Although we need to take a brief look back in time at September's movies. September was another slow month at the box office, but some of the smaller films, in limited release, worked their magic both financially and at pleasing audiences. There were also the disappointments with films like The Words, Trouble with the Curve, Won't Back Down, these maudlin dramas just don not work when you force it. Studios need to realize that there is no middle ground in regard to quality or box office receipts anymore.
On the other hand the genre films do decently at the box office, for example sci-fi, horror, and animated seem to be the most bankable in the slow months. Hotel Transylvania, which somehow escaped my list from last month set September records making 41 million, animated films do well in these slow times. Resident Evil and Looper helped out the sci-fi genre, while they did not have amazing numbers they did well for September, and Looper was a hit with critics. A House at the End of the Street scarred away the critics, but the film pulled in decent numbers, enough to prove Jennifer Lawrence is an it girl.
The name of the game recently for a variety of films was using the limited release to help build up an audience. Films like The Master open in limited release because they come from small companies and are harder to market to larger audiences. The film has done well. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Pitch Perfect did this also. Each film doing well enough, but the question is will they survive? And will October get better? The answer is an emphatic yes, October is going to start strong!
The Paperboy (limited)
What an opening weekend! While the original Taken was a solid film, this sequel looks just simple bad. Taken 2 will however make a lot of money at the box office. I would wait for DVD. Frankenweenie is going comes from the mind of Tim Burton, and while this has a weird premise it's being released in the perfect month, and will draw in families like Hotel Transylvania did. Pitch Perfect did well at the box office in limited release last week, and people are just excited to see more "Fat Amy" this will perform well. Who wouldn't want to watch Lee Daniels follow-up to Precious where Zac Effron and Nicole Kidman get into water sports....this film was booed at Cannes, can they get anyone to see it? Probably not. Althought the trailer looks solid.
Here Comes the Boom
Argo is a surefire Best Picture contender, and I think has the potential to be the actual winner. Ben Affleck has been building his directorial career much like Robert Redford did. This film has gotten thunderous applause from critics, now will audiences show up? I think based on this weekend the film will perform well. Sinister and Seven Psychopaths will not perform well. Look for the charm from Kevin James in Here Comes the Boom to surprise, but only if the marketing gets better, and quick.
Paranormal Activity 4
Paranormal Activity always owns their weekend, and putting it close enough to Halloween yearly will help once again. This puts Tyler Perry's version of Alex Cross in the cross fires. Perry is a poor choice for this role, and I am a little disappointed in the casting. This film could be good, but I predict failure. The Sessions is another Oscar hopeful, and people will eat up this film as it gets released in limited release.
Silent Hill Revelation 3D
Both films have the potential to be pretty solid. Cloud Atlas looks visually stunning, but will the Wachowski's loose the substance for style. I think this is going to be a mixed bag, and something you will have to see for yourself. The first Silent Hill was solid, this one looks subpar.
Must See-Pitch Perfect, Argo, The Sessions, Frankenweenie
Skip: Taken 2, Here Comes the Boom, Sinister, Silent Hill