The best movie of the summer is still “Once”!! Have you seen it yet?

Summer box office hits & misses
As clashes between titans go, the summer box office has been less Optimus Prime versus Megatron than drunk David Hasselhoff versus a cheeseburger.
That’s a letdown for studio executives who were stoked for a record-scorching, sequel-stuffed season.
Instead, they’ll have to make due with just doing fine. After all, while no film has dominated, no one is losing their shirt in the melee, either.
Which is more than we can say for The Hoff.
The following is a rundown of who hit, who missed and who surprised in the summer of 2007.
Like they say, success has many fathers, failure’s an orphan and blame gets passed around like Paris Hilton at a convention of Greek shipping tycoons.
You didn’t need to tell you the triumvirate of Spider-Man 3, Shrek The Third and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End would reap a bounty worthy of Johnny Depp’s slurring, swishy sea dog, Capt. Jack Sparrow.
But it might have informed you all three — having each grossed more than $300 million US –would nevertheless fall short of their predecessors.
The massive opening of Transformers ($150 million in its first week) bodes well for its chances at dethroning Spider-Man 3 as the summer’s top-earner, but to do so, the refugees of Cybertron will have to flex legs of iron.
It’s premature to predict how Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will fare, but judging by its predecessors it will likely conjure up around $270 million in North America.
Among non-franchises, with $130 million, the charmingly-raucous Knocked Up out-performed The 40-Year-Old Virgin, securing Judd Apatow’s anointment as Hollywood’s prince of comedy.
Meanwhile, the summer’s finest entertainment, Disney-Pixar’s Ratatouille, has dug in and, buoyed by gushing reviews and word of mouth, should cook up $230 million — finishing ahead of 2006’s inert animated Cars.
The Noah’s ark-themed Evan Almighty stands as the costliest dud to float to the top, as it’s expected to make back only half of its $175-million budget.
Also a flop? The Robin Williams-led License to Wed.
And while Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer rode the tasty waves to a $50 million-plus opening weekend, it quickly sank like a stoner, making a third film less than a certainty.
Granted, Live Free and Die Hard hardly represented an artistic gamble, but many wondered if its aging star and analog appeal would be squashed by the synthesized mayhem of Transformers.
Turns out, no.
Instead, the Bruce Willis sequel has shown to be nearly as Teflon-coated as John McClane himself and should wind up with an admirable $140 million.
Even more unanticipated is the popularity of 1408, which attracted audiences seeking sophistication, not splatter, in their horror. The John Cusack thriller should scare up $80 million — several times the gross of the torture-porn travesty Hostel Part II.
Actors may sell bundles of magazines, but their power to lure moviegoers is decidedly more dubious. Case in point: The just-okay-thanks haul of $100 million and change for Ocean’s Thirteen.
That’s more or less the same as the second instalment, but far less than the original’s $180 million — meaning George Clooney is going to have to find another cash-cow to offset the films he really cares about.
Meanwhile Angelina Jolie’s A Mighty Heart, although mightily praised, collapsed. Look for her to keep adopting orphans until she has a fanbase.
Every year, a studio drops an adult-geared film smack dab into the cinematic sugar rush, hoping grown-ups will seek out sophisticated material.
This time that chimp-in-a-space-capsule was Kevin Costner’s Mr. Brooks.
Too bad it imploded on the launch pad.
Neither crew nor the myth of counter-programming survived.