erik lundegaard

Summer Box Office: Are We Predictable?

Researching predictions about how 2010 summer box office would turn out, I came across this April piece from Gregory Ellwood on Hitflix.com. I'm not a fan of prognostication but he does pretty well. Here's his numbers against the actual rankings:

He predicts three of the 10 exactly right. He also predicts which five movies will be in the top five. Flip a couple ("TS3" and "IM2") and he has seven of the 10. Add "The Other Guys," which has a chance to finish the summer ranked 10th and he has 8 of the 10. That's pretty stunning. Someone call Nate Silver.

The only two he gets wrong are "Sex and the City 2," which bombed because it stunk, and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," about which, in the "pro" section of that film, he writes, "If 'Persia' is a disappointment, Jerry Bruckheimer can't be wrong about two potential summer tentpoles can he?" Answer: Yes, he can. So "Sorcerer's" is really only there because he figured "Persia" wouldn't live up to the hype. Which it didn't.

To give you an idea what he was predicting against, here are some readers' comments at the end:

  • Seeing as how the 10th movie in this list is expected to gross $110 million, I find it kinda hard to understand why Prince of Persia wasn't included. Do you think it won't even cross 100mil Greg? (It didn't: it topped out at $90.6 million domestically.)
  • Not enough attn. paid to Prince of Persia here imo. (Shows what your o is worth, kid.)
  • Prince of Persia will also make close to $200 million just on the fact that it's similar to POTC. ("Prince of the City"? Oh, "Pirates of the Caribbean." Really? It is? Even the backdrop seems diametrically opposed: sand vs. water.)
  • Where's 'The A-Team' and 'Knight & Day'?? (Finishing 16th and 17th for the summer, respectively.)

On the other hand, there's this from a guy named Yun Xia. He actually gets the top 5 in the right order... but then screws up with "Sex and the City" and "Prince of Persia" and "The A-Team." Interestingly, he gets "Robin Hood"'s b.o. totals exactly right, $105 million, just not its place in the pantheon. It's higher up: 10th not 15th. Thus far. Even so: hen hao.

So did anyone screw up? Well, the folks at "Get the Big Picture" did think both "Iron Man" and "Shrek" would both beat "Toy Story," and they include both Bruckheimer films in the top 10. The also predict big for "Robin Hood." Bigger, I should say.

But, overall, most of the April 2010 predictors predicted the top 5 correctly. It's numbers 6-10 where people stumbled.

Glad to see we're not completely predictable. Yet.

Marion will haunt your dreams for thinking so highly of Bruckheimer.


Posted at 08:49 AM on Sat. Sep 04, 2010 in category Movies - Box Office  
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