Long Range Forecast: 'Brave', 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter', and 'Seeking a Friend for the End of the World'

Featured Stories - on April 28, 2012 by BOXOFFICE Staff

june22.pngWe've added three new releases to our Long Range Forecast this week: Disney/Pixar's Brave, Fox's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Focus Features' Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.  All three films are currently scheduled to open on Friday, June 22.

Pixar's annual summer release for 2012 will aim to extend their streak of ten consecutive opening weekends over $47 million, eight of which topped the $60 million mark.  The respected studio's five most recent original films (Up, WALL-E, Ratatouille, Cars, and The Incredibles) have averaged a domestic total of $246 million.

Brave

PROS:

- Its reception online has been very positive with 8,000+ tweets generated by its first two trailers -- way above where Cars 2 was at the same point in the marketing cycle.
- Pixar delivers its first original film in three years.
- Prior to last year's Cars 2 ($192 million), Pixar carried a streak of nine consecutive films that reached $200 million domestically.
- Recent heroine-led Tangled was a $200+ million domestic success.  How to Train Your Dragon's ($218 million) Celtic theme also makes it a great comparison.
- Disney has a history of similar female protagonist-centric films which did very well: Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, etc.  The precedence for success is certainly there.

CONS:

- Cars 2 left a bad taste for some moviegoers, especially considering Pixar's own lofty standards and audiences' expectations of them.
- Madagascar 3 could satiate some of the demand from families looking for a CG animated pic when it opens two weeks earlier, although strong word of mouth for Brave may negate that in the long run.
- Ice Age: Continental Drift being only three weeks away could cut into its holding power.
- Young boys will probably be more attracted to films like The Amazing Spider-Man and G.I. Joe: Retaliation when they open one week later. 

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

PROS:

- Online buzz is noticeable, at least among the fanboy crowd.
- A historical figure in Abraham Lincoln, vampires, Tim Burton, and Timur Bekmambetov may help give it some much needed clout.
- Bekmambetov's Wanted found huge success as the alternative opener to a Pixar film (WALL-E) in 2008.

CONS:

- Fanboy hype.  Even Kick-Ass failed to reach $50 million despite strong word of mouth among its target audience.  Scott Pilgrim vs. the World also struggled to top $30 million.
- Whereas Wanted found its success on star power and a widely appealing concept, this could easily fall into more of a niche category just as Jonah Hex did in 2010 -- and there are no recognizable stars to be found.
- There's usually at least one high-profile disappointment in June, and this is the biggest contender for that title.
- The previous Burton/Bekmambetov collaboration, 9, didn't do much at the box office ($32 million).
- Front-loading is likely given the fanboy appeal, especially with The Amazing Spider-Man and G.I. Joe: Retaliation on its heels.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

PROS:

- Steve Carell has proven to be a very solid draw, though his films tend to depend more on word of mouth than many other leading actors' do.
- Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Dan In Real Life serve as appropriate comparisons.  Both opened moderately, grew strong legs through word of mouth, and have given Carell a lot of goodwill with older audiences.
- It could have some sleeper potential as strong counter-programming to big blockbusters.  Direct competition is non-existent.

CONS:

- Focus Features doesn't handle that many wide releases, so the theater location count could be a potential issue (especially when it comes to opening weekend).
- Mass appeal on a scale of that of Carell's other films will be more challenging to reach, especially during this time of year.  Last summer's Larry Crowne ($36 million) was a victim of similar circumstances.  This makes word of mouth even more crucial for success.

Check out our predictions for these and other films in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Jun 22, 2012 Fox
$21,000,000 $53,000,000
Brave Jun 22, 2012 Disney
$58,000,000 $220,000,000
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Jun 22, 2012 Focus
$13,000,000 $49,000,000
That's My Boy Jun 15, 2012 Sony / Columbia
$30,000,000 $85,000,000
Rock of Ages Jun 15, 2012 Warner Bros.
$32,000,000 $120,000,000
Prometheus Jun 8, 2012 Fox
$58,000,000 $200,000,000
Madagascar 3 Jun 8, 2012 Paramount / DreamWorks
$42,000,000 $140,000,000
Snow White and the Huntsman Jun 1, 2012 Universal
$60,000,000 $165,000,000
Chernobyl Diaries May 25, 2012 Warner Bros.
$15,000,000* $31,000,000
Men in Black 3 May 25, 2012 Sony / Columbia
$90,000,000* $205,000,000
What to Expect When You're Expecting May 18, 2012 Lionsgate
$20,000,000 $70,000,000
Battleship May 18, 2012 Universal
$48,000,000 $135,000,000
The Dictator May 16, 2012 Paramount
$20,000,000† $65,000,000
Dark Shadows May 11, 2012 Warner Bros.
$43,000,000 $108,000,000
Marvel's The Avengers May 4, 2012 Disney
$170,000,000 $400,000,000

* = 4-day opening (Friday through Monday)
† = 3-day opening (excludes Wednesday and Thursday)

Phil Contrino, Daniel Garris, Alex Edghill and Shawn Robbins contributed to this article.

Tags: Brave, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seeking A Friend At The End Of The World

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