The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

Summer is here!

Every year, Hollywood dictates that Summer begins about three weeks before memorial day. This is announced by the release of the first Event Blockbuster Movie of the year. Last year it was Deep Impact. A couple of years before that it was Twister. This year, the movie which gets the honor of opening the Summer Season is... The Mummy. But more on that in a sec.

Last year, I challenged you to predict what movies would do well over the course of the summer. The winner got a prize. I boldly predicted huge numbers for Godzilla and The Avengers. I totally ignored a little film called There's Something About Mary. I didn't do so well.

That is NOT going to happen again.

So help yourself to my brief synopses of the main movies which are being released over the next few months, then see which films I brilliantly pick as my top 10 money-making films, then send in your own list and try to beat me.

Got it? Good. Here we go.


THE MUMMY: Start your summer off with a wild ride in the hot sands of Egypt with Brendan Fraser. Big, scary mummy is dug up (by a total idiot, I'm sure, I mean why do they always dig up the evil mummies? Aren't there any good mummies around to play with?) and starts to bring about the end of the world or something like that. Who cares, it's got effects galore and it's going to own the first two weeks of May. But then it might have some trouble... Projected Gross: 110 Million

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: His name is Shakespeare. He wrote some plays a few hundred years ago. Hollywood has rediscovered him and we're getting them handed to us more regularly than John Grisham novels. This one's a comedy. Lovers go on some serious drug trips in the forest and a bunch of fairies have a blast at their expense. And they make Kevin Kline an Ass. Excellent. Projected Gross: 30 Million.

MAY 14

Nothing. Why bother releasing a movie that'll only play for 5 days?

MAY 19

STAR WARS EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE: If you don't already know more than I could possibly tell you about this film, than you're a deaf mute who hasn't seen a film since Tango and Cash. I am seriously thinking of giving special prizes to anyone who dares list Star Wars as anything other than the number one movie of the summer and actually wins. I mean, can you imagine if they were right? Wouldn't that be wild? Like maybe The Mummy is so good that no one bothers to go to Star Wars, and those losers who have been in line for a month can spread out in the theater and stretch their legs across rows of empty seats. Uh huh. Right. Projected Gross: 100,000 Gagillion bucks. Or maybe just 350 Million.

MAY 21

THE LOVE LETTER: What do you do when you're too stubborn to just leave Star Wars alone on it's opening weekend? You counter program. And don't count this strategy out. Theaters will be packed, and lots of women, will drop off their spaced-out boyfriend and check out a movie about real people. Remember when Phonenon opened against Independence Day and ended up bringing home over 100 Million? It happens. Projected Gross: 50 Million.

MAY 28

NOTTING HILL: Is Julia Roberts still a draw? Does anyone care about Hugh Grant anymore? These questions, and many others, will be answered with this love story. Personally, I think this picks up the chick audience in a big way and kill The Love Letter. If it doesn't, Julia doesn't care, she's got another flick later in the summer. Projected Gross: 70 Million.

THE 13TH FLOOR: The makers of Godzilla present a movie that really hopes everyone was so turned on by The Matrix that they want to see another altered-reality flick. Sadly, they will be wrong. There's every chance that this movie opens and closes and no one notices. Here's how the conversation will go. "Wanna see Star Wars?" "Sure." "Bummer, it's sold out." "How about that alternate reality flick?" "Matrix? Already seen it." "Oh. OK." Projected Gross: 15 Million.


INSTINCT: Anthony Hopkins thinks he's some kind of animal. Cuba Gooding Jr. is a shrink who runs around yelling "Show me the Psychosis!" Sounds riveting. Projected Gross: 25 Million.


AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME: Hee-hee. I can't wait. This is going to be fun. If you saw the first Austin Powers, then you're looking forward to seeing this. If you didn't see the first Austin Powers, shame on you. You should. Projected Gross: 95 Million.

THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER: High level cover-ups and top-secret sex tapes. And you thought Hollywood didn't have a Monica Lewinsky flick out this summer. Just kidding. John Travolta gets to the bottom of a military murder. People shoot at other people, stuffy army-types get humbled, and Travolta's chin. Something for everyone. Projected Gross: 90 Million.


SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT: I have no idea what it's about. I'm guessing that Kenny will be killed. Cartman will probably fart. People will vomit and swear and the movie will get an R rating. One of the hottest cult hits around. But will anyone see the movie? Well, Beavis and Butthead made a bunch of money, so there's no reason why this won't do the same. Projected Gross: 40 Million.

TARZAN: The yearly Disney animated classic. Apeman swings through jungle singing Phil Collins songs. I'm already looking forward to the theme park parade. Still, the kids gotta see something, and they sure as heck aren't getting into South Park. Projected Gross: 120 Million.

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR: James Bond takes a break from saving the world to steal some art. Hmmm. World class art thief with a strong British accent and beautiful art-insurance agent who wants to both sleep with and arrest him. This sounds darned familiar. Projected Gross: 65 Million.


BIG DADDY: Adam Sandler raises a kid. What, you need more? I'm betting he makes some faces and uses funny voices. God save us all. Projected Gross: 100 Million.

AN IDEAL HUSBAND: Art flick with fabulous cast. If it's good, it could quietly make a lot of money. If not, you can still see it and feel good about yourself. I mean at least you didn't see Big Daddy. Projected Gross: 20 Million.



WILD WILD WEST: It's the 4th of July weekend, and that means a Will Smith movie. This time he's playing with gizmos and bimbos in the old West. Cool. They say it used to be a TV show. Whatever. Will Smith rocks! Projected Gross: 200 Million.


DICK: Couple of young girls get involved with President Nixon. I know, it sounds lame, but you've got to love that title. Projected Gross: 15 Million.

ARLINGTON ROAD: Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins are nice neighbors, but Bridges, who teaches a class on domestic terrorism, begins to suspect that Timmy likes to blow things up. And that just throws all sorts of kinks into the neighborhood pot lucks. Projected Gross: 20 Million.

AMERICAN PIE: It starts nobody. It's directed by nobody. But the Industry has already said it's this year's There's Something About Mary. All I know is that there's a scene of a guy masturbating with a pie. Good taste, we hardly knew thee. Projected Gross-Out Gross: 55 Million.


EYES WIDE SHUT: This is the year's most anticipated movie that doesn't star a Droid. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have sex with each other. Oh, like you care about anything else. Projected Gross: 125 Million.

BLAIR WITCH PROJECT: An independent film that scared everybody at Sundance. It's made like a documentary, and it's about a bunch of people who start to die and stuff. Did I mention that it's supposed to be really, really scary? Projected Gross: 22 Million.

DROP DEAD GORGEOUS: A black comedy about a beauty pageant, and it stars some total babes. Projected Gross: 25 Million.

LAKE PLACID: Monster flick about a big alligator in Maine. Written by the guy who created Ally McBeal. Insert your own joke here. Projected Gross: 15 Million.


INSPECTOR GADGET: Matthew Broderick is the man-made man. Could be another George of the Jungle. Could be another Mr. Magoo. History will decide. Projected Gross: 70 Million.

THE HAUNTING: Scream brought campy horror back. Now the studios are trying their hand at real horror. And they're putting all kinds of computer-generated effects into the mix. There's a house, and it's haunted, so they bring in Liam Neeson, Jedi Knight. The movie is based on the book "The Haunting of Hill House." They were going to call it "The Haunting of Hill House," but Warner Bros is releasing "House on Haunted Hill" later this year, so they decided to just call it "The Haunting" to avoid confusion. Personally, I think they should have just called it "Hill!" and made it a musical. Projected Gross: 75 Million.

BOWFINGER: Eddie Murphy and Steve Martin. It's a comedy. There is absolutely nothing else you need to know. Projected Gross: 80 Million.


