Max Braden's March 2008 Forecast
By Max Braden
In like a lion? Or in like Lions for Lambs? March has seen its occasional share of hits from year to year, but this month the only sure bet is Horton Hears a Who. But it's not the only new release I'd recommend. Here are the movies of March that I'm keeping an eye on:
Weekend Starting March 7th
The Bank Job
I'm a fan of Jason Statham and this movie is right up his alley, and mine. He stars as an amateur lured in by Saffron Burrows in this crime drama based on the infamous 1971 London bank heist. The target wasn't just money, but scandalous photos of some of England's upper crust. Director Roger Donaldson also directed The Recruit. This Lionsgate film is getting a moderately wide release, so it won't dominate the box office, but looks worth the price of admission.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Also set in London (pre WWII) but counter-programming to the guy films this weekend, is this comedy based on the novel. Frances McDormand stars as a governess who takes socialite Amy Adams under her wing and finds romance along the way. A Mary Poppins for a new generation? Should do well per theater in its limited release.
This looks like your unworthy box office winner of the weekend. From Godzilla director Roland Emmerich, it should appeal to the Jumper crowd, which opened at $32 million despite weak reviews. The only name stars in this movie are hairy elephants and giant ziggurats.
Also notable: Disney's College Road Trip is their Wild Hogs this year, with Martin Lawrence; expect mid teen box office and audiences. On DVD this week, Sean Penn's Best Picture nominee Into the Wild is your best bet. (Daylight Savings Time kicks in on Sunday - say goodbye to winter doldrums!)
Weekend Starting March 14th
Horton Hears a Who
The animators of Ice Age bring us the Dr. Seuss story about an elephant (what is it with elephants and March?) who seems crazy because he thinks miniature people live on a speck of dust. The story's theme is "A person is a person no matter how small." Jim Carrey voices Horton and Steve Carell voices the mayor of Whoville. Given the family appeal, lack of competition, and very wide release, this is bound to be the month's box office winner.
Also notable: Doomsday looks like Escape From New York meets Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. On DVD last year's Oscar winning No Country For Old Men should fly off the shelves.
Weekend Starting March 21st
Seth Rogen cowrote this story about a couple of high school wimps who hire a bodyguard who precedes himself with his own reputation. Owen Wilson stars. This will appeal to fans of Superbad, but I wouldn't expect as much domestic gross in the long run.
Also notable: I expect Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns will do the same amount of business his previous films have. On DVD there's the multi-award nominated war romance Atonement, Will Smith's action thriller I Am Legend, and family friendly Enchanted. (This is Easter weekend.)
Weekend Starting March 28th
Run, Fatboy, Run
Simon Pegg (of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead) stars as a lovable loser who tries to win back his former fiancee, played by Thandie Newton. Though this story isn't his own idea as his previous two hits were, Pegg is worth seeing in action anyway. Unfortunately this Picturehouse film will likely be a limited release.
Based on the book "Bringing Down the House," Kevin Spacey stars as the coach of MIT's card-counting team that tried to break Vegas. Kate Bosworth plays cards while Laurence Fishburne tries to bust up the team. It's a great hook, but Eric Bana's romantic poker comedy Lucky You barely registered. And I could swear this story was actually made into a movie before but I can't recall the title, which doesn't increase my confidence in the movie's box office chances.
I can't even bear predicting this new release to beat the others: Superhero Movie spoofs... if audiences didn't learn to avoid this junk with Epic Movie, the never will. Run to the video store and check out the month's previously releases, as well as the well regarded drama The Kite Runner.
Marty Doskins's March Forecast