After the holiday uptick it's time for January, where pickings are slim. And not slim in the sense that there aren't movies to see, but rather that what is available seemingly doesn't have much to offer. This is the month where any film has an equal chance of hitting or flopping, but most will flop.
That being said, January 2015 still has a few potential winners hidden among the bunch, or at least a few films that we think might be worth seeing. There are some awards contenders, a blockbuster action flick, and even a serious drama from a big time director to entice moviegoers into making their first theater trip of the new year.
Here are the 5 films we're looking forward to in January 2015.
Taken 3 (Release Date: January 9th)
While most would agree that the Taken series has become a little long in the tooth, it's hard to imagine fans of the first two passing up this final chapter. Both Taken and Taken 2 were big box office successes, and Liam Neeson has only grown in popularity as a result. Best of all, Neeson seems well aware that the franchise has run its course and likely only returned in order to give the Bryan Mills character a fitting send-off.
Strangely, though, Taken 3 apparently does not feature an actual kidnapping plot, but instead sees Mills on the run from some seedy individuals. It's a chance for the character, and in turn Neeson, to let it all out and give audiences the spectacular finale they hope for. We'll find out if the film delivers in about a week.
Check out the trailer for Taken 3.
Selma (Wide Release Date: January 9th)
From the moment the project was announced, it looked like Selma would be a potential Oscar frontrunner, and it seems those predictions were right. Almost every part of the film, from acting to directing to writing, has been nominated for some type of award, and more are likely to follow. That alone should be reason enough to at least give the film a consideration.
However, rather than go the straight biopic route, Selma captures a particular moment in time for Martin Luther King Jr., a decision that may prove to be its biggest strength. Not to mention, critics have been raving about the film, and star David Oyelowo's performance, for over a month. Those looking to watch a potential award winner in January may want to give Selma a look.
Check out the trailer for Selma.
Blackhat (Release Date: January 16th)
Admittedly, the cyber terrorist plot line has been done to death, but Blackhat might still be worth a look. And not just because it features Thor star Chris Hemsworth. In fact, we're most drawn to the picture because of its director Michael Mann, who most know for his work on films like Heat and Collateral.
Michael Mann is not one to pile on a ton of projects, but instead chooses a single film and develops it with care. He also tries to paint seemingly familiar or established ideas in a unique light. Blackhat may not have the clout of some of his other films, or the cast filled with big name stars, but Mann's track record should be enough.
Check out the trailer for Blackhat.
American Sniper (Wide Release Date: January 16th)
Much like with Blackhat, American Sniper will likely find success based on the pedigree of its director. But while Michael Mann only makes a film every few years, Clint Eastwood is a busy bee. Even so, American Sniper still looks to be a departure for the Oscar winner, as he tells the true story of Iraq war vet Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper).
While Kyle's notoriety as the most lethal sniper in the history of the U.S. military would have been enough to make his story worth telling, there's more to it than that but we won't spoil anything. Truthfully, this film has a very similar makeup to last year's Lone Survivor, which made a huge splash in January. Look for American Sniper to take the box office by storm in a few weeks.
Check out the trailer for American Sniper.
Project Almanac (Release Date: January 30th)
In most cases, when a film is pushed into the early months of the following year it's not good news. However, there are those rare instances where a studio thinks they have something with a film and decide to try it out in January. Project Almanac looks to be one of those films.
Originally titled Welcome to Yesterday, Project Almanac is a Michael Bay-produced found footage flick featuring a mostly underage cast. That alone may have been enough to give the film some general appeal, but throw in a time travel twist and Project Almanac makes a strong case for sleeper hit. Yes, there is a lot working against it, but word of mouth (if good) could help the film make a decent box office run.
Check out the trailer for Project Almanac.
Yes, January is a historically slow month for movies, but there's always at least one or two gems hidden among the fluff. And while the above five films are the ones we're most looking forward to, there are still a few that could pass for mild entertainment. There's The Woman in Black 2 (Release Date: January 2nd) for the horror crowd, The Wedding Ringer (Release Date: January 16th) for comedy fans, and the live action/CGI family-friendly adaptation Paddington (Release Date: January 16th) – all potential moneymakers if the circumstances are right.
Even so, it will likely be hard to top Taken 3, which looks poised to make big bucks this month. And if it isn't Neeson, then look for Eastwood to dominate January with American Sniper. Which films do you think are worth seeing this month? Which one do you think will make the most money at the box office?
Once again, here are the five movies we're looking forward to this month:
- January 9th: Taken 3, Selma
- January 16th: Blackhat, American Sniper
- January 30th: Project Almanac
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina