Here are five films that could come to ailing Hollywood’s box-office rescue sooner rather than later:
1. Rio (Now Playing): Even before this CGI ‘toon opened Friday, it was making headlines, and raising hopes, by scoring nearly $55 million overseas. (Unsurprisingly, Rio was “huge” in Brazil.) It took four very long months, but 2011 may have its first, real-live, really big hit.
2. Madea’s Big Happy Family (Opening April 22): Never underestimate granny garb. Tyler Perry‘s last Madea movie, 2009’s Madea Goes to Jail, debuted with $41 million, which right now would qualify as the biggest opening weekend of this sorry Sucker Punch of a year.
3. Fast Five (Opening April 29): Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock thinks a $65 million weekend could be in the offing for the Vin Diesel franchise. And while that wouldn’t be a Fast & Furious record, it’d be an antidote to Nicolas Cage‘s Drive Angry.
4. Thor (Opening May 6): And here comes summer…This comic-book epic is in the lead-off spot for the season forged with stemming 20 percent declines in ticket sales and attendance. The good news is, the movie should be a power. Right now, Bock’s calling for the reputedly $150 million epic to start off with $75 million. The bad news is, if Bock’s right, Thor will notch the smallest debut for a summer starter since Tom Cruise‘s much-maligned Mission: Impossible III. At this point, though, Hollywood should be happy about the prospect of a nonbomb.
5. Um, Scream 4…Maybe? (Now Playing): The beginning of summer is as far as out we’re going in our search for saviors. So, among the remaining spring films, are there any others that could help the box office spring forward? “You can’t count out Scream 4,” Yahoo! Movies managing editor Matt McDaniel said via email. “With the cast made up of old and new stars, it could pull in two generations of horror fans.” The thing with Scream 4 is that it’s been 11 years since Scream 3.
Another wild card is Reese Witherspoon‘s and Robert Pattinson‘s Water for Elephants (opening April 22). On one hand, it’s based on a best-seller. On the other hand, Pattinson’s a question mark as a leading man. Said McDaniel: “That could be the movie that decides if Pattinson can draw audiences when he’s not not in a Twilight movie.”
by Joal Ryan