http://www.latimes.com/entertainmen...?coll=la-headlines-entnews&ctrack=1&cset=true Who Will Rock the Summer Box Office? We ask the titans of the Internet for their predictions on this summer's movies. By Deborah Netburn, Times Staff Writer May 4 2006 With "Mission: Impossible 3" opening this weekend, the summer blockbuster season is officially about to begin. We've never seen so many mega- films in one summer "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," Superman Returns," "Miami Vice," "The Da Vinci Code," "Snakes on a Plane," "Poseidon," the list goes on and on. Franchises will be created, others will be laid to rest and in Hollywood careers will be made and broken. To help us predict who will be victorious and who will not survive the carnage, we turn to the titans of the web the feisty, opinionated, entertainment bloggers. Walt Disney Pictures Gregory Ellwood Hollywood Hitlist on MSN Movies Biggest Hit: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" Biggest Flop: "Pathfinder" Biggest Sleeper: "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" and "The Devil Wears Prada" (tie) Chris Thilk Movie Marketing Madness Biggest Hit: "The Da Vinci Code" Considering the movie has three years worth of marketing behind it, Tom Hanks as a lead and all sorts of controversy around it this one seems like a no-brainer. Should be perfect for the mass market audience studios are looking for. Biggest Flop: "X-Men: The Last Stand" Is there any way Brett Ratner isn't going to run this movie and franchise into the ground? I'd honestly be surprised if this isn't so bad it kills all the spin-off movies being planned. Melinda Sue Gordon / Picturehouse Release Biggest Sleeper: Not sure. Could be Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," which is supposed to be extremely well done. Could be Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion." Could be "Wordplay," since a movie about crossword puzzles could play off the current national love of spelling bees. David Poland Movie City News Biggest Hit: "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" Biggest Flop: "Barnyard" Biggest Sleeper: "Monster House" Mark Lisanti Defamer Biggest Hit: "The Da Vinci Code" Ron Howard's entire directing career has been mere preparation for this moment he's ready to take his big-budget pandering to a truly massive, built-in audience. Sony Pictures Imageworks Biggest Flop: "Superman Returns" From what we hear, millions of spandex enthusiasts aren't going to be too excited. Biggest Sleeper: "Snakes on a Plane" ...Unless, of course, bloggers finally get tired of doing New Line's marketing work for it and decide not to show up with our rubber snakes and model jetliners on opening night. Garth Franklin: Dark Horizons Simon Mein / Columbia Pictures Biggest Hit: "The Da Vinci Code," maybe "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" With so many movies focused at young boys (e.g. "Superman," "X3," etc.) I think the two films that'll hit big are "The Da Vinci Code" and to a lesser extent the "Pirates" sequel. "Da Vinci" appeals to all ages including a lot of people who don't normally go to movies. It also has a huge following thanks to the book, and with such a pedigree involved (Hanks, Howard) is likely to get reviewed quite well. The first "Pirates" has done so well and is a perfect "family film", the only question is the quality the last one did so well due to lots of repeat business, it must be good to do the same. Biggest Flop: "Pathfinder" A historic battle epic (a genre which hasn't done well at all of late) with no real stars shoved in between the 'Pirates' juggernaut and Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water". Biggest Sleeper: "Snakes on a Plane" For a film that was made for little money, the studio was only expecting probably $30-40 million in box-office revenue. With all the buzz though that's swirling around, don't be surprised if it probably triples that amount. Frank Connor / Universal Pictures Berge Garabedian JoBlo Biggest Hit: "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" Biggest Flop: "Miami Vice" Biggest Sleeper: "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" Sasha Stone Oscar Watch Biggest Hit: "Pirates of the Caribbean" or "The Da Vinci Code" It's down to "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "The Da Vinci Code" for biggest hit, with "Cars," "X-Men" and "Superman" closing in fast. If I had to go with one, my gut tells me "Pirates" because "Da Vinci" may play well with adults but it might not draw the biggest demographic. "Pirates" will have to be as good as the first to hold the number one spot. It looks to be a summer of hits more than bombs. Biggest Flop: "Miami Vice" It looks good and will draw crowds but it might have trouble making more than the production costs. It's possible that Jamie Foxx is a bigger draw now than ever but it will have to be VERY good to do well. New Line Productions Biggest Sleeper: "Snakes on a Plane!" It will put "internet buzz" to the test. And unless it been ghettoized by the fanboys or downloaded to extinction. So far, internet buzz hasn't proved trustworthy when it comes to box office but "Snakes on a Plane" in a film no tween nor teen can resist. "Nacho Libre" is another possible contender and then, of course, there is Clint Eastwood's "Flags of Our Fathers" which could surprise in the box office department making it an instant Best Picture frontrunner, even though it's not a "teenager" movie. Jeffrey Wells Hollywood Elsewhere Biggest Hit: "The Da Vinci Code" Hands down. There's no disputing this. It's a settled issue. Surely you know this. The Biggest Flop: "Poseidon" It cost $160 million to make. To be regarded as a serious hit, a movie of this sort needs to bring in $40 or $50 million on opening weekend. Right now, 11 days from the opening day, tracking indicates perhaps a $15 million opening weekend at best it may be more in the realm of $10 to $12 million, although WB is now running 90 second ads on prime-time networks. (It's "very, very unusual" to run 90-second ads in prime time, a marketing guy tells me.) It's not a bad film at all (pretty good actually, for what it is) but interest levels are low. Daniel Daza / Paramount The Biggest Sleeper: "Snakes on a Plane," "Nacho Libre" Apart from "Snakes on a Plane," which has ALREADY become a sleeper hit by virtue of the internet interest, "Nacho Libre" has Paramount behind it and Jack Black and the presumed loyalty of the Napoleon Dynamite/fans of Jared Hess crowd behind it, so I don't know if you can call it a likely sleeper hit, but it will be a pretty sizable hit, I think. Tom O'Neil Gold Derby Biggest Hit: "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" Timing is everything. Pirates will snare the most box office treasure because it's a winning film formula setting sail in early July. Biggest Flop: "Superman Returns" Brandon Routh will prove to be Kryptonite to the Superman francise. A wimpy, bland cupcake can't fill the Man of Steel's tights. Biggest Sleeper: "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" How to make a killing at the box office: Uma Thurman weilding a chain saw in a comedy about revenge. Leonard Klady Movie City News Biggest Hit: "Mission: Impossible 3" The rule is generally first out has an edge and we'd all be surprised if "Mission: Impossible 3" doesn't open with both guns blazing; it's the film everyone will be trying to top all season; "Da Vinci" needs to get older repeat business and connect with a younger audience to beat it and my guess is it won't, so my guess is the only real challenger will be the "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel. Biggest Flop: "Poseidon" "Poseidon" is already shaping up as the early negative favorite. I doubt "Superman Returns" will be a flop but in terms of expectations it feels like it could be a real disappointment with a lot of spin about its ancillary upside being batted about. Biggest Sleeper: "The Break-Up," "Lady in the Water," "Over the Hedge" Sleeper is not the right term when you're spending $25 million plus to promote a film, but the film that looks like it will significantly excede expectations is "The Break-Up" starring the king of surprise Vince Vaughn ... and that Aniston person. Comedies and horror films generally provide the left field home runs. "Lady in the Water" also seems like a film that could top expectations and my gut also gurgles at "Over the Hedge" as something that could perform a lot better than expected. Let us hear your predictions. Send your pics for the summer's hits, flops and sleepers and your reasons why to [email protected]. We'll post our readers' answers next week.