LOS ANGELES — Summer 2010 started off with a bang at the box office when Iron Man 2 opened to $130 million in May. With almost a blockbuster per week scheduled for the rest of the season, Hollywood looked like it was in for a profitable summer.
But then movies started flopping. Films that were expected to bring in upward of half a billion apiece failed to perform. Shrek Forever After opened to $71 million at the box office and has since earned only $460 million worldwide (low by the standards of the Shrek series). Sex and the City 2 opened to only $30 million, as did the Disney ( DIS – news – people ) film Prince of Persia, which the studio was likely hoping would become a big franchise.
Could it be that audiences are tired of sequels and movies based on videogames (Prince of Persia) and old TV shows (The A-Team)?
We’ll see this weekend when director Christopher Nolan’s Inception opens in 3,700 theaters. The film is a rare summer find: a complete original. The marketing to this point has shrouded it in secrecy, but recent reviews have revealed more about the movie, which tells the story of a team of corporate raiders, led by Leonardo DiCaprio, who can enter other people’s dreams.