February 6th - 8th-
Now to talk about the two movies that have gone through production issues. First off is the movie by the Wachowski siblings, Jupiter Ascending. This was supposed to come out back in June, but got delayed because the Wachowski's said they needed to polish it up, which is respectable. But going from big summer month to a quiet off-month doesn't show a whole lot of confidence. Or perhaps they are just trying to release in a quieter month where they can dominate. Which, if true, turned out to be an unlucky choice because this February is turning into a very competitive month. Early word on Jupiter Ascending is that the visual effects are top notch while the rest of the movie leaves a lot to be desired for, so that's not a good sign. However, what it does have on its side is an excellent cast that includes Channing Tatum, Eddie Redmayne, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
In a lot more trouble is the fantasy movie Seventh Son. This is based on a popular book series, but as history has shown us, that isn't all that's needed to have success. This movie was originally scheduled to come out in February of 2013. That's two years ago. I can't even begin to describe all the reasons why it kept being pushed back again and again and again. Let's just say that it's had a whole bunch of issues and now it seems like it's just being thrown on the schedule so that they can get this over with. Are there are enough fans of the book series to help this do well? Better yet, do the fans of the book series know it's even coming out? Doesn't seem like there's been a huge marketing push. But Jupiter Ascending and Seventh Son can't succeed this weekend and it's going to be hard for either of them to do well against Kingsman: The Secret Service coming up on the weekend of Valentine's Day. It seems like Seventh Son will be the odd one out.
February 13th - 15th-
Those not wanting to dive into the sexually charged Fifty Shades of Grey movie have the option to dive into the high profile action movie Kingsman: The Secret Service. This is also an adaption, although of a comic book, not a novel. Those who love action movies are certainly in for a treat because this looks like it is loaded with a whole bunch of crazy, physics-defying action-packed scenes throughout. The purpose of this is to provide a whole lot of fun for its audiences and it looks like it will do just that. Helping that is that this is also a comedy, so its definitely not taking itself seriously. Finally, this has quite the cast as it stars Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Hamill, and Michael Caine among others and also has Matthew Vaughn on board to direct, who previously directed Kick-A--, X-Men: First Class, and Stardust. Action? Comedy? Cast? Director? This is a big recipe for success.
February 20th - 22nd-
Next up we have Kevin Costner doing what Kevin Costner does best. Starring in a sports movie. This time around he's a track coach in McFarland, USA. Sports movies are a tricky thing to do sometimes because there's really only so many ways you can go with the story before coming off as cliche and repetitive. At the same time, if you have a good cast with a good enough story, then people going into the sports movie will be ready for a happy, feel good story. But still, in order to attract huge audiences, you need to stand out. Can McFarland, USA stand out? Can Kevin Costner put the movie on his shoulders if it doesn't stand out. Costner's sports movie last year was Draft Day and that wasn't super impressive and neither was Disney's sports movie from last year in Million Dollar Arm. In fact, both ended with around $30 million, which seems like a fair place for this to end up in.
Speaking of comedies that people might not be interested in, our final movie of the weekend is The DUFF. This is definitely a comedy aimed at teenage girls as this is about a girl in high school being labeled as the "DUFF," which stands for "Designated Ugly Fat Friend." I didn't know that being a DUFF was a thing, but yet it's been a while since I've been to high school, so maybe that's a new thing for high school. Either way, self image is a pretty big thing for high school girls, so this seems like it could be relevant for that crowd, but are they actually going to show up to see it? It doesn't have a known director and it's biggest actor is Robbie Amell, star of CW's The Tomorrow People and The Flash. That's not the best sign.
February 27th - March 1st-
Last and possibly least, February rounds thing off by delivering us another horror movie with The Lazerus Effect. Horror movies are a dime a dozen and recently have been very poorly received. Recently being last year of course as there were many different horror movies that ended up on peoples' worst movies of 2014 lists. Is The Lazerus Effect going to change the genre's luck around by giving horror fans something can cheer for? Director David Gelb previous work includes.... documentaries? Nope. No feature length films. Nothing horror related. But if it can provide scares, then that's all that matters, right? The premise here is that a group of researchers finds a way to bring people back to life. Hence the Lazerus effect. And of course you know things are going to go wrong. This is only PG-13, so perhaps it's trying to attract the teenage crowd?