Summer in Review: June
By BOP Staff
October 29, 2008
Jason Lee: I think the biggest story out of June was Wanted - show the people something they want to see, deliver on their expectations and you'll find yourself with a hit. The tired antics of Myers and Sandler resulted in tepid box-office responses. In fact, Wanted grossed more than both of those films combined. I was surprised by the Panda's box-office staying power, especially given that all non-Shrek DreamWorks Animated films seem stuck at a $160-$180 gross. But most of all, I was stunned, once again, by Pixar's unmatched storytelling ability. WALL-E, in my opinion, is one of their greatest films and while I would have liked to see a higher gross, I'll be pleased with a $220 million total.
Kung Fu Panda - An unabashed smash, and deservedly so. DreamWorks and Jack Black both had a lot of atoning to do for Shark Tale, but this goes a long way towards starting the healing. A "family" movie in the truest sense of the word.
You Don't Mess With the Zohan - Where we learned that Sandler's audience will show up to see him in anything not directed by P.T. Anderson. $100 million is low by his standards, but this looked atrocious, even by his standards.
The Incredible Hulk - The lesson here is that people just don't like the big green guy that much. This reboot barely made more than the much-ridiculed (and vastly superior) Ang Lee version (yeah, I said it!). A seemingly Xanax-ed Liv Tyler and a never-more-annoying Edward Norton didn't help anything.
The Happening - This is my go-to joke movie of the summer. Sure, sure, it made back its budget, but it made 20 times that much in Unintentional Hilarity! Outrunning the wind, Zooey's crazy eye movements, the Lemon Drink Lady, sharing a tiramisu - oh man, this is a gold mine! Thank you, Night! Thank you.
Get Smart - I seem to be in the minority in finding this to be literally laugh-free, but it's a decent, if unexceptional, performance for Steve Carell et al.
The Love Guru - Do you personally know anyone who saw this? I don't. The stink of failure and desperation was on this one from the first trailer, and audiences stayed far, far away.
Kit Kittredge - I've heard that this is a decent movie, and smarter than you might think. It turned a profit, but given the built-in audience for the dolls, I'm surprised this wasn't a little bigger. My guess is that it got lost in the chaos of summer, but it should be a monster on video.
WALL-E - This is a pretty good result for such an unconventional animated feature. As with Ratatouille, while watching it, I wondered if kids would really enjoy it - it seems to be aiming more for their parents. I guess they did, though, which is encouraging, because WALL-E was fantastic.
Wanted - If you say so. Actually, this acrid bit of misanthropy/misogyny was one of the surprise hits of the summer. Hooray for
The Matrix Wanted!