Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco Watch: Zac Efron Talks About His Masturbation Techniques In 'The Interview' Segment With James Franco First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More First Look Images: Patrick Stewart As A Neo-Nazi In 'Blue Ruin' Director Jeremy Saulnier's 'Green Room' & More Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) R.I.P. Mike Nichols (1931-2014) Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Watch: Al Pacino Plays An Aging Rocker Transformed By John Lennon In First Trailer For ‘Danny Collins’ Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Chloe Moretz, Elle Fanning & Hailee Steinfeld Eyed To Play Jean Grey In 'X-Men: Apocalypse' And More Chloe Moretz, Elle Fanning & Hailee Steinfeld Eyed To Play Jean Grey In 'X-Men: Apocalypse' And More Steve McQueen's Next Film Will Be About Paul Robeson Steve McQueen's Next Film Will Be About Paul Robeson Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Listen Up, Christopher Nolan Defends Sound Mix On 'Interstellar' Listen Up, Christopher Nolan Defends Sound Mix On 'Interstellar' Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Will Conclude With A 45-Minute Battle Sequence 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Will Conclude With A 45-Minute Battle Sequence Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Bloodbath: Which Films Risk Being The Blockbuster Casualties Of 2012?

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist February 2, 2012 at 4:09PM

Almost eighteen months ago, actor-turned-filmmaker Jon Favreau predicted that the summer of 2011 was "...going to be a bloodbath. There's never been a summer like this next summer. It's going to be bloody...There's not a weekend where there won't be teeth on the floor. The audience wins, but it's going to be rough for people making these movies. Then there was the big rush to 3D, so you have all of these people fighting for a limited number of screens and to get the 3D done, since most of these are hybrids or conversions, so this is a technology that is still in the relatively early stages and there's going to be a lot of blood pressures going up in the months ahead."
24
Taken 2

"Taken 2"
Who's In It And What's It About? The sequel to the 2009 surprise hit, this sees the father of one of Liam Neeson's victims from the first film seeking revenge by kidnapping him, forcing his daughter (Maggie Grace) to embark on a rescue attempt. The brilliantly named Olivier Megaton directs.
What's The Risk Factor? "Taken" was a shock smash a few years back, opening to $25 million on Super Bowl weekend before riding to a domestic total of $150 million. Fox and Luc Besson have fought hard to get a sequel made, but can lightning strike twice? Neeson has proved his box office mettle again recently with "The Grey," and the original's well-liked, but is it likely to be a case of diminishing returns, particularly with an odd premise without the same instant appeal as the first film? Furthermore, can it hold its own in October, with competition from Judge Dredd, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis and Jason Statham either side of its release?
What's The Cost? Not a lot, but Neeson's sure to have had landed a killer paycheck, probably pushing the film to twice the original $25 million budget, so $50 million or so.
What's The Estimated Return On Investment? We can't see the film matching the $250 million gross of the original, although maybe that's just because we think the sequel sounds so terrible. There's no denying that Neeson's got a fanbase, so it won't be far off.
When? October 5th

Total Recall

"Total Recall"
Who's In It And What's It About? Len Wiseman ("Live Free and Die Hard") remakes Paul Verhoeven's Philip K Dick adaptation, with Colin Farrell taking over from Arnie, and Eva Mendes, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy, Ethan Hawke and, as the villain Cohaagen, Bryan Cranston.
What's The Risk Factor? Our pick for the diciest prospect of the summer, this is a redundant remake of a film only twenty years old, which, from the Comic-Con footage we saw, has nothing new to add. Furthermore, it has as its lead Colin Farrell, who was never a big draw even in his heyday (his biggest hit was "S.W.A.T." in 2003, at $116 million), and who had a big flop last summer in "Fright Night." Most importantly, it's opening side-by-side with "The Bourne Legacy," which is aiming for the exact same audience, and is almost certain to trample all over it. It's not cheap either, and we just can't see it hitting a number that makes it profitable, short of Sony releasing some really killer footage. Don't be surprised if this ends up getting moved to a quieter 2013 slot -- it might at least manage "Underworld" or "Resident Evil" numbers with a January or September release date.
What's The Cost? Quotes have it as high as $200 million. We hope for Sony's sake that's off by at least half.
What's The Estimated Return On Investment? Best case scenario, the 3D helps it to do "Resident Evil: Afterlife" numbers internationally, but bear in mind that film hit in a quiet September at the height of 3D mania, so don't be surprised if this falls well short of that film's $300 mil total.
When? August 3rd

World War Z

"World War Z"
Who's In It And What's It About? Brad Pitt stars in the Marc Forster-directed adaptation of Max Brooks' faux-oral history of a zombie plague. Mireille Enos, David Morse, Matthew Fox and James Badge Dale are in support.
What's The Risk Factor? Brad Pitt is about a solid box-office prospect as you could ask for, in commercial fare at least. But "World War Z" feels particularly risky in terms of his studio fare: a sweeping, epic horror flick aimed at the Christmas market, but one that's almost certain to carry a PG-13 rating. Paramount are probably hoping that the mega-grossing "I Am Legend" (nearly $600 million worldwide) leads the way, but that didn't have the high-falutin' socio-political aspirations that Pitt has talked about, and was also virtually unchallenged on release, whereas "World War Z" has to face off against "The Hobbit," "Kill Bin Laden" and "Django Unchained," among others.
What's The Cost? The film was nearly scrapped when Paramount got uneasy about the $125 million budget; it's unclear if that got trimmed down, or if partners Skydance helped make that more palatable.
What's The Estimated Return On Investment? We'd be very surprised if this did anything close to "I Am Legend" numbers; Pitt's biggest hit remains the $500 million "Troy," a more commercial prospect than this. That being said, Pitt rarely misses with a non-arthouse film, so no one's going to lose their job on this one.
When? December 21st

Wrath Of The Titans

"Wrath of the Titans"
Who's In It And What's It About? In the sequel to the 2010 hit, Sam Worthington returns as Perseus to face off a rebellion by Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Ares (Edgar Ramirez) that aims to unleash the Titans. Liam Neeson returns as Zeus, God of Exposition, while Rosamund Pike, Toby Kebbell and Bill Nighy are among the new additions, and "Battle: Los Angeles" director Jonathan Liebesman takes over from Louis Leterrier.
What's The Risk Factor? "Clash of the Titans" proved a healthy hit two years ago, riding the post "Avatar" 3D wave to $500 million worldwide, so surely a sequel is something of a home run. But then, sequels tend to work best when people like the original, and you have to look pretty hard to find people who are professed fans of 'Clash.' All involved have promised a film that steps up from the original, but the filmmakers are once again going down the same 3D post-conversion that plagued the original. The process may have improved, but communicating that to audience isn't easy. Plus, the film now has stiff competition in March, when it once had that time to itself; "Mirror Mirror" opens on the same date, and "John Carter" and "The Hunger Games" will still be in theaters.
What's The Cost? The original was around the $125 million mark, and we can't imagine this being significantly more.
What's The Expected Return On Investment?  We're not saying this'll tank, but we can easily see the grosses dropping below the first one, enough so that Warners start to rethink a third installment.

This article is related to: Features, Box Office, Battleship, Mirror Mirror, John Carter Of Mars, Prometheus, Jon Favreau


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates