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Summer box office nears record high
Posted Sept. 24, 2007

With the end of beach tans and the start of textbooks flipping open, the summer movie season is in the history books.

The season, which typically starts the first weekend in May and heads through Labor Day weekend, is usually the time that big film production companies roll out their action-packed, top-notched thrill movies. This summer season was no different. This season headed towards breaking the previous summer box office record set in 2004 to be the first summer to hit $4 billion, according to research firm Media by Numbers. Potential summer popcorn flicks were rolled out almost simultaneously, leaving some ULV students in the dusk, but people still found time to see their favorite flicks.

“I thought it was the best I have experienced thus far,” senior business major Wes Pohlmann said.

Usually big action movies would dominate the summer box-office platform, however, this summer season also saw genres like comedies such as “Superbad” and “Knocked Up,” to musicals like “Hairspray,” became student’s cult favorites.

“Superbad,” a slapstick comedic film following three high school buddies on one of their last nights as adolescents, struck a huge cord with many ULV students. Quotes from the movie are passed through conversations and the movie has instantly become a cult classic.

“It was the most original idea,” Paul Bennett, a junior political science major said “And it was appealing to my age group.”

“It’s like the ‘Animal House’ of our generation,” Pohlmann said.

Comedies may have won ULV hearts, but students still found some time to watch the classic action-packed films typically released in the summer.

“I’m just a big fan of blowing stuff up,” freshman Phil Velasco said.
The first part of the season was dominated by “threequels” such as“Spiderman 3,” “Shrek the Third” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” Record numbers were reported in May alone.

“Spiderman 3” benefited from its early start to become the biggest box-office grossing film of the year with $336,530,303, according to boxofficemojo.com. Other winners of this summer include “Shrek the Third,” “Pirates” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”

“’Harry Potter’ was amazing. I’m a big ‘Harry Potter’ fan,” senior biology major Connie Elejalde said. “I’d see it again if the movies weren’t so expensive.”

This summer also saw popular TV shows, such as “The Simpsons,” adapted for the big screen. Also everyone’s favorite alien robots came to life in the live action version of “Transformers.”

“It had really good special effects and I liked how the ‘Transformers’ transformed fluidly,” sophomore social science major Roddy Cobb Jr. said.
This summer season, like all summers, did have its share of disappointments. While many students found some entertaining, others were left with an awful taste in their mouths.

“Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” received horrible reviews andperformed poorly at the box-office, as did “Rush Hour 3.” But the biggest summer loser was “Evan Almighty” starring Steve Carrell, the sequel to “Bruce Almighty.” With a dismal total of $98,972,000, according to boxofficemojo.com, “Evan Almighty” didn’t even recuperate the amount it cost to make the film.

Some students point to Hollywood’s sadistic nature to make a profit rather than just to make an entertaining movie to watch.

“‘Live Free or Die Hard’ is one of the biggest sell-outs of the year because of the rating,” senior English major Josh Thigpen said. “Anybody that knows anything about the ‘Die Hard’ series knows that it’s violent and I believe that the PG-13 rating, because it appeals to a wider audience, sold out against the ambience of the first three films.”

Others felt displeasure at some of the summer’s most celebrated films.
“‘Superbad’ was really super bad. Certain scenes were just too dirty,” junior liberal studies major Diana Lopez said. “I thought it was pretty funny, but high school for me wasn’t like that movie.”

Dramatic releases, such as “Rescue Dawn” starring Christian Bale and “A Mighty Heart” starring Angelina Jolie, were some of the year’s best-reviewed films. Unfortunately the success of these films did not translate into dollars. Many people feel that the interest in the film is more important than movie reviews given by journalists.

“I think no matter how good the reviews for the film are, if the plot (or) storyline doesn’t appeal to me, I won’t see it,” Bennett said.
While this season was a record breaking one, students were distraught with the rising ticket prices and concession stand favorites such as popcorn and hot dogs. However students still enjoy experiencing the movies the best way they know how.

“I do work at a video store and I could see it for free, but I do love the movie experience,” Pohlmann said.

Jonathan Smith can be reached at jsmith11@ulv.edu.

Top Summer Films (Domestic Gross)
Spiderman 3 $336,530,303
Shrek the Third $321,012,359
Transformers $311,381,546
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End $308,929,593
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $288,271,000
The Bourne Ultimatum $210,695,000
Ratatouille $201,994,077
The Simpsons Movie $180,340,000
Knocked Up $148,418,480
Live Free or Die Hard $133,897,281
Source:boxofficemojo last updated:
09/07/07