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Inside Move: Crystal ball looks cloudy

Summer picks tough to predict

The future of the movie biz is famously tough to predict, but that doesn’t keep a seance full of seers from forecasting which pics will hit and which will flop. Consumer magazines have a lot of crystal balls, and Premiere often guesses at the exact domestic cume for each film.

With summer officially in the record books, and most releases all but played out, it turns out that that this year, Premiere’s “ultimate summer preview” missed several big calls.

Like most media outlets, it chose “Pearl Harbor” as the No. 1 title, estimating a final tally of $215 million, about $18 million too high. The true No. 1, “Shrek,” ranked No. 4 in the magazine, with an estimate of $170 million. Its actual cume: $264 million. Also like many, Premiere missed the twin top-10 shockers “The Fast and the Furious” and “The Princess Diaries.”

The magazine’s worst goofs were “A.I. Artificial Intelligence,” which was seen as No. 2 with $195 million. Actual cume: $78.5 million and out of the top 10.

Another gaffe was “A Knight’s Tale,” which Premiere believed was a $130 million No. 9. The actual number was less than half of that ($56 million).

In an apparently unrelated move, Premiere last week replaced editor-in-chief Michael Solomon with Peter Herbst, who will continue his role as associate editorial director of Premiere parent Hachette Filipacchi.

No word yet on whether Herbst belongs to the Psychic Friends Network.

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