August 2005 Forecast
By Marty Doskins
For being a summer month, this August is kind of a letdown from the rest of this busy movie season. Only one movie really stands out and the rest just blurs together. Not much of an introduction, but then again, it's not much of a month.
And now, let's move on to my top ten.
1. The Dukes of Hazzard
I used to watch this show every week growing up. My friends and I always talked about the adventures of "them Dukes". This may be a case of unfairly comparing the old to the new, but this isn't your father's "Dukes". I don't think this cast can compare to the original. Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville certainly aren't Teen Beat material like Tom Wopat and John Schneider were and I'm still not sure what to think of Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg and Willie Nelson as Uncle Jesse. The only real draw I see is Jessica Simpson putting her own personal touch on the Daisy Duke character. With all that said, I think this will still be the number one movie this month. It's had a ton of advertising, but I'm still not convinced this will be a runaway smash.
2. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
I don't like this character at all, but I know a lot of people did. The first film did fairly decent business and I think this will follow in its footsteps. From all indications, Rob Schneider appears to have successfully recreated the magic of the first time he portrayed Mr. Bigelow. The commercials and trailer are targeting the same demographic as the first film and are doing it successfully. Again, we should see decent numbers at the box office.
3. Four Brothers
In my opinion, John Singleton is one of the most underrated directors working today. He has a talent for putting together a solid film. His movies always seem focused and don't drift away from the main action that keeps the film moving along. I think this story about murder and vengeance is right up his alley. He's working with some younger and inexperienced actors, but that won't hurt the film at all. It should do well the first week and will ride a wave of word of mouth advertising after that.
4. Skeleton Key
The weekend of the 12th is certainly going to be a busy one. I think we'll see the number 2, 3, 4, and 8 films released. This psychological horror film will be right up there when the dollars are counted. Kate Hudson is making a wise career decision by making sure she doesn't get herself typecast in romantic roles. This is certainly a departure for her and should help her along in the future. There has been a good build up of advertising and it should peak just as release is upon us – just the way it should happen.
5. Red Eye
The only mention of Wes Craven in the advertising has been of his work with Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. I think this is a good move on the studio's part. As I mentioned a couple months ago, having Wes Craven's name in the title of a film isn't quite as effective as it used to be. The commercials have really focused on the intensity of the film and I think even some non-horror filmgoers may be brought in to theaters.
6. The Brothers Grimm
Here's another case of the director bringing interest to a film. Terry Gilliam has a unique vision and more people are being drawn to his work with every release. We may yet see one of his films break into the top three, but that is still some time in the future. For now, we'll have another quality movie from one of today's most fascinating directors.
The rest of this moth seems pretty grim (nice segue, don't you think?). After the top six, the dollars will drop off pretty quickly. These last four films may not even crack the top ten during their respective release weeks. This one's just not getting the full power of the Mouse House behind it. I don't know if Disney is totally thrilled with their new CGI partner now that they've messed things up with Pixar. This won't be a good start to the relationship.
8. The Great Raid
This war film about rescuing POWs after the Bataan Death March isn't going to have much impact at the box office. I think one of the big reasons is that Benjamin Bratt, rather than one of the typical war movie/action film/hero veteran actors, is in the lead role. But how will you get any new stars if someone doesn't try a role different than what they're used to? Let's hope we find a diamond in the rough with Mr. Bratt's performance.
9. The Cave
Cave exploration? Check. Bloodthirsty demons? Check. No confidence from the studio? Check. That's right, it all adds up to a flop.
10. The 40 Year-Old Virgin
Freaks and Geeks didn't get enough of a chance to make in on TV, in my opinion. But the brain behind that show isn't putting his best foot forward with this effort. I guess everyone had done a story about guys trying to get a buddy laid back in the ‘80s, so Judd Apatow had to put his own spin on it. It isn't working for me and it won't be for the movie going public either.