May 2005 Forecast
By Marty Doskins
I think there's little doubt what the number one movie will be for May 2005. But after that, there's quite a big pack at the top of this month's wide theatrical releases. You can definitely smell the 2005 summer season approaching. The studios are pulling out the big guns.
And now, on to my top ten for May.
1. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
As I said, there's little doubt which film is going to finish on top this month. Almost 28 years to the day after Star Wars: A New Hope hit theaters, George Lucas wraps up his epic outer space saga. Fans have been lining up at various venues in great anticipation of the event. Selected theaters are running ultra marathons of all six films in the series back-to-back. There are so many product tie-ins (action figures and M&Ms, for example) that the studio almost doesn't have to run any ads to make sure the public knows about the film.
Lucas has also said that this is not the end of the Star Wars universe. He has mentioned a television series in the near future that takes place between the third and fourth film episodes. If the movies are any indication, this series should be a smash success also.
The teasers and trailers have been out for a long time on this one. I even have a couple DVDs that have advertising for it. The studio brought together a huge cast, including David Schwimmer, Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, and Jada Pinkett Smith, as the lead voice talent for the animals. And as release date is drawing closer, we're seeing more and more excerpts in the advertising. I think DreamWorks is timing this one just right and we won't be disappointed when it finally comes out.
3. Kingdom of Heaven
I've got two words for you: Orlando Bloom. He's really coming into his own as a box office draw. After his success in Pirates of the Caribbean and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, studios saw his potential to bring in audiences and are playing it up. There are a lot of ads running for this film and I don't expect them to slow down until after the movie's release on May 6th. Another factor pushing this one up the charts is that Ridley Scott, who definitely knows how to make an epic-type film, directs it. Not a bad combination at all.
Jennifer Lopez stars in another romantic comedy. This time she is a bride-to-be and has to deal with her future mother-in-law. Personally, I don't like Lopez as an actress. She comes off very stiff and almost robotic. However, people really love her film roles. I think this film will definitely do well as you can see from the number four ranking. There are some real heavyweights up here, but this one's going to be right in the thick of things.
5. The Longest Yard
This remake of the classic football film has a lot of star power going for it. Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, and Snoop Dogg just to name a few. There have been some interviews already about this film and word leaking out from the set. It is getting a grassroots word-of-mouth campaign going already and by the time this film releases at the end of the month, it should be at fever pitch.
6. House of Wax
The only reason this film ends up so low in the top ten is that there are a number of big dollar films this month. I see this film having two audiences. Group number one: diehard horror fans. They always turn out well during opening weekend. Unfortunately, beyond them, few people really want to see these films and they drop from sight quickly. In this case, there is group number two: Paris Hilton fans and voyeurs. The former will be dragged along from her The Simple Life television audience. The latter will be dragged along from her infamous sex tapes. While these two won't be a giant influence, I think there will be some effect. Of course, there are those that just want to see Ms. Hilton die, but they will probably wait until it's available at video rental locations so they can fast forward to the "good parts".
7. Kicking & Screaming
I think this film will probably do well since it is a family film. And as we've seen recently with Vin Diesel's The Pacifier and Ice Cube's Are We There Yet?, the live-action family film is definitely not dead yet. As I write this, the two films combined have made just over $200 million. That's a pretty impressive figure. It won't surprise me in the least to see this one do well also and hang on in the weekly box office charts. Again, this one is place low because of the big dollars at the top of the chart.
Jet Li plays a martial arts fighter (surprise!) who has never had any other formal schooling. He's only been taught to fight and kill for his owner, played by Bob Hoskins. When he becomes free from his shackles (literally), he must learn what life is all about. Jet Li is almost becoming an action film staple. Plus we keep seeing an increase in martial arts film interest. Number eight seems about right for this movie considering the competition it faces on the May 13th.
This one looks like it could be a really good film, but I don't think that's going to reflect at the box office. There is not enough studio muscle behind it. It's a psychological thriller about the FBI training psychic profilers. The latest class is isolated during their training, but it suddenly becomes all too real when one of their own turns out to be a murderer. Sounds interesting, but it's going to fall by the wayside.
And bringing up the rear this month is an important film that should really get more attention than it will. Brendan Fraser, Don Cheadle, and Forest Whitaker star in this film about modern day race relations and the tensions that still exist. This kind of film should be viewed by the general public, but usually doesn't get a big push from the studios and that's really unfortunate.
Michael Bentley's May Forecast
John Hamann's May Forecast
David Mumpower's May Forecast
John Seal's May Forecast