A perfect storm of a media blitz, incessant buzz, A-list filmmakers and cast, and being centered around one of the most beloved institutions of popular culture the world has ever known has created what will likely go down as the seminal entertainment event in the lives of everyone currently sucking oxygen on July the 18th. In a summer that has already born witness to smash critical and commercials hits the like of Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Sex and the City, the granddaddy of them all is about to be unleashed on a ravenous public, and cinema, humanity, the concept of enjoyment, and the sublimity of being are about to be changed forever.
Space Chimps blasts off in theaters on July 18th.
From the visionary filmmaker who brought you such insta-classics as the thoroughbred zebra masterpiece Racing Stripes, Kirk DeMicco, in association with Vanguard Animation, the company responsible for the worldwide smash sensation carrier pigeon comedy Valiant, and the even more successful (if such a thing is calculable in sheer adoration) Happily N’Ever After comes this epic tale of monkeys and NASA that is poised to become the biggest blockbuster the world has ever seen.
“I don’t know that I’d go that far,” director DeMicco said with fawning humility, “but it will definitely change the way movies are made and marketed in years to come. It’s a touchstone event, like the launch of Sputnik, the Apollo moon landing, or the Challenger disaster, not to bombard you with space metaphors! Hahaha, but seriously…”
Starring the top flight voice talents of SNL-er Andy Samberg (Hot Rod), Patrick Warburton (Joe Somebody), and Cheryl Hines (RV), Space Chimps has already garnered the type of early buzz usually reserved for summer action pics and winter prestige films. But actor Jeff Daniels, doing the voice of Zartog in the film, feels that Space Chimps is that rare film that combines elements of both.
“It’s probably the best film I’ve worked on since Dumb and Dumber,” Daniels confessed, then quickly added, “What am I saying probably? It’s the best film, period. No doubt in my mind.”
Public interest is so high that online ticket retailed MovieTickets.com has refused to list the film, after its offering crashed the site repeatedly over the course of a weekend in February. Fandango.com has followed suit, and now eager fans have begun camping out at their local multiplexes in hopes of securing midnight showing entry.
“It’s like I’ve been waiting for Space Chimps my whole life,” Jim Gordon of Gotham said from beneath his pup tent in front of a Cinemark in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. “I think it will define me as a person.”
Early speculation is that the film’s opening weekend will far surpass the record currently held by Spider-Man 3 of $151 million, and may ultimately challenge for the all-time domestic and international tallies posted by Titanic eleven years ago. But for the filmmakers, it wasn’t just about making money.
“It’s a labor of love,” DeMicco explained. “I’ve wanted to bring an animated space exploration simian film to the big screen since I could first form full sentences or wipe my own behind. It’s been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. And I’ve grown to feel very deeply about the project, even more so than I could’ve imagined. I love the characters in this picture more than anything on this Earth, including my late parents, my wife, and even my pet monkey Bert, who’s pretty jealous, as you can imagine.”
After a pause, DeMicco added, “I’m also looking forward to making a shitload of money. July 18th is wide-goddamn-open and we’re going to dominate the frame like no one’s ever seen. Spielberg can hop in the backseat this summer. DeMicco’s driving the caravan!”
Space Chimps opens nationwide July 18th, with its only paltry competition being the fourth weekend of Wall-E, the second weekend of Eddie Murphy’s Meet Dave, and the only other major new release, Mamma Mia. Good luck, Meryl!