The Summer's Hits And Misses

Johnny Depp of Walt Disney's Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - 2003 Walt Disney Pictures

The Labor Day weekend marks the final weekend of the summer movie season in Hollywood, a time filled with some good films but also a lot of hype and a lot of sequels.

People magazine's senior editor, Jess Cagle, and The Early Show Entertainment Contributor Laurie Hibberd offered their recap on the hits and misses of the season.

The two, who mostly have differing taste in movies, agreed on most of their likes and dislikes of summer movies.

The following is a list of their summer choices:

Summer's Best

Cagle: "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Finding Nemo"
Hibberd: "Finding Nemo," "Pirates of the Caribbean"


For the summer's best movie, Cagle said he had to give his vote to Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean."

"It was a good movie," Cagle said. "But it showed audiences respond to a great performance, which was Johnny Depp's."

Hibberd agreed that "Pirates" was a huge hit for Disney, as well as its animated movie "Finding Nemo."

"I thought 'Finding Nemo' was a fantastic movie," Hibberd said. "[It] hit it out of the park. [I] loved it."

Summer's Worst

Cagle: "Gigli"
Hibberd: "The Hulk"


Hibberd says some summer movies weren't able to overcome their high expectation. One film that she thought was a disappointment was "The Hulk."

"'The Hulk,' to me, was the worst movie," she said. "This movie had no excuse for being bad. It had a built-in audience, one of the most beloved comic book heroes, and they blew it. People wanted to love it."

Everything, including the story, was bad about the comic book inspired movie, according to Hibberd.

"And the monster looks fake," Cagle chimed in.

Hibberd responded, "Actually, the animated monster was the least of the problems."

Cagle, however, thought the Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck collaboration, "Gigli," was the worst of the summer.

"I had to pick 'Gigli'," Cagle said. "I think we can pick on this movie [for] the rest of our lives."

"'Gigli' is in a whole other category of bad," Hibberd agreed. "I think no matter what was going to happen, people wanted to hate this movie. It happened to be a really bad movie."

Guilty Pleasure

Cagle: "Freaky Friday"
Hibberd: "Charlie's Angels 2"


"I'm embarrassed to say I loved 'Charlie's Angels,'" Hibberd said. "I loved the pop music. I loved the girls kicking butt."

Cagle's guilty movie pleasure was another Disney hit, "Freaky Friday."

"I'm an adult, 40-year-old man and I loved 'Freaky Friday'," Cagle admitted.

Surprise Hit

Cagle: "Freddy Vs. Jason"
Hibberd: "Bruce Almighty"


Although "Bruce Almighty" had a bankable star in Jim Carrey, Hibberd was surprised it did well at the box office. Hibberd said the movie wasn't Jim Carrey at his best and the movie tried too hard.

"It was boring," she explained. "I couldn't believe people liked it."

Cagle disagreed and said "Bruce Almighty" was good and funny.

He, however, gave his "surprise hit" vote to "Freddy Vs. Jason." Although the movie had a built-in audience who were familiar with the two horror movie icons, Cagle said it was surprising that it was No. 1 at the box office for two weeks.

He reasoned the "Freddy Vs. Jason" success was due to terrible competition.

Best Sequel

Cagle: "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life"
Hibberd: "X-Men 2"


No summer is complete without a sequel. Cagle said "Lara Croft Tomb Raider" was a "best and worst" movie.

"It was the best because it was fun," Cagle said. "I don't think I had more fun sitting [in a theatre]."

For Hibberd, "X-Men 2" was her definitive best sequel of the year.

"The first one was great," Hibberd said. "This one was greater."

Worst Sequel

Cagle: "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life"
Hibberd: "Legally Blonde 2"


As Cagle gave the thumbs-up for "Lara Croft," he also gave it a worst sequel vote of the year.

"It was the worst idea because people hated the first movie," he explained. "Then the studio went out and spent, I don't know, $100 million, $150 million making another one. It was a movie nobody wanted."

"Legally Blond 2" was a big disappointment for Hibberd.

"The first one made Reese Witherspoon a star," she said. "This one was an insult."

But, Cagle disagreed, and said he liked it.




Box office take (in millions)
  1. "Finding Nemo," $ 329.8
  2. "The Matrix Reloaded," $ 278.8
  3. "Pirates of the Caribbean," $ 260.9
  4. "Bruce Almighty," $ 240.4
  5. "X2: X-Men United," $ 214.9
  6. "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," $ 148.5
  7. "Bad Boys II," $ 132.3
  8. "The Hulk," $ 131.5
  9. "2 Fast 2 Furious," $ 126.5
  10. "Daddy Day Care," $ 102.7
  11. "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over," $ 102.3
  12. "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," $ 99.5
  13. "The Italian Job," $ 96.9
  14. "Seabiscuit," $ 92.9
  15. "American Wedding," $ 90.5
  16. "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," $ 88.9
  17. "S.W.A.T.," $ 87.8
  18. "Freaky Friday," $ 74.4
  19. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," $ 64.5
  20. "Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life," $ 62

    Source: USA Today
  • Rome Neal

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