Hitting the Big Screen

Grab your popcorn and head to your local theater because this summer’s movie season is just warming up. Box office analysts say last Memorial Day’s box office numbers were the lowest since 2001, but some say this summer’s movies are looking hot.

Sequels are sizzlin’ this summer. According to Box Office Mojo, there are a record 27 sequels this year, and a few of them are major chart toppers. We asked Hollywood Palms owner Ted Bulthaup what he thought a few of them might be.

Captain Jack Sparrow is back and looking for the Fountain of Youth. Theater owners say its May release is starting the summer months off on the right foot.

“Pirates of the Caribbean is pretty much a shoe in,” said Bulthaup. “I can’t see how that’s going to miss.”
Right after all the craziness in Vegas, the boys are at it again in Thailand in The Hangover Part II. The original movie raked in more than $275 million, and experts say the sequel is projected to do just as well.

“The Hangover sequel is actually tracking better than Pirates now, [But] I think that’s going to be a huge movie as well,” said Bulthaup.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon has the Autobots and Decepticons racing to the moon in this highly anticipated movie.

“Transformers, especially here in Chicago because it was filmed here, is a pretty safe bet I would say,” said Bulthaup.
All experts agree that this summer’s most anticipated film is the eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter series. Viewers have watched Harry, Ron and Hermione grow up at Hogwarts over the last ten years, and in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the series that swept the generation comes to an end.

“If something’s really good, that’s what all the studios are looking for,” said Bulthaup. “Those tent pole movies, you don’t have to come up with something entirely new each time. It can re-launch these and build on previous success. Harry Potter really set the standard for those. We’re kind of sorry to see Potter go.”

Bulthaup says that while the July release of Captain America looks strong, he doesn’t think it will be a major blockbuster. However there could be a few sleeper movies rounding out the top five this summer, bringing in a higher revenue than anticipated.

“There’s a good women’s movie out being the sleeper, and that is The Help,” said Bulthaup. “I’m hearing a lot about it. I don’t know much about it right now but the buzz is really good. Another is the Green Lantern. I was a little skeptical about that and the actor they chose, but I saw about a half hour of footage and it was very good.

“I think my number one sleeper this summer would have to be Super 8. It’s a Steven Spielberg film coming out in a few weeks. I think he’s really on his game with this one, [and] it’s going to be a good surprising movie.”

With the kids out of school and summer jobs bringing in the cash, Bulthaup says this summer is going to be exceptional.

Hollywood Palms often brings in actors for movie previews. This summer they plan to bring in Dan Akroyd, Dick Van Dyke, Chevy Chase and even a few Harry Potter and Twilight stars.


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