By Stephanie Star Smith
1. The Hulk
If you're of a certain age, the Hulk just doesn't seem the same without
Bill Bixby. Be that as it may, this latest entry in the comic-book
hero-to-movie franchise sweepstakes should easily win the month.
Although initial reaction to the trailer from the target audience was a
tad disappointing, I'm sure Dr. Bruce Banner and his green alter-ego will
HULK SMASH! the June box office, and likely hang around long enough to
duke it out with Ahnuld for a week or two.
2. Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle
With the first film being such a success, was there ever any doubt there
would be a sequel? And with three hot women doing crazy-ass stunts, is
there any doubt this will be a big, big contributor to the summer box
Charlie's Angels 2 promises more of the same double-entendres and
ass-kicking that Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu delivered in
the first film, which pretty much guarantees not only healthy ticket
sales but likely a third film in the series. Which leads one to wonder
if the changing of the Bosleys will become a franchise tradition.
3. Hollywood Homicide
Buddy-cop comedies just never seem to die, do they? When they're done
well, as in the early part of the Lethal Weapon franchise, the first 48
Hours flick or the Rush Hour films, they can be a lot of fun. And I'm
hard-pressed to think of a screen pairing with more chemistry potential
than Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett. Ford still retains enough of his
Hans Solo/Indiana Jones cool-and-sexy cachet to turn the time-honored
role of senior statesman on its ear, and Josh Hartnett is certainly the
charismatic up-and-comer who could learn a trick or two from the old
dog. The previews look...well, they look like Harrison Ford and Josh
Hartnett in a buddy-cop movie. Which happens to be a good thing. I
expect this will go a long way towards erasing Badsky Accentsky, AKA
K-19, from the public's memories.
4. 28 Days Later
Yes, I love my horror films, and yes, I always place the usually-lone
release fairly high in the rankings.
And no, I'm not going to make the obvious joke here.
This Brit entry has already created a bit of a buzz amongst our English
brethren for its high violence quotient and lack of a pat,
Hollywood-style happy ending. That the film aims to take the apocalypse
film and evil force genres and mold them in new and different
combinations augurs well for the horror fans amongst us, and should
bring in a tidy little sum at the box office to boot. Much like The
Ring did last year, 28 Days Later could well be the sleeper horror hit
of the month.
5. Rugrats Go Wild!
Nickelodeon continues its quest to become a player in feature-film
animation with this third outing of its popular Rugrats series. This
time...well, plot doesn't really matter all that much to the target
audience, and since this is more a drop-them-off-at-the-mall than a
stay-and-watch-it film, all this one needs to bring in the ticket-buyers
is the name Rugrats in the title. As the lone children's film released
in June, Rugrats' only competition is Finding Nemo, which looks as
though it will still be a contender come mid-June. Still, with no new
fare for the kinder until July, there should be room for two children's
films to be successful at the box office.
6. Alex and Emma
The month is finally looking up with this romantic comedy directed by
Rob Reiner. Kate Hudson and Luke Wilson star as an author with writer's
block and the stenographer he hires to help him write his next novel in
30 days. This is a meet-cute if I've ever seen one, but with the
director of Princess Bride and The American President at the helm, it's
a pretty safe bet that's likely the closest this one gets to Cliché
Land. With How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and Old School under their
respective belts, Hudson and Wilson have proven they can pack 'em into
the theaters, which also bolsters the movie's box office prospects.
Alex and Emma provides the perfect date-movie counter-programming to the
more testosterone-driven action fare, and should see some nice receipts
and decent legs.
7. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Coming a close third for Worst Release of June is this prequel to Dumb
and Dumber. No, Jim Carrey isn't in it. Nope, Jeff Daniels isn't,
either. Nor did the Farrelly Brothers write or direct it. No, all of
the cast and crew from the original film have proven their mental
faculties are still intact by taking a pass on this ill-conceived
attempt to milk a premise that had pretty much gone dry by the middle of
the first film. But if there's a Chutzpah award given by the Academy
this year...well, actually From Justin to Kelly might take that one, but
I'm thinking this will be in the running.
8. From Justin to Kelly
You have got to be kidding me.
When I first saw the poster for this, I thought it the set-up for a
comedy bit. Someone must have been doing some serious drugs to
have bankrolled this SNL sketch-wanna be. I mean, didn't these two
already use their 15 minutes? And there are writer and director credits
for this bomb. Why would anyone want to be credited for this
train wreck? Isn't this the perfect Alan Smithee production?
While I'm certain this was made on a shoestring, I still doubt it will
even make back its shooting budget, much less what it will cost to make
prints and advertise this turkey. Maybe there's still time to call off
the theatrical release and distribute this bomb the proper way: One
free with every Happy Meal.
9. 2 Fast 2 Furious
It's a race to the bottom for most of this month's releases, a rare June
in which Hollywood seems to have decided to dump a lot of lesser films
and save the remaining tentpoles for July and August. Although it's a
close call for the bottom of the barrel, this sequel to the surprise
summer 2001 hit looks to take the dubious honor of being the
least-watched June film. The sequel's main problem is that the breakout
phenom from the first film, Vin Diesel, has (some would say wisely)
opted not to reprise his star-making role, leaving only the
exponentially less-charismatic Paul Walker the sole returning...we'll
call him 'actor?, shall we?
Why Universal green-lighted this film once it was clear Diesel was a
no-go is beyond pretty much anyone's guess, as the only record this
dismal film is likely to set is how quickly it goes from the theaters to
Read John Hamann's June Forecast
Read Marty Doskins's June Forecast