Apparently the folks over at Warner Brothers have no fear, because they've opted to push back the big release of their 'Clash of the Titans' sequel, 'Wrath of the Titans,' from March 20th, 2012 to March 23rd, 2012, the same day the highly-anticipated adaption of 'The Hunger Games' is due out.
Who'll come out the big winner? Forget that this big showdown is more than a year away; it's already quite obvious that 'Wrath of the Titans' stands no chance. First off, director Jonathan Liebesman and co. must be living under rock because folks are going absolutely crazy about every tiny detail that develops with 'The Hunger Games.' Forget marketing; the popularity of Suzanne Collins' book seems to be enough of an advertising campaign alone. Plus, 'Clash of the Titans' is only getting another go-around because it earned a pretty penny at the box office. Meanwhile, a number of moviegoers that contributed to that massive haul weren't pleased about dropping the extra cash for the third dimension just to not get their money's worth. 'Wrath of the Titans' is going to need every edge it can get in this match-up.
So it seems as though this is a winning situation for 'The Hunger Games,' but there are still a number of other box office battles to keep an eye on in the coming months.
Summer 2011 – 'Thor,' 'Priest,' 'X-Men: First Class,' 'Green Lantern,' 'Captain America: The First Avenger,' 'Cowboys and Aliens'
Between the months of May and August we will get a whopping six comic book adaptations. Okay, 'Cowboys and Aliens' was originally a graphic novel, but that still counts. No, none of these films will open against another, but clearly some will have longer legs than others and are therefore bound to trip over one another. 'Thor' hits on May 6th and will likely steal some of 'Preist's' thunder when that arrives just a week later. Then, in June, it's 'X-Men: First Class' on the 3rd followed by 'Green Lantern' on the 17th. The space between should give 'X-Men' enough of a shot at pulling in some serious cash before 'Green Lantern' invades and then 'Green Lantern' will have more than enough time to rake in the dough before 'Captain America' lands in July. Unfortunately, for 'Cowboys and Aliens,' it will certainly feel the pain of a 'Captain America' ripple effect, considering it makes its debut just one week later. Of the bunch, my money's on 'Captain America' for the biggest opening. It's more widely known than the rest and has 'The Avengers' tie-in to boot.
October 14th, 2011 - 'The Thing' vs. 'The Three Musketeers'
Here's a typical battle of the blockbusters. Both Universal and Summit are hoping to hit it big by revisiting old material with 'The Thing' and 'The Three Musketeers' respectively. 'The Three Musketeers' has the edge in terms of the cast, packing names like Logan Lerman, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans, Milla Jovovich, Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom and more, but odds are, Universal will back 'The Thing' with a much stronger marketing campaign and a wider release. This could really be an interesting showdown not only because the two appear to be evenly matched, but also because they still face hefty competition in other genres – Paramount's remake of 'Footloose' and Fox's comedy 'The Big Year.'
November 23rd, 2011 - 'Arthur Christmas' vs. 'The Muppets' vs. 'Project X' vs. 'Rise of the Apes'
Here's another weekend that will likely be an all-out brawl. In the kid's department, we've got the 3D animated film, 'Arthur Christmas,' from Columbia, which will likely overlap with Jason Segel's 'The Muppets,' which will not only attract those looking for something family-friendly, but older folks in search of some nostalgia. Then, 'The Muppets' will surely find itself stepping on the toes of Todd Phillips and his latest film, the comedy 'Project X.' The only film that won't suffer from a genre crossover is 'Rise of the Apes.' Considering that factor and the big opening of the 2001 film, 'Planet of the Apes,' the odds are in director Rupert Wyatt's favor.
December 16th, 2011 – 'Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol' vs. 'Sherlock Holmes 2'
It's action film vs. action film, franchise vs. franchise, but this one might not be as good of a fight as you'd expect. While every single 'M:I' film opened with $45 million or more, it's been over five years since the last one as compared to just about two since the first 'Sherlock Holmes.' It's simply fresher in people's minds. Also fresh on moviegoer's minds is the Tom Cruise downward spiral. The guy just isn't that marketable anymore. He hasn't had a film open with more than $26 million since the third 'M:I' while Robert Downey Jr., on the other hand, is quite literally rolling in the dough. Well, minus 'The Soloist.' 'Sherlock Holmes 2' earns yet another point thanks to the whopping $62 million the first film made opening weekend, which is a bigger start than any of the 'M:I' films. Paramount will surely put up a fight, but the weekend of December 16th has Warner Bros. and 'Sherlock Holmes 2' written all over it.
2012 - 'Snow White' vs. 'Snow White and the Huntsman'
It'll be quite a while before we see how this one pans out, but, as it stands, Relativity's 'Snow White' is due out on June 29th, 2012 and then Universal's 'Snow White and the Hunstman' arrives on December 21st, 2012. Clearly it isn't timing that's the issue, but content. Both films are big and loaded up on A-listers, 'Snow White' with Julia Roberts and 'Snow White and the Huntsman' with Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron and possibly Kristen Stewart. In terms of mass appeal, both have potential, but the question is whether or not people will have any interest in seeing another Snow White film come December. The fact that 'Snow White and the Huntsman' is the second out of the gate will certainly have an effect on its numbers, but let's face it, this is an industry driven by star power; should both films feature big names, the money should still pour in.