2012 still is rolling ahead of 2011 even though May 2011 ended up marginally lower. June 2012 suffers from some poor scheduling as the studios are trying to distance themselves from what is expected to be massive July.
June is the month where Summer weekdays start to kick-in, aiding normal movies to become bigger even if the release window between two big movies is smaller both get enough time to make money. Last year X-Men: First Class, The Hangover Part 2 and Super 8 lead while bleading whereas Cars 2 and Kung Fu Panda 2 failed to impress which resulted in June 2011 being the least attended June since 2000. June has been kind to several genres with big names like Toy Story 3, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, The Lion King, The Hangover, B!tman, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban resulting in big box office hits. Recently though family movies specially animated sequels have had diminishing returns.
After the mega success of The Avengers Disney brings another sure-fire box office hit in Pixar's Brave. Cars 2 became Pixar's first movie since 2003 to not reach $200 million domestic total, which could be atrributed mostly to that movies quality and their first non Toy Story sequel. Brave brings them ba#k to form with it being an original movie and theme being a princess in distress that Disney is probably the best studio to market. The marketplace will not be as empty as it was last Month due to the release of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted but given that Pixar movies have very strong longetivity at box office the movie should be up for a decent run throughout summer. The most anticipated movie of the month and original movie of 2012 is helmed by Fox's Prometheus bringing Ridley Scott to sci-fi genre after Alien which was 30 years ago. The movie has generated a lot of positive buzz over internet community and being over estimated as a major blockbuster. The marketing is great and Fox has generated a very impressive campaign similar to last year's surpirse hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The problem still stays that this is an R-rated sci-fi horror movie and the genre is not as strong as it was three decades ago. One good thing is that May sci-fi movies like Battleship and MIB3 were not huge which could help its opening and box office longetivity.
Universal armors Twilight famed Kristen Stewart to battle a beauty contest with evil queen Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman. The movie has had troubled past with being the second Snow White but its tone and box office success of Mirror Mirror were so different and minor respectively, that this adaption from first time director Rupert Sanders looks much more fresh and is poised to do big numbers. The movie differentiated itself from being just another fairy tale to be more like Lord of the Rings style fantasy epic from its promising previews, it is also helped with last three not-so-strong weekends for openers. The star cast of Stewart, Theron and Chris Hemsworth alongkwith dazzling visual would make the movie a hit but how big is yet to be seen, plus the talks about generating a frachise would depend on the movie's reception and box office receipts from this pricey investement. While Stewart is moving out of vampire-hood Fox brings a period film for hunting vampires in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The horror thriller has not been able to generate enough buzz among males and is coming out over the last two crowded weekends of the month. It is always difficult to market a male appealing action horror fi,m with no known cast and Fox seems to be attending other movies this month. One good thing is that G.I. Joe Retaliation has moved to next year giving good breathing space to the vampire hunters before it is swarmed by male attracting blockbusters.
Paramount hunts Dreamwork's second sequel to international hit Madagascar with Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. The market is clearly open since there hasn't been any animated movies for the last month and nothing major has broken since The Lorax in March. This huge gap bodes well for the sequel's opening but sequels haven't been doing quite good for sometime at box office like last year's Kung Fu Panda 2 and Cars 2 specially when they were released over prime summer spots. Madagascar made $193 million domestically and $339.1 million internationally whereas the first sequel made $180 million domestically and $424 million internationally. An uptick in overseas total for a $500+ million is in order thanks to 3D being strong, though domestically it should have tough time to repeat similar success specially when Brave comes out two weeks later. Disney also brings People Like Us, a drama about brother finding a sister whom he has never met. The film stars Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde and Michelle Pfeiffer which should help in bringing some adult audience that are interested in a light and warm plot over comedies and visual treat. Warner Bros brings an all star cast including Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Alec Baldwin to bring the music and nostlagia from 80's in Rock of Ages. The movie has generated good buzz but the audience for this kind of movie could be very limited. There is absolutely no competition for this movie as far as genre titles are concerned but there are several choices for teen crowd which this would mostly attract. The marketing has been trying to sell Tom Cruise and the famed actors along with music, which on paper looks good but none of the actors have proven to be a big draw in this genre or in Ms. Jones case for quite sometime in this genre.
