May 2010 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
May 7, 2010
Opening weekend: $21 million / Total gross: $48 million
6. Letters to Juliet (May 14, 2010)
Letters to Juliet features the kind of storyline I always perk up for; it goes a little like this: after headlining a practically out-of-nowhere box office gangbuster, a breakout starlet is tasked with testing her burgeoning starpower by carrying an already-in-the-can film that plays to her strengths as a leading lady. That's the plot Dear John's Amanda Seyfried is about to play out this May. On her team: Letters to Juliet's got alluring and sunny Italian locations, a good visual match for summer's start, and as far as high-concept romantic comedies go, it looks slightly above average. On the minus: no other stars around to perk her up, and the recent overwhelming spate of off-putting entries into the genre could confer upon this film some guilt by association. Either way, the ball's in Seyfried's court now. Let's see how she plays.
Opening weekend: $16 million / Total gross: $42 million
p.s., join me in cracking a smile if this ends up outgrossing Robin Hood.
7. MacGruber (May 21, 2010)
Kind of an odd duck, this one, an SNL comedy moved smack dab into the May melee from its original placement in the comedy-rich April slate. MacGruber's got Will Forte in his second try at big-screen stardom (please do not watch The Brothers Solomon, his first), matched with Kristen Wiig, who's adding another dose of nonchalant, poker-faced sarcasm (and working her way up to her own starring vehicle, coming next summer). Ryan Phillippe makes an intriguing comeback (?) as the straight man to Forte's cheerful incompétente, and Val Kilmer is amusingly cast as the villain, whose name I can not repeat in print here (or can I? von Cunth?). This is also the first SNL film since all the way back in 2000, when The Ladies Man reared its head; as far as TV sketch-to-film adaptations go, though, MacGruber's actually been getting pretty good reviews - so far - so maybe it can find itself a nice little corner in this month's boxing ring of big bruisers. We shall see.
Opening weekend: $14 million / Total gross: $38 million
8. Just Wright (May 14, 2010)
This one's another battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy, and one of those rare Queen Latifah star vehicles we seem to get once every couple of years (her masterful 2006 film, Last Holiday, is definitely worth checking out). Here, she's paired up with rapper Common, who's getting deeper into film work, and Paula Patton, so moving in Precious but here playing a more traditional supporting role. Just Wright is helmed by Sanaa Hamri, previously responsible for 2006's Something New, a film that received some decent reviews but was generally ignored at the box office. This one will do better, I think, but standing alongside May's big boys, it certainly won't look like much. That's the works, though.
Opening weekend: $10 million / Total gross: $27 million
9. Babies (May 7, 2010)
This is that weird baby movie from outer space - just in time for Mother's Day. Gosh, it can't really be going wide, can it? What kind of a cockamamy business decision was that? Well, 500 theaters is only sort of wide. Give it a million dollars on opening weekend, and a few more for the road.
Total gross: $3 million...