Thursday, September 6, 2012

Movie Preview: September 2012

2012 has been a good year for movies thus far, with a lot of surprise hits. That trend is certain to continue, but not until there is a break for a few months. That break started this past month in August. August of 2011 was fairly big with hits like Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Help, but all this August has to show for Box Office wise is The Bourne Legacy (98M in August), The Campaign (74M in August), and The Expendables 2 (68M in August). Some movies like ParaNorman and Premium Rush got surprisingly high reviews, but that didn't translate into Box Office results. This all means that September of 2012 will probably be pretty dismal as well, especially since September is normally an off month anyways. But don't stop reading yet. Even if nothing earns a ton of money this month, there's certain to be a few gems hidden that you will enjoy, so let's go searching for those!

September 7th - 9th - In all honesty the first week of September was last week being that it was Labor Day weekend and the long four day weekend had three days of September, but it started with the first day of August, so that's where I put it. In case you missed what happened, The Possession scared away the competition last week with the second highest Labor Day weekend opening ever with 21M. And chances are that with the weak openings this weekend, The Possession will enjoy a surprising second week as king. Out of the two new openings this weekend, The Words wins the largest opening game and thus will probably be the most lucrative of the two. However, that title is rather vague and won't do a very good job of attracting movie goers. After studying the plot and watching the trailer, you might be a little more clear as to what this is about, but that still may not be enough to get you to the theater. Well, making your life easier, what this is is a drama. A romance drama. It's about a guy who finally achieves success as an author, but the problem is that he stole this work. And he spent too much time focusing on success while neglecting his girl. In order to have success, this movie will have to get some good word of mouth. The most intriguing aspect of this is that it has a loaded cast with Olivia Wilde, Dennis Quaid, Bradley Cooper, and Jeremy Irons. The second movie is a last second addition to the nationwide release board. Because of this, you may have never heard of it. It is called The Cold Light of Day. From the initial look at it, it seems like a movie that could've stayed at a limited release and no one would've cared. It is a Bruce Willis movie, but certainly won't be one of his most memorable ones and more or less stars Henry Caville in the lead role as he goes jumping off buildings and dodging bullets to try to save his kidnapped family. Seems pretty cliche and unoriginal, but if you are in a huge need for an action kick, then go for it.

September 14th - 16th - Up to this point, the Box Office will have been quite lame for about a month. Even the movies in August that opening decently were sequels / remakes that failed to reach the levels of their predecessors. This weekend is where it gets a bit exciting. Not summer level exciting, but as about as exciting as you can get in September as both releases could challenge Sweet Home Alabama's September opening record of $35M. I'm not quite sure which one of them will come out on top, but my guess is that it will be Resident Evil: Retribution. Resident Evil fans don't really need an explanation for this. The Resident Evil franchise began back in 1996 when the original Resident Evil game debuted for Playstation. After that happened, the rest is history as the franchise has taken off like wildfire with tons of games, comics, toys, books, and movies. All of which are pretty well liked by Resident Evil fans. Now games don't always convert well to movies, but this game has converted well. None of the movies have earned an epic amount of money, but for R-rated action horror movies they have done just fine. Most impressively, each sequel has opened up bigger than the previous movie, which means that this 5th installment is about in line for a debut in the upper $20M range or low $30M range. As perfect counter-programming to this we get Finding Nemo (in 3D). Last September, Disney experimented with the 3D re-release game by sending The Lion King back to the theaters in 3D. That being the phenomenal success that it was, Disney got super excited and immediately scheduled four additional movies. Unfortunately Beauty and the Beast only did half as good as Lion King, so who knows where Finding Nemo will end up at. Now Finding Nemo is the first Disney/Pixar re-release and in terms of Pixar, Nemo is Pixar's second highest grossing movie in theaters and the highest when you adjust for ticket price inflation, so I could see this working out well for them. Also as a quick laugh, in limited release this weekend you have the brilliant movie called Stolen. Nicholas Cage stars in this action thriller wherein Cage's daughter has been stolen and he is given 12 hours to steal $10M in order to get her back. Hahaha! What a complete joke. Yeah, it's a great idea for a movie. It's just been made already. It's called Taken. And it stars Liam Neesen. They kinda stole the idea. I really hope it stays in limited release and doesn't go wide.

