Follow us on

2005 Preview: January

January 1st, 2005

January is one of two main dumping grounds for bad movies on the calendar, September being the other one. And while the average box office is lower in September the quality of films has been dropping for a while so by comparison September's entries don't feel so bad. January, on the other hand, comes after the best month in terms of Box Office and Award Season combined. Throughout December the quality of films builds to a crescendo and then it suddenly falls flat.

Name: Alone in the Dark
Studio: Artisan
Official Site: AloneInTheDarkMovie.com
Release Date: January 28th
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence and language.
Source: Based on a Computer Game
Major Genre: Horror
Genres: Computer Games
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $20 million
Box Office Potential: $10 million
Notes: Based on a Computer Game. That's a pretty bad sign. Almost as bad a sign as, "Directed by Uwe Boll." This will be the second of five Video Games movies from Uwe Boll and if they are all as bad as House of the Dead we're all in a lot of trouble. Lastly, none of the main cast members are what you could call big box office draws. In fact, calling all three of them box office poison would not be terribly inaccurate at this point.

Name: Are We There Yet?
Studio: Sony
Official Site: SonyPictures.com
Release Date: January 21st
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for language and rude humor.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Romantic Comedy
Genres: Road Trip
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $20 million
Box Office Potential: $25 million
Notes: This movie looks more like a collection of cliches than it does a real film. The whole plot seems to been lifted straight out of Dutch, with Ice Cube taking over for Ed O'Neill. While the scene with the kids attacking their mom's date was stolen from Home Alone. In the end only the lack of competition will stop this film from being a complete miss and the lower production budget will mean the studio won't lose too much.

Name: Assault On Precinct 13
Studio: Focus Features
Official Site: AP13Movie.com
Release Date: January 19th
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence and language throughout, and for some drug content.
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Action / Adventure
Genres: Corrupt Cops
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $30 million
Box Office Potential: $25 million
Notes: 2004 was a bad year for remakes and I don't think things will get off to a better start in 2005. First of all, the makers are messing with the story, which is never a good idea when remaking a movie. The original was made in 1976 by John Carpenter for just $100,000 but has become a cult classic. This one might have trouble just making back its production budget. This time instead of gangs trying to bust out their leader, it's corrupt cops trying to kill a gang leader before he can testify against them. The first case involved an extraction, which is a very difficult mission. The second case can be accomplished with a little scorched earth policy, use the sewers to plant some explosives under the police station and make it look like a gas main blew up. Simple as that.

Name: Coach Carter
Studio: Paramount
Official Site: CoachCarterMovie.com
Release Date: January 14th
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, sexual content, language, teen partying and some drug material.
Source: Based on Real Life Events
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Basketball
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $45 million
Box Office Potential: $55 million
Notes: Inspirational sports movies based on real life have been big the last few years with Friday Night Lights being the most recent example. And last year at this time Miracle was released and it went on to earn nearly $65 million. I have a hard time believing this film will fail to live up to that given the relative popularity of Basketball compared to Hockey, but Friday Nights Failed to do so and the NFL is the most popular professional sports league in North America. This film should be one of the bigger hits of the month, but it will still need to wait till the home market to show a profit.

Name: Elektra
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Official Site: ElektraMovie.com
Release Date: January 14th
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for action violence
Source: Based on a Comic Book Spin-off
Major Genre: Action / Adventure
Genres: Super Hero, Assassin, Martial Arts and Marvel Comics
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $65 million
Box Office Potential: $85 million
Notes: The only film opening during the entire month that I'm truly excited to see. This Daredevil spin-off is being released at roughly the same time, with and similar budget, and that movie, but hopefully will be of much higher quality. However, it will mostly likely fail to live up to its predecessor because even though Jennifer Garner was the best part of Daredevil, the rest of the movie was bad enough to turn people off seeing this one. On the other hand, this movie could surprise and become the first $100 million movie of the year.

Name: Hide and Seek
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Official Site: HideAndSeekTheMovie.com
Release Date: January 28th
MPAA Rating: Not Rated - Predicted to be Rated R
Source: Original Screen Play
Major Genre: Suspense
Genres: Surprise Twist
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $25 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million
Notes: Out of all the movies that will flop this month, this is the one I'm the most disappointed with due to it's potential. The main problem with the movie is the Surprise Twist, which will probably surprise very few people. This film has a great cast with Robert De Niro, Famke Janssen and Dakota Fanning and that should help get a few people into the theatres. But a strong Friday start will be wasted, as bad word of mouth will kill this film's chances by Saturday.

Name: In Good Company
Studio: Universal
Official Site: InGoodCompanyMovie.com
Release Date: December 29 - Goes wide January 14th
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and drug references.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Corporate Life
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $26 million
Box Office Potential: $30 million
Notes: While this film opened in December, it does go wide this month, which is why it's on this list. (And also why I called Elektra the only January release I'm interested in.) Although wide may not be entirely accurate as the film may expanded to as few as 500 theatres and if that happens it will obviously impact its chances at the box office reducing the prediction to $20 million. Conversely, if it gets a release wider than 2000 theatres it could earn twice that much. Update: Early estimates are in and the film is doing better than expected in limited release and I've upped the predictions.

Name: Racing Stripes
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: RacingStripesMovie.WarnerBros.com
Release Date: January 14th
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild crude humor and some language.
Source: Original Script
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Miscellaneous Sports
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $30 million
Box Office Potential: $20 million
Notes: Judging the potential success of this movie is difficult since I'm so far out of the target demographic. To me it looks like a bad kids' movie with too many voice-over actors chosen for their name recognition rather than their ability to do voice work. Add to that, it is opening on the only crowded weekend in January and will most likely be squeezed out at the box office.

Name: Underclassman
Studio: Miramax
Official Site: None
Release Date: January 7th
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual references, drug material and some teen drinking.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Suspense
Genres: Boarding School
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $25 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million
Notes: Not even sure this film is being released. Variety still has it as a January 7th release, but little that would confirm that including no promotional website. Considering how bad January usually is for movies, the best thing that could happen to this movie would be for it to move to another month … unless it is moved to September that is.

Name: White Noise
Studio: Universal
Official Site: WhiteNoiseMovie.com
Release Date: January 7th
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, disturbing images and language.
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Suspense
Genres: Hauntings
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $30 million
Box Office Potential: $35 million
Notes: I like Michael Keaton, some of his earlier comedic work includes some of my favorite films and I really hope his comeback is successful, but this movie doesn't look like it will help that cause. Too much of the promotional material is focused in convincing potential moviegoers E.V.P. is real, which it isn't. It feels like they have to push that aspect of the film because they don't have a compelling story. On the plus side, it is quite possibly the only film opening wide that weekend.


Submitted by:

Filed under: Monthly Preview, Coach Carter, White Noise, Hide and Seek, Racing Stripes, In Good Company, Elektra, Assault On Precinct 13, Underclassman, Are We There Yet?, Alone in the Dark