June 2009 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
June 5, 2009
6. Year One (June 19th)
When I first heard about this project, I couldn't believe they weren't kidding. Year One is a part-prehistoric, part-Biblical comedy starring Michael Cera, Jack Black, pretty much the entire cast of SNL, all of the members of the Apatow Troupe, and the surviving remnants of the Frat Pack. McLovin' is here, too. Upon inception, the film sounded like a beautiful disaster. Nothing I've seen since has changed my opinion. Year One opens opposite the Proposal, which may position June 19th as the ultimate battle between mainstream Hollywood comedies and the brand I'd call New Comedy - the 30 Rock/Office/Apatow/Ferrell wing of the party. The release date is also incredibly appropriate, coming as it does almost exactly on the one-year anniversary of the Love Guru, another project that looked like a bad idea right from the start. I'll admit, though, that Year One does somewhat resemble Nacho Libre, which, while a bad movie with a similarly odd premise, nevertheless racked up $80m. My feeling is that this film will fall in between Nacho and Guru, and if the reviews are actually positive, I may finally be convinced that anything is possible.
Opening weekend: $22 million / Total gross: $49 million
7. My Sister's Keeper (June 26th)
The June Weeper slot, previously occupied by the likes of the Bridges of Madison County and the Notebook, goes to this film. A story about a leukemia patient and her family, this one stars Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, with Jason Patric and Alec Baldwin providing support. It's the right cast for this kind of material. The direction is by Nick Cassavetes, who of course helmed the Notebook, a fact this film's trailers are at no loss to state. But the premise of the film strikes me the wrong way, as an uncertain mix of family tragedy and courtroom drama. The same thing is wrong with the trailer, which packs on laughable lines ("from the moment we decided to genetically conceive, I suppose it was our fault") and seems to lack a clear thematic purpose. The non-existence of a strong romantic angle will hurt this one also, especially up against the Proposal's second weekend. Indeed, My Sister's Keeper may simply be too depressing to score the kind of box office usually accorded to the June Weeper. But I am prepared to be proven wrong.
Opening weekend: $14 million / Total gross: $39 million
8. Imagine That (June 12th)
Eddie Murphy is incredibly lucky. By the time Meet Dave was released and tanked last summer, he had already managed to film not one but two additional comedies. Thus, he's got two chances to bring his career back up to par. Judging from the trailer, Imagine That looks like a fairly mild time at the movies, with the fantasy angle, reminiscent somewhat of Bedtime Stories, being downplayed somewhat in favor of broad comedy. While I don't expect a performance on the level of Meet Dave, this one will almost certainly not gross much more than $30 million, mostly on the backs of family audiences. The Nickelodeon label might help. Also, it's nice to see Ronny Cox in a movie again. Just saying.