Marquee History

Mid/Late June 2017

By Max Braden

July 4, 2017

Look, it's a guy no millennial has ever heard of!

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Welcome to another edition of Marquee History, taking you back to a time when you - or your parents - were younger.  Prepare to become nostalgic (and shocked) at how much time has passed when you recall what was new in theaters 10, 15, 20...even 35 years ago.

Comic book heroes and sci-fi are featured prominently in June’s movie anniversaries, but the real gem is the little alien that swept America in the summer of 1982.

Here are the movies that premiered on theater marquees…
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - June 15, 2007
Two years after the first film, Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis return as the Marvel superheroes Mister Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch and The Thing.  This time, they’re forced to ally with their nemesis Dr. Doom to stop the alien Silver Surfer from destroying the planet.  The sequel performed slightly better with its opening weekend, taking first at the box office with $58 million from 3,959 theaters over the weekend.  It failed to match the domestic total of the first film, earning only $131 million compared to $154 million for its predecessor.  In 2015, the franchise was rebooted with a younger cast featuring Miles Teller, Kata Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell, with disappointing box office results.
Evan Almighty - June 22, 2007
Jim Carrey’s $242 million success with Bruce Almighty in 2003 made a sequel likely, but this one focuses on his news station colleague (now Congressman) Evan Baxter.  Morgan Freeman returns as God and puts Evan in the position of being the new Noah and dealing with a horde of animals.  Steve Carell was riding high on the success of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and awards for The Office as he took on this role.  Evan Almighty opened at #1 with $31.1 million from 3,604 theaters, but only grossed $100 million in the U.S. against a whopping $175 million budget.


1408 - June 22, 2007
This intensely haunting tale was based on a Stephen King short story.  John Cusack plays a writer and debunker of haunted locales, who books a stay in the “evil” room 1408 of The Dolphin Hotel.  The film earned great reviews from critics and audiences, who put it at #2 at the box office with $20.6 million.  It ended up grossing $71 million on a budget of just $25 million, and as of 2017 is still the second-highest grossing film based on a Stephen King story, behind The Green Mile.

Ratatouille - June 29, 2007 - HWDYK quiz
Ratatouille stars Patton Oswalt as Remy, a Parisian rat who wants to be a chef for humans.    Reviews were excellent, and the film went on to win the Oscar for Best Animated Picture in addition to nominations for Best Writing, Best Music, Best Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Ratatouille opened at #1 with $47 million from 3,940 theaters and went on to gross $206 million domestically.

Live Free or Die Hard - June 27, 2007 - HWDYK quiz
The fourth film chronicling the super bad luck of detective John McClane has him stumbling onto a plot to ransom the nation’s electronic networks.  Timothy Olyphant plays the bad guy, Bruce Willis the good guy, and Justin Long the comic relief.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead appears as McClane’s daughter Lucy, and Kevin Smith plays a hacker. With a mid-week opening, Live Free or Die Hard pulled in $48 million by the Sunday before July 4th.  Its $134 million gross is still the peak of the series.  It’s also the only PG-13 film of the five released as of 2017.


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