February Movie Preview

Led by Lone Survivor and Ride Along, this January got the 2014 box office off to a surprisingly good start. February will be hard-pressed to maintain that kind of momentum, as aside from The Lego Movie, there’s not a single guaranteed money-maker and I don’t think any other movie will even crack $75 million in total. But as always, there’s room for surprise hits. So, let’s get to it and see what’s coming up in February.

February 7

Vampire Academy

File:Vampire Academy, Blood Sisters.jpeg

My Thoughts: I can’t tell if this movie is taking itself seriously or not. In some ways, it seems gleefully over the top and ridiculous in a self-aware way. But then again, maybe it is just that ridiculous. I don’t know. Regardless, the whole vampire craze has largely passed and these adaptations of not terribly popular young adult novels never do that well anyway (The Mortal Instruments, The Host, Beautiful Creatures, etc.).

Opening Weekend: $9 million

Total Gross: $25 million

The Monuments Men

File:The Monuments Men poster.jpg

My Thoughts: This film has an interesting plot and quite the cast. But those two things alone do not make a good movie. Early reviews aren’t the greatest, but you assemble a cast like this, and I’m willing to take some chances. The story is a poignant one and Matt Damon remains a very likeable leading man. But, still, it feels like the potential is limited, and the fact that it was pushed back from a December release gives the impression that it wasn’t good enough for a holiday opening so the studio dumped it in February.

Opening Weekend: $16 million

Total Gross: $50 million

The Lego Movie

File:The Lego Movie poster.jpg

My Thoughts: Well, here we are, the movie of February, and pretty much all of winter 2014 at that. I was a little skeptical when I heard they were making a Lego movie but it actually looks pretty funny. At the same time, I’m almost upset this premieres when it does because it will take money away from Frozen and pretty much kill its chances of hitting $400 million. Then again, who actually expected Frozen to still be relevant at this time of year anyway?

That said, I’ve seen some fairly outlandish predictions for The Lego Movie,
in the range of $70 or so million. Yes, The Lorax opened to $70 million in March two years ago. So, it’s possible, but I just don’t see that happening. This is, after all, not a sequel and we’re still in February, one of the weakest box office months of the year. I think The Lego Movie will be big, but not huge.

Opening Weekend: $48 million

Total Gross: $160 million

February 14

Winter’s Tale

File:Winter's tale (film).jpg

My Thoughts: This is one of those movies in these monthly previews where I get to it and I just think….I have no idea what to say about this. So I’m just going to throw out some numbers.

Opening Weekend: $6 million

Total Gross: $20 million

Endless Love

EndlessLove2014Poster.jpg

My Thoughts: Here we are, the requisite melodramatic romance flick for Valentine’s Day. I can’t fault studios for churning these out, as they can really make bank, especially on a year like this when Valentine’s coincides with President’s weekend. So, Endless Love could easily have a very potent opening. But I expect a big drop after that. It looks fairly generic so I’d be shocked to see this have good legs.

Opening Weekend: $21 million

Total Gross: $48 million

About Last Night

File:About Last Night One Sheet.jpg

My Thoughts: This flick will be a good litmus test to see if we’ve officially reached the point where Kevin Hart is over-saturated. That said, there are three movies opening this weekend which focus on romance or relationships, so something has to give. I think About Last Night will be fine, especially since it will appeal mostly to black audiences. Winter’s Tale is the most likely Valentine’s movie to completely flop.

Opening Weekend: $18 million

Total Gross: $50 million

Robocop

File:Robocop poster.jpg

My Thoughts: I’m not really upset that they’re making a RoboCop remake. Honestly, it was just a matter of time and the subject matter lends itself to a redo with better special effects. However….it’s PG-13, which spits in the face of the ridiculously violent original. And, what’s with the black suit? It’s enough to update the suit and add a few changes here and there. You don’t mess with an iconic color scheme. I’m fine with Man of Steel making Superman’s costume generally darker shades, but it would not have been okay if they gave him a silver and gray costume. But anyway, RoboCop is opening on a crowded weekend and I think some of the aforementioned changes will alienate franchise fans and prevent this from being very successful.

Opening Weekend: $16 million

Total Gross: $38 million

February 21

3 Days to Kill

3 Days to Kill poster.jpg

My Thoughts: Looks like Kevin Costner is trying to go the Liam Neeson route. Old guy kicking ass. I don’t think that Costner carries quite the gravitas that Neeson did before Taken and trailers for 3 Days to Kill don’t look nearly as interesting. However…it does have Amber Heard and I think she is incredibly beautiful. But she alone is not reason enough to see what looks like a pretty generic flick. 

Opening Weekend: $11 million

Total Gross: $39 million

Pompeii

Pompeii-poster.jpg

My Thoughts: It’s kinda hard to imagine this movie having a happy ending. Since you know, a volcano erupts. And pretty much kills everyone. That said, there’s nothing that really makes this stand out too much. Aside from Emily Browning, there’s not really a recognizable face in the cast, the whole total, cataclysmic destruction thing has been done before (Roland Emmerich pretty much owns that genre) and we’ve seen star-crossed lovers try to stay together in the face of a disaster. It’s basically Titanic with a volcano instead of an iceberg. Then again….I love Titanic. It really doesn’t have much competition so I think Pompeii might end up doing all right.

Opening Weekend: $20 million

Total Gross: $62 million

February 28

Son of God

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My Thoughts: If you want proof that religious movies can do unbelievable opening weekend numbers in February, look no further than The Passion of the Christ. But Son of God is unlikely to even approach those heights. The Passion had quite the perfect storm going for it, especially with all the controversy. I doubt Son of God will build up anywhere near as much hype. Still, if it’s a solid picture, it could hold well throughout March and get a boost around Easter in April. I think this will do all right in the end.

Opening Weekend: $16 million

Total Gross: $70 million

Non-Stop

Non-Stop2014Poster.jpg

My Thoughts: Liam Neeson isn’t even pretending to try anymore. He’s in this for the fun and for the paychecks. Taken turned him into an action star and he’s going to just roll with that for as long as he can. The best comparison is probably Neeson’s Unknown from 2011. It also opened in late February, so its $21 million opening is the benchmark here. I think audiences might be getting a bit tired of the Neeson kicks ass shtick, so I think Non-Stop will fall off from Unknown.

Opening Weekend: $18 million

Total Gross: $53 million

Welcome to Yesterday

Welcome to Yesterday.jpg

My Predictions: The Chronicle comparisons here are obvious, so let’s just acknowledge that right out of the gate. I really liked Chronicle. I get the feeling I’ll like Welcome to Yesterday too. It’s a found footage film about a bunch of kids who stumble upon a time machine. They get into hijinks, then things go south and they have to fix it. Formulaic? Yes. But damn it, I’m still interested. However, I don’t think Welcome to Yesterday looks as good or interesting as Chronicle and it will fail to hit those numbers.

Opening Weekend: $10 million

Total Gross: $28 million

There you have it. As I said in the intro and as you can clearly tell after seeing what’s coming out, February is not looking like a strong month. But, hey, if The Lego Movie is a huge hit, it could carry the entire month on its own. As always, we’ll just have to wait and see how things end up shaking out. Until we meet again.

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