As predicted, February brought the box office success of Fifty Shades of Grey, and Kingsman: The Secret Service managed to win over both critics and audiences alike (read our review). Both films will likely spawn franchises, but the slate of upcoming March releases is largely lacking in overt sequel potential, placing a noticeable emphasis on fresh material from a number of different genres. Chances are, whatever kind of film moviegoers are looking for, this month will bring something worth heading off to the theater for.
Here are the 7 Films We're Looking Forward to in March 2015.
Chappie (Release Date: March 6)
Director Neil Blomkamp has received so much press lately regarding his upcoming Alien sequel that it's easy to forget he actually has a film coming out this year. As a followup to the disappointing Elysium, Chappie certainly aims to help Blomkamp recapture the critical acclaim he earned with the Oscar-nominated District 9 back in 2009, and by the looks of it, Chappie is targeting similar themes and social commentary.
In the film, the title character (voiced by Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley) is a police droid who is reprogrammed and begins to develop his own thoughts and feelings. Chappie looks like it will explore the blurring line between man and machine, a classic sci-fi theme that has loads of potential for drama and thrills. Plus, with genre heavyweights like Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver among its cast, the film is definitely one that sci-fi fans will want to keep on their radar.
Check out the latest trailer for Chappie.
Cinderella (Release Date: March 13)
Last year, Disney had one of its biggest hits with Maleficent. Now the studio is bringing another one of their classic fairy tales to live-action with director Kenneth Branagh's take on Cinderella. Lily James dons the ball gown and glass slippers this time around, and Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett play her Fairy Godmother and evil Stepmother, respectively.
The film marks a return to fantastical cinema for Branagh, whose Thor followup Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit failed to kick off an intended franchise. There's no telling what liberties this new version will take with the classic story, but with a gifted cast and experienced filmmaker in place, at the very least it will be interesting to see if Cinderella will keep the live-action fairy tale train rolling for Disney, which already has The Jungle Book set for release in spring 2016.
Check out the latest trailer for Cinderella.
Run All Night (Release Date: March 13)
By now, the concept of "Liam Neeson with a gun" has all but lost its novelty. After all, the actor appears in at least a couple action thrillers each year (with Taken 3 as the most recent example). However, Run All Night could bring more to the screen than your average shoot-'em-up.
Reteaming with director Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Non-Stop), Neeson plays a former hitman who returns to a life of crime in order to protect his son (Joel Kinnaman) from his former boss (Ed Harris). The strong supporting cast - which includes Vincent D'Onofrio, Common, Bruce McGill and Genesis Rodriguez - could help elevate Run All Night into a sleeper hit this spring.
Check out the trailer for Run All Night.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent (Release Date: March 20)
With the Twilight saga having run its course and The Hunger Games already halfway through its source material, Divergent was the next big hope for young adult big-screen adaptations to develop into moneymaking film franchises. Luckily for Lionsgate, the Shailene Woodley-led film grossed nearly $300 million at the worldwide box office, cementing its status as a viable franchise. Therefore, this year's The Divergent Series: Insurgent aims to build upon the audience of the first film.
Many of the principal players return for the budding revolution, and a host of other stars - including Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and Naomi Watts - join the cast. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire proved, with franchises like this, often the sophomore chapter proves to be superior to its predecessor, and with the final book in the Divergent trilogy already set to be released in two parts starting in 2016, Insurgent should be essentially viewing for anyone who hopes to stay up-to-speed.
Check out the latest Insurgent trailer.
The Gunman (Release Date: March 20)
Based on the novel The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette, Sean Penn stars as an international operative whose plans for retirement are dashed when he ends up on the run in director Pierre Morel's The Gunman. The film looks like it could take Penn's career in a more action-oriented direction, just as Morel's Taken has done for Liam Neeson.
Penn hasn't traditionally dabbled in the action genre very often in his decades-long career, and his last major role was the disappointing Gangster Squad. In his gun-toting starring role here, the two-time Oscar winner will be joined by the likes of Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone.
Check out the latest trailer for The Gunman.
Home (Release Date: March 27)
This year brings not one but two new films from Pixar Animation Studios (Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, to be precise), but this spring is surprisingly light on family fare. As a result, Dreamworks Animation's new comedy/adventure Home - which comes from the executive producer of How to Train Your Dragon - has the opportunity to become a runaway hit.
The film's story - which focuses on the unlikely friendship between a wayward alien and a human child - does draw natural comparisons to films like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Lilo & Stitch. However, the film's kinetic sense of humor and spirited voice work from Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez could make Home, which is based on the Adam Rex children's book The True Meaning of Smekday, a fun trip to the movies for kids of all ages.
Check out the latest trailer for Home.
Get Hard (Release Date: March 27)
With a string of hits under their respective belts, funnymen Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart aim to combine their distinctive comedic styles in the new comedy Get Hard. The film is the directorial debut of writer Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder, Idiocracy) and follows a millionaire (Ferrell) who hires a friend to teach him how to survive an upcoming prison sentence for tax evasion.
Based on the footage released thus far, Get Hard aims to capitalize on the edgier aspects of its stars' appeal. With only a few comedies slated for release this spring (and even fewer R-rated ones), there's every chance that Get Hard could be this year's breakout comedy hit and a genuine crowdpleaser.
Check out the latest trailer for Get Hard.
This March has something for everything. From sci-fi thrillers to fairy tales and edgy comedies to teen-centric adventures, the month has a wide array of releases that could connect with a variety of different audiences. The question remains which films will manage to break through the pack in the last couple of months before the summer movie season hits.
Which films are you looking forward to seeing this month? Which do you think will be the biggest blockbusters?
Once again, here are the 7 films we're looking forward to this March:
- March 6: Chappie
- March 13: Cinderella, Run All Night
- March 20: The Divergent Series: Insurgent, The Gunman
- March 27: Home, Get Hard