June brings a variety of comedy options all tied together in a tight three weekends of one after another comedy. That's poor scheduling but given that Summer weekdays are here to help the appealing movies will still shine albeit to a smaller extent. The most appealing movie of the lot is ironically a drama comedy Magic Mike. The Matthew McConaughey, Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer starer rolls into the world of male strippers. Warner Bros. has build a good marketing and generated good interest among females, though how much interest will convert into box office receipts is yet to be seen. Universal brings talking stuff toy comedy with Ted. The film stars Mark walhberg, Mila Kunis and the titular character voiced by Director-Writer-Producer Seth MacFarlane from American Dad series. The movie has generated positive buzz with its funny teasers, but is coming out with three comedies over the last week of June. That helps for the longetivity of the box office but the interest among thekcrowd will surely be divided with overload of comedies.
Adam Sandler brings his almost regular summer fare with That's My Boy. Sony have been very successful with Sandler's comedies specially in summer still the competition is too strong and the film is rated R which will cut down its family appeal. The previews have shown what generally Sandler movies are good at i.e. over-the-top comedy, but the devoted fans of Sandler would still show up and make it a decent hit. Focus Features takes a bold step in releasing wide Seeking a Friend for the End of the World a comedy about a metorite falling that will end the world. This Steve Carell and Keira Knightely starrer does not look like it would be able to compete with much high profile comedies and the appeal seems to be restricted to indie movie crowd rather than the general comedy craving audience. Lionsgate is protecting New York witnesses in Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection which brings the famed character Madea. Aside from The Hunger Games, Madea has been Lionsgate's most successful franchise. The inclusion of Eugene Levy and Denise Richards will expand its audience, along with some help from summer weekdays. The only concern is the release date as it is going to have really tough competition in comedy department but Madea and Tyler Perry has devoted fans which should make this is a decent hit.
Also coming out is the historical drama from Arc Entertainment For Greater Glory. The Mexican drama stars Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria and Oscar Isaac and while the marketing has been good it is not as big to make a big success for the studios. Woody Allen and Sony Classics will try to repeat the success of Midnight in Paris with To Rome With Love this time starring Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page. The movie should open big given last years success but the longetivity might not be as big as Midnight in Paris. Releasing day and date in theaters as well as video on demand is the sequel to 2010's Piranha as Piranha 3DD. The movie is clearly selling itself as a teenage vehicle than being a serious slasher and its on-demand release will limit its theatrical appeal. Magnolia brings period drama Bel Ami starring Robert Pattison, Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas. The movie has already opened is some overseas markets to generally weak reception, the expansion will depend on how the movie connects with domestic audience.
Fox Searchlight brings Greta Gerwig in comedy Lola Versus. The movie has all the right ingredients to become a decent hit but it will have to rely mostly on how much interest it can genereate over the crowded high profile comedies. FilmDistrict takes you back in time with Safety Not Guaranteed. While the studio had good success last year with some of th%ir movies they are still not a big enough force in expansion and relatively newer. The movie will have to rely completely on its reception as none of the actors are well known even to indie crowd. Emily Blunt, RoseMarie DeWitt star in Your Sister's Sister brought by IFC. The movie hasn't been able to generate enough buzz and will face stern comedy competition, plus IFC has yet to prove its expansion methodology. Fox Searchlight also brings Beasts of the Southern Wild a story about a girl trying to find her lost mother as ice-caps melt and her father gets ill. The movie has generated great reviews from Sundance showings but it looks more like a documentory than an actual movie to crossover to mainstream audience that will be busy with blockbusters. Magnolia brings Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen drama Take This Waltz. The movie directed by Sarah Polley will be out on demand even before its release date which should hamper its chances at box office.
June 2011 barely made $1.005 billion ending as the fifth biggest but was the least attended since 2000. This year there are a lot of movies which might not result in big returns but for the earlier part of June the movies are balanced and the big movies are still going strong. If all movies just even meet their expected potential then we are due for a record breaking June. Lookout for my next edition Movies 2012 - July