March 4th - 6th-
Next up is the sequel that no one really asked for in London Has Fallen. Back in March of 2013, Olympus Has Fallen became a surprise hit as the first of two bombing the white house movies that year. In fact, Olympus Has Fallen ended up higher than White House Down as it closed with just under $100 million after opening to $30 million. It did this despite poor critical reviews as it proved to be a fun option for fans of action movies. But yet, it wasn't the type of movie that really needed a sequel and it's certainly not a sequel that anyone was asking for. But we got one anyways and now it's London that is in danger now. With Triple 9 and Gods of Egypt failing the previous weekend, this could give action fans their necessary action fix. Reviews are dangerously low for the movie as they are sitting in the teens on Rotten Tomatoes, but this is sure to be critic proof once again. At least in the opening weekend. If this is another success, which city or country is in danger next? Let's just hope it's not Paris. That would bad.
And finally we have the movie headed for more of a niche audience with Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. The unique title might catch people's attention, but the premise of this is a bit of a hard sell. This is based on the memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker, which recounted her experiences as an American international reporter over in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That premise might sound interesting enough for audiences, especially since the movie stars Tina Fey fresh off her success with Sisters playing the lead role of Kim Barker. Co-starring is Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, and Billy Bob Thornton, which is also really good. The tough sell is the fact that this is a comedy, not a drama. War dramas are quite popular. But a war comedy? On board to direct is Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who previously teamed up for last year's Focus and 2011's Crazy, Stupid, Love. If this movie gets anywhere close to those movies' numbers ($53 million and $84 million), this will be a huge success. It will look to avoid Tina Fey's Admission numbers which could only muster $18 million in March of 2013.
March 11th - 13th-
If Whiskey Tango Foxtrot doesn't work out in the first weekend of March, the second weekend of March will provide another movie for comedy fans in The Brothers Grimsby. This is a spy comedy starring two brothers whose lives went in very different directions, but yet a certain turn of events forces them to team up. Spy comedies can work very well, the most recent example being last year's Spy, which rode healthy reviews to a final total north of $100 million. The Brothers Grimbsy stars popular comedic actor Sacha Baron Cohen, who has a pretty decent track record with Borat, Bruno, and The Dictator. These movies are very polarizing and offensive to some, but they have their following. The Brothers Grimsby is likely to be the same way, especially with Cohen on as writer. Larry Charles is not directing this time around like he was with the other three. Instead we have Louis Letterier, who has quite the diverse resume has he directed the first two Transporter movies, The Incredible Hulk, Clash of the Titans, and Now You See Me. Co-starring with Cohen in this is Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Penelope Cruz, and Isla Fisher.
March is always a busy month for a lot of things. Not just movies. This year Easter Sunday falls on March 27th, which means the month is ripe for a faith-based movie or two. This Easter season we will have four of them. One came last month. Another one comes in early April. That means with this preview, we have two to talk about and the first one of those is The Young Messiah. Movies about the life of Christ have been made almost non-stop since film was invented. Christian filmmakers have always had a desire to tell the world the story of Christ and since there's money to be made, Hollwood has joined the party, too. Despite all of these movies about the life of Christ, The Young Messiah is doing something a bit different by focusing on Christ when he was a child. This is based on the book by Anne Rice called Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, which is a fictional story about Christ around ages seven to eight. I say fictional because almost nothing is said about Christ's childhood in the New Testament. So some creative liberties were obviously taken to write this story in order to portray what Christ's childhood may have been like. With so many faith-based films coming out at once, that could limit the potential a bit for all of them, but the unique element of The Young Messiah could help it stand out.
Last and, well, probably least is the romantic comedy The Perfect Match. With a cast comprising of no real notable names, a director that hasn't done anything big, a generic title, a cliche premise, and an R rating, this has the perfect formula to slip right under everyone's radar. Terrance J, Paula Patton, and Lauren London previous all starred in a movie called Baggage Claim in 2013 which only made $21 million total. The director Bille Woodruff directed a couple of duds back in the 2000's and came back in 2014 to direct an even bigger dud in a movie called Addicted that only made $17 million total after opening to $7 million. The Perfect Match is about a playboy named Charlie who meets a girl named Eva. Convinced that none of his relationships will work out, they make an agreement to be casual with this relationship, but then Charlie decides he wants more. Yup. I told it was a cliche premise. A total similar to Baggage Claim or Addicted feels pretty generous at this point.
March 18th - 20th-
One week after The Young Messiah, our second faith-based film of the month hits theaters. That movie is Miracles from Heaven. With two faith-based movies coming out in two weeks, it could either be a very good month for the genre or they could self-destruct each other as Christian audiences might be forced to choose between the two. We'll see what ends up being the case. If you want to look at a great success story for a faith-based film, look no further than Heaven is for Real. Around Easter 2014, that movie shocked the world by opening to $22 million and holding extremely well to end up at $91 million. Now Sony's TriStar brand is back using the same formula that made Heaven is for Real a hit, hoping for similar success. Heaven is for Real was the true story of a kid who died and claimed he visited Heaven before he miraculously came back for life. Miracles from Heaven is the story of a young girl with a rare digestive disorder who is miraculously healed after surviving a terrible accident. And I hope I didn't just describe the whole movie to you. Both movies were based on books written by the parent of the child. In this instance, Jennifer Garner plays that mother.
March 25th - 27th-
Speaking of a movie sequel that no one really asked for, providing counter-programming to Batman v. Superman will be My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. It was 14 years ago when My Big Fat Greek Wedding became one of the greatest indie phenomenons in the history of probably ever. It opened in April of 2002 and stayed in theaters for a staggering 52 weeks, holding extremely well. Despite not earning more than $11 million in any given three-day weekend and not getting higher than number two at the box office, it went on to earn $241 million at the U.S. box office and still stands as the highest grossing movie ever to not hit #1. That's pretty dang good for an indie movie that had a budget of only $5 million. Comedy sequels have worked in the past, but it is worth noting that waiting this long to do a sequel to a popular comedy didn't really work for Anchorman 2 and was even a bigger disaster for Zoolander 2 last month, so there's definitely no guarantee that this works. If it does work, which is also possible given that most of the original cast is back, it's of course unfair to expect a similar run as it's predecessor, but it could provide some good counter-programming for those not interested in a big-budget comic book movie.
And finally, we get the first of three horror movies in three weeks. I'll get into the other two when I talk about the April movies, but this first one is The Disappointments Room. These movies keep happening because they are really easy to make a small profit as they don't cost very much at all. We've had three horrors so far this year and all of them have made a decent profit when taking into account their very small production budget in mind. The Forest made $26 million, The Boy made $34 million, and The Witch has done $17 million in 12 days so far. The Disappointments Room will probably open somewhere between $5 to $10 million and end up between $15 and $30 million total. That'll be a success. The screenplay for this movie was written by Wentworth Miller, who stars as Leonard Snart in CW's The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. The director is is D.J. Caruso, who directed Disturbia and I Am Number Four. The star of the movie is Kate Beckinsale. That looks like a decent lineup on paper, but then you look at the haunted house/haunted room premise and it then appears about as cliche as you can get with a horror movie.