Last year, I was 10 for 10 in my Summer Box Office predictions although I did mess up a number of the actual results and my order wasn't perfect. Still, I usually miss one or two of the top ten so I'm pretty happy with getting all of the top ten.
This year is much more difficult. While much has been made of the crowded summer, I think the real reason this year is hard to handicap is that so many of the films could potentially disappoint and it's hard to figure out which film will be the surprise of the year. Going off of online buzz, the good money is on Bridesmaids but those trailers were so horrible that I just can't bring myself to put it in the Top 10. I'm sure that I missed a couple this year but, for better or for worse, here's my top ten. (If you want to submit your own, go to the SoulHonky.com facebook page and post your top ten. You don't have to put the predicted box office, just the order is enough.)
NOTE: Fast Five is not included because it opens just outside of May, which was my cut-off for the Summer Box Office Challenge.
1. Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon (415) - I originally had this one failing to break 400 because Revenge of the Fallen was so bad but then I saw the new trailer and I think that will bring people back. They also should get a least 140 dollars from zonked out dudes who think they're seeing a Pink Floyd movie.
2. Harry Potter (365) - My math stinks but if everyone who showed up for the last film comes to this one and pays the higher 3D prices, I think this is what it adds up to.
3. Cars 2 (330) - Adults say that this is arguably the worst Pixar movie but kids absolutely LOVE the merchandise. My nephew hadn't watched a full movie in his life but adored "Lightning Mckreen" and all of his friends. I think the merchandising helps sell the movie this time around.
4. Captain America (320) - I just have a feeling that this is going to do Iron Man type numbers. Solid buzz so far and if Thor builds some good will for Marvel, the Avengers tie-in will feed into this film.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean (280) - I'm probably low on this one but I'm just not feeling the momentum for this and it has two big movies opening up the following weekend. But I think enough people will come back and the 3D prices could give it an extra kick.
6. Thor (275) - First movie of the summer and it's getting positive reviews. I could see it also doing close to Iron Man numbers but the premise is a tough sell and Hemsworth is no Downey Jr. so I think it comes up short of 300.
7. Kung Fu Panda 2 (270) - It should get a boost from the fans who missed the first in the theaters and it's the first family movie of the year.
8. Super 8 (258) - The buzz is pretty strong for this one but it's a new film so it might not catch on in this crowded summer. Still, I think JJ Abrams has built a solid enough fan base and I think this one could do Star Trek numbers.
9. X-Men: The First Class (205) - I'm looking forward to this film the most but Matthew Vaughn has a history of making films that I really like but that nobody else goes to see (Kick-Ass, Layer Cake, Stardust) I still believe that it can break 200 million but no Wolverine and the Cuban Missile Crisis makes it a tough sell.
10. The Hangover 2 (185) - I've recently heard a lot of people bashing the original and I also don't think that this one will have the legs that the original had. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if this was a bust.
I think I'm solid with my top 9 but I'm torn on The Hangover. I know I'm probably lowballing Green Lantern and Cowboys and Aliens but I just think those are the two films that are most likely to get lost this June/July. I really don't know why they haven't been moved to August, which I don't think has a top grosser in it and has the probable bomb of the year in Rise of the Planet of the Apes That Have A Planet That Is Apparently Rising For Some Reason, or whatever it's called.
Cowboys and Aliens should move because it's opening against a kids flick in Smurfs and strong looking rom-com in Crazy, Stupid Love, and is right on the heels of Cap America and Harry Potter. Green Lantern should give itself some distance from the other comic book films and if the hype's to be believed, Lantern will be stuck in the shadow of Super 8's word of mouth.
I also don't like betting against Sandler and James who are in Zookeeper but that faces two kids movies in the following two weeks (Winnie the Pooh and The Smurfs) so I think they cancel each other out.
So there you have it. Let the Box Office Madness begin!