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June's Box-Office Is Busting Out All Over!
by Christopher Stone

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DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN, or with Lainie Kazan

DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN, or with Lainie Kazan
As June burst forth last Sunday, the box-office's most successful archeologist, INDIANA JONES continued digging up golden multiplex grosses ($46 million). But Indy was no match for the Big Apple Babes of SEX AND THE CITY. Carrie Bradshaw and Company mined $55.7 million worth of the 24-carat currency. The box-office month started hot - and it continues to sizzle.

If the flick is even half as hilarious as the theatrical trailer, then YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN (opening today) should keep you laughing long after you've left the multiplex. Adam Sandler, who needs a box office home run, stars as Zohan, an Israeli commando who fakes his own death in order to realize his near-impossible dream: to become a Manhattan hairstylist. In other words, he trades in terrorism for a teasing comb. If hilarity fails to ensue, then writers Sandler, Judd Apatow, and Robert Smigel have suicide-bombed a dynamite summer comedy set-up.

Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan,
It HAPPENED to him - and it can HAPPEN to you

It HAPPENED to him - and it can HAPPEN to you
who saw dead people and record-setting box-office grosses way back in 1999 with his THE SIXTH SENSE is long overdue for a hit. Night's THE VILLAGE (2004) didn't take (Hillary notwithstanding), and LADY IN THE WATER (2006) was figuratively and literally dead in the H2O. Shyamalan fans everywhere are hoping that lightning will strike again for the director when THE HAPPENING happens on June 13. In Shyamalan's disturbing thriller, Mark Wahlberg takes his family on the run when a cataclysmic crisis threatens to end the world.

GET SMART and THE LOVE GURU are happening the following Friday (20), pitting two of this summer's top comedy hopefuls head-to-head against one another.

It remains to be seen if Steve Carell can fill the shoe phone of TV's GET SMART neer-do-well Control agent Maxwell Smart, played on NBC in the 1960s, by the late Don Adams, or if the big-screen Smart will miss it by that much. Again, the theatrical trailer makes us think that GET
Hockey wife cheats with Speedo-wearing Timberlake

Hockey wife cheats with Speedo-wearing Timberlake
SMART will fare far better than BEWITCHED, SARGEANT BILKO, CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU?, and the other films made from iconic 1950s and 1960s' television series that A-bombed at the box-office. As his sexy side-kick Agent 99, Carell is blessed with beautiful Anne Hathaway. Sorry about that, Chief.

THE LOVE GURU unspools the tale of Pitka (Mike Myers) an American raised in India by gurus. Like all good capitalists, Pitka comes back to the U.S. of A. to cash in on the (holy) cash cows that are the worlds of self help and spirituality. But THE LOVE GURU doesn't achieve Nirvana when he's asked to settle a marital dispute between a hockey star and his wayward wife. She's having an affair with another player, Justin Timberlake. Can you blame her, ladies? Timberlake sports a big hockey stick and a brief Speedo in this one. For cheesecake value, comely Jessica Alba is aboard as the team owner. THE LOVE GURU was plugged unabashedly on the Season Finale of
SMART couldn't get bars on his shoe phone

SMART couldn't get bars on his shoe phone
AMERICAN IDOL by Myers, both Davids, Cook and (Archie) and Ryan Seacrest. Whether or not Match-Flickers take to Mike Myers' curried comedy pastiche is anybody's guess. Am I the only one hopin' that Myers will someday three-peat his Austin Powers persona?

June's Finale Box Office Friday delivers WALL *E, the Disney-Pixar entry in the Summer of 2008 Box Office Derby. This 28th-Century comic adventure follows a robot chasing his own personal rainbow through the universe. Sigourney Weaver, John Ratzenberger, and Kathy Najimy are among the real-life luminaries giving voice to Disney-Pixar's animated characters.

Should animated hijinx not be your Cup of Box Office Tea as June dissolves into July, then, you may choose to catch WANTED, also hitting the multiplex on June 27. This Angelina Jolie-Morgan Freeman starrer is the saga of an invisible drone's transformation into a dark avenger. Will WANTED hit the screen dead or alive? That's up to you, Match-Flickers.

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The Business of Show
Every other Friday

Does advertising, public taste, or overindulged stars determine a movie's box office fate? Christoper Stone explores what's going on behind the box office.

Other Columns
Other columns by Christopher Stone:

The Cautionary Box-Office

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up. Part Two

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up, Part 1

Quality Is Independent

Oh, the Horror!

All Columns

Christopher Stone
Christopher Stone is the author of the international best seller Re-Creating Your Self. With Mary Sheldon, he co-authored three highly successful hardcover books of guided meditations.

He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Christopher Stone by clicking here.

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