Follow us on

2005 Preview: March

March 1st, 2005

March is a transitional month that lacks the huge hits that get people excited, and also lacks the real obvious train-wreck movies that get released during the various dumping grounds during the year. Because of that, it's a month that's hard to predict - the releases all seem so average. There are three films that have a reasonable shot at $100 million, but probably only one of those films will make it there. And that will be helped out dramatically by the Easter holidays, which falls in March this year.

Name: Be Cool
Studio: MGM/UA
Official Site: BeCoolMovie.com
Release Date: March 4th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence, sensuality, and language including sexual references.
Source: Sequel and Based on a Book
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: The Mob and Music Industry
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $75 million
Box Office Potential: $85 million
Notes: This is the latest film set to revive John Travolta's career, but I couldn't help thinking as I watched the trailer that I've seen this film before. There's nothing original about it. That does mean the film has all the elements that made the original a hit back in 1995. Makes predicting its box office much easier, just take the first film's box office, adjust for inflation, shave a little off the top for the sequel effect and you get $85 million. On the other hand, there may be no originality in the film, which would result in poor reviews, weak word of mouth and a box office closer to Elmore Leonard's previous adaptation.

Name: Beauty Shop
Studio: MGM/UA
Official Site: MGM.com
Release Date: March 30th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 on appeal for sexual material, language and brief drug references.
Source: Spin-Off
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Beauty Industry
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $20 million
Box Office Potential: $60 million
Notes: A spin-off from the Barbershop franchise. Like many franchises, the sequel couldn't live up to the original and while I think this film will continue that trend I don't think the drop-off will be as high as it was for the last film. Note: while this film opens in March, it is really more of an April movie, and therefore it will appear on that column as well with any last minute adjustments to the prediction.

Name: Guess Who
Studio: Sony
Official Site: SonyPictures.com
Release Date: March 25th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor.
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: In-Laws
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $35 million
Box Office Potential: $50 million
Notes: A remake of the 1967 movie, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. That film earned $57 million nearly 40 years ago, but I think this one will have a lot of trouble matching that performance even if you don't adjust it for inflation. Neither Bernie Mac nor Ashton Kutcher have really proven they can carry a film well enough to have a major hit. However, it they should have enough drawing power to push the box office past its production budget, while helping the film become a mid-level success.

Name: Hostage
Studio: Miramax
Official Site: Miramax.com
Release Date: March 11th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and some drug use.
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Action/Adventure
Genres: Hostage
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $75 million
Box Office Potential: $60 million
Notes: Bruce Willis' career has been struggling as of late with more misses than hits, but this film could help revive his career somewhat. (Or at least keep it alive till Die Hard 4.0 comes out.) Unfortunately, this film opens the same weekend as the only guaranteed hit for all of March, Robots. One last note, this is director Florent Emilio Siri's first Hollywood film, but he did direct the Tom Clancy video game, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how smoothly that transition goes.

Name: Ice Princess
Studio: Disney
Official Site: Disney.Go.com
Release Date: March 18th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated G for General Audiences.
Source: Original Script
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Miscellaneous Sports - Figure Skating and Duff Fluff
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $25 million
Box Office Potential: $37.5 million
Notes: This movie looks like its aimed strictly at the 'Tweeners and as I'm not part of that demographic it is much more difficult to judge the movie's chances for success. On the one hand, Michelle Trachtenberg has a lot of name recognition from her role as Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. On the other hand, she has yet to prove herself as a box office draw and this movie looks way too formulaic. In the end it will likely have a similar run as Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. i.e. It won't earn enough to be considered a success, but the production budget will be low enough that it won't be a flop either.

Name: The Jacket
Studio: Warner Independent Pictures
Official Site: WIP.WarnerBros.com
Release Date: March 4th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and brief sexuality/nudity.
Source: Original Script
Major Genre: Suspsense
Genres: Time Travel
Production Budget: $28.5 million
Box Office Potential: $20 million
Notes: After struggling to make it to the big screen for several years, and losing a few actors and a director along the way, this film may or may not get a wide release. Best case scenario has it opening in 2,000 theaters, with a theater count of 1,500 probably being much more likely. Right now the buzz is weak and the hype is nearly non-existent, which is too bad since the premise is intriguing and the cast is excellent.

Name: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: ArmedAndFabulous.WarnerBros.com
Release Date: March 24th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor.
Source: Sequel
Major Genre: comedy
Genres: Undercover
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $60 million
Box Office Potential: $85 million
Notes: Sandra Bullock's first Sequel since Speed II: Cruise Control. And while this sequel should be a lot more successful, I don't think it will live up to the original's box office. It depends on how well the film can balance the features of the first film that made that one successful, with enough new material to avoid becoming too predictable and formulaic.

Name: The Pacifier
Studio: Spyglass Entertainment
Official Site: Disney.Go.Com
Release Date: March 4th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for action violence, language and rude humor
Source: Original Script
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres:
Production Budget: $56 million
Box Office Potential: $40 million
Notes: Just a week after Man of the House hits theatres, another film with a very similar theme comes out. This one has a more family feel, but I think that's going to work against it; plus, Vin Diesel looks horribly miscast in the movie. A lot of the secondary characters are played by excellent actors, but I don't think they will be able to save this movie. Update: with Man of the House missing expectations, I've slightly reduced the prediction on this film as well.

Name: The Ring Two
Studio: Dreamworks
Official Site: Ring2-TheMovie.com
Release Date: March 18th, 2005
MPAA Rating:
Source: Sequel
Major Genre: Horror
Genres: Technomagick
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $50 million
Box Office Potential: $90 million
Notes: First of all, this is a Sequel to the original American remake and not a remake of the Sequel to the original Japanese film, which was actually a prequel. Confused yet? The original started out slowly, but had something most horror films don't: it had long legs at the box office. This film should open with twice as much as the first did, but due to Sequelitis, the horror genre and reviews that will almost certainly be weaker than the original, this film will struggle to hit $100 million at the box office.

Name: Robots
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Official Site: RobotsMovie.com
Release Date: March 11th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG - for some brief language and suggestive humor.
Source: Original Script
Major Genre: Animated
Genres: Digital Animation and Robots
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $80 million
Box Office Potential: $150 million
Notes: It's a Digital Animation film, and even ones with poor reviews seem to become big hits and really only one such film has bombed. The only concerns I have at this moment are with some of the cast choices, some of which are not experienced with voice work. Voice work is very much different than live acting and while I'm sure Mel Brooks is going to smoke the role, others I'm not so confident about. On the other hand, I like the retro style the film has.

Name: The Upside of Anger
Studio: New Line
Official Site: UpsideOfAnger.com
Release Date: Limited - March 11th, 2005, Wide - April 1st 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, sexual situations, brief comic violence and some drug use.
Source: Original Script
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Radio Industry and Baseball
Production Budget: $12 million
Box Office Potential: $35 million
Notes: I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time, mostly for its excellent cast. Well, the female part of the cast, anyway. I've never been a big fan of Kevin Costner, and going by his recent box office performances I'm not alone in feeling that way. Look for the film to have a box office run similar to In Good Company, although it won't make it quite as high. It is worth noting that the film was originally scheduled for a cushy Oscar release late in December before getting moved to March / April and while it would be hard to interpret this as a positive sign, it is not necessarily the kiss of death. Note: this is another film that opens in March but it really an April movie and therefore it will also appear on that column as well.


Submitted by:

Filed under: Monthly Preview, Robots, The Pacifier, The Ring Two, Guess Who, Be Cool, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, Beauty Shop, Hostage, Ice Princess, The Upside of Anger, The Jacket