Summer in Review: May

By BOP Staff

October 28, 2008

When John Henry was a little baby...

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Shane Jenkins:

Iron Man - The perfect marriage of material and star, Iron Man opened bigger than nearly anyone was expecting and got Summer 2008 off on the right foot. The key to a really successful superhero movie is cross-gender appeal, which Robert Downey Jr. brought in spades.

Made of Honor - Or When Counterprogramming Goes Awry. Eh, it still made money, though. Never bet against lousy-looking wedding-themed comedies.

What Happens in Vegas - I bet if you had told Fox at this point in the summer that this was going to be their biggest moneymaker of the season, they would have laughed at you. Which would have been more laughs than the film itself provided. Nice legs, though...

Speed Racer - A historic bomb! Heaven's Gate with chimps! Cleopatra with That Guy From Lost! Actually, this is a pretty enjoyable flick that never found its audience. I think the previews put people off, but I expect it will do very well on DVD.

Prince Caspian - I'd almost completely forgotten that this had come out this summer, and I'd wager that I'm not the only one. This was curiously un-engaging, and its disappointing take bears that out.

Indiana Jones - A huge hit commercially, particularly for a movie nobody liked that much. I suspect that if it had been better, it could have added another $100 million, but this wasn't a movie you needed to see more than once.

Sex and the City - A "surprise" hit that shouldn't have been that surprising. The ladies were looking for something fun to see with their girlfriends that didn't involve CGI spaceships and centaurs. I would argue that its success was a triumph of marketing over quality, but I'm not its target audience.

The Strangers - A fantastic result when you compare the budget vs. gross. The terrifying trailer got people into the theater, and decent word of mouth kept its week-to-week drops relatively low for a horror flick. I wonder, though, if this would have done even better if it had come out, say, right about now, when everyone seems more in the mood for scares.


Scott Lumley:

Iron Man - Far better than I thought it could be, Downey completely nailed Stark to the point that I can't imagine anyone else in the role. The ending was a little disappointing, but any other year this would have been the movie of the summer.

Made of Honor - This made money? There is no God.

What Happens in Vegas - And now we know why Ashton Kutcher keeps getting work. Apparently he can turn crap into money.

Speed Racer - Good news! The chances for a fourth Matrix movie just got better! Bad news! The chances for a fourth Matrix movie just got better!

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - Harry Potter it isn't. However, it does appear to be really profitable anyway.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - $600 million in profit from a franchise that is 30 years old. Holy Cow. After that result we just might even see another Indy flick.

Sex and the City - An 8 to 1 profit margin is pretty impressive. I can only imagine what kind of business the Dexter and House films are going to do...

The Strangers - Classically profitable horror film formula.

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