by Ray Subers
March 27, 2010
|Clash of the Titans|| |
After March was dominated by 3D fantasy Alice in Wonderland, the April box office is likely to be more diverse, though it does kick off with another 3-D fantasy, Clash of the Titans. Last April saw a record gross of over $695 million, and, between some enticing new entries and March holdovers, this April aims to be busy as well.
April's highest profile release is the Clash of the Titans remake on Easter weekend, April 2. Originally scheduled for Mar. 26, Clash needed breathing room between it and How to Train Your Dragon after its last minute addition of 3D. Clash has been positioned as the must-see Spring action event, and its historical fantasy approach mirrors that of a past Spring success, 300. While hitting 300-level attendance may be a tall order, Clash has the best chance of any April release to top $200 million. April 2 also sees the debut of sequel Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too (its predecessor grossed $55.2 million in 2007) as well as the first weekend for Miley Cyrus vehicle The Last Song, which debuts in time for Easter, just like Hannah Montana The Movie last year.
Date Night, featuring NBC Thursday night comedy stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey, is the sole new nationwide release on April 9. While this is only Fey's second lead role, following the $60.5 million-grossing Baby Mama from 2008, Carell has starred in a number of widely-seen big screen movies, including The 40-Year-Old Virgin ($109.5 million) and Get Smart ($130.3 million). The marketing approach has put Carell and Fey front and center, hoping that this pairing is enough to bring in real date night crowds. The Runaways is currently scheduled for a nationwide expansion on April 9, though its weak $1.1 million first week in limited release may alter those plans.
Kick Ass debuts April 16 opposite Death at a Funeral. Independently-produced, comic book adaptation Kick Ass was picked up for distribution by Lionsgate after some intense Internet buzz following last year's San Diego Comic-Con International. The hype for the superhero comedy has been escalating and early reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but the box office history of its sub-genre is littered with disappointments, including Mystery Men ($29.8 million), Superhero Movie ($25.9 million) and Blankman ($7.9 million). A remake of 2007 British comedy Death at a Funeral ($8.6 million from limited release), the new Death at a Funeral features Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Tracy Morgan and many other familiar faces, and has the potential to upstage Kick Ass.
April 23's new releases don't stand out as foregone box office champions. The Back-Up Plan, which sees Jennifer Lopez back in the romantic comedy arena for the first time in over six years, looks like a Knocked Up knock-off with its "get pregnant, then fall in love" plot. Another comic book adaptation, The Losers, which has occupied no less than four different releases dates, seems to target the same comedic action movie crowd as Kick Ass. Then there's Oceans, another nature-themed documentary from DisneyNature released in time for Earth Day (April 22). Last April, Earth was a minor hit, banking $32 million to become the third highest-grossing documentary ever.
While A Nightmare on Elm Street and Furry Vengeance are only playing for one day in April, they are still technically April releases. Opening April 30, horror remake A Nightmare on Elm Street looks to resurrect 1980s horror icon Freddy Krueger. Last year, the Friday the 13th remake killed in its opening ($40.6 million), only to die quickly (finishing at $65 million). It's reasonable to expect Nightmare to follow a similar open-big/fall-hard pattern. Furry Vengeance, on the other hand, is a total wild card. In this family comedy, Brendan Fraser stars as corporate stooge being tormented by forest creatures for trying to destroy their habitat. This isn't the first time Fraser has co-starred with live animals; previous efforts have ranged from great success (George of the Jungle) to epic failure (Dudley Do-Right). Furry Vengeance is likely to end up somewhere in between.
• 2010 Preview: Clash of the Titans
• 2010 Preview: Kick Ass
• 2010 Preview: A Nightmare on Elm Street
• Opening Weekends - April
• Opening Weekends - Spring
• Opening Weekends - Easter
• Biggest Aggregated Months - April