Summer has always been the time when studios released their most expensive films, and in turn usually generated their biggest profits. I’ve been amazed at the number of films that have been released this summer with budgets over $150 million. By my count there have been 8 films released since May 3rd with budgets of at least $150 million. Of those 8 films, 2 (and a potential 3rd) appear on track for significant losses. There use to be a time in the not so distant past in which $100 million was the bench mark for big budget productions, but it seems that time has come and gone. While the cause of the sky rocketing budget costs are primarily due to the effects used, at what point do studios begin to scale back and return to the days of practical effects?
The newest big budget tentpole to be released is Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. The film comes with a reported budget of $190 million, all of which can be seen on the screen with the enormous human operated robots and the even larger and more imaginative aliens. While Pacific Rim does have great effects and is full of originality, the cast isn’t all that impressive, aside from the underrated Edris Elba. Impressive in its scale, I believe Pacific Rim will struggle to connect with anything more than fans of the genre, del Toro fans and men. I don’t think the film is going to be a box office disappointment, but I don’t see it breaking $40 million either and that’s disappointing.
Grown Ups 2 comes 3 years after the original; a surprise hit that went on to gross over $162 million domestically. Maybe it’s because I find it easy to associate with the aging actors/comedians, but by no means did I think Grown Ups was a great film, but I did enjoy it. Everyone, except for Rob Schneider, appears to have returned for the follow-up and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m looking forward to it. The film has been tracking to open close to the $40.5 million opening of the original, but I think there’s a slightly bigger audience this time around. I’m not sure the film will reach a $162 million by the end of its run, but it could come close.
Here’s how I see the Top 10
Box Office Predictions
Most of our predictors all see Grown Ups 2 finishing with over $38M, with Todd the least optimistic believing the film to open at $32.3M. I’m the most optimistic with my $43M number, albeit slightly more than Nick, Shane and Jason who all foresee $42M. Pacific Rim was a much harder film to predict for everyone, and not just us. Trevor($55M) has the most belief in how the film will perform, while Shane, Jason, Nick and myself all see an opening of under $40M.
Grown Ups 2
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