A Movie Sell-Out Survival Guide: Summer 2009 Edition

When last I left you intrepid theater-goers, I predicted Dragonball would tank, Wolverine would rake the box office over, and Star Trek was would shovel the dirt over the franchise after Star Trek: Enterprise nailed it inside its coffin.

So, I am 1.5 for 3. I give myself 0.5 on the Wolverine front because it did sell out opening weekend, but it dropped so precipitously, you’d think some of the reels of the film caught fire. (Probably because of there being too many hot guys in one movie.) That’s pretty damned pathetic. Let’s hope I do better with my Summer 2009 Opt-Out Schedule.


JuneGenre Film Being Released: Land of the Lost (June 5th)

Chances of Being Sold Out on Opening Night: Not even if Will Ferrell was schilling every ticket himself.

Worth the $2 at Fandango: Why not use it in a wishing well? (You could wish for Will Ferrell to stop making movies!)

Sell-Out Alternative: Night school. Especially if you’re even considering seeing this movie. You need all the adult education you can possibly get because clearly you missed some when you were a kid.


Genre Film Being Released: Moon (June 12th)

Chances of Being Sold Out on Opening Night: Only if people need a place to weather out a storm

Worth the $2 at Fandango: Better question: is it worth the $80 in gas money you’ll have to spend to get to a theater that is showing it?

I love Sam Rockwell, and this film looks incredibly creepy and lonely in that paranoid, resigned-to-death, Sunshine sort of way. It’s limited release on the 12th, but even if it weren’t? This is the sort of movie that won’t be playing at the Angelika the week after it opens. You’re probably going to have to wait for DVD.

Sell-Out Alternative: If you can’t find a theater within three counties playing it, might I suggest repeat viewings of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Galaxy Quest and Choke to get your fix of sci-fi Sam Rockwell? Otherwise, have fun at Død Snø! (And if you can find that playing anywhere, I’ll be really impressed.)


Genre Film Being Released: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (June 26th)

Chances of Being Sold Out on Opening Night: 100 minus 1-2%, depending on fanboy dropout

Worth the $2 at Fandango: That money would be better put to buying old Transformers toys off of E-bay.

The robots that turn into stuff are back. What else is there to say about this extended marketing pitch for shoddy action figures? Except that it looks like the squishy humans are, once again, going to take up far too much screen time?

Sell-Out Alternative: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs will be out July 1st. One more Ice Age movie, and Twentieth Century Fox can be officially considered a global-warming-denying corporate entity. (If they’re not already.)


JulyGenre Film Being Released: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (July 17th)

Chances of Being Sold Out on Opening Night: infinity+1%

Worth the $2 at Fandango: You’ll be bringing a wand (and possibly a robe) but you’re too cheap to spring for the guaranteed seating?

The Harry Potter movies print so much money, they ought to affect the rate of inflation.

Sell-Out Alternative: Any multiplex with fewer than ten theaters will be exclusively showing Half-Blood Prince, so if it’s sold out, you’re SOL as far as seeing any movie that weekend is concerned. Re-read the book and try again next Friday.

With Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen having been pushed back into June, Half-Blood Prince is the only genre film being released in July. (Unless you count G-Force, which, if you do, I’ll need your name and address so I can mail you a crate of what-the-fuck-is-wrong-with-you?) Must be a sign of the bad economic times if Hollywood is really giving up almost a month of prime summer blockbuster space to just the one movie (even if it is Harry Potter). If the over-crowded May schedule is any indication, studios are expecting audiences to have blockbuster fatigue a lot earlier this year. Doesn’t bode well for August’s crop of genre movies, especially since the trailer for Half-Blood Prince is easily more interesting and artfully done than all the rest put together.


AugustGenre Film Being Released: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (August 7th)

Chances of Being Sold Out on Opening Night: 100% (if the ratios of Joe/Cobra costumes to attendees at New York Comic Con was any indication)

Worth the $2 at Fandango: Not unless it buys you an honorary membership into the Joes (or Cobra! COBRA!!!)

A source material of questionable quality, a film overstuffed with characters in identical jumpsuits (good luck telling them apart!), and the 3rd Rock From The Sun kid as COBRA COMMANDER!? Oh, and this guy directing it. (Vaaaaaan Helllllssiiiiiiiiiinnnggggg!!) I keep waiting to find out that this is all an elaborate hoax.

Sell-Out Alternative: Christopher Eccleston lowering himself to appear as Destro wasn’t selling out enough for you?


Genre Film Being Released: District 9 (August 14th)

Chances of Being Sold Out on Opening Night: Same as Moon’s.

Worth the $2 at Fandango: If you did spend it, you’d just about double the movie’s operating budget, making it an unqualified financial success!

Since Halo: the Movie Version of that Game isn’t coming out any time soon, this is the best you’re going to get.

Sell-Out Alternative: The Time-Traveler’s Wife, aka “A Night at the movies without your FPS-playing friends, thank God.”


Genre Film Being Released: The Time Traveler’s Wife (August 14th)

Chances of Being Sold Out on Opening Night: 60%

Worth the $2 at Fandango: Save it for a pack of tissues

This adaptation has the potential to be a The Notebook meets Doctor Who weep-fest. Let’s hope not. I had enough of the woe-is-me-for-I-am-incredibly-fortunately-cursed-with-turning-into-younger-hotter-versions-of-myself “time-traveling” with Benjamin Button, and this book deserves so much better from its adaptation.

Sell-Out Alternative: See above. Something about Halo.


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