Why summer 2011 may be good for geeks, but bad for the geek biz

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Marc Bernardin
Dec 14, 2012

There's a whole lot of awesome coming down the pipe as far as genre movies go. But summer 2011 will see a giant, megabudget film released almost every weekend—Jon Favreau calls it Omaha Beach. What'll happen when the blood hits the multiplex?

Just so we're all on the same page, here's what the release schedule looks like, from May through July:

Thor (May 6) Priest (May 13) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 20) Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (May 27) X-Men: First Class (June 3) Super 8 (June 10) Green Lantern (June 17) Rise of the Apes (June 24) Cars 2 (June 24) Transformers: Dark of the Moon (July 1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (July 15) Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22) Cowboys and Aliens (July 29)

All of which sounds like a geek dream come true. Sure, there are quite a few sequels and adaptations, but to get Thor, Captain America and Green Lantern in the same season, along with J.J. Abrams' Super 8 and Favreau's Cowboys and Aliens? It's like movie Christmas.

But if you look at it again, that's 13 movies in a three-month span. If all you saw was genre flicks, it'd set you back at least $130—if you went alone, skipped the 3-D, and passed on movies like The Hangover 2 (May 26) and Fast Five (June 10). And those 13 movies will have cost Hollywood upward of a billion dollars to make, conservatively speaking.

"There's not a weekend where there won't be teeth on the floor," Favreau told The L.A. Times. "The audience wins, but it's going to be rough for people making these movies. Then there was the big rush to 3-D, so you have all of these people fighting for a limited number of screens and to get the 3-D done, since most of these are hybrids or conversions, so this is a technology that is still in the relatively early stages, and there's going to be a lot of blood pressures going up in the months ahead."

What'll this mean for you? It depends on how poorly these films do. If they're all hits, then you've got nothing to worry about—you'll get more of the same, summer after summer. But if enough of them underperform—and, given the limited number of screens and the fact that the country is in a belt-tightening financial crisis, underperformance is a distinct possibility—then next summer might be Hollywood's last big geek hurrah.

(via Hero Complex)

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