Follow us on

2005 Preview: July

July 1st, 2005

July Starts with a bang, thanks to the long Independence Day weekend, but the rest of the month is solid, with a potential $100 million movie being released practically every weekend. It is also the first full month where school children are free meaning weekday numbers are almost as important as weekend grosses. On the other hand, the month isn't as strong as last year and there's a good chance the record breaking slump the box office is in will continue throughout the month.

Name: Bad News Bears
Studio: Paramount
Official Site: BadNewsBearsMovie.com
Release Date: July 22nd, 2005
MPAA Rating: N/A - studio is aiming for a PG-13 release
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Baseball
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $30 million
Box Office Potential: $65 million
Notes: I'm looking forward to seeing this movie a lot more than I should be, after all, it is a remake and they've been in quite a slump recently. However, it combines the director of School of Rock and the writers of Bad Santa, which are two of my favorite movies from 2003. There are a couple of issues that might hurt the film, namely the similarly themed Rebound that comes out a couple of weeks earlier, however, Billy Bob Thornton should be much better in the role than Martin Lawrence will be. Will he be as good as Walter Matthau was in the original? Almost certainly not, and that's the other issue holding the film back. On a side note, the PG-13 rating may disappoint those expecting Billy Bob Thornton to repeat his performance from Bad Santa, but it should help at the box office.

Name: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: ChocolateFactory.Movie.WarnerBros.com
Release Date: July 15th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for quirky situations, action and mild language.
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Fantasy
Genres: Food
Production Budget: $80 - $150 million - reports vary
Box Office Potential: $200 million
Notes: Director, Tim Burton referred to this film as re-adaptation of the original Roald Dahl novel and not a true remake and it should prove to be more faithful to that story. The film marks the fourth time Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have worked together and the 10th collaboration between the director and composer Danny Elfman, and all three worked together on The Corpse Bride. I'm confident that this will be the biggest box office hit for any film opening this month. The only point of concern is the marketing of this film, which could have a tough time selling the more psychedelic aspects of the film while still attracting a family audience.

Name: Dark Water
Studio: Disney
Official Site: DarkWater.Movies.Go.com
Release Date: July 8th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, frightening sequences, disturbing images and brief language.
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Horror
Genres: Hauntings
Production Budget: $55 million to $65 million, reports vary
Box Office Potential: $75 million
Notes: One of a growing number of Japanese horror remakes. This film will either have a similar box office run to other Asian horror remakes like The Grudge and The Ring break $100 million, or struggle to hit $50 million like House of Wax. And while my prediction simply splits those two extremes, it is less likely than either. On the plus side, the film looks very moody, it has a great cast, including a personal favorite of mine, Jennifer Connelly and there's little competition in the horror market at this time of year. On the down side, there's a reason why there's little competition in the horror market at this time of year, they generally don't do well during the summer. Also hurting the film's chances is the overall competition, it's going against the opening of Fantastic Four and the sophomore stint of War of the Worlds.

Name: The Devil's Rejects
Studio: Lions Gate
Official Site: TheDevil'sRejects.com
Release Date: July 22nd, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sadistic violence, strong sexual content, language and drug use.
Source: Sequel
Major Genre: Horror
Genres: Road Trip or Serial Killers
Production Budget: Reportedly $20 million, but that seems high
Box Office Potential: $25 million
Notes: There is word that this film will be Lions Gate's widest release of all time, topping Saw's 2,315 theatres. And if it does it has a chance of making more money during its opening weekend than the original made in total. But it could also make more money during its opening weekend then it makes during the rest of its run. It's opening on a crowded weekend and has a very niche market appeal, however, it's should shine on the home market making its profit there. Possibly even enough to justify another Sequel.

Name: Fantastic Four
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Official Site: FantasticFourMovie.com
Release Date: July 8th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action, and some suggestive content.
Source: Based of a Comic Book
Major Genre: Action / Adventure
Genres: Super Hero and Marvel Comics
Production Budget: $87.5 million
Box Office Potential: $125 million
Notes: There's a lot of buzz around this movie, but in this case it's not a good thing. Diehard fans of the comics have been complaining about this film since the first casting choices were made. Most of the complaints were directed at Jessica Alba because she didn't look like Susan Storm did in the comic book, as if adding a little more diversity is a bad thing. On the other hand, the complaints about The Thing are more worrisome; Michael Chiklis looks like a man in a rubber suit. That's probably because he is a man in a rubber suit, but in this day of CGI it's unacceptable for special effects to look that bad. Hopefully it's not bad enough for the Hulk Effect to kick in, but that is a distinct possibility.

Name: Hustle & Flow
Studio: Paramount
Official Site: Hustle and Flow
Release Date: July 13th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sex and drug content, pervasive language and some violence.
Source: Original Script
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Music Industry and Prostitution
Production Budget: $2.8 million
Box Office Potential: $25 million
Notes: This film is already a financial successm since it cost just $2.8 million to make and the distribution rights were sold to Paramount for $9 million during the Sundance Film Festival (which is a record for the festival). The biggest obstacle for the film's success is its theater count. Right now, there's some question whether the film will get a wide or limited release, and even it get a wide release it won't be in a whole lot of theaters (taking an educated guess, I'd say 1,800). Either way it will have to rely on strong word-of-mouth to succeed.

