After a few scorching months as the box office, things slowed down in a big way during August. But that’s not too surprising, as the shift into autumn is usually associated with a severe drop in box office potential. And now we move into September, probably the single worst month of the entire year for the box office. Until last year’s Hotel Transylvania, not a single September film had ever broken the $40 million barrier. Does anything this year have a chance of dethroning Hotel Transylvania? Read on, dear followers.
My Thoughts: I have yet to see The Chronicles of Riddick, although I did watch enjoy Pitch Black, the film that introduced the world to the character. Vin Diesel is a likeable guy, who carries a lot of weight on screen and is actually very nice and nerdy (he’s a HUGE Dungeons and Dragons fan) behind the scenes. That said, neither of the previous films featuring Riddick did particularly great numbers. Riddick does have a weekend all to itself, although September tends to be anathema to large openings. I think it will finish between Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick.
Opening Weekend: $19 million
Total Gross: $48 million
My Thoughts: A few years ago, for whatever reason, Robert De Niro just gave up. He seems to have thought to himself, “hey, I’ve made enough money. I have enough awards and accolades. Let’s just have some fun starring in crappy movies.” The Family seems like the latest generic action film for De Niro. I just can’t see this doing well.
Opening Weekend: $11 million
Total Gross: $36 million
Insidious Chapter 2
My Thoughts: Back in 2011, the first Insidious opened to a decent, but not great $13 million. It did go on to have decent legs for a horror movie, finishing with $54 million. Apparently that was enough for the film-makers to go ahead with a sequel. Patrick Wilson is coming off a very lucrative horror film in The Conjuring and supernatural horror in general does pretty well. Given that, I think Insidious Chapter 2 will open better than the first entry, but end up with less.
Opening Weekend: $19 million
Total Gross: $50 million
Battle of the Year
My Thoughts: There are some movies that are so ridiculous and/or uninteresting that I really struggle to find the will just to discuss them. I’d never heard of this film before I started on this preview, and its biggest star appears to be Chris Brown, who I’m amazed somehow came out of the whole Rihanna thing relatively unscathed. Then again… his fans are clearly a little disturbed anyway. That said, dance movies rarely break out and nothing sets Battle of the Year apart.
Opening Weekend: $7 million
Total Gross: $22 million
My Thoughts: I like a lot of the actors in this film, but there’s just a bad feeling about this movie that I can’t put my finger on. Anyway, it seems dark, which I tend to like, and has a somewhat interesting concept. Adults will be looking for entertainment and this will be the first film for an older crowd in a while. Well, I guess The Family is also somewhat geared toward older crowds, but I think Prisoners stands a much better chance of actually being a good film.
Opening Weekend: $14 million
Total Gross: $48 million
My Thoughts: Welp, another movie that I’d never heard of if I wasn’t doing this preview. I have no idea what this is about, but it looks like a romantic comedy thing. Lemme go do some research….okay, so it’s not quite a generic romantic comedy, but close enough. I can’t see any reason for this to break out.
Opening Weekend: $6 million
Total Gross: $20 million
My Predictions: Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his directorial debut with Don Jon, a film that looks endearingly honest and heart-felt. In some ways, yeah, it’s a romantic comedy and I usually hate those, but I trust JGL and it looks like he has a winning formula here, as well as a great cast. JGL seems to alternate between big budget blockbusters and smaller pictures that allow him to stay an indie darling; this is clearly in the latter category, but should do solid numbers anyway.
Opening Weekend: $8 million
Total Gross: $38 million
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
My Prediction: We wrap up September with the film that will easily win the month. It’s not even remotely close, and I fully expect CWACOM2 to make well more than double its nearest competitor. Though I’ve never seen the original, I like the clever concept, and surprisingly, the sequel looks even more clever. Plus, it has enough frantic action and bright colors to keep young kids entertained. The first CWACOM opened to $30 million and pulled in $124 million. I think this sequel will have a shot at dethroning Hotel Transylvania for biggest September opening over, but I’m going to predict it will fall a bit short.
Opening Weekend: $40 million
Total Gross: $150 million
Just eight new releases this month, and there’s very little potential for breakouts. Rush, the movie with Chris Hemsworth (Thor) about Formula One racing also comes out this month, and will be expanding into nationwide release on the last weekend of the month. However, “nationwide release” could mean anywhere from 600 theatres to over 3000, so making a prediction would be pointless. That movie, especially if it picks up awards buzz, could be interesting to watch, though. That said, the September box office will be pretty boring to watch until Cloudy 2, so I almost get a nice little break for a while. Until we meet again.