Summer in Review: June
By BOP Staff
October 29, 2008
Kung Fu Panda - There are lyrics on Tenacious D albums that I can't write on this site, and yet, Jack Black can make $600 million worldwide as a lovable panda. The spirit of George Carlin lives on in him.
You Don't Mess With the Zohan - Do I have to talk about this movie? Can I just talk about how I really liked Spanglish? Seriously, it was grossly underrated! Boy, Adam Sandler was good in Spanglish. And Punch-Drunk Love. Those are two movies worth commenting on, there.
The Incredible Hulk - Marvel is lucky they managed even this somewhat meager result so soon after The Hulk. I understand that they want to build their brand, but (and I know everyone has been saying this all damn decade) the remake monster is out of control. There was no way they were going to light the world on fire here; they should count their blessings and shelve the character except for cameos and eventual crossover world-crushing superfilms.
The Happening - And to think Shyamalan didn't even give us the pleasure of making a cameo as someone jumping off a building into a lion's mouth. That would've saved the whole project.
Get Smart - I get the feeling that they were secretly hoping for a bit more with this one - the marketing campaign was pretty nuts - but it was funny, it had a decent run, it made money. Good enough. Steve Carell may now be an official automatic draw.
The Love Guru - Anything I say here would just delay the healing process.
Kit Kittredge - I've got nothing to add, but the most disturbing moment of this summer was when I sold a single ticket to this film to a slovenly, physically filthy, overweight man in his 40s, who didn't know the title of the film, referring to it as "the kiddie picture." It was the only moment in my life that I wish Chris Hansen was nearby.
WALL-E - That the audience for a film this visionary was only worth $218 million is a crime. Disney and Pixar dropped the marketing ball on this one, unfortunately.
Wanted - predicting which action films are going to hit and which are going to miss is a shaky operation, but it's always good to bet on the one with Angelina Jolie's ass.
Daron Aldridge: Kung Fu Panda - Given the track record of non-Shrek Dreamworks Animation films, I thought this would end up with a total in the typical mid-100 million range. Its timing worked out perfectly as it filled the young kid audience void that Speed Racer failed to meet. Despite a close box office contest with WALL-E for biggest animated movie of the summer, let's hope that Pixar doesn't get robbed again by DreamWorks at the Oscars. Sorry, I am still bitter that Monsters, Inc. lost to Shrek.
You Don't Mess With the Zohan - The bloom might finally be coming off the rose with regard to Sandler. This is the lowest take for an Adam Sandler comedy since 2000's Little Nicky brought in a pathetic $39 million. While this one crossed the $100 million mark, the law of diminishing returns is evident with Sandler films over the last few years. 2005's The Longest Yard made $158 million, 2006's Click made $137 and last year's I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry made $119 million. His titles are consistently shedding 14 to 16% of their totals.
The Incredible Hulk - It's sad that it couldn't shake the stink of the Ang Lee version, since this one was widely considered superior. It looks like Mr. Banner may just be relegated to a supporting role in the Avengers movie in the near future.
The Happening - Here is the lesson. The wind is not a sufficient villain for any film. I was honestly surprised that it made this much as soon as I started hearing the bad word-of-mouth. Not Lady in the Water bad but not good enough to merit even renting it.
Get Smart - With fond memories of the show's reruns playing in my head, it is nice to see this one be successful. Unlike Speed Racer's nostalgia trip that was purely eye candy, Get Smart took the opportunity to update the story and get a good balance of the comedy and action. As an added bonus, it beat the snot out of the Love Guru. Long live Michael Skarn.
The Love Guru - Why in the world did 4.5 million people support this junk? I wish it had made less or never existed.
Kit Kittredge - An American Girl - Well, it can at least claim to have made more than the other doll-based movie, Bratz, which brought in less than $10 million last year.
WALL-E - It has been stated numerous times, but this one simply should have made more money. A beautifully animated film that has heart to spare, which is strange for a movie about a robot, shouldn't be one of Pixar's lowest performers. People couldn't get past the lack of dialogue and action in the first half of the movie.
Wanted - Guns and outrageous stunts once again strike theaters and produce the same results as last year. Eerily, Wanted's $134.1 million is nearly identical to 2007's Live Free or Die Hard's $134.6 million.