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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Boston, MA

    Summer Movie Preview

    Jason - your comment about "is summer here yet" on the Forgetting Sarah Marshall page made me realize that the summer movie season is really just around the corner. As such - time for my annual thoughts on the summer season.

    Last year we had the top 5 prediction for what movies would do the best. Also, it was blockbuster city, and the year of the threequals with Spidey, Pirates, Shrek and Bourne.

    This summer....well, on the surface it really looks brutal. The pickings are really slim, with what I think will be several massive duds (starting with Ironman and Speed Racer), especially when you consider what they cost, and what the industry hopes they will do. Throw in the unbelievable high cost of gas and food, and I think this summer when all is said and done there will be a ton of articles along the lines of "What Went Wrong," or "Has the Movie Industry Lost its Mojo," etc, etc. Also, I think we'll see a continuation of last year where you had big openings followed by steep dropoffs, thanks to one big release per week, for a while.

    But as for the weekend and the movies. Let's start in May.

    May 2nd - Ironman. Call me crazy, but I just don't get the forced hype. I never liked this comic book, it doesn't seem like much (Ultraman was better), and Robert Downey Jr just doesn't bring it for me. This will have a big opening weekend, but not as big as expected, and in the end will fail to break $150M, which will be seen as a failure.

    May 9th - Speed Racer. Another one I just don't get. Who is the audience here? The only ones who really remember this show are now in our 40's (or darn close), and honestly, I'm just not that pumped to see it. This will do even worse than Ironman.

    What Happens in Vegas. The first romantic comedy, and one that I don't think will do all that great. Less than $60M when all is said and done.

    May 16th - Narnia. The first true blockbuster. It will also steal all of Speed Racer's carry over money, and anything left from Iron Man. The previews look good, though the movie looks much darker than the first - not sure I can take my 5 year old to this one. Still, it will break $200M and be a top 5 overall earner.

    May 22nd - Indiana Jones. Nuff said. Will be huge. Can't wait to see it. Will finish #1 for the summer, topping $300M.

    May 30th - Sex and the City. The bummer thing about this movie is that after it bombs, it will likely seal the deal that The Sopranos is never made into a movie. Sorry, but I never got Sex in the City as a show, and even at its top there simply weren't that many people waiting to see it. It will be lucky to break $50M overall.

    June 6th - Kung Fu Panda. This is my sleeper movie. I think it will do better than Wall E, and should be a top 5 grosser at the end. My kids have loved the previews.

    June 13th - The Hulk. Damn! The first one was so disappointing, and I was so pumped that they were going to make it again, this time doing it right. They got a great lead. I was really excited...then I made the mistake of watching the preview (something I normally don't do, but am glad I did). It looks....awful. This one will disappoint big time with a HUGE fall off after the first week. It will be lucky to break $130M. It's too bad, because this could be a great movie - they just don't seem to know how to get it right.

    The Happening - I must admit, this one has me really interested. M Night Shamalan is a good director, and yes he's lost it a bit...but he's due for a good movie. I will definitely go see it, expecting some huge gotcha moment at the end.

    June 20 - Get Smart. Will either be great or a disaster. I think Carrell should carry this...but if it bombs, he's in big trouble with two bad big summer movies in a row. My prediction - it does fine with around $140M total.

    The Love Guru - looks really painfully bad. Mike Myers - please bring back Wayne's World (which is what this tries to be, I guess). At the very least The Love Guru seems like a character in Wayne's World.

    June 27 - Wall E. Jason - last summer I said Ratatouille would be a disappointment, and it was - though personally, I really enjoyed it (much more than I thought), and it did barely break $200M, keeping Pixar's streak alive. This movie will break that streak. The previews just don't seem that great, and I don't see enough characters to move it along. My kids haven't loved the previews. The whispering will start with this movie...and won't be answered until Toy Story 3 comes out next summer.