September 21st - 23rd - The previous weekend will most likely have the two biggest September movies, but this weekend is the most loaded in terms of number of new releases. While it's quite realistic that none of these four movies breakout, I'm sure that at least one of them will. The best candidate in my opinion is Trouble with the Curve. This is another baseball movie and so to predict how it will do I look at last year's baseball movie 'Moneyball'. The thing that makes Trouble with the Curve intriguing is not necessarily the fact that it is a baseball movie, but that it stars Clint Eastwood. Eastwood in this plays a baseball scout in his older age and the movie seems to be more about the relationship with his daughter than about the actual baseball scout story line. Clint Eastwood has only acted in two movies in the last eight years, the last one being Gran Torino in 2008. None of his movies have been incredibly huge Box Office hits, but the last two movies he has acted in both earned over $100M. Granted they were both December movies, but there still be some definite star appeal in this one. Last year's Moneyball ended it's run at around $75M, so a grand total somewhere between $50 and $75 wouldn't surprise me. The other three releases are all grab bag. They might surprise, but I half expect them all to bomb. First of those three is Dredd, which continues the Superhero movie craze. This however is much different. Most of the other Superhero movies get no more than a PG-13 rating and are directed towards a broad, family audience. Dredd is a strong R and is directed for a very mature audience. The character Judge Dredd is a police officer in a violent, futuristic city wherein the police are the judge, jury, and executioner. And if you didn't know, this is a remake. The original Judge Dredd came out in 1995 and was a pretty big flop, even with a good cast. Next we have the odd looking crime drama End of Watch. It's yet another movie coming out in the found footage style. This time it's a police officer carrying a camera around with him as him and his partner are out patrolling. And of course it will most likely attempt to do what Chronicle did by having something crazy and trippy happen while the two officers are working and who knows, maybe it will work out as well as Chronicle did, but I don't have a whole lot of faith in it. It is also pulled off an R rating for multiple reasons, so yeah. Last new release of the week is House at the End of the Street. This one is a horror movie starring Jennifer Lawrence. I'd say it's her first movie since she played Katniss in The Hunger Games, but technically this movie was filmed before The Hunger Games, it's just debuted a while after for certain reasons. But nonetheless, we'll see if she has the ability to draw crowds since her huge Hunger Games debut because this seems like another generic horror movie. You could probably guess the plot just by reading the title. But if you are in a mood to get scared, then check it out. Now, I did say that is the end of the new releases, but a couple limited releases for you to be made aware of. The Master is a movie that opens up in limited release on the 14th and will be expanding this weekend. It is the next movie directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, whose most recent movie was There Will Be Blood back in 2007. Anderson fans have been excited for this new movie for a while. Finally, another highly anticipated movie that opens up this week is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is a movie based on the book of the same title about the life of some high school students. It is generally a well liked book and the movie stars Harry Potter star Emma Watson. But don't get too excited yet, this is a limited release movie. I'm sure it will get a nationwide expansion, but not quite on this weekend.

September 28th - 30th - Now after that loaded weekend, September will end on an interesting note. Possibly the most anticipated movie of the month comes out this weekend and that would be Looper. It stars Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Bruce Willis playing the same character, Bruce Willis playing the older version of JGL. The plot sounds quite trippy honestly, which makes it intriguing. Set in the future, when the mob of 2072 targets someone, that someone gets sent back 30 years in the past where a group of killers called Loopers shoots the target. In this situation, one of the Loopers is Joe and has troubles doing his job when his future self gets sent back because he obviously has troubles killing himself. This leads to quite the intense, action packed thrill ride. Quite the serious action movie, too, as it got an R rating. Providing some good counter-programming to this is the animated family movie Hotel Transylvania. Now it will be interesting to see which animated Halloween movie comes out on top as Tim Burton's Frankenweenie comes out the very next weekend. Hotel Transylvania is a movie that is about Dracula as the head of the monster hotel, Hotel Transylvania. The conflict arrives when a human being hikes his way to the hotel and starts falling for Dracula's daughter Mavis. It has quite the cast of voices, led by Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade. Adam Sandler being Dracula and Kevin James being Frankenstein are especially intriguing to me. The wildcard of the weekend that will most likely get lost in the weekend is the drama Won't Back Down. It stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis and is inspired by true events of two parents and a teacher joining forces to try and make a difference in the lives of their children by improving the education system of the local school. Sounds like an inspiring story, but I don't see it attracting a huge crowd, but I have been wrong about that before.

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