Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...
THE HEAT IS ON
AS THE SUMMER'S FIRST MONSTER HIT, Twister, sucks up record May box-office receipts ($41 million its opening weekend), PEOPLE asked several industry pundits to forecast how the rest of the season's films will fare at the multiplex.
Smashes. Independence Day, an eye-popping epic about alien invaders opening July 3, is "the event movie of the summer, hands down," says Howard Lichtman, executive vice president of Cineplex Odeon. Other can't-misses are Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible on May 22 and Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame on June 21—"the animation is amazing," says Lichtman. Anticipation alone should give Jim Carrey's dark comedy The Cable Guy a huge first weekend on June 14. But one source says disappointment will follow: "It's not the light ha-ha people expect."
Sleepers.Multiplicity, a sci-fi comedy in which Michael Keaton clones himself, opens July 12, and, says producer Dale Pollock, "we're hearing it's wonderful." Phenomenon, a heartwarming, regular-guy-becomes-genius-when-struck-by-lightning fable coming July 3, "really showcases John Travolta," says media analyst Michael Yocco of Paul Kagan Associates.
Snoozers.Our experts (preferring to remain anonymous here) believe that Dragonheart, a Dennis Quaid sword-and-sorcery flick, will be quickly slain on May 31 and that The Phantom, opening June 7, will fade fast because "it's based on an old comic strip" and "stars Billy Zane—Billy who, you say?"