Box Office - Decade at a Glance: May - August 2007
By Michael Lynderey
December 2, 2009
July 27th kept the $100 million tradition going with The Simpsons Movie, which delivered a long-awaited film adaptation of the television show beloved by almost everyone but me. The movie was pretty good, though, and opened with a front-loaded $74 million, leading to an $183 million total. Hard to say on a sequel - could happen - maybe after the show ends. Also out on the same day were No Reservations ($43 million total), an all right little romantic comedy with Aaron Eckhart and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Who's Your Caddy? ($5 million), a presumably very bad movie, and Lindsay Lohan's I Know Who Killed Me ($7 million) - a movie whose awfulness I can personally attest to - no need for presumptions there. Reservations was Zeta-Jones' last big role thus far, while the same is true of Lohan and the Killed Me movie - and not unexpected, after a series of box office disappointments credited to her name. But who knows? Lohan may be back. Someday.
After Augusts 2004-2006 delivered just a single $100 million movie each, August '07 broke the curse and went to the big leagues. First, The Bourne Ultimatum, generally considered this summer's best threequel, one-upped its predecessors, opening with $69 million and totaling $227 million. Next, August 10th saw the release of yet, yet, yet another threequel - Rush Hour 3: on the one hand, this one was demanded by no one - but on the other, Rush Hour 2 did take in a massive $226 million in the summer of 2001. Rush 3 didn't quite get there this time, but it opened with $49 million and finished at $140 million, giving Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker a good hit (by the way, who's Chris Tucker?). And finally, Judd Apatow and co. rounded out the summer, with the Apatow-produced masterful teen comedy Superbad opening to a decent $33 million on August 17th, and then following audience adoration all the way up to $121 million. Seth Rogen, who co-wrote and co-starred, was really on a roll here, and the film's leads - Jonah Hill and especially Michael Cera - broke out, with Cera taking the screen persona he introduced here into a series of similar high-profile roles, and Hill popping up every time you least expect him.
The rest of the month did as August does, and unleashed an unstoppably numerous horde of films upon the masses. The loot here included needless sequels (Daddy Day Camp, Mr. Bean's Holiday), a not-bad Scarlett Johansson vehicle (The Nanny Diaries, $25 million total), Andy Samberg's debut as lead actor (Hot Rod, $13 million), an awful tween film (Bratz, which features perhaps the single most implausible teen villainess in film history), and another PG-13 horror remake, Nicole Kidman's $15 million-grossing The Invasion (although the Body Snatchers premise has been remade so many times that it hardly makes a difference). Neil Gaiman-based fantasy Stardust ($38 million total) was an interesting if overcrowded affair, Disney's cheesy Underdog actually did pretty well ($43 million), and the Jet Li-Jason Statham team-up War ($22 million), aside from being awful, failed to really match these two actors against one other. I don't know what to make of weird table tennis comedy Balls of Fury ($32 million), but the Kevin Bacon revenge tale Death Sentence offered occasional entertainment, to the tune of a mild $9 million total.
The whole thing came to a climax on August 31st, with the release of Rob Zombie's incalculably unnecessary remake of John Carpenter's classic Halloween. While Zombie delivered an effectively original work with The Devil's Rejects (2005), his penchant for over-the-top characters and situations didn't fit in with the more traditionally reserved style of the Halloween films, and the gaggle of genre actor cameos was more distracting than amusing. That didn't stop Zombie's Halloween from becoming yet another remake hit - it opened with $26 million and finished with a frontloaded $58 million. Happy Halloween, I guess.