June 2007 Forecast
By David Mumpower
June 1, 2007
5) Evan Almighty
Proving the cliché once and for all, Universal Pictures has discovered that it is better to be lucky than good. They did a one-off comedy named Bruce Almighty that did okay. By okay, I mean that when it finally exited theaters, it had become the highest grossing live-action comedy of all time, earning $242.6 million in North America, roughly $460 million worldwide. The problem was that star Jim Carrey had no interest in filming a sequel. Sure, the studio could have re-cast the role with someone else in Carrey's place but given the performances of Son of the Mask and Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, this was not a desired scenario. So, a Bruce Almighty sequel seemed to be impossible. Then, something strange happened. A 44-year-old actor who had a small but amusing part in the first film suddenly shocked the world when he became the lead actor in a $100 million movie, The 40 Year-Old-Virgin. Suddenly, script possibilities were endless and here we are today. Steve Carell might not be Jim Carrey, but he is the star of a successful NBC sitcom as well as comedian with street cred due to his time on The Daily Show.
6) Knocked Up
In a summer full of blockbuster hits – and I mean real blockbusters, not League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-level stuff – BOP named Knocked Up as our most anticipated movie of the season. That says a lot about how confident we are that this will be 2007's answer to The 40 Year-Old Virgin. The problem is that Knocked Up is not tracking as well as I had hoped, making an opening weekend in excess of $25 million unlikely. I guess that's to be expected. After all, the one-sheet celebrates the goofy anonymity of the male lead. Over time, I suspect it demonstrates sensational legs, particularly given the critical reception thus far. These critics are a group that do not like sex comedies as a rule, yet Knocked Up is 90% positive at Rotten Tomatoes as I type this. It might not always start well but I expect it to finish brilliantly...much like sex, in fact.
7) Surf's Up
Memo to Hollywood: enough with the damn penguin movies. While we're at it, enough with the damn CGI-animation movies. There used to be six or seven animated movies a year, and we liked it. These days, there are 15 or so each year, and the overwhelming majority of them are shamelessly derivative. Sony shows up with this, the third CGI outing involving penguins, and I find myself wondering who at their studio thought, "Let's just copy Madagascar and Happy Feet" as if it would somehow set them apart from the competition. This is a generic, tardy outing that is shamelessly unoriginal and I expect it will be remembered as such after the fact.