Thursday, January 7, 2010

Spider-Man 4 delay causes summer 2011 release-date shuffle.

While Spider-Man 4 would make around $700-800 million no matter when it opened, it's theoretical departure from the May 5th 2011 release date has already caused two major shifts. First of all, Marvel's Thor will now kick off summer 2011, opening May 6th (no Thursday openings for Thor). This is certainly a huge boon for the very risky Marvel adaptation. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring 20% of SAG, this one doesn't have nearly the easy sell that (comparatively) Iron Man did two years ago. It doesn't have a cult icon as its lead, it doesn't have the politically-relevant subject matter, and I can only presume that it doesn't play on the male escapist fantasy as well as the Tony Stark adventures. Marvel will be watching very closely at the performance of Warner Bros' Clash of the Titans remake. But now Thor is the official 'first film of summer'. So, judging by recent history, an opening of at least $60 million is guaranteed. With the exception of Kingdom of Heaven ($19 million), every summer-kick off film has opened to at least $48 million (2006's Mission Impossible 3) since 2001.

The other major change is an actual release date for Pirates of the Caribbean: At Stranger Tides. Directed by Rob "I don't think moviegoers want pirates just breaking into swashbuckling, so it'll all be in Jack Sparrow's head" Marshall, this desperately unneeded franchise extension will now open on May 20th, 2011 (ie - the lucrative pre-Memorial Day weekend previously plundered by Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, Matrix Reloaded, Shrek 2, Shrek 3, and The Da Vinci Code). It will have five days before facing off against the Memorial Day release of the desperately unneeded sequel to The Hangover (are they going to black out again?). Of course, there's always a chance that Spider-Man 4 (or as the cool kids are apparently calling it, Spider-M4n) will somehow be ready for a May 6th release, which of course will throw everything into complete chaos. But for now, this is the biggest release-date change since Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince moved from November 2008 to July 2009 (and like that shocker, I'm curious how Spidey's move will affect IMAX, which had plans to release the fourth film in the large-screen format).

Scott Mendelson

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.


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