<-- END OF LIQWID ADS -->

Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 03-14-11


 
“Thor” – In theaters May 6

“Thor” – In theaters May 6

Star of “Green Lantern,” Ryan Reynolds

Star of “Green Lantern,” Ryan Reynolds

“Bad Teacher” – In theaters June 24

“Bad Teacher” – In theaters June 24

Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull in “Captain America: The First Avenger

Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull in “Captain America: The First Avenger

Boxoffice blues: When the good boxoffice news is that ticket sales are down only about 12 percent from last year, the good news ain’t so good.

Of course, last weekend’s numbers are still a lot better than the previous weekend’s 33 percent plunge from a year earlier when “Alice in Wonderland” arrived to $116.1 million. I had to look that one up just to make sure I was reading the charts correctly. It’s staggering to think that ticket sales were so much better for the comparable weekend of 2010.

Another good indication of how soft the domestic boxoffice is so far this year is that this past weekend’s top two movies (“Battle: Los Angeles” and “Rango”) together grossed about $59 million while last year’s number one film (“Alice”) did $62.7 million on its own.

Earlier this year Hollywood was bemoaning the so-called “Avatar” effect, but now that we’re past “Avatar’s” blockbuster months in theatres there’s still no catching up to be seen.

At this point, Hollywood handicappers are throwing in the towel as far as this spring goes and have their sights set on a May-June-July recovery. If there’s going to be a turnaround, these are the films that are likely to be leading the way:

  • Paramount and Marvel Studios’ 3D action adventure fantasy “Thor,” directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman, opening May 6.
  • Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ 3D action adventure fantasy “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” directed by Rob Marshall and starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, opening May 20.
  • Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures’ comedy sequel “The Hangover, Part II,” directed by Todd Phillips and starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis, opening May 26.
  • DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s 3D animated family comedy sequel “Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom Of Doom,” directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and starring the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman and Seth Rogen, opening May 26.
  • 20th Century Fox’s action adventure fantasy sequel “X-Men: First Class,” directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Caleb Landry Jones, opening June 3.
  • Warner Bros.’ action adventure fantasy “Green Lantern,” directed by Martin Campbell and starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard, opening June 17.
  • Columbia’s comedy “Bad Teacher,” directed by Jake Kasdan and starring Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Lucy Punch, opening June 24.
  • Disney and Pixar’s 3D animated sequel “Cars 2,” directed by Brad Lewis & John Lasseter and starring the voices of Tony Shalhoub, Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy, opening June 24.
  • DreamWorks and Paramount’s 3D action adventure fantasy sequel “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” directed by Michael Bay and starring Shia LaBeouf, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand, opening July 1.
  • Warner Bros.’ 3D fantasy adventure sequel “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” directed by David Yates and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham-Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Jason Isaacs, Emma Thompson, John Hurt, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, David Thewlis, Julie Walters, Bonnie Wright, Maggie Smith, Ciaran Hinds, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Helen McCrory and Natalia Tena, opening July 15.
  • Paramount and Marvel Studios’ 3D action adventure “Captain America: The First Avenger,” directed by Joe Johnston and starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Hugo Weaving, opening July 22.

With a little luck, these films plus a lively sleeper or two and a few good singles and doubles will wind up energizing the boxoffice and making 2011 way more competitive than it’s been thus far.

It won’t hurt that last summer saw the arrival of some major duds, including “Robin Hood,” “Sex and the City 2,” “Prince of Persia,” “Jonah Hex,” “Knight and Day” and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”

Bottom line: This year’s films could look good by comparison.