Marty Doskins's March 2008 Forecast
By Marty Doskins
March is one of the months during the year that is kind of a limbo for movies. The studios have dumped most of their garbage early in the year, but they're not quite ready to bring out the fine china just yet. There are some decent selections this month, but nothing totally overwhelming. You'll see what I mean soon enough. And now for my top ten for March 2008.
1. Horton Hears a Who
Here's a CGI version of the beloved Dr. Seuss classic tale. Jim Carrey takes on the voice of the title character along with TV funny man Steve Carell lending his talents. This movie continues the string of recent re-tellings of Seuss tales, including The Grinch and Cat in the Hat. The difference is that this one is in CGI format versus a live-action film. I think this one would've been much harder to do with actors and the studio made a wise decision to use computer animation. I think using Jim Carrey is also a good move on their part. He seems to fit the Seuss character mold as both an actor and voice talent. I think kids will be clamoring along with their parents to take them to the theaters to see some of their favorite characters come to life.
2. 10,000 B.C.
Roland Emmerich is known for his big budget, special effects laden epics. And this appears to be no exception. The cast isn't full of big names, but it really doesn't have to be in one of these pictures. The people are less important that the effects and the overall powerful nature of the film. Does the audience really care who is the hunter when there is a herd of thundering mammoths on the screen? Not really. I think the clips we've seen from this film show its intense nature and that will be enough to draw in good-sized audiences.
3. Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns
Tyler Perry keeps cranking them out, doesn't he? Just as one of his films comes out on DVD, another is making its way to the big screen. Not much to say here other than it should do at least as well as his other films have been doing.
Las Vegas, casinos, and trying to beat the system. It all seems to go hand-in-hand. Vegas and casino films always seem to interest the movie-going public. While the kids who are the card counters are important to the story, they aren't big names as far as cast members go. The rest of the cast includes Kevin Spacey, as their shifty professor; Laurence Fishburne; and Kate Bosworth. Those are the names that they hope will draw in audiences. In this case, I think just the story and setting will be enough to capture the public's attention and get them to go.
5. College Road Trip
There aren't very many G-rated live action films these days. Especially not ones with the words "road trip" in the title. However, this one looks like it's going to be a decent success for Disney. They get to use one of their bigger TV stars in Raven-Symone and team her up with Martin Lawrence. They've also brought in family-friendly Donny Osmond to round out the cast. There's been a lot of promotion ahead of the movie's release, which also plays in the studio's favor. However, I worry a little about who will be going to see this film. A G rating would normally attract a younger audience, but the movie's story is about a girl going off to college. Will the little ones really care? I think there will be enough interest for a decent box office result.
6. Superhero Movie
From the maker of the Scary Movie spoof series comes another spoof film. This time about superheroes. THE END.
7. Drillbit Taylor
Even with the recent personal issues in Owen Wilson's life, he is still a popular actor. It seems that people rallied around him rather than pushing him out of their memories. I think that people want to see him be successful and will use that as some of their inspiration to see this film. They know he can act and they enjoy his characters. I hope this film pushes his career and life back on the right track.
8. The Bank Job
Jason Statham has seemed to make a decent living in these types of films. It's an action film from the criminal's point of view. While this film is based on a real-life robbery, it has enough flair to not come off as a stuffy retelling of the crime. I think the studio has done a good job of playing up the action part of the film, while playing down the "based on a true story" aspect. The reality portion may have turned off viewers because they would assume it would be on the boring side (and usually they're right). I think we'll see an OK result, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does better than number eight for the month.
A lethal virus is unleashed on England and the population is decimated. We move many years into the future and now there are reports the virus is making a comeback. If this had been released a few years ago (say, before 28 Weeks Later), it may have been more of an interesting story. However, I think the timing of this story will hurt it's chances at the box office. The only thing I can see helping it is if there is something special in the movie that gets the word-of-mouth going, but it doesn't look good right now.
10. Stop Loss
This film about the Iraq War doesn't take place in that part of the world. We look at what happens to a soldier who comes home, but doesn't want to go back against his given orders. Ryan Phillippe plays the soldier that has some hard decisions to make. I'm really interested to see how well this film does. The subject matter may be a little too close to reality for some, but those opposed to the war may be interested. This one's really tough to call, but I think the downside potential could be great.
Max Braden's March Forecast