Weekend Predictions: 05-08-09

Though we’re still six weeks from the start of Summer, the Summer movie season is well under way. The latest contender for biggest movie o’ the year is Star Trek.

captain-kirkWithout knowing much about the movie, you can tell by the fact there’s no subtitle that this is a do-over rather than any kind of a sequel. They’re taking Captain Kirk and the gang all the way back to the Starfleet Academy and making you forget everything you know about Star Trek. Those old farts just weren’t relevant to today’s sensibilities. It needs more special effects, more monsters, more sex, more dramatic camera angles, more contrast, more things whizzing past the camera, etc. And it’s relying on these modern crutches to bring in the crowds: the cast, though occasionally recognizable, lacks big names and the franchise pretty much wore out it’s welcome at the box office.

It’s been a long (but not too long) seven years since the past Star Trek: Nemesis, the most expensive ($60 million) and worst performing ($43 million) Star Trek movie. Straight dollar-wise, the highest grossing movie was Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986 with $109 million.  But if you translate everything to today’s dollars, Star Trek: The Motion Picture hauled in $235 million. I think Star Trek (the new one) will do good out of the gate, but it might struggle to unseat The Motion Picture as the biggest success of the franchise. Ain’t nothing like the real thing. I think the new iteration could make $70,138,969 this weekend, but with more big movies in the coming weeks, the tail might not be that long. The movie is getting extremely positive reviews, so it does have that going for it.

If you manage to find a theater showing more than Star Trek and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there’s a chance you could find Next Day Air playing. The question will be if you really want to spend your money on it. The cast features actors known for playing either the foil or the comic relief. And that’s about as much as I can say about the movie that stands out in any way. It’s got an outside shot of cracking $4 million, but I’m predicting $3,850,917.

For some reason The Soloist is adding 57 locations this weekend, for a total of 2,090. The movie will be unbelievably lucky to make $3 million, which would translate to about 16 people a showing. 17 Again will still be in 2,903 theaters and will be lucky to average over $1,300 per theater (15 people a showing) for the weekend. Similar stories can be told for Monsters vs Aliens, Hannah Montana, and Fighting. With two $50+ million movies this weekend (Star Trek, Wolverine), everyone else is fighting over scraps.

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