This week's top ten list features a trio of remakes. Two of them start off the list, while the third sits at the bottom. At the top is a debuting film that has impressed critics and fans alike. It is a remake of a 1957 Glenn Ford western, 3:10 to Yuma. This new version features Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in the lead roles. Directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line), this film has gone a long way to making the western relevant and potentially viable. It opened well, despite its placement on one of the traditionally slowest weekends of the year. It would have done better had it opened a few weeks later or earlier. Whichever way you slice it, 3:10 to Yuma is a movie that you should definitely make time to see on the big screen.
This frame last year saw The Covenant open at the top with a total tally that fell short of the $9 million mark. By comparison, this weekend saw two films finish higher than that. This speaks towards a stronger class of debuts this year, led by the previously noted 3:10 to Yuma. Additionally, the strong opening of Halloween last weekend led to decent tally in its second outing. Even with the generally poor word of mouth there are bound to be a good number of curious horror fans that wished to subject themselves to Rob Zombie's reimagining of the horror classic. This is of course the number two film of the weekend and the second remake on the list.
Rob Zombie's Halloween opened to a Labor Day record last weekend, finishing north of $30 million. That total was a first for the holiday weekend. Its second frame saw a considerable drop of 64%, though it still managed to pull decent numbers. I, for one, actually liked the film. No, it does not equal the original, but not many films can touch Carpenter's original slasher.
Aside from 3:10 to Yuma, there was one other film making its debut this weekend. The film is a live action cartoonish movie with a plethora of guns, bullets, and anonymous bad guys to blast. Shoot 'Em Up failed to make much of a splash as it finished sixth on the list. I saw it and have to say that it was an absolute blast. If you are looking for an over-the-top action film with little in the way of plot or characters, this is for you. I swear I had a grin plastered across my face for the entire run of the film. A definite guilty pleasure.