Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Box: Different Kind of You Is Same Of Me

1. Boo 2: A Madea Halloween! - $20m / $20m / $50m
2. Geostorm - $16m / $16m / $42m
3. Only the Brave - $12m / $12m / $40m
4. Happy Death Day - $11m / $42m / $65m
5. Blade Runner 2049 - $8m / $74.5m / $94m
6. The Foreigner - $7m / $24.5m / $40m
7. The Snowman - $6m / $6m / $15m
8. It: Chapter 1 - $3.5m / $320m / $330m
9. The Mountain Between Us - $3m / $26m / $34m
**American Made - $3m / $45m / $52m
**Same Kind of Different As Me - $2.5m / $2.5m / $7m
**Kingsman: The Golden Circle - $2.5m / $94m / $100m
**The LEGO Ninjago Movie - $2.5m / $55m / $60m
**Victoria and Marshall - $2.5m / $15m / $24m

5 openers, each more forgettable than the last. Only the Brave has very good reviews, but I do wonder how much the current fire in California will help or hurt. Audiences are increasingly looking to escape lately, so that doesn't help. Geostorm and Madea...yeah. They'll do okay, I guess. Geostorm probably cost a shitload, though. The Snowman has genuine talent associated with it, but the movie has awful reviews. And again, Fassbender is box-office poison. Lastly, Same Kind of Different as Me opens after being delayed for over a year. (IMDB says it was supposed to open April 2016.)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Horrorfest 8: What happened to 7?

I just realized I did a Horrorfest 6 followed by a Horrorfest 666. Here we go for the 8th year!

(Johannes Roberts, 2017)
Sisters (Claire Holt and Mandy Moore) go cage diving off the coast of Mexico, but a break in the line causes the cage to plummet to the bottom of the ocean floor. The only way out is up where countless sharks are swimming the waters looking for food. After last year's successful sleeper The Shallows, this film did pretty well given it was supposed to go direct to home viewing. The Shallows it ain't. While the sharks are surprisingly realistic, the film generates very little suspense. It's a shame because this is a decent concept. GRADE: C

(Matty Beckerman, 2014)
Found footage horror in which a family's trip to North Carolina is cut short after witnessing the Brown Mountain Lights (it's a real thing!) and the next day coming face to face with aliens. Silly but hugely effective yarn, and the camera is being held by the family's autistic son which adds a valid reason why he keeps filming. I've said here before alien abduction stuff actually works for me, and this one has several well done sequences. There's a chilling sequence in which the family pulls up to a tunnel where the remains of the other abductees' cars sit like a graveyard. If you are not into abduction stories, your mileage with this may vary. GRADE: B

(David F. Sandberg, 2017)
Superior prequel to 2014's lackluster Annabelle, the film shows the origins of the Annabelle doll first shown in the first The Conjuring film. Tracing back to a desolate farmhouse in which the owners have recently tragically lost a daughter and the group of orphans they take in, this prequel has a really fun final act. I just wish they had done more that scarecrow! Scarecrows are sadly underutilized in horror. I also wish Miranda Otto's exposition scene had explained a little more about the family contacting evil to get their daughter back. Between this and Ouija: Origin of Evil, there's hope for mediocre horror movies if you give them a prequel. GRADE: B

(Sean Byrne, 2017)
Metal music causes a man to murder, and after he's caught, the new inhabitants of his home find themselves haunted. Probably a little too short for its own good (it's only 80 minutes), the film didn't quite go the direction I thought it was going with the storyline. I assumed Ethan Embry's character would pick up a guitar and take things from there, but it didn't happen. Embry looked really hot, even with the ridiculous wig. Pruitt Taylor Vince and Shiri Appleby co-star. GRADE: B-

(Trey Edward Shults, 2017)
In a world wiped out by a virus, a family's sheltered existence in a cabin the woods is interrupted by the arrival of a young family. Tense and realistic indie with a terrific cast, this won't be everyone's cup of tea as it's not standard horror and is about as bleak as can be. I still haven't seen Shults's Krisha as it's not available on DVD? WTF? Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Christopher Abbot and Riley Keough star. Pay attention to the aspect ratios! I wish IMDB was still around so I could see what other people that the significance of the change was. GRADE: B+

(Julia Ducournau, 2017)
A young vegetarian starting veterinary school in France discovers a taste for human flesh in this grisly character study. Feels like a European version of Ginger Snaps given the sisterhood storyline, but minus the werewolves. The lead actress, Garance Marillier, is terrific, but big props to the film for its portrayal of her gay roommate, played by Rabah Nait Oufella; he's out, sexually active, sexy and unapologetic. This film could teach American films a lesson or two in that regard. Great ending scene, too! GRADE: B+

