As we ring out another year of movies, we will usher in the January dregs, the month in which most new movies are ignored in favor of catching up on the Oscar nominees or the awards contenders, like American Sniper and Selma and A Most Violent Year that roll out to us plebes outside of NYC and Los Angeles.
It’s not a completely wasted month, however. Every year, it seems, one or two movies break through the crap and put up huge box-office numbers, often simply because they are the best alternative to everything else, whether it be Cloverfield, Ride Along, The Devil Inside, or Book of Eli. Hollywood knows what works in January, and often they create movies that echo successful movies of Januarys past. If Kevin Hart did well last January, then he’ll surely do well this January, right? If one Taken movie did well in January, then surely another one would, too, right?
Mostly, though, they just hide their stinkers. Here are the 8 wide releases we can not look forward to the most, ranked from awful to the absolute worst.
8. Taken 3 — The first Taken put up $140 million in January 2009, and in October 2012, Taken 2 nearly equaled it with $139 million. Although many copycats (including a couple from Liam Neeson himself) have come along, it appears there’s still some juice in the franchise, or else Neeson must have just said, “F*ck it! Who else can we kidnap?” (It’s actually more along the lines of every other on-the-run-solving-the-murder-he-was-framed-for thriller since The Fugitive).
7. Paddington — It doesn’t look that bad, does it? It could be charming, right? I have kids. I’m going to have to see it, so TELL ME IT LOOKS CHARMING, OK?
6. The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death — The sequel to Daniel Radcliffe’s modestly successful horror film came out today, but you’re going to have to wait until Monday for our review, because fuck you, that’s why (welcome to 2015!). Radcliffe is not returning. Reviews have been poor. Horror movies in January are notoriously bad. I fell asleep watching the trailer.
5. The Wedding Ringer — What’s the most unbelievable thing about this movie? That Kaley Cuoco would marry a character played by Josh Gad? Or that there is a company that provides Best Men for weddings? The only thing good about this movie is that Hurley managed to get another paycheck. (OK, fine. You got me. I laughed when the grandmother caught on fire. I’M ONLY HUMAN, OK?)
4. Black or White — A white grandfather (Kevin Costner) gets in a custody battle with the black grandmother (Octavia Spencer) on the other side of the family, and by the end of the film, RACISM IN AMERICA WILL BE SOLVED.
3. The Loft — You can’t tell because James Marsden doesn’t age, but this movie has been sitting on a shelf for nearly four years. I have no idea why they decided to dust it off now. Because Wentworth Miller is slightly better known since he outed himself? Because of Eric Stonestreet’s Modern Family fame? Because Karl Urban was in a cancelled TV series? I’m pretty sure Redbox has already bought 1 million copies.
2. The Boy Next Door — I swear to God, every time I see this trailer I get a weird sense of deja vu and I think to myself, “Haven’t I already seen this movie? It looks so familiar.” Then I remember I haven’t actually seen the movie yet, only the trailer, which gives away the entire terrible fucking plot. Aside from watching Jennifer Lopez plunge a knife in the kid’s stomach, there is nothing left to see here.
1. Mortdecai — And the transformation from the coolest actor of the 90s into the Eddie Murphy of the last decade is complete for Johnny Depp. This movie actually makes me feel bad for Gwyneth Paltrow.