March 2011 Preview

By Michael Lynderey

March 4, 2011

Lizards, cats and owls, living together.

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8. The Lincoln Lawyer (March 18th)

Not a biopic, but one of those legal dramas that haven't been doing that well lately. Star Matthew McConaughey made his name in a Grisham film, after all, and it's very appropriate as such that it's a lawyer picture that marks his transition from comedy to drama once more. The supporting cast (William H. Macy, Ryan Phillippe, Marisa Tomei) is certainly worthwhile, and the novel this is based on has its fans here and there. If good reviews are headed down the way here, and something tells me they are, the Lawyer may get a bit more mileage than at first may appear.

Opening weekend: $14 million / Total gross: $41 million

9. The Adjustment Bureau (March 4th)
Bureau is a post-modern science fiction thriller based on a Philip K. Dick story, which instructs the ready viewer to expect some kind of plot twist coming down the pike here (see, John Slattery is actually a doctor who has come up with a radical new way of treating his comatose patient, played by Matt Damon, while Sexy Nurse Emily Blunt parades in and out of the operating room, inspiring absurdist fantasies; if that's the actual twist, tough luck). Damon is really the king of $30 million-area grossers (he's like Tyler Perry divided by two), and it looks increasingly like this film will not say goodbye to all of that. Could it crack the $40 million mark? We shall see.

Opening weekend: $14 million / Total gross: $39 million

10. Beastly (March 4th)

Beauty and the Beast(ly) redux for the younger set. Here's Alex Pettyfer, introduced to the world (well, more or less) two weeks ago in I Am Number Four, in a film pushed back from last summer to capitalize on his burgeoning fame. Vanessa Hudgens, seen also soon in Sucker Punch, is on hand. It's all based on a children's book of some renown, to someone, although the buzz factor for this retooling seems on the lower end of things. The opening weekend may turn out all right.

Opening weekend: $12 million / Total gross: $29 million


11. Paul (March 18th)
The British Nick Frost-Simon Pegg team is matched here with hipster director Greg Mottola, responsible before for Superbad and Adventureland, in a film this time that contains no teenage characters. The trailers offer up some droll laughs, as is expected of Frost and Pegg, but the box office histories of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz offer modest prospects, and nothing about Paul seems to undermine that image.

Opening weekend: $12.5 million / Total gross: $27 million

12. Take Me Home Tonight (March 4th)
I like the song, and yet another film set in the 1980s is always a good idea (we're just getting into those period pieces, I think, and all the better). Otherwise? Prospects are not pleasant. But it's nice to see Topher Grace again.

Opening weekend: $10 million / Total gross: $23 million

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