The last weekend of August is upon us. It brings us three movies opening nationwide, all looking to bring in some money as the unofficial end of summer is right around the corner. The most notable fact about this weekend is the fact that there are two horror films competing with each other. I cannot say I like this strategy, as we seem to get so few horror films to begin with that it seems unfair to make them compete with each other. You would have thought that one of them would have moved, but neither studio blinked, and here we are. Which film is going to win your money?
The Final Destination. (2009, 82 minutes, R, horror) The title implies that this fourth film in the franchise will be the last, but I suspect that if it goes on to have any level of monetary success there will be a fifth outing. The call of money is just too strong. In any case, I really hope this is closer to the first two than the third one, which was just awful. It does feature the return of David R. Ellis to the director’s chair; he also directed the second film. The story itself seems to be along the lines of the first three, with a character having a premonition of death, saving his friends, only to have death track them down in creative fashion. This one has the added gimmick of the latest 3D craze. This would seem to be a good film to take advantage of the process.
Halloween II. (2009, 101 minutes, R, horror) This film took an interesting path to the big screen. Writer/director Rob Zombie said he was not going to do a sequel, then the makers of Inside were rumored to be on it, with Zombie moving onto a project called Tyrannosaurus Rex, which was gong to have this slot. Then Zombie said he was going to do it and had not even started on Rex. It seemed like no sooner was this announced, than it was shot and in post-production. This moved very fast. That said, the footage I have seen is quite intriguing. It is a sequel to the reimagining and not a remake of the original sequel. Love him or hate him, like the remake or not, Zombie brings his vision to the project and it’s guaranteed not to be a run of the mill studio horror outing.
Taking Woodstock. (2009, 110 minutes, R, comedy) This new film from Ang Lee looks pretty interesting. How realistic it is, I have no idea — I suspect it is more fictional than factual. Still, the trailer seems to have captured the spirit of the moment as we see the events that lead up to the historic, never to be duplicated event. It looks to be rather funny. The cast includes Imelda Staunton, Emile Hirsch, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Eugene Levy, Dan Fogler, and Liev Shrieber.
Also opening this week, but not near me:
- Big Fan
- Mystery Team
- The September Issue
Box Office Predictions
Last weekend was headed up by the latest film from Quentin Tarantino, a film I suspect will have a pretty big drop this weekend, despite how good it is. This weekend is going to be a battle between a pair of horror sequels. I suspect that it will be The Final Destination that comes out on top. I feel it has a stronger appeal to the target demographic than Halloween, whose reimagining opened well but split the audience opinion a couple years back. Not to mention The Final Destination is opening in 3D, which brings higher ticket prices.
Here is how I think it could play out.
|1||The Final Destination||$26 million|
|2||Halloween II||$22 million|
|3||Inglorious Basterds||$16 million|
|4||District 9||$10 million|
|5||GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra||$7.5 million|
|6||The Time Traveler’s Wife||$5 million|
|7||Julie & Julia||$4.75 million|
|9||Taking Woodstock||$2 million|
|10||Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||$1.5 million|