By Tim Briody
It's March Madness time, and while the over the last few years the studios
haven't been shy about releasing heavy hitters in March, this year, it
sure seems like they're all just twiddling their thumbs until May.
Pretty much the only remaining Fugitive combination (The Fugitive with the
guy who trained him!) left to do, they didn't mess around by getting
Benicio Del Toro to play opposite Tommy Lee Jones. The advertising is
solid and effective, and the cast speaks for itself.
Agent Cody Banks
So it's Spy Kids Redux with Malcolm in the Middle in the lead. Who cares?
It's one of the few sure-fire bets of the month. May not dazzle with the
opening, but its legs will have MGM thinking sequel very quickly.
The creepiest ads a Stephen King adaptation has had in years. Doesn't have
the star power of the other thrillers this month like The Hunted or Basic,
but it doesn't need it if it brings the awesome.
Bringing Down The House
I'm a big Steve Martin fan, so I was in line for this one anyway, but
Queen Latifah's Oscar nomination really helped the chances of this one at
the box office. It could much more easily have ended up DOA without it,
but stands a good chance at Bowfinger type numbers now.
Now this is just cool. A guy and his rats. A guy who gets pissed off and
his rats who attack whoever pisses the guy off. Crispin Glover is
absolutely perfect casting. If it clicks with the audience, it's
definitely going to surprise.
Head of State
Old, white women singing "Hot In Here" = $$, apparently. This type of
film sort of worked for Chris Rock in the mediocre Down To Earth, and this
honestly doesn't look much better. It's a one note joke, and how well the
audience likes the note is exactly how far this one goes.
First Round Upsets
Tears of the Sun
This one will do decent, not blockbuster business, but it fits here
because it's too high profile to be a sleeper. Bruce Willis and the chick
from the Matrix sequels bring home the refugees because it's the American
thing to do. With all the real world happenings, this is the sort of film
that may actually suffer a bit.
A View From the Top
Miramax held this film back for a while because they felt the public
wouldn't go for a film about flight attendants and the airline industry
after 9/11. Actually, despite some wonderful casting, they won't
go for this film because it just doesn't look very good.
Never has a film with both Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta seemed so
generic and well, basic. First the disaster that was Rollerball and now
this? Time to take a step back, Mr. McTiernan.
Piglet's Big Movie
This one's all about Piglet bringing home the, um, bacon for Disney. It's
not going to top any box office charts, but it's assuredly going to be
profitable, and that's all that's going to matter.
With each film he makes, Cuba Gooding Jr. demonstrates why there should be
a statute of limitations on calling yourself an Oscar winner. Horatio Sanz
is a funny guy on SNL, but he's not going to cut it at the box office yet
(See: Tomcats. No, wait, don't.)
Yes, Earth has a deadline. But it keeps getting pushed back by months at a
time. If The Core is actually released this month (and there's still time
for it to move again), it can take its rightful place among the Stupidest
Plots of All Time.
Read Stephanie Star Smith's March forecast