a harsh week one to two drop. It probably won’t freefall 70% like Cloverfield did back in 2008, but it could lose as much as 50% of its earnings, similar to District 9 in 2009, leaving it with $18 million for week two. Should X-Men: First Class continue to post similar numbers to the original X-Men, it’s looking at a 45% week three drop, which would give it about $13 million.
As for The Hangover Part II, I’ve got my fingers crossed this is the week it’ll slide right by Kung Fu Panda 2. Since their debut, Kung Fu Panda has been dropping at a lesser rate and, should the trend continue, it would only lose about 40% while The Hangover drops 50%. Should that be the case, Kung Fu Panda’s $10 million week-four intake will top The Hangover’s $9 million haul.
Another position swap could take place between Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Bridesmaids. Bridesmaids has been in theaters a whole extra week, but thanks to its impressively long legs, it should have no problem topping Pirates this time around. Should Bridesmaids continue to keep its percent change under 30%, with, let’s say 25% and On Stranger Tides lose the same amount in week five as its predecessor, At World’s End, the former will finish the weekend with $7 million while the latter comes in with $6 million.
On Stranger Tides could also feel the wrath of yet another strong contender, Midnight in Paris. The film has continually expanded since its debut and while its theater average has dropped from week to week, it’s still holding up quite well. In week five, Midnight in Paris gets 94 more theaters. Should the per theater average drop accordingly, perhaps earning $5,000 per location, it’ll end the weekend with $5 million. Lastly, after a lackluster start, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is poised to lose at least half of its week one profits, leaving it with about $3 million this time around.
1. Green Lantern
2. Mr. Popper’s Penguins
3. Super 8
4. X-Men: First Class
5. Kung Fu Panda 2
6. The Hangover Part II
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
9. Midnight in Paris
10. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
By Perri Nemiroff (via Box Office Mojo)