    July 2nd - Hancock. Will Smith returns to the 4th of July with a story that seems familiar (superhero trying to get back his good name). I honestly haven't heard much about this...but I'm not betting against Will. He also has no real competition until July 18th. Put it in the top 5 overall grossers.

    July 11th - Meet Dave. Eddie Murphy bombs again.

    Hellboy 2 - there was a Hellboy 1? I guess people will see this...but I won't be one of them

    July 18th - The Dark Knight. The movie I'm most looking forward to. Really liked the first one, and it looks like they really made The Joker a terrifying person (something I always found him to be in the comic books). Heath's untimely death aside - this movie should do huge with teenage boys and has no competition for two weeks.

    Mama Mia - like the music, liked the musical...will be interesting to see if this is like Hairspray, or like Rent. I think it does break $100M or gets really close.

    July 25th - Step Brothers. Will Farrell is like Survivor and American Idol. He needs to take 2-3 years off so people can remember why they used to really like him. This will do fine, but won't be a huge money make when all is said and done.

    The X-Files. Should have come out 5 years ago. Not sure who really wants to see it anymore, or who will even remember what happened. Throw in in-fighting, and I smell another dog.

    Aug 1 - The Mummy. This may be the first August I can remember with a number of blockbuster movies coming out. They typically do poorer this time of year due to summer vacations, but the Bourne Ultimatum sort of turned that around last year. I liked the other Mummy movies, and they all did well, but this one also waited too long. If it is good, it could become a top 5 grosser, but I see it coming in around $130M or so.

    Swing Vote - could be a sleeper. Cute concept, and Kevin Costner plays good average joe characters (see Tin Cup).

    Aug 8th - Pinneaple Express. The preview on a DVD we borrowed was almost unwatchable...but Seth is on fire right now. Not sure what will happen here. If the movie is anything like the preview it will get bad reviews and not do well. If it is a funny as it could be, then it could be the sleeper comedy. I'll go with a split and around $85M total.

    Aug 15th - Tropic Thunder. It's too bad this is coming out so late...because I think it will be extremely funny, and could have done amazingly well with an early June release date. As it is...it's too close to the return of school, and thus won't have much staying power. But this is one of the top 5 I'm most looking forward to see.

    As for my vote of top 5 earners. They would be:

    1) Indiana Jones
    2) Narnia
    3) Batman
    4) Kung Fu Panda
    5) Hancock

    my sleepers to crack the Top 5 would be The Mummy and Get Smart.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of sports teams that disappoint in the playoffs
    A few notables that you left out--

    June 6th - You Don't Mess With The Zohan. This is Adam Sandler's summer flick and I think the trailer looks pretty funny (though, like all Sandler comedies, it is long on the silly/stupid comedy). Still, I won't be shocked if this is a bit of a hit.

    June 27- Wanted starring Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, and James McAvoy. I am unsure about this sci-fi assassin story but it could be cool. The trailer looks fairly good but I am really not sold on Angelina as a big action star. Don't most of her movies tend to disappoint? Even Mr. & Mrs. Smith was just so-so. Still, if McAvoy can bring in the teen hearthrob crowd and the action in this film brings in the teenaged guys, this could be a serious hit.

    July 11- Journey to the Center of the Earth (3D). Brendan Fraser is the star but there have been very few real hits in 3D. I think this one does poorly.

    July 18- Space Chimps. After a slew of animated films last couple summers, this summer all we get are Wall E, Kung Fu Panda and... Space Chimps? The trailer looks bad and seems to be appealing to the under-6 crowd. Gaaack!

    August 8th- Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2. Didn't see the first. Won't see the second. Still, there is an audience for this flick.

    August 15th- The International. Stars Noami Watts and Clive Owen in an espionage thriller. I am somewhat eager for this because it is from the director of the wonderful Run, Lola, Run. Still, no way it is a big hit being released this late in the season.

    That's about it. You covered the vast majority of the notable films.

    As for your comments, naturally I disagree with some of your assessments but am too busy tonight to get to my comments. Soon... I promise.

