July Preview (cont.): 'Spider-Man,' 'Ice Age,' 'The Watch'
<< Continued from July Preview (Part 1)

Of course, there are other movies coming out in July, most notably The Amazing Spider-Man. Sam Raimi's three Spider-Man movies are some of the highest-grossing superhero movies ever with $400 million, $373.6 million and $336.5 million, respectively, at the domestic box office. The budget had ballooned to untenable levels for the third installment, though, and it also turned out to be a creative disappointment, so in order to keep the franchise going Sony decided to go the reboot route.

Asking audiences to turn out for the Spider-Man origin story just 10 years after the original did such a memorable job with it was always a risky proposition. Eventually realizing this, Sony's marketing team seems to have ditched the "Untold Story" aspect of the campaign, and instead have focused on a tagline that ties in with the title ("Prepare To Be Amazed"). There's also a new villain (The Lizard) and a new pair of attractive, likeable leads (Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone), so the movie looks different enough to overcome reboot-itis initially. Unfortunately, it's not likely to hold up well in the long-run: it's way too close to the original Spider-Man to turn out good word-of-mouth, and The Dark Knight Rises should kill it completely by its third weekend.

Katy Perry: Part of Me is a concert/documentary hybrid in the same vein as Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, which was a strong hit last year with $73 million. The 3D concert movie genre is hit-or-miss, though: while Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson ($72.1 million) and Hannah Montana ($65.3 million) were all hits, there are also notorious duds from the Jonas Brothers ($19.2 million) and the cast of Glee ($11.9 million). The inspirational nature of the concert/doc seems to align well with Perry's image, so it should avoid the same fate as Jonas and Glee, though it has virtually no chance of matching the Biebs.

Savages looks like it may be the odd-man-out this weekend. Even though its from controversial director Oliver Stone, its hyperkinetic take on the revenge tale feels like a close relative of Tony Scott's Man on Fire ($77.9 million). Unfortunately, that movie had Denzel Washington, while this movie has Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson, who are really not comparable from a box office perspective. Additionally, with adult audiences turning out in droves to see Ted and Magic Mike this weekend, there may not be too much interest left over for Savages just a week later. The absolute best case scenario here is likely a final gross in line with Contraband ($66.5 million) and Miami Vice ($63.5 million).

In preparation for The Dark Knight Rises, there's only one major nationwide release on the July 13th weekend. Ice Age: Continental Drift marks the fourth entry in the Ice Age series; the only other animated franchise to reach four movies is Shrek, which saw a 26 percent decline from the third to fourth installment. Ice Age 4 faces enough hurdles that it will more-than-likely experience a similar drop from the last entry's $196.6 million.

It's the third animated movie this Summer following $200 million hits Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Brave, and there may not be room for a third success. There was in Summer 2010, when Despicable Me managed to exceed all expectations despite coming on the heels of Shrek Forever After and Toy Story 3. That was a wholly original movie, though, while Ice Age 4 doesn't seem to add anything truly unique to the franchise. Still, the movie is poised to earn at least $600 million overseas (the last one did $690 million), so domestic grosses really aren't all that relevant anyway here.

The final weekend of July has The Watch and Step Up Revolution attempting to draw some attention away from The Dark Knight Rises. That may prove to be a futile effort: Dark Shadows was the only new nationwide release the weekend after The Avengers opened, and it could only muster $29.7 million.

The Watch definitely seems like a stronger entry than Dark Shadows, though. After an odd first trailer and some trouble with its title, the campaign for The Watch has come together around its three comedic leads—Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill—as suburban slouches who are forced to stand up to an alien invasion. Coming on the heels of The Avengers, Battleship, MIB 3 and Prometheus, audiences may have had their fill of aliens for the Summer, but the tongue-in-cheek approach of this R-rated comedy could be a salvation.

Step Up: Revolution is the fourth entry in the Step Up series, which has seen declining grosses since Channing Tatum kicked off the franchise in 2006. It feels like the dance movie craze is over, and with Summit handling distribution instead of Disney this time, it would be shocking if Revolution winds up much higher than Step Up 3-D ($42.4 million).

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