Box Office Predictions for Early Summer 2012's Sequels
It wouldn’t be summer without sequels, and
+ The Avengers [Disney 5/4] – $372M - There’s never been a superhero ensemble film before, so direct comparisons are impossible. However, given the Marvel name and that fact that the Iron Man pair, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America have a combined domestic gross of $1.2 billion, there’s clearly a massive audience. The Avengers has generated a lot of excitement through a great marketing push, the goodwill from the five earlier titles helps, and adding the increasingly popular Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye can’t hurt either. Every other studio has refrained from opening anything gigantic nearby, so reaching the target audience will be a piece of cake. This is going to be one of year’s biggest movies, and a domestic tally of $372M would be a fantastic way to kickoff summer 2012.
+ Men in Black III [Sony 5/25] - $217M – The question here is how much great memories of Men in Black (1997) can outweigh bad memories of Men in Black II (2002). It’s been ten years since the disappointing sequel, and Will Smith’s starpower has cooled in recent years, but the property still carries recognition. The trailers reveal far more invention this time and Memorial Day Weekend is a prime place to plant a tentpole sequel. With The Avengers in weekend four and both Dark Shadows and Battleship looking modest, Men in Black III should be in good shape. Reaching the first film’s $250.6M will require great reception, but with a decade of higher ticket prices and 3D surcharges, the threequel should top the second’s $190.4M and reach a tally around $217M.
+ Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted [Paramount 6/8] - $143M – Last year, Kung Fu Panda 2, Cars 2 and, especially, Happy Feet Two saw sizable drops from predecessors because they were just more-of-the-same with 3D added. Though the first two
+ Prometheus [Fox 6/8] - $124M – This Alien prequel is quite possibly the summer’s biggest franchise gamble. Fox had solid success with last summer’s sci-fi prequels, X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but those were more mainstream properties. Ridley Scott is returning to the series he launched in 1979, hoping it plays better than the mediocre runs Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection witnessed in the 90s. Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender and Charlize Theron lead an interesting cast, but the most valuable card is the mysterious ad campaign. However, that doesn’t always yield massive ticket sales. Super 8 used a similar tactic last June and grossed a somewhat-soft $127M. Unless excitement soars within the next month, Prometheus could see about $124M, placing it in the same ballpark.
+ G.I. Joe: Retaliation [
+ Madea’s Witness Protection [Lionsgate 6/29] - $73M – Though his sales drop with serious movies, Tyler Perry sells many tickets with comedies, especially he plays Madea. The first three Madea movies saw a steady increase, but the $53.3M of last year’s Big Happy Family marked a big fall from Madea Goes to Jail’s $90.5M in 2009. Madea’s Witness Protection marks his first summer release, and could buck his recent declines. Perry has lost the interest of many non-fans in recent years, but his loyal followers always show up. With a stronger summer play period and few titles specifically targeting African-Americans, Witness Protection could fall in between Jail and Big Happy Family with a $73M gross.
NOTE: Although Piranha 3DD, a sequel to Piranha ($25M in 2010), is being released on June 1, it is not included on this list because it is slated for a limited release.