April Movie Preview

Coming off a decent March, led by the strong performance of Divergent, Marvel is going to attempt to start the summer movie season early with the debut of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which should easily crush all other films premiering in April. However, as we’ve seen time and time again, there is always room for surprises and sleeper hits. So, let’s check out the April slate of films.

April 4

Captain America: The Winter Solider

File:Captain America The Winter Soldier.jpg

My Thoughts: Opening unopposed this weekend, CA:TWS seems primed for a strong opening. The buzz seems strong, the trailers have been great and the general sentiment seems to be that TWS will be a better movie than Thor: The Dark World, which will help its legs. Bringing in Black Widow is a good move, although I would’ve liked to have seen Hawkeye; of all the Avengers, he’s gotten by far the least screen time. That said, Chris Evans nails Captain America and I’m very interested to see his continuing adjustment to life in a different era, as well as his battles against the titular Winter Soldier.

As far as box office goes, the easiest comparison is the aforementioned Thor: The Dark World, which opened to a strong $85 million last November. It then went on to have mediocre legs and closed with $206 million. Given that the responses to Iron Man 3 were generally: “it sucked” and The Dark World were “pretty solid, but not great,” those less than stellar fan reactions will probably mean that TWS debuts a bit lower than T:TDW, but I think this will be a better film. Combined with less competition, The Winter Soldier should outgross The Dark World.

Opening Weekend: $88 million

Total Gross: $235 million

April 11

Oculus

File:Oculus.jpg

My Thoughts: Generic looking horror movie should do generic horror movie numbers.

Opening Weekend: $12 million

Total Gross: $30 million

Draft Day

File:Draft Day poster.jpg

My Thoughts: I like sports. I like movies. I like sports movies. However, a largely untapped area of sports movies is the behind-the-scenes stuff, particularly with owners and general managers. Moneyball kind of paved the way there, showing the story of a GM could make for a good film. That said, I don’t think Draft Day will be anywhere near as successful or good as Moneyball. Kevin Costner isn’t really a draw anymore and I doubt many people will find the concept all that interesting.

Opening Weekend: $12 million

Total Gross: $35 million

Rio 2

File:Rio 2 Poster.JPG

My Thoughts: Rio 2 will debut almost exactly three years after the original, which opened to a strong $39 million before ultimately grossing $143 million. Those are solid, if unspectacular numbers. The first film wasn’t particularly well-received. Not to say it was received poorly. It’s just that I don’t think it was quite enough to result in some true audience growth for the second edition, which I think will fall short of its predecessor.

Opening Weekend: $35 million

Total Gross: $118 million

April 18

A Haunted House 2

File:A Haunted House 2.jpg

My Thoughts: Add another film to the long list in the category of “how the hell did this get made?” A little over a year ago, A Haunted House opened to $18 million en route to a $40 million total. As you can see, those are some god awful legs. But, well, I guess people like it when the Wayans brothers make fun of stuff. Still, I think this sequel will fall off from the first one, even though it will probably still be very profitable considering its production budget will likely be exceedingly low.

Opening Weekend: $14 million

Total Gross: $28 million

Bears

File:Bears 2014 film.jpg

My Thoughts: I really like these Disneynature films. Or, rather, the idea of them. I’ve never actually seen any of them. By and large, these films never actually do particularly well and Bears will likely fall roughly in line with Chimpanzee and African Cats.

Opening Weekend: $10 million

Total Gross: $26 million

Heaven is for Real

File:Heavenisforrealtheaterposter.jpg

My Thoughts: Continuing the surprisingly high number of religious films this winter/spring (following Son of God, God’s Not Dead and Noah). All those films were successful in their own ways. So I guess it’s a good time to be a devoutly Christian film fan. Heaven is for Real in no way appeals to me. Pretty much all the phenomena of near-death experiences has been explained by science. Furthermore, are the words of a child who can’t hope to understand the aforementioned near-death experience really meant to be taken seriously?

If it seems like I’m hating on this movie….I kinda am. But, as I usually do, I’ll take a step back, breathe in and try to be more objective. I suppose the most apt comparison might be the recent God’s Not Dead, although HIFR will be opening in quite a few more theatres, and it’s based on a popular book. Given the recent high ridden by Christian films and the release right around Easter, HIFR should do rather well.

Opening Weekend: $13 million

Total Gross: $47 million

Transcendence

File:Transcendence2014Poster.jpg

My Thoughts: The ideas and concepts in this movie are awesome. I love that a mainstream holiday movie is tackling something like mind uploading. On the other hand, the true philosophical repercussions of something like seem to take a backseat to Depp’s uploaded consciousness becoming an outright villain. But even still, this is a really interesting project, and I hope that it turns out to be good, as well as a success.

Opening Weekend: $21 million

Total Gross: $68 million

April 25

The Other Woman

File:The Other Woman (2014 film) poster.jpg

My Thoughts: Well, let’s just get this out of the way. Kate Upton is a stunningly beautiful woman. That said, it’s pretty easy to tell from the trailer alone that the woman can’t act, but hey, I’m sure she’ll be nice to look at. As for the movie itself, I don’t think it looks terribly funny and the concept has been done a fair number of times before. Still, it’s one of the few April movies targeting women, so it should do all right.

Opening Weekend: $15 million

Total Gross: $46 million

Brick Mansions

File:Brick Mansions Poster.jpg

My Thoughts: Rest in peace, Paul Walker. This is obviously one of the last projects he was a part of before his untimely death. An actor’s death can have varying effects on a movie. Sometimes, like for Heath Ledger and The Dark Knight, it works wonders. Other times, it doesn’t do much of anything. I do think that Walker’s death will result in a little uptick for this film, which otherwise looks like pretty standard ludicrously over the top action.

Opening Weekend: $13 million

Total Gross: $38 million

The Quiet Ones

TheQuietOnes

My Thoughts: Well, look at that, Finnick is in a horror movie….that looks terrible. Much like Oculus, I see no reason this shouldn’t do standard horror flick figures.

Opening Weekend: $14 million

Total Gross: $33 million

Looking at this April slate, if Captain America opens high enough and a few movies disappoint here and there, it’s far from unthinkable that Captain Rogers could stay on top for the entire month. While I don’t think that will end up happening, The Winter Soldier will still destroy its April competition and easily emerge as the highest grossing movie of the month. If for that reason alone, April should be interesting to watch. Until we meet again.

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