March 2004 Forecast

By Tim Briody

Once again, it's time to fill out those brackets for your office pool. Just make sure your athletic director doesn't know about it.

#1 Seeds

Jersey Girl

Forget Bennifer. Forget Gigli. This is Kevin Smith. This is Ben Affleck at his most motivated and therefore his best. It's Smith's first film for grown-ups and even without Jay and Silent Bob, his established fanbase will follow. Welcome to the big time, Kevin. Took you long enough.

Starsky and Hutch

Okay, I admit it. After the Super Bowl commercial, I was stunned speechless. Owen Wilson is funny. Ben Stiller can be funny. Zoolander was funny. Why, then, did they produce this monster turkey? But as the commercials started airing regularly, they somehow started to get better and funnier. While the duo may have been trying a little too hard to promote the movie at the Academy Awards, they should still be rewarded with a decent run during the month.

The Passion of The Christ

Yeah, you heard me. It earned $125 million in the last five days of February and it will be the highest grossing film in the month of March, too. This is what happens when you have a film that targets a massive untapped audience. Once the church groups clear out, look for the idly curious to finally check out the film, thus adding to its already hefty coffers.

Bracket Busters

Dawn of the Dead

At the very least, it'll be the most money a movie with Sarah Polley has ever earned. At the very best, we have a new classic horror film and more George Romero remakes get greenlighted. Aren't win/win situations the best?


Hey, it worked for Spider Man with Seabiscuit, so why not with Aragorn? Westerns and horses are somewhat en vogue now, so it could pay off, but really, the biggest thing this has going for it is Viggo Mortensen. If he gained enough of a fanbase that will follow him to another film not called The Lord of the Rings, then Disney will have a hit on their hands. If they don't, Michael Eisner might agree with Foxtrot when they said Orlando Bloom ruined everything.

Secret Window

The Johnny Depp film has a leg up on a couple of other releases this month due to 1) the fact that it stars Depp, who is fresh off an Oscar nomination and 2) it's a week ahead of the other thrillers to hit theaters in March, Dawn of the Dead and Taking Lives. Being based on something written by Stephen King doesn't hurt, either.

First Round Upsets

The Ladykillers

Despite the star power of George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the Joel and Ethan Coen's Intolerable Cruelty ended up with only $35.1 million last fall. The words "box office disappointment" and "Tom Hanks" have not been used together since That Thing You Do! This is a classic case of irresistible force meets immovable object. With The Ladykillers, the Coens will have their highest grossing film ever and Hanks will have his lowest earning film in a very long time.

Scooby Doo 2

As much as it sucked, you don't take the sequel to a film that opened to $54 million lightly. That said, witness last year as multiple high profile sequels crashed and burned, with some not even coming close to the earnings of the original films. We can only hope for something similar to happen here. Remember kids, only you can prevent Freddie Prinze, Jr. movies!

Taking Lives

Somehow, I can buy Angelina Jolie as a British treasure hunter over Angelina Jolie as an FBI agent. In either case, she hasn't quite solidified herself as a box office draw yet and the previews just aren't doing it for me. Most audiences might go for Depp's Secret Window or Dawn of the Dead over this one.

Play In Game

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I'll be there. But no one else will. Charlie Kaufman films are just far too bizarre for the average moviegoer to fathom. Even with Jim Carrey, viewers are just going to stay far away from this one.

Agent Cody Banks 2

It wasn't another Spy Kids like MGM hoped, but dammit, that doesn't mean they're not going to spare us from a sequel. The now-too-old-for-this-crap Frankie Muniz returns as the kid spy. Hilary Duff, the co-star from the first film, is now too famous to do the sequel. That's not a good sign either. MGM will be lucky to get even half of the take of the first film the second time around.

Never Die Alone

The pairing of DMX with untalented white guys worked in 2001 with Exit Wounds, and Fox Searchlight looks for similar success here by pairing the rapper/actor with untalented white guy David Arquette. The results won't be as spectacular, but DMX is still a name to watch in the future. Call it a decent opening and a quick death.


It's David Mamet. While it may very well be a good movie, this is all you really need to know when debating its box office prospects.

  • Read Marty Doskins's March Forecast
  • Read Walid Habboub's March Forecast
  • Read Kim Hollis's March Forecast
  • Read Zach Kolkin's March Forecast
  • Read David Mumpower's March Forecast



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