SCARY MOVIE Need more proof that the postmodern teen-horror flick is dead? The very studio that launched the trend back in 1996 with Scream is releasing this parody of the genre. Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans and starring Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, and American Pie’s Shannon Elizabeth, this send-up is actually a combo of two scripts bought by the Miramax-owned Dimension Films. BOTTOM LINE Know what’s really scary? Trying to satirize satire. (July 7)

CHUCK AND BUCK Chuck and Buck were best friends as kids. Buck loves Chuck. Chuck barely remembers Buck. Which doesn’t stop Buck from moving to L.A. to stalk the soon-to-be-married Chuck. The digitally shot flick — starring Michael White (Buck) and American Pie producer Chris Weitz (Chuck) — played to walkouts and nervous laughter at Sundance. However…BOTTOM LINE…Artisan liked it enough to make it their first post-Blair Witch pickup at the festival. (July 14)

THE IN CROWD Fact: Beautiful People are inherently evil. So when outsider Adrien (Lori Heuring) gains entry to a circle of moneyed college friends — and nabs one of their fellows — you know she simply must be taken down. Directed by Mary Lambert of Pet Sematary 1 and 2 fame. BOTTOM LINE A teen thriller with a cast of unknowns — it’ll have an uphill battle winning Most Popular. (July 21)

POKÉMON THE MOVIE 2000 Considering Pokémon: The First Movie’s record-breaking $50.8 million five-day gross last November, another outing with Ash, Pikachu, et al. was inevitable. In this second installment — directed by Michael Haigney and Kunihiko Yuyama — the Japanimation gang is threatened by a mysterious evil force. BOTTOM LINE With six new Pokémon making their debuts — and spawning myriad tie-ins — these critters aren’t in danger of extinction. (July 21)


Alec Baldwin heard about it from his daughter — and pretty soon he was all aboard this kiddie flick, which turns director Britt Allcroft’s popular TV show Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends into a reported $20 million film about a friendly choo-choo. Keeping the theme on track, promotional tie-ins will arrive at Subway restaurants. BOTTOM LINE If this train turns into the next Babe, count on tiny Destination Films to become this season’s little engine that could. (July 26)

GIRL ON THE BRIDGE A circus knife-thrower falls for his suicidal target — could this be any more French? Director Patrice Leconte’s film, starring Daniel Auteuil and French pop star Vanessa Paradis, picked up a prestigious César Award nomination for best film, so it may be worth a trip to the art house. BOTTOM LINE It has to better than The Messenger, Luc Besson’s chunk of fromage that was also Cesar-nominated this year. (July 28)

WONDERLAND Not to be confused with the recently axed mental-ward TV series, the film Wonderland, directed by art-house fave Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo) and shot in faux-documentary style, follows three sisters (including Gina McKee, Hugh Grant’s paralyzed friend in Notting Hill) through a dark and eventful weekend. BOTTOM LINE Winterbottom will finally break through to a larger audience…with the Sarah Polley-Wes Bentley drama he’s just wrapped. (July 28)