Saturday, February 2, 2013

Movie Preview: February 2013

The month of January is typically seen as a new movie dumping ground while Holiday holdovers and academy award nominees dominate theaters. This was the case for this January as the top grossing movies for the month were all December releases, while the only movie that didn't disappoint was the PG-13 horror film Mama. Mama was also the only PG-13 movie released, the others were all R and all fell flat. February is usually another low key month before things start to pick up in March, but at the same time its usually better than Januaries as on average one or two movies end up making it past the $100M mark. Last February even produced three movies that hit that mark. This February will have to have some huge surprises to replicate last year's success, but nevertheless there are still some decent Valentine's Day choices to look forward to in the movie world, so lets take a look.

February 1st - 3rd - The first weekend of February is always a tough one for movies because the first Sunday in February is the Super Bowl. Essentially, for a movie to be successful, it has to have good numbers on Friday and Saturday and hope for a good holdover in future days and weeks. Last year Chronicle and Woman in Black attempted the feat and both wound up with $20M+ weekends. This year we have three movies attempting the feat and only one of them will make an impact. That one movie that should do decent business is Warm Bodies. Warm Bodies is a unique genre-mesh that is quite clever and should appeal to a fairly broad teenage/adult audience. It combines a romantic comedy with a zombie action movie. The zombie action should be appealing to the guys while the love story should appeal to the girls, thus making for a great date movie that should do decent business this Valentines month. It also might survive the Super Bowl weekend because on Sunday there will be enough girls not interested in the big game that will instead go for a girls night to a romance movie. A movie that will probably totally bomb on Super Bowl weekend is Bullet to the Head. I don't know who thought it would be a good idea to release a pure guys movie on Super Bowl weekend, but the specific audience for Bullet to the Head will be the same group of people that will be busy watching the Super Bowl. This is another R-rated action movie and if you haven't been following the Box Office recently, three movies of that exact same style just came out in January: The Last Stand, Broken City, and Parker. Main stars respectively were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Wahlberg, and Jason Statham. Broken City was opened up the highest of the three with a whopping $8M. Yup, it was that bad. Bullet to the Head has Sylvester Stallone trying his luck, but you'd be surprised to know that Stallone hasn't had a very good box office track record in his solo movies since his glory days in the 80's. The final movie is Stand Up Guys. It stars Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, but it won't make a dent at all this weekend. It only opens up in just over 600 theaters, barely qualifying for a nationwide release. With the poor reviews for this R-rated action comedy is receiving, it will probably disappear rather quickly, too.

February 8th - 10th - In a year that is already packed full of R-rated movies, this weekend before Valentine's Day throws in two more before we finally get some diversity on Valentine's Day. The first of which is the R-rated comedy Identity Thief. This movie actually has a pretty good chance to be the first big hit in 2013 and if this February is going to match last year, this movie needs to be. It is directed by Seth Gordon, director of Horrible Bosses and Four Christmases, both of which topped $100M. It also features Craig Mazin as writer who worked on The Hangover Part II and the last two Scary Movies, all of which did great box office business. The premise of the movie is that Jason Bateman's character has his identity stolen by a big fat lady played by Melissa McCarthy and he ends up chasing her across the country. Could be an interesting story that might attract fans of movies such as Hangover or Bridesmaid. Other R-rated movie of the week comes in the form of Side Effects. Now remember the movie called Contagion? The movie where some germs spreading led to people all over the world dying, thus making you want to wash your hands every 10 seconds of your day? Yeah, the makers of that movie are coming out with this Side Effects movie which is a movie about a girl that gets a drug prescribed to her that has unexpected side effects. I'm expecting a crazy Contagion-like movie with this, except more amped because of its R-rating. Contagion opened up to $22M on its way to $75M in September, so numbers like that are possible, although Contagion was only PG-13, so Side Effects' numbers might be a bit lower.

