TWBOH takes a look at the last 30 years of top grossing movies. Sifting through the celluloid, we review audience preferences and spot the trends in movie watching history. This week the damn finally breaks, and the dribs and drabs of horror movie releases finally becomes a full fledged torrent. Except for the late 80’s, early 90’s which seems stuck in stasis. What is going on here?
The Trends: October 17th – 20th.
First and foremost, I would like to announce a new feature of the TWBOH: predictions. It’s nice to talk about what films are doing well and why, but since I can only pick the winner after the viewing weekend has ended, I’m not telling you something you don’t already know. That’s about to change. Looking at the last 30 years of winners and losers, I will go out on a limb and predict NEXT week’s top three grossing movies, and tell you why they are going to win. Then I will point you to a link where you can give me scads of money in exchange for sure-thing sports betting tips, since your mind will be thoroughly blown by my precognitive power.
That being said, I’m now dividing the list up into two halves, last week wrap-up and next week pre-up. That’s a word now. Don’t question my mental power.
The Week That Was: Horror films finally arrive.
This week the swarms of horror movies and their sequels arrive, like evil pod people, able to reproduce at will. Two Paranormal Activity movies show that you can make a metric-butt-ton of cash by pointing a shaky night vision cam at silly special effects. Seriously, nobody got tired of this garbage after the Blair Witch? Suckers.
Classic horror movie remakes like The Ring and Texas Chainsaw Massacre show up this week, and new entries like Johnny Depp’s From Hell, and The Rock’s masterful portrayal of a dude with a shotgun on Mars, Doom, graces the big screen as well. Hooray.
The 80’s and early 90’s are stuck in some weird phantom zone where people keep seeing the same awful movies over and over.
Under Seige and Marked For Death are STILL pulling down the #1 spot after three weeks, and seriously, Steven Seagal sucks. Stop seeing his movies, people in the past. I will build a time machine and come back to sort you people all out.
The Week That Will Be: Top 3 picks October 24th – 27th.
#1: Gravity: It’s hard to bet against this movie, which has only dropped by 10 million each week. That puts it solidly at 25 million in earnings next week. While a 4th week is difficult to pull off, the history shows audiences rewarding good films this time of year with healthy returns, and also shows that horror movies rarely top 20 million in their first week. So, I expect another launch from these astronauts.
#2: The Counselor: I’m going to take The Counselor, despite the spate of horror movies both next week and last. The Oscar buzz is strong with a Cormac McCarthy story starring Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt. Oh, and Javier Bardem. This guy.. Some future classics in the drama category came out this period, and I strongly suspect The Counselor to be one of them.
#3: Carrie: I want this one to succeed. Past history bets against it, with horror movies dropping off sharply after opening weekend, and Carrie did not perform all that well her first week. But there are no other horror movies on the horizon to speak of, and next weekend’s box is ALL about horror movies, even if they are less than stellar iterations of a franchise. So I think some Halloween magic will carry Carrie to the top of the list.
It’s two for Danny Devito this week, as I have yet to indulge in my predilection for tiny funny men. A rare change in the eternal status quo of the 80’s/90’s nets us a new comedy, Other People’s Money (1991). The middle road of such stylish money films as The Secret to My Success, and Wall Street, Danny Devito plays a raider you are both supposed to hate (Gordon Gecko) and root for (Brantley Foster). Devito is Devito: canny, caustic, brilliant, and arrogant. A master crafstman as an asshole, nobody out-dicks Devito. Nobody.
Round two has Devito as the slick as goose-shit former actor in the star studded and almost too cool to actually be cool movie, Get Shorty (1995). This movie nearly eclipses Pulp Fiction for raw star power and cheeky dialogue, and takes the noir-pulp genre to its logical conclusion, a self referential name drop festival with occasional violence and frequent reversals of fortune. It’s a shame Tarantino never used Devito, cause it would have been magical.
Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission.