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2006 Preview: June

June 1st, 2006

May might have gotten off to a slow start, but it sure made up for it in the end. June looks to keep up the fast pace, but out of the dozen or so movies opening wide this month, only two look like they have to potential to be monster hits and after that there is a huge drop-off in box office potential. There are a few others that should earn their keep, and maybe one or two that will surprise, but most look average at best.

Interested in discussing these predictions? The join us in the forums.

Name: The Break-Up
Studio: Universal
Official Site: TheBreakUpMovie.net
Release Date: June 2nd, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content, some nudity and language
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Romantic Comedy
Genres: Relationships Gone Wrong
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $45 million
Box Office Potential: $125 million
Notes: Jennifer Aniston developed quite a large fanbase as part of the ensemble cast of Friends, however, she hasn't really been able to translate into a big time movie career. On the other hand, Vince Vaughn has become one of the most bankable stars over the past couple of years. In fact, he was in two of the ten biggest hits of last year. I don't think this film will live up to those numbers, but it should be a solid hit nonetheless. Going in its favor is the high buzz for a Romantic Comedy and the lack of opening competition that week. Going against it is the record-breaking X-Men: The Last Stand and the history of the genre. Romantic Comedies tend to struggle with critics and rarely enter the monster hit territory; there are very few such films that break $100 million at the box office.

Name: Cars
Studio: Pixar / Disney
Official Site: CarsTheMovie.com
Release Date: June 9th, 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated G for General Admission
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Auto Racing and Culture Clash
Production Budget: $70 million
Box Office Potential: $300 million
Notes: This is the first of the two surefire hits coming out this month and of the two this one is the most solid. While Superman Returns has a higher box office potential, there is a much great risk of it disappointing. However, it would be a complete shock if Cars didn't make at least $250 million domestically and more than twice that worldwide. On the other extreme, there are some people predicting that Cars will become the biggest hit for Pixar and maybe even the biggest hit of the year. Personally, I think those predictions are a little optimistic but the film should be able to open with roughly $75 million and finish with $300 million domestically and almost $700 million worldwide. Even after taking into account P&A budget and exhibitors' share, the film will still show a profit of about $250 million, and that's before the lucrative home market is taken into account. On a side note, there will come a time when Pixar puts out a movie that bombs, it has to happen eventually. When I first saw the teaser trailer, I thought this would be that first flop for the studio. I had no interest in the auto racing aspect of the movie and it didn't look like the anthropomorphised cars could show any emotion, which is necessary for any character. However, the more I saw of the film the more excited I got and the amount of buzz suggests I'm not the only one excited to see the movie.

Name: Click
Studio: Sony
Official Site: SonyPictures.com
Release Date: June 23, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, crude and sex-related humor, and some drug references
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Time Travel
Production Budget: $70 million
Box Office Potential: $125 million
Notes: This film looks like one of Adam Sandler's more serious movies. I'm not talking Punch Drunk Love serious, but more inline with Spanglish and certainly not the cinematic equivalent of cheap fast food like Billy Madison was. In the movie, Adam Sandler plays an overworked father / husband who receives a universal remote that allows him to alter time but while this is great for, soon the remote control break down and starts working on its own. The film looks like it could have a plenty of opportunity for comedy but with enough dramatic moments that the movie feels like it has substance. This adds up to a $100 million movie, but it won't be one of Adam Sandler's biggest hits.

Name: The Devil Wears Prada
Studio: Fox
Official Site: DevilWearsPradaMovie.com
Release Date: June 30, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sensuality
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Fashion and Bosses from Hell
Production Budget: Unknown - estimate at $35 million
Box Office Potential: $75 million
Notes: The counter-programming fare going up against Superman, which could either be a blessing or a curse. Counter-programming films are there to give moviegoers an alternate choice to the monster hit, but I think Superman will have a wide enough appeal to hurt this film. On the other hand, the book that it was based on was very popular and should bring in plenty of people. Add in a cast that looks great, including Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, and the film should perform very well in its role. On the other hand, there is a distinct possibility that the movie will be a more sanitized version of the book and that would be a complete disaster, both critically and financially.

Name: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Studio: Universal
Official Site: TheFastAndTheFurious.com
Release Date: June 16, 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for reckless and illegal behavior involving teens, violence, language and sexual content
Source: Sequel
Major Genre: Action
Genres: Street Racing
Production Budget: Unknown - Predicted at $80 million or more
Box Office Potential: $95 million
Notes: This is already the third trilogy to come out this summer with the first two being Mission: Impossible III and X-Men: The Last Stand. The former is clearly a case of One Film Too Many while the second looks to be Strong and Steady, (assuming it doesn't complete collapse after talking in $130 million in five days). The studio is obviously hoping that The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift will turn the trilogy into the Bounce Back Variety, but it is more likely that it will conform to The Law of Diminishing Returns. The film should open huge taking in nearly as much as 2 Fast 2 Furious did during its first weekend, then it will collapse even faster. Speaking of which, when 2 Fast 2 Furious came out, it has the second lowest total box office for a film that opened with more than $50 million; only 8 Mile had a lower total at the time, but The Village has since broke that record. One last note, Vin Diesel was offered $20 million to comeback to the franchise, but he turned it down. This is good news for the studio since he would not have been worth that paycheck as the cars are the real stars in this type of movie.

Name: Garfield's A Tale of Two Kitties
Studio: Fox
Official Site: GarfieldMovie.com
Release Date: June 16, 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some off-color elements
Source: Sequel
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Animal Lead, Animated Characters, Mistaken Identity.
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $60 million
Box Office Potential: $60 million
Notes: For a lot of serious cinephiles, the reaction to hearing there was a sequel in the works for Garfield: The Movie was, "Why? Dear god, why? Have we as a civilization strayed so far off the path or righteousness that a cruel and unforgiving god must smite us with this cinematic brimstone?" At least that's what I kept hearing, but I hang out with a very strange crowd. The reason for this reaction is simple, the original movie was terrible. But the reason for the sequel is equally simple, the original movie made nearly $200 million worldwide on a budget of just $50 million. This movie doesn't look any better than the first, but to be fair, it is a kids movie and should be judged on that basis. In that regard, it should entertain the young ones while tormenting the adults that are forced to accompany them. One last note, should Garfield's A Tale of Two Kitties outperform Garfield: The Movie in any way, look for another sequel in a couple of years as well as more films based on comic strips.

Name: The Lake House
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: TheLakeHouseMovie.WarnerBros.com
Release Date: June 16, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG for some language and a disturbing image
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Time Travel and Surprise Twist
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $45 million
Box Office Potential: $75 million
Notes: A remake of a South Korean drama called Siworae. This film is a 'retooling' for American audiences, which likely means it will lose a bit in translation. Also hurting the film's chances is the fact that neither star is really drawing a major audience recently. Sandra Bullock hasn't had a $100 million hit since Miss Congeniality, granted, she hasn't really worked much in the past few years. As for Keanu Reeves, Something's Gotta Give was his first non-matrix movie to top $100 million since Speed. Add in a very busy opening weekend with three other wide releases and you have a film that will struggle to stand out of the crowd. I'm still interested in the film as the premise is promising, but I'm not that hopeful with regards to its box office chances. I don't think it will bomb, but it won't reach farther than midlevel hit either.

Name: Nacho Libre
Studio: Paramount
Official Site: NachoLibreMovie.com
Release Date: June 16, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG for some rough action, and crude humor including dialogue
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Wrestling
Production Budget: $20 million - $25 million, reports vary
Box Office Potential: $65 million
Notes: Take the writer of The School of Rock and the director of Napoleon Dynamite, mix in Jack Black and you have something pretty special. At least that's what the studio is hoping for. A more likely result is a midlevel hit with a strong following on the home market. There is also the distinct possibility that the film is too quirky for mainstream audiences and it collapses upon itself. However, even then the film was inexpensive enough that is should still show a profit by the time it finishes its initial push into the home market.

