It’s now been two weekends since Pennywise the Dancing Clown was unleashed upon unsuspecting audiences, and Hollywood may never be the same. Seriously. The kind of box office numbers we’re seeing right now will inspire, uh, major changes in how Hollywood tries to jump on specific trends. And while two new movies made a sort of solid showing for themselves over the weekend, the fact is this: it’s Pennywise’s world. We’re just living in it. Here’s the box office projections as of Sunday afternoon:
As we head deeper into September, two things have become pretty clear about 2017 box office numbers: one, Hollywood desperately needs to bounce back a little bit from the doldrums of August, and two, whoever decided to hedge their studio’s bets with a September release date for a movie about a killer clown is looking like a [profanity] genius right about now. We’ll get to all of that in a moment, but first, here are the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
When shouldn’t you release a clip for a movie? I can understand releasing entire chunks of a movie on YouTube when you’re working with an unproven or questionable title; if you’re trying to entice audiences to see some mediocre horror film, then by all means, release one of the movie’s better jump scares in an effort to get them into the theater. But when you’ve got a title as recognizable as Blade Runner 2049, with several excellent trailers and a few smart television spots, why bother? How many people could possibly be on the fence at this point?
One of the fun parts of film criticism is trying to identify which blockbuster movies that open to middling reviews will undergo a critical re-appreciation in the years to come. For example, while audiences were generally disappointed with Ridley Scott’s Prometheus on its release, the movie has slowly gained steam with critics, becoming something of an under-the-wire classic in the last few years. And now, just a few months after the release of Kong: Skull Island, there are already those who have argued that its unique aesthetic makes it one of the better action movies of the year.
If you’ve been reading the site for any length of time, then you know that movie-themed amusement park rides are a bit of a passion for Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer. Matt has previously written about the end of the Great Movie Ride and run pieces on the upcoming Avatar amusement park as well; that, combined with his love of all things Terminator 2, means that he should probably be the one to write up this news item. But since he’s not here and I am, I guess I’ll deliver the bad news: the Terminator 2 3D ride is being shut down.
In a weekend where no new releases cracked the Top 10 and six movies maintained their exact spot in the rankings, you’d think there would be less news worth sharing. That isn’t quite the case. Sure, as sites like Box Office Mojo have noted, this is a historically bad Labor Day Weekend for movies in theaters, but it’s also a uniquely static weekend for releases, one that even required me to create a second chart just to capture all the data points. Let’s start as we always do, with the box office grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
There are bad weekends, there are bad weekends, and then there are historically terrible weekends the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades. Guess which one applies to this past weekend? With the overall box office dipping more than $30 million from last week, and the overall numbers landing as historically bad, we seem to be ending August on a terrible note. Nevertheless, here are the box office numbers through Sunday afternoon:
One of the underrated elements of the horror community is how many of them have the opportunity to meet their heroes. When famous actors and filmmakers die, they tend to be remembered at a distance on the quality of their work; when horror icons like George Romero or Wes Craven pass, however, people have first-hand accounts of meeting them at festivals and conventions. So as word spreads today about the death of legendary Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper, you’ll hear more than a few first-hand accounts of what it was like to talk about the genre with Hooper. That’s the power of the horror community.
Welcome to Augusts, where overall weekend grosses can decline for three consecutive weekends — $122, $116, and $95 million, respectively — and a new action-comedy can be the surprise winner of the weekend. Audiences might still be interested in creepy dolls, but it was a hyper-violent buddy film about professional killers that took home the gold. Here’s the box office projections, as of Sunday afternoon:
We’ve reached the doldrums of August, where studios release the titles not marketable enough for the summer movie season and not quality enough for serious award consideration. That means an odd mixture of horror films, formerly prestigious movies that have lost a little bit of their luster, and absolute junk just looking for a few screens to dominate for a couple of weeks. Oh, and what do you know? That perfectly describes this weekend’s new releases! Gee!
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