February 2005 Forecast
By Marty Doskins
February seems to have an unusual amount of horror, family offerings, and “chick flicks” – three of each genre. I'm not sure what to make of that, but just to say that there will be something for everyone in your household.
And now, on to my top ten for February.
Warner Bros brings us the return of Keanu Reeves to the big screen. Even after the relatively poor performance of the two Matrix sequels, I don’t think audiences will be turned off from this movie because of Reeves’ presence. This adaptation of a DC comic is not your usual superhero fare. There’s a built-in audience from the comic readers, plus the dark style will bring in horror audiences. There are a lot of things working in favor for this picture and this should lead to a solid number one placement in February.
Here's another horror film up at the top of the February top ten. Parents and siblings have been using the threat of a “boogeyman” to scare and intimidate those younger than them. But now those nightmares have become reality! And the studio looks to benefit the most from the terror. As usual, the opening weekend will be solid (thus the number two ranking), but it should drop quickly down the charts.
Getting away from the dark and/or horror films, we lighten up a bit with a “chick flick”. Will Smith teams up with Kevin James from TV’s The King of Queens to show us how to attract women and impress them. Or at least that’s what Smith is hoping to do in his job as a “date doctor”. Will Smith is always a big box office draw and this should also help solidify James’ movie career. The opening weekend won’t be as big as the horror films, but this movie should have “legs” well into early March.
4) The Wedding Date
Just keep saying to yourself, “This film is nothing like Pretty Woman”. But this movie can only hope to have a fraction of the success of that film. And with this being our second “chick flick”, the box office numbers get a bit skewed because the women are taking their dates along. Debra Messing is another TV star trying to expand her horizons with a foray into motion pictures. She’s able to be funny on the small screen, but will she be able to make the transition to movies? This film should go a long way to telling us the future.
5) Diary of a Mad Black Woman
This is kind of a “chick flick”, but not the usual light-hearted kind we see. This woman has to deal with an impending and out-of-the-blue divorce request from her husband. I think there’s kind of an Oprah vibe from this film without the Oprah box office failure. Unless she happens to endorse this film on her show, it should do fairly well.
6) Pooh’s Heffalump Movie
It's time to get to the first feel-good movie. And this is about as feel-good as you can get. But the Pooh characters have always been family favorites. They are harmless and they teach a lesson. Disney has also decided lately to have animated sequels go to theaters instead of direct-to-video. It has been paying off for Disney, so look for them to continue this marketing method. Expect a lot of parents taking their youngsters to see this film.
7) Because of Winn-Dixie
Another family film follows right here at number seven. This adaptation of the award-winning children’s book has wonderful characters, plus a wild-and-crazy dog that will steal the show. While there was a lack of family fare during January, Pooh and this movie should have a decent amount of success at the ticket office.
Wes Craven just doesn’t have the box office draw that he used to. To show the drop-off, as opposed to other recent films from Craven, this one doesn’t have “Wes Craven Presents” in the title. Plus, early word about this film has been pretty negative, which should get around pretty quickly in horror fandom and drop the opening weekend numbers significantly.
9) The Son of the Mask
Replace Jim Carrey with Jamie Kennedy in a sequel to a very successful film and what do you get? This piece of work. Keeping the rating to a PG should help bring in some youngsters, but I don’t think this one can be saved.
10) Man of the House
In a big stretch, Tommy Lee Jones plays a federal agent. But this time he’s going to be funny. Let’s hope his comedy gene hasn’t faded away.
Kim Hollis's February 2005 Preview
Dan Krovich's Preview of February 2005 Indie Releases