DEEP BLUE SEA: The director of Cutthroat Island has another go at a water movie. The plot line is that scientists genetically engineer really smart sharks, and then the sharks start to kill everyone. Why in God's name would anyone want to create a really smart shark? Did they think the sharks would ask to play Gin or something? They're Sharks! Get a clue people! Projected Gross: 30 Million.

RUNAWAY BRIDE: I mentioned that Julia Roberts has another film this summer, this is it. And it co-stars Richard Gere. Will they find that Pretty Woman magic? Sure, what else is out there for the romantic crowd? Projected Gross: 105 Million.

SUMMER OF SAM: Spike Lee makes a movie about a serial killer in new York. It looks good, the buzz is good, it's probably a really gripping and well made film. Too bad it won't make any money. Projected Gross: 25 Million.

MUPPETS FROM SPACE: Kermit kicks ass. 'Nuff said. Projected Gross: 35 Million.



MYSTERY MEN: An action comedy about a bunch of second-rate super heroes with names like "The Bowler" and "The Shoveler." If it does well, I'm all set to play "The Bitter Critic" in the sequel. BY the way, check out this cast. Ben Stiller. Janeane Garofalo. Hank Azaria. William H. Macy. Paul Reubens. Greg Kinnear. Tom Waits. Geoffrey Rush. Interested yet? Projected Gross: 50 Million.

THE FIGHT CLUB: Brad Pitt beats lots of people up. Basically, a live-action Celebrity Death-Match. Whatever, chicks think he's cute. Projected Gross: 40 Million.


DUDLEY DO-RIGHT: The Mounties are coming! The Mounties are coming! Brendon Fraser tries his hand at another live-action cartoon. Any movie with a character named Snidely Whiplash gets my money. Projected Gross: 60 Million.

13TH WARRIOR: Antonio Banderas stars in a movie based on Micheal Crichton's Viking/cannibalism book, Eaters of the Dead. Can't miss, right? Well, this movie was supposed to be a huge money-maker for Touchstone in April of 1998. It's been a little bogged down in post. Never a good sign. Projected Gross: 30 Million.

MICKEY BLUE EYES: Analyze This was a huge hit. So here's the next normal guy in the mob story. Instead of Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro, it's Hugh Grant and James Caan. I guess you just can't make a gangster comedy without at least one cast member from The Godfather movies, eh? Projected Gross: 25 Million.


THE MUSE: Albert Brooks has writer's block, so he gets inspiration from Sharon Stone, who is a daughter of the Greek God Zeus. I'm not making this up. Sounds fun, but when's the last time an Albert Brooks film made money? Projected Gross: 15 Million.

KILLING MRS. TINGLE: The creator of Scream and Dawson's Creek puts the two together and has actors from Dawson's going around killing people. Which, come to think of it, would be a really cool episode of Dawson's Creek. Projected Gross: 70 Million.


THE ASTRONAUT'S WIFE: Johnny Deep comes back from space to his beloved wife and he's all whacked-out. Not that anyone would notice. Projected Gross: 30 Million.

OK, so what does my Top 10 look like?


We all know I'm going to be wrong about some of these. So go ahead. Try to beat me! I dare you!!!

Note: The form below lists every movie we think has any chance of ending up in the top ten. If one of your picks isn't on there, send your choices via e-mail to In any case, e-mail addresses will be used only to notify winners.











Your Name:

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Contest only counts money made from May 7th-Sept. 6 (Labor Day). You score 10 points for getting a film in its exact place in the top, 8 points for one slot away, 6 for 2 slots away, etc. For example, if you said Tarzan would be 3rd, and it ends up in 6th place, you'd get 4 points. If it's not on the Top Ten, though, it gets no points. Ties will be decided by random draw. The winner will receive a Brunching Shuttlecocks T-Shirt and a Phantom Menace Koosh Toy. Two runners-up will receive T-Shirts. One entry per person. No entries accepted after 13 May 1999.

And may the person who's best at predicting which will be the top ten grossing films of the summer win!

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