February 2011 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
February 4, 2011
After the confusingly slow January, we enter a veritable smorgasbord of content in 2/11. On display, there's something for everyone, with B-movies, comedies, CGI, tawdry thrillers, would-be tawdry thrillers, and some real star power, at last... Justin Bieber, of course. Who do you think I meant? There may also be a lot of 3D around, but having seen so many 3D movies, the whole world looks 3D to me now.
1. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (February 11th)
Gut feelings are real unpleasant things sometimes. Sure, the brain helpfully informs me, Miley Cyrus' big 3D concert movie finished at a paltry $65 million, didn't it? (pocket change). Sure, the esteemed if not all that lucrative Jonas Brothers lived up to that latter label, and even Michael Jackson just passed $70 million. But then you take a look at this fella, Justin Bieber, from a small town just like your own, see, and you kinda notice that he is, like, really, really, really, famous, and sure has got a whole of fans out there, doesn't he? And then the gut overwhelms the brain: Justin Bieber! 3D! Tweens! Jon Chu, of last year's flashy Step Up 3D, sounds like a good choice for director, by the way. How could this film possibly not be massive, if only for a day or two? Many may not enjoy the reality of this prediction, but I suspect that reality is the right word.
Opening weekend: $49 million / Total gross: $116 million
2. Just Go With It (February 11th)
Having endured the box office returns assigned to Funny People, Adam Sandler has been clamoring to come back to form (such as it was), first with Grown Ups, and now this. Sandler's regular rogues gallery are all here (Happy Madison Productions, director Dennis Dugan, along with bit parts by Nick Swardson, Dave Matthews, Kevin Nealon, and so on). The plot would appear to be invariably predictable, with perpetually unlucky supermodel Brooklyn Decker clearly fated to find herself single at film's end (...shame). More to the point, it's Valentine's Day, No Strings Attached wasn't as big as I thought, and my goodness, it's Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in the same movie, and It's got romantic comedy and slapstick and supermodels! Sandler is, after all, America's most consistent comedy star, and if his fans like him, who am I to besmirch their enjoyment? Only a fool would predict any less than a $100 million tally for this one.
Opening weekend: $38 million / Total gross: $92 million
3. Gnomeo & Juliet (February 11th)
Once more into the quirky world of CGI animation we go, a journey adorned as always with the speechless inanimate figures in our lives at last given voice (this time, lawn gnomes). No, said inanimates never have any great revelations to make. It's nice to see Jason Statham billed alongside Patrick Stewart, Emily Blunt, and Michael Caine ("...for what perhaps will be the last time", I should add), but to me, the novelty would appear to end there. Because surely this won't make $100 million? I know, I know, it's February, and there's been a dearth of these cute (?) little kids movies, but really, it's not actually conceivable that this film will spend the next decade being introduced in cocktail parties as "Gnomeo & Juliet, 100 million dollar grosser"? Now, I know I tried this type of Freudian reverse psychology (for that is surely what this is) on last November's Tangled, and it didn't work, judging by the scary number staring back at me from the box office chart on that one. But surely this time... surely... surely.... surely...
Opening weekend: $27 million / Total gross: $75 million