    --Jason "am I wrong or did we have a friendly wager on Rat making $200 million? It was close but I was right" Evans

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by Udaman View Post
    May 2nd - Ironman. Call me crazy, but I just don't get the forced hype. I never liked this comic book, it doesn't seem like much (Ultraman was better), and Robert Downey Jr just doesn't bring it for me. This will have a big opening weekend, but not as big as expected, and in the end will fail to break $150M, which will be seen as a failure.

    May 9th - Speed Racer. Another one I just don't get. Who is the audience here? The only ones who really remember this show are now in our 40's (or darn close), and honestly, I'm just not that pumped to see it. This will do even worse than Ironman.

    What Happens in Vegas. The first romantic comedy, and one that I don't think will do all that great. Less than $60M when all is said and done.

    May 16th - Narnia. The first true blockbuster. It will also steal all of Speed Racer's carry over money, and anything left from Iron Man. The previews look good, though the movie looks much darker than the first - not sure I can take my 5 year old to this one. Still, it will break $200M and be a top 5 overall earner.

    May 22nd - Indiana Jones. Nuff said. Will be huge. Can't wait to see it. Will finish #1 for the summer, topping $300M.

    May 30th - Sex and the City. The bummer thing about this movie is that after it bombs, it will likely seal the deal that The Sopranos is never made into a movie. Sorry, but I never got Sex in the City as a show, and even at its top there simply weren't that many people waiting to see it. It will be lucky to break $50M overall.

    June 6th - Kung Fu Panda. This is my sleeper movie. I think it will do better than Wall E, and should be a top 5 grosser at the end. My kids have loved the previews.

    June 13th - The Hulk. Damn! The first one was so disappointing, and I was so pumped that they were going to make it again, this time doing it right. They got a great lead. I was really excited...then I made the mistake of watching the preview (something I normally don't do, but am glad I did). It looks....awful. This one will disappoint big time with a HUGE fall off after the first week. It will be lucky to break $130M. It's too bad, because this could be a great movie - they just don't seem to know how to get it right.

    The Happening - I must admit, this one has me really interested. M Night Shamalan is a good director, and yes he's lost it a bit...but he's due for a good movie. I will definitely go see it, expecting some huge gotcha moment at the end.

    June 20 - Get Smart. Will either be great or a disaster. I think Carrell should carry this...but if it bombs, he's in big trouble with two bad big summer movies in a row. My prediction - it does fine with around $140M total.

    The Love Guru - looks really painfully bad. Mike Myers - please bring back Wayne's World (which is what this tries to be, I guess). At the very least The Love Guru seems like a character in Wayne's World.

    June 27 - Wall E. Jason - last summer I said Ratatouille would be a disappointment, and it was - though personally, I really enjoyed it (much more than I thought), and it did barely break $200M, keeping Pixar's streak alive. This movie will break that streak. The previews just don't seem that great, and I don't see enough characters to move it along. My kids haven't loved the previews. The whispering will start with this movie...and won't be answered until Toy Story 3 comes out next summer.
    Just to keep the quote/reply from getting too long, I cut off my response at the end of June. I'll throw in a response to Wanted as well mainly because I've been interested in it since the Superbowl ad.

    Ironman - I disagree with you since the buzz from a couple friends at Marvel is that the movie is good. The name is well-known enough and the trailer is good enough that the movie will do fairly well. The fun element with its opening is that GTA4 comes out the Tuesday before and people are curious as to the impact of that. But, as has been mentioned previously, there hasn't been much decent out so far this spring so this will bring them in.

    Speed Racer - I also don't get this and have no interest in seeing it either. I'm with you in assuming that it underperforms.

    What Happens in Vegas - The tracking numbers have been really solid and the movie is going to make money. That doesn't mean that it will top the box office, but it'll do well enough, especially compared to its budget/P&A.

    Narnia - Different demo than Ironman, but should do very well. Between the brand and the Christian support, the money will roll in. I'm personally not interested.

