April 2010 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
April 2, 2010
4. Kick-Ass (April 16th)
This is the month's real wild card, both a riff on the superhero film and evidently also a solid example of one, and a title that's been meticulously reviewed - at least so far. Playing with the superhero epos may seem familiar by now, but there's a clear element of originality here, and the cast is an intriguingly assembled bunch: Nicolas Cage, in what looks like a thoroughly incognito supporting role (the type we may see Mr. Cage indulge in more frequently in the next decade, perhaps?), and rising stars Chloe Moretz (who's around lots this year), Aaron Johnson, and the practically inimitable Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Most importantly, Kick-Ass has a lot of underground buzz on the genre scene, something that was true also of films like District 9, Inglourious Basterds, and Zombieland - all of which broke out into mainstream box office adoration after months of name-dropping on the message board circuit. Tough one to call, but I think Kick-Ass will be more of that same.
Opening weekend: $27 million / Total gross: $72 million
5. Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? (April 2nd)
Another spring, another Tyler Perry film - and evidently his only release this year (the first year since 2006 not to contain a Perry double-bill). This is one that gets my attention: a follow-up to what may be Perry's best film (well, that's what I thought, anyway), with an enticing seaside resort setting propping up the prototypically explosive melodrama. The gang's all here, back from the first film, with pop superstar Janet Jackson seeming somewhat out of place among the cast of more down-to-earth characters (in case you're wondering, distant relation Madea is once again absent, having mysteriously disappeared half-way through I Can Do Bad All By Myself). Perry's fanbase will nab this an opening in the high $20 millions, but what's up with those ominous trailer proclamations that "One. Of. These. Couples. Will. Not. Make. It."? Is that mal-intentioned Gorton's Fisherman* on the loose in the Bahamas again or something?
Opening weekend: $28 million / Total gross: $61 million
*for more information, see I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)
6. Death At A Funeral (April 16th)
Frank Oz's Death at a Funeral is given the big-budget remake treatment. The gameplan: turning a quirky British import into a ginormous Hollywood product, with a massive cast, and direction by Neil LaBute - admittedly not anyone's first choice for a broad, mainstream comedy, but an interesting one nevertheless. The trailer has some funny lines, and that Chris Rock-Martin Lawrence ticket is going to be a pretty strong draw at the end of the day, with the inclusion of Zoe Saldana and James Marsden attracting a younger demographic. There's some distinct competition on both the comedy and domestic drama fronts - the opening's just two weeks after the Tyler Perry sequel, and one week after Date Night. But in this case, the leftovers ought to taste pretty good, too.
Opening weekend: $23 million / Total gross: $59 million
7. The Losers (April 23rd)
This comic book-based actionpic looks like an early spring version of the higher profile A-Team. There's a strong cast of pulpy B-movie personas on hand to preside over the explosions - Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba - bumping with perpetually rising stars Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans (to crudely paraphrase a line from Rod Lurie's The Contender: Saldana and Evans are the future of Hollywood, and it looks like they always will be). The previews aren't bad, mixing in a decent chunk of action and comedy, but there might not be enough name recognition for this property - and the release date, two weeks before summer officially begins, seems like a case of close but no cigar.
Opening weekend: $18 million / Total gross: $45 million