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Summer Box Office Predictions

Rank Brian Jared John
1. The Dark Knight Rises The Dark Knight Rises The Dark Knight Rises
2. The Avengers The Avengers The Avengers
3. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted The Amazing Spider-Man Brave
4. G.I. Joe: Retaliation MIB 3 The Amazing Spider-Man
5. MIB 3 Brave MIB 3
6. The Amazing Spider-Man The Bourne Legacy Ice Age: Continental Drift
7. Ice Age: Continental Drift Snow White and the Huntsman Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
8. Battleship G.I. Joe: Retaliation Prometheus
9. Brave Ice Age: Continental Drift G.I. Joe Retaliation
10. That’s My Boy Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted Battleship
11. Prometheus Prometheus Snow White and the Huntsmen
12. The Expendables 2 Battleship The Bourne Legacy
13. Step Up Revolution The Expendables 2 Dark Shadows
14. The Campaign Rock of Ages The Expendables 2
15. Rock of Ages Total Recall Total Recall
16. The Bourne Legacy Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Neighborhood Watch
17. Magic Mike Dark Shadows Ted
18. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Ted Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
19. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection Program The Campaign Hope Springs
20. Ted What to Expect When You’re Expecting That’s My Boy

A week or two back Jared asked us to list the dozen movies we were most excited for this summer. Now, the summer movie season never seems to turn out well for me as all the animated sequels and mindless action flicks blur together. Every weekend there’s a new huge release that’s totally forgotten three weeks later.

But I perused the release schedule with misguided optimism, assuming I could find some diamonds in the rough. It turned out to be a good thing that Jared requested a dozen because my first long-list, which I assumed I would narrow down to the final group, came in at precisely twelve. And that’s using a very generous definition of “excited.” By the end it came down to those that I’m marginally more in favor of seeing than not. The whole process was so dispiriting I never got the list to Jared before he and Brian started posting.

I’m sure I’ll see other movies not on this list, particularly ones that pick up some good reviews. Now that The Avengers is getting good reviews I’ll probably check it out eventually. Maybe something like Bourne Legacy or The Dictator will end up being worth my time. But maybe I’ll mostly catch up on some DVDs this summer?

So here’s my list and exactly 5 words about each.

True Excitement

1. The Dark Knight Rises. Duh, I am only human.

2. Brave. Pixar without cars is golden.

Look Pretty Interesting

3. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Gotta be funnier than Melancholia.

4. To Rome With Love. I liked his last one.

5. Safety Not Guaranteed. Bill and Ted for hipsters?

Has a Good Pedigree

6. Lawless. Finally, Shia in a Western.

7. Moonrise Kingdom. Without Baumbach Anderson might prosper.

8. Take this Waltz. Can Rogen handle dramedy? Doubtful.

9. Beasts of the Southern Wild. Sundance darlings always succeed, right?

Maybe One or Two Elements Piqued My Interest

10. Ted. Great premise; hinges on execution.

11. Magic Mike. In Steven Soderbergh I trust.

12. Premium Rush. Gordon-Levitt and Shannon always rock.

The summer movie season starts with The Avengers on May 4th. In anticipation, we’re counting down the movies we’re most looking forward to. We’re doing top 12s. Because it is 2012. That’s why we get paid the big bucks.


4. Brave

Despite the buzz, I’m still lower on this than I expected. Maybe its just a hangover from How to Train Your Dragon, but the Scottish accents just don’t have the same original feel that my favorite Pixars have. Skepticism aside, its a non-sequel and non-Mattel driven marketing make me pleased. And those baby bears look rather adorable. Brave is where I start my “less is more” list of movies that I want to know as little about as possible before seeing.

3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The strongest indicator of my interest in this film is that after watching the initial trailer was “Wait a sec, the Washington Monument wasnt finished while Lincoln was alive…” not “Wait a sec, um, vampires? And Lincoln?” I never read the source material, but anything this ridiculous can’t be that bad. My prediction is that it is this years Rise of the Planet of the Apes — the underrated but surprisingly well-received blockbuster of the summer.

2. The Avengers

My preferred order of the Avengers films: Iron Man, Capt. America, Iron Man 2, Thor, Ed Norton Hulk (see entry on Bourne Legacy), Eric Bana Hulk. And despite only really loving the first two, I am pumped for the first movie of the summer season. The advance buzz has been phenomenal and I’m curious to see how they build a semblance of plot while having to introduce Jeremy Renner and sort-of do the same with Scarlett Johannson.

1. Dark Knight Rises

Naturally. Anyone who doesn’t have this in at least their top 3 hates America.


4. Rock of Ages – An 80s jukebox musical with Tom Cruise as the world’s biggest rock star is pretty much my ideal blend of music, movies, and absurdity.  The supporting cast, including Bryan Cranston, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Malin Akerman, Julianne Hough, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is ridiculous.  That Allan Loeb co-wrote is worrisome, but Justin Theroux also co-wrote, and Hairspray director Adam Shankman is at the helm.  Mostly, I’m just happy this movie exists.

3. G.I. Joe: Retaliation – If only because of Adam’s sheer glee upon watching the trailer for the first time.  Also because the film was written by Rhett Reese and Paul Warnick, who wrote Zombieland.  And this is a little nuts, but I kinda love the idea of Adrianne Palicki and Bruce Willis in, like, a buddy cop movie.  Plus, the Rock is perfect for a movie like this.  Basically, I have a lot of faith in the casting.

2. The Dark Knight Rises – I didn’t love The Dark Knight as much as everyone else in the world, so originally I had this a little lower in my rankings.  But then I realized that the last one was still a really solid movie, they added three or four of my favorite actors and actresses, and there’s such a low probability of me not liking the film.  Nolan may not be a perfect action filmmaker, but he’s a master of the form.  I wrote this before, but am posting after that last trailer hit.  But, damn.  That’s a trailer.

1. The Avengers – There’s the fantastic buzz and the incredible cast, sure.  But this one is simple.  Joss Whedon directing a big budget comic book movie.  ‘Nuff said.

May 2012