It’s getting downright spooky out there. In fact, some might say it’s a veritable ghost town. Yes, with Halloween falling on a Friday, most of the multiplex creepers will be out on the streets instead of in theaters—which is why there’s such an odd mix of lackluster films debuting this weekend. Should probably offer free candy.
One thing’s for certain: this is an adults-only affair, as the three new major offerings are all rated R. Your choices: Jake Gyllenhaal in full-on creeper mode in “Nightcrawler,” the thriller “Before I Go to Sleep” starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and the 10th anniversary re-release of “Saw.”
I’m not quite sure how those films can compete with Halloween and Day of the Dead festivities, and I’m guessing that’s why only one film is expected to hit $10M+ this weekend.
And the winner is: “Nightcrawler.” Open Road’s creep-tastic thriller with Gyllenhaal going down n’ dirty into the realm of crime journalism has been getting decent enough reviews to push it to the top of the box office. Debuting in 2,800+ theaters, expect upwards of $12M.
Clarius Entertainment, one of the newest distribution companies on the block, certainly picked the right weekend in terms of releasing their film without a lot of competition, but that hasn’t really helped them in the past. In fact, they had two of the worst wide openings of the summer with “Legends of Oz” and “And So it Goes.”
“Before I Go to Sleep” looks like a passable thriller, but it also looks so cliché that its one of those films you expect to debut at Redbox, not in theaters. Also, Kidman hasn’t carried a movie in what seems decades, and this isn’t going to be the one that shines her star. Expect $4M tops.
Jigsaw is back! Sort of. Here’s the dealio: Lionsgate’s “Saw” franchise has made $873M over seven installments, and you’re telling me they couldn’t scratch up enough cash to make a new flick for the 10th anniversary of the franchise? Should have gone back to the low-budget roots of the original—$1.2M—as six of the seven chill pills topped $100M+ worldwide.
Getting its grind on in 1,800+ theaters, don’t expect much retro-love for this reheated treat: $2.5M.
In limited release, Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill, is following in his father’s footsteps by finally having one of his books get a big screen adaptation. “Horns” is probably your best option for a new spin on horror this Halloween…if you can find it. Radius/TWC drops in limited release.
Oh, and it stars Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe. Did you know he could rap, too? Check out this whaaaaaaaa? clip from Jimmy Fallon.
1. Nightcrawler – $11M
2. Ouija – $9.5M
3. John Wick – $7.5M
4. Fury – $7.5M
5. Gone Girl – $7M
MARVEL ANNOUNCES EPIC PHASE 3 SUPERHERO SLATE
Hot on the heels of DC and Warner Bros. rolling out their aggressive new release slate, Marvel delivered a trump card this week (as they often do) announcing Phase 3 of their comic book adaptation domination.
Here’s the super-sized spandex plan of attack:
-Captain America 3” is now titled “Captain America: Civil War” and will feature Robert Downey Jr. and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. The shield hits May 6, 2016.
-Benedict Cumberbatch will fill the shoes of Doctor Strange on Nov. 4, 2016 and will be directed by Scott Derrickson (“Sinister,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still”).
-With the success of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the sequel, once again helmed by James Gunn, will now kick off summer 2017, dropping May 5.
-Thor will drop his mighty hammer again on July 28, 2017 with “Ragnarok” as the subtitle of the threequel.
-Black Panther will get his own flick on Nov. 3, 2017, and it should star Chadwick Boseman unless Don Cheadle replaces him.
-“The Avengers: Infinity War Part I” drops May 4, 2018 with “Part II” hitting the following year, May 5, 2019. Hmmm. Reminds me of something “Justice League” just did. Ah well, that’s in the past…
-“Captain Marvel” will drop July 6, 2018. Who’s Captain Marvel you ask? A girl, for starters. Risky move? Hardly. Most of these films will easily hit $750M worldwide, and a few will easily top $1B. Ladies should have a superhero they can look up to. Sorry Barb Wire and Catwoman.
-“Inhumans” will launch Nov. 2, 2018. These superhuman mutants may not be too well known outside comic book circles, but they’ve been around since 1965. Hey, that’s older than me. Cool.
-Think 3D is still a fad? All Marvel flicks from now until 2020 (and almost every Disney film in general) are slated for the third dimension.
PEE-WEE HERMAN SET TO RIDE AGAIN
Yes, the rumor has been out there for years that Paul Reubens is bringing Pee-Wee back to the silver screen for his third ride. The secret word is: HYPE.
However, this time, it appears to really be happening as Reubens confirmed on Jimmy Fallon this week that there is already a director in place, that shooting will start this February and Judd Apatow is on board as a producer.
Good god. Has it really been twenty-seven years since “Big Top Pee-Wee?” Yes. Yes, it has. Considering I saw it at a drive-in that no longer exists, yeah, I’d say it’s been awhile.
In fact, “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” which is still one of my all-time favorite films, led me down the path of ruin, joining the Columbia House video club as it was my first ever VHS purchase. I’m pretty sure they’re still sending me paraphernalia telling me I need to make three more purchases to complete my membership obligation. I really need to move again to lose those guys.
A toast…with tequila, of course!
CHOICE CLIP OF THE WEEK: Disney’s “Into the Woods” (Dec. 25, 2014)
Let’s see. Which studio would be could possibly stitch together all the best fairy tales into one musical adventure? Expect a fairy tale ending at the box office.
CHOICE CUT OF THE WEEK: A24’s “Ex Machina” (Apr. 10, 2015)
This is why I will never date artificial intelligence. Robots be nutso. Not their fault though…they’re always programmed by mad geniuses. This comes from Alex Garland, writer of “28 Days Later” and “Sunshine.”
CLASSIC CUT OF THE WEEK: Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Probably the best (and not to mention weirdest) sequel to a horror franchise ever. If you haven’t seen this…it’s worth hunting down. Sorry in advance…and best of luck getting this song out of your head.
NIGHTCRAWLER (OPEN ROAD FILMS)
Red Band Trailer–93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and some, like many 13-year-olds from Nome, Alaska are even calling it…”fucking amazeballs.”
Poster Image Courtesy of Open Road Films; Poster Design by BLT Communications