A little over a month into the Summer Movie Season (it begins first weekend of May) and the overall box office compared to last year is down.
This time last summer we had Star Trek, Up, Wolverine, The Hangover, Night at the Museum 2 and Angels & Demons – and Transformers 2, Harry Potter and the Something Something, and Ice Age 3 on the way. All cash cows.
This summer has two winners thus far: Shrek 4 and Iron Man 2. But – and it’s a considerable but – Shrek 4 will be the lowest grossing film of that series, and Iron Man 2 won’t gross as much (domestically) as its predecessor. That is saying something. And while we haven’t had any wipe outs this Summer, Robin Hood, Sex and the City 2, Prince of Persia and Get Him to the Greek have all done modest numbers (and none of these are modestly budgeted or marketed). The A-Team‘s drop next weekend will determine if it’s a big money loser or not. I happen to have seen it earlier today and while not bad-bad, the film frustrates because you can absolutely see a fun 100 minute action movie trapped in a 130 minute bloated explosion-fest. The only real bright spot is Sharlto Copley as the mad Murdock.
But it’s still early. The Karate Kid‘s big opening weekend is promising. Next week is Toy Story 3. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will surely please its fans, and make lots of money. But, as far as sophisticated movie folks like myself go, there’s one film we are all counting on.