This weekend Brave and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter hit screens in one of the strangest summers seasons on record. Movies that cost over $100 Million (and much more) have been tanking with regularity. Will that effect these new releases?

Perhaps it was hard to tell on the surface how weak everything would be post-Avengers, but right now we’re seeing two films come out two weeks after the two films in which they would be in direct competition. And in one case it’s a studio stepping on its own toes. There were no films for young children in May – which may be because most schools often weren’t out – so it looks like The Avengers benefited from that. And now we’ve got both Brave and Madagascar 3 hitting right around each other. It seems like one of them would have done much, much better if there was more space between them.

But at least those come from competing studios. Why on earth would Fox release two of the only R-rated action movies within weeks of each other? On top of that both are 3-D, so it’s likely that Prometheus will be losing screens from this. It’s possible that Abe will find an audience, but Fox has been treating it like it doesn’t deserve the full push of an event film, which is no surprise as the title and premise are cheeky.

Again, it’s hard not to focus on this summer’s problems, and Prometheus is looking more like a misfire with every passing day. Not the film itself (though it has its problems) but its numbers. Fox is saying that the film cost $130 Million, so it’s possible that the film will turn a profit, but it’s not the franchise re-starter that it seems was hoped for, and I don’t trust that $130 as far as I could throw it.

All this said, let’s focus on this weekend. It appears that the press is starting to turn on Pixar some, but it’s doubtful that audiences have caught up to that. Last summer, critics and audiences were lukewarm on Cars 2, but that managed to make over a half a billion dollars worldwide, and with its tie-in toys there’s no way that wasn’t a huge win for the studio. But with this summer, audiences have not been as charitable to films like that, and so it’s possible that the mixed word coming about their latest will hurt some. But not that much, not so much that the film’s going to flop. Still it’s going to open to less than Cars 2, and it’s hard to say how long it will play. There’s an Ice Age sequel 7/13, and it should be done by then. It feels like Pixar is no longer the wonder-house it was when it was putting out films like Up, and it’s hard to get excited about Monsters University.

But this weekend, let’s say this:

  1. Brave – $60 Million
  2. Madagascar 3 – $19 Million
  3. Abraham Lincoln – $18 Million
  4. Prometheus – $8.5 Million
  5. Snow White and the Huntsman – $7.3 Million

Last weekend’s openers are likely to take a hard tumble, and I would peg both to do under $50 Million if they can’t manage a 30% drop or less, but that seems unlikely and near impossible.

What are you going to see this weekend?