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2005 at the Box Office


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#1 of 1887 TerryRL

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Posted August 20 2004 - 08:47 PM

As hard as it is to believe, there are only four months left in the year and the studios are now beginning to focus on the "big ones" planned for next year. Many are anticipating a record-shattering year.

The studios are already expecting next year to pull in record numbers at the box office, as well as in overall ticket sales (despite another year of increasing ticket prices). I know it's early, but here are the five movies that the studios are expecting to pull in mega-blockbuster-type numbers...

-"King Kong" (Universal)
Fresh from the triumph of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, Oscar-winner Peter Jackson returns with the highly anticipated remake of the 1933 classic. At this point, this is the film that is expected to be the top grossing movie of the year. The movie hits theaters a year from December and already has "must-see" buzz going for it. There are rumors swirling that the first teaser of the movie will be attached to the April release of Universal's sci-fi flick "Serenity". I also think it's safe to assume that a trailer will be released with Universal's summer action flick "Spy-Hunter". Whenever we get our first glimpse of the movie, 'Kong' will no doubt attempt to out-size Universal's own "Jurassic Park".

-"The War of the Worlds" (DreamWorks/Paramount)
Mega-director Steven Spielberg re-teams with megastar Tom Cruise in the updated retelling of H.G. Wells' classic 1898 novel of the same name, which focuses on Martians invading Earth. There is already talk that this will join "Spider-Man 2" ($250 million) and "Titanic" ($225 million) as one of the most expensive movies ever made. Spielberg is going to spare no expense in bringing this tale to life. While it probably won't make a summer 2005 release (filming is slated to begin in November), this one should be the biggest threat to 'Kong' dominating the fall season, as well as pitting both movies against one another in the technical categories at the Oscars.

-"Batman Begins" (WB)
WB execs are expecting (hoping really) that this latest 'Batman' flick pulls in numbers similar to the two 'Spider-Man' adventures. Judging by the cast and the script they've got, who can blame the execs for having such high expectations? The movie returns the Dark Knight to his dark roots and promises to re-launch the franchise in grand style. The movie focuses on the events which led to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman. This is the early favorite to be the top grossing film of next summer.

-"Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith" (Lucasfilm/Fox)
It'll probably be the darkest SW adventure yet, it'll feature the return of Darth Vader, the fall of the Republic, the Jedi Purge and a few killer lightsaber duels. While it's not expected to be the year's biggest hit (or the summer's biggest grosser either), it should still end up being one of the year's big hits. The doom and gloom may leave family audiences cold, but the final film of George Lucas' six-film saga should resonate a lot better with the die-hard fans than either Episodes I and II did (despite both films being huge hits).

-"Cars" (Disney/Pixar)
The final film of the Disney/Pixar marriage should continue the standards set by "Finding Nemo", "Monsters, Inc." and the two "Toy Story" adventures. Expect pretty big numbers.

Ten other highly anticipated releases...
"Bewitched" (Sony) Summer 2005
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (WB) Summer 2005
"The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (Disney) December 2005
"Constantine" (WB) February 2005
"Fantastic Four" (Fox) Summer 2005
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (WB) November 2005
"Iron Man" (New Line) November 2005
"Madagascar" (DreamWorks) May 2005
"Pirates of the Caribbean: Treasures of the Lost Abyss" (Disney) December 2005
"Robots" (Fox) March 2005

HIGH PROFILE OSCAR HOPEFULS
"Cinderella Man" (Universal) March 2005
"Kingdom of Heaven" (Fox) May 2005
"The New World" (New Line) Fall 2005
"American Gangster" (Universal) November 2005
"The Great Raid" (Miramax) December 2005
"The Producers" (Universal) December 2005
"Elizabethtown" (Paramount) TBA 2005
"Memoirs of a Geisha" (Sony) TBA 2005
"Winter Passing" (Focus Features) TBA 2005

Again, I know it's a little early, but the studios are already predicting that 2005 will be the biggest year ever at the box office (talk about pressure). In four months, it begins.

