Halloween has agaiin come early to the Reject Report, as this weekend is sure to be a gory one at the box office. Two absolutely frightening movies, both loaded with death, do battle in this weekend’s box office duel to the death: Halloween II and The Final Destination. Oh, and for you Aquarius-type people there’s Taking Woodstock. But that movie is really serving as counter-programming, as this truly is the box office weekend of death.
First, I’ll talk about Taking Woodstock which actually opened on Wednesday in a couple of theaters and goes into 1,300 this weekend. This movie is based on the true story of how the famous ’69 Woodstock concert, well, came to be. It’s directed by Oscar-winner Ang Lee. According to the writeup at IMDB, “a man working at his parents’ motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.” Demetri Martin stars as Elliot Tiber, the real-life guy who offered up rooms in his family’s motel to the organizers of the Woodstock festival. Also making up the cast are Imelda Staunton, Henry Goodman, Liev Schreiber, Jonathan Groff, Emile Hirsch amd Paul Dano.
Okay, now the bad news — I don’t see this one getting more than $4 million. In fact, I might even be generous in predicting $4 million, because a lot of people don’t like this movie’s chances. The real problem is that the audience that this would most appeal to are, ahem, getting old. Do you really expect today’s young people to be interested in a movie like this? This is forty years ago, dammit, there are people who weren’t alive when this happened. Now, granted, they weren’t alive for World War II, either, when Hitler was alive and kicking, and that didn’t stop Inglourious Basterds from making money. But that’s kind of different — that’s Tarantino and Brad Pitt, and Hitler is always kind of an easy mark. Hippies, though, are a different story – it sure seems like hippie movies appeal to more of a niche audience.
This strikes me as being the type of thing that appeals to the older generation, the grown-up hippies, if you will. And let’s face facts, people — the older generation just doesn’t show up at the theaters anymore, at least not in great numbers. So that’s my sad prediction: $4 million for Taking Woodstock.
Next we get to Rob Zombie’s sequel to his Halloween movie, entitled Halloween II. And the first thing I find interesting is that they are releasing it now instead of waiting for October 31. Shouldn’t they be holding off a bit? It’s strange that these big-time horror movies are getting released now or in a few weeks (Jennifer’s Body) instead of on October 31st where they seem to belong.
Oh, well — it is “Back to School” time, anyways, so a lot of people are bound to be in a really foul mood. So they’ll be wanting to see a movie like this one. Tyler Mane plays Michael Myers in this one, and Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Sheri Moon Zombie and others round up the cast of what is sure to be a big gorefest for you horror fans out there.
The one thing I have noticed this year is how consistent the box office totals seem to be for the horror movies, which tend to always hit somewhere in the $20 million range when they open. Some will do better (Friday the 13th) and some worse, but $20 million seems the magic number. You would think this flick, which rolls out in some 3,000 theaters, will top that number, but it’s got some competition from the other movies this weekend — including another horror flick. So I think $23 million is my prediction here for Halloween II.
Finally we have The Final