When HitFix spoke to J.J. Abrams this past weekend about his new movie “Super 8,” we quickly asked if he would direct the other highly anticipated movie in his producing stable, “Star Trek II” (or the “Star Trek” sequel, take your pick). He surprised by saying he was down to direct (something he’d been non-committal about previously), but he was still waiting for a screenplay. This was Sunday, May 22, 2011. Paramount Pictures announced a sequel to the “Star Trek” reboot was in the works in April of 2009, weeks before the first film hit theaters. Two years later and screenwriters and producers Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof and Robert Orci still haven’t settled on the Enterprise’s next adventure. Yikes.
Normally, that wouldn’t be a big concern, but for Paramount Pictures the issue is pressing. The studio has a June 29, 2012 release date on the books in what is set to be a very competitive summer (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Avengers,” “Brave,” “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Men in Black III,” “Battleship,” etc.). If “Trek” doesn’t start shooting by early fall, it’s going to be hard to get the special effects driven sequel finished in time. Moreover, if “Trek” isn’t going to make the date every studio in town wants to pounce on that lucrative pre-July 4 holiday opening. Right now? They are respecting the collective appeal of Kirk, Spock and Neytiril, er, we mean Uhura and staying away.
Could this be another secret marketing ploy by Abrams and Paramount to make the fans think the sequel isn’t happening, but it really is? Yeah, that’s probably over thinking it a bit. In any case, such concern and speculation is enough to push the Enterprise crew to the top spot over the long awaited blockbuster, “The Hangover, Part II.”
As for the rest of this week’s power rankings…
May 26, 2011
1. “Star Trek II” aka “Star Trek” sequel
We still think it would be nice if the Enterprise bridge didn’t look like a well lit W Hotel lobby, but that’s just us. I mean, hardwood floors in space? Really?
2. “The Hangover, Part II”
What’s a $100 million plus opening among friends? It’s the biggest debut of the year, so far, is what it is.
3. “X-Men: First Class”
Early reviews have been ecstatic, but can 20th Century Fox turn that positive buzz into an opening they are happy with? Pre-release polling isn’t on their side so far…
4. “Green Lantern”
Speaking of pre-release polling, sure seems like a lot of people know that the Emerald Crusader is hitting theaters. Whether they buy a ticket or not remains to be seen.
5. “Snow White” vs. “Show White”
The “Brother’s Grimm’ Snow White” vs. “Snow White and the Huntsman” release date hokey poky is becoming comical. Who moves next? It doesn’t matter, no matter how good either films are they are going to suffer from the competition.
6. Osama Bin Laden
He’s dead, but “The Hurt Locker” team of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal are going to chronicle the long hunt to find him. At least we know it’s a happy ending…
Reports say Albert Hughes has left the long awaited live action adaptation of the Katsuhiro Ohtomo animated classic. Yeah, we’re not sure this movie is ever really going to happen either.
8. “Pirates of the Caribbean”
Audiences turned away from seeing “On Stranger Tides” in 3D affecting its less than expected $90.1 million U.S. opening weekend (or maybe it was the reviews?) Overseas? Keira and Orlando were not missed.
9. “The Twilight Saga”
A classy new poster is here and less than two weeks until the first teaser trailer for “Breaking Dawn, Pt. I” arrives. That’s “Twilight” Def-Con 5 people.
$66 million in 13 days isn’t a summer surprise, it’s a summer smash.
11. Lars Von Trier and “Melancholia”
Whew, he’s finally stopped granting interviews. Cannes winner Kirsten Dunst might actually have a shot at an Oscar nomination now. Maybe.
12. Visual Effects Society
Special effects artists are mad as hell and they’re not gonna take it anymore. What they really need to do is threaten to strike. Once those over 40 actors find out there’s no touch up work anymore? Heh.
13. “The Tree of Life”
It won the Palme d’Or, but can it make a dent at the art house? We’re about to find out.
14. “Super 8”
J.J. Abrams has made a solid family adventure film. Not that you would know it from the advertising campaign.
15. “The Muppets”
A second “fake” trailer debuts this week. We get that it’s a teaser campaign, but maybe one was enough Disney? A real “Muppets” teaser might be more effective at this point. Truth hurts.
Movie Power Rankings appear weekly once again now that HitFix has gotten its act together. You’ve been warned.
What do you think of this week’s rankings? Share your thoughts below.