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April Forecast

By Stephanie Star Smith

1. Anger Management

This one is just crazy enough to work. Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson in a comedy where Jack is the manic one. The previews look great, although there is the slight concern that we've seen the entire film from the commercials. Still, Jack being Jack with Sandler playing accompaniment holds far too much promise to knock this one down a peg. Anger Management should take the month in a walk.

2. A Man Apart

So now we see if Vin really has the mojo to pull off the action hero thing. Pitch Black hinted at it, Fast and the Furious brought it more to the fore, and xXx flirted with making Diesel an out-and-out blockbuster headliner. The slightly askew take on taking-down-the-drug lord, coupled with some good previews, position A Man Apart to hit near the top of the month and cement Vin Diesel's growing reputation as the next Ah-nuld.

And the drug-sniffing dog? Comedy gold, my friend.

3. Bulletproof Monk

Lots of wire-work and slow-mo fight scenes? Check. Older, wiser Asian mentor teaching young Westerner the ways of the Mystic East? Check. Mysterious powers no mortal should have that may or may not be passed on at the end of the film? Check. A hot love interest for the young acolyte? Double-check, Grasshopper.

Yep, all the elements are in place for a ripping good martial arts actioner. Plus with a title like Bulletproof Monk, the curiosity factor's going to pull in a fair number if only to find out what the hell it means. Commercials look decent, and the film has a buzz amongst martial arts aficionados, so this looks to make a nice splash at the box office.

4. What a Girl Wants

Amanda Bynes has a series on the WB, she was one of the voice of the Rugrats, and now she's got a feature film. The kiddies and teens are likely going to flock to this one, and I have to say, based on the previews, it looks pretty decent as fish-out-of-water/coming-of-age/long-lost-offspring comedies go. Should make a few bob, as they say across the pond.

5. Identity

A modernized take on And Then There Were None, Identity is the wildcard this month. It could become a huge hit if the story's handled well, or it could tank faster than Barb Wire. I'm obviously leaning more to the hit side, but then I've enjoyed the myriad remakes and homages to Agatha Christie's taut suspenser. And the cast is a nice little collection of recognizable faces who generally enliven any film they inhabit, so I'm quite looking forward to this one. I'm thinking audiences might enjoy a nifty little thriller as well.

6. Confidence

It's an interesting take on the gangster genre, which is to its credit. To its detriment is the plot is a tad convoluted, judging by the synopsis, which tends to decrease the box office potential. Still, the premise is intriguing, and with the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and indie fave Edward Burns on board, it should have receipts in the range of The Score.

7. Holes

The female warden of a boys' detention home has the inmates digging holes day in, day out, claiming the exercise builds "character." But she's really looking for a stash of jewels purportedly buried in the area by a legendary lady outlaw, and some of the boys stumble across her real plan. Hilarity ensues.

No, wait; strike that last. This is a drama, so no doubt danger and intrigue ensues. Or something akin to danger and intrigue for the pre-teen set, because this one seems to be aimed square at the 'tweener market. As it's not strictly a children's film, I doubt it will have the box office clout or legs of more traditional kid-fare, but with the kiddies being out of school for Easter break, it could well see a middling return.

8. Phone Booth

Has the skittishness about the film's premise being too close to reality died down sufficiently? It's hard to say, but with other concerns holding the headlines these days, and the trial of the DC snipers still months away, 20th Century Fox has got to be hoping that audiences are ready to take in a fictional account of a sniper randomly selecting someone to shoot.

But headlines heading another direction can also be a double-edged sword, and with films dealing with real-world-type violence not doing as well as comedies, holding off on the release may not have done as much for the box office of this film as 20th probably hoped.

9. It Runs in the Family

Two Oscar winners who also happen to be father-and-son headline this tale of a dysfunctional family (is there any other kind in the movies these days?) who try to reconcile their differences through therapy. Outside of the appeal of seeing three generations of the Douglas acting dynasty occupying the same screen, there's not a lot to indicate this will score more than your average slice-of-life comedy at the box office.

10. (tie) Chasing Papi and Malibu's Most Wanted

I'm thinking 20th Century Fox intended to give Chasing Papi a limited release and the schedules got mixed up somehow, because for the life of me, I can't see where there's a wide-release audience for this film. There are no recognizable names, it's the feature film debut of two of the four screenwriters as well as the director, and it began life with a Spanish name. Still, the women are hot, and if 20th plays up the cheating man-gets-his-comeuppance angle in the ads, it might have a decent run at the box office, but I don't expect any records to be broken by this one.

I'll be the first to admit I don't get Jamie Kennedy. I don't get the funny. Plus, this film is based on a sketch from his WB series; given the box office history of sketches that were translated into feature films, I'm not sanguine on the blockbuster potential here. In fact, this came very close to not making my list at all, but one can never discount the public's taste for a dumb comedy, otherwise known as the Jackass factor.

  • Read Walid Habboub's April forecast
  • Read David Mumpower's April forecast

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    Thursday, October 19, 2017
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