2019 Spring Season Preview: April

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

April 5, 2019

The Best of Enemies

Premise: From IMDb: “Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration.”
Box Office Prospects: $15 M
Expectations: Weak. This is just not the kind of movie that sells many tickets. I’d be surprised if it even makes it to the tally I predicted.
Oscar Prospects: Uncertain. It was briefly in the hunt for Oscar consideration last year, but got pushed into 2019. That fact, combined with the April release, suggests that the film isn’t much of a contender.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Pet Semetary

Premise: From IMDb: “Louis Creed, his wife Rachel and their two children Gage and Ellie move to a rural home where they are welcomed and enlightened about the eerie ‘Pet Sematary’ located near their home. After the tragedy of their cat being killed by a truck, Louis resorts to burying it in the mysterious pet cemetery, which is definitely not as it seems, as it proves to the Creeds that sometimes, dead is better.”
Box Office Prospects: $200 M
Expectations: Good. While it won’t be the box office smash that It was, I suspect the renewed interest in Stephen King could bolster this film’s chances. The original film made $57 million in 1989. That translates to about $130 million today, suggesting the film could have a lot of interest.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Shazam!

Premise: From IMDb: “A boy is given the ability to become an adult superhero in times of need with a single magic word.”
Box Office Prospects: $150 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The DCEU has done surprisingly well at the box office, but this film doesn’t seem to belong to that universe and the hero isn’t one that most fans of DC would cite as a major interest. That said, there aren’t a lot of superhero movies out right now and they seem to be almost immune from failure.
Oscar Prospects: Not Likely. The film might boast some strong visual effects, but there will be other, better superhero films this year that will compete for the Oscars.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Peterloo (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “The story of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre where British forces attacked a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester.”
Box Office Prospects: $3.5 M
Expectations: Weak. Mike Leigh’s films have rarely ever been box office draws, even on the indie circuit, so don’t expect much from him other than from his avid fans.
Oscar Prospects: Not Likely. This was another potential Oscar contender from 2018 that got booted into 2019. It is also releasing in April, which could harm its chances. That said, it stands a slightly better chance than Best of Enemies, simply because of the costumes and production design.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Teen Spirit (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “Violet is a shy teenager living in the Isle of Wight who dreams of pop stardom as an escape from her small town and shattered family life. With the help of an unlikely mentor, Violet enters an international singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition.”
Box Office Prospects: $2 M
Expectations: Poor. The film may boast one of my favorite young actresses, but no one goes to the movies to see her and this one doesn’t look like the kind of movie to become a breakout success.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

April 12, 2019

After

Premise: From IMDb: “A young girl falls for a guy with a dark secret and the two embark on a rocky relationship. Based on the novel by Anna Todd.”
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Young adult love stories have been somewhat popular in recent years, but few have been outright successes. This one could over perforrm my estimations, but I doubt it.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Hellboy

Premise: From IMDb: “Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.”
Box Office Prospects: $45 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The first film made $59 million in 2004 (or about $86 million today). The second film made $76 million in 2008 (or $95 million today). That puts this series in a solid position. The difference, though, is that this film doesn’t star Ron Perlman and wasn’t directed by Guillermo del Toro, two of the reasons those films were so successful. That said, I wouldn’t expect too much from this one.
Oscar Prospects: Not Likely. The first film didn’t get any nominations, but the second was nominated for Best Makeup. That said, the Academy doesn’t like repeat performances very much and there’s little here that looks like it could cause them to make an about-face.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Little

Premise: From IMDb: “A woman receives the chance to relive the life of her younger self, at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear.”
Box Office Prospects: $75 M
Expectations: Good. This comedy is sure to hit its target audience in the funny bone, as well as anyone else who sits down to it, so it will likely do quite well.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Missing Link

Premise: From IMDb: “The charismatic Sir Lionel Frost considers himself to be the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. The trouble is none of his small-minded high-society peers seems to recognize this. Sir Lionel’s last chance for acceptance by the adventuring elite rests on traveling to America’s Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature. A living remnant of Man’s primitive ancestry. The Missing Link.”
Box Office Prospects: $50 M
Expectations: Uncertain. None of the stop-motion animated films of Laika have made much more than the $50 million range, so I suspect this one will fall right in line with those.
Oscar Prospects: Excellent. Although the premise doesn’t look like something the Academy would stand up and cheer, there is no more prominent studio for the animation branch than Laika, which has never failed to have a film nominated for Best Animated Feature. Even its weakest entry, The Boxtrolls, managed it. While I’m not quite as certian about this one as some of the others, it’s still a pretty solid bet.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

April 19, 2019

Breakthrough

Premise: From IMDb: “When he was 14, Smith drowned in Lake St. Louis and was dead for nearly an hour. According to reports at the time, CPR was performed 27 minutes to no avail. Then the youth’s mother, Joyce Smith, entered the room, praying loudly. Suddenly, there was a pulse, and Smith came around.”
Box Office Prospects: $20 M
Expectations: Weak. Christian-themed films just aren’t a box office draw. Those interested in these types of films usually wait until they are out on home video.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The Curse of La Llorona

Premise: From IMDb: “Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.”
Box Office Prospects: $70 M
Expectations: Good. While it won’t do The Conjuring-level business, it’s a supernatural horror film, which should allow it to perform well enough.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

Penguins

Premise: From IMDb: “The story of Steve, an Adélie penguin, on a quest to find a life partner and start a family. When Steve meets with Wuzzo the emperor penguin they become friends. But nothing comes easy in the icy Antarctic.”
Box Office Prospects: $15 M
Expectations: Poor. DisneyNature documentaries seem to be fading in the amount of interest they generate. Their box office receipts have been steadily declining over the years. Of course, the last penguin-themed documentary that hit the cineplex made over $77 million (March of the Penguins). I doubt lightning strikes twice.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

April 26, 2019

Avengers: Endgame

Premise: From IMDb: “In the aftermath of Thanos wiping out half of all life in the universe, the Avengers must do what’s necessary to undo the Mad Titan’s deed.”
Box Office Prospects: $750 M
Expectations: Excellent. Likely to pass Black Panther‘s franchise-topping $700 million, the final (for some of the characters at least) Avengers film is sure to be a box office powerhouse.
Oscar Prospects: Good. Even if the film didn’t manage to win Best Visual Effects this year, it’s likely to be back at next year’s Oscars, though probably in equally few categories.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

The White Crow (Limited)

Premise: From IMDb: “The story of Rudolf Nureyev’s defection to the West.”
Box Office Prospects: $10 M
Expectations: Uncertain. Ralph Fiennes’ directorial effort looks at the defection of legendary ballet dancer Rudolph Nuryev. It might promise intrigue and danger, but it won’t do much at the box office.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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