May Forecast

By Tim Briody

10. The New Guy

If this were based on the number of ads I've seen for each of the movies released this month, this would be number one, just ahead of Deuces Wild. But sadly, it's about box office, so it sits here, while Deuces Wild doesn't even make the cut. DJ Qualls has his moments in other films (Road Trip and Big Trouble), but this film has sat on the shelf far too long (it was originally supposed to come out around this time last year), and the sheer quantity of ads reeks of desperation.

9. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Uh-oh. A non-Disney, traditionally-animated film. That is not a comedy or musical. Talk about your hard sells. I tend to see a decent amount of ads for animated films, even weeks before opening. I haven't seen any at all for this one. Even with the Memorial Day weekend, kids will probably be more interested in Attack of the Clones or Spider-Man than this.

8. Unfaithful

The 2002 Richard Gere Comeback Tour continues. Sort of. He somehow opened The Mothman Prophecies to $11.8 million in January, and this film has a pretty good chance of doing around that as well. The time seems right for an erotic thriller, especially the week after Spider-Man. Diane Lane will have her breakout hit. But this isn't it.

7. Undercover Brother

Okay, Eddie Griffin is kind of funny. He cracks me up in the million ads for The New Guy I've seen, but he won't help that film's box office much. Now Undercover Brother is a film with promise. I haven't seen a whole lot in the way of ads yet, but Universal has given it a solid release date. Comedies have succeeded well enough on this weekend in previous years, and that trend certainly looks to continue this year.

6. About a Boy

Counter-programming at its finest. Based on a very funny and very sweet book by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity), Hugh Grant has a wonderful role as a playboy who becomes attached to a 12-year-old boy. Of the films released this month, this is my absolute number-one must-see, and I will be incredibly upset if they screw it up. The proper authorities have been alerted as to my missing manhood, thank you very much. Sure, The Love Letter opened against Episode I to $2.7 million. But Notting Hill opened to $27.7 million the weekend after. This is exactly the type of film that succeeds when an 800-pound gorilla is unleashed. Comparisons to Bridget Jones' Diary are being made, and while not entirely true, they can't really hurt its performance.

5. Insomnia

Robin Williams isn't exactly on a hot streak lately, but he's so damn creepy in this trailer that it just might work. The Memorial Day opening doesn't exactly hurt, either. With three Academy Award winners and the director of Memento at the helm, the cast should be more than enough for this film to open solidly over the holiday weekend.

4. Enough

J-Lo and her butt kicking lots of, well, butt. How can you go wrong? While Angel Eyes only opened to $9.5 million at a similar time last year, this has a lot more going for it. It looks better, female empowerment still draws, it opens over Memorial Day weekend, and audiences will be desperate to see something besides Spider-Man or Star Wars, Episode II. Again, counter-programming pays off.

3. The Sum of All Fears

Ben Affleck as the newer, younger, hipper Jack Ryan? Will it work in the long run? Who knows. But it's golden, at least, for the latest Clancy novel to hit the big screen. Paramount is banking on Affleck to put life back into the franchise that started by Alex Baldwin in The Hunt for Red October ($120 million in 1990), then successfully carried by Harrison Ford with Patriot Games ($82 million in 1992) and Clear and Present Danger ($121 million in 1994). They shouldn't have too much to be worried about. Films in this genre have done fairly well since September 11th. It is a movie that may not hold up too well after opening weekend, but that's the only number most involved are concerned about.

2. Spider-Man

And away we go. Starting the summer movie season off with a bang, Spidey swings into theaters and I'd be truly surprised if it didn't break the first-weekend-in-May record set just last year by The Mummy Returns. Fan-boys will analyze and over-analyze every choice made by director Sam Raimi (especially the casting of Tobey Maguire), but with marketing out the wazoo (I got my Spider-Man Pop Tarts!), solid television advertising, and a sequel all but good to go, there just isn't much more to say.

1. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Scientific analysis follows: Duh.

  • Read Walid Habboub's May forecast
  • Read Kim Hollis' May forecast
  • Read David Mumpower's May forecast
  • Read Noah Schuchman's May forecast
  • Read Reagen Sulewski's May forecast

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    Saturday, January 25, 2020
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