(Gregg Bishop, 2016)
Spinoff of the first short in the first V/H/S film, this film makes up for that short's misogynist tone by turning the tables on a bachelor party looking for a night of debauchery. The "Siren" is some kind of creature - this film seems to suggest Biblical - that can lure men into a trance before killing/eating them. She was much creepier in the short where she was more mysterious. I think this debuted directly on Chiller, but it does have nudity and swearing. It's story is all over the place, going from religious fanaticism, to creature feature, to feminist revenge and none of it quite lands. Thinking back, it's like a lesser From Dusk Till Dawn. GRADE: C

(Jay Lender and Micah Wright, 2016)
Comedy/horror focusing on a House Hunters International-esque reality show where the cast and crew try to escape a small town in Moldova that might be cursed by a witch. The idea of combining a lampooning of HGTV with a horror plot is definitely something custom made for me, and the film for most of its running time has a breezy feel. However, it throws in everything but the kitchen sink and tone veers from found footage horror to Borat-like mocking of small European towns. I wish the team behind What We Do In the Shadows had done a rewrite of this because that could've been something truly special. As it is, though, it's still enjoyable. GRADE: B-

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Box: Does Hallmark have Death Day cards yet?

1. Happy Death Day - $18m / $18m / $40m
2. Blade Runner 2049 - $15.5m / $60.5m / $100m
3. The Foreigner - $9m / $9m / $25m
4. The Mountain Between Us - $6.5m / $21.5m / $36m
5. It - $5.5m / $314m / $328m
**My Little Pony - $5.5m / $17m / $30m
7. Kingsman: The Golden Circle - $4.5m / $88.5m / $100m
**American Made - $4.5m / $39m / $50m
**LEGO Ninjago Movie - $4.5m / $51.5m / $65m
10. Victoria and Abdul - $4m / $12m / $25m
***Marshall - $2.5m / $2.5m / $8m
***Professor Marston and the Wonder Women - $2m / $2m / $6m

4 openers, and 2 probably won't make the top 10. This October is proving exactly what's wrong with the movie industry (and this is all outside of current events!): too many films coming out at once, poor scheduling, and most of these shouldn't have gotten past the development stage. But, I digress. Happy Death Day looks clever enough and the marketing has been solid, so it should knock Blade Runner 2049 from the top spot. That film disappointed, so we'll have to wait to see worldwide numbers before deciding how it will fare. Jackie Chan's The Foreigner will see if he can still bring in audiences even if it looks like another Taken sequel. Victoria and Abdul keeps on doing strong business, though I'm wondering why it's not getting a more aggressive expansion this weekend. It should have at least doubled its theater count. Marshall is only getting about 800 theaters. It has decent reviews (all four of the openers are so far positive on RT), while Professor Marston... will be good for anyone who wants a biopic about the creator of Wonder Woman and is also into bondage. The Florida Project did great business last weekend in just 4 theaters. No idea how many theaters it expands to but hopefully it continues to impress.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Box: At long last, an awards bait film about the friendship between Victoria Beckham and Paula Abdul

1. Blade Runner 2049 - $52m / $52m / $165m
2. American Made - $9m / $31.5m / $52m
**The Mountain Between Us - $9m / $9m / $28m
**My Little Pony - $9m / $9m / $30m
5. It - $8.5m / $303.5m / $325m
6. Kingsman: The Golden Circle - $8m / $80m / $100m
7. The LEGO Ninjago Movie - $7m / $44m / $60m
8. Victoria and Abdul - $3.5m / $5m / $25m
9. Flatliners - $2.5m / $11m / $16m
**Battle of the Sexes - $2.5m / $7.5m / $15m

Blade Runner 2049 kicks off a pretty weak October. It won't dominate the month the same way It dominated September, but it should be enough. There are a lot of movies opening in the next month, but very few look like breakouts. The Mountain Between Us seems like a movie that would have done big business in 1994, while My Little Pony might take advantage of the dire family market. Victoria and Abdul has done very well in limited and goes wide this weekend. It might be the crossover hit I thought Battle of the Sexes would be. Opening in limited is Oscar hopeful The Florida Project. Can it be another Moonlight for A24?

Trailer: Wonder Wheel

Woody Allen's next hits theaters in December, though reactions should be coming within the next week. Gorgeous cinematography and nice ensemble, but this trailer is pretty messy. Very little rhythm, just a bunch of scenes cut together.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Trailer: Annihilation

Paramount's next sci-fi yarn will hit in February. Looks really good, though they are clearly trying to ape Arrival with the marketing.

Box:The Julia Roberts Canon gets it's first remake!

