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Who Will Be the Top Dog at the Box Office this Summer?

When you take a look at the layout for this summer’s movies, you will be hard pressed to find a weekend where a superhero will not be top at the box office.  Starting May 4th with the premiere of The Avengers we will be treated to what I will be calling “Superhero Summer.”  Yet superheroes will not be the only ones at the cinema this much anticipated, movie-filled summer as we have Universal’s Battleship, a number of pointless sequels in the form of Step Up 4, Men in Black III, and The Expendables 2, and let us not forget about summer’s latest trademark, animation, where we get Pixar’s new project, Brave, and another installment to the Ice Age franchise.  It seems the only people that will feel the burn of this overcrowded summer will be the studios for with this many movies scheduled for release there will be some big box office successes but even more box office bombs.  Certain films will be guaranteed box office gold while others are a bit of risky business.  Let me review this summer’s lineup, starting in May, and fill you in on some of the films that will be an instant cultural phenomenon and the ones that we will forget about the next day at the pool.

We all know making money is not what filmmaking is about, however it is very influential in what movies will offer us in the future.  Well, here we go:

The Avengers 

Is anyone doubting the success of this film?  Fanboys and girls of all shapes and sizes have been peeing their pants over this movie from the moment it was announced.  I am not familiar with the concept behind the film, but seeing both Iron Man films is enough to get me buzzing about this.  With this coming out the first weekend after I finish all my finals, you can be certain that I will at the theatre for this one.  Having Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Robert Downey Jr. in a cast doesn’t hurt at all and then considering that there is no rival opening the same weekend, this juggernaut will easily surpass its $220 million budget and go on to become the first summer blockbuster.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting

While some have bashed the film for following in the New Year’s Eve/Valentine’s Day fashion, there is one aspect that sets this film apart and that is the talent both behind and in front of the camera.  Director Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine, Nanny McPhee) has displayed his knack for innovative humor then when you combine that with screenwriter Shauna Cross (Whip It) you can be rest assured that they will put this all-star cast to good use.  This film may not break any records, however it is sure to use its star power to bring in fans looking for a few laughs in this predominately action-packed summer.  While the trailer may not be as funny as one would expect, I still have high hopes that this film will be a hit.

Piranha 3DD

I am huge fan of campy horror films, but after audiences’ tepid response to Piranha in 2010 there is little hope for the sequel to succeed.  Usually fans flock to horror films while critics bash the film the moment the previews start, yet this marks one of the only occasions where the opposite occurred.  Based on the trailer, the sequel looks even more absurd which will most likely please only hardcore horror films, but unfortunately, this won’t translate in box office success with horror fans disappearing from the cinema more and more each year.  With only a $20 million budget, the gore porn flick should at least break even, but any hopes for a third installment will be put to rest.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Spielberg isn’t the only one coming out with a Lincoln film this year, yet the president may be the only similarity between the two films as  Timur Bekmambetov (say that three times fast!) is bringing Seth Grahame-Smith’s ridiculously fun novel to life.    June is uncharacteristically light on action heavy hitters this summer with Prometheus being one of the only films that will cause a splash at the box office, which leaves the door open for this latest vampire flick.  While AL:VH may not be on par with Avengers it is sure to make buko bucks as it brings in fans of the source material and moviegoers who just want to see our most famous president kick some vampire booty.  Already fans are buzzing about the film on all the social media outlets with over two months to go until the film’s release.  This is wonderful for a film whose biggest star is Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who is unfortunately still far from A-lister status.  Anticipation can only go up from here!

The Amazing Spider-Man

By now everyone has realized that Spider-Man 3 was a complete and total bust, and it seems the same person in charge of the cheesy finale to a great trilogy has okayed a reboot to a series that is only five years old.  The film seems to be keeping a low profile, but with summer just around the corner the producers better step it up if they want anyone else besides Spidey fanatics and bored teens to see their film.  Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone leading the project sparks my interest yet these rising stars are mostly unfamiliar to the comic book world and their fresh faces may not be enough to top the ticket sales of the original series.  At this point in time, I cannot say I see this film succeeding.  I enjoy the talented people working on the project, however this reboot seems too soon and it is doubtful that it will make enough to spark interest in a sequel.

The Dark Knight Rises 

The ultimate summer blockbuster.  Batman returns to give us a popcorn flick unlike any other.  After the splash The Dark Knight made at the box office, there is no telling what TDKR will do to the box office this summer.  Also, considering that this is the last film in the series, fans will come swarming to the theatre to watch their hero’s swan song.  Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings are two films that benefited enormously from their final installments as each went on to become the highest grossing film in the series.  If it possible to build upon the hype of this film,  Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, and Juno Temple join the cast while Liam Neeson reprises his role of Ra’s al Ghul, who was last seen in Batman Begins.  Now, excuse me while I freak out a little more over this film and check out the trailer.

Premium Rush 

Originally scheduled for a January release (the dumping ground for mediocre films) this bike messenger thriller got graced with a summer release in the dog days of August.  At first I believed the release date alteration was based upon potential success, but now I have realized this is not the case (watch the trailer below and you will understand).  Joseph Gordon-Levitt has a big year in 2012, but it seems he does have a dud in the bunch.  How a thriller about bike messengers can ever take off is beyond me.  Maybe I am letting my skepticism get ahead of me, but based upon all I seen from this film so far, there is little hope it will do well in any sense.  Sorry JG-L, this one just ain’t cutting it!

This summer has plenty to offer and all these movies make waiting for it even harder!  2012 has started off strong at the box office and with all the great films lined up for release this summer will only build upon that strength.  Hopefully April will not be too antagonizing with the likes of The Three Stooges and The Lucky One in theaters and we can finally make it to one of the greatest summers in years.  Happy moviegoing!



2 comments on “Who Will Be the Top Dog at the Box Office this Summer?

  1. jumpingpolarbear
    April 1, 2012

    I don’t like many of the movies that are coming out this summer. Hope it will be better at christmas time :).

  2. Jim
    April 2, 2012

    Who will be the top dog? The Dark Knight Rises. No contest.

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