Looking at the Weekend

Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2016

While it might be nice to think that Bradley Cooper can carry a film to box office success, the Foody Era may be coming to an end. Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock, a much more proven box office magnet, is back at it with a film that I think will eke out a victory over Mr. Cooper’s effort.

Our Highest Rated Films: Our Brand Is Crisis, The Wonders, Heneral Luna
Our Best Awards Ratings: Our Brand Is Crisis (Globes)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Burnt (Wide) (Previously Reviewed in Looking at the Weekend)

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 23-25, 2015

Four unimpressive pictures are crowding the marketplace this weekend, one will be targeting the rich pre-Halloween audiences and the others have their niche audiences as well. None of them seem particularly strong in terms of box office potential, which means another week at number one for some other film. If any of these could breakout, it would be The Last Witch Hunter, which seems to be popular with my friends who tend to have an eye for movies that could be hits. Jem could be a spoiler, but Paranormal Activity also has potential to reverse its box office slide.

Our Highest Rated Films: Suffragette
Our Best Awards Ratings: Suffragette (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Meadowland (Expanding) (Previously Reviewed in Looking at the Weekend)

Steve Jobs (Expanding) (Previously Reviewed in Looking at the Weekend)

Attack on Titan, Part 2 (Limited)

Heart of a Dog (Limited)

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 16-18, 2015

Always expect the best of new Spielberg films. This looks to be the kind of film that brings adults to the theater in droves. Meanwhile, Crimson Peak will bring out horror fans and Goosebumps may draw families. It should be a solid week at the box office, but I’m giving the slight edge to Bridge of Spies for the win.

Our Highest Rated Films: Room, Bridge of Spies
Our Best Awards Ratings: Bridge of Spies (Oscars), Room (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Finders Keepers (Expanding)

Steve Jobs (Expanding) (Previously Reviewed in Looking at the Weekend)

All Things Must Pass (Limited)

Death Valley (Limited) (Previewed on Cinema Sight)

Momentum (Limited)

Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 (Limited) (Previewed on Cinema Sight)

Tales of Halloween (Limited) (Previewed on Cinema Sight)

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 9-11, 2015

Competing for the crown this weekend will be the second weekend of The Martian and the first weekend of family-friendly Pan. While I’d like to give Matt Damon and Ridley Scott the upper hand, the vibrancy of Pan seems like a safer bet.

Our Highest Rated Films: Steve Jobs
Our Best Awards Ratings: Steve Jobs (Oscar)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

99 Homes (Expanding) (Previously Reviewed in Looking at the Weekend)

The Walk (Expanding) (Previously Reviewed in Looking at the Weekend)

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 2-4, 2015

Matt Damon will take command of the U.S. box office this weekend, with a debut that’s bound to excite and amaze. Well, at least that’s the plan. Early word suggests the film may be two tech heavy, which might not sell well to some audiences. However, any space-based sci-fi film has an edge at the box office if it’s set in the modern or near-modern time frame. There are no other wide releases, but even the second weekend of Hotel Transylvania 2 isn’t likely to stop Ridley Scott’s new film.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Martian
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Martian (Oscars) & The Walk (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Attack on Titan: Part 1 (Limited)

Sicario (Expanding) (Previously Reviewed in Looking at the Weekend)

Shanghai (Limited) (Previously Reviewed in Looking at the Weekend)

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Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 25-27, 2015

Of the week’s new releases only the animated sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 looks like a hit in the making. The original opened to $42 million and finished off just shy of $150 million. Nancy Myers’ combination of Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway isn’t likely to come close, but The Intern could come in a much lower second place ahead of the second weekend of The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials.

Our Highest Rated Films: Labyrinth of Lies
Our Best Awards Ratings: Labyrinth of Lies (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

10 Days in a Madhouse

Ashby (Previewed on Cinema Sight)

Lost in Hong Kong

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Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 18-20, 2015

As much as I want to predict the young adult title taking the box office, Johnny Depp in a capital-A Acting performance should be just what the box office ordered after weeks of weak debuts. It has the makings of a sizable hit.

Our Highest Rated Films: Black Mass, Everest, Sicario
Our Best Awards Ratings: Black Mass (Oscars), Everest (Oscars), Sicario (Oscars)

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Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 11-13, 2015

Could M. Night Shyamalan rise to the top of the box office for the first time in a long while? I doubt it. His horror film hasn’t gotten nearly enough press and The Perfect Guy looks more likely to triumph at the box office than anything else.

