May 2009 Forecast
By Shane Jenkins
May 1, 2009
4) Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Plus, Fox has this to fall back on. I get the feeling this is going to be absolutely huge, possibly huger than most of us are expecting. The kids that I know love the first one, and this sequel will be the first big summer movie aimed squarely at family audiences. The trailers play really well, and the appearances by Darth Vader and Oscar the Grouch in the new spots will add another $10 million or so to the opening weekend themselves. I'm curious about the release date, though. Museum 2 would have a terrific opening wherever it landed, but I wonder if they are leaving money on the table by opening it before kids are out of school for the summer.
5) Angels and Demons
Or The One Where Ron Howard Tries To Make Us Forget How Bad The Da Vinci Code Was. Seriously, that was a terrible movie. Like, memorably bad, and it's the only thing keeping its sequel down here in spot number five. Angels and Demons has everything going for it: it has a whole weekend to itself, with nothing else opening wide; it's based on a huge best-seller; it stars Tom Hanks, who we all still love, and even more so now that he cut his hair. But do you go back to the same restaurant that served you a maggot-infested steak? The waiters and chef might insist that this time the steak will be delicious and maggot-free, but can you really trust them anymore? Didn't they say the first steak would be delicious too? Okay, I'm done with the maggot analogy, but Howard and company have a lot of bad will to make up for, and I think it's going to cost them a little.
Up looks fantastic, and I have no doubts about its quality. It's a tough movie to market to kids though, isn't it? There have been reports in the media about how there are fewer tie-ins and toys being made than for the usual Pixar film (though I really want a Dug the Dog stuffed animal!), and any movie with an octogenarian as its hero seems like it would be hard to appeal to kids. Plus, it has the misfortune of opening a week after Night at the Museum 2. Pixar is the star here, though, and if anyone has earned a benefit-of-the-doubt pass, it's them. I think (and hope) parents will take their kids, knowing that they will get a solid-quality film, even if it's not the usual wisecracking squirrel-type cartoon.
And the rest...
7) Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Matthew McConaughey as a horny Ebeneezer Scrooge. This is date-movie hell, but it has that market mostly to itself. Sorry fellas.
8) Dance Flick
9) Drag Me to Hell
Sam Raimi returns to directing horror after all these years, and early word-of-mouth sounds promising. This summer is unusually light on horror, so this should perform well, relatively speaking.
10) The Brothers Bloom
Rian Johnson's much-delayed follow-up to his insta-classic Brick. This is one of my most anticipated movies of the year, even if there is next to no chance of it doing well against all these summer monsters. Please go see it. Please?