1. Kingsman: The Golden Circle - $17.5m / $67.5m / $105m
2. American Made - $16m / $16m / $50m
3. IT - $14m / $287.5m / $320m
4. LEGO Ninjago Movie - $11.5m / $35m / $60m
5. Flatliners - $10m / $10m / $26m
6. Battle of the Sexes - $6m  / $6.7m / $24m
7. American Assassin - $2.5m / $31m / $37m
8. mother! - $1.5m / $16.5m / $19.5m
**Home Again - $1.5m / $24.5m / $27.5m
10. Stronger - $1.2m / $3.5m / $6m

Two other movies open: Til Death Do Us Part and A Question of Faith. I don't think either is getting a thousand theaters so they probably won't make the top 10. American Made will test the drawing power of Tom Cruise, or whatever is left of it. Flatliners has some aggressive marketing, but I'm not sure it'll be enough to draw away from the still huge IT. Battle of the Sexes expands wide after a successful launch last weekend in limited. As far as Fox Searchlight releases go, it should do okay. I still can't help but think it would have done much better at the end of summer.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Box: LEGO mother!

1. LEGO Ninjago Movie - $36m / $36m / $115m
2. Kingsman: The Golden Circle - $35m / $35m / $96m
3. IT - $28m / $263m / $315m
4. American Assassin - $7m / $27m / $41m
5. Friend Request - $3.5m / $3.5m / $8.5m
6. Home Again - $3m / $22m / $27m
**mother! - $3m / $13m / $17m
8. Stronger - $2.5m / $2.5m / $10m
9. The Hitman's Bodyguard - $2m / $73.5m / $77m
10. Wind River - $1.5m / $32m / $35m
***Annabelle: Creation - $1.5m / $102m / $105m

Battle of the Sexes also opens in 20 theaters before expanding wide next weekend. LEGO Ninjago won't come close to the two previous LEGO movies, but it will take advantage of there being nothing in the market for families. In fact, Ninjago and My Little Pony will be the only animated films until the middle of November. Poor scheduling again! I've had little faith in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. It struck me as one of those sequels that will do (significantly) less than its predecessor. Mediocre reviews and IT still being a steamroller won't help. Still, it will do fine. Friend Request, which has been on the shelf for over a year and is available for home viewing in many parts of the world, probably won't be the third decent performer from a no-name studio. (Following 47 Meters Down and Kidnap.) Stronger opens just below the wide threshold, and might have a decent run if word of mouth is strong. Last week's mother! became the 13th-ish (can't find the exact number) to receive an "F" from Cinemascore, thus assuring its future as a cult classic. Lastly, Annabelle: Creation became the 12th (and last) film of the summer to cross $100m.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Emmys

...were okay. Colbert was disappointing, but he had some decent moments. The Sean Spicer cameo was dumb, but the crowd reaction was everything. Melissa McCarthy looking embarrassed was probably the most accurate. Lena Waithe's speech and moment was great, and thanks to Aziz for standing back and giving her the spotlight.

But it was obviously all about...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Trailer: Red Sparrow

JLaw's next looks like a cross between The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Atomic Blonde. Very slick trailer and I'm here for Joel Edgerton in a speedo. Maybe Mattias can join him?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Box: More like Dollarwise, am I right?

1. IT - $51m / $210m / $300m
2. mother! - $14m / $14m / $34m
3. American Assassin - $12m / $12m / $35m
4. Home Again - $4.5m / $16m / $25m
5. The Hitman's Bodyguard - $2.5m / $69m / $74m
**Annabelle: Creation - $2.5m / $99.5m / $104m
7. Wind River - $2m / $28.5m / $33m
8. Leap! - $1.5m / $18m / $21m
9. Spider-Man: Homecoming - $1m / $329.5m / $332m
**Dunkirk - $1m / $185m / $188m

So IT blew up! Horror has a tendency to be very frontloaded, but $300m looks attainable. Which is just NUTS given this is September. It's proof you can release a big movie anytime of the year. Only two openers this weekend. Expect mother! to have terrible audience reaction, so it's legs will have to depend on critical acclaim overriding audiences. American Assassin just looks so generic, I can't see it going anywhere. It reminds me of that Abduction movie released a few years back that tried to make Taylor Lautner an action star. Next week looks much more exciting, both in wide releases and limited.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trailer: The Disaster Artist

Looks like a lot of fun and a peak performance by Franco. This is getting terrific buzz from TIFF, too.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Box: Reese Witherspoon as Pennywise

1. It - $80m / $80m / $185m
2. Home Again - $11m / $11m / $35m
3. The Hitman's Bodyguard - $5.5m / $65.5m / $74m
4. Wind River - $3.5m / $25.5m / $32m
**Annabelle: Creation - $3.5m / $96m / $102m
6. Leap! - $3m / $16.5m / $22m
7. Dunkirk - $2.5m / $183.5m / $188m
8. Logan Lucky - $2m / $25.5m / $29m
**Spider-Man: Homecoming - $2m / $327.5m / $331m
10. Despicable Me 3 - $1.5m / $260.5m / $263m

It's here to obliterate some records: the September opening record (currently held by Hotel Transylvania 2) and the horror opening record (which is up for debate, but is probably Hannibal). Reviews are decent and sales are already robust. Also opening is Home Again, which has three men living in Reese Witherspoon's guest house. I'm not sure if that's the plot of a movie or porno or an ABC sitcom from 1996. Either way, the market has a lack of female led films, so it might do okay. Definitely not close to Reese's top performers.

