By Tim Briody
1. The Matrix Reloaded
It's hard to believe it's been over four years since the original, but
it's finally here and it's going to be worth the wait. Especially for the
bank account of Warner Bros. When every other summer film is waiting for
your opening weekend before seeing what angle to take, you're doing
something right. In fact, we're basing the rest of this month's releases
off whatever the Matrix's take is.
2. X2: X-Men United
Despite the silly subtitle added at the last minute, the superhero sequel
kicks off the summer with a "snikt!" All the first film did was set a
record opening for a non-sequel at the time. This one will also do
remarkable business opening weekend, but how well it's doing by the time
Matrix Reloaded rolls around is another story.
3. Finding Nemo
Pixar can do no wrong, and more proof will be released on May 30th. The
visuals may be impressive, but if the amount of effort put into the
scripts for the computer animated films was just as strong as the ones
slapped together for the traditionally animated films, we wouldn't be
wondering about the death of American traditional animation.
4. Bruce Almighty
God gives a normal guy his powers for a week. Perfect premise. God is Morgan
Freeman. Normal guy is Jim Carrey. Perfect casting. Great trailer and ads.
Can it still go horribly wrong? Sure. But that won't affect the opening
5. Daddy Day Care
This film looks stupid enough to help Eddie Murphy break his streak of
misses. A funny family comedy is what he needs right now, and this one
should do the trick. A nice release date, and not a whole lot else that's
family-oriented will be worth mentioning, so...
6. The Italian Job
At least come up with a new title, since the film doesn't take place in
Italy, like the original did. At least the cast oozes cool, but a heist
film with weak marketing probably won't find much of an audience beyond
the opening weekend.
7. Down With Love
The throwback craze, popular among sports jerseys, is now expanding to
movies, with this being one of the first examples. Paying homage (or ripping off,
depending on your point of view) to the Doris Day comedies of the '50s,
Renee Zellweger (fresh from the Oscars and every magazine cover in the
last two months) and Ewan MacGregor can certainly handle romantic
comedies, but whether audiences will bite is another story.
8. The In-Laws
After stinking up the joint with It Runs in the Family, Michael Douglas
returns with another film about family, this time without his actual
relatives. That may be a good thing as far as the box office goes, but
that's really not saying much.
9. The Lizzie McGuire Movie
I at least knew who Amanda Bynes was before last month's What a Girl
Wants. I was not aware who Lizzie McGuire was until a few weeks ago and
who Hilary Duff was until a few minutes ago. I had to look up the name of
the actress who played her. It's trying to successfully counter-program
against X2, but there's just not enough crossover appeal.
10. Wrong Turn
I believe the title is what happened to you if you find yourself actually
sitting in a theater watching this.
Read Marty Doskins' May forecast
Read Walid Habboub's May forecast
Read John Hamann's May forecast
Read Kim Hollis' May forecast