Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer's Drought



Have you been enjoying your summer film fare? I would wager that if you compare this summer to summer's past, you're probably finding it coming up short. Want proof? Look at this last weekend's fare, the weekend before Independence Day. What smash hits were released? A Sarah Bullock chick flick called "The Proposal" and a lame comedy "YearOne." Really? Really? Last year this time contenders for box office receipts were more promising: "Wanted", "The Incredible Hulk", "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull","Get Smart" and "Kung Fu Panda" and "Wall-E". Not great films, but perfect summer fare. And waiting in the wings? "The Dark Knight", "Hellboy" and "Hancock".

So why is this summer so different? Why are there so few films out there vying for your popcorn money? Because of last year's writer's strike. Consider the decision to move "Star Trek" from winter 2008 to this summer, or the decision to do the same to "Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince". Without these two blockbuster titles, your summer would have been dominated by Michael Bey's new Transformer movie and that thing which is an adaptation of G. I. Joe.

Me? I don't plan on seeing many films this summer. Instead I'll smile and do a psychic fist bump with the screenwriters out there, too long taken for granted for what they provide. A bare summer? Yep. It's probably good for us. It's a chance to play in the sun and to revisit a more active vacation.

5 comments:

Travis said...

Any summer with a Harry Potter film in it is a good one for me!

I've also been to see the new Star Trek, Angels & Demons, and the new Terminator. Oh and also the new X-Men.

Geez...quite the trend eh? Not an original film in the bunch...all sequels/prequels and/or based on books.

SQT said...

Yeah, it's been bleak. "Up" is the best thing I've seen this summer and I don't see anything more promising on the horizon.

miller580 said...

In theory, it should have been a good year...star trek, wolverine, angels and demons, harry potter, terminator, transformers and up. (oh yeah, and G.I. Joe).

Why the drought? Would you want your normal budget film to compete with the above list? I would hold back. Unfortunately, for those that held back, what they didn't realize was that Terminator (even though the previews showed promise) ended up in the hands of a hack director. Angels and Demons didn't rattle the Catholic church, nor did a gazillion people read the book, Wolverine probably did ok...but still, an attempt to make summer blockbuster money on that old hat? Star Trek ( I think was a grand slam) and I think Up an Potter will help.

Basically, movie execs probably held back for fear the other movies would get lost in the summer fan fare except there was no summer fan fare and lost was a really good chance for a sleeper to come in and make some mad money.

Personally, I saw UP...which was good...even for adults. (it's Pixar). I might see Transformers...might. Probably Harry Potter. And I am going to read.

Rather, I am going to read this summer. I have already read three books (i wanted to read) on top of the reading I need to get done before classes in the fall. Instead of dropping 40 bux on a bad movie, I am going to drop 15 on books.

William Jones said...

Theater attendance is down overall in the last few years. It seems video on demand and DVD sales are becoming a strong part of the market.

And have you noticed the increased product placement? It has almost reached a point where the actors might just halt in the film to pitch Dell Computers.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I know it's not your thing, but The Time Traveler's Wife in August will be huge. Before then, I'm just not interested in anything out there.