spielbergabrams.pngSource: Variety

Paramount has confirmed that J.J. Abrams will sit in the director's chair, with Steven Spielberg producing on Super 8, the top-secret project revealed earlier this week (read our earlier article here). All that is known about the flick at this time is that it is inspired by the films that Abrams loved growing up (it is not a Cloverfield prequel, as previously rumored). The first teaser will be attached to Iron Man 2.

Abrams reinvigorated the Star Trek franchise last summer, and he's currently attached only as a producer on the sequel. Paramount has already pegged a June 29, 2012 release date for the next Trek installment.

As for Spielberg, he recently committed to directing War Horse.

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5/6/10 Update (10:20 a.m. PT): MovieTickets.com is reporting 842 sold-out showings for Iron Man 2, 255 of which are for midnight shows. Meanwhile, Fandango is reporting sold-out showings at specific locations such as NYC's AMC Loews Lincoln Square Cinemas (which has added a 3:10 a.m. Thursday night/Friday morning showtime), San Francisco's Metreon, Chicago's AMC Loews 600 North Michigan, and L.A.'s Universal CityWalk Cinemas.

5/5/10 Update: MovieTickets.com is reporting that Iron Man 2 currently has 810 sold-out showings. The Paramount release also accounts for 84 percent of daily sales on the ticketing site as of 10:30 a.m. PT.

4/28/10 Update: MovieTickets.com is reporting that Iron Man 2 is outselling Iron Man by a margin of 5 to 1 at the same point in the sales cycle.

4/21/10 Update: The rush of summer blockbusters will begin on May 7 with Iron Man 2, and it's bound kick things off with a bang.


MovieTickets.com is already reporting 49 sold-out showings for the Paramount release. Meanwhile, in a poll conducted on the site, 75 percent of moviegoers who are aware of the film plan on seeing it opening weekend.

The original Iron Man opened to $102.1 million in May 2008. BoxOffice.com is currently predicting a $145 million opening for the sequel.


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gretagerwig.pngSource: Deadline New York

After appearing in such mumblecore films as LOL and Hannah Takes the Stairs, Greta Gerwig is on her way to the mainstream. The young actress recently starred opposite Ben Stiller in Greenberg, and now Warner Bros. is reportedly in discussions with her about taking on the love interest role in the studio's remake of Arthur, the classic Dudley Moore comedy.

Russell Brand is playing the title role, Helen Mirren will fill the mentor position that Sir John Gielgud occupied in an Oscar-winning turn. As for Gerwig, she'll be taking over Liza Minnelli's role.

The Arthur remake could turn out to be a big hit if Brand's stock rises after the release of Get Him to the Greek this summer.

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Total tweets for May 7th Openers

upcoming050710.jpgIron Man 2 racked up another 20,339 tweets on Wednesday, or 42.6% of all buzz on Twitter for wide-release films opening in the next 4 months. By comparison, The Twilight Saga: New Moon had 72,431 tweets its Wednesday before release, and Alice In Wonderland had 17,743. Really the film keeps me guessing to say the least. There is no denying that it will be huge but its expansion this week is hardly what I would have expected given my last 9 months of research. All I can theorize is that its foreign openings really boosted its early buzz which frontloaded its number. Week's ago I had posted that I thought its ratio would be 1,500, but I then second guessed myself due to all the prerelease hype and massive numbers last week. However, as it turns out that might be not far from where we end up. If I look up other action blockbusters such as 2012, Avatar or Clash of the Titans they came in with ratios of 676, 1110, and 824 respectively. While I have no doubt this film will surpass those ratios due to the increased hype with being the first big summer actioner, being a sequel and having more of an appeal to all quadrants, perhaps 1,500 would indeed be a more realistic number.

Tweet ratings have remained largely positive (25.06% positive and 5.34% negative yesterday) which is a great sign and it has been soaking up ~50% of all upcoming movie buzz for Summer openers (on a sidenote, yesterday it accounted for a seemingly low 42% compared to other days but that was in large part due to the Machete clip which generated over 5,000 tweets). Look for it to end the week with 100,000 tweets, which when paired with a ratio of 1,500 should give it ~$67 million for Friday and $153 million for the 3 day weekend.

Check back tomorrow to see the Thursday numbers and my final predictions. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets043010.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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Source: Deadline Hollywood Daily

After the third chapter in Blue Sky Studio's popular franchise proved to be one of the most successful movies of 2009, 20th Century Fox has set a July 13th, 2012 release date for a fourth film, titled Ice Age: Continental Drift.

The film, as currently scheduled, has picked one of the busiest and most anticipated summer movie seasons on record. Also opening in that general frame: Star Trek 2 (June 29th), the Spider-Man reboot (July 3rd), and the third Batman movie (July 20th), with dates not yet set for still-gestating projects like G.I. Joe 2 and Men in Black 3. However, 20th Century Fox is clearly hoping that counter-programming will work in Ice Age's favor, with parents opting for the family-friendly series over the PG-13 rated sequels.

In the United States, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs posted a strong but generally unremarkable $196.5 million dollar haul. Overseas, however, the film raked in a massive $688.2 million, and it was not alone; several 2009 films, including Terminator: Salvation and Angels & Demons were similarly buoyed by large foreign receipts compared to middling domestic grosses. 

The new chapter will be in 3D, same as the previous one, and while it has not been announced, it seems very likely that the star-studded cast, including Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Queen Latifah, will all return to reprise their roles.

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