School is out and for Hollywood, that’s never a bad thing considering they tend to bank on the summer to help boost box office numbers. Unfortunately, we’re not off to a great start after what was an extremely under-performing May outside of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Godzilla” which combined for $362 million according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. Throw in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and its late push of $152 million and the three accounted for $514 million. That’s roughly 60% of the market and still it was the lowest may we have seen since 2010. That’s crazy and why June is now on the clock for getting whatever momentum 2014 had after “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” But, in looking at the pipeline for this month, that might not happen leaving July to somehow pick up the slack. With said that, here is what I feel is June’s “best bet” when it comes to moving pictures on the big screen.
“Edge of Tomorrow” (June 6th)
This is by far the easiest film to put on this preview given who is in it. While the pure mention of his name will draw some “eye rolls,” Tom Cruise is still the most recognized actor in the world. I’m just not sure why he keeps doing all these science-fiction films which can be either a boom or bust. I don’t care, as I would go watch Cruise read a book if I had to, but I’m not sure about other people. And that’s what scares me given this film cost nearly $180 million to make. But, with director Doug Liman behind the camera, I can’t imagine it not be able to keep your attention for 113 minutes. Because like him or hate him, Tom Cruise still draws a crowd because of the 110% he puts into all his films. And “Edge of Tomorrow” looks no different from the trailer’s I have seen, which should equal out to a good showing the next few weeks at the box office.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” (June 13th)
You know, for some crazy reason, I don’t think a lot of people know this is even coming out. Furthermore, I doubt many people saw the original back 2010. I know I didn’t, having finally watched it on DVD a couple years later. It was solid and very much the reason why we are seeing another one now, so I’m excited to see what DreamWorks Animation has done with this new one. Figure, this might be their next big series now that the “Madagascar” series is winding down and “Kung Fu Panda 3” set to be released in 2015. If so, we’re in for a treat as I feel this is one of the better stories to watch from DreamWorks, given it’s based on the book series of the same name by Cressida Cowell. That at least makes it a bit more grounded, which is never a bad thing for animation.
“Jersey Boys” (June 20th)
For most people reading this, you have probably never heard or listened to The Four Seasons. They were popular back in the 60’s and while I grew up hearing them, they sounded like all the other records my parents would play. But, I was a kid and now realize that couldn’t be further from the truth, so I’m excited to see what Clint Eastwood has done here. Based on the Tony Award-winning musical by the same name, this one looks to showcase The Four Seasons like we have never seen them before. I’ve have never seen the musical, but can assume based on the music I have heard from this group, is pretty fun to watch. I expect a lot of the same with the film, which if nothing else gives us something different this summer in–between all the over-budget blockbuster features.
“Third Person” (June 20th)
I guarantee you this will not make many people’s list for June, which is a mistake in my mind. I might even have a hard time finding where this film is playing, given its limited release. But, that won’t deter me from seeing it whenever and wherever it pops up. Yeah, on the surface it doesn’t look like much, but pay attention to who is in it and behind it. Paul Haggis might not be a household name to some, but with such movies like “Million Dollar Baby,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace” under his belt, the guy knows how to put together a story. So, to then add a cast like the one in this film to act out his story makes for a nice combination and one I can’t wait to see play out. Because it’s not often you can gather this kind of talent for a romantic drama, one that includes the likes of James Franco, Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson, Maria Bello and Kim Basinger.
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” (June 27th)
I know, I can’t believe this made the list either, but I really had no choice. That’s how bad June is, but at least Mark Wahlberg is in it. That’s at least what I’m telling myself if I happen to go see it, which is unlikely unless I watch the third one, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” That said, I find it surprising they continue to pay director Michael Bay for more of these, given the reviews on the past two have been less than stellar. I realize it’s not a film or franchise you take seriously, but that doesn’t mean you have to like the uneven script and poor acting. At some point, even a film like “Transformers” has to balance out and not overwhelm the audience with the special effects. But, I think that’s exactly what this series has become, which I guess is OK considering it has pulled in $2.6 billion so far making me almost look foolish for ridiculing it.
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