Phantom Menace Reader Forum
Sunday - Box Office Guru - May 2, 1999
1. "I am positive that The Phantom Menace will Break 100 million before the weekend ends, possibly 150 by the time the weekend is over. Yes, I am saying that by Sunday night it will have broken 150 mil or will come close and will have sailed past 200 million in the 1st 10 to 14 days. Whether it can pass Titanic will depend on the quality of the film. If it can draw repeat business it may be able to topple Titanic from its throne. It will surely topple many records. Let's see how it does. I can't wait."
- Bruce Evans
2. "Star Wars will have the biggest box office opening weekend ever and will reach the $300M scale faster than any other movie before, for sure. But will it reach the level of Titanic's $600M? I don't think so. The fact is, that Star Wars, prequel or not, is just a sequel to the other 3 movies. Never in history of box office a sequel of any movie attained the number one spot in the all-time ranking. They always do very well the first weeks but then fall apart after the fan potential is exhausted. So I think, the maximum limit is about $450M like the first Star Wars did. Star Wars will have the speed, but Titanic has the endurance. But perhaps TPM will profit from the enormous benefit premieres, will they be counted to the offical gross?? Then of course there could be a chance, a small chance."
- Jörn Philipp (Ulm, Germany)
3. "Of course, everybody expects Episode One to be the highest grossing movie of all time, but in my opinion that is highly improbable. In the past, movies have never lived up to the expectaions, box-office wise. Nobody ever expected Titanic to make any money but look what happened. Titanic was a major hit cause it had all the elements of a good film : It was long, but never boring, it had the F/X and it had a major selling point - Leonardo DiCaprio, because of his major fan following, the movie was able to claim the box-office throne. Sure, Episode One has a major fan following, but it lacks the popularity among the whole nation. There is a certain type of people who will watch this movie - Sci-Fi freaks, men, teenagers, boys. They will probably see the movie many, many times. But the whole world will not watch the movie a billion times. Also, for the four months or so, Titanic didn't have any major competition. While Ep. 1 has a good movie coming out just a week later - Notting Hill with Julia Roberts who is sure to take some share of the box-office. Two weeks later, John Travolta's The Soldier's Daughter and Austin Powers 2 comes out. Then WWW, Eyes Wide Shut, South Park, Big Daddy and Tarzan will be there. Also, The Mummy, The Matrix and Entrapment will still be strong. So in short, I am sorry to say that while it will be the year's biggest hit, Episode One doesn't have a chance of beating Titanic. I hope I'm wrong."
- Atul Shrivastava (Toronto, Canada)
4. "Don't you people understand? Or am I the only one who gets it. Star Wars can't bring together the entire world the way Titanic did. Titanic was a beautiful true story that anyone could watch. Sure you hear many people call it a "chick flick" or just some movie for teenage girls who love Leonardo DiCaprio. This is very wrong. When I saw Titanic I remember seeing everyone in the theater wiping their eyes. Grown men and women, younger children, senior citizens. The point is Star Wars was, and always will be just a dumb space fantasy. It is no classic. It is no masterpiece. It will only attract science nerds and nostagic 45 year old men and their young children they force along with them, or vice versa. Don't be fooled, Star Wars will not unseat Titanic."
5. "For months, prognosticators have been saying that Star Wars - Episode One - The Phantom Menace will break every record imagineable, including that of The Lost World's $92.7 million opening weekend and Titanics total of $605 million. I do not see this happening. This film will break many speed records, though. I am predicting an $83 million opening weekend and $120 million in the first 5 days. The film will not set records for Memorial Day Weekend, but it will set a record for the highest second weekend in history. For the four-day weekend of May 28, I am predicting $77 million and $228 million after 13 days. These numbers will absolutely astound everyone, but there will be a drop-off. In the crucial third weekend, I am predicting a gross of $38 million, unbelievable for the third weekend of any film. But the next weekend of June 11 will bring Austin Powers 2, which I think will open on the level of The Waterboy and Ace Ventura 2, just around $40 million. Expect about $25 million for Star Wars at this point. By this time, Star Wars descent will begin and it will become obvious that this film is not going to outgross Titanic. My prediction for a final gross is at about $410 million, really nothing to sneeze at. Overall, it is going to be a big summer."
- Geoff Gershon
6. "There are many things that are going to contribute to the opening success of "Star Wars1". Around here, in Western Michigan, there will probably only be three to four theaters playing the film in a population of close to one million (Holland, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Allendale w/Grand Valley State University, etc.). Three theaters can only make so much money, even if they are going to be playing 24 hours opening day. So, with that being said, due to the limit of theaters, I will say that the opening day will be strong, but not record breaking strong. Perhaps around 70-80 million. Because (at least around here) only a handful can see it per week, declines are very unlikely, so 70 million is likely for weeks 2-4. With rates like this, I am sure it will surpass Titanic (or at least come very close). It will definitely become #2 over the first (part 4) "Star Wars"."
- John Coin (Zeeland, Michigan)
7. "Final tally by Sunday of opening weekend: 200 million or real close. Not a problem at all: 400 million +. If the movie is half as good as it looks: 500-600 million. If the movie is as good as it looks: a billion??? I know many, many people who are planning to see it multiple times in the first week. I think repeat business will be VERY VERY robust. The only danger is if people get burnt out too quickly... the merchandising and whatnot will probably hurt it more than anything else in this respect."
- Kevin Crossman (Fremont, California)
8. "How will Star Wars do at the boxoffice? Well, if it'll open around 2500 screens there is little chance it'll break The Lost World's record of first weekend earnings. But it will be able to earn about $20 million per day, so...around $60-65 million first weekend is probable. Along with Wednesday and Thursday's earnings it should be able to break the $100 million in 5 days. Declines over the following weekends should be rather small for a movie that opened with $60 mill, in other words, not over 30%, probably around 25%. Of course that percentage will increase slightly as other summer movies kick in but not too much. Ok, here's my prediction of movies performance during its run. $190 mill - after 2. weekend, $250 mill -after 3rd, $315 after 5th, 365 after 8th, $400 after 11th...and...after many weeks more in theaters it'll wind up with around $425-430 mill."
- Marko M. Zagreb (Croatia)
9. "Let me tell you this...Star Wars will wreak havoc at the box office but due to the fact that it is in fact a prequel and not something brand new and of the epic form it will not have a chance to break any of Titanic's records...The worldwide record is the safer of the two...Titanic's appeal was far more than any sci fi film can ever have...even Star Wars...The fact that it is opening in a crowded summer full of films with big stars and big money it will have a hard time reaching the elusive 600 million domestic gross Titanic was able to gobble up...but we might see a record breaking opening that could lead to 400 to 500 million domestically...watch out Jurassic Park 2...here comes the wrath of Star Wars to claim at least one record."
- James Carter
10. "In my opinion, Star Wars : Episode I will break the $90+ million opening weekend record set by JP: Lost World. But I don't think it can break the all time $600+ millon total gross of Titanic. The reason for this is because Titanic had a huge demographic appeal. Remember Titanic held the number 1 spot for 15 weeks. Remember also that Episode I is opening during the peak moviegoing period of the year where numerous other potential blockbuster movies are going to released. Episode I will mainly appeal to Star Wars fans and fans of Sci-fi movies. But if the reviews are good and I am sure it will, this movie will come very close to beating the total gross of the original Star Wars' $460+ million."
- Sasi Patkunan (Brisbane, Australia)
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