Here’s what’s coming out this weekend…
World War Z (Lovelace Larry)
I gotta say BP’s salt and pepper beard is working for him. (Well, its not really pepper. Salt and cummin?)
I feel like a lot is being made of the super fast zombies and even I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. But can’t something like this be open to different interpretations? Does there have to be this slow vs. fast zombie argument? There has been enough zombie literature, movies, shows, etc. now, that it all doesn’t have to be the same. There are different versions of vampires out there. You can have your counts with capes. You can have your sparkly vampires. You can have your always getting naked vampires. I don’t hear people complaining because Alexander Skårsgard doesn’t look like Bela Lugosi. (I don’t hear anyone complaining about the way Alexander Skårsgard looks ever, amirite!) So, how about we dial it back a bit and say “for this movie the zombies are going to be insanely fast” and move on. The argument of “zombies wouldn’t be able to run like that, they’re dead. Its just not believable” is silly. The dead have come back to life! And they transfer their disease by biting you! It’s already not believable. Plus, who’s to say that whatever virus outbreak/end of days event/bath salts that reanimates the dead couldn’t regenerate their muscles to super strength levels1? As my physics teacher used to say, “If you think about it, it should make sense.”
This is one of my favorite things regarding zombies. It’s a paper mathematically analyzing a zombie outbreak. It basically uses the formula for a real viral outbreak, but adds an extra variable (“R”) for those who die but then comeback to life (“Resurrected”). Interestingly, since those who die comeback as carriers, and those who are carriers don’t ever actually die, the best way to survive a zombie apocalypse is full scale assault. The only way you’re gonna live is to kill those fuckers. Looking for more zombie science?
Let’s talk a little bit about how we think this movie will do? We’ll start with reviews as usual. Rotten Tomatoes has it 67% fresh (with a similar Top Critics score). MetaCritic scored it 62 out of 100, with 29 positive and 14 mixed reviews, but only 2 bad reviews. So, the movie is pretty good. More importantly, the movie isn’t bad. It remains my current philosophy that summer blockbuster’s just can’t be bad. If they’re not bad, they’ll make money. Being good helps, but as long as they’re not bad, you’re golden.
Next, let’s talk about the popularity of zombies. Zombies are everywhere. Run! (Sorry that was super lame.) There are zombie books, zombie comic books, zombie TV shows, zombie movies, zombie video games, zombie movies based on zombie video games, zombie workout apps, zombie music videos, zombie flash mobs, and of course zombie movies based on zombie books (this one). One particular zombie TV show, The Walking Dead, is the most popular cable TV show ever, its ratings were only second to Sunday Night Football and it was the highest rated scripted show on TV. Plus its season 3 finale set a record for the highest rated episode of a show on cable2. People love zombies, and I don’t think people have gotten sick of them yet. I’d say we’re in the Season 2 of True Blood/Third Twilight movie period in the “zombies are the new vampires” era. I think the zombie popularity drives people to see World War Z.
Prediction: $100 million opening. $300 million total.
I spent so much time talking about zombies that I almost for got to talk about monsters…
Monsters University (Andy’s Team)
Eh? Right? Right?
Look, I’m sure this movie is going to be good (It is. Rotten Tomatoes = 78%, MetaCritic = 64, with zero negative reviews.), that there will be a lot of smart, funny gags, and that the story will be touching, but… part of me doesn’t want to see this movie. Monsters Inc. was a perfect movie. It was all of those things I mentioned above in a really, really original packaging. They shouldn’t be going back to this well. Pixar set the standard for really original ideas that were hilarious and touching all while being gorgeous to look at. They shouldn’t be making sequels. I don’t like it.
But not everyone has the Pixar snobary that I do, so, pretty much a zillion people are going to see this movie. Here’s the deal: Monsters Inc. opened to $62.5 million and went on to make $255 million. However, that was in 2001. I’m not going to adjust for inflation but let’s just say that it would’ve made a lot more money if it came out closer to today. For example, Toy Story 3 made $415 million and opened to $110 million in 2010. Then we need to factor in how sequels tend to do better than their originals. For example, Toy Story 3 made $415 million and opened to $110 million in 2010. I think this one breaks the $100 million opening mark as well.
Prediction: $102 million. $350 million.
Correction: So after writing both of those sections I realized that I forgot all about this guy:
That means all my numbers are off. Even if Man of Steel falls off by 50%, it is still going to make $60 million. Let’s say it does. That means Monsters U and World War Z should decrease by at least $30 million each. So, let’s update those predictions:
World War Z Prediction: $65 million opening. $250 million total.
Monsters University Prediction: $72 million. $360 million total.
I really wanted to say World War Z would win the weekend, just so I can say I called it when the NY Post writes “Zombies eat Monsters”. But, the odds are too great that Monsters U will win out. I can’t bet against Pixar. So instead, the Post will say something like “Monsters scare Pitt’s zombies” or “U comes before Z”.
Enjoy that sunlight!