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May 18, 2007

The 1st Annual Summer Movie Preview

(Editor's note: I give up on formatting this for now. I will fix it later, but it's frustrating the hell out of me trying to make this look just right. I apologize for the sloppiness of it.)

Well, this has been over hyped, that's for sure (though I may be the only person noticing this phenomenon).

Anyway, I wanted to get my box office predictions down before the summer started so that I could come back to them in August or so and see how I had done (note: I am bad at this, as evidenced by prior posts in this space; for good predictions, please visit http://www.boxofficereport.com/).

As a self-professed movie geek, I have subscribed to Premiere magazine for many years now. Each year for summer, they publish an issue in which they give recaps and predictions for the top 20 films, with a look at some other films to keep an eye out for as well. This is basically the same concept - it ain't rocket science, after all. First up, the predictions (which, thanks to my awesome job on Spider-Man 3 are guaranteed to be wrong. Nonetheless, I'm sticking to my guns and still putting it where I originally said it would be. You never know...):

1. Shrek the Third
This film is virtually guaranteed to disappoint everyone who sees it (a la Spider-Man 3), but it's also destined to become a smash. It's also one of a few big-name kids movies coming out (some others being Ratatouille and Surf's Up) this summer, and it's the first released. From the previews, it looks like more of the same here, though some "dronkeys" (Donkey's kids with the dragon chica) are thrown into the mix.. Add some fart jokes, some zany pop-culture references, and blend.

Prediction: $280 million

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Midget Daniel Radcliffe and the rest of the gang are back in this fifth episode of the Potter saga. Expect it to keep getting darker, with more appearances by Lord Rhinoplasty and more fights between the Gryffindors and Snapes, or something like that. Somehow this series has avoided much of a letdown from one movie to the next (though the third, Prisoner of Azkaban, is the best of the bunch), so I expect this film to be no exception, despite its whodat director (David Yates).

Prediction: $270 million
3. Spider-Man 3
This ground has already been covered. A major letdown, yet the masses (myself included) have already proven my prediction wrong. Oh well.

Prediction: $240 million

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Fun fact time: the first Pirates film clocked in at 143 minutes. Long, but understood, considering the amount of story told and all of the characters set up. The second film clocked in at 150 minutes, though it felt like it was about 6 hours too long and desperately needed an editor. But it ended on a cliffhanger, so people must be sucked in to the third, right? Well, this one comes in at a whopping 167 minutes - 17 minutes longer than the bloated second. 3 hours for a movie based on a thrill ride? I'll pass.

Prediction: $195 million

5. Transformers
I'm like a see-saw here. I'm putting this movie this high in spite of my instincts, and based solely on the hype and winning combination of Bay and Bruckheimer. For some reason, people are still drawn to them like moths to a flame. Meanwhile, this film has been made for 15-year old boys who probably have no idea what the difference is between Optimus Prime and Prime Rib. Then again, Shia LaBeouf is starring, and he's a hit with the kids. So who knows?

Prediction: $180 million

6. Surf's Up
Continuing the LaBeouf trend, here's his contribution to the animated kids movie genre. In what must (hopefully) become the last piece of animated penguins for some time, Shia voices a surfing penguin who must overcome a much bigger rival and...yada yada yada. As if the story matters - the kids will drag their parents kicking and screaming to this one.

Prediction: $170 million

7. Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer
While it's pretty well accepted that the first one was a bad film filled with bad acting and little to no story, it still made a boatload of money - enough to warrant this sequel. If you listen to the talk from the film's stars, they pretty much admit to the badness of the first and claim they were "chained to the constraints of an origin tale." Normally, the origin tales are the best in the series (Batman, Spider-Man, etc.), but I'm willing to cut them some slack. Heck, it can't get worse, can it? (And the effects do look pretty cool.)

Prediction: $165 million

8. The Bourne Ultimatum
Against all odds, I'm betting that this, too, will be a solid action flick. Despite having the slightest of plots for one movie, much less three, the Bourne series rolls on, with director Paul Greengrass (United 93) back again at the helm. For this installment, Matt Damon's Jason Bourne ventures back to the States to finally shut down the secret governmental agency that set him up in the first. Meanwhile, the series continues its tradition (and probably secret to its success) of featuring strong character actors onboard to complement Damon, including Chris Cooper, Brian Cox, Joan Allen, and David Straithairn.

Prediction: $160 million

9. Knocked Up
I wouldn't be at all surprised to see one climb higher up the list. Seth Rogen, the best part of The 40-Year Old Virgin, gets his own feature here, starring alongside Katherine Heigl as unprepared parents-to-be. Brought to you by the makers of Virgin - expect a hit.

$150 million

10. Evan Almighty
Finally - the last sequel in the top 10. If you're keeping score at home, that's four "Part Threes," two "Part Twos," and a "Part Five," and that's not even counting Ocean's Thirteen, Hostel II, or Live Free or Die Hard (or any other sequels I may be missing). Hollywood ran out of ideas 10 years ago - at this point, it's just ridiculous. Everything can and will have a sequel if it is even remotely successful. Expect The 42-Year Old Virgin to hit theaters next year...

Prediction: $140 million

Other films to keep an eye out for:

* Sicko, the latest doc (tackling the medical industry) from Michael Moore.

* The Simpsons Movie, now with more Wiggum than ever before!

* 1408, a hit-or-miss horror/thriller featuring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. Based on a story by Stephen King.

* Hot Rod, the first feature starring SNL hit Andy Samberg. He plays an accident-prone daredevil - physical comedy fans should be lining up right now.

That does it - I'm spent.

5 people have chosen wisely: on "The 1st Annual Summer Movie Preview"

bee said...

Your formatting looks much better than it did earlier today :)

Fletch said...

Ugh - for some reason, it's a nightmare. It'd be easier if I'd just written the whole thing in HTML.

Thanks. :)

Gaylord said...

Lot of hype around the movies this summer, should be a lot of records broken, I think your estimates are looking especially after Spiderman 3

Fletch said...

I think your estimates are looking especially after Spiderman 3

The suspense is killing me - my estimates are looking especially...happy? Blue? Seven?

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