Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Prisoners" starts off Fall movie season right, "Battle of the Year" bombs at weekend box office

This week was the official start of the fall movie season with the season's first big Oscar favorite, Prisoners, being released. The dark and disturbing R-rated drama started the season right with a $21.4 million weekend in first place. That's a solid start for such a dark and depressing drama. Clearly, Warner Bros. positioned the film well for the start of the fall movie season. The film received a "B+" Cinemascore, which hints at a slight audience rejection. However, the word of mouth out of Toronto and Telluride, along with any possible Oscar buzz could be enough to put this film in the range of $75-$80 million.

After that, the box office becomes slightly more dour. Insidious-Chapter 2 placed in second place with a $14.5 million weekend. That's a 64% drop for the horror film, which I likely won't see in theaters. Sorry, I just don't know what it is, but I can't watch horror movies in theaters. The PG-13 horror hit has grossed $60.8 million so far. The Family took the standard 50% drop to third place this weekend with a $7 million three-day gross. I almost forget about that film, but obviously there's an audience somewhere. The Family has grossed $25.6 million.

Instructions Not Included added 45 theaters and jumped 17% for a $5.7 million weekend. The Spanish-language comedy placed in fourth and has now grossed $34.2 million. That's a great start for a film that I had no idea existed about a month ago. Now, in fifth place, was the weekend's turkey, Battle of the Year. The 3D dance drama was essentially a B movie that no one was really interested in. It took in $5 million this weekend. That's a disappointing start, but the movie did receive an "A-" Cinemascore.

We're the Millers continued to rake in money at the box office with a sixth place finish this weekend. The comedy hit grossed $4.67 million this weekend, which was enough to raise its total to $138.1 million. Lee Daniels' The Butler has seen a fall of sorts after its strong first few weeks. The PG-13 drama finished in seventh place with $4.3 million. That's a relatively light drop, but the film now has no chance of catching fellow drama The Help. Also, in eighth place was Vin Diesel's Riddick. The sci-fi thriller took in $3.6 million, which was enough to raise its total to $37.1 million.

In ninth place this weekend was one of the big success stories, the rerelease of The Wizard of Oz in IMAX 3D. The restoration took in $3 million, ahead of Top Gun and Raiders of the Lost Ark, which both were re-released in IMAX previously. I considered going to see the film, but my local theater charges a whopping $17 dollars for an IMAX ticket, so I opted out. And finally, in tenth place, we have Planes which grossed $2.8 million. The animated comedy has grossed $86.5 million so far.

Also, in limited release, James Gandolfini's final performance in Enough Said raked in $240,000 in four theaters and Ron Howard's Rush grossed $200,000 in five theaters.

Next week sees the release of Metallica Through the Never in IMAX, along with Baggage Claim, Don Jon, Rush, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, which I already saw, and can't recommend beyond the animation. Good for kids, not for adults. However, it should still win the weekend handily. Here are some early predictions:

1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2- $44.5 million
2. Rush- $15.6 million
3. Don Jon- $12.1 million
4. Prisoners- $11.9 million
5. Baggage Claim- $7.8 million
6. Insidious- Chapter 2- $6.7 million
7. Instructions Not Included- $5.1 million
8. The Family- $3.6 million
9. We're the Millers- $3.5 million
10. Lee Daniels' The Butler- $3.1 million

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