Our Highest Rated Films: Coming Home
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Visit (Razzies)

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Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 4-6, 2015

You can tell it’s Memorial Day because the studios have dumped every film they have no confidence in on one weekend. Sure, it’s been a couple of weekends like that, but this one takes the case. Perhaps fans of the Transporter films are enamored enough that they’ll turn out, but I suspect it will be a bomb.

Our Highest Rated Films: A Walk in the Woods
Our Best Awards Ratings: A Walk in the Woods

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

A Rooster with Many Eggs

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 28-30, 2015

Apart from this being the last weekend in August, the upcoming Labor Day holiday means the studios are dumping everything they don’t suspect will be a hit into these remaining weeks. As such, the competition this week will be anemic with the little-advertised No Escape facing off against the teen-targeted We Are Your Friends. Neither have had particularly effective promotional campaigns and neither tackle subjects that would appeal to a broad demographic, further narrowing their potential audience.

Our Highest Rated Films: Z for Zachariah
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Second Mother

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Memories of the Sword

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 21-23, 2015

The second weekend of Straight Outta Compton will be tough competition for a stoner comedy, but those types of films have done surprisingly well in recent years. This outing puts recognizable faces before the audience, giving them to see people acting totally different from what they’re used to. It’s a great sales tool unless you don’t care much for most of the actors, which will be its biggest stumbling block.

Our Highest Rated Films: Grandma
Our Best Awards Ratings: Grandma

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Station to Station

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 14-16, 2015

This will be an interesting weekend. Two very targeted pics enter the marketplace. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. will appeal to the type of moviegoer that made Sherlock Holmes a huge success. The main distinction is that it doesn’t have a huge star like Robert Downey Jr. involved. The other is Straight Outta Compton, which will appeal largely to the black community. Both films have interesting prospects and given the right conditions could easily top the box office. It will be a very interesting weekend.

Our Highest Rated Films: Mistress America, Straight Outta Compton
Our Best Awards Ratings: Mistress America

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

We Come As Friends

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Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 7-9, 2015

The first hero team Marvel introduced also seems to have the hardest time getting fans to remain loyal to it. Fox hasn’t been as successful with their other Marvel property and this reboot has been earning some very mixed notices. It will still likely be enough for it to top the box office, but it might be a tough competition.

Our Highest Rated Films: Shaun the Sheep Movie & Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
Our Best Awards Ratings: Shaun the Sheep Movie & Ricki and the Flash

Continue reading to find out what we thought about each film and how these films fared and in what categories.

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 31-Aug. 2, 2015

The competition will be fierce this week with two major contenders for the box office crown. Tom Cruise has proven time and again that he has the ability to bring people to the theater. While he’s had some duds recently, the Mission: Impossible franchise has been nothing if not steady. Ghost Protocol revitalized a flagging franchise, so it’s likely residual good will can make this a top opener.

Hot on its heels, however, is Vacation, the sequel/reboot of the National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise. It’s been 18 years since the Griswolds last ventured onto the big screen with the dud Vegas Vacation. Revisiting its roots, the simply titled Vacation takes the young son of Clark Griswold in the first film, Rusty, and makes him the new patriarch as he and his family make the hijinks-filled trip to Wally World. Counting on nostalgia for the original film, the studio hopes to re-launch the franchise for a new generation. It seems well poised to be the latest July/August R-Rated comedy to score box office gold, but I doubt it will be enough to take over first place.

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 24-26, 2015

Ant-Man may claim the top spot for a second week or Pixels could overcome its lackluster previews and post Adam Sandler’s biggest numbers in some time.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: There aren’t very many good options this weekend with Southpaw being the only one I’m reasonably interested in.
Peter J. Patrick: A little something for everyone with Jake Gyllenhaal’s latest shot at an Oscar seemingly the most appealing.
Tripp Burton: Only one of these films look decent to me, and I am really looking forward to it…if boxing or video games are your thing, though, the other films have some interesting filmmakers behind them!
Thomas LaTourrette: Boxing films are not my favorite, but Southpaw sounds like the best of the bunch, with a strong performance by Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead.

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