April 2010 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
April 2, 2010
April 2010 sure ain't in Kansas anymore. This time around, everyone's favorite quiet pre-summer month is loaded with one hefty grosser after the other, with more than one title positing itself as an $100 million contender (gee, where did all those Repo Men/Green Zone-type movies go?). It's also a frame heavy on indies with big stars, but with a nice, round number of ten wide release titles, who feels like covering those little movies, anyway?
1. Clash of the Titans (April 2nd)
2010 is churning out epic fantasies at a breakneck pace, in an apparent reversal on that dull historically-correct subgenre we all had to suffer through some ten years back. Titans places Avatar's Sam Worthington into yet another 3D special effects assault on innocent moviegoers, and there's a strong assembly of supporting actors - Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Pete Postelthwaite - as usual, an almost entirely English batch of thespians cast as Greek Gods and civilians alike (although I do have to admit, begrudgingly, that they may seem less out of place in ancient Greece than, say, Matthew McConaughey or Jack Black). Potential highlights: we'll no doubt get to see Medusa cinematically decapitated for only the second time this year, and celebrate the return of the Kraken, that malcontent monster last seen in the employ of Bill Nighy's villainous seafood in Pirates of the Caribbean. I do have to say, though, that the trailer looks a little choppy - doesn't clearly outline the plot, that sort of thing - but I guess we can figure out what it's about; indeed, after fellow 3D traveler Alice in Wonderland pulled in some unfathomable number that I dare not repeat in print here, my expectations for the third dimension's drawing power have soared higher than e'en the tallest Titan.
Opening weekend: $79 million / Total gross: $184 million
2. Date Night (April 9th)
Let's welcome back that newly beloved romantic comedy plot: a 40-ish couple re-ignites their relationship, while avoiding their potential demise at the hands of hordes of thoroughly incompetent armed killers (a situation that most recently transpired in The Bounty Hunter and Did You Hear About the Morgans?, films you could be forgiven for having somehow missed out on). As much as I may despise the respective television series headlined by Steve Carell and Tina Fey (did I just say that out loud?), on film, these two look like real winners. I've heard folks at BOP and beyond bash the trailer for this one, but I dunno - it made me laugh, and I think the sentiment will be reflected in the opening weekend, even if the movie itself doesn't live up to it. After all, it's got the 9th all to itself, and there's an interesting barrage of stars (Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis) masquerading as supporting players. Good gut feeling on this one.
Opening weekend: $35 million / Total gross: $94 million
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (April 30th)
No need to delay the inevitable: here is, at last, the third leg in the unholy trinity of '80s horror remakes - Friday the 13th, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, the definitive horror series of the 1980s, have all now themselves fallen under the knife. The casting of Jackie Earle Haley, now somewhere on the upper echelon of character actors, is certainly inspired, and the curiosity factor for such a high-profile genre property out to lift this one to numbers that go beyond the usual bi-weekly reboot. In short, it'll do very well as a right-before-summer genre fix. But I miss Robert Englund.
Opening weekend: $38 million / Total gross: $79 million