Onward to 2003! Which film released next year will win the $$ title?

2003 is shaping up with an absolute bumper crop of potential mega-blockbusters. Which film when all is said and done will have made the most $$ (gross ticket sales)? I’m mainly thinking U.S. market, but those of you interested feel free to guess the overall global winner.

Here are the main contenders - please add any you see fit:

[li]The Hulk - comic book surprise, ala Spiderman?[/li][li]The Matrix Reloaded - will be enormous[/li][li]The Matrix Revolutions - depends how good Reloaded is[/li][li]Terminator 3 - can Arnold still do it? (Previews looked terrible to me)[/li][li]LOTR: Return of the King - duh[/li][/ul]

I can’t see any other film challenging these 5. Not Daredevil, not X2, not Bad Boys 2. But will there be a sleeper?

So guess away. I say when all is tallied up, LOTR: ROTK will nudge out The Matrix Reloaded.

(Note - this is not money earned in the year 2003, but final earnings for any film released in 2003)

EDIT - One film I didn’t mention, because I’m not sure if it’s coming out next year, is Harry Potter 3. That would certainly be included in the list of 5 I posted above. Still doesn’t change my thinking about winner.

Terminator is doomed project. It’s likely to get some people on the name but it’s not going to pull any huge business. I suspect it will creep over the $100 mil mark barely.

The Hulk is a film that could go either way and there’s just too much stuff not publicly known about it for me to hazard a guess. When I see a full trailer I’ll be able to at least have some idea of the actual content of the film and how it’s going to appeal to people even if it turns out to be a wrong one. So who knows?

The Matrix films are likely going to be huge. The only way they’re not is if Reloaded completely blows it and turns off the legions of fans from the first movie. I wouldn’t bet on that. Probably $250 mil minimum for each.

However, a certain movie released 11 days ago just broke the $200 million mark and isn’t slowing down. That’s in spite of being the middle part of a trilogy. The next movie in that series includes close to every big moment from the book. So I’ve got to go with Return of the King. I don’t know how they managed to actually pick up steam with the Two Towers but if response to Return is like Towers you’re looking at over $300 mil in the end.

Just a gut feeling, but I’m going with Return of the King, too.

I gotta agree. It will be huge and with so much going on in it, people will see it more than once in the theaters (rather like the other two). I’ve already seen TTT more in theater than I did FOTR and I imagine I’ll see ROTK more than that.

At this point, I can only see the Hulk challenging ROTK. The Matrix movies will most likely do well, but I just can’t see films that are R rated, or on the R line taking first for the year.

Honestly the only thing I see stopping ROTK (or TTT for that matter) from shattering any number of box office records is the running time. However, the current king of the BO was over three hours as well, so…

Return of the King.

Return of the King. The climax is going to have at least one-hundred-thousand fighters. That’s twice the amount in The Two Towers (which, IMHO was one of the most exciting battle scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie. And I fancy myself a film buff). By then throngs upon throngs of people will have been turned on to Tolkien because of the first two movies (myself included. I finally got around to reading the books lately) and by then would have read them and become very excited to see the movie. Then there’s the way FOTR was just HUGE, and TTT reached the 200 million mark after a week and a half in the BO (faster than FOTR); so I suspect this might be an indication of how well ROTK will be if things keep going that way. Add in what Some Guy said, ROTK including almsot every big moment in the book, that’s going to be some exciting stuff. Rising action, more rising action, the BIG CLIMAX, falling action, denoument, and so forth.

I don’t know how the LOTR story ends but I am assuming it’s good and the film is at least as good as the first two.

TTT appears to be poised to do the improbable and making more money than the first film. It appears that, among other things New Line’s two-part DVD release strategy has worked and managed to keep the film in the public’s attention and attracted more viewers. I expect that by next year ,with another two DVD releases, LOTR buzz will be HUGE and the movie will do better than either and maybe make 400-450 million. Plus I think that ROTK has an excellent chance of winning the BP oscar which will definitely give it legs in the later months and with older viewers.

The Hulk will also be interesting. It seems to fit the same comic-book summer blockbuster niche as Spiderman and should attract the same demographic. Plus Ang Lee will probably do interesting things with the genre and get good critical reviews which would help with older audiences.

Matrix Reloaded will also do really well but I think it will be beaten to third place.

Ultimately I will go with massive LOTR buzz and pick ROTK.

I’m going off the list and picking Spiderman 2. Spiderman is now one of the biggest movies of all time. How can you not pick the sequel as a contender?

Probably because it won’t be released until 2004 :wink:

My money is on ROTK, but I’ll hedge my bets with a small wager on Matrix: Revolutions. I’m basing this on this article, which makes it sound like the next two movies will be FX masterpieces like we’ve never seen before. (The article mentions 2,500 SFX shots between the two - including a 17 minute action sequence costing $40+ mil - compared to the original’s 425 or so, and TTT’s 1,200.)

That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be any good, mind you, but any decent marketing should make this movie look like the coolest thing ever, and that should be enough to rake in the big bucks, IMHO. That and they should be shorter than ROTK, which means more showings per screen.

That being said, I say ROTK outgrosses either by $10-$15 mil.

Well then, I’m going off the year too!


The first Matrix made 171 million dollars compared to 313 for FOTR so the sequels have a long way to go to challenge ROTK. Still based on the Newsweek article KK linked I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do really well and reach 300. But since I expect ROTK to get at least 350 I think it will end up beating them quite easily.

ROTK will have one other advantage - no studio in their right mind will release anything (unless it’s a sort-of niche film) for at least a week after the 12/17/03 release date of ROTK. After seeing what TTT did to Gangs of New York and Catch Me If You Can, I think ROTK will have free reign at least until Christmas Day, and perhaps for several weeks after.