With the blockbusters officially upon us (in case you hadn’t heard, m:i:iii opens today), the industry is expecting box office to rebound this summer.
I am reminded of some predictions I made in years past. Mind you, these were casual comments about films sight unseen:
On Titanic: Everyone already knows how it ends. (# 1 Total domestic Box Office: $600,779,824)
On Jurassic Park: Are you kidding me? Who wants to see a film about dinosaurs? (#11 Total domestic Box Office: $356,784,000)
On Forrest Gump: What? That title is ridiculous… (#14 Total domestic Box Office: $329,691,196)
On Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: A movie based on a theme park ride? (#21 Total domestic Box Office: $305,388,685)
This summer–the one movie that just strikes me as silly, despite its pedigree and all the awesome marketing muscle behind i, and the (inexplicable) popularity of NASCAR, is John Lasseter’s Cars. Whereas the “stars” in The Incredibles, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and the Toy Story films are expressive, fully developed characters, this film is about cars. They look downright silly. The machine as central figure of a film? A tow truck with buck teeth? A race car with an identity crisis? Windshields as eyes? Are there drivers? I just don’t see it.
This may play to the kids, especially boys aged 3-9, but the success Pixar’s films has rested on their ability to cross over. Besdies these look like the talking cars Aardman Animation produced claymation Chavron ads.
So, that said, I now fully expect Cars to carry the Summer.