Friday, October 12, 2012

Movie Preview: October 2012

We are already a weekend into October, but there is still enough time to look forward to what's coming out this month. And of course we won't forget that first weekend in October, since I'm sure that there isn't a ton of you that have already seen all three movies. August and September are never great months for the box office, but this year it was especially bad as just about everything underperformed. The last week of September turned things around as Hotel Transylvania set a new September opening weekend record and Looper opened up to a decent total as well. October is never a fantastic month, but its always better than September and August and this October has already had one huge hit and is bound to have at least one or two more as the box office starts to regain momentum in what should be a huge ending to this year. So let's begin looking at this month, starting at the top.

October 5th - 7th - As mentioned, the last weekend of September had the animated Halloween movie Hotel Transylvania dominate followed closely by the high powered action movie Looper. This weekend seemed like a similar thing as Frankenweenie and Taken 2 were set to premier. However, the roles were this week as Taken 2 dominated the weekend. The original Taken was a surprise hit a couple of years ago as it debuted to 24M, but held great and winded up at $145M. Feeding of the fame of the first one, Taken 2 nearly doubled the opening weekend of the first and ended just shy of 50M, one of the best opening weekends in October history. It looks like much of the same as the first as far as storyline goes. Liam Neesen's family get's taken and we get to watch Liam Neesen kick trash for an hour or two. Critic reviews are horrible, but audience reviews are pretty good, so if you need your action kick, I'd give it a shot. It was initially thought that Frankenweenie would be the animated movie that parent's take their kids to see during Halloween season. Turns out that Hotel Transylvania ended up being that movie. Frankenweenie tanked in it's opening. Frankenweenie is the latest Tim Burton stop-motion Halloween movie to come out. The other two are both classics, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride. Despite a poor box office outing, Frankenweenie could still be seen as a classic because the reviews on it are still good. The third movie of the week to come out actually performed between the previous two and that was Pitch Perfect. Pitch Perfect is a musical comedy that features a girls a cappella group facing off against a boys a cappella group in their school's competition.

October 12th - 14th - The second weekend of October is right upon us, as many of you may read this post on this weekend and it is quite the crowded weekend. If you want to go see a movie, there is a movie for you. Now Taken 2 probably won't hold as well as the first one, but all it needs is a decent hold and it will probably take first again. The movie that gets the widest release and has the biggest shop of stealing the weekend is the long awaiting Ben Affleck movie Argo. Ben Affleck used to be a big name in Hollywood but seemed to do a hudini act and disappeared. Well, that drought ended as he stepped back to center stage with behind the camera work. Argo will be the third movie that Affleck has directed and the second that he has both directed and acted in. His most previous movie The Town was received very well and even was nominated for an Oscar and by the looks of it, Argo might get a few Oscar nominations itself. The Town also opened up in the low 20M's, which seems like a reasonable goal for Argo. Next up is Sinister. What would Halloween be without a few new horror movies? Most of them are pretty much the same and with the fourth installment in the popular Paranormal Activities series coming out a week following this as well as the slew of movies coming this week, it's possible that this movie could get lost, but it seems just unique enough to attract some audiences this weekend who are in the mood to get scared. Sinister is also a catchy title for a horror movie, so that helps. Next up as counter-programming to Argo and Sinister is the family movie Here Comes the Boom. It's my personal opinion that this movie is destined to flop. First of all, the title of the movie is quite lame. Second, the premise of the movie seems like one that has been done before. Third, MMA movies don't usually attract a ton of viewers. Fourth, parents are still taking their kids to go see Hotel Transylvania and Frankenweenie. Seeing Here Comes the Boom over these movies doesn't seem very attractive. Now it does have Kevin James and he is a funny guy. But honestly he is hit and miss at times and I think this one is a miss. Movie number four of the week is one that you can tell from the title is an odd movie. That would be Seven Psychopaths. It's only playing in half as many theaters as the other three mentioned so far, so don't expect much of this. The movie is about some psychopaths that kidnap a Shih Tzu and others that get caught in all the drama. It is a comedy and there haven't been too many of those recently, so it could also catch on if it is liked well enough. Finally we have Atlas Shrugged: Part II. Never seen the first one? Well, join the club. Not many people have. In fact it never got a wide release and only ended it's run with around 5M. But they are doing a second one, which seems odd at first, but it is based on the novel by Ayn Rand, so it does make some sense. And as an additional option, The Perks of Being a Wallflower gets an official wide release this weekend, so if you didn't have enough options this weekend, there is another one for you.

October 19th - 21st - After quite the busy week in week two, week three slows down quite a bit, at least in terms of number of releases. There are only releases, but one of those releases will compete with Taken 2 for highest grossing movie of October and that of course is Paranormal Activity 4. This has been quite the profitable horror franchise. The first three have earned a grand total of nearly 600M worldwide, which is awesome regardless of how much money it took to make, but completely fantastic when you realize the first one only cost 15,000 to make with the second and third a combined 8M to make. So of course they are going to keep going with a fourth in four years. Horror films are the one genre of film that can sometimes get away with that and with the unique but realistic found-footage horror style, it does a great job of intriguing audiences and creeping them out. It's yet to be seen if this fourth one tops the third's opening or the first's total, but that's somewhat irrelevant given the money that they have already. Challenging Paranormal 4 is the crime thriller movie Alex Cross. In that we get Tyler Perry as Alex Cross hunting down the crazy murderer who killed his family. The crazy murderer is played by Lost's Matthew Fox and it looks like a fun movie, especially for those who are in need of some fun action right before Halloween.

October 26th - 28th - The final weekend of October, the weekend right before Halloween, has four new releases but none of the look too dominant, so it's possible that Paranormal 4 enjoys a second straight week. Which of the new four movies does best is somewhat of a grab bag, but since it is Halloween season this weekend, I will begin with the third horror movie in three weeks trying to draw in crowds for Halloween and that will be Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. This is a story about a girl who has crazy nightmares and also experiences her father going missing. The messages lead her to a place called Silent Hill where the main girl has to get rid of the demons. Yup. Very much Halloweeny. Next up in a very non-Halloweeny and non-fall movie period is Chasing Mavericks. This movie is a sports movie, specifically a surfing movie and like most sports movies, it is based on a true story about a guy who is shooting for his dream by surfing one of the biggest waves there is. Surfer movies don't have a very high ceiling. The last two, Surf's Up (2007) and Soul Surfer (2011), earned 17M and 10M respectively in their opening weekends, finishing with around $50M each and that seems like a good range for Chasing Mavericks. The third movie of this weekend is one that could very well end up at the top of the box office this weekend and that is Cloud Atlas. It is a crazy sci-fi film based on the novel Cloud Atlas that was written by David Mitchell back in 2004. It is from the creators of the Matrix trilogy, which is an interesting grab. There are a lot of different main characters that go through quite the experience. It stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and Hugo Weaving amongst others, so it has quite the cast. Finally we have the movie Fun Size. Fun Size is actually a Halloween comedy that is about two girls wanting to go to a party of one of the guys she likes. However, she is put in charge of tending her crazy little brother who immediately runs off, causing the girls to go find her littler brother. It could be the wild card of the weekend if there are enough people interested in a Halloween comedy.

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