By Marty Doskins
As you are probably well aware, January is usually the dumping ground
for the movie studios. It’s usually things they couldn’t fit into
their schedule or, to be honest, the junk that’s left over. While this
seems to be the case for January 2004, there are still a few films that
I think have a chance to have some decent numbers at the box office.
In my opinion, this is mostly from appealing to teenage moviegoers.
There are several films with young casts that will appeal to those
viewers and get them to spend their money. Here are my Top 10
predictions for the month.
1. Along Came Polly
I think this film is definitely one that has a chance to make it big.
The two stars of the film, Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston, are both
very popular and each has quite a following. The chemistry they have
shown during interviews and in the commercials for this movie is
exciting to see. I think moviegoers will
be drawn into theaters for this one.
2. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!
Nathan Lane’s line from the commercials cracks me up. But one line
from a script isn’t enough to carry this film to box office success.
However, the rest of the story seems attractive as well. There’s also
a great young cast, which will bring in the teenage dollar, which is
very desirable for studios. That “new money” should help this film out
a great deal.
3. The Perfect Score
Here’s another film with a young cast. A group of high school students
wants to steal their recently submitted SAT tests so they can adjust
the scores. These new better scores will allow each one of them to get
what they desire in life. Like I said, the key to this one is the cast
of promising actors and actresses. Teens will be using their extra
cash to boost theater revenues to see this movie.
4. The Butterfly Effect
Ashton Kutcher makes a drastic departure from most of his previous
roles. He’s usually the goofy guy or the clueless one. However, this
film is much darker in tone. Kutcher’s character has a history of
blackouts and when he comes back to awareness, he has apparently done
some scary things. He wakes up holding a bloody knife. He wakes up
after apparently pleading in writing to be killed. Now he has found he
can change the past through his strange dreams. While this represents
a change for Kutcher, I still think his fans will be persuaded to
follow him into this new phase in his movie career.
5. The Big Bounce
Elmore Leonard films have always been popular with movie audiences and
this one should be no exception. Having Owen Wilson in the starring
role backs up Leonard’s popularity. I think this will prove to be a
decent combination for attracting viewers when this opens at the end of
This movie’s got some big names in the cast, including Val Kilmer and
Christian Slater. It’s also got a strong psychological thriller feel
to it. But I don’t think there’s been enough of a marketing push on
this one and it should end up with a third place finish on the January
7. Teacher’s Pet: The Movie
Disney brings another one of its hit animated television series to the
big screen. While this genre usually does fairly well at the box
office, I think this one’s going to lose out due to poor scheduling.
Children have gone back to school after the holiday season and I don’t
think they’re looking for an excuse to go out of the house. They still
have Christmas toys to play with which haven't lost their luster just yet.
Ice Cube takes on a Fast and the Furious-type role, but on motorcycles.
The speed and action scenes for this one should be great. Fans of
this genre should come out to theaters, but here’s another one that
hasn’t been given as much exposure as it could have. I think this one
could’ve been a lot higher in my Top 10 if we had seen more commercials
and stories on entertainment news shows, but this one is going to be a
missed golden opportunity.
9. Chasing Liberty
I think the January 9th weekend is going to be very weak in terms of
new releases. There are still big movies holding over from 2003 that
are in the upper portion of the daily and weekly numbers. Also,
studios have been pushing their Oscar-worthy films that were released
at Christmas time and viewers are still seeing those as well. While
this one is geared toward younger audiences, I think their parents will
be too busy seeing those 2003 films to take their children out.
10. My Baby’s Daddy
This is the other January 9th release. I don’t know who this one was
supposed to appeal to and I don’t think viewers will either.
John Hamann's January Forecast