Skip to comments.Box office preview: How big can 'Wolverine' get?
Posted on 05/01/2009 2:57:43 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
At midnight tonight Hollywood declares the start of the Summer moviegoing season with the bow of X-Men Origins: Wolverine opening on an enormous 4,000+ theaters. How big it will bow is the question of the day with many wondering if the pirated leak of the film last month will have any negative impact on its overall box office. Here's the top five as I see it:
1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- $85 million Early reviews haven't been kind -- but who cares! This is summertime. This is good, clean, popcorn entertainment with a hunky Hugh Jackman and some cool special effects. Plus, the economy's in the toilet, pigs are infecting us with the flu, and Pakistan's got nuclear arms. I can't think of a better time for a Wolfman with shiny blades to entertain us. Whether or not the film can match Iron Man's incredible $98.6 million box office opening last year at this time remains to be seen, but it's highly unlikely that the leaked copy will truly hamper the film's grossing potential.
2. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past -- $15 million This formulaic romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner is the traditional "counter-programming" option that Hollywood doles out to anybody not interested in super heroes and special effects. The critics have skewered this film, but tracking still suggests the appeal of the McConaughey and Garner will get it opened in the teens. I'd rather stay home and watch some vintage McConaughey in Dazed and Confused but perhaps sappy romance is what audiences are looking for today.
3. Obsessed -- $13 million Beyonce shocked box office watchers with the $28.6 million opening for her girl-on-girl catfight with Ali Larter. Its second weekend is likely to drop 60 percent like most surprise hits that have come before it. But that would still put the film at $13 million, which is quite a feat for a movie everybody under-estimated.
4. 17 Again -- $5.5 million. Zac Efron should be sticking around in the top five for the third weekend in a row. His lovable body swap comedy has already made over $40 million at the box. This weekend may get hit a little more with the teenagers flocking to Wolverine, but it should still crack the top 5 this frame.
5. Earth -- $5 million Okay, so Disney isn't donating any more trees in exchange for your tickets this upcoming weekend but that doesn't mean audiences aren't going to show up for this nature doc. The movie's weekday sales have been strong with the film holding on to the No. 2 slot over The Soloist. And with limited children's fare in the marketplace, it may hold in this weekend pretty well.
Also opening this weekend is Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions Battle for Terra. This 3-D sci-fi animated pic has received little in the way of marketing support. Bowing on only 1159 theaters, most expect the film featuring voice talent from Justin Long and Evan Rachel Wood to not surpass the $3 million for the three-day frame.
I need fear no HIeNI.
Heck.. I had a person send me the whole movie in a email attachment.. not all of the special effects were in it.. but enough for you to get the story etc..
Entertainment Weekly isn’t excited about this latest X-Men movie.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
RATING : C+
So, the makers of the industrial-strength franchise extender X-Men Origins: Wolverine have now revealed the psychological roots of the famous ‘’berserker rage’’ that has caused the title’s angry Marvel superhero to bare his adamantium claws in three previous X-Men movies. The question is, was anyone wondering? Or are you, like me, content enough to admire the cool, crazy talents of a society of freaks and geeks who find comfort in pooling their misunderstood powers? To put it another way: Is it possible to make a movie about a superhero these days without injecting scenes of dreary superambivalence between expensive action sequences? (Batman, Spider-Man, and the Hulk? Big brooders.) Or is blessed freedom from neurosis granted only to villains? (The Joker? A fun guy.)
The questions arise as Wolverine launches a new X-Men franchise based on origin myths that will allow for a pageant of younger stars. In the case of the superhero born James Howlett (known off duty as Logan, and boasting the Sexiest Man Alive beauty of entertainer Hugh Jackman), traumatic past experiences include a fatal misunderstanding back in 1845 with a sinister-looking man the young Wolverine-to-be couldn’t have known at the time was his real father. (The lad also couldn’t have known he’d grow up to sport a Paulie Walnuts hairdo.)
Likewise, there’s emotional fallout from more than a century of love/hate between James/Logan/Wolverine and his lithe, fiery, and similarly clawed older brother, Victor (Liev Schreiber). During their long years on the run together, smacking down anyone who stood in their way, the mutant siblings fought side by side in the Civil War, two World Wars, and the Vietnam War, all in a matter of some 20 minutes of screen time. (Victor, whose own talons are extensions of his hobo fingernails, also goes by the name of Sabretooth, for self-explanatory dental reasons.) The experience of all that fighting turned Logan into something of a pacifist, or at least an Age of Psychotherapy introvert who wants to gain control of his own animal nature. In contrast, Victor has no such niggles about the thrill of destructive instincts. No wonder Schreiber provides the most unfettered pleasure in this guilt-racked action pic. (No wonder, too, that Jackman, in his capacity as producer, tapped South African filmmaker Gavin Hood to direct, after Hood’s previous morality tales Tsotsi and Rendition.)
You’d think all this would be enough shrinkwrapped backstory since the movie still needs space to introduce other, newer mutants for their moments in the spotlight. (Ryan Reynolds has fun as the adversary who later comes to be known as Deadpool; Friday Night Lights’ Taylor Kitsch gives an inkling of the charms he might display in a future episode as Gambit; Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am makes an appealing feature-film debut as John Wraith, a dude with a gift for now-you-see-him, now-you-don’t.) But lest the ladies feel alienated by all the masculine conflict, the movie adds lover’s grief as an additional motive for moodiness. And so we learn that Logan’s bliss was interrupted at the happiest time in his life, when he was living simply as a hunky, often shirtless, law-abiding lumberjack in the Canadian Rockies, nesting with with his dishy schoolteacher girlfriend, Kayla Silverfox (Lynn Collins). After someone targets Kayla as a way of getting to her beau, Wolvie yowls luxuriously and flashes his erect talons. Why, ye gods of superhero comic books, is someone out to get him? And who’s to blame?
Wolverine climaxes in a pileup of explosions, complicated stunts, violent man-on-man fights, and hints, especially if you stay until the end of the credits, at sequels and spin-offs each fancy sequence simultaneously lacking both weight and lightness: The effect-laden showdowns feel more dutiful than daring, and the rare moments of fun are parceled out frugally, like precious nuggets of adamantium. Meanwhile, buff and bronzed as an Oscar statuette, Jackman works the picture like a trouper. Heroes and villains clash, then rise up to clash again, just because that’s what X-Men do. The truth is, it doesn’t matter Y. C+
Please refrain from placing movie reviews in the main forum. Especially the sidebars.
Duely noted. Sorry.
Hood directed “Rendition”? Now I hope this movie fails...
I saw the workprint too; personally, I thought the movie absolutely sucked, despite most of the special effects not being in the movie. It was just plain terrible.
I will report you, Comrade.
Wade Wilson aka Deadpool is my absolute favorite comic book character. Whatever that monstrosity in “Wolverine” is isn’t the real Deadpool, who is a wise-cracking merc.
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