2011 Summer Movie Pool Preview | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II | Transformers: Dark of the Moon | The Hangover 2

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2011 Summer Movie Pool Preview

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
The Hangover 2
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Cars 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Help
Kung Fu Panda 2
X-Men: First Class
The Smurfs
Super 8
Horrible Bosses
Green Lantern
Bad Teacher
Cowboys and Aliens
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Mr. Poppers's Penguins
Friends with Benefits
Final Destination 5
Spy Kids:  All the Time in the World
Jumping the Broom
The Change-Up
Shark Night 3D
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
In case if you don't know what's coming out for the summer season of 2011, check below for a detailed list of this year's crop!

May 6
- Jumping the Broom
Yes! I always love it when summer starts with a big, special effects super hero movie! Here, the Scarlet Witch has to pass Dr. Strange's test from Agamotto known as Jumping The Broom. Oh, wait… this is an ensemble African-American comedy about a culture clash of upper and lower class families at a wedding. Uh, yeah, that's what I'm always looking for to kick off the summer season.

- Something Borrowed
OK, this must be it. Robin borrows the Batmobile to take the Teen Titans out for a night on the town, but doesn’t suspect Gorilla Grodd has secretly… Um, you mean this is some stupid romantic comedy with Kate Hudson?! I thought we were all done with those! And if John Krasinski thinks becoming the next Matthew McConaughey is a step-up from The Office, he's got another thing coming.

- Thor
Finally, now we're talking! With the fifth straight year of Marvel movies opening the summer blockbuster session, they introduce the Norse god of thunder who's been banished to earth and yet still chooses to stay and protect it instead of returning to his native Asgard. I'm sure bumping into Natalie Portman had no effect on his decision to stick around.

May 13
- Bridesmaids
Judd Apatow would like to show that women can be just as raunchy as the guys typically are in his movies. I'd rather he show us that he's found an editor who can get his comedies under two hours. Kristen Wiig leads a strong class of underrated comedic actresses through the perils on the other gender's side of The Hangover. I think if I'd had to wear some of the bridesmaids' dresses I've seen, I'd want take some roofies too.

- Priest
I hope Paul Bettany keeps remembering to get his Frequent Quasi-Religious Movie Card stamped. After playing the Archangel Michael and saving us from Armageddon in Legion (sadly, he was already too late to save us from Michael Bay's Armageddon), here Paul's part of the priesthood that protects the cities from the vampires that live beyond the borders. I guess the Serenity Prayer's provision for having the courage to change the things you can includes having a kick-ass arsenal of orthodox weapons.

May 20
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
It doesn't seem like it's been four years since the last Pirates movie and yet last year's MacGruber movie feels like it came out 40 years ago. While I'm always fascinated by films that do really well (Pirates 2 and 3) even though no one admits to actually liking them, the good news is that maybe this film can get the series back on track. With a new director, new writer, and no one's loss of the brooding Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, hopefully we won't need a bottle of rum to sit through this mess.

May 26
- The Hangover Part II
In the history of unnecessary sequels, this one has to rank pretty high. Of course, most sequels are just bizarre contrivances to try and explain how the same stuff can happen to the same people twice (to paraphrase Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2). Still, most fans of the first film won't even care as long as the sequel lives up to the celebrated status of the original… And we saw how well that worked out in Grease 2.

- Kung Fu Panda 2
Leave it to DreamWorks. They've never met a good movie they couldn't diminish and dilute by turning it into a franchise if they could make a buck at it. After making most people forget how good the first Shrek movie actually was, now they're off to tarnish the legend of the Furious Five because nothing is impossible if you are awesome. Perhaps being the Dragon Warrior will give Po the ability to make another good movie and ska-toosh my worries. If not, I hope he just does the wushu finger hold on me to put me out of my misery.

June 3
- X-Men: First Class
I love how 20th Century Fox claims how this film in no way impacts the previous X-Men movies and that there could still be future movies in that timeline. Really, because by the time you make another one Wolverine and Storm would be in their 50's and everyone else has already been killed-off. That's a film people are going to want to see? Face it, these are the X-Men we're going to have to deal with for awhile. The good news is that the 60's vibe feels fun and fresh… and fresh is so important that Doug E. used it twice when forming Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew.

June 10
- Super 8
This "secret" J.J. Abrams film had a "Oh no, it's just Cloverfield 2" feel about it until the first real trailers started to hit. Now it seems more like a wistful Spielberg-esque tale with a Small Town USA being under siege of an unseen monster. J.J. already brought Star Trek back in the 21st century and made it cool. Can he now bring back 80's movies without the Coreys?

June 17
- Green Lantern
Warner Bros. is trying to bring their first new DC super hero to the screen in 23 years. They'd offered nothing but Batman and Superman for decades but now they have to make room for one more. Will the tale of a test pilot being chosen as a defender of the universe connect with audiences more use to an "earthly" hero? Let's just hope the people in the theater aren't wearing a lot of yellow clothes. Uh, you see his green lantern ring doesn't work against things that are yellow. Yeah, this seemingly ridiculous Achilles heal is something even comic geeks like to not talk about too much.

