Warner Bros. is hours away from launching Man of Steel into theaters. As usually happens when a tentpole's release approaches, the line between optimistic and objective expectations becomes blurred in the wake of overreaction. This film is no different.
There are strong arguments for an opening weekend over $100 million (BoxOffice is officially forecasting $115 million), but perspective should be kept.
First and foremost, the studio itself is expecting a debut in the $80-89 million range. Contrary to growing opinion in certain corners of the Internet (and, by extension, the film industry), that would be anything but a disappointing start for the film.
Illumination Entertainment made a big name for itself three years ago when Despicable Me became one of summer 2010's biggest breakout hits. The original film not only opened to a strong $56.4 million, it also won over both critics and families in the long run. The film's $251.5 million domestic haul and exceptional 4.46 multiplier from its debut weekend guaranteed a sequel would be coming down the pike.
To the delight of Minion fans everywhere, that sequel is almost here.
Four weeks out from release, Despicable Me 2 is making a strong case on Twitter. Its five-day tweet total from June 5-9 was a whopping 884 percent higher than its predecessor during the comparable time period.
For those who say the era of the box office star is over, June 28 is primed to become an exception to that new rule.
The contenders: Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy headline The Heat (from Bridesmaids director, Paul Feig), while Jaime Foxx and Channing Tatum lead Roland Emmerich's White House Down. Here's how they're stacking up in our weekly social network analysis:
Twitter activity over the past five days has been slow for The Heat, but deceivingly so. Its 597 tweets yielded an impressive 22.8-to-1 positive-to-negative ratio.
Tuesday Update: The final domestic market gross for May 2013 rang in at $1.143 billion.
Previously: Pop open the champagne bottles: summer is off to one of its best starts in history.
Once the final numbers are crunched today, BoxOffice projects May's cumulative box office haul will eclipse $1.14 billion--easily setting a new May record (which was reached far ahead of the deadline during Memorial Day weekend).
That tops the three highest Mays on record entering this year: 2011, 2012, and 2009 with $1.037 billion, $1.025 billion, and $1.019 billion, respectively.
If you think you're experiencing déjà vu, don't worry. Nearly every summer sees one weekend where a high-profile animated flick goes up against a would-be live-action blockbuster. That kind of strategic counter-programming has worked well for duos such as 2008's Wall-E & Wanted and 2011's The Hangover Part II & Kung Fu Panda 2.
Conversely, it doesn't always work: see the disappointing performance of last year's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter when it opened against Pixar's Brave. Ditto for 2010 when Toy Story 3's monster numbers overshadowed the disastrous Jonah Hex.
Summer's sophomore month is just around the corner. With it will come Warner Bros.' Man of Steel, currently waging a strong campaign to re-brand the struggling modern image of Superman.
June is not usually known for producing phenom-like blockbusters. In fact, only two June releases in history have reached $300 million domestically when opening before the 18th of the month: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park.
In all, just five June releases have ever hit the triple-century mark at the box office (the aforementioned two, followed by The Lion King, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Toy Story 3).
The box office performances of Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby, and Star Trek Into Darkness have already helped May lift 2013's bottom line. Next comes the time of year every exhibitor looks forward to: Memorial Day weekend. In fact, 2013's first holiday frame of summer may be the most anticipated in a long time.
This weekend will see the release of three new titles: Fast & Furious 6, The Hangover Part III, and Epic. The former two are expected to post big numbers, while Epic has more reserved expectations behind it. That flick's main advantage will be the fact that no animated movies have opened since March's The Croods--meaning families with little kids will be looking for something new.