Still, who could've predicted the major successes of either "Shrek 2" and "The Passion of the Christ"? Going into this year, most of Hollywood thought the battle for #1 would come down between 'Harry Potter' and Spidey. 'Shrek' was expected to be one of the summer's top five hits by most box office watchers, while 'The Passion' would've been considered "lucky" to earn more than $50 million. "Shrek 2" is now the third biggest domestic performer in history and 'The Passion' is the most successful R rated film ever made.

In light of that, 2005 should end up being a very interesting year at the box office as a few of the "sure things" could end up under-performing, while a few of the lesser hyped flicks pull major upsets.
"Quite an experience to live in fear isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."

#2 of 1887 Tino

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Posted August 20 2004 - 10:54 PM

Thanks for this list Terry. Looking forward to practically ALL of them, especially Kong.
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#3 of 1887 Holadem

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Posted August 21 2004 - 03:34 AM

Re: HIGH PROFILE OSCAR HOPEFULS

Are these movies even aready shot? I can understand why a finished movie could have an Oscar Buzz, weeks or even months before release, but who decides that movies who haven't even begun shooting are Oscar worthy?!

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#4 of 1887 Pete-D

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Posted August 21 2004 - 04:20 AM

I get the feeling the new Batman will be a bit too sombre for some people and that could affect repeat business. The hardcore fanbase should eat it up though.

Say what you want, but Burton's Batman (1989) I think hit just about the perfect mix of style, hype, "cool" factor, fun, and darkness.

#5 of 1887 Kevin Grey

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Posted August 21 2004 - 04:37 AM

I get the feeling the new Batman will be a bit too sombre for some people and that could affect repeat business. The hardcore fanbase should eat it up though.


I agree. I think it will be a big hit with the critics and its core fanbase but I don't think it will Spiderman-type numbers. I expect a gross closer to $200 million.

#6 of 1887 Adam_ME

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Posted August 21 2004 - 06:16 AM

Bring on "Serenity"!
I should really learn to knock....in case there's a threesome going on in my bedroom. - Sandy Cohen, The O.C., The Countdown

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#7 of 1887 TerryRL

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Posted August 21 2004 - 07:38 AM

Holadem, most of those movies are either filming or knee-deep in pre-production. Who decides? The studios decide by A) who the director is B) which A-list star is headlining and C) the subject matter.

"Cinderella Man" is a biopic about a Depression-era boxer which stars Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Rene Zellweger. It's directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard.

"Kingdom of Heaven" is the latest period epic from director (and three time Oscar nominee) Ridley Scott. As we all know, Hollywood loves a good epic.

"The New World" is also a period epic from director Terrence Malick and starring Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale and David Thewlis.

"American Gangster" re-teams director Antwone Fuqua with two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington. Oscar winner Benicio del Toro also stars in this biopic about Harlem heroin kingpin Frank Lucas. The story is set in the early 1970s. Oscar winning scribe Steven Zaillian wrote the script.

"The Great Raid" is a war film set in 1945 and has Miramax behind it. We all know how hard Miramax pushes for their Oscar nods.

"The Producers" is the movie version of the hugely popular Broadway show that will see both Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reprise their roles for the big screen feature. Thanks to the huge success of "Chicago", movie musicals are back in style.

"Elizabethtown" is from Oscar winner Cameron Crowe. The movie boasts an impressive cast which includes Kirsten Dunst, Orlando Bloom, Susan Surandon, Alec Baldwin, Judy Greer and Jessica Biel.

"Memoirs of a Geisha" is already being seen as the movie to beat at the 2006 ceremony. The film is being directed by Rob Marshall, is based on a hugely popular book, will star Ken Watanabe, Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh, and is being produced by Steven Spielberg.

