Welcome to the first weekend of September here at the Reject Report, and what is sure to be a down weekend at theaters. I dunno what it is about the first weekend of September, but it seems as if it always takes on a life of its own — or non-life. (Death?!) Just as the first weekend of May prompts a mad rush to the theaters for the start of blockbuster season, the first weekend of September prompts a swift exit. Too many people are headed back to school, or on vacation, or heading back to work. It never fails.
If you are going to the movies this weekend, you’ll definitely be in for a treat. There will be less lineups to navigate and more of a chance you’ll get a good seat, far away from other noisy and annoying theater patrons. And maybe you’ll be able to watch Gamer, All About Steve and Extract in relative peace. In fact, I notice the studios have completely given up on this weekend. The theater counts for the new releases don’t go much higher than the 2500 range, which sort of tells you all you need to know about the weekend ahead at the box office.
I might as well start this preview with Extract, which rolls out in over 1600 theaters this weekend. It’s directed by Mike Judge (“King of the Hill”!) and stars Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck and Mila Kunis. Bateman plays Joel. the owner of an extract plant who has to deal with all kinds of problems at this place, including workplace injuries, extramarital affairs, and scam artists.
I don’t see much happening at the box office for Extract, unfortunately. There’s just too little buzz for the flick. I think I’m being charitable in predicting $6 million.
Watch the Extract Trailer:
Next, there is All About Steve, which stars Sandra Bullock, Thomas Haden Church and Bradley Cooper. Basically, it’s about this eccentric crossword puzzle designer Mary who chases down this CNN cameraman guy all over the country, convinced he’s her true love. Cooper plays the hapless cameraman, Steve.
So that’s the movie, and all I gotta say is that the buzz that is out there for this flick is already pretty terrible from just about everyone, critics and moviegoers alike. In fact, I went over to Rotten Tomatoes and the flick was recording a ZERO percent rating as of this writing! Now, I know there were only twenty reviews up, and there are bound to be more to come. But still — zero percent coming out of the gate is just terrible!! I’m sure there will be some Sandra Bullock fans out there who will be conned into seeing this flick, but I think too many people will freak out over the bad buzz for this movie, and it will end up with only $10 million.
Watch the All About Steve Trailer:
Finally we come to Gamer, an action thriller starring Gerard Butler taking place in a near-future world where video games have advanced to the point where it’s gone REAL, where humans control other humans in games using mind-control technology. Butler plays a star player from the game “Slayers” who is trying to break free from the control of Simon, the gamer who controls him, played by Michael C. Hall. I think there is enough interest in this movie to make it up to $15 million, but I notice Lionsgate isn’t screening this for critics, and the theater count is a bit low, and I just don’t have too much confidence in its ability to do much more business.
Watch the Gamer Trailer:
Heck, I know what September is like at the theaters — it’s truly “take the month off” time for many movie fans, except those in Toronto. There, the film festival will be going full-bore in a week’s time. It’s good to know that movie houses will be packed in at least one major city in North America. Everywhere else — what can I say? It promises to be bliss! No lineups! No crowds to fight off!! Enjoy it while it lasts, folks, because Oscar season is not that far off.
My prediction for the weekend is as follows:
- Gamer $15 million
- The Final Destination $14 million
- Inglourious Basterds $13 million
- All About Steve $10 million
- Halloween II $8 million
- District 9 $7.5 million
- Julie and Julia $6.3 million
- Extract $6 million
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra $5.8 million
- The Time Traveller’s Wife $4.8 million
That’s it for this week’s predictions! Back at the end of the weekend with the box office results here at the Reject Report!