Box Office Guru Preview: Hulk 2.0 Battles Shyamalan 8.0

Hulk and The Happening try to hold off Kung Fu Panda.

by | June 12, 2008 | Comments

Two new films with skeptical fan bases hit the multiplexes on Friday with something to prove. From the comic book world comes The Incredible Hulk while from the land of supernatural thrillers comes The Happening from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan. Both new releases are followups to two of the most hated summer films of this decade and so a bad taste is still in the mouths of moviegoers. That has provided a marketing challenge as the studios want to win back the trust of the fans, and collect their dollars. Friday the 13th may prove to be unlucky for one or both of these films.

Universal returns to the scene of the crime with the Marvel super hero saga The Incredible Hulk which brings the big green guy back to the screen five years after his first shot at big-screen fame. Directed by Louis Leterrier (The Transporter, Unleashed), the PG-13 film stars Edward Norton as Bruce Banner with Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt also along for the ride. Computer software returns again to play the title character while his grunting voice role was given to Lou Ferrigno. The cast and crew is different from the 2003 Ang Lee-directed Iron Man‘s valuable currency to make sure the muscle man can earn as much green as possible. Smashing his way into 3,503 theaters, The Incredible Hulk might open with about $53M.

Hulk wants you to come back to the theaters

As a brand, M. Night Shyamalan became a strong force in the movie business this decade as one of the few director names that could open a film. But his last two ventures The Village and Lady in the Water were rejected by audiences and have tarnished his image. Second weekend drops were 68% and 60%, respectively. That puts pressure on his latest thriller The Happening which Fox is hoping can turn the tables and return Shyamalan back to his old commercial form. Starring Mark Wahlberg and John Leguizamo, the chilling tale of mysterious deaths that occur without warning is using two elements in the marketing that are not directly linked to story or starpower – the R rating and the Friday the 13th release date.

The rating is a first for the director and it is being heavily used in the ad campaign to let moviegoers know that they will be getting something more here. Something darker. No fairy tales, no kids seeing dead people. Plus the release date may get ticket buyers in the right mood for a scary movie. With fans getting sick of Shyamalan’s twist endings, this is a new way to make audiences feel as if they do need to try this film out. But buzz has been bad and early reviews are also negative so it will be difficult to get a large audience to come in and hand over some trust. Plus Hulk will provide some level of audience overlap with young men. The Strangers two weeks ago did show that there is a healthy appetite for horror right now so genre fans may show up and take a chance again. Invading 2,987 theaters, The Happening may debut with around $22M.

Zooey Deschanel and Mark Wahlberg in The Happening

Six films will try to reach double-digit millions as four holdovers aim to give moviegoers some variety. Kung Fu Panda kicked its way to a potent debut last weekend monopolizing the family audience and tapping into teens and young adults too. Competition for younger kids will be minimal this weekend. Shyamalan appeals to a totally different crowd and Hulk will only have some overlap. Pixar’s June toons Cars and Ratatouille witnessed sophomore declines of 44% and 38%, respectively, and Panda should be in between. Look for a 40% drop to around $36M giving Paramount and DreamWorks a sensational $118M in ten days.

Adam Sandler comedies are very predictable at the box office, even after the opening weekend. Last summer’s I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry fell 44% in its sophomore session while 2006’s Click dropped by 50%. The comedian’s latest laugher You Don’t Mess With the Zohan may decline by 45% and take in $21M this weekend. The cume would rise to $74M in ten days. Previous ten-day totals were $71.7M for Chuck and $87.6M for Click.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull could dip by 45% to roughly $12.5M and push its cume to $275M. The ladies of Sex and the City won’t be disturbed much by the new Friday the 13th pics. Look for a 50% drop to about $10.5M for a $120M tally to date.

LAST YEAR: Marvel ruled the box office with its super hero sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer which opened at number one with $58.1M. The Fox release went on to capture $131.9M falling a bit below the $154.7M of the first one. Another sequel Ocean’s Thirteen followed in second with $19.7M while the hit comedy Knocked Up placed third with $14.1M and the smallest decline in the top ten. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End took in $12.4M and the animated pic Surf’s Up rounded out the top five with $9.3M. Warner Bros. debuted its kidpic Nancy Drew in seventh with $6.8M on its way to $25.6M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya,

