February 2006 Forecast

By Marty Doskins

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After taking off the month of January, we're back with a vengeance with our monthly forecasts. I think once we look back at February, w're going to find that there were a lot of solid movies that were released. The studios, for the most part, will be happy with the numbers and we should see some sequels in the works soon.

Here's my February 2006 top 10.

1. Firewall

Harrison Ford is back and he's doing his own stunts. Even though he is over 60 years old now, Mr. Ford has kept himself in good shape. This may not bring in extra people into the seats, but once they get there I think audiences appreciate it more. There may be some question about whether Ford has lost his touch with audiences because of recent lackluster results, but I think he's still enough of a draw for most people to put this film on top.

2. When a Stranger Calls

Ahhhhhh...the good old days. When a horror movie was a horror movie. Who can forget those memorable words, "The call is coming from inside the house." It's time to give this classic a modern makeover. Horror fans will definitely come out the first weekend to see how this film compares to the original. This will put it at number two for the month. We will have to wait for audience reaction to see if it has "legs". You just never know with a remake.

3. Curious George

This film's been in the works for a long time. It's finally going to make it to the big screen. I don't think that Will Farrell's voice talent is a major draw in this case. It's an animated film and people look more for an interesting or funny story rather than looking for who's behind the characters. The biggest factor for this film will be the sentimental feelings the character stirs up. Not the same sentimentality as When a Stranger Calls, but stronger in its own way.

4. Final Destination 3

This has been a pretty successful franchise so far. At least enough to keep it going to a third film. There was a drop off in revenue between the first and second film, as expected. But with the unexpected support the films have been getting from critics, I don't think we'll see much more of a drop off. We'll probably even get to see a Final Destination 4 down the road somewhere (and not released Straight to Video).

5. Eight Below

The Iditarod is just a few weeks away as I write this so the timing for this film's release is perfect. Since there are a lot of teachers doing Iditarod units in their classrooms this time of year, I think you'll see kids going to see this one based on teacher recommendation. They've really played this one up in advertising so I believe we'll see strong numbers and "legs" for this one. It should also be a nice seller when it's released to home video because of teachers buying it to supplement their current Iditarod materials.

6. Date Movie

You knew a spoof on the romantic comedy was lurking in some writer's mind and it's finally made its way out of there and on to thte big screen. Allyson Hannigan stars in this film, which should get some fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the American Pie series in the seats. This one should hit the first week, but drop off severely after that. Unless their really well planned out, spoof movies can become just a set of one-liners. Hopefully, that won't be the case here or it should face a quick death.

7. Freedomland

Samuel L. Jackson plays a cop who doesn't exactly believe a crime victim's story. I believe Mr. Jackson will be enough to bring good money in for the studio.

8. Running Scared

This is not a remake of the 1986 action-comedy with Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal - quite the opposite. Well, at least without the comedy. Paul Walker is truly "running scared". He's out to protect his sons' lives. While Samuel L. Jackson can bring in crowds, the same can't be said for Paul Walker. He may be able to do that someday soon, but not just yet.

9. The Pink Panther

Nostalgia and sentiment aren't going to help this one, in my opinion. I love Steve Martin, but this one looks real bad.

10. Doogal

While this is an animated film, I think the lack of familiarity with the characters by American audiences won't help the cause. I think Wallace and Gromit are proof of that appeal. If this film is halfway successful, the studio should be smart and push for another release. Animated films have always done well and the studio should take advantage of getting Doogal's share of the pie.



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