June Top Ten Forecast

By Calvin Trager

This is June? The slate of films opening this months seems unusually thin. Sure, there will be a few blockbusters. Outside of the top four, though, I'm expecting less than impressive receipt totals. The summer box office is up slightly (4%) compared to this point last year. I'll wager that by the end of June, 2002 will trail 2001. Here's how I see the top 10 openers:

10. Juwanna Mann
I was about to write that I had heard almost nothing about this project. Then I started seeing ads in the last few days. Believe me, no impression is better a bad impression. Bad idea from the outset. Let's move on.

9. Hey Arnold! The Movie
This latest Nickelodeon-to-film project will fall far short of the mark made by the Rugrats franchise. Look for Arnold to get lost in the wake of Lilo and Stich's opening a week earlier.

8. Scooby-Doo
I just cannot get a read on Scooby-Doo. Its ubiquitous ad campaign may propel it to the heights of the first Flintstones. On the other hand, it may be Freddy Prinze, Jr.'s Ishtar (no, don't write in). I'm guessing that it will fail to find its audience and will be remembered for little other than Matthew Lillard's impression of Shaggy.

7. Bad Company
Bad Company has had a late flurry of ads, but I'm wondering if audiences will be drawn to that. I can't see a spot for this without thinking "near-carbon copy of Enemy of the State". Of course, that may not be a bad thing. I keep waiting for Chris Rock to have a definitive breakout hit, but I don't think this will be it.

6. The Bourne Identity
Matt Damon starts in a high-octane action movie, shortly after buddy Ben Affleck did the same. Wanna bet there's a fifty riding on which film has a bigger opening take? Affleck has thrown down the gauntlet with an impressive opening in The Sum of All Fears. Will Bourne be able to match? I'm thinking it will fall a bit short. The ad campaigns for both have been snappy. Audiences might have more difficulty seeing Damon as an action star. Damon's ability to open the film entirely on his own is problematic. Also, Bourne opens against stiff competition, primarily in the form of Windtalkers.

5. Mr. Deeds
Mr. Sandler will put Little Nicky behind him, but he might have already lost the drawing power of his heyday. This project seems largely uninspired, and I'm wondering who outside of his most loyal fans will turn out for this.

4. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
I may be high-balling this one. But I've heard from several different parties that everything feels right (right movie at the right time) for Ya-Ya. An effective marketing campaign will make up for the lack of multiple marquee names. Large opening or not, I expect Ya-Ya to have great holdover and to end up in the top half of June openers. Looking for a surprise hit of the summer? Look no further.

3. Lilo and Stitch
Little Stitch freaks me out. A lot. There's just something about that thing that I don't trust. Family audiences, though, will most likely not heed my warnings and flock to this Disney offering in droves. Sure, there are the cute ads. Fun setting for the film. Bright animation. But...c'mon, people! Look at him! The fiendish eyes, the teeth! And remember, you can't spell "evil" without...never mind. I'm definitely staying away, but I'll probably be one of the few sensible ones who do.

2. Windtalkers
After faltering a bit with his first American film releases, John Woo scores big-time yet again. This won't open nearly as big as Mission: Impossible II, but then again, Nic Cage is not Tom Cruise. Still, Windtalkers has the big-budget look and intriguing story that will guarantee it blockbuster status. Windtalkers might have ended up winning the month had it not been for...

1. Minority Report
My personal most-looked-forward-to film of the summer. What doesn't MR have going for it? Superstar lead. Superstar director. Great source material. Crackerjack trailers. Moderate competition, at best. I wouldn't be surprised if Report ends up with the number-two take for the summer.

  • Read Tim Briody's June forecast
  • Read Kim Hollis' June forecast
  • Read David Mumpower's June forecast
  • Read Reagen Sulewski's June forecast