Tag Cloud

Columbia Pictures psycho FXX 2015 Grammys nature Amazon Prime Video Brie Larson 21st Century Fox HBO Disney+ Disney Plus Mystery The Arrangement Video Games Thanksgiving TV Fantasy Emmy Nominations Marvel binge Superheroe spinoff TCA 2017 anthology CMT Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt series Trivia independent Holidays Creative Arts Emmys Mudbound cancelled television Podcast Pixar movies Bravo Pirates Interview true crime IFC Films name the review Avengers WarnerMedia zombies Ellie Kemper natural history A24 PaleyFest witnail what to watch cinemax Black Mirror Extras Comedy Cartoon Network latino Mary Poppins Returns NBC Paramount Freeform Film TCM YouTube Red Peacock Comic Book Cannes Star Trek blaxploitation theme song DC Universe National Geographic Country crime drama Netflix elevated horror Mary Tyler Moore CNN cancelled Certified Fresh finale Reality Oscars The Purge joker adaptation crime thriller Apple TV Plus slashers Hallmark talk show comiccon animated Universal FOX Photos mockumentary LGBTQ GIFs revenge SDCC See It Skip It Elton John Syfy Fall TV jamie lee curtis Women's History Month 24 frames Turner Classic Movies Stephen King Lucasfilm singing competition AMC mutant historical drama Calendar game show cancelled TV series zombie strong female leads harry potter First Reviews romance dramedy SundanceTV Adult Swim Countdown GLAAD ratings Musicals Star Wars golden globes Holiday travel Epix sports Crackle screenings Premiere Dates Drama anime vampires Character Guide Starz Superheroes MSNBC werewolf psychological thriller ESPN Acorn TV OWN Warner Bros. comics Sneak Peek President TV renewals streaming ABC justice league Awards Tour Turner Dark Horse Comics 2016 Binge Guide television miniseries south america technology Nickelodeon DC streaming service blockbuster screen actors guild CW Seed political drama canceled HBO Max BBC Comedy Central Winners Schedule breaking bad MTV indie Lifetime Christmas movies spanish language The Witch dragons VICE Martial Arts Vudu Animation Kids & Family cats New York Comic Con period drama Musical Walt Disney Pictures Family Film Festival stand-up comedy cancelled TV shows Britbox Summer comic transformers Amazon Prime GoT children's TV cults Classic Film halloween canceled TV shows Captain marvel Quiz BET Shudder dc Toys Logo TV Land sag awards diversity casting E3 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Watching Series 2018 versus Showtime spy thriller 007 space Amazon LGBT Teen doctor who science fiction RT History Rock docudrama video Ghostbusters renewed TV shows CBS Action foreign Writers Guild of America DirecTV composers crossover VH1 Lifetime YouTube Premium BBC America Tarantino social media Nominations cars festivals A&E Opinion hist 45 TruTV rotten movies we love medical drama Rocketman Marathons FX hispanic teaser boxoffice kids The Walking Dead 20th Century Fox Cosplay crime free movies Spectrum Originals Spring TV romantic comedy Set visit USA Network sitcom richard e. Grant Mindy Kaling Disney Channel Arrowverse tv talk Endgame Disney RT21 PBS Apple TV+ Polls and Games cartoon sequel Netflix Christmas movies 2019 Hallmark Christmas movies cops Valentine's Day Awards E! TIFF Ovation Masterpiece TBS discovery Crunchyroll Sci-Fi History 2017 Nat Geo The CW X-Men El Rey TCA Shondaland TLC APB ITV green book First Look serial killer Christmas unscripted based on movie zero dark thirty 71st Emmy Awards dceu politics Esquire Disney streaming service SXSW MCU book ABC Family TNT Winter TV cooking Biopics Red Carpet Song of Ice and Fire WGN Lionsgate DGA Television Academy DC Comics Horror game of thrones Infographic Chernobyl IFC YouTube Rom-Com Sundance Now USA Pet Sematary christmas movies biography quibi Year in Review Mary poppins Trailer Disney Plus Trophy Talk CBS All Access Anna Paquin Sony Pictures Best and Worst Pride Month supernatural adventure Pop war 2020 Marvel Studios YA robots Hulu aliens disaster batman Tomatazos Western Reality Competition Emmys Apple Comics on TV Super Bowl toy story Rocky Marvel Television American Society of Cinematographers Food Network spider-man Sundance Box Office Heroines Tumblr ghosts Spike facebook Fox News Election award winner Paramount Network NYCC thriller police drama San Diego Comic-Con spain Music