And so it comes, the end of The Reject Report, but we’re not going quietly into the night without fanfare. We’re leaving you with a breakdown for the Summer to come. It’s already been one of record-breakers and plenty of shawarma to go around, and we’ve only just begun. So right here is the way we see it rolling along, this Summer of 2012, and it’s sure to be one we’ll keep in our hearts. Tear.
The Avengers – May 4th
- Okay, we’re cheating on this one. With nearly $300m domestic already in the bank – and another $533 from foreign markets – It’s safe to say The Avengers is the film to beat this Summer. Everyone’s looking at The Dark Knight Rises, but we’ll come to him momentarily. Right now, they’re The Avengers, bitch, and they’re gonna hit you with your own pimp. If you don’t get that reference, don’t send hate mail. The positive buzz isn’t slowing it down much, either, and this culmination of Marvel’s hard work will end up planting itself firmly in the all-time top 10, right there between The Phantom Menace and The Dark Knight.
Summer projection: $500m domestic
Battleship – May 18th
- Remember when we thought Battleship was going to be a monster success and a rival for Transformers as the Hasbro king of the Summer? It was a small period of time. Maybe about a minute of belief in a few of our heads. Still, Battleship, riding a wave of $200m from foreign territories, will have anything but a dud release here in the states. It won’t be going up against Transformers, but the G.I. Joe franchise – At least the first one – seems more in its range. Battleship will be able to cull together around $165m in domestic sales with an additional $250 or so overseas. $400+m worldwide is nothing to sneeze at, and a sequel will be announced before the end of the year.
Summer projection: $165m domestic
Men in Black 3 – May 25th
- Like it or not, Will Smith is returning this Summer, and the feeling is in the air for him to reclaim his spot as a blockbuster icon. It doesn’t matter that Men in Black 3 looks like more of the same banter and pratfalls from Agents J and K. The Men in Black movies make money, $250.6m and $190.4m for the first two, and a 10-year absence isn’t going to drive fans away. If anything, it’ll build an appetite for the brand and Smith as a Hollywood persona overall. Men in Black 3 won’t reach blockbuster status, which has more or less jumped to $300m in recent years, but it will reintroduce the movie-going world to Will Smith. They’re gonna love him.
Summer projection: $210m domestic
Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – June 8th
- You wouldn’t think the Madagascar films would be consider box office smashes, but it’s true. The first one brought in $193.5m in the Summer of 2005, while Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa pulled $180m in November 2008. This third adventure for Ben Lion, Chris Zebra, and Queen Hippo – What are the character names again? – is sure to be the biggest of them. It’s back in the Summer months, with a prime spot a the beginning of June with no family entertainment standing in its way. It has until the 22nd when PIXAR launches their Brave salo, but that half month will be a very lucrative one for DreamWorks Animation and the Madagascar series. Cheers to David Giraffe and the rest of the group.
Summer projection: $220m domestic
Prometheus – June 8th
- Before you get nervous, know that Prometheus was never going to be a $200m or more blockbuster film. Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe is going to be a moneymaker, just not on the grand scale that some might hope for. That they’re hiding the Alien connection in everything but the details will hurt its overall box office, and that R rating isn’t going to do it too many favors. There’s a reason Alien Vs. Predator had the biggest opening of that franchise with $38.2m. A nice ad campaign, a stellar cast, and, yes, the Alien part for those of us who have paid attention to it will give Prometheus enough boost for high $100ms. Ridley Scott will be able to eat for a few more months after this, so don’t worry.
Summer projection: $170m domestic
Brave – June 22nd
- Everyone knows PIXAR runs the Summer, and Bartertown. Cars 2 was a bit of a slip even with a $191.4m domestic take. Brave looks to drive the mulligan straight and far, and it’ll do just that. The first, original adventure from the animated studio since 2009’s Up, Brave is going to introduce audiences to so many, amazing characters. Every little girl in America is gonna fall in love with Princess Merida not to mention the Barbie doll tie-ins. Brave is going to be a return to form for PIXAR here deep in the Summer, and the $300m border will be crossed once again.
Summer projection: $310m domestic
G.I. Joe: Retaliation – June 29th
- Go Joe! That’s been the battle cry of fans of the old cartoon and toy line for years now, a cry that was anything but sated with the 2009 idiot box that was G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. For the sequel, Retaliation, Paramount and Hasbro have made all the right decisions so far to drive those fans back into the theater. Chief among them is The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, who helped boost Fast Five to more than $200m last year and status in the Summer offerings. Bruce Willis was another key choice, but the overall action Jon Chu seems to have brought to it will have those same fans who were disappointed three years ago frothing at the mouth now. G.I. Joe: Retaliation looks like the G.I. Joe movie fans have been waiting for, and they’re going to see this thing in droves.
