Will June Movies Improve On the Slow Summer 2010 Start?

ON

May 2010 was a weak start to the summer movie season. Last year by this time we had Star Trek, Drag Me to Hell and Up, while 2010 has brought us Iron Man 2 and that’s about it. Sure, I had fun with the atrocious Sex and the City 2 and there may be a few defenders of Robin Hood and Prince of Persia, but if you ask me none of May 2010’s offerings match up to any of the three from 2009 I mentioned and considering 2009 was a bunch of films made during the writers’ strike that’s not a good sign. So, will June make up for what May lacked?

This week is a good start with Universal’s Get Him to the Greek arriving just in time as the studio and its genre banner (Rogue) have not had much luck as of late with the failure of MacGruber to grab an audience and the underperformaning Green Zone, Repo Men, The Wolfman and Robin Hood. Granted, I didn’t think any of those were good films and despite my promise to go see MacGruber, the negative reviews and the fact not a single person I trust has yet to give me any reason to actually go see it means I won’t be wasting my money on it either.

The same weekend as Get Him to the Greek, Warner Bros. will be releasing Splice, which I will be seeing tonight and have been anxiously awaiting since it made a splash at Sundance this year. I have been avoiding TV spots for this flick like the plague in hopes of going in 100% fresh and I only have eight hours left to continue that avoidance.

Of course, the first week of June has what also looks like a pair of stinkers in Fox’s Marmaduke and Lionsgate’s Killers, both of which are not being screened for critics*, which pretty much seals their quality fate.

The second weekend of June delivers the Sundance hit Winter’s Bone, which I will also be watching this week. This probably won’t be a stand-out audience hit, but, perhaps like Mother and Child from May, will be a decent independent feature for the art house audiences.

Sony’s The Karate Kid, which I will be seeing this Thursday, is actually getting a lot of positive word of mouth and I am actually looking forward to seeing it. Of course, raised expectations can cause for a film to be inappropriately judged, but we’re only human. Also, Fox’s The A-Team arrives, a film I was worried wouldn’t be screened for press, but just as I was writing this sentence my invite came through. Yes! I can’t wait to see it as I have already said.

On June 18 you will have plenty to choose from. First off, the no-brainer choice is Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 3, which may mean this year’s June will be last year’s May with Toy Story 3 being this year’s Up. I doubt there is anything I can say here that will change anyone’s anticipation for this film as I have not yet seen it yet, but already have my press invite on the calendar.

Two other films to keep an eye on for the June 18 weekend are a pair of limited releases with Fox Searchlight’s fantastic dramedy Cyrus, which I saw last Monday and can tell you now the praise for this film out of the Sundance Film Festival is well deserved. Cyrus is a heartfelt human drama that is just as funny as it is emotional. You’ll love it. The other option is the controversial The Killer Inside Me, which IFC is releasing in theaters and on demand.

The only June 18 title that looks terrible is Warner’s Jonah Hex starring Josh Brolin and Megan Fox, but it certainly has the potential to be absurdly entertaining, but I won’t be holding my breath.

On June 25 Columbia will release the Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider and David Spade ensemble comedy Grown Ups, which doesn’t seem to be exciting any of the people I’ve talked to, but considering it is a Sandler vehicle I have to assume we can chalk it up to a $100 million domestic return at minimum as pretty much everything Sandler does comedically turns to box-office gold. I mean, if You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Click and even The Longest Yard can earn over $100 million what reason would we have to believe this one won’t as well, no matter the quality?

The June 25 title I am really anticipating is the Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz picture Knight and Day directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma). If the trailers are any indication as to how much fun this one will be then sign me up right now.

Finally, the last weekend of the month brings us the screaming hordes of fangirls as The Twilight Saga: Eclipse hits theaters and while it likely won’t end up being the best film of the month I expect it will have a smashing box-office opening. I guess another question for the month is which film will have the largest opening weekend, Toy Story 3 or The Twilight Saga: Eclipse? I asked our Box-Office Oracle and he guessed Toy Story 3 because the Wednesday opening will bleed Eclipse‘s weekend. What do you think?

The final release of the month worth mentioning is Taylor Hackford’s Love Ranch, which will likely only see a release in New York and Los Angeles, but if it’s any good I expect it will expand throughout July and August.

* I have heard Marmaduke was okayed to be screened, but by the time it was okayed it was past print deadlines, which does not really count.