When a movie is sold as being the next incredible cinematic experience that will change the way we watch movies, expectations are huge. Audiences may scoff. It could all backfire. But Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity' lived up to the hype and audiences responded in kind, giving it the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel October release.
There's nothing like a family-friendly animated movie to help shake off the September doldrums and 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' performed as expected. Although Sony's big release effortlessly took the number one spot, this weekend had a few other bright spots, namely a handful of independent films doing quite well in more limited release.
September may traditionally be a wasteland of half-baked films unfit to open in a proper month, but the lack of competition can actually be a good thing. Could 'Prisoners,' a film made specifically for an adult audience, have opened as well as it did if it was released in a busier month? Probably not.
James Wan has done it again. For the second time this year, a horror film that he's directed has opened to over $40 million, securing his position as the reigning king of mainstream horror cinema. He may be taking a break from the genre to direct 'Fast and Furious 7,' but after the jaw-dropping success of 'The Conjuring' and now 'Insidious Chapter 2,' you just know he'll be back. No one is bringing the audiences in quite like Wan.
Oh, and there were some other movies that made some money, too.
Chris Hemsworth is a busy man. In addition to being the Marvel movie universe's Thor, the Australian actor has been promoting the upcoming Ron Howard drama 'Rush,' which sees him stepping into the role of Formula One racer James Hunt. However, no interview with Mr. Hemsworth could be complete without asking him about 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron,' but the God of Thunder himself can't spill any details. After all, he doesn't even have any details to spill. He doesn't even know who Ultron is!
One of the things 'Riddick' has going for it is that it didn't cost too much. So while its opening weekend may be a little less than impressive, it doesn't have that far to go to make a profit. It's little victories like this that make this, one of the slowest most stagnant movie weekends of the year, more palatable.
The summer is over and September is upon us. The result? One of the most boring weekend box office reports in months. Months! The month or so following the end of the summer movie season is traditionally one of the worst of the year, the time when Hollywood unleashes all of the films that they have little faith in, a buffer between the blockbuster months and the award season months. In other words, it's the exact kind of climate where a movie like 'One Direction: This is Us' can thrive.
A few weeks ago, we reported that Denzel Washington had turned down a role in the upcoming 'Fast and Furious 7.' Now, Variety is reporting that the great Kurt Russell is in talks to step into the part instead. Goodbye, Mr. Washington. We love you, but this is a case where you will not be missed.
The biggest appeal of the 'Expendables' franchise has always been seeing all your favorite aging action stars on the screen at same time, even when they have no reason to be in the same movie. However, nothing has come close to the pure, unfiltered weirdness of seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger on the same set as Harrison Ford. The former Terminator/Governor shared an image of them on the set of 'The Expendables 3' and it's just plain strange. While they've always existed on the same world, they feel like two people from different dimensions.
In a weekend with four new major releases but no definitive frontrunners, the Matt Damon sci-fi action flick 'Elysium' snagged the top spot over some seemingly powerful competition. Director Neill Blomkamp's film continues this summer's trend of R-rated fare opening big ('The Purge,' 'The Conjuring,' '2 Guns') and proves that there's plenty of box office success to be had in the typically slow final weeks of the season.
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