Summer projection: $250m domestic
The Amazing Spider-Man – July 6th
- With The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel has finally gotten into the reboot game that DC has already been doing with films like Batman Begins and Superman Returns. Both of those movies made roughly $200m apiece, and the number seems a valid goal for the web slinger here. There will be a dampening effect seen with Spider-Man mainly due to the fact that this latest film is another origin story 10 years after Sam Raimi brought us his. Nonetheless, The Amazing Spider-Man, while not having the strength of other comic book movies this Summer, will prove a right fine success for its director Marc Webb and the franchise as a whole. We can look for Ultimate Spider-Man in 2015 to be a return to monster success that franchise deserves.
Summer projection: $185m domestic
The Dark Knight Rises – July 20th
- There’s no question The Dark Knight Rises is going to be huge, like stadium-blasting, bridge-toppling huge, but this cry that it will, without question, be even bigger than The Dark Knight is absurd. The general rule is that a sequel has to be bigger than its predecessor to be considered a success. The Dark Knight was a bigger success than Batman Begins, by a large margin, but this third, and seemingly final, entry into Christopher Nolan’s tale of the caped crusader will fall into the rounding-out-of-a-trilogy territory so many have hit before. Let’s be honest, Heath Ledger was a huge draw for The Dark Knight. Alive or dead, that performance matching with that character was going to pull repeat audiences in. Tom Hardy’s Bane nor Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman seem to have that same flair, but guess what. The Dark Knight Rises will still be a blockbuster film, a lot of people are going to make a lot of money off of it, and Christopher Nolan, I’m sure, will be resting comfortably in his bed when Warner Brothers announces Len Wiseman as the director of The Dark Knight Returns. It’ll be okay. Just accept it.
Summer projection: $425m domestic
The Bourne Legacy – August 3rd
- Another reboot, The Bourne Legacy won’t have the same factors that made its three predecessors such smash hits. The Bourne Ultimatum pulled in $227.4m in August of 2007, so you know the franchise has power. Jeremy Renner will be a lead face on the posters to come, and, if nothing else, people will want “two tickets for the movie with that guy who played Hawkeye.” Placement across the theater lobby from Total Recall will cause a bit of a dip in its opening weekend take, but The Bourne Legacy will prove the franchise and that world can carry on without Paul Greengrass at the helm and Matt Damon in all the TV spots. This reboot will be the beginning of a new trilogy that’ll strive to blow moviegoers out of their seats, and it’s looking that that The Bourne Legacy will do just that.
Summer projection: $180m domestic
The Summer Chart
- The Avengers – $500m
- The Dark Knight Rises – $425m
- Brave – $310m
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation – $250m
- Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted – $220m
- Men in Black 3 – $210m
- The Amazing Spider-Man – $185m
- The Bourne Legacy – $180m
- Prometheus – $170m
- Battleship – $165m
and the rest of the Summer…
- Rock of Ages – $150m
- The Expendables 2 – $140m
- Total Recall – $135m
- Snow White and the Huntsman – $130m
- Dark Shadows – $115m
- Ice Age – Continental Drift – $110m
- Ted – $85m
- That’s My Boy – $80m
- The Dictator – $65m
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – $20m
Sorry, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Somebody had to Jonah Hex it this year.
At the end of the Summer, we’ll still be looking at The Avengers, all amassed in a circle, standing dominant on the mountaintop, Batman, G.I. Joe, Spider-Man, and Xenomorphs strewn down the side like a long, winding road of film. Movies like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Bourne Legacy will hold their own well while films like The Dictator and Ice Age – Continental Drift will ultimately disappoint. Hell, 10-year-olds who loved the first Ice Age are 20 now, and they’ll be going to see Ted, which comes out the same day. Snow White and the Huntsman will be a worthy first entry in what looks to be a franchise, and Rock of Ages will have children of the ’80s buying out rows of theaters so they and their friends can sing along. It’ll be magical.
Okay, that last bit probably won’t happen very often, but the point is it’s going to be a raucous Summer. By the time September rolls around and the Oscar season is on the horizon, we might be blockbustered out. At least until the following May and Iron Man 3.