Phantom Menace Reader Forum

Thursday - Box Office Guru - May 6, 1999

1. "The story is simple. TPM is going to be the biggest earning movie of the year. Sure is going to break Lost World's record for your memorial day. But this summer is too hot to keep TPM over 7 weeks in the pole position. In comparison with Titanic (i hate this movie) but to be honest is almost impossible to break this record. The 60% of the world are females. Females dont like sci-fi movies. Think about it you lose 60% of your audience. And an audience who saw Titatic 5-6 times and more. Also Star-wars films are not so popular all around the world and especially in my country Greece wont be the movie of the year for sure. My predictions: 5 day weekend $95 million. Overall $400-450 millions Worldwide: $900+ Other summer movies cross 100 million $ are :WWW, EWS, Austin Powers (also hate it), Tarzan, Runaway Bride."

- Tasos (Thessaloniki, Greece)

2. "TPM will have a terrific opening "weekend" with $115M to $125M, and will stay in the first spot for two to three weeks (accumulating another $300-350M) when the real Star Wars (and other die-hard sci-fi) fans keep the repeat business up. Then watch business slowly go down (average of 25-30% weekly) as other Summer releases pick off the weary fans. Total domestic cume should be close to $700-750M. However, don't be surprised to see Fox re-release the film in the fall and make another $60-75M. Worldwide gross should be close to $1500M. Then there's the merchandising..."

- Pierre Lapointe (Los Angeles, California)

3. "I am confident that the new Star Wars would easily become a boxoffice at a short time but I defenitely doubt its longevity. Compared to Titanic, I doubt and very positive that it would never break the historic boxoffice power of Titanic. Titanic had played in movie houses for a long time and had stayed at the top too. It can never top the feat of Titanic period...well if it had the love drama effect that is Titanic like its possible it would break Titanic record, but without it no way."

- Ariel T. Ortiz (Quezon City, The Philippines)

4. "Who cares?"

- James J. Matthews (Toronto, Canada)

5. "Without a doubt, I think that Star Wars: Episode I will have the largest opening of any movie to date. There is just so much hype and buzz created that it is going to blow away the 92 million dollar record that The Lost World set. However, I guarantee you that it will not pass Titanic's domestic gross record (600 million). People are forgetting that it is still going to have to be one very good movie in order to attract the type of repeat business that Titanic did. I'm not saying Star Wars: Episode I will be a bad movie, I'm a huge Star Wars fan myself, but I have my doubts on whether or not the movie will be absolutely amazing and live up to its hype."

- Grady Kite (Madison Heights, Michigan)

6. "In my humble opinion I think its going to be a tight race for the U.S. Box office tittle, but this movie will be the king of all movies worldwide surpassing Titanic easily."

- Javier Urreiztieta (Houston, Texas)

7. "THE PHANTON MENACE will open huge, it will probably make $100 million at least during its opening, but it will not make more than TITANIC'S over $600 million domestic gross. STAR WARS fans do not include female teenagers and people over 50. TITANIC appealed to all demographics - PHANTOM will not. PHANTOM will make around $450 - $500 million. It will be the 2nd biggest grosser of all time."

- AAlMutairi

8. "I don't think that the new Star Wars movie is going to defeat Titanic! The main problem of this movie is that it is a SCIENCE-FICTION movie and so, not so many people are going to be attracted by it even if it is a very long awaited movie. I don't think, for example that women are going to be so thrilled to see it. The surprise could come from outside the United States! I don't agree with the fact that TPM is not as awaited in other countries as in the US. Europe and Japan could be stronger for TPM than lots people are thinking. The other main point is that Star Wars is a legend! What can a legend do in the movie theaters, I am not sure. I think that it is going to be the second high-grossing movie of all time but, the story has to be good because after all, it is what is important! Good luck George!"

- Jean-Michel Lamoine (France)

9. "Will The Phantom Menace beat The Lost World for the largest opening? Yes, It will crush The Lost World's opening weekend by making about $120 million. Will The Phantom Menace beat Titanic for the largest domestic money maker? No way! The Phantom Menace will come close though making about $545 million. There is just no way that The Phantom Menace will be able to make large amounts of money throughout the summer while other blockbusters are opening every weekend. It will also not get the repeat business that Titanic. Only truly devoted fans will see The Phantom Menace many times while other huge movies like Austin Powers 2, Tarzan, Big Daddy, Instinct, The Thomas Crown Affair, The General's Daughter, Arlington Road, and The Wild Wild West are opening every other weeked. Titanic was able to get that repeat business because it was in release during the dull months of January, Febuary, and March."

- Joe (Washington D.C.)

10. "Now that Titanic has finally made its way to cable television, I think that it's finally time to view it for what it was -- A freak phenomenon. There were so many factors that cannot possibly be named that contributed to the dollars (and pounds and francs and yen...) that poured in relentlessly. To predict that any movie could compete with is would be like closing your eyes and trying to draw a straight line. I think that a few things are very likely... huge opening; perhaps the biggest, and great repeat business are among them, but I don't know if we can estimate the type of worldwide following that it will have. I can say this much, however, the force will be with it... we will just have to see for how long."

- Patrick Grijalva (Atlanta, Georgia)

Previous issues : May 1, 2 , 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

Submit your thoughts on the box office potential of Star Wars : Episode I. Email your comments (200 words or less) including your name, city, and country of residence. Box Office Guru will feature new reader comments daily in the Phantom Menace Reader Forum beginning on May 1st and continuing until the May 19th release date.

1999 Box Office Guru