Name: The Island
Studio: Dreamworks
Official Site: TheIsland-TheMovie.com
Release Date: July 22nd, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexuality and language.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Sci-Fi
Genres: Cloning
Production Budget: Unknown - expected to be north of $100 million
Box Office Potential: $60 million
Notes: This is one of those movies that look great on paper, excellent cast, very bankable director, timely premise, etc. However, I have the gut feeling that the film will be much weaker than the sum of its parts. I think too much of the plot is given away in the trailers and without the mystery there's only the mindless action left. I fully admit I could be way off base here and the film could easily double my prediction, but I'm going with my gut on this one.

Name: Must Love Dogs
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: MustLoveDogsMovie.com
Release Date: July 29th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content.
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Romantic Comedy
Genres: Divorcee Romantic
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $35 million
Box Office Potential: $55 million
Notes: This is a film that probably won't start out very fast, but will have much better legs than most other films and will really shine on the home market. Diane Lane plays a woman who is recently divorced and not interested in dating, until her family puts her profile onto an online dating service. John Cusack plays one of the men who responds to her ad, who is also reluctant to enter the dating world. John Cusack has been in a lot of movies, most of them have been quite good, but he still doesn't have the drawing power at the box office that he should. The natural chemistry between the two stars and the stellar cast should allow this film to become a solid, midlevel success.

Name: Rebound
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Official Site: ReboundTheMovie.com
Release Date: July 1st, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild language and thematic elements.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Basketball
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $45 million
Box Office Potential: $30 million
Notes: Martin Lawrence is not what you would call a bankable star. While he's has a few big hits, he's had many more misses. And while I have to admit, seeing Martin Lawrence yell at a bunch of kids does hold some comedic appeal, chances are the movie will barely merit a rental. That opinion is backed up by director Steve Carr's career; while he has helmed three box office successes, not one of his films has coming close to earning positive reviews. Also hurting the film's chances is Bad News Bears, which appears to be the obvious better of the two similar movies.

Name: Sky High
Studio: Disney
Official Site: SkyHighMovie.com
Release Date: July 29th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action violence and some mild language.
Source: Original Script
Major Genre: Action / Adventure
Genres: Super Hero, New Guy in School and Boarding School
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $60 million
Box Office Potential: $40 million
Notes: Early buzz has this film being compared to Spy Kids, which is a good sign. It is also being compared to Thunderbirds, which is a really, really, devastatingly bad sign. This film does have a lot of potential to be a crowd pleasing, family film, it all depends on how much effort was put into making an entertaining film rather than trying to create a franchise. One last note, apparently Disney has signed all the kids in the movie to a contract not only to star in the movie, but in a TV series that will air on the Disney Channel, that is assuming the movie is a success.

Name: Stealth
Studio: Sony
Official Site: SonyPictures.com
Release Date: July 29th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense action, some violence, brief strong language and innuendo.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Action/Adventure
Genres: Robots and other A.I.s
Production Budget: $130 million
Box Office Potential: $60 million
Notes: Will probably be the most expensive miss of the summer costing more than Kingdom of Heaven and with less international upside. None of the stars are proven box office draws (Jamie Foxx is the closest, but it's too early to tell if he can transform his Oscar win for Ray into box office gold). Director, Bob Cohen has had two hits in a row, both mindless action movies with Vin Diesel. And quite frankly, the trailer didn't impress me, it was Top Gun meets The Terminator without any of the elements that made those two films a success.

Name: War of the Worlds
Studio: Dreamworks SKG
Official Site: WarOfTheWorlds.com
Release Date: June 29th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for frightening sequences of sci-fi violence and disturbing images.
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Sci Fi
Genres: Alien Invasion
Production Budget: Officially $135 million but expected to be much more
Box Office Potential: $225 million
Notes: One of the most bankable stars teams up with one of the most bankable directors to create one of the most expensive movies of the summer. Practically a guaranteed hit with only two minor downsides, firstly it's so expensive that it could be a hit and still not make enough money to cover its production budget. There was a rumor that the film became the costliest film in Hollywood history, topping Titanic. The studio denied the rumor giving a production budget of $135 million, but the true figure is probably somewhere in the middle. Secondly, there are many changes compared to H.G.Wells' classic novel, which could negatively impact the film's box office. Note: While this film opens in June, it is more of a July movie and will therefore also appear on July's preview with any last minute updates. Additional Note: There are no last minute updates other than the film's rating and budget clarifications.

Name: The Wedding Crashers
Studio: New Line
Official Site: TheWeddingCrashers.com
Release Date: July 15th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sexual content/nudity and language.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Cross Class Romance
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $30 million
Box Office Potential: $85 million
Notes: This summer's lowbrow comedy stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, who has starred in more than a couple such films. This has all the ingredients needed to a successful lowbrow comedy, two actors who've worked in the genre, Christopher Walken acting all scary, Will Ferrell in a cameo, etc. And while this formula has worked well before, audiences will eventually grow tired of it and one day one of these films will bomb horribly.


Submitted by:

Filed under: Monthly Preview, War of the Worlds, The Wedding Crashers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Four, Sky High, Must Love Dogs, The Island, The Bad News Bears, Stealth, Dark Water, Hustle & Flow, The Devil's Rejects, Rebound