July 2010 Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

July 1, 2010

Apparently looks CAN kill.

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8. Dinner for Schmucks (July 30, 2010)
Here's late summer's try for comedy glory, a belated remake of the 1998 French film The Dinner Game (between this and Death at a Funeral, re-doing overseas farces seems to be back in vogue). It's directed by comedy king (?) Jay Roach, helmer of multiple Austin Powers and Meet the Parents/Fockers films, and it's got Paul Rudd, yet again playing the straight man to some nut (see also Role Models and I Love You, Man). Said nut would be Steve Carell, this time, looking here like a ginger serial killer in the Robin Williams tradition. Normally, a Rudd-Carell ticket would mean sturdy box office, especially in what seems to be a notably doldrummy late July slot. But Dinner for Schmucks could be a little too weird (just wait till we get to Zach Galifianakis, and Diane, the puppet wife from hell), and the premise, which may sound like fun, isn't made real clear in the trailers. We shall see.

Opening weekend: $27 million / Total gross: $59 million


9. Predators (July 9, 2010)
The month's token reboot/sequel, loaded with a cast of action movies toughs (Topher Grace and Adrien Brody being the notable exceptions), along with the standard foreign-accented love interest (Alicia Braga). To tell the truth - on its own, the Predator series never particularly lit the box office on fire (not since the first film, anyway), and this one brings itself to the table only three years after the last Alien Vs. Predator. There's no doubt that the series possesses some dedicated fans, most of whom are ready to take in this latest installment. I'm just not sure if it's a little too soon for the rest of us. Still, even if there is buzz in the right places, Predators won't break the summer's string of non-$100 million-grossing action films.

Opening weekend: $23 million / Total gross: $58 million

10. Charlie St. Cloud (July 30, 2010)
Previously known by the more brooding moniker The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. The story could be interesting, with a balance between depressing and uplifting, and an apparent blend of magic realism with a more conventional teen romance. More importantly, though, St. Cloud is another test of the star power of Zac Efron, who still has a fanbase out there, I think, even after recent territorial encroachments by the Bieber-Pattinson brigades. And while I hate to sound like a broken record here, this is yet another title that'll win or lose a large chunk of its profit based on quality and reviews. Life just ain't fair that way, right?

Opening weekend: $17 million / Total gross: $46 million

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