June 2007 Forecast
By Marty Doskins
June 1, 2007
Not only is June heating up outdoors, but indoors at the movies as well. May kicked off the summer season with three big blockbusters and June is going to keep that going with a bunch more. We've got a good variety of genres represented for viewers of all ages and tastes.
Let's move on to my top ten for June 2007.
1. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
This film should be at the top of the list this month. However, it's not that far ahead of its competition. We should always have people interested in comic books made into movies. However, if the studios aren't able to be creative and fresh about it, we could start seeing a decline in those opening weekend box office numbers as well as less staying power. For example, Spider-Man 3 did open to record numbers, but dropped off dramatically as indifferent word-of-mouth spread. There were also some analysts that were disappointed with the numbers from Ghost Rider and Hulk. I think the focus on the Silver Surfer, rather than the Fantastic Four themselves, will help this one a bit and keep it at the top of the heap.
Pixar's latest adventure should have an easy time making some big bucks during opening weekend. It should also have "legs" for quite a while during the summer. People have come to expect quality and enjoyable films from Pixar and they have no difficulty being persuaded to go see their next movie release. Pixar is also excellent at marketing their films. We have seen previews of Ratatouille for over a year with little clips here and there as the studio's staff completed and polished them. They have kept interest high and they are getting it to peak at just the right time for release.
3. Evan Almighty
A hit film's sequel without the original's big star? Usually you see the main star at least show up in the first sequel of a film (before they start hitting the "direct to DVD" market). However, Jim Carrey's not in this film, being replaced by The Office's Steve Carell. The early buzz surrounding this movie is that it's a good change. Carell has built up a solid following of fans from TV and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. He's also gaining popularity in the mainstream as well. I think all of this early talk will carry this film well up the charts.
4. Live Free or Die Hard
Twelve years later and Officer John McLane is still out there kicking bad guy butt. At 50+ years of age, Bruce Willis still has the power to pull off an action film. He has starred in such a wide variety of movies, usually playing the tough guy. But he has also not let himself get typecast in that role either. He's also done comedies, war, science fiction, and voice work for animated films. He has made himself into a worldwide superstar and people are just drawn to him. "Yippee ki-yay..." well, you know the rest.
5. Ocean's Thirteen
What a cast! As in the first two adventures of Danny Ocean and his gang, the list of stars for this film is incredible. George Clooney, Ellen Barkin, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Al Pacino, Carl Reiner, and Elliott Gould – these are just the biggest of the big. And there are many more in this cast list that reads like a Who's Who of Hollywood. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the previous two films were big hits, with both making well over $100 million in North America. It's not hard to predict another repeat performance for this movie.
6. Knocked Up
Knocked Up is kind of a romantic comedy directed by Judd Apatow, creator of the critically acclaimed Freaks and Geeks. He also has some solid credits with his writing/directing The 40-Year-Old Virgin and scriptingFun with Dick and Jane. All have been pretty popular with moviegoers as well as critics. Apatow's creative juices touch many parts of this film and it really shows. He knows how to get the most out of his cast and make a good film.
7. Surf's Up
March of the Penguins and Happy Feet introduced us to the world of penguins, but now we find out what they are really like when we're not looking. While those two films were enjoyable, I think they went the right direction with this one making it more laugh out loud funny like we have come to expect in animated films. I think that will set it apart and not have people saying that it's "just another penguin film".
8. Mr. Brooks
Not having Kevin Costner try to carry a film is probably going to be a good move. While Costner does play the title role, having a strong supporting cast including Demi Moore, William Hurt, and Dane Cook will help a lot. Moore has been doing a lot of promotion for the film, almost making it look like she's the main character in the movie and I don't think that it's by accident that we're seeing that. Many people have developed a negative feeling toward Costner and I think the studio is smart to take the focus off of him.
9. Hostel: Part II
Summer and scary movie sequels go together like Mom and apple pie. The first film quietly made almost $50 million in North America. It also did well in the home video market. This almost cult following will create a good solid base for this film to build on. While I don't expect it to break any records, it should see decent numbers at least equal to the first movie.
So many of Stephen King's works have been adapted for either TV or the silver screen. While the quality of the original writing is not usually questioned, the teleplays and screenplays have sometimes been lacking when it's been translated into a new writer's words. It's been really hard to judge whether or not a Stephen King adaptation will be successful or not. There is always a lot of hope - "OOOOOOO, Stephen King." But until people actually see it, you just never know. P.S. If this film totally bombs, pretend like there's a write-up for Nancy Drew here.