He Said / He Said - Spring

by The Commish on Monday, December 5, 2011

 

The Commish: 
We like to keep things fresh here at Flickamo, well as fresh as repeating the same columns can be.  So today I’ve decided to hit Bunzi with an out-of-the-blue spring challenge.  Let’s see how he does as we both look at movies that could find their way onto your rosters from the spring session.  [Remember: in Flickamo world we don’t have winter we have spring (January – April), summer (May – August), and fall (September – February).]

So I’m feeling sporting Bunzi, what movie do you want more than the others on your team from the spring.  I’ll give you the first pick...

Bunzi:
Damn it Commish, you totally did catch me with my pants down.  Again!  Spring.  Let me think for a second, before I spew out my answers. 

When it comes to the spring session, there really are 4 time-slots you need to consider – Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day, March Break, and the last week of April, just before the summer hits.  Looking at the scheduling, I think someone really pooped the bed sheets.  Mediocrity on MLK day?  No romantic comedy for Valentine’s Day?  Are you kidding me? It isn’t until March that things start to heat up. 

The obvious picks are The Hunger Games, and Clash of the Titans, but I personally am a bit of a sucker for another movie.  I think John Carter looks a little like Star Wars, and a little like Avatar, but I say, jump around Johnny!  As long as you don’t over-spend, John Carter should have some decent returns!

I know you’ve always believed in Julia Roberts buddy, but please don’t tell me Mirror Mirror is on your radar!

The Commish:
Interesting, John Carter.  I have it in my top three, but that’s a bit of a surprise to me.  I’m going to go with the two movies you passed over.

Let’s start with The Hunger Games.  I think that this has a real opportunity to be special.  It will have some decent competition, but the books are huge, it has to be a guaranteed $150 million.  My only hesitation is that it follows a couple of other super-hyped spring movies that fell on their faces in Suckerpunch and Watchmen. 

My next pick would be Clash of the Titans 2.  The whole gang is back for this one.  It looks more-or-less the same as the other one, so it has to bring in at least 2/3s, go with the guaranteed $100 million movie.  And there is a great chance of it getting close to the original’s $150 million.

So Bunzi, I have my two sturdy movie poles to stand up my tent of victory.  How are you going to come back on that?

For the record, I think the John Carter is a good pick, but I see a little too much Prince of Persia in it.  Could be the desert? 

What are your next two picks?  Is it now time for Julie?

 Bunzi:
What about the Commish here ladies and gentlemen? Competing even when there's no competition - I never "passed" on the "tent poles", I just thought I would leave the OBVIOUS choices to you...

Nevertheless, I think it's important that our readers also hear about Hunger and Titans films, because you don't want to just throw around your Flickamo bucks? I think the three we mentioned will be the spring winners, and I don't think it will be close.

But it is often the sleepers that win you the pool, and here is one that I think has a chance to surprise a little, and I bet you can get it cheap - Red Tails.

I don't think it's going to make $100 mil, or even close to that; I just believe it will be a bit of a pleasant surprise. A sort of WWII Top Gun thing, as long as it doesn't take itself too seriously. I say it reaches $50 million, and that's a good late round pick.

Now if you're going to keep avoiding Mirror Mirror, at least tell the good people a little about the Valentine's Day movies, will you? Will Ghost Rider 2 provide enough romance to get young lovers to the theatre?

The Commish:
Nope still too early to talk about Mrs. Daniel Moder.  And I can’t steal your thunder and talk about Nic Cage, so Valentine’s will have to wait.

What I want to talk about is the next two movies I would take – the re-issues of both Titanic and Phantom Menace in 3D.  Both these movies are great little nuggets, because I bet that lots of people will forget about them.  Titanic is only the greatest movie of all time (I don’t actually think that, I just wanted to channel my inner 1997 teenager), it holds up extremely well and James Cameron knows a thing or two about 3D.  I’m pretty pumped to see what he does with his finest moment.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Titanic 3D exceeding $100 million.

It’s nice that you bring up Red Tails.  I’m quite interested to see what Lucasfilm brings to that movie.  But let’s chat about the real star of the Lucasfilm season Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace.  Phantom Menace gets a bad rap, but it’s actually not a bad movie, and presents a great opportunity to bring in big dollars.  Darth Maul is an excellent villain and the action is pretty decent.  I’ll definitely see it in the theatre and I think many people feel the same way.  I also think this one will challenge the $100 million plateau.  Pay close attention to when they schedule the other re-releases in the franchise. 

What about sequels Bunzi, any sequels you think will do good business?  Is it too early to talk about Mirror Mirror?

Bunzi:
Oh snap!  Titanic 3D!

Forget about everything I said.  Titanic is going to be the Spring Monster. 

Everyone and their mother will go see this.

That’s a given.  Millions! Even Julia Roberts will take her parents….

 The Commish:
Okay enough pussy-footing around.  Let’s talk about the fairy tale movies. 

Mirror Mirror is the obvious one as it stars Julia Roberts as the wicked queen.  The first of two Snow White movies released in 2012, Mirror Mirror is directed by Tarsem Singh.  This movie is full of incredible visuals and looks like it adds an interesting spin on the classic story.  But I can’t wrap my head around the farcical element that comes out in almost every scene of the trailer.  I’m not sure if this adaptation of the story is what audiences are looking for.  I expect disappointing returns from the box office somewhere in the $50-70 million range.

I’m betting on Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters as the fairy tale movie of the spring.  Jeremy Renner as Hansel is so hot right now; the next eight months are pretty exciting for this superb actor.  Not much is known about the movie except that it takes place 15 years after the gingerbread incident and the leads are now bounty hunters.  Gretel is played by Gemma Arterton, who is excellent to look at for 90 minutes.  The movie is directed by the Norwegian who did Dead Snow, the wonderful Nazi Zombie movie.  I expect big things from this one in the $100 million and beyond range big.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 3D is also being released.  While I would normally be encouraged by this re-release, it was already released on blu-ray.  I watch it with my kid once every couple of weeks, why would I take him to the theatre to see it?  I expect a nice $40 million return, but don’t expect Lion King 3D numbers.

Are you going to finally talk about sequels?  It’s time Bunzi.

Bunzi:
First of all thank you for handling Mirror Mirror, I’m not sure I could have done it.  I am also impressed how gentle you went on it, because I look at that trailer and all I can think of is – Oh Julia, where are those days of the busty Erin Brokovich?

As far as sequels go, there are some interesting ones coming to be sure; Journey, Ghost Rider, Underworld, American Reunion (really??) and even another Scary Movie, just to name a few.  Whether you want to see them or not, doesn’t really matter.  I’m thinking they will range from $50 – 100 in the money making business, and that’s something a good investor should not overlook. 

But speaking of sequels let me tell you something Commish.  Nothing has me as excited as the possibility of “Titanic 2: The Rising!”  Nobody has planned it yet, but I can’t think of a better way to introduce the Water Zombie, in 3-D of course.  I’m looking at you James Cameron, make it happen!

The Commish:
Water zombies in 3D, you make me feel like the king of the world Bunzi!