"Winter Passing" is an intense drama that will star Academy favorite Ed Harris, as well as boast the dramatic debut of comedian Will Ferrell. Up-and-comer Zooey Deschanel also stars.

Again, these are some of the films that the studios believe will garner Oscar attention. Whether they do or not will depend on many factors (box office, critical reaction, etc.), but these are some of the early projects garnering Oscar buzz.
"Quite an experience to live in fear isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."

#8 of 1887 ZacharyTait

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Posted August 21 2004 - 08:27 AM

Quote:
The final film of the Disney/Pixar marriage should continue the standards set by "Finding Nemo", "Monsters, Inc." and the two "Toy Story" adventures. Expect pretty big numbers.

Don't forget Pixar did A Bug's Life as well. It seems like this is the "forgotten" film of Pixar's resume. Posted Image

#9 of 1887 Matt Stone

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Posted August 21 2004 - 08:52 AM

Glad to see a new Box Office thread Posted Image

Quote:
Don't forget Pixar did A Bug's Life as well. It seems like this is the "forgotten" film of Pixar's resume.


Agreed. It's my second favorite Pixar flick behind Toy Story 2.

I'm anxiously awaiting Star Wars, Batman, King Kong, and Serenity.
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#10 of 1887 Pete-D

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Posted August 21 2004 - 04:14 PM

I dunno when this film will be ready, but I think Ron Howard's "The Da Vinci Code" based on the best selling book will put up Bourne Supremacy type box office. I believe Howard will be right on it when Cinderella Man wraps (if it hasn't already).

#11 of 1887 Bill J

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Posted August 21 2004 - 05:29 PM

Re: HIGH PROFILE OSCAR HOPEFULS

Are these movies even aready shot? I can understand why a finished movie could have an Oscar Buzz, weeks or even months before release, but who decides that movies who haven't even begun shooting are Oscar worthy?!


Quote:
"The Great Raid" is a war film set in 1945 and has Miramax behind it. We all know how hard Miramax pushes for their Oscar nods.

I have been following The Great Raid for a long time and it was originally supposed to be released in Fall 2003, so it has been on the shelf (which may not be a good sign). However there have been test screenings and the reviews have been generally positive.

#12 of 1887 TerryRL

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Posted August 21 2004 - 05:57 PM

Pete-D, "The Da Vinci Code" won't likely hit theaters until sometime in 2006. The longest (and most stressful) part of making any movie is actually pre-production. Getting a script that everyone signs off on is tough, not to mention putting together a cast. And then there's always the chance that your A-list star wants script revisions.

A director with Howard's clout don't have as much trouble in pre-production as most other directors (having a couple of Oscars and a producing partner like Brian Grazer also doesn't hurt), but I think he'll prep 'Code' for a 2006 launch.

As for "The Great Raid", I've so far heard nothing but good things about it. Many are predicting that this will be the movie that makes Benjamin Bratt a major star. We'll see.
"Quite an experience to live in fear isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."

#13 of 1887 Mark E J

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Posted August 21 2004 - 10:08 PM

Quote:
"The Great Raid" is a war film set in 1945 and has Miramax behind it. We all know how hard Miramax pushes for their Oscar nods.


Quote:
have been following The Great Raid for a long time and it was originally supposed to be released in Fall 2003, so it has been on the shelf (which may not be a good sign). However there have been test screenings and the reviews have been generally positive.


According to the films star The Great Raid has been shelved for political reasons, so I doubt Miramax will push to hard for an Oscar.

It's really unfortunate how this film has been treated by Miramax, (especially considering how they played the victim with Fahrenheit 9/11) because anyone who has read the book this film is based on (Ghost Soldiers) knows that if done right it could easily rival Saving Private Ryan!

#14 of 1887 clayton b

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Posted August 22 2004 - 04:02 PM

Don't forget that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is out in 2005 as well. It has a huge following.

I'm of the opinion that The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe might be the biggest film of the year. Either way, 2005 looks to be a banner year at the cinema.

