Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 05-29-12

“Rock of Ages” – In Theaters June 15th

“Rock of Ages” – In Theaters June 15th

PROM-006 – The spaceship Prometheus makes its way to a distant planet. Photo: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox TM and ©2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

PROM-006 – The spaceship Prometheus makes its way to a distant planet. Photo: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox TM and ©2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

“BRAVE” Merida (voice by Kelly Macdonald) ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

“BRAVE” Merida (voice by Kelly Macdonald) ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

June jackpot: June may not have its own four-day holiday weekend to tempt moviegoers, but it certainly benefits from being bookended by Memorial Day and July Fourth.

June gets underway with holdover business for films that opened big over Memorial Day weekend. This time around that means Columbia Pictures and Amblin Entertainment’s PG-13 3D sci-fi action comedy “Men in Black 3,” which did about $70 million for the four day holiday weekend.

At month’s end, June benefits from lead-in business via previews or early openings for films opening for July Fourth. Because the Fourth is a calendar driven holiday, when it falls on a Sunday or Monday the last weekend in June actually starts the holiday weekend. This year, July Fourth is a Tuesday, which separates the holiday from the June 29 weekend. But with several films hoping to spark boxoffice fireworks for the Fourth, we could see one of them hold sneak previews Fri., June 29 or Sat., June 30.

In any case, June is prime summer playing time and there's no shortage of films trying to hit the jackpot. Here’s a quick look at what’s opening wide in June:

Universal Pictures and Roth Films’ PG-13 action adventure “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which starts the ball rolling June 1, is from first time feature director Rupert Sanders and stars Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron. In this twist on the classic fairy tale, the Huntsman (Hemsworth), who’s supposed to kill Snow White (Stewart), winds up protecting her from the Evil Queen (Theron).

“Snow’s” been tracking nicely in low double digits as an overall first choice. It’s doing best with 25-plus females and nearly as well with under-25 women.

The competition heats up June 8 with two wide releases targeted to very different audiences.

Fox and Scott Free Productions’ R rated sci-fi horror thriller “Prometheus” is from Ridley Scott, director of the 1979 sci-fi horror classic “Alien” and the 1982 sci-fi thriller classic “Blade Runner.” Scott hasn’t done sci-fi for years, so his returning to the genre now with “Prometheus” is a big blip on the fanboys’ radar. It’s also generating interest from their fathers who were kids, themselves, when “Alien” opened.

“Prometheus” is looking good in its early tracking, showing its greatest strength with 25-plus males and doing almost as well with under-25 males.

Also arriving June 8 is DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s PG rated 3D animated adventure “Madagascar 3.” Directed by Eric Darnell (“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”), Tom McGrath (“Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa”) and Conrad Vernon (“Monsters vs. Aliens”), it features such voice talents as Ben Stiller and Chris Rock.

“Madagascar 3” is the latest episode in the family appeal franchise whose first two titles grossed $376.6 million in domestic theatres. The previous episode, “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” opened Nov. 7, 2008 to $63.1 million and went on to do $180 million domestically.

The new episode will benefit from its early summer opening when many schools are already closed for the summer, making the core audience of youngsters more available than they were in early November. It’s tracking best with 25-plus women and nearly as well with under-25 women and 25-plus men.

June 15 will also see two new wide releases competing for moviegoers’ time and money.

New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.’ PG-13 rated musical comedy drama “Rock of Ages” is directed by Adam Shankman (“Hairspray”) and stars Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta and Tom Cruise.

Based on the hit Broadway musical, it’s a love at first sight story about a small town girl (Hough) and a big city boy (Boneta) who meet on L.A.’s fabled Sunset Strip in 1987. Their rock 'n' roll romance is told to the heart-pounding hits of artists like Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Journey, Foreigner and Bon Jovi. And, oh yes – there’s Tom Cruise as rock star Stacee Jaxx!

“Rock’s” tracking best with women 25-plus and nearly as well with under-25 women.

Also on tap for June 15 is Columbia and Happy Madison Productions’ R rated comedy “That’s My Boy,” directed by Sean Anders (“Sex Drive”) and starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg and Leighton Meester.

Sandler plays Samberg’s down on his luck bad boy father, who hasn’t seen his son for years but turns up when he learns the boy’s become a highly successful hedge fund manager. The buzz is “Boy’s” got lots of laughs if you like hard-R sex comedies – which means it could turn out to be this summer’s “The Hangover!”

Two more new wide releases will go head to head the weekend of June 22. Disney and Pixar Studios’ PG rated 3D animated action adventure “Brave” is from first time feature director Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman (“The Prince of Egypt”) and is co-directed by “Brave” co-screenwriter Steve Purcell. It features such voice talents as Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson.

In “Brave,” impetuous Princess Merida (Macdonald) must use her bravery and archery expertise to undo a terrible curse upon her kingdom for which she’s responsible.

Fox’s 3D horror fantasy “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” will also take a bite out of the June 22 boxoffice. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov (“Wanted”), it stars Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell and Dominic Cooper.

In “Hunter,” Walker plays the 16th president of the U.S., who discovers vampires plan to take over the country and sets out to eliminate them.

June’s last weekend will sizzle with competition as four new wide releases hit theatres June 29. DreamWorks, Reliance Entertainment and Touchstone Pictures’ PG-13 drama “People Like Us” is from first time feature director Alex Kurtzman and stars Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer.

In “People,” Pine plays a man who must deliver $150,000 from his late father’s estate to his sister (Banks), whom he’s only just found out exists.

Warner Bros.’ R rated dramedy “Magic Mike” is from Steven Soderbergh, Oscar winning director of hits like the “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise, “Traffic” and “Erin Brockovich.” Starring are Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer and Olivia Munn.

“Magic” revolves around Mike (Tatum), a male stripper, who takes a young performer, The Kid (Pettyfer), under his wing to teach him the fine art of picking up girls and making easy money.

Lionsgate and The Tyler Perry Company’s PG-13 comedy “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection,” is directed by Perry, whose 11 film franchise released via Lionsgate — going back to 2005’s “Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman” — has grossed over $570 million in domestic theatres.

In Perry’s latest episode, in which he stars opposite Eugene Levy and Denise Richards, a Wall Street investment banker (Levy) is set up as the fall guy for a mob-run Ponzi scheme and must relocate with his family to Madea’s (Perry) Southern home town.

Also arriving June 29 is Universal and Media Rights Capital’s R rated comedy “Ted,” from first time feature director Seth MacFarlane, who’s best known for creating and writing the hit TV series “Family Guy.” Starring are Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and MacFarlane.

“Ted’s’ the story of a grown man, Donny (Wahlberg), whose constant companion is the Teddy Bear (voiced by MacFarlane) that came to life as the result of a childhood wish Donny now regrets ever having made.

Originally, “Ted” wasn’t due in theatres until July 13, but when Paramount announced May 23 it was moving “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” from June 29 to next Mar. 29 Universal immediately moved to take over “G.I. Joe’s” valuable June 29 real estate.

Moving the sci-fi action adventure sequel starring Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and Bruce Willis to next March will give Paramount time to convert it to 3D, enhancing its prospects for a strong spring release. The franchise’s first episode, “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra,” grossed $150.2 million domestically after opening Aug. 7, 2009 to $54.7 million.

Bottom line: Hollywood’s troops – but not the MIA “G.I. Joe” – will be fighting hard in June’s boxoffice trenches.