Mar 26 2014, 9:22pm CDT | by Forbes
Like Inception, Pirates of the Caribbean, Super 8, and Pacific Rim, the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Rising is positioning itself, by coincidence or design, as a breath of fresh and original air in a summer filled reboots and sequels. It is an original story, even if the broad strokes will be familiar to fans of The Fifth Element or The Matrix. However you feel about what came next (I’m have liked every single film they have made), it’s good that the Wachowskis are still spending their capitol on original films, or even outside-the-box adaptations like Cloud Atlas.
The question is whether anyone will show up come July 18th. It’s that classic Warner Bros. “mid-July summer gold” slot that I always talk about, the one where they scored with two Harry Potter films, two Batman sequels, and Inception. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opened with $56 million in the second weekend of July back in 2005 while Pacific Rim still scored $400m worldwide off of this one-week early date, as the actual preferred date ran smack into the San Diego Comic Con last year.
Ironically, that didn’t stop Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring the week of SDCC from parlaying a record $41m debut into a $318m worldwide cume. It can be argued that Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring was the proverbial “breath of fresh air” in America while Pacific Rim played the same role overseas. Whatever the case may be, how well Jupiter Rising does is somewhat connected not just to its own quality but to whether or not the big summer movies that proceed it connect with film goers.
Whether or not audiences flock to an original space fantasy starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis will partially depend on if they enjoy The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Inception connected in 2010 partially because the would-be blockbusters of summer 2010 up to that point were uncommonly disappointing. Conversely, Super 8 and Pacific Rim didn’t quite explode in America partially because audiences were generally satisfied with the likes of Fast Five, Thor, Iron Man 3, and Star Trek Into Darkness.
It’s not a direct correlation of course. Frankly the fact that A) Universal just moved The Purge: Anarchy to this July 18th date and B) there are rumblings about a Matrix prequel/reboot/etc. in the works does give me pause, even as I hope from the best from two filmmakers I rather admire. I don’t know the budget is for the Village Roadshow/Anarchos Productions/Warner Bros. production. The fact that Jupiter Ascending is an out-and-out original in the middle of the summer season is reason enough to cheer for it, no matter what you think about the Wachowskis.
I happen to think that the Matrix sequels are painfully underrated, preaching peace during a time of warmongering, and Speed Racer is finally getting its due from the critical community six years after its widely-panned theatrical release. As such, come hell or high water, I’m looking forward to Jupiter Ascending. It drops July 18th, and as always, we’ll see.
Source: Forbes Business
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