- Mr. Popper's Penguins
Remember when it felt like Jim Carrey was in like three movies a year? He's only been in three comedies in the last 10 years! Here he plays a man who inherits some penguins and turns his apartment into his own little Artic Circle. While I'd be impressed if they recreated the classic scene from Mary Poppins with Dick Van Dyke dancing with the animated penguins, knowing our luck we're more likely to get them mimicking something from Happy Feet.

June 24
- Bad Teacher
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake have this all backwards. They're supposed to be in a movie first and then hook-up. Here they've already been broken-up for a few years and now they're in a movie. Diaz plays the "bad teacher" in question who's trying to find the sugar daddy of her dreams so she can get out of her crummy job. What, hasn't Cameron been following what was happing in Wisconsin? Teachers are spoiled rotten! Waiting for Superman was actually a documentary about people wanting to marry teachers so they could finally live the good life.

- Cars 2
As much as I bag on DreamWorks for churning out their franchises to death, I fear Pixar might be on the same path as this film looks more like Johnny English: Mator Edition than an actual sequel to the film Cars. Let's be clear, Mator was a side character in the first film and now he's featured in about every scene shown in the trailer. It'd be like if Kevin Smith made an entire film out of Jay and Silent Bob. Thank God that never happened.

- Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
This documentary captures Conan's touring show after he left The Tonight Show and before landing on TBS, the only network which FactCheck.org has failed to verify if it's actually Very Funny. He may not be able to stop, but I'm still probably going to watch the 2007th showing of Overboard on AMC instead. "Man overboard is kissing woman overboard, sir," never gets old.

July 1
- Larry Crowne
Charlie Wilson's War didn't exactly live-up to what audiences wanted from the first Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie. Will Larry Crowne be that film? Tom plays a middle-aged man going back to college with Julia Roberts as his depressed professor who finds a spark in the grown-up Woody The Cowboy toy. It's been a long time since we've had a romantic comedy and an even longer time since we've had one released on a July 4th Weekend. Ride like the wind, you two.

- Transformers: Dark of the Moon
It's not every movie where even the people who made it apologize and say the next one will be even better. It's not like Transformers 2 was arguably any better or worse than the first one anyway. Thankfully, they've replaced Megan Fox with someone else for the female lead since it was obviously her fault neither of those films made a lick of sense. Will fanboys still swoon to the tune of the Autobots or are they finally ready for a real movie like Go-Bots: Go Big or GoBotron.

July 8
- Horrible Bosses
Justin Bateman leads a crew of cube minions to rise-up and actually kill their terrible bosses (played by Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Aniston). It's like Office Space with a healthy dose of MUR-DER! Unfortunately, using Microsoft Project to layout their plans was probably not the best way to cover their tracks.

- Zookeeper
Kevin James takes a page from the Ben Stiller playbook to come-up with his version of Night of the Museum at the zoo. The "talking" animals teach Kevin the ways of courtship and he finds ways to pratfall into various types of feces. I'm sure Mr. Ed would still be on the air today if they'd just worked that running gag for Wilbur into every episode.

July 15
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
After seven films, we've finally reached the end of the Harry Potter series. We've seen characters live, characters die, characters fly, and amazingly they avoided all the urges to turn on of these films into a musical episode. Granted, Order of the Phoenix probably could've used a couple toe-tapping crowd-pleasers and they wasted a quartet opportunity in Goblet of Fire (I hear Cedric Diggory can hit all the low notes in the Oak Ridge Boys classic Elvira), yet I applaud their efforts to stay true to their artistic principals… which include splitting the final book into two pieces so they could make an extra billion dollars.

- Winnie the Pooh
We might need to make a new saying: When life hands you Harry Potter, make Winnie the Pooh. While some studios might secede the weekend to the end of the most successful franchise of all-time, Disney is literally trying to polish the turd. I doubt Eeyore's the only one thinking this isn't a very good idea.

July 22
- Captain America: The First Avenger
The last time Marvel released two films in the same summer, Iron Man soared and The Incredible Hulk buckled. This year they're releasing three! If Thor wakes audiences up from their Odin Sleep and the X-Men leave us quaking in our go-go boots, will folks still be lining-up for a WWII themed Saving Super Private Ryan? All I remember from the 60's cartoon theme song is the line "When Captain America throws his mighty shield…" and I have no idea what they actually say happens when he does throw his mighty shield. I have no idea how this movie's going to do either, yet I may be more excited about this one than any of the other comic book films this summer.

- Friends With Benefits
This film has absolutely nothing to do with No Strings Attached or Love and Other Drugs. This film is about Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis trying to have a physical sexual relationship without having stupid things like emotions and feelings get in the way. That's absolutely nothing like No Strings Attached or Love and Other Drugs except for it being exactly the same thing.

July 29
- Cowboys & Aliens
While Harrison Ford has arguably already seen aliens in the Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull movie that won't be named (I'm just going to type it and hope people are just skimming this and miss it), he now joins James Bond, err, Daniel Craig to battle little green men in the Old West. After Wild Wild West and Jonah Hex, here's hoping we can finally get a genre-splicing flick that we actually like.

