It's official, the summer season is over. Gone are the big $100-300 million blockbusters. Gone are the $70+ million openings, gone are the theaters teaming with teens ruining your film-going experience. For the most part anyway. There will always be an aberration or two. This weekend is not likely to produce any of gigantic openings, but it does have a pair of films that will hopefully deliver some good entertainment. The question is if they will be reason enough to venture out into the empty theaters. I know I will be there, will you?
3:10 to Yuma (2007, 117 minutes, R, western, trailer). Last week brought us the remake of Halloween, much to the chagrin of Myers lovers the world round. This week has another remake arrive on our doorsteps, and because it is not horror it is being met with cheers rather than the jeers that genre fans like to heap on their favorite horror redux. They could be in part due to this not being a horror film – non-horror remakes seem to get on a bit better than their bloody counterparts. More likely it is due to it being a good movie (though I do like Halloween, both of them). Anyway, this update of the 1957 Delmer Daves-helmed picture has Russell Crowe stepping into Glenn Ford's shoes as the outlaw Ben Wade, and Christian Bale picking up for Van Heflin as the rancher bringing him to justice. James Mangold (Walk the Line) slips into the director's chair for this outing. If nothing else, it will be worth it for the two leads.
Shoot 'Em Up (2007, 80 minutes, R, action, trailer). Paul Giamatti in a bullet-riddled, over-the-top action flick? Never thought I would see the day. He faces off with Clive Owen (Children of Men) when Giamatti, playing an assassin, sets his sights on Monica Bellucci (Irreversible) and her baby. The premise seems simple enough. The advertising promises plenty of action and a plethora of bullets, so hopefully this will deliver where War failed to excite. The movie was written and directed by Michael Davis, whose filmography consists of low budget affairs with his last film being a direct-to-video outing called Monster Man. I think this will be fun. Rather, I hope it will be fun.
Chalk (2006, 85 minutes, PG-13, comedy). I had never heard of this prior to seeing it on this week's list for the local art house. The description describes it as sort of a mockumentary in the Christopher Guest tradition. It centers on a trio of young educators over the course of one school year as they try to find their way through the treacherous waters. Sounds like it could be interesting. I may try to take this one in.
Paprika (2006, 90 minutes, R, anime, trailer). This had its U.S. release earlier in the summer, but is only now coming to my area. I have seen a few other Satoshi Kon-helmed projects, and he always turns in interesting films, including Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, Millennium Actress, and Perfect Blue. This film concerns a new psychotherapy treatment called PT. A device called the “DC Mini” allows the user to act as a “dream detective” and view people’s dreams, exploring their unconscious thoughts. When the device is stolen, all hell breaks loose. Only one woman, nicknamed Paprika, will be able to set things right.
Also opening this week, but not near me:
- The Brothers Solomon
- The Hunting Party
- The Bubble
- Fierce People
- Hatchet (I hope to get a chance to see this one)
- I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
- In the Shadow of the Moon
Box Office Predictions
While Labor Day closes out the summer, and is traditionally a low grossing weekend, last weekend set the holiday record with a total box office gross north of $136 million. Not too shabby. It only goes downhill from there, as the first weekend after Labor Day goes even lower. To prove how weak the weekend can be you need look no farther than last year when The Covenant topped the chart with less than $9 million. Granted, that was a weak film. This weekend should be able to top that easily, likely with the top few films.
Here is how I think the top ten field will play out:
|1||3:10 to Yuma||$18 million|
|2||Shoot 'Em Up||$12 million|
|5||The Bourne Ultimatum||$4.5 million|
|6||Balls of Fury||$4 million|
|7||Rush Hour 3||$3.5 million|
|8||The Nanny Diaries||$2.5 million|
|9||Death Sentence||$2 million|
|10||Mr. Bean's Holiday||$1.5 million|
What are you seeing this weekend?