Weekend Preview (10.1.10)

October is upon us, which means horror movies are in full swing. Ugh, and I have to actually worry about whether I’m going to end up needing some form of Halloween costume at some point … Anyway, we start with two horror entries, the long-delayed “Case 39” and the buzzed-about remake of the Swedish horror film of a similar name, “Let Me In.”

Then, there’s the highly highly anticipated socially relevant drama “The Social Network” about the beginning days of Facebook (oh, so long ago). Personally, the horror films can wait another week this year.

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The Social Network

Directed by David Fincher
Written by Aaron Sorkin, Ben Mezrich (book)
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones

The Word: This would be “the Facebook movie.” Directed by acclaimed director David Fincher (“Se7en,” “Fight Club,” “Benjamin Button”) and written by “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin, the film stars Jesse Eisenberg as facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard student who in 2003 launched the instantly popular social networking site and became a billionaire — but not without burning some bridges.

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (excellent)

My Thoughts: I’ve been high on “Network” since the beginning. There isn’t a more socially relevant topic right now and it’s being done by two of the best names out there. The trailer is still the best of the year so far and the tone seems absolutely juicy. I’m glad the critics seem to agree with an incredible 97%

Recommendation: Your curiosity about this film is not unfounded. You are not a pop culture geek for wanting to see this. Go.

Let Me In

Directed by Matt Reeves
Written by Matt Reeves, John Ajvide Lindqvist (screenplay and novel)
Starring: Chloe Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins

The Word: Few films get the stink eye more than an American remake of a critically acclaimed foreign film, which is exactly what “Let Me In” is. Based on the Swedish book-turned-film, “Let the Right One In,” the story focuses on a young vampire (Moretz) and her relationship with a boy in the town she’s just moved to with her guardian.

Rotten Tomatoes: 87% (great)

My Thoughts: I mistakenly have put off watching the original film for some time and despite the positive reviews for “Let Me In” and that I was generally enticed by trailers, I feel I owe it to the original first. If it’s any indication, I really wish I’d seen the original already. Really.

Recommendation: If you’re a connoisseur like me, you’ll probably want to watch the original first too, but if you hate subtitles, you shouldn’t wait like I am.

Case 39

Directed by Christian Alvart
Written by Ray Wright
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Bradley Cooper, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane

The Word: It only took 14 months, but “Case 39″ is finally getting a wide release in the United States. Not sure what took so long for Paramount Vantage to pick this film up considering it actually has famous people in it, but nevertheless, the film is a mystery/thriller horror film about a child services employee who takes in a young girl after witnessing her parents try and kill her. Turns out the folks weren’t that crazy because some other-worldly spirits follow her around and people end up dead.

Rotten Tomatoes: 23% (very bad)

My Thoughts: Can’t help but be skeptical when a film has gone all over the world and has even been released on DVD in some countries and finally gets a wide release in America more than a year later. That, and it reminds me of all those other “scary little girl” movies and frankly, I find the trend a bit disturbing.

Recommendation: “Let Me In” is a far superior horror alternative and better ones are yet to come in October.

Box Office Predictions

Last week I failed by not taking into account the more mature fantasy-based nature of “Guardians,” but the mistake will not be made again, rest assured. This week, the obvious pick for top spot is the most buzzed about film in awhile, The Social Network. I think the film will manage around $20 million between the hype and a release of fewer than 3,000 theaters.

The rest of these films I project to finish between $8 and $12 million. Let’s start with Let Me In, another film getting great reviews in the early going. An R-rated film starring kids isn’t exactly going to swoop up those unfamiliar with the film, but horror films this time of year tend to average between $10 and $15 million, so I’m saying $12 M. Just after that should be Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which will have a relatively quiet second week at $10 million.

Finishing just barely behind “Wall Street” ought to be The Town. It looks like it’s poised to continue its 30-some percent decline, so $9 million is in order. Just behind that should be Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, which should be out of the top five by next week so I do not have to type that ridiculous title up again. “Easy A” will just miss out on the top five and “Case 39,” which just about anyone could have gotten a bootleg of a year ago let alone by  this point, should tank with less than $5 million.

  1. The Social Network
  2. Let Me In
  3. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
  4. The Town
  5. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole


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