July 2009 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
July 3, 2009
4) Bruno (July 10th)
Here comes trouble... Sacha Baron Cohen insists on disguising himself as various outlandish characters and going around exposing our worst prejudices, or something like that. Doing so is good for at least $100 million, as Borat proved, and Bruno isn't shy to basically position itself as a sequel. The Eminem stunt at the MTV Movie Awards, coupled with the fairly effective new trailers and hordes of controversy being heaped upon the film already, are all big, big pluses. The Box Office Gods must be smiling on Cohen, because Bruno has now also become somewhat topical - the film's title character is gay, which relates the movie to several chapters in this year's national storyline (Proposition 8, Milk's Oscar, Adam Lambert, and Miss California, among others I'm probably forgetting about). Expect overwhelming media coverage, debate, analysis, re analysis, and all manner of culture warring as the film nears release. Every little bit helps.
Opening weekend: $50 million / Total gross: $130 million
5. Public Enemies (July 1st)
An odd film to open over the 4th of July weekend. Johnny Depp and Christian Bale certainly bring some star power to this 1930s-set action drama, and Michael Mann at the helm gives it a lot of prestige. The reviews, I think, are going to praise it through the roof. The trailer isn't bad. So what's the problem? Well, it is a 1930s-set action drama. While audiences older than 35 are going to embrace it, I'm not sure if it's the kind of film the Friday night action crowd - of which I am a member - is going to go for; the lack of a single other action movie in the entire month may force them to (speaking of which, just where did all the action movies go?). As for that release date, period pieces just naturally do better in October or December, where the Oscar season gives them a considerable bump. Regardless, Public Enemies has a lot going for it, so it'll probably do just fine.
Opening weekend: $50 million five-day / Total gross: $125 million
6) G-Force (July 24th)
What do you say about a movie starring hordes of cute, furry little critters on some all-important mission to save the world? As little as possible. Greenlighting such a film is the equivalent of finding $100 million in a suitcase outside the studio lot. And it's produced by Jerry Bruckheimer?!? So that's what he's been doing this summer, instead of making the next great action film. And Brucky's even brought along his favorite star, Nicolas Cage, for a voice role as "Speckles the Mole". Oh yeah, and it's a Disney film. What am I trying to say here? What am I getting at? G-Force is going to make a whole lot of money, that's what, and there's nothing any of us can do to stop it.
Opening weekend: $33 million / Total gross: $108 million