Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Superbad) became an everyman comedy star while veteran Andy Griffith returned to the big screen in the Keri Russell film Waitress. The cooking romance No Reservations became a sleeper hit while Lindsay Lohan (Georgia Rule, I Know Who Killed Me) was box office kryptonite. Robin Williams’ familiar shtick in License to Wed couldn’t succeed even with rising stars Mandy Moore (Walk to Remember) and John Krasinski (The Office television series).
Arguably the two most beautiful women in the world (after my wife and daughter) found limited success with their releases A Mighty Heart (Angelina Jolie) and The Last Legion (Aishwarya Rai). The kid friendly Underdog had recognizable voice talent (My Name is Earl's Jason Lee) and might have done even better with a bigger star. The science fiction Sunshine, Vietnam POW drama Rescue Dawn, and serial killer themed Mr. Brooks had darker themes, while even lighter fare like the stunt comedy Hot Rod and sleuther Nancy Drew still couldn’t draw big audiences at theaters.
These leading actress showcases had hit potential, but will likely find more success on home video: the Michelle Pfieffer fantasy Stardust, women’s soccer origin drama Gracie and Alzheimer’s disease heartbreaker Away From Her. Bratz, Bug and Daddy Day Care couldn’t make an impression while similar stinkers like Agua Teen Hunger Force (good beginning, rest was terrible) and Delta Farce have already been released on home video. Be sure to catch these notable summer 2007 titles, which didn’t get a wide release in theaters, on home video: the musical Once, the personal Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada) and the eclectic romance Paris, Je’ Taime.
Overall, the box office tallies and special effects continued to overshadow filmmaking talent and better plots usually reserved for the fall/winter schedule usually reserved for Oscar® contenders. Sequels over story. Style over substance. Hollywood mainly listens to the almighty dollar during summertime. Money making franchises and sure shot sequels are inevitable, but if enough rich character gems like Once, Ratatouille and Bourne Ultimatum continue, then the summer season will satisfy all audiences.