EW's Wacky Summer Box Office Predictions
by Alex Billington
April 23, 2008
When it comes to box office predictions, I usually try to stay out of the game. Not only is it nearly impossible to accurately judge how well a movie will perform (at least I think), I prefer to just enjoy movies and not sit around analyzing the financial side. The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, the summer movie preview edition, features a page of box office predictions made by the EW staff. This where things get a bit ridiculous - they rank The Dark Knight at #6, below Iron Man (at #5) and Hancock (at #3). Wow, I thought EW was smarter than this? Does anyone really think Hancock will preform that well? Or more importantly, do they really think Iron Man is going to perform better than The Dark Knight? How could they screw up this summer's box office predictions so bad?
Here's a recap of what was published just incase you don't have the latest copy of Entertainment Weekly sitting at arm's length.
1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $355.9 million
2. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $310.8 million
3. Hancock - $280.4 million
4. Wall-E - $280.3 million
5. Iron Man - $262.7 million
6. The Dark Knight - $255.0 million
7. Kung Fu Panda - $224.6 million
8. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - $176.5 million
9. The Incredible Hulk - $147.2 million
10. Tropic Thunder - $142.6 million
Now one would think that EW would be one of the most qualified places to make accurate predictions but these are all way too far off of the map to be considered legitimate. I understand that they're making reasonable predictions based on facts, for example, The Dark Knight: "Batman Begins made $205 mil, and the power of Heath Ledger's last performance, as the Joker, should take this higher." But this is still outrageous - have they missed all of the buzz? I've tried to make this argument all along, but I don't know how anyone can justifiably say "because this other movie made so much money, this one will make the same." There are so many factors that differentiate any two films that a statement like that is a certified load of bullshit.
I'm pretty damn confident that the top three box office earners this summer will be: The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Wall-E. I'm not brave enough to actually rank out a full list of 10 movies like EW (or should I say, stupid enough), but I'm still pretty dang sure those three are going to end up topping the charts. Wall-E and Indiana Jones we all seem to agree upon, but The Dark Knight (and Iron Man for that matter) is the odd one out this time. How did EW completely miss that The Dark Knight has the most buzz out of any other movie this upcoming summer?
As much as I'm personally looking forward to Iron Man, it doesn't have nearly as much momentum as The Dark Knight. In fact, depending on how well Indiana Jones does, I have a good feeling that The Dark Knight could take the #1 spot in the end. I watched every presentation at the New York Comic Con last weekend and the one that had the loudest roar - The Dark Knight. A guy from DC came up on stage and made a quick announcement and at the mention of "Christopher Nolan" there was a tremendous cheer, louder than anything I'd ever heard, that lasted for a good 30 seconds. The new trailer played and the cheering at the end was much louder than any other panel or any other footage that day. Is that kind of enthusiasm not enough to prove that The Dark Knight is going to take the cake?
I'm very anxious to see how Iron Man performs next weekend - I think it'll be our first glimpse at how things will go this summer. I'm hoping for the best, but I'm nervous it might not play as well as everyone is expecting. As excited as we all are for this summer to kick off, a few things are certain: Iron Man is not going to perform better than The Dark Knight and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is guaranteed top be one of the top three earners. Think I'm wrong? Prove it!