22 April 2009

Will Star Trek Deliver a Knock-Out Punch to Wolverine?

Every year, May is jam packed with would be blockbusters. And every year, the tough competition takes its toll on some of the hopefuls. Look at 2008 for example:

02 May 2008 - Iron Man
09 May 2008 - Speed Racer
16 May 2008 - Narnia 2: Prince Caspian
23 May 2008 - Indiana Jones 4
30 May 2008 - Sex and the City

Both Speed Racer and Narnia suffered unexpected blows making them box office disappointments.

The 2009 line-up is as tough as ever. We get:

01 May 2009 - X-Men Origins: Wolverine
08 May 2009 - Star Trek
15 May 2009 - Angels and Demons
22 May 2009 - Terminator Salvation & Night at the Museum 2
29 May 2009 - Up

This jam packed May leaves the clawed one precious little time to make his money. X-Men: The Last Stand banked a total of $234 million with $102 million of that coming during opening weekend ($122 million if you include Memorial Day totals). Basically HALF of the movies total came in the first few days. Though not totally uncommon for sequels, this was an extreme example. X3's uncanny opening is what propelled it into the black.

Wolverine should also be pretty front loaded, already having an established audience, but week after week totals could add up too-just take a look at how Iron Man's $99 million opening grew into a near $320 million total. But those second and third week totals are in danger of being snatched up by other highly anticipated films.

X3s' 67% drop in the second weekend came in the face of very little competition. What movie was it that took away the weekend crown from X3 you ask? The Break-Up. What does that mean for Wolverine? It means that facing much fiercer competition from Star Trek than offered by Jennifer Aniston in '06, Wolverine needs to have a pretty huge opening weekend to walk away with a profit. According to Entertainment Weekly, Wolverine cost at least $165 million to make, so Logan definitely has his work cut out for him and needs a ginormous opening to whether the May blockbuster storm. I am on record for predicting a $75 million opening and $175 million total. I would be really surprised if those numbers were topped and Fox should be relatively happy if my predictions are close. With a more modest budget those numbers would mean a decent profit.

So what if Wolverine disappoints? That could spell trouble for future X-Men Origins films such as Magneto, First Class, or even a Deadpool spinoff. On the other hand, I highly doubt it would signal the complete end to X-Men or Wolverine movies. After all, Logan has an astonishing propensity for recovering from even the deadliest of blows.


  1. My hope is that Wolverine will underperform, causing FOX to relinquish the rights to the X-Men franchise to Marvel Films so that they can make films that fall under the same banner as Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Those movies were excellent because of Marvel's control over the films and I would like to see X-Men in the hands of their creators.

  2. I would absolutely love to see Hulk rip Wolverine in half on the big screen, but I just cant see Fox, no matter what, relinquishing their rights to the X-Men gold mine. You are right though, a Marvel made X-Film would be awesome.