    Indiana Jones - Probably will be big, although I don't know that it'll be $300MM big. I haven't heard enough about whether it's any good.

    Sex and The City - Couldn't really care less, although I think your estimate is slightly low.

    Kung Fu Panda - Haven't heard good things about it, but once again I haven't paid much attention to it.

    Wanted - I think it will do well, given the cast and the trailer. I haven't heard anything else about it, though. It should break $100MM.

    The Hulk - Marvel's hoping that Ironman brings in the big bucks...

    The Happening - I think that it underperforms. M. Night has been struggling recently (Lady in the Water, anyone?) and from what I've seen of this one it's not the movie that will resuscitate him. Personally, hope I'm wrong on this one.

    Get Smart - That's an aggressive estimate for this movie. Carrell wasn't able to carry a movie last summer, and although I'm a huge Get Smart fan, unless the movie is great the audience won't just show up.

    Love Guru - Looks horrendous. Really really horrendous.

    Wall-E - I don't think that it will break the Pixar streak, especially with the lack of decent animated product this summer. It should break $200MM.


    Just my quick thoughts on the first half of the summer. I haven't paid as much attention this summer so far, however.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Seoul, Korea
    I agree with the top 3, those seem like the pretty sure bets for the summer, but the rest of it is pretty blah. You have to figure one animated flick will be top 5, but none of them really seem to generate any excitement. It seems like Wanted should end up in the top 5 IMO, but it has bit of boom bust potential(as in, it could finish in the top 3, but could also barely break $100 mil... I think Ironman is the same way)

    But it really does seem like a pretty disappointing crop of movies. Some nice ones, but really almost nothing that I'm thinking, oh yeah, I have got to see that one as soon as I can.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Clipsfan View Post
    Ironman - I disagree with you since the buzz from a couple friends at Marvel is that the movie is good. The name is well-known enough and the trailer is good enough that the movie will do fairly well. The fun element with its opening is that GTA4 comes out the Tuesday before and people are curious as to the impact of that. But, as has been mentioned previously, there hasn't been much decent out so far this spring so this will bring them in.
    I agree completely. The trailer looks awesome, and RDjr is the perfect casting. I think it will do really well (though I agree with you that GTA4 may have an impact, it certainly will be hard for me to get away from the game to see the movie).

    Zohan -- Looks simply atrocious. Adam Sandler might be Satan.

    Love Guru -- Never mind, it's Myers. BTW, Love Guru seems more like a rehash of Austin Powers than Wayne's World.

    Indy -- Am I the only one who thought the trailer sucked? Harrison just looks _old_.

    Wanted -- Trailer looks horrible to me.

    Get Smart -- I've never seen the show and don't know much about it. The trailer looks pretty good, but I'll definitely wait to see the RT score before making time for it.

    Hulk -- After some early negative buzz, it sounds like this may not be the cursed project I feared. Hopefully they'll do Hulk right, and in a nice nod to comic book conventions there is a cameo by Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark. Supposedly there's a Hulk cameo in Iron Man as well. Very cool

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Durham, NC
    The summer crop does look fairly light, but I am going to go against the general agreement here and say that I think that Speed Racer is going to do well. Something about it makes me think that it will pull in the kids - maybe because it looks like a video game.

    Is Harold and Kumar too early to count? I have hopes for it, but honestly don't expect it to be a box office smash.
    Now I'm 33, my back hurts, and I just don't care who does what in Cameron. - Throatybeard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Thanks for catching the one's I missed.

    The Adam Sandler movie looks really weak to me as well (though Apatow helped write this....and he's been a sure thing recently).

    Wanted will be a bust. You are dead on with Jolie - there's been just one movie I've seen her in that I really liked, and it was Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and honestly Pitt carried that movie (as he seems to do).

    (and yes, I meant to say that Guru reminded me of Austin Powers).

