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2004 Summer Preview - Part 3: June

June 1st, 2004


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After a rather mediocre May, June looks a lot stronger with two films that should break $300 million. Not surprisingly, these monster hits are being released unopposed during their respective weeks. And also not surprisingly, they are being released at opposite ends of the month. The rest of the films are unlikely to make much of an impact, although a few should cross the increasingly irrelevant $100 million plateau.

Name: Around the World in 80 Days
Studio: Disney
Official Site: Disney.go.com
Release Date: June 16th
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Action/Adventure
Genres: Gratuitous Cameos
Production Budget: $110 million
Box Office Potential: $80 million
Notes:This film seems more of an excuse for a series of cameos than is it a real film, even more so than the original. And also like the original it is very expensive production. This film needs to be a big hit for Disney; after a series of smash hits last year, the studio has really struggled this year with costly bombs like The Alamo and Home on the Range. And while I don't think it will bomb as bad as those two films, it still won't be considered a success due to its price tag.

Name: The Chronicles of Riddick
Studio: Universal
Official Site: TheChroniclesofRiddick.com
Release Date: June 11th
Source: Sequel
Major Genre: Science Fiction
Genres: Visual Effects
Production Budget: $120 million
Box Office Potential: $100 million
Notes: This could be one of those rare sequels that make more during their first weekend than the original made during its entire run. The real concern with the box office potential is the drawing power of Vin Diesel. He had big success with The Fast and the Furious and xXx his next two films both bombed. While I don't expect the film to bomb, I also don't think it will be one of the major summer hits either.

Name: Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Official Site: DodgeballMovie.com
Release Date: June 18th
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Miscellaneous Sports
Production Budget: Unknown, estimated at $30 million
Box Office Potential: $20 million
Notes: The term, "hit and miss" is probably the most accurate way to describe Ben Stiller's career. And unfortunately, this film looks to be a miss. The story follows a group of misfit underdogs as the overcome obviously surmountable odd, and that's an overused plot device in sports movies. The film could be stupid in a fun way making it a perfect break from the overpriced blockbusters than dominate the summer landscape, or it could just be stupid. It's not a gamble I'd be willing to make.

Name: Garfield
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Official Site: GarfieldMovie.com
Release Date: June 11th
Source: Based on a Comic
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Live Action Cartoon
Production Budget: Unknown, estimated at $70 million
Box Office Potential: $100 million
Notes: Had this movie been released last December like it was originally scheduled, I suspect it would have made $150 million. However, the CGI was a lot more complicated than initially expected so it was pushed back till June. Since then is has bounced around a few release dates and normally that's a really bad sign, however, each release date change was in response to the scheduling change by a monster film. First Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took its spot so the film moved to May taking Mission Impossible 3's old spot. Then Shrek 2 was bumped up a month and Garfield took its spot. This pretty much means no one at the studio thinks Garfield will be as big of a hit as Shrek 2 or Harry Potter, but no one thought that it would before the schedule shuffle either. It should still have a good shot at $100 million and should become the biggest hit in both Jennifer Love Hewitt's and Breckin Meyer's careers.

Name: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: HarryPotter.WarnerBros.com
Release Date: June 4th
Source: Based on a Book and Sequel
Major Genre: Fantasy
Genres: Boarding Schools
Production Budget: $130 million
Box Office Potential: $375 million
Notes: The third film in the Harry Potter Franchise should see a marked increase from the first two due to the summer holidays. Being the third film there's not much to talk about except to major changes. Firstly, there's a new director in Alfonso Cuaron, who is probably best known for indie film Y Tu Mama Tambien. Secondly, the film is darker and more mature than the other films and that could have an impact on the box office.

Name: The Notebook
Studio: Newline
Official Site: TheNotebookMovie.com
Release Date: June 25th
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Poor Boy & Rich Girl / Poor Girl & Rich Guy Romances
Production Budget: $30 million
Box Office Potential: $50 million
Notes: A love story for a more mature audience, and I don't mean mature as in old, I mean mature as in no longer finds fart jokes funny. The bad news is this film is unlikely to open in a huge number of theatres, (topping 2000 might not happen.) Good news, there are almost no other films going after the target audience, so it should have very strong legs. And the following weekend when Spider-Man 2 crushes all competition, this film should remain relative intact. One last note, this film should make a star out of Ryan Gosling, one of the best young actors working today.

Name: Spider-Man
Studio: Sony
Official Site: Spiderman.SonyPictures.com
Release Date: June 30th
Source: Based on a Comic and Sequel
Major Genre: Action/Adventure
Genres: Marvel Comic
and Super Hero
Production Budget: $200 million
Box Office Potential: $400 million
Notes: Potentially the biggest movie of the year, and could break a few of the records the original set back in 2002. There's really not much more you need to know, other than there is another sequel planned for 2007, this one rumored to pit Spider-Man against Venom and / or Carnage. I can't wait.

Name: The Stepford Wives
Studio: Paramount
Official Site: StepfordWivesMovie.com
Release Date: June 11th
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Robots
Production Budget: $100 million
Box Office Potential: $50 million
Notes: Paramount has recently concentrated on movies with low to mid-ranged budgets with lesser known stars and they've has some success in that market. However, they recently decided to make big budget blockbusters. This is their first attempt at an $100 million movie, but they've picked a strange movie do make. The original Stepford Wives was a dark sci-fi suspense thriller while this version is more of a comedy. When you mess with the source material like that you risk alienating fans of the original, and people who didn't like The Stepford Wives the first time around are unlikely to see the remake anyway. And a poor response from initial screen testing would seem to indicate that. A lot of people would say you couldn't tell the same story because times have changed, you must modernize it. However, I think in this case the story is just too outdated to modernize effectively and that the only appeal the original has left is in its campiness.

Name: The Terminal
Studio: Dreamworks
Official Site: TheTerminal-TheMovie.com
Release Date: June 18th
Source: Based On Real Life Events
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Travel Nightmares
Production Budget: $75 million
Box Office Potential: $100 million
Notes: Tom Hanks looks to restart his $100 million movie streak, which recently ended at seven, with this strange look at a man who is forced to live in an airport terminal. While not as commercially viable as some of his other films, this is still Tom Hanks we're talking about here. And having the film directed by Steve Spielberg won't hurt either.

Name: Two Brothers
Studio: Universal
Official Site: TwoBrothersMovie.com
Release Date: June 25th
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Animals as Stars
Production Budget: €60 million, (approximately $72 million using the exchange at the time this report was written.)
Box Office Potential: $30 million
Notes: This film has already had a successful run in a few international markets, but I don't think its right for audiences in the United States. It's not really a movie as much as an excuse to look at some really beautiful scenery. This film was directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, who also directed the 1989 animal film The Bear. Like that film, this one will probably much more internationally than it does domestically.

Name: White Chicks
Studio: Warnes Bros.
Official Site: SonyPictures.com
Release Date: June 23rd
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Cross-Dressing
Production Budget: Unknown, estimated at $20 million
Box Office Potential: $10 million
Notes: I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time describing this movie because I think it will be pushed back till September very shortly. I'll write a more in-depth prediction then.


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Filed under: Monthly Preview, Shrek 2, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Mission: Impossible III, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Notebook, The Terminal, Garfield, White Chicks, The Stepford Wives, The Chronicles of Riddick, Home on the Range, Around the World in 80 Days, The Alamo, Two Brothers