May Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

May 5, 2017

Dear Alien Covenant: Please Kill Danny McBride First

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Schumer came off her breakout hit Trainwreck in 2015 with a number of potential projects on her to-do list (pun definitely not intended), including a mother-daughter film with Hawn and a sister-sister film with Jennifer Lawrence (that one is still in the works, I assume; get on it!). Schumer takes on a much more conventional studio comedy for her second lead role, as she joins Hawn on vacation and, as is usually the case with people on holiday, ends up with mistaken identity and a crime plot, fleeing from teams of killers, bandits, and perverts, in a road trip-slash-comedic chase entertainment akin to Hawn’s own Bird on a Wire (or Foul Play, or The Out-Of-Towners, or Seems Like Ol… yes, Hawn has avoided a lot of killers, bandits, and perverts over the decades. They never stop coming).

Whether Hawn and Schumer have or have not made a film as effective and astute as their talents is unclear, but I think Snatched should overcome whatever difficulties to play much like Monster-In-Law from 2005; that was another broad comedy pairing an upstart (Jennifer Lopez then) with a legend who hadn’t acted in a decade and a half (Jane Fonda, who has since become more prolific). That film also opened over Mother’s Day weekend, starting with $23 million and finishing with $82 million, roughly double at least my expectations. While it may not always seem obvious, there is an audience for this material, and I know that Hawn must have many fans who are more than ready to see her again.

Opening weekend: $21 million / Total gross: $69 million

6. Everything, Everything (May 19th)

This teen romance travelogue stars Nick Robinson, a bright young actor who first headlined the effective indie The Kings of Summer, and then turned to run screaming from the camera in one of the biggest movies of all time (that would be Jurassic World). The female lead is Amandla Stenberg, last seen as the tragic Rue all the way back in the first Hunger Games, and here playing a teenage girl ill with SCID, a genetic disorder somewhere along the lines of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (though the trailer contains no bubbles that I could see). He helps free her from her life status as housebound, and the two venture out into the great unknown of a breezy eternal May afternoon in Southern California (should I be writing romance novel blurbs, or what?).

And so Everything, Everything carries its awkward title (what does it really mean?) into that early summer launch window of films about the teenage experience, stories of road trips and first loves and parents who just don't understand and forbidden adventures by the sea, a sub-genre that has covered such varied pictures as The Lizzie McGuire Movie and the Olsen Twins' New York Minute, through The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Mad Love with Drew Barrymore and Chris O’Donnell, and all the way into Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, even. As a YA book adaptation and a romance involving a teen with a serious disease or disability, it may play to the same audience that turned Me Before You into a modest hit and sent The Fault In Our Stars into the beyond. Everything, Everything means counterprogramming.

Opening weekend: $11 million / Total gross: $41 million


7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (May 19th)

Author Jeff Kinney’s Greg Heffley returns in another film chronicling his awkward young years as a sub-alpha kid, even if he is one of the few middle schoolers who has, as of this month, inspired no less than four (!) motion pictures about his tragi-comic shenanigans (that’s a lot of life lessons). As Greg, Jason Drucker takes over for Zachary Gordon, who was 11 in the first film and is currently in the process of being 19 somewhere (for the record, he bears a sly resemblance to Steve Martin, who should have cameod as a grandparent). Tom Everett Scott and Alicia Silverstone take over for the parents, and another recast actor, Owen Asztalos, plays Wimpy’s best friend Rowley, who looks and behaves like a gentle and wholesome version of Eric Cartman from South Park, if such a creature could exist. The story takes the characters onto one of my favorite subgenres, the road trip, where they will perhaps encounter some of the weary travelers from the month’s other two road films.

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