Name: The Omen
Studio: Fox
Official Site: HeedTheOmen.com
Release Date: June 6th, 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated R for disturbing violent content, graphic images and some language
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Horror
Genres: Demons, Good vs. Evil, Religious, and Secret Magic
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $65 million
Box Office Potential: $50 million
Notes: I get the sinking feeling that the only reason this film was given the go ahead was so it could open on June 6th, 2006... 6/6/6. I also have a sinking feeling that the release date will be the only thing they'll be able to sell the movie on. The original was a good movie but the franchise was beaten into the ground by too many bad sequels. In fact, originally this movie was called The Omen 666 and was going to be a sequel, but the filmmakers decided there were simply not enough horror remakes coming out this year, so they changed plans. As for its box office chances, it will be hurt by its buzz, which is almost nonexistent and overwhelmingly negative.

Name: A Prairie Home Companion
Studio: New Line
Official Site: APrairieHomeCompanionMovie.com
Release Date: June 9th, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for risque humor
Source: Orignal Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Radio Industry, Musicians, and Performing Arts
Production Budget: Unknown - Predicted at under $10 million
Box Office Potential: $25 million
Notes: Legendary director Robert Altman combines forces with Garrison Keillor to bring A Prairie Home Companion to the big screen. For those who don't know, A Prairie Home Companion is a live radio variety show that has been running for 30 years; this film is a fictional look at the final performance of the show after the theatre is broadcast from was bought and is scheduled to be torn down. The radio show has a very loyal following, however, it is still not a certainty that these fans will flock to the theatres too see the movie. And it doesn't seem likely to attract the mainstream moviegoer either, especially this early in summer. Add in a possible limited release and the film won't be a major or even midlevel hit, but it should make enough for the studio to be very happy. On the other hand, the film's target audience is almost sure to love it, enough that it will be a relatively big seller on the home market.

Name: Superman Returns
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: SupermanReturns.WarnerBros.com
Release Date: June 28th, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some intense action violence
Source: Based on a Comic Book
Major Genre: Adventure
Genres: Super Hero, D.C. Comics, Visual Effects, and Friendly Alien on Earth
Production Budget: $209 million, maybe
Box Office Potential: $350 million
Notes: This should be the biggest hit of the month, the summer, and maybe even the biggest hit of the year. Superman is the most famous super hero of all time and this film has been in production, on and off, for about a decade now. Normally this would be a sure sign of disaster, but this time around I think it may actually help since the base has been excited to a state of hysteria now that the movie is actually coming out in theatres. However, there are still some obstacles the film must overcome. As the most anticipated film of the month, there are high standards and there will probably be very few people that will be completely satisfied with the movie. Also, the film opens just a week before Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and that film could also challenge for the biggest hit of the year. With the very recent change in release dates to June 28th, a Wednesday, the film will have nearly no chance to break the Opening Weekend Record. However, it should place in the top ten on that list and might even break $100 million from Friday to Sunday. If it does live up to expectations, it will also break the record for top 5-day weekend for a Wednesday opening, currently held by Spider-man 2 at $152.41 million. However, a lot of these types of expectations were brought up when King Kong was coming out, and look how that turned out. Something similar could happen to Superman Returns, but unless the worst case scenario actually happens, it should pull in at least $200 million during its domestic run and nearly $400 million worldwide.

Name: Waist Deep
Studio: Focus Features
Official Site: WaistDeep.net
Release Date: June 23, 2006
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence and pervasive language
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Kidnapping, Rescue, Urban
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $25 million
Box Office Potential: $45 million
Notes: Out of all the films opening wide this month, this one is being hyped the least; however, it definitely has some potential as a sleeper hit. The film has a pretty good cast led by Tyrese Gibson, who has the makings of a major star. On the other hand, it was directed by the same man who made Glitter, so that's a strike against the movie. In the end, it should make enough money to be a midlevel hit and earn the studio a small profit early in its home market run.


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Filed under: Monthly Preview, Cars, Superman Returns, Click, The Devil Wears Prada, The Break-Up, Nacho Libre, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Omen, The Lake House, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Waist Deep, A Prairie Home Companion