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, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

4/20 007 Countdown justice league TCA Winter 2020 name the review Nominations TV hispanic PaleyFest satire Cartoon Network child's play IFC Films Quiz mutant Superheroe streaming docudrama parents slashers Character Guide cancelled television sitcom 2016 news Set visit Endgame Mindy Kaling police drama Epix ESPN E3 Heroines football BAFTA BBC One Sneak Peek jamie lee curtis sports concert science fiction Hear Us Out Hallmark biography YouTube Red National Geographic worst movies batman award winner Ghostbusters blaxploitation natural history NBC Biopics See It Skip It diversity adventure Awards TCA Awards USA Network OWN documentaries south america LGBT rotten movies we love boxoffice transformers ABC Music Binge Guide disaster GoT Horror all-time directors universal monsters tv talk chucky Apple TV Plus cars Freeform RT21 a nightmare on elm street children's TV Creative Arts Emmys venice romance reviews Pixar ABC Family Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Food Network Fall TV BET Awards Columbia Pictures Lifetime The Walking Dead 21st Century Fox cults Crackle CBS All Access Rom-Com Ellie Kemper period drama crossover singing competition Starz FX Travel Channel Chernobyl Arrowverse Oscars Hallmark Christmas movies cancelled TV shows spanish language Funimation Universal Mary Poppins Returns werewolf YouTube Premium OneApp robots comedies Comedy Central doctor who CW Seed Warner Bros. joker game show President aliens Apple TV+ Martial Arts Britbox dc dramedy revenge USA Winners nature indie HBO Trophy Talk rotten Adult Swim franchise WarnerMedia based on movie Marvel LGBTQ Winter TV Discovery Channel reboot cooking Esquire Mary poppins halloween GLAAD Calendar Best and Worst Tomatazos MCU remakes documentary Christmas Disney Plus Rocketman Awards Tour Family strong female leads superhero anime MTV Certified Fresh mission: impossible nbcuniversal Black Mirror critics best dragons scorecard travel cats Cosplay indiana jones scary movies 2017 Disney Sundance Now dceu comic Spring TV PlayStation TCA 2017 Tumblr Tarantino TCA stand-up comedy IFC space VH1 BBC Marathons TLC WGN Rock emmy awards DirecTV Fantasy teaser DC Universe Pop HBO Max Podcast CNN YouTube 71st Emmy Awards Sony Pictures First Look Walt Disney Pictures zero dark thirty Musicals Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Western Video Games Syfy TCM 2019 hollywood TIFF Tubi Crunchyroll Netflix Christmas movies 20th Century Fox AMC Stephen King Reality Trailer Premiere Dates talk show serial killer DGA Mystery theme song green book New York Comic Con technology Baby Yoda TV Land Brie Larson APB Nat Geo Infographic Kids & Family ghosts canceled TV shows Anna Paquin Reality Competition supernatural festivals Paramount series Valentine's Day spider-man toronto Emmy Nominations CBS YA Spike 2018 Television Academy 2020 zombies vampires sag awards classics Sci-Fi DC Comics Peacock Amazon TBS San Diego Comic-Con Shudder 45 toy story social media Rocky Logo binge worst festival Extras elevated horror Toys sequel Sundance TV renewals cinemax Sundance TV ITV what to watch Watching Series Star Trek stoner Pirates Turner Avengers Netflix A24 Super Bowl E! medical drama cancelled Black History Month romantic comedy Trivia Academy Awards Interview Apple miniseries Ovation historical drama cops Turner Classic Movies Red Carpet movie versus stop motion Women's History Month ratings Disney streaming service Pop TV screenings Box Office psychological thriller The Witch Captain marvel spain die hard fast and furious Dark Horse Comics 24 frames casting FOX Acorn TV Summer Amazon Prime Lucasfilm hist discovery MSNBC GIFs thriller 72 Emmy Awards independent Writers Guild of America VOD unscripted Schedule Amazon Prime Video Comedy comiccon NYCC Pet Sematary spy thriller Marvel Television sequels adaptation latino Paramount Network TruTV Vudu Amazon Studios The CW Photos Star Wars Nickelodeon screen actors guild free movies comics History FXX First Reviews foreign dark Television Critics Association Film laika spinoff Song of Ice and Fire Disney+ Disney Plus Superheroes canceled The Purge Animation VICE quibi dogs Pride Month crime PBS Lionsgate Holiday golden globes Cannes Action zombie Country CMT cancelled TV series Comic Book SDCC crime drama Fox News Masterpiece book TNT Classic Film cartoon renewed TV shows Comics on TV Bravo Elton John American Society of Cinematographers Opinion Spectrum Originals asian-american Hulu SundanceTV Disney Channel criterion finale Drama composers Emmys anthology true crime kids christmas movies Holidays nfl crime thriller movies BET blockbuster Showtime breaking bad war Polls and Games HBO Go game of thrones Musical psycho X-Men Thanksgiving politics Teen RT History Grammys harry potter Year in Review The Arrangement SXSW 2015 Marvel Studios Election Mary Tyler Moore El Rey twilight video animated television video on demand witnail richard e. Grant BBC America films A&E Shondaland mockumentary FX on Hulu political drama Film Festival obituary facebook DC streaming service Mudbound Lifetime Christmas movies