2012 Summer Preview: July

We come to the strongest month of the year, at least in terms of big-name releases. The studios are well into their summer tentpole season and will try to get their biggest numbers in the month of July dumping their less thrilling prospects into August.

Jun. 29-Jul. 1, 2012


(covering this in this preview because it was moved from July into June and missed the cutoff for the prior article)
Premise: from IMDb: “A story centered on a man and his teddy bear, who comes to life as the result of a childhood wish.”
Box Office Prospects: $65 M
Expectations: I’m not really sure how to classify this film. Family Guy is popular and those who’ve seen the trailer are amused, but does it have what it takes to be a blockbuster? I’m going on the low end of expectations, but think it could easily top $100 million if audiences really enjoy it.
Oscar Prospects: None.

Jul. 3, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man

Premise: from IMDb: “Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner.”
Box Office Prospects: $200 M
Expectations: Can a re-boot of a franchise that just ended do well at the box office? By the looks of the trailer, it’s likely. It won’t perform to original Spider-Man levels, but it should take the July 4 holiday and make a heyday of it.
Oscar Prospects: It could be nominated for Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects, but I’m guessing it gets overshadowed by the large supply of other effects heavy films this year.

Jul. 6-8, 2012


Premise: from IMDb: “Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.”
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Expectations: Oliver Stone hasn’t been a box office draw in a long time and this film doesn’t seem to be getting the press a summer film needs to survive and prosper. The only thing that should give us hope of a solid box office is its actiony goodness and heist-stylings, which probably still won’t be enough.
Oscar Prospects: None.

July 13-15, 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift

Premise: from IMDb: “Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.”
Box Office Prospects: $205 M
Expectations: The box office totals of the prior three films show the film has support among audiences and like Madagascar, this is a critic-proof franchise, so I wonder if it can meet its predecessor’s finally tally or fall short. I’m guessing it will do slightly better, but not by much.
Oscar Prospects: Limited. This is the kind of sequel the Academy regularly ignores in the Animated Feature category, the only one in which it can hope to compete.

Jul. 20-22, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Premise: from IMDb: “Eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face’s crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and the Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy.”
Box Office Prospects: $650 M
Expectations: There is no question whether or not this film will be a hit, but can it outperform the Heath Ledger-fueled second film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy? With the change in ticket prices, it’s quite likely and this will be one of the year’s bigger blockbusters.
Oscar Prospects: There will undoubtedly be buzz surrounding Nolan’s film since the Academy changed its Best Picture quantity rules since The Dark Knight was surprisingly left off the slate four years ago. The rule change seemed directed at this specific omission, so if critics line up behind it, a Best Picture nomination could be assured, though Best Director won’t happen. The film is also likely to pick up several creative nods including Original Score, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Visual Effects.

July 27-29, 2012

Step Up Revolution

Premise: from IMDb: “Emily arrives in Miami with aspirations to become a professional dancer. She sparks with Sean, the leader of a dance crew whose neighborhood is threatened by Emily’s father’s development plans.”
Box Office Prospects: $60 M
Expectations: The law of diminishing returns has been affecting this franchise in each successive outing, but even though the prior films looked rather formulaic, this one, in spite of that, looks like it could be fun. A reverse of the downward trend for this film wouldn’t surprise me…otherwise, this could be the series’ final outing.
Oscar Prospects: None.

The Watch

Premise: from IMDb: “Suburban dads who form a neighborhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day family routines find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion.”
Box Office Prospects: $75 M
Expectations: A cowardly name change may not help the film win attention from audiences. The advertising for the film has been relatively minimal to date, which doesn’t bode well for this Ben Stiller film. Outside of his two big franchises, Stiller hasn’t been a huge box office draw in years, still, it’s a ribald comedy in the waning days of summer with few other contenders in the mix. I think it should do well, but I don’t think it will be a stunner.
Oscar Prospects: None.

Ruby Sparks (Limited)

Premise: from IMDb: “A novelist struggling with writer’s block finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence.”
Box Office Prospects: $5 M
Expectations: It’s weird science of the literary sort. The film is opening in limited engagements, so it’s not likely to perform too well to start and the premise seems niche enough not to be much of a cross-over success.
Oscar Prospects: Indie romantic comedies aren’t the best performers with the Oscars, but if critics are heavily in favor of it, end-of-year awards could be a possibility.

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