Summertime, and the Movies are Easy

It's about that time. For moviegoers (and I hope fans of Christmas forgive the comparison), it's the most wonderful time of the year. Memorial Day officially marks the beginning of the summer movie season, but arachnophobes and arachnophiles alike will notice that Spider-Man 3 is a few weeks ahead the game, hitting theatres on May 4.Okay, so the studio didn't heed my advice and make Spidey 3 a word-for-word remake of Amazing Spider-Man #256 and #257, where Spider-Man took on the erstwhile villain known as Puma! What? You never heard of him? Well, let me just tell you that Puma was an excellent soccer player. Anyway, you'll actually get to see your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man take on Sandman, Venom, and some incarnation of the Green Goblin. Yeah, like that sounds exciting. Woo. Hoo.The Ogres are out of the gate early as well, hitting May 18 in Shrek the Third. We all know that both of these movies are going to do very well. The question is, "Which will reign supreme?” Shrek 2 won the 2004 competition, raking in $436 million in the US, while Spidey earned a measly $373 million (shy of the 2002 prequel's $403 million).

Wow. These numbers make these two films among the most lucrative franchises in film history. I might take this opportunity to mention that the Star Wars films are the only franchise with two (count 'em, TWO!) entries in the top 5 All-Time USA Box Office!* Granted, that might just be because the number-one film, Titanic, doesn't have a sequel. Yet.

I'm still waiting on the “pirates vs. ninjas” movie, but until then, at least we've got a decent pirate movie coming in late May. Apparently, the Caribbean is a great place to find pirates, because Disney is about to have their third blockbuster about buccaneers in that vicinity. There’s no reason to believe that, with the same cast and crew as the first two movies (including the often eccentric Johnny Depp), this flick won’t make bucketloads more cash for the House of Mouse. We’ll see how big a dent the Pirates put into the earnings of Misters Shrek and Spider.

We've already seen Ghost Rider this year, and Spider-Man is just now hitting the cinema. With the Fantastic Four sequel coming in June, Marvel Entertainment, the originator of all these characters, is making a pretty decent shift into the cellulite universe. Wait – that should be celluloid. I knew I'd make that mistake.

Anyway, what other Marvel Universe characters can we expect to see coming our way? Well, next year, you'll be seeing Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man. At first, I thought it'd be something in the vein of Mr. Mom, with a domestic daddy pressing shirts and pants ad infinitum, then I figured it had something to do with the old Black Sabbath song. Strangely, neither is the case, but I'm sure we'll hear more on this in the coming months.

I'm really hoping Marvel gets someone to produce a film based on Alpha Flight (they're Canadian! Who doesn't like Mooses? Meeses? Moosees!?!) or Howard the DuckÂ…oh, never mind that last one.

Well, we talked about Shrek already, but apparently, with the outstanding performance of the Shrek franchise, along with the moderate success of the Hulk movie a few years back, Hollywood feels that green is the way to go. To wit, Jolly Green Giant: The Movie. The plot? Mr. Giant has to save all the little sprouts from being eaten by a bunch of herbivores. Then he goes into business, chopping up those broccoli-looking kids and packaging them for sale in your local grocery! Sleep well, everyone.

Oh, how I miss Sanjaya. See yaÂ’ in June!

If you wanna know where the stars be goin', ask Jimmy Faux – he be knowin'!