Could this be the greatest movie summer in decades?
What's the surprise bomb of the summer?
There's always one. A summer movie everyone expects to perform that tanks or really doesn't live up to expectations. Last summer had a plethora with "Cowboys & Aliens," "The Change-Up," "Conan the Barbarian," "Green Lantern," "30 Minutes or Less" and "Fright Night" making their studios want to scream. In 2010, "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," "Jonah Hex," "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" became infamous for all the wrong reasons. In 2012? Well, many wonder if "Men in Black III" can ever make its budget back (although we should never doubt Will Smith, should we?) and the quite serious "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" has a big problem with everyone laughing when the title card comes up in theaters (uh-oh). "Battleship" is, well, "Battleship," but with it opening in almost every market overseas before the U.S. Universal is making it clear that how it does domestically is almost an afterthought at this point. Will "Dark Shadows" and "The Dictator" cannibalize each other in the "Avengers" second week? It's too soon to say. One thing is for sure, this is the first summer season in quite awhile where the misfires will truly surprise those working in the Dream Factory.
- Gregory Ellwood