Trailer: Lady Bird

Totally here for Laurie Metcalfe getting an Oscar nomination! This got great reviews this past weekend at Telluride.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Box: I've got a fever and the only cure is more tulip!

1. The Hitman's Bodyguard - $7.5m / $52m / $62m
2. Annabelle: Creation - $5.5m / $87m / $95m
3. Leap! - $4.5m / $11m / $20m
4. Wind River - $4m / $16.5m / $25m
**Dunkirk - $4m / $178.5m / $186m
6. Logan Lucky - $3m / $20m / $25m
**Spider-Man: Homecoming - $3m / $323.5m / $329m
8. The Emoji Movie - $2m / $80m / $83m
**Girls Trip - $2m / $111m / $114m
**The Nut Job 2 - $2m / $26m / $29m
**Birth of the Dragon - $2m / $5.5m / $8m
**Close Encounters of the Third Kind - $2m
**Despicable Me 3 - $2m / $257.5m / $261m
**Wonder Woman - $1.5m / $408.5m / $412m
**All Saints - $1.5m / $3.7m / $5.5m

**Tulip Fever - $1m / $1m / $2.5m

This will be one of the lowest weekends for the box-office in the past three decades. Insane! End of summer was a huge miscalculation on the studios' part. Poor scheduling all around! Only two films are opening this weekend and both are just barely going wide. Close Encounters is being re-released for one week only, while Tulip Fever opens after a 2 year delay.

The only good news is that September actually looks promising and will be kicked off in a big way next week. Be back next weekend with summer wrap up!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Box: Seriously, is it September 8th yet?

1. The Hitman's Bodyguard - $12m / $42m / $70m
2. Annabelle: Creation - $8m / $78.5m / $96m
3. Dunkirk - $4.5m / $173m / $185m
4. Logan Lucky - $4m / $14.5m / $25m
**Leap - $4m / $4m / $15m
**All Saints - $4m / $4m / $16m
7. The Nut Job 2 - $3.5m / $23.5m / $33m
8. Spider-Man: Homecoming - $3m / $319m / $328
**Birth of the Dragon - $3m / $3m / $8m
**Wind River - $3m / $8m / $20m
**The Emoji Movie - $3m / $77m / $85m

Three openers for what will be the second deadest weekend of the year. Leap has been slapped all over the release schedule, much like all of Weinstein's other recent fare. It's the only family movie until September 22, which is the only thing it has in its favor. All Saints is another Christian-aimed movie, which have been notoriously hard to predict. They've done decently in late August, early September. Lastly is Birth of the Dragon. These types of movies have surprised before, but there just doesn't seem to be an buzz.

ETA: Wind River is expanding to 2,000 theaters. I'll put it at $4m for the weekend instead of $3m.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Box: Is It here yet?

1. The Hitman's Bodyguard - $17m / $17m / $60m
2. Annabelle: Creation - $16m / $65m / $95m
3. Logan Lucky - $10m / $10m / $33m
4. Dunkirk - $7m / $165.5m / $185m
5. The Nut Job 2 - $5m / $18m / $32m
6. Girls Trip - $4m / $104m / $116m
**Spider-Man: Homecoming - $4m / $314m / $326m
8. The Dark Tower - $3.5m / $41.5m / $49m
**The Emoji Movie - $3.5m / $71m / $79m
**Wind River - $3.5m / $4.5m / $15m

Another dog weekend for the dog days of summer. The Ryan Reynolds-Samuel L. Jackson buddy comedy should do decently. There haven't been a whole lot of comedy hits this summer. In fact, Girls Trip will be the first live action comedy to hit $100m since Bad Moms just under a year ago. Crazy. Not sure why comedies are bombing so hard, as I don't think they are worse that what they usually are. Logan Lucky has terrific reviews, so hopefully it can be leggy. Wind River goes wide this weekend, which is awfully aggressive. It won't quite be another Hell Or High Water, but it should stand out with so few films opening over the next several weeks.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Trailer: Molly's Game

Looks like sleek entertainment that would've done well in the early 90's. Lately, not so much. Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut stars Jessica Chastain (in full Miss Sloane mode).