By Walid Habboub
In terms of quality, the 2003 version of the month of May could be the greatest May ever. Not only will it deliver what could possibly be the two best action films of the past five years, but it also has the potential to deliver one of the best animated films ever as well as one of the funniest comedies by one of Hollywood’s funniest men. This month could also very well be the busiest month in history, and forecasting what’s going to come out on top is not as hard as it should be.
10. Wrong Turn
A film about cannibalistic teens can’t be all bad, but it also won’t have
much of an audience. While I support anything that gives Eliza Dushku screen
time, I can easily see this film getting buried in everything else being released this month. With only ten wide releases scheduled for May, Wrong Turn enters the list by default.
9. Down with Love
The total number of straight men who willingly go see this film should be no greater than the amount of SARS cases currently infesting Toronto; not many.
Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor seem like a fine on-screen duo in this
homage to the romantic comedies of the 1960s. The experimental film could
very well find a niche audience but it will unlikely cross too far over into
8. The In-Laws
This movie is Michael Douglas’ two-punch in his 1-2 combo of comedies for
2003. While It Runs in the Family really fell flat, The In-Laws looks like a
much more solid film, with Albert Brooks serving as a good comedic anchor for
Douglas. The premise is not exactly groundbreaking, sounding more like a
sequel to Meet the Parents than anything else, but early footage seems to
promise some decent laughs. The In-Laws will definitely skew heavily towards
an older audience, and should do reasonably well.
7. The Lizzie McGuire Movie
Another kids TV show gets the big screen treatment, this time featuring a young
actress named Hilary Duff. Your kids might love her and want to see her movie, but chances are you don’t. Still, this is a kids film on the cusp of summer, so it should fare well.
6. The Italian Job
Charlize Theron’s presence in the film should automatically relegate this
film to number 17 for the month, but alas, The Italian Job should break the top ten. A relatively well-known cast anchors the movie about a group of thieves that
are betrayed after a heist and who seek out revenge against the man who
broke faith them and killed one of their own. This is another light caper film,
which seems to be all the rage these days. It won’t do it as well as Ocean’s 11,
as it registers much lower on the coolness level, but the genre is slick enough and the movie is solid enough to do good business.
5. Daddy Day Care
Eddie Murphy tries to break out of his box office funk with Daddy Day Care,
a film that shows that Murphy is turning into Bill Cosby and not Richard
Pryor as had been expected. Murphy is a stay-at-home father who opens a day
care center and has to deal with kids that seem like the children of Satan. With
fart jokes abounding, Murphy’s film can do really well or can fail terribly.
More likely though, the film will find a decent-sized audience, which can
grow depending on how kid-friendly it ultimately turns out to be.
4. Bruce Almighty
The gap between four and five is extremely large here as I’m expecting Bruce
Almighty to do incredible business. This film has the same magical
combination that What Women Want did. It has the right lead and the right supporting cast in the right, though out there, premise. This could be the zenith of Jim Carrey’s career and is undoubtedly his best project since Liar, Liar.
Well, that’s just according to the previews. The really appealing thing
about Bruce Almighty is that we know that there is so much more to the
movie, so many more gags than what we’ve seen that the film feels like a
sure fire laugher.
3. Finding Nemo
I might be the only person that is not overly impressed by this latest
feature from Pixar, but impressions have very little to do with this film.
The fact is that it is a Pixar movie means it will do incredibly well. I do
believe, however, that this is where Pixar turns the corner from being great
to being good. Nemo feels more like a A Bug’s Life than it does Toy Story of
Monsters, Inc. The undersea setting is intriguing but talking fish is not a
new or original concept like Toy Story and Monsters Inc. were. To my mind,
this film only beats Bruce Almighty because children’s films have tremendous
staying power over the summer.
2. X2: X-Men United
Incredible cast, incredible action, incredible special effects, incredible
cast, and incredible fan base. What more needs to be said about this sequel
to the 2000 hit X-Men? Not much, really. The early buzz on the film is
incredible, and with rumblings that X2 will be receiving the widest release in
North American history, it’s quite difficult to deny that it will be a
huge success. There should be only two movies this year that have a stronger
opening than this film, and unfortunately for Fox, one of them opens in the
1. The Matrix Reloaded
If not much needs to be said about X2, even less needs to be said about The
Matrix Reloaded. This will be the biggest opener ever, of that I feel
strongly. Opening on a Thursday, I will be surprised if the film doesn’t
break Spider-Man’s record from last year. I am expecting it to take around
$150 million over its first four days and not slow down after that. Just
buckle up, enjoy the ride and don’t forget to buy your tickets early.
Read Tim Briody's May forecast
Read Marty Doskins' May forecast
Read John Hamann's May forecast
Read Kim Hollis' May forecast