August 2007 Forecast
By Marty Doskins
August 3, 2007
This month's movie race is a lot like the Tour de France, but hopefully without the doping scandal. There are a couple of big racers out in front with the pack following behind.
Let's take a look at the top 10 for August 2007.
1. The Bourne Ultimatum
The first two films in this series were very successful at the box office ($122 million and $176 million, respectively). It may be difficult for this film to pass up the numbers for the second film, but early buzz about The Bourne Ultimatum has been positive. Matt Damon is a very competent actor and people are drawn to his likeable personality. He's also never been one to take himself too seriously as has been seen in his numerous TV appearances. It looks like the film is again action-packed and the marketing arm of the studio is really playing that up. I think we'll see an eventual number somewhere between the first two films.
2. Rush Hour 3
In this summer of "threes" (Spider-Man, Pirates, Shrek, Ocean's, and Bourne), we have another entry. While this is the lesser of these "threes", it should still do well. It has been six years since the last installment so it could suffer from the public's unfamiliarity with the franchise. But Jackie Chan is a well-known figure so I think that'll help. There has been some press around this release, but it could've used a bit more help to push the numbers higher.
THE REST OF THE PACK
The previews for this film have been pretty funny. Seth Rogen has written the screenplay for this film and he is already becoming well known in Hollywood circles, both acting and writing. The people that liked Accepted and Knocked Up, which seems to be quite a few people based on box office results, should flock to this one. Summer is the time to relax and enjoy a goofy high school-age movie. And this one definitely fits the bill. I think the studios have been very careful about including enough funny clips to grab peoples' attention, but not to go too overboard to make the movie look too stupid.
This adaptation of a Neil Gaiman graphic novel is probably not that well known outside of the comic book circles. You are definitely going to catch that audience just by saying it from Gaiman. So that leaves the public with the commercials and previews that they are given. I think the studio has also been successful at this. The insight the studio has given us has captured the public's interest and if they continue with it, the movie should do decently. It is competing against Rush Hour 3 and Daddy Day Camp as the new films, but I think it will do okay just based on the "look" of the film.
Rob Zombie has developed quite a following with his horror work - House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. He takes his shot at the Halloween franchise. He's put together quite a cast that horror fans will recognize, as well as regular all-around actors. But the main point is Zombie at the helm. He has proven himself to be a very proficient director and people like his work. I don't know if we'll ever see a number one or two film from him, but I think we'll see a decent outing this time mostly because of the Halloween name.
6. The Invasion
Here's yet another remake of the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Will Nicole Kidman be able to save this film from total obscurity? The studio's hoping so, but I think we'll see a fast drop-off after the first week of release. The editing of the commercials is very quick and intense, but it's not going to help when word-of-mouth gets out. People will inevitably make the comparison to the 1956 classic and once again the film will not stand up to that scrutiny. That is probably one of the hardest things about remakes – comparison to the original. In many cases, I'm sure the remake would've been judged decently, but those are always big shoes to fill.
I might be biased since I liked watching the original cartoon when I was growing up, but I really don't think this one looks that good. With that being said, a funny talking animal film in the summer usually does decent business. Families like to take advantage of these releases while they can and I think it'll do okay. Not great, but okay.
8. Hot Rod
Apparently, this movie was originally written as a leading role for Will Ferrell, but for whatever reason was given to up-and-comer and SNL cast member Andy Samberg. Now, while I think Samberg is a pretty funny guy, I'm not sure that the public is ready for him yet. Usually there has to be some time period of build-up in a person's star power. Maybe a few more years under his belt on SNL or some lesser film roles. I think if you had Ferrell as the star with the same silly-looking previews, this film would probably be number three. But we'll keep it toward the bottom for the time being.
9. Daddy Day Camp
Starring Eddie Murphy! (No?) Co-starring Jeff Garlin and Steve Zahn! (No?)
Starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. (I guess that's OK) Co-starring Paul Rae (Who?)
This doesn't look good.
I really think this one would've been higher but reports are that with the busy summer season, this one's going to lose out on the battle for screens. These dolls are extremely popular and all of those little girls are just dying to see this one. I think it probably would've landed at somewhere in the middle of the pack, but there just aren't enough screens to go around.