February 14th - 17th - Valentine's Day is on a Thursday and there are four releases that smartly will release a day earlier than the normal Friday to accommodate Valentine's Day crowds. On this day holds quite the conundrum for young couples with two big options. Option number one is the pure chick flick option of Safe Haven. Safe Haven is another Nicholas Sparks novel adapted to the big screen. I don't need to tell you what it's about. Guy meets girl. Guy and girl fall in love. Some drama happens that splits up guy and girl up. Guy and girl miraculously get together in the end. Boom. This movies couple is Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough. Last year's Valentine's Day chick flick hit The Vow broke out with $125M. Despite that, though, the highest that a Nicholas Sparks movie has made is The Notebook's $81M followed by Dear John's $80M. They usually end up between $40M - $60M. So guys wanting to earn kudos for their girls will take their Safe Haven. Now the conundrum arises with the fact that opening at the exact same time as the pure girls move Safe Haven is the pure guys movie A Good Day to Die Hard. If there is one guaranteed hit for this month, this is it. This is the fifth Die Hard movie to come over the course of the last 25 years. The first one opened up back in 1988 and would up with $83M, which adjusted for ticket price inflation would be equivalent to $157M today. The other three all wound up between $100M and $150M and adjusted for inflation once again would make it so that all four movies were above $150M. The fourth installment, 2007's Live Free or Die Hard, was actually the highest grossing of the four with $134M, but at the same time it was the least attended in terms of ticket sales. So a total north of $150M isn't guaranteed, but it is certain to gain at least $100M. Now guys who want kudos with their girl will go to Safe Haven, but perhaps there are girls out there that want to turn the tables and instead want to get kudos with their guy by heading out to Die Hard 5. Now for those not celebrating Valentine's Day but instead are celebrating Single's Awareness Day, the best movie of the weekend perhaps might be Beautiful Creatures. Now I make that statement but yet the title of the movie seems like one that fits in with Valentine's Day. And yes there is a romance story line in the movie, but this isn't a chick flick and I don't think it is intending on attracting romantic crowds, but is instead aiming for a bigger audience with the Twilight/Harry Potter/Hunger Games crowds. Twilight is over now and Harry Potter has been over for over a year, and Hunger Games just started, but Beautiful Creatures is going to try to be the next big book series to movie. The book series is called the Caster Chronicles. Beautiful Creatures is book one and it is followed by three more sequels, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, and Beautiful Redemption. Now the first Twilight opened up to $69M on its way to $192M and I don't think it will quite get that high, but it should beat the sadly failed screen adaption of I Am Number Four, which tried the same feat but only opened to $19M on its way to $55M. Final movie of the weekend is going to try to reach family audiences and that is Escape From Planet Earth. It's been since Christmas since a PG family movie came out and since Thanksgiving since a PG animated movie, so there is probably a fairly big desire for a movie like that and Escape From Planet Earth will try to feed off of that desire. Now, I am also getting visions of Mars Needs Moms when I look at this movie. That movie opened up to $6M in the beginning of March 2011 and ended up at $21M. I don't imagine that being the fate of this movie, but its a possibility if it turns out to be a bad movie.

February 22nd - 24th - With a loaded Valentine's Day, the most likely scenario for this final weekend is for Valentine's weekend holdovers to rule as the two final movies of February don't look too strong. First up to bat is Snitch. Snitch is the same type of movie as recent bombs The Last Stand, Broken City, Parker, and Bullet to the Head. This time around the lead role is Dwayne Johnson, The Rock. Now Dwayne Johnson has done a great job propelling movies when he has a good cast around him, but as the lead role in an action flick that is more questionable. He might be popular, but not more so than Schwarzenegger, Wahlberg, Statham, and Stallone and none of those could do anything. Maybe Johnson will break the trend, but I am not betting on it. Finally, we have Dark Skies. This movie is a PG-13 horror thriller movie written and directed by Scott Charles Stewart, whose only directing experience comes with Priest (2011) and Legion (2010), both of which underwhelmed. Dark Skies has a mysterious alien invasion feel to it, that could intrigue some people, but probably won't. The best case scenario for it would be turning up numbers like last month's Mama, another PG-13 horror film, but the probable scenario is that it gets overlooked and disappears quickly.

No comments:

Post a Comment