August 2007 Forecast
By David Mumpower
August 3, 2007
I am one of six people in the world who really, really liked The One, the last film starring Jason Statham and Jet Li. So, you should probably keep that in mind going in. What is important here is the box office track record of Jet Li, which is an opening weekend in the teens and final domestic receipts between $25 and $55 million. This has been the case for every title in which he has starred since 2000, and I see no reason to expect a large variance from this behavior. More than anything else, what I expect is for me to like this one more than anyone else. I am deeply impressed by the roles Li has chosen in maintaining his career as the most enigmatic action star in the world.
Look at the box office of George of the Jungle and Inspector Gadget before you say anything here. Disney knows their target audience all too well. Underdog is what it is, a calculated attempt to make money off of a talking dog. It will work some, but it won't be a blockbuster by any stretch.
9) Balls of Fury
I don't say this often, but I don't even know who the star of this movie is. Dan Fogler has been in exactly two movies I know (Good Luck Chuck and School for Scoundrels) and I haven't seen the one of those that has been released. What's odd is the fact that in spite of this, the movie strikes me as potentially great. Very funny people including Thomas Lennon (The State and Reno! 911), Terry Crews (the father on Everybody Hates Chris), Aisha Tyler (former host of Talk Soup), and Diedrich Bader (Office Space and The Drew Carey Show) all compliment the unknown lead actor here. Also, Maggie Q is on-board as the love interest and that news alone would make me likely to see this project. Of course, I am not projecting the success of Balls of Fury based upon my desire to see it. Instead, it's the shocking quality of the trailer that has me impressed. Everyone recognizes what a stupid concept this is for a movie yet we can't stop ourselves from laughing anyway. Sure, "What part of sudden death didn't you understand?" is a cheap joke, but it really works here. Balls of Fury may turn out to be another disappointing comedy wherein all of the big laughs are in the trailer, but it clearly seems to have struck a chord with its target audience.
10) Becoming Jane
There are approximately 73 wide releases in August, so picking the tenth spot is akin to throwing darts at the potential film titles. I've selected Becoming Jane despite the fact that reviews for it are not as glowing as I had expected. Given that it needs this sort of word-of-mouth in order to have a successful platform release, this is troubling to a degree. Despite this, I have to believe that enough people will equate this to being equal parts Emma and Shakespeare in Love to make it the most popular chick flick of the late summer schedule. Given that the only such film in the genre to date to have anything resembling success is No Reservations, I do feel that the target demographic is hungry for something....anything demonstrating even a hint of quality. Becoming Jane may or may not suffice in this regard.