1. Suicide Squad Extended Cut,
2. Gone Girl revisited,
3. Best/Worst of Nate Parker
I. OPENING THIS WEEK:
Wide Release: The Girl on the Train, Birth of a Nation, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Limited Release: 13th, Voyage of Time, Blue Jay, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Under the Shadow
Expansions: Queen of Katwe, The Dressmaker, Denial, American Honey
-Two of my most anticipated movies of the year open this week, one to great reviews, one to mixed. The Girl on the Train has been on my radar since its announcement, and seeing the Tomatometer score continue to plummet is breaking my heart a little bit, especially after such promising promotion. The Birth of a Nation is perhaps my most anticipated biopic of the year, an embellishment of Nat Turner’s rebellion that could be one of the most gut-wrenching historical films of recent memory. I’m not going to talk about the Nate Parker controversy, and it will not stop me from going to see the movie. It’s an important story to tell, regardless of who’s telling it.
-Notable limited releases are two documentaries from acclaimed film-makers, one from Ava DuVernay (13th) and one from Terrence Malick (Voyage of Time). Although I do not tend to review documentaries on the site, I have heard that both are worth checking out. As for expansions, I will be getting to Queen of Katwe and Denial as soon as I can, so expect reviews for both of those, and for the two wide releases this week.
II. WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:
Check out Box Office Mojo’s chart here:
While late August into early October tends to be slow for movie season, we have seen some pick up in the last few weeks, most notably from the steady cume of Sully, with the Clint Eastwood drama now crossing the $100M threshold in its fourth week. Outside of that and some decent staying power for films like Don’t Breathe and Suicide Squad, the box office has been full of one hit wonders.
Among them are The Magnificent Seven, which took a huge hit in its second weekend, and Blair Witch, which has vanished outside of the Top 10 in only its third week. Even films like Snowden and Bridget Jones’s Baby have had trouble with staying power, after both had poor openings but good prospects for upkeep due to solid reviews. Surprisingly, the last three films mentioned were all bested by both Don’t Breathe, now in its sixth week, and the expansion of Queen of Katwe. Studios must be scratching their heads just slightly.
Over the past couple of weeks, The Secret Life of Pets, Pete’s Dragon, and Kubo and the Two Strings have all left theaters, so expect Storks, currently in fourth place, to have decent staying power until we get another family movie to compete with it. Furthermore, we finally expect the departure of Bad Moms, as it closes its theater run with an astounding $113M through ten weeks. Last weekend was the first weekend it dropped out of the Top 15.
The top two films, however, were nothing to write home about, as the excellently filmed Deepwater Horizon barely crossed $20M in its opening weekend. I doubt it will have a huge drop off, but some of its target market may be usurped by the movies opening this weekend as dramas start heating up for Oscar season. The lead film, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, did only $29M opening. I expect a large drop off, as book fans usually go out on the first weekend, and the reviews haven’t been good enough to rope in non-fans. This is yet another example of audiences getting tired of teen fiction.
The Girl on the Train will win next week’s box office, as I expect around a $28M opening for it, slightly below what Gone Girl did a few years ago, while its upside is capped by a hurricane hitting the southeast. The Birth of a Nation should open around $10M, vying for third place with Deepwater Horizon, and behind the second week of Miss Peregrine.
III. MOVIE NEWS:
- Suicide Squad wasn’t enough for you? Prepare for the extended cut.
-As if the let-down of the theatrical release wasn’t enough, DC is continuing the trend of releasing extended cuts of their films to try to show you what the less-truncated version of the film could be like. Unless this shows more of the Joker/Harley Quinn interactions, I have not interest in trying to entertain a DC excuse on why the plot of their movie made no sense. This and Batman v. Superman are arguably the biggest cinematic disappointments since the Star Wars prequels.
2. Jon Favreau is involved with doing The Lion King in live action.
-If you saw the excellent visuals in The Jungle Book this year, you need no more explanation as to why this is an excellent idea.
3. Trailers to watch: War for the Planet of the Apes and John Wick 2
-Watch the teasers for these two films and let us know what you think in the comments!
IV. BEST AND WORST (OF NATE PARKER)
Honorable Mentions: Beyond the Lights, The Great Debaters, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
-My favorite Nate Parker performance (outside of The Birth of a Nation which remains to be seen) is as the troubled youth in Arbitrage, the Richard Gere-led infidelity thriller that was one of the most underrated films of 2012. He gives a great vulnerability in this role, and it was the first time I had seen Parker in a serious project. If we move past that film, he gives small, but effective, performances in Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and The Great Debaters, projects that he was only bit-parts in. The other notable important role he had was in Beyond the Lights, a great showcase for his acting chops. However, I’m nearly positive Birth of a Nation will become the most proud part of his career.
Worst: Tunnel Rats
Honorable Mentions: Every Secret Thing, Red Tails
-Look, regardless of how strong his acting talent is, he can never save a disturbing Uwe Boll directed film. In this stale war film, Parker plays one of the main army generals that the movie focuses on. The movie, and Parker, are largely ineffective.
V. FILM REVISIT: GONE GIRL
VI. THINKING OUTSIDE THE REDBOX:
The Top 10 are:
- The Shallows
- Me Before You
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
- Huntsman: Winter’s War
- Captain America: Civil War
- Now You See Me 2
- The Nice Guys
- The Jungle Book
- Money Monster
- Cell (Have Not Seen)
Coming this Tuesday: