June 2011 Forecast
By David Mumpower
June 2, 2011
With regards to my perception of the movie, other than ardent Green Lantern supporter and BOP comic book store owner/expert Pete Kilmer, the comments I’ve heard about it have been universally negative. In fact, some of them have bordered on hostile. I must admit that these mirror my opinions of the trailers thus far and I say that as someone who adores Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, who seems woefully miscast. Still, Green Lantern is an upper tier comic book property, falling on the level below Superman and Green Lantern but as high as several Marvel characters whose films have opened north of $50 million. I believe that to be ambitious here, but a debut in the upper $30s would strike me as a net win for DC…and a badly needed one at that. Over the past few years, Superman Returns disappointed, the Wonder Woman movie failed to get off the ground, Jonah Hex became a movie punch line and the Wonder Woman television show failed to get picked up. DC needs a win but even a draw would feel like a win at this point. I have a hard time believing that in the 1990s, Marvel Studios was the comic book creator that was a complete mess. These things are cyclical, I guess, but DC needs a new cycle to begin sooner rather than later.
6) Super 8
Out of the June releases, this is the most difficult box office performance to project. On the surface, it has numerous similarities to E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial as well as Cloverfield. Those are not a couple of projects that get mentioned in the same breath very often, but the presence of Stephen Spielberg as a producer and J.J. Abrams as a director is the unification of this odd meld. Spielberg was the director of E.T. and while Abrams was only the producer of Cloverfield, his oversight was integral to the success of that project. With Super 8, Abrams takes a handful of kids and tells a mystery from their perspective. The details of the plot have been carefully guarded thus far, so it’s impossible to judge how strong the premise is.
What we do know for certain is the Friday Night Lights’ Kyle Chandler is the most recognizable name in the cast, which is to say that this film is being sold almost exclusively based on the filmmakers and the suspense in the trailer. As much as I want to project a blockbuster performance, a lot more of these films wind up as batteries not included* than The Goonies. I think Super 8 will prove to be a $100 million exception and maybe much more, but that is only a gut feeling. None of the empirical data is encouraging. If anyone other than Spielberg and Abrams were involved, this would look like Frequency on paper.
7) Bad Teacher
Sometimes an actor stumbles into the perfect part at the least expected moment in their career. I believe we are witnessing just such a situation for Cameron Diaz. The legitimate A-list actress generally gets to be the pretty girl who is funny and films such as There’s Something about Mary demonstrate she has a knack for this. As every woman knows, however, sometimes it’s fun to be bad. With Bridesmaids still overachieving at the box office, it’s fair to say that women are embracing films that (finally) cater to them rather than outdated societal expectations of who they should be. I’m not saying that Bad Teacher will be another Sex and the City, but I fully expect it to open similar to Bridesmaids, which is a solid box office feat.
8) Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
I had this trailer inflicted upon me last weekend when I went to see Kung Fu Panda 2. At that moment, I realized that Heather Graham has had a sitcom canceled the week it aired as well as multiple movies released straight to DVD yet THIS project may be the low point of her career. And we are talking about a woman who is famous for portraying a roller skating porn star. Still, these books have some recognition as the young girl’s answer to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I can see it opening in the high single digits, which is really all a production of this scale needs to earn money long term.