July 2004 Forecast
By Marty Doskins
The summer of 2004 is sizzling hot and this month is adding more fuel to the fire. Records have been set already and we’re sure to add to that during July. The movie studios are aware that youngsters are out of school for the summer. They know they spend a lot of mom and dad’s money so there are a lot of teen-oriented offerings being released.
And now, let’s move on to my Top 10.
1. Spider-Man 2
Hmmmmm. I wonder what this month’s number one opener is going to be. That’s a tough one. Or not. The indicators are all pointing toward this sequel breaking all of the records that were set by the original film. And that’s not an easy feat. The studio is so confident in the success for this film that they’ve already started work on the third film. I don’t think there’s any doubt that this will be the biggest opener ever.
2. I, Robot
Will Smith and big summer movies are a proven winning combination. His track record is superb and this year should prove no exception. There has been a HUGE marketing push with this film. Trailers have been flooding theaters. Movie commercials have been all over the airwaves. Plus, a product tie-in with Audi has been used to promote this film as well. All of this has even got us talking around the BOP water cooler about the laws of the robot world. If this movie is creating buzz, then the studio has accomplished its goal. People will want to see the film no matter which side of the fence they are on.
3. The Bourne Supremacy
Matt Damon stars in a sequel to his hit film The Bourne Identity about a man who has lost his memory and is trying to find out who he really is. Is he really a spy? Is someone just using him that way? The story continues this month. Damon has built a solid fan base both in front of and behind the camera. The original movie earned well in excess of $100 million in its original theatrical release. In addition, a lot of people caught this movie on home video. This interested audience should help this sequel succeed.
4. King Arthur
Looks like another one of the big historical epics, like Troy or Gladiator. With the commercials, I think people will be drawn in early in this film’s run, but it should drop off rather quickly. But that early push will make sure it gets a solid spot in the top half of this month’s openers.
5. The Village
M. Night Shyamalan knows what he’s doing. He’s picked some great films to direct and add his special touch. These movies would’ve been good without him, but they turn out even better with him at the helm. He is able to add an extra sense of creepiness and intensity that audiences enjoy. And having Disney as a distributor can only help the exposure of this film.
If any film is geared toward teen audiences, this is the one. Alexa Vega is coming into her own as an actress after a wildly successful run in the three Spy Kids movies. Luckily, she has a great, young supporting cast around her to push this film to success. This film will definitely see the teenage dollars being spent opening weekend.
This film is a very puzzling one. The early talk was very exciting, especially when it was announced that Halle Berry was starring in the title role. The fanboys started drooling as they pictured Berry in a skin-tight costume. They were pretty disappointed when the pictures of her in the outfit were released. People were still hopeful that the film would be good, but early reports from preview audiences are extremely negative. I think word will spread enough to bring this one down a bit in this month’s top releases.
8. A Cinderella Story
Hillary Duff is now working with Warner Brothers after her publicized problems with Disney. This new studio is well aware of Duff’s popularity with teens and younger kids alike. They got the writers to add their own touches to the classic story of Cinderella story and plugged in a star that is sure to draw in audiences. Like other teen-oriented movies, this movie should open strong its first weekend, but fade fairly quickly. But have no fear; it will find new life in the home video market.
9. The Manchurian Candidate
Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington starring with Jonathan Demme directing sounds like it would be a successful formula for any film. However, I don’t think there’s been enough marketing done on this remake to bring its upcoming release to the attention of summer moviegoers. I’ve seen only one television commercial so far, but hopefully it’s just because we’re still early in July.
Here’s another film that I’m not too sure of. You have some big stars in the main roles. Bill Paxton is the hero and Ben Kingsley is the villain. You also have the capable Jonathan Frakes behind the camera in the director’s chair. However, this really looks like it could be a major cheesy film. There are some cool effects, but I’m not totally convinced that the story and screenplay will be strong enough.
David Mumpower's July 2004 Forecast
John Seal's July 2004 Forecast
Stephanie Star Smith's July 2004 Forecast