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.
Nothing. Why bother releasing a movie that'll only play for 5
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
MUPPETS FROM SPACE: Kermit kicks ass. 'Nuff said. Projected Gross:
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:
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?
1. STAR WARS
2. WILD WILD WEST
3. EYES WIDE SHUT
5. THE MUMMY
6. RUNAWAY BRIDE
7. BIG DADDY
8. AUSTIN POWERS
9. THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER
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 email@example.com. In any case, e-mail addresses will be used only to notify
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!