September 1st - 4th-
September 8th - 10th-
Those not in the mood to be terrorized by Pennywise the clown have the option of settling down with the romantic comedy Home Again. This stars the 41-year-old Reese Witherspoon look as young as ever, playing a 40-year-old single mother who, through a series of unexpected events, ends up allowing three young men in their 20's to move in with her while her ex-husband, played by the 48-year-old Michael Sheen, wants to make his way back into her life. Even though he is much closer to Reese in age, this might make for some purposefully awkward laughs as his "competition" for Reese are young enough to be his children. "Home Again" is the directorial debut for Hallie Meyers-Shyer, the daughter of popular filmmaker Nancy Meyers, known for films such as the 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap," "What Women Want," "Something's Gotta Give" and "It's Complicated." "Home Again" will determine if Hallie has the same knack for romantic comedies as her mother Nancy, while Nancy has been on the crew as producer, helping her daughter out.
September 15th - 17th-
The second movie of the week is the return of acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aronofsky with mother! Aronofsky has been absent since 2014's controversial outing in "Noah" and mostly likely hopes to return to form after being most well-known for 2000's "Requiem for a Dream" and 2010's "Black Swan," the latter of which was nominated for five Oscars, which included a best picture nomination, a best director nomination for Aronofsky and a best leading actress win for Natalie Portman. Can "mother!" bring Aronofsky back into Academy relevance? It's had the early pre-release buzz, but that's mainly because it's Aronofsky teamed up with Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfiefer and others in a movie released in the fall. In reality, "mother!" might not be the type of movie that the Academy goes for as it's more of a mysterious horror/thriller where Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a couple who start getting visits from strange guests that keep coming and coming. Thus if this is going for a horror vibe like the trailers make it out to be, releasing it the weekend after "It" might prove to be a bit questionable in terms of timing and Oscar nominations might simply be reserved for acting categories.
The final release of the weekend may end up becoming a small release with a wide expansion later, but we'll talk about it here anyways. This movie is All I See is You. If this does end up as a normal wide release this weekend, mid-September thrillers have a history of performing well. Although usually it's with Screen Gems and has a predominately black cast ala "When the Bough Breaks," "The Perfect Guy" and "No Good Deed" from the last three consecutive years. Screen Gems has their own horror film towards the end of the month that breaks this trend a bit, but we'll get to that. "All I See is You" is directed by Marc Forster, director of "Finding Neverland," "Stranger than Fiction," "Quantum of Solace" and "World War Z," and stars Blake Lively and Jason Clarke as a couple whose relationship changes drastically once Blake Lively, who was blind, receives her sight and discovers disturbing details about their relationship. The movie debuted last September at TIFF to mixed reviews. Open Roads are probably hoping that general audiences react a little better than the festival audience did.
September 22nd - 24th-
The other movie opening alongside "Kingsman" will be The LEGO Ninjago Movie. The "LEGO" franchise is building themselves quite the brand in the animation realm as this is the second "LEGO" movie to come out this year following "The LEGO Batman Movie," both of which are building off the major surprise success that was "The LEGO Movie" in 2014, which many people mistakenly thought would be awful. "Ninjago" is a natural direction for LEGO to go with their next movie as the Ninjago series has been one of LEGO's most popular series with a ton of various LEGO Ninjago sets that have come into popularity due to the "Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu" TV show that began in 2011 and recently aired its seventh season earlier this year on Cartoon Network. While the movie does feature the same characters as the TV show, the movie is not a continuation of the TV show and has a different voice cast than TV show. Thus being caught up with the TV show is not a requirement for this movie. That said, "Ninjago" hits more of a niche crowd than that of "The LEGO Movie" and "The LEGO Batman Movie," so naturally this should have more of a dip financially from the previous two, although the lack of competition at the moment should be a major advantage.
Finally for this fourth weekend, we have another thriller. That being Friend Request. With this being potentially the fourth horror/thriller of the month, we can definitely tell that studios are doing their best to take advantage of the Halloween season as this influx of horrors will continue in October with the likes of "Happy Death Day" and "Jigsaw." Naturally, too many movies of the same genre at the same time is a problem, thus not all of these movies can make money. With "It" and "mother!" likely being the horror/thriller hits of the month, "Friend Request" is likely to fall by the wayside along with "All I See is You" and the two that I'm about to get to in the final weekend of September. As you can guess by the title, this is another Facebook horror movie. A certain college girl unfriends this mysterious girl and starts being haunted by this girl because of it. If it sounds like something you've heard of recently, that's because in April of 2015 we had a similar movie called "Unfriended" that had a similar premise. That movie had an opening weekend of $15.8 million and went onto make $32.5 million domestically and $64.1 million worldwide. Pretty good for a $1 million production budget. "Friend Request" will be lucky if its final total equaled that movie's opening weekend.
September 29th - October 1st-
Five weekends in September. Why not five horror/thrillers as Flatliners joins the market. This here will be our annual September Screen Gems thriller, although it bucks their trend a bit as the previous three Septembers saw Screen Gems release a thriller in early- to mid-September, all with a predominately black cast. This is late September and is not really the same type of thriller as their previous three. "Flatliners" is actually a sequel to the 1990 film of the same name. Yes, sequel. Not reboot. The original was directed by Joel Schumacher and starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon among others and was about five medical students experimenting on near death experiences that end up having dark consequences. Cut and paste the premise this time around, most likely 30 some odd years later, with Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev this time around highlighting our main crew of medical students. The 1990 "Flatliners" debuted to $10 million and grossed $61.5 million total. This 2017 sequel might get a similar opening weekend, although 27 years later the ticket price inflation makes that less impressive and I'd be shocked if this matches that movie's final total.