Get ready to lose a ton of money, Hollywood. It used to be that if you put out a flick anywhere in between June and August you were guaranteed to make a ton of cash because people just wanted to get out of the heat for a little while. But as more and more “summer blockbusters” began to crowd the movie release schedule, a curious thing started to happen: people stopped seeing them. Sure, there are still big successes, but there are also tankers like John Carter and Cowboys & Aliens. The 2013 summer movie season is packed to the gills with big-budget spectacles, but analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen and Co. is predicting that as many as eight of them will perform under expectations, according to Deadline.
Creutz feels that certain movies are locks to do well – Iron Man 3, Man Of Steel and Hangover III among them – but I’m more interested in the ones that will underperform. Here are some of Creutz’s picks for the big-budget summer flicks on the bottom side of the ticket.
World War Z – the Brad Pitt zombie epic has had a very troubled production, with tons of rewrites and reshoots, and all the footage that has come out looks pretty lousy. People can already watch The Walking Dead for free on their TVs, why do they need to pay money to see a more expensive version of it in the theater?
The Great Gatsby – Leonardo DiCaprio stars in what’s probably the season’s best example of a big-budget chick flick, but it’s questionable whether there’s enough of a market for it. It’s got star power, but is America really ready for a tale about unfettered wealth and awfulness, no matter how pretty it looks?
Epic – There are just too damn many animated movies coming out this summer, and with stronger franchises like Despicable Me 2 on the table (and releasing the same weekend as Fast & Furious 6 and Hangover 3), this one isn’t going to have what it takes.
The Internship – This Vince Vaughn / Owen Wilson comedy has virtually no buzz and, even though it opens on a slow weekend, doesn’t seem to have the potential to be a Wedding Crashers-esque mover, which is obviously what the studio is hoping for.
After Earth – M. Night Shyalaman isn’t a box office draw anymore, and the similarity to the just-released Oblivion is going to hurt this one. The weird idea of casting both Will Smith and his kid together in another movie isn’t helping matters either.
R.I.P.D. – Ryan Reynolds in another comic book derived movie opposite Jeff Bridges. Nobody knows about the source material, the promotional materials are super generic, and it’s opening in the middle of a very crowded July a week after Pacific Rim. Expect it to sink fast.
The Lone Ranger – This is the one flick that most people are convinced is going to flop, after the dismal performance of Disney’s similarly dated John Carter. Although the trailers have been pretty fun, Westerns don’t perform well overseas (an increasingly important market), and it opens domestically opposite Despicable Me 2.
What do you think about these predictions for movie flops? Will any of these flicks surprise us? And are there any others you think are sure to tank?