August 24, 2001
Just when you thought the world was safe from Freddie Prinze, Jr. teenage romantic comedies, here comes another one. This time around, Freddie plays an aspiring baseball player who falls in love with the wealthy girl vacationing in town when he is mowing her family’s lawn. While this can easily be misconstrued as a plot for a porno movie, the ingredients are all there for a sweet, innocent comedy.
This film is opening during the same weekend that saw Bring It Out be a surprise smash hit last year. Because they share the same audience, a minor case can be made that Summer Catch might have breakout potential. At this stage, however, it seems unlikely. This movie really does not stand out from other Prinze movies and doesn’t have any qualities that might make it look like a breakout hit.
Hindering its chances as well is some pretty strong competition from strong films Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Bubble Boy. Still, teen comedies are the wildest movies and the most difficult to predict. If this film can find an MTV audience, it can do well. One can only assume at this point that the Prinze pattern will continue. (Walid Habboub/BOP)
Box Office Autopsy
Ah, films that no one remembers after opening weekend. A perfect example of that is Summer Catch, nth in a string of lame teeny bopper romance films starring Freddie Prinze Jr. This one performed similarly to all the rest; quiet open followed by poor legs. Say you are the Hollywood Executive assigned to decide whether or not to green-light Freddie's next picture. You've got a so-so script, a no-name director and Freddie Prinze Jr. Is Summer Catch a good place for your company's $17 million dollars?
The answer to the big question is a tough one, but in the end its obvious. Summer Catch opened to a so-so $7 million from 2,335 screens and ended up fooling enough teenagers to take in $19.7 million. Is that a big enough take to justify the $17 million dollar production budget? Not even close. Prints would have cost another $2 million, and the ad budget was most likely equal to the production budget. Now you've spent $36 million and made only $19.7. But wait there's more. The video flops on its face, and only takes in $12.9 million. If you are the exec that green-lighted this, you are in serious trouble. Financially its a disaster and you've let loose Freddie Prinze Jr. on the teenagers of North America. That can't be a good feeling.
Comparison films for Summer Catch
|Down to You
|Major League 2
|Boys and Girls
|Head Over Heels
|Major League: Back to the Minors