- Crazy, Stupid, Love
Steve Carrell stars with an all-star cast about a man trying to put his life back together after his marriage ends. Wait, didn't we already see Steve do this with Dan in Real Life? Oh, he got a bigger paycheck to do it again? No worries. That's not crazy or stupid. Makes perfect sense.

- The Smurfs
Being a child of the 80's, I can say in all certainty I've never heard anyone from that era ever say, "You know what I'd really like? A Smurf movie." Just because something was popular for a little while doesn't mean it was actually any good. Just ask Mr. Pet Rock. I mean, even the cereal Smurf Berry Crunch tasted terrible and how can anyone screw-up high levels of sugar and berry flavor?! Yogi Bear sure didn't last long at the top of the Lamest Movies Based on Cartoon Characters list.

August 5
- The Change-Up
Ya know what would be funny about doing another Freaky Friday/body switch movie? What if instead of doing a father-son/mother-daughter thing, we did a family man-single guy thing! I was pretty sure we'd already covered this concept with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the first Bad Boys movie (or was that the second Bad Boys movie since the "first" one could arguably be the 1983 Sean Penn movie). This time we've got Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds finding out what it's like to be the other, however, the only question people really want to know is what the heck ever happened to Justine Bateman?!

- Rise of the Planet of the Apes
James Franco has gone from cutting off his own arm to cutting off the human race as he's breeding the very apes that will take over our planet. But, wait, if he's making apes smart in 2011 and aware of modern man, why do they completely forget all that stuff 2000 years later when Charlton Heston shows up. And wasn't the whole point of that first film that humans blew themselves into oblivion due to our atomic ways and the apes evolved due to our carelessness? I mean, sure, we were stupid enough to have James Franco host the Oscars, yet that doesn't mean we really deserve for our whole species to be wiped out.

August 12
- Final Destination 5
After five films, I'm starting to wonder if there really is a final destination. Shouldn't we be there by now? It's like we're lost but making good time.

- 30 Minutes or Less
Jesse Eisenberg goes from inventing Facebook to being a small town pizza delivery guy. He gets coerced into helping two criminals rob a bank after delivering their order and it all goes wrong from there. I wondered how this movie would've been different if they'd just had DiGiorno's.

- The Help
I always love when people tell me some movie is based on a book. It might as well have been written on tampon boxes, 'cause you can be sure I've never read it. All I care about is if the movie any good, not how "amazing" the book was. Is this "timeless and universal story about the ability to create change" really amazing? I have no idea. Battlefield Earth was based on a book too and we saw how that turned out.

August 19
- Conan the Barbarian
I have tried more than once to actually watch the Arnie version of Conan the Barbarian and have fallen asleep every time (and this was before I had kids whereas now I'm in danger of falling asleep any time I blink). Not sure if the updated version is going to be any better, especially when this Conan doesn't sport the heavy Austrian accent that author Robert E. Howard always insisted was authentic to the role.

- Fright Night
This remake of the 80's sort-of classic features the timeless story of what a boy must do to survive when it turns out a vampire has moved next door to him. This plot is sooo 20th century. We all now what we'd do now. Fall in love with the vampire and let him or her turn you. How else are you ever going to earn a spot on their vampire baseball team?

- Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World
I guess if the Scream movies can have a fourth film, why not Spy Kids. They both feel about as old as The Land Before Time. Jessica Alba now stars in this rebooted series which I guess makes sense she's no longer a part of the rebooted Fantastic Four movie. I can't even keep up with all this stuff anymore.

August 26
- Apollo 18
The "true" story of what happened with America's final moon landing and why we never went back. I thought it was because the moon smelled like limburger cheese, but apparently there was some sort of monster there that killed everyone. Now that's dumb. How could they have smelled the limburger cheese smell through their space suits? I'm an idiot.

- Our Idiot Brother
Speaking of idiots, Paul Rudd stretches his acting ability exponentially by merely growing a beard and long hair. He plays the idiot brother in question and the rest of the all-star cast has to deal with his dysfunctional nature. It's a good thing everyone else is already perfect and you know they won't learn any life lessons from him. Otherwise, it'd be a really predictable movie.

September 2
- Shark Night 3D
Look, I'm not someone who criticizes movies. Ok, well maybe I'm exactly someone who criticizes movies, but when the premise of your movie is "college friends spending a weekend at a house on a lake" and the title "shark" is attached to it, that should cause some red flags. I'd think I'd buy the magic beans sold to Jack for his cow were actually magic before I'd buy that sharks are in a fresh water lake. Couldn't just one smart-ass intern have mentioned, "Hey, why don't we just move it to a house on the ocean?" Would that have been too much to ask?

by Matt Neuenburg on 05/02/2011

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Bad Teacher, Bridesmaids, Captain America: The First Avenger, Cars 2, Colombiana, Cowboys and Aliens, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Final Destination 5, Friends with Benefits, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, Green Lantern, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, Horrible Bosses, Jumping the Broom, Kung Fu Panda 2, Mr. Poppers's Penguins, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Shark Night 3D, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, Super 8, The Change-Up, The Hangover 2, The Help, The Smurfs, Thor, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, X-Men: First Class, Zookeeper
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