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Summer reunion

Fiona, Donkey, Harry, Hermione, Peter Parker, Catwoman, Guinevere . . . you know the characters. Here come their new movies.

Published May 20, 2004

Summer Movie Preview
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Q&A with Steve Persall

Imitation is the sincerest form of creativity in Hollywood. It's no surprise that this summer's slate of films is loaded with sequels, remakes, spinoffs and movie stars doing the same thing that made them celebrities.

Moviegoers get what they pay for then they get it again.

Nobody can blame Columbia Pictures for trying to duplicate the phenomenal success of Spider-Man - the fifth highest grosser of all time with $403-million - or Warner Bros. for trotting out another Harry Potter flick after two blockbusters. The public demands more Shrek, and ending the world, as in The Day After Tomorrow, is a summer movie tradition unto itself.

Maybe it's time for another take on The Stepford Wives in a more gender-equal era. Perhaps moviegoers haven't tired of clanging swords and will crown King Arthur with box office success. I'm still not convinced remaking Around the World in 80 Days is a good idea in this supersonic culture, or that Catwoman will be half as much fun without Batman around.

Situations like those make the summer movie season fun for industry watchers - sometimes more fun than the movies themselves, as studios scramble and spin to make the most of whatever they have.

Here, then, is our annual look at the movies you'll be tired of hearing about before summertime ends. Don't stop me if you've heard all this before.

[Last modified May 19, 2004, 11:55:05]

This Weekend


  • Postwar postscripts

  • Dine
  • Food and wine events
  • Sushi goes sublime

  • Film
  • Family movie guide
  • Indie flix: A trip worth making
  • August movies
  • Independent films, documentaries and foreign imports
  • July movies
  • June movies
  • May movies
  • September movies
  • Summer reunion

  • Get away
  • Down the road
  • Mummy dearest

  • Inside information
  • Pretty in pink
  • Weekend trivia

  • Night out
  • Hot ticket: Comedy doesn't stand still

  • Pop
  • Hot tickets: Awesome openers
  • Jazz band surges forward
  • Ticket window

  • Something different
  • Moviemaking among the mangroves

  • Stage
  • Hot tickets: Hanging loose at the Fringe Festival
  • Upcoming shows

  • Video/DVD
  • New releases
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