    Jason - we did have a friendly wager about Rat....you won by the skin of your teeth. Actually it ended up with $206M thanks to coming out last and having no real kid competition for the last 8 weeks of summer. Next time I see you at a Duke event (or if you end up in Boston some time), first beer on me. Also, it is amazing to me that Alvin and the Chipmonks has pulled in over $217M thus far. Wow.

    Wall E will not break $200M, I believe.

  8. #8
    Well, if its from Universal it must be a good film!

    (Hides his GE hat...we need a break or two.)

    Where'd all the Kleenex go?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Quote Originally Posted by Exiled_Devil View Post
    Is Harold and Kumar too early to count? I have hopes for it, but honestly don't expect it to be a box office smash.
    The beginning of the summer season has moved earlier each of the past few years due to huge blockbusters coming out earlier and earlier, but there is no way that April counts. However, I do have hopes for Harold and Kumar as people have said that it's good. I'll catch it this weekend.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by YmoBeThere View Post
    Well, if its from Universal it must be a good film!

    (Hides his GE hat...we need a break or two.)
    On the plus side, it's been a banner year for Sheinhart Wigs.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA

    Poll

    Going to do a poll for what the top 5 movies will be....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    The next movie I'm looking forward is a small movie at least in the US, Son of Rambow. Maybe it's because my sister-in-law is British or maybe I'm not in the mood for a blockbuster. It just looks like fun to me. It opens May 2 in the US on not very many screens. I hope it makes it to my town.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    The Triangle
    Is Ironman poised for the top five for it seems to have buzz and stayning power. Indiana Jones, Dark Knight, Narnia, add a kid movie and that's my top five for this season. Had the top five tight last year, no order though

    Hancock at sixth for me. Will is hard to bet against though. No way Speed Racer is in my top five. Hulk will be solid top ten. I can see Get Smart doing well and making my list. Add another kid movie (need help from Jason). The Mummy cracks my top ten. The Happening os a sleeper. X-Files will have a huge opening, but will drop hard after that.

    The International could be that adult movie that does well, but no top ten. There has to be a sleeper out there somewhere.

    Let the movies begin.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    I really like Will Smith, but this movie sounds...definitely different:
    "As of mid-April, however, it had been twice to the ratings board and tagged each time with an R, not acceptable for a movie that must ultimately be rated PG-13 to reach its intended broad audience.“We had statutory rape up until three weeks ago,” Mr. Berg said, describing just one of the elements that has turned “Hancock” into an exercise in brinkmanship. "

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/04/mo...al&oref=slogin

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Duvall View Post
    On the plus side, it's been a banner year for Sheinhart Wigs.
    Well played, sir. Well played.



    Udaman - you may need to retract your assessment of Iron Man. I think you will be off on Speedracer as well.
    Now I'm 33, my back hurts, and I just don't care who does what in Cameron. - Throatybeard

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Boston, MA

    One for Two

    So, I missed Iron Man (and big time)...but was dead on with Speed Racer.

    I'm actually one of the few people who saw it this weekend. Took my three kids. My four year old said it was "awesome," but my 7 and 9 year old where mostly indifferent.

    As for me - uggh. The acting was stiff and forced. The scenes were lame. The story - inane and non-compelling. The color was right out of Dick Tracy. Basically, it was awful. I can't believe that Sarandon and Ricci were a part of this.

    I will say one thing - this movie definitely set the record for most shots of spectators screaming in the audience while watching the action.

    This one will be fortunate to break $50M when all is said and done. A total bomb.

    Now it's off to Narnia and Indy - both of which I am excited about. I still feel that Narnia will be a bit of a letdown when compared to the first (at least box office wise), as it will lose some of the younger crowd (i.e. I don't think I'll let my 4 year old see this). But the "religious" crowd will certainly drive up the numbers.

    My new adjusted top 5 are: Indy, Iron Man, Narnia, Batman and the winne of Kung Fu Panda and Wall E (with Panda as my choice)

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