‘Lincoln’ and ‘Man of Steel’: Box Office Augury

Dr Peter Han Area 49 Lead Scientist Lincoln and Man of Steel: Box Office AuguryI have seen trailers for two upcoming films about beloved American icons: Abraham Lincoln and Superman, and all signs indicate that both movies will have a big box office impact.

Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” due out in November, looks to be the kind of big sweeping historical costume drama with big sweeping historical battle scenes — populated with a few dozen terrifically gifted actors — that Hollywood and America loves. Think “War Horse,” but with the 16th U.S. President instead of a horse.

Story-wise, “Lincoln” has two things going for it: the Civil War (which means actual war) and Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the most admired figure in American history. How the film will play overseas remains to be seen, but with Spielberg’s movie mastery and Daniel Day-Lewis in what looks like another Academy Award winning turn as the titular President, it’s almost impossible to imagine this film not grossing north of 300 million at home.

“Man of Steel” has the benefit of Zack Snyder’s action chops and visual acumen, Christopher Nolan’s stewardship and a script by David S. Goyer, but it’s Superman himself, Henry Cavill, who’s the film’s best asset. Cavill recently starred in “The Cold Light of Day,” a movie that didn’t draw dirt much less pay dirt, but when he appears as the Man of Steel in June of 2013 he will instantly become the biggest movie star in the world.

Why, you ask? Have you seen him? Have you seen him with his shirt off? It doesn’t take a subscription to “The Hollywood Reporter” to know that every straight female of child-bearing age and every gay man on planet Earth will go see this movie at least once for the sole purpose of drooling over the man playing the Man of Steel. If any film has any shot at toppling “Avatar” as the worldwide box office champ (besides “Avatar 2”), it‘s this one.

Dr. Peter Han