Predicting the Top 10 Grossing Movies of Summer 2007

Everyone knows that there is so much anticipation riding on this summer’s movies. The key number is 3 as movie franchises roll out the next beast in their marketing machines. The movies are as branded as Starbucks and Microsoft and the battle for box-office supremacy will be ugly. When the dust settles, there will be the inevitable losers and winners but moviegoers will ultimately decide the power of a movie franchise. So in the spirit of providing the uninitiated into the vagaries of the summer movie landscape, the editors at Behind the Scenes have employed a complex theorem to calculate the final tally of this summer’s onslaught of movies.  Here is our top ten box-office predictions for this summer:

10. RATATOUILLE (Walt Disney Pictures – June 29) 

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This delightful little romp from Pixar pits a rat against an eccentric chef in a Parisian restaurant. The trailer is funny and the killer team from The Incredibles led by Brad Bird will no doubt lasso in the sought after family demographic of kids and adults alike. The voices involve include Patton Oswalt, Jeneane Garafolo, Ian Holm, Brian Dennehy and Peter O’ Toole. 

Final Tally:  $172 million 

9. EVAN ALMIGHTY (Universal Pictures - June 22) 

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The sequel of sorts to Bruce Almighty finds Steve Carell reprising his riotous newscaster, Evan, who ends up in Virginia only to find God (Morgan Freeman) instructing him to build an ark to stop an impending flood. Carell, who hurt his ankle while filming the movie, is looking to repeat his box-office success from last year with The Forty Year Old Virgin. That would surely propel him to the top ranks of the funny men in the industry. 

Final Tally:  $175 million 

8. LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD (20th Century Fox – June 6)   Live Free Or Die Hard.jpg

Can John McClane escape another death wish? Bruce Willis returns as McClane to prove his mojo in the fourth installment of the Die Hard franchise. Picking up 18 years after the last Die Hard, McClane, who now works for Homeland Security, battles a group of cyber terrorists with the help of a young hacker (played by Justin Long, the dude in the Apple ads). Nothing beats the pounding of the Fox logo followed by a slam bang action scene with McClane. 

Final Tally:  $190 million 

7. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (Universal Pictures – August 3)  The Bourne Ultimatum One-Sheet.jpg 

The dangerously cropped Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) finally returns home to the States. Still plagued by his amnesia, he has to fend off a group of highly trained killers, led by the CIA’s own David Straithairn. Paul Greengrass (Oscar nominated for United 93) returns to direct with Joan Allen and Julia Stiles co-starring. 

Final Tally:  $217 million 

6. RUSH HOUR 3 (New Line – August 10)    As the only bankable franchise for New Line (after retiring the Lord of the Rings trilogy), Rush Hour 3 reconnects Chris Tucker with Jackie Chan as they pursue the assassin to the Chinese ambassador. The trail ends up in Paris where both are really out of their element. Brett Ratner is directing traffic again. The main course here is a fight scene involving Tucker (cannot explain his inexplicable absence from the movies in the last 5 years) and the seventh tallest person in the world, a basketball player called Sun Ming Ming. 

Final Tally:  $244 million 

5. TRANSFORMERS (DreamWorks and Paramount – July 4) 

   Transformers

The fans are foaming at the mouth for this one. Based on the Transformers toys and franchise, in a world pitting rival robots that can transform their shapes, the effects-heavy movie is slated for the coveted July 4 opening and has the most pressure to deliver. Michael Bay directs a cast that includes Shia LeBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and Jon Voight. But the robots are clearly the stars here.

Final Tally: $290 million 

4. HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX (Warner Bros – July 13) 

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The fifth Potter movies flies in on the eve of the final book in the series being released this summer, so anticipation and interest will be through the roof. Harry Potter, in his fifth year of the Hogwarts school, engages the resurrected Lord Voldemont (Ralph Fiennes) in a fiery battle. The usual stellar cast is back - Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Maggie Smith and Gary Oldman and the entire order of esteemed British actors. Which means you’re not one if you haven’t been cast in the Harry Potter movies. 

Final Tally:  $333 million 

3. SHREK THE THIRD (DreamWorks – May 18) 

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The gentle ogre lumbers back to find a suitable heir for the throne of the kingdom of Far, Far Away. The only thing is the possible heir is as big a pest as Donkey. Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas are back to voice their characters. This is the little green giant that could and will topple most other live action films.  

Final Tally: $375 million 

2. SPIDERMAN 3  (Sony Pictures - May 4th)

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It was easy when it was just boy sees girl, boy pines for girl and girl suspects boy is superhero. But then girl had to fall in love with boy. And now boy wants to marry girl. That sure throws a monkey wrench when that boy is Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) masquerading as Spiderman. The stakes are higher as a darker force takes over Spidey and the arrival of two new villains, Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace) only makes thing worse. And there’s the New Goblin (James DeFranco), pitting and reinventing an old friend as a new nemesis. 

Final Tally: $394 million 

1. PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: AT WORLD’S END (Walt Disney Pictures – May 25) 

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The last we saw of Capt Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) was him being swallowed by a giant squid. We’re sure he’s going to emerge grimier and even grungier when he travels to the end of the world to fight off an alliance of pirates that includes Chow Yun-Fat. The big news is that of Keith Richards playing Depp’s old man and it was reported that he filmed his scenes drunk. Either way, this tidal wave will knock out your summer sails. 

Final Tally: $412 million 

So there you have it. We don’t know if this is a bold or safe prediction but we don’t mind if you call in the bookies. However, this prediction is no substitute for sound, legal advice and we warned you. There are other films that almost made it to the list and will still break the $100 million barrier. They include Ocean’s Thirteen, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Knocked Up and The Simpsons Movie. This is going to be a long, hot summer. 


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