#15 of 1887 Tim Glover

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Posted August 22 2004 - 05:00 PM

Great list Terry. And your efforts in giving us the in-depth scoop is appreciated. Posted Image

Many on that list rank high for my interest:
King Kong, Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, Narnia, and Star Wars-Revenge Of The Sith.

#16 of 1887 TerryRL

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Posted August 22 2004 - 06:35 PM

Thanks Tim.

The expectations for next year are already astronomical, with some already calling it the "$10 billion year". Despite what happens, it definitely has the potential to reach unprecedented heights. The same of course will be said for 2006, 2007, etc., but 2005 should end up putting a lot of smiles on studio execs' faces. Disney especially is hoping for a major turnaround.
"Quite an experience to live in fear isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."

#17 of 1887 Tim Glover

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Posted August 23 2004 - 02:04 AM

I kind of thought that Revenge of the Sith would be projected as the summer winner, but also realize that there are fresher films coming out that have strong fan appeal too. King King's projections seem dead on. A classic film, nostalgia, and to add Peter Jackson & WETA...yummy. Posted Image

Revenge Of the Sith could be bigger than Clones simply due to it being the final one but interest seems high to see the final pieces that make Anakin become Darth Vader. That alone could bring some repeated $$ if it works...

#18 of 1887 Malcolm R

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Posted August 23 2004 - 02:09 AM

"King Kong" is really the only title of any interest to me, at this point. "Batman Begins" also has possiblities, but I'll have to see/hear/read more about it first.
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#19 of 1887 TerryRL

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Posted August 23 2004 - 09:26 AM

George Lucas is expecting 'Revenge of the Sith' to be the lowest grossing SW flick yet. From what I've heard, Lucas will be happy if the movie takes in more than $200 million domestically. Combined Episodes I and II have earned $1.5 billion worldwide and the grosses for III will be little more than gravy (similar to the grosses of 'Return of the King' and "The Matrix Revolutions").

WB is hoping 2005 will be a carbon copy of 1989. May of '89 saw the release of Lucasfilm's third Indiana Jones flick ('The Last Crusade') and while it was a big hit, the June opening of Tim Burton's first "Batman" movie completely dominated the rest of that summer becoming the first non-Lucas or non-Spielberg film to earn more than $250 million.

Considering how well the first "Spider-Man" movie performed in Summer 2002 ($403 mil compared to the $310 mil AOTC earned), WB thinks their new Batman movie has the potential to be that kind of mega-blockbuster. Especially considering how "hot" superhero properties are right now.

Also, as Tim stated, there will be other "fresher" films released that summer. DreamWorks' latest CG animated flick "Madagascar", Disney's second non-Pixar CG animated flick "Chicken Little", Fox's "Fantastic Four", Sony's "Bewitched" and WB's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" all have a ton of potential. Each one could make a serious run at the crown for #1 summer flick next year.

'Revenge of the Sith' does have a lot going for it (darker tone, Darth Vader returns, a lot of kickass action), but I think it could end up performing with family audiences like "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" did back in '84 (it ended up being the #2 flick of that summer behind "Ghostbusters"). 'Temple of Doom' had a huge opening (the biggest at that time) but fell off because of the negative reaction parents had toward it due to it's harsher tone (the movie ended up prompting the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating).

'Revenge of the Sith' will be a huge hit, but Lucas may be correct in his assumption that it'll be the least successful of the series because of all the doom and gloom. I think he'll be more than satisfied if the movie "only" earned $250 mil.
"Quite an experience to live in fear isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave."

#20 of 1887 MikeRS

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Posted August 23 2004 - 10:12 AM

As Terry said, Lucas has forecast REVENGE making the least for many years, but he also let slip this proclamation in 1997, which might be prescient:

Quote:
".....and the third one is the dark one - it will probably fit in really well with the 21st century!"



And never underestimate Vader. Posted Image


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