BULLSEYE, June 17: 'Green Lantern,' 'Penguins,' 'Transformers,' More
Which movies are audiences actually going to see?
This weekend is shaping up to be very lop-sided. Warner Bros.' comic book adaptation Green Lantern is entering theaters at the same time as Fox's family comedy Mr. Popper's Penguins, and the ring-powered superhero is destined to stomp a lot of flippers.
Activity around Lantern, which stars Ryan Reynolds and was directed by Martin Campbell, has really ballooned in the last week, though it's still skewing very male. Even so, it's not way out on the gender margin, which means that DC Entertainment is likely to be very happy with its new franchise once the weekend's over. Then again, the movie cost close to $200 million, so success is the only option. While the film has a 95% Want-to-See rating with Flixster users, activity falls just short of that for Thor a day before its release -- it opened to $66 million in May.
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Activity around Penguins has grown a bit, but commitment to see it has faded. Still, any pre-teen skewing movie is not going to show its full interest on the Flixster Bullseye because those young audiences cannot be tracked. Regardless, star Jim Carrey may have another dangerous disappointment on his resume unless more than just young females show up.
On the holdover front, J.J. Abrams' Super 8 has seen healthy mid-week traffic, so it could parlay good word of mouth into another strong showing this weekend. Any remaining play for Fox's X-Men: First Class will probably be subsumed by Lantern.
Next weekend, Columbia's Bad Teacher squares off with Disney/Pixar's Cars 2. Vastly different audiences there, of course. The Cameron Diaz laugher has picked up more attention from males this past week, and it's right over the bullseye, but commitment to see it is weak. That's typically a bad sign, but audiences definitely came out for the similarly raunchy Bridesmaids over the last four weeks, so maybe they'll be looking for more. The Cars sequel hasn't really budged or grown much, but, again, extremely young viewers are not accounted for.
Paramount's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which smashes into theaters June 29, also hasn't budged. There is a strong core of fans committed to seeing it but not in the numbers the franchise is used to (Revenge of the Fallen opened to $109 million in 2009). Not yet, anyway. There are still 12 days to go, and this thing is destined to play big.
Monte Carlo and Larry Crowne open two days after TF3, on July 1, but neither is drawing much interest at the moment despite having decent WTS ratings (79% for both). The older-skewing Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts romantic comedy still has tiny awareness and the Selena Gomez film has seen interest in it fade nearly to transparency in the last week.
Here's Pamela McClintock's box office preview for the weekend for added analysis.