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Survey says: students look forward to summer sequels
Posted May 7, 2007

Movies opening this summer promise excitement, blockbuster special effects and new installments of many fan favorites like “Spiderman 3” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”  But the movie that has University of La Verne students eagerly anticipating its release is “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” which sails into theaters May 25.

In an informal study conducted on campus, seven out of 18 students surveyed cited “Pirates” as their must-see flick of the summer.  For ULV students with busy lives involving homework, finals and extracurriculars, summer movies seem like a nice, future break from the hustle and bustle.

“If I do go and ever have time for a movie, this summer I would probably most likely want to see ‘Pirates 3,'” Alex Braden, a sophomore public administration major, said.

The runner-up movie was “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, with four students impatient for the fifth chapter in the young wizard’s life.  The film, which opens July 13, promises a darker and more adult side to the contemporary children’s classic.

Another chapter in a much-loved blockbuster series is “Spiderman 3.”  Moviegoers in early May will be treated to more adventures of the superhero saga featuring Toby Maguire in tights and Kirsten Dunst as his lady love.

“I’m a big Spiderman fan,” Adam Carranza, a junior speech communication major, said.  “I have my tickets and those for 13 other friends prepped and ready.”

Other notable sequels and episodes include “Ocean’s 13” (June 8), “Live Free or Die Hard” (June 27), “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” (June 15), “Shrek 3” (May 18), “The Bourne Ultimatum” (August 3) and “Rush Hour 3” (August 10).

While summer releases are usually dominated by blockbusters with enormous budgets, studios often put out movies that are less expensive to produce but still profitable in box-office sales. 

Horror movies are a great example of this financial practice.  Movies like “28 Weeks Later”—the sequel to 2002’s breakout hit “28 Days Later”—and “I Know Who Killed Me,” starring Lindsay Lohan, are often targeted as films that will bring in big box-office numbers.

Two remakes of classic horror films will also lend a more sinister aura to theaters this summer.  Rob Zombie’s take on “Halloween” will be released on August 31, and Nicole Kidman stars in “The Invasion”, a remake of the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” opening on August 17.

Finally a college student favorite is the sequel to Eli Roth’s “Hostel.”  Part two promises just as much gore and just as many cheap thrills.

“It grosses me out so bad that I have to see it,” Michael Frederick, a sophomore theater major, said.

Another upcoming release that has ULV students excited is “The Simpsons Movie”.  The full-length animated feature based on the cultural zeitgeist sitcom will premiere in theaters July 27. 

If fans are looking for original and insightful movies (not based on a comic book or children’s novel), audiences will be treated to films like Michael Moore’s new documentary “Sicko,” which focuses on the controversial health-care industry. 

If fans are looking for a laugh, the creators of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” are releasing a film about a stoner who ends up getting a blonde bombshell pregnant in a flick called “Knocked Up."  The movie, which opens on June 1, stars Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen.

And if none of these movies entice viewers enough to brave the long ticket lines, crazy high prices, or sticky theater floors, maybe the promise of a good old-fashioned blockbuster with robots and explosions will do the trick.  “Transformers” opens on July 4, just in time for some all-American Optimus Prime.

Erin Konrad can be reached at ekonrad@ulv.edu.