Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Why This Hulk Will Smash

I'm going on the record again. First, I said that Iron Man would reach $300 million before exiting the U.S. box office. Today, I'm predicting that The Incredible Hulk will bring in at least $70 million domestically for Stock Advisor selection Marvel Entertainment (NYSE: MVL  ) during the film's opening weekend.

Here's why:


Incredible Hulk


Iron Man

Total rating




Community rating




Top critic rating





Notice the difference? The movie mavens at expect the "incredible" version to be a better popcorn flick than Ang Lee's 2003 failed celluloid experiment.

Also notice how top critics -- those whose job it is to recommend films -- like what they've seen. Critics like Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter, for example. Quoting from his recent review:

The production arm of Marvel Entertainment is two for two in 2008, hitting home runs with "Iron Man" and now "The Incredible Hulk." "Iron Man" has more wit and style, but "Hulk" is a neat thrill ride with an intelligent script by Zak Penn and smart, well-paced direction by the French director of "The Transporter" series, Louis Leterrier.

Two home runs in a row? That's Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) territory, Fool. No Pixar film has ever earned less than $150 million at the U.S. cinema.

Marvel can't exactly claim similar success. But cinematic series featuring Spider-Man and the X-Men have brought millions to producers Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) and News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS  ) 20th Century Fox. Iron Man, meanwhile, is helping to fill the coffers for distributor Paramount Pictures and parent Viacom (NYSE: VIA  ) in much the same way that Batman Begins boosted Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) .

You'll like Marvel when it's angry
Hits like these derive their momentum from fans -- comic book geeks like me who want to see the franchise succeed so that more of our favorite characters make it to the big screen.

Ask the good folks over at the "Marvel Movies!" Group on Facebook (registration required). Today, the members of that group are as excited as I've seen them since the first Iron Man previews showed up.

Here's how group founder Ed Mazmanian described the new Hulk film recently:

The acting is top notch all the way around. Ed Norton is Bruce Banner and after you see him you will forget about wanting anyone else for the role. William Hurt is awesome as usual, Tim Blake Nelson did a very colorful and entertaining job in his role and will definitely be stealing the show as The Leader in the next film. I really saw a lot of promise in what the future brings that character. Liv Tyler was great as Betty as well ... Lastly the final sequence is unbelievable and nobody will ever be able to say it's anti-climatic. It's long, intense, and unrelenting. It's the superhero/villain battle like no other.

At, you'll find fans like Mazmanian in the broader community. (Note the bold text in the table above.) There's a huge chasm between what they thought of Hulk and what they think of The Incredible Hulk. That chasm leads to me predict at least $70 million in weekend receipts.

Ready for the math? Good. Let's begin with the opening grosses for Iron Man and 2003's Hulk:


Opening Weekend (mil)

Iron Man




Source: Box Office Mojo.

Fans spot the newest gamma-irradiated rageathon a 36-percentage-point lead -- 81% to 45% -- over Eric Bana's interpretation. Robert Downey Jr.'s Shellhead, meanwhile, holds a 12-percentage-point lead over his future Avengers teammate -- 93% to 81%.

Now, here's where it gets interesting. Take Hulk's $62.1 million opening weekend and bump it by 36% and you get $84.4 million. Take Iron Man's $98.6 million opening and discount it by 12% and you get ... $86.7 million.

Coincidence? Perhaps. Just remember that the first two of the three Spidey films rate better than 90% among the broader community at Each opened for more than $80 million.

Spider-Man 3 opened strong at $151 million but was ultimately panned by the fans. It ended up being the worst draw of the trilogy at the U.S. box office.

Hulk smash $70 million!
No doubt industry wags will call me nuts. Tracking data as of last night put The Incredible Hulk's opening at little more than "comfortably north" of $40 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And most experts, the magazine says, believe the angry green giant would do well to bow in at $50 million.

Are these the same experts who told us that Iron Man would open at $60 million or "better?" Probably. Expect better, Fool.

More Marvel:

Fool contributor Tim Beyers had positions in Marvel shares and LEAP options at the time of publication. He still very much believes that the company, though officially a Stock Advisor selection like Disney and Time Warner, is the sort of multibagger in the making that he and his rebellious colleagues search for daily at Rule Breakers. Try either service risk-free for 30 days.

The Motley Fool's disclosure policy rarely gets angry. But it's been known to get even.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (17)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 664705, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/20/2016 8:52:37 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,162.35 -40.27 -0.22%
S&P 500 2,141.34 -2.95 -0.14%
NASD 5,241.83 -4.58 -0.09%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

12/31/2009 4:00 PM
MVL.DL $54.08 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Marvel Entertainme… CAPS Rating: ****
DIS $92.03 Up +0.10 +0.11%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****
FOX $25.36 Up +0.04 +0.16%
Twenty-First Centu… CAPS Rating: ***
SNE $32.72 Down -0.19 -0.58%
Sony CAPS Rating: ***
TWX $82.99 Up +3.75 +4.73%
Time Warner CAPS Rating: ***
VIA $40.95 Up +0.25 +0.61%
Viacom CAPS Rating: ***