Superbad keeps performing, so it looks to be a $100 million picture. Not so bad, eh?
The problem with this is going to be the people who will run jokes into the ground. Don’t be McLovin’ it too much, all right? Save it for the stage, Romeo.
THE LOSERS OF SUMMER
Picking the ugliest mutts of summer is never entirely fair, cause it’s hard to qualify some of these films. Yes, Lucky You bombed, but it was thrown to the wolves, and there’s a sense that studios are at least a little honest when they know something works or doesn’t, or perhaps it just smells that way. Other films that could be called flops – like Hostel Part II - cost very little, so the DVD release will send the film into profitability. So I’m giving out Lil’ Dellamortes to spread the love around like syrup – all up on ya.
First up, the biggest loser of the summer (Studio or producer), and the winner is: Lionsgate!
Starting with Bug, going all the way up to Skinwalkers, and probably continuing through 3:10 to Yuma (which will open, but have troubles getting past its reported budget of $70 Mil), Lionsgate could get nothing right this summer. Hostel II and Sicko both leaked before they were released, their long-delayed Captivity was also a wash opening at 12th place, and Skinwalkers opened in 16th. It’s not as if people weren’t going to see genre stuff (1408 was one of the sleeper hits of the summer), it’s just what they were offering, no one wanted. If LG’s lucky War was cheap and they’ll turn a buck on that, and they did have Sicko, which made money… but as the follow up to Fahrenheit 9/11, it was not considered much of a winner. LG, The Weinstein Company and New Line have been taking a pounding lately, and as the mini-majors it would not be surprising if one of these companies folds in the very near future.
And for the biggest loser of the summer (actor or actress): The Dellamorte goes to: Lindsay Lohan
I have a certain amount of sympathy for this performer, mostly because there are some things you can point to that makes her immolation somewhat tragic, but if Lohan was a sticker, her scratch and sniff odor would be box office poison. The Sports Guy suggested recently that porn would be a reasonable route for her to go, and in reading that I nodded along. The idea that she could segue into porn and that it wouldn’t be met with derisive laughter (how far would, say, Jennifer Love Hewitt have to fall to consider that) or all that shocking bespeaks her ruination. At this point she’s passed go on doing a Playboy shoot, no one would care and it would be career suicide. Her two options are to reform herself and get her career back, or spend two years doing porn and then turn herself into a real doll like Jenna Jameson has. Georgia Rule made less than twenty million, and I Know Who Killed Me topped out at seven. Even Just My Luck did $17 Million on her alone, so people like her ten million dollars less. Hopefully that rehab she’s in covers careers as well.
The biggest loser of the summer (film) that looks almost like a winner: Evan Almighty
Much has been said about Evan’s astronomic budget, but it’s hard not to point out that this film cost way too much money. Here’s the thing, if the film was done for a reasonable budget for what it is (an in-name-only sequel starring Steve Carell), then that near-hundred-million-dollar gross would be great, and show that Carell could have both a hit TV show and a successful film career. But because the film cost somewhere around the $200 Million range, Tom Shadyac is going to be in director jail for quite some time, unless he gets lucky with the strike, cause if Stephen Sommers can land a gig after Van Helsing, anything’s possible.
The genre or sub-genre that’s past its sell by date: Torture Porn
Hostel II did little business, and partly that’s the fault of Lionsgate for opening in the middle of the summer (and for it leaking on to the internet), but with The Hills Have Eyes II stinking and Captivity not even cracking five million, whatever pull this sub-genre had is over and done with. Ultimately, the TP genre was likely born out of Abu Ghraib and the Iraq war, but only Hostel (which made $50 Million in the off season and was partly sold as a bait-and-switch Quentin Tarantino effort) made good money. Everything else of that genre has either just done okay, or tanked. And as I said above, the only horror film that did decent business this summer was 1408. Which was something of an old-fashioned haunted house story.
The Dellamorte wrap-up for the films that may end up in Nathan Rabin’s wonderful “My Year of Flops”: The Invasion and Lucky You
Special notice goes to Lucky You (Final domestic total $5.7 Million) and The Invasion (currently at $8 Mil, and likely to top out at less than fifteen) as films that went wide and fell very short. The former was bumped around the schedule for about a year, so no surprises, while the latter was heavily reshot to no greater effect. Both from Warner Brothers, but they had Potter, and Spring’s 300 to fall back on. And for whatever reason License to Wed made money. Evil.
REVENGE OF THE SITH IS STILL A TERRIBLE MOVIE, OH, YEAH AND PREDICTIONS
There’s War and The Nanny Diaries. Scarlet Johannsen is still not a movie star, and word is she might not be much of an actress (she does have boobs, though, which is nice). She, like the current crop of young famous women like Jessicas Alba and Biel, are better at selling Maxims than movies and arguably Rachel McAdams – and where the fuck did she go – is a bigger film star. Biel seems ahead of the curve by agreeing to a nude scene (she plays a stripper, who doffs her clothes to help take care of her terminally ill son. She’s stripping to take care of her terminally ill son. Bravo.) which will either elevate or ruin her career. Either way she’s really, really hot. War is mindless action so it should find an audience who found Bourne Ultimatum a little too smart or shaky.
Mr. Bean’s Holiday should do some business, but the film achieved whatever success it needed internationally (its total is near $200 million), and the domestic release is something of an afterthought, so if it does $7 that’s a sorta win. Resurrecting the Champ looks like a dump, so if it gets to five, well, hopefully the ink’s not dry on Rod Lurie’s Straw Dogs remake. But the winner for the weekend should be Superbad. It’ll be interesting to see if it can hold the top spot against Halloween next week, though Halloween should open big. Or at least have a big Friday until word of mouth kicks in.
So the top five should shake out thusly:
1. Superbad - $18.2 Million
2. War - $12.6 Million
3. The Bourne Ultimatum - $11.9 Million
4. The Nanny Diaries - $8.7 Million
5. Rush Hour 3 - $8.6 Million
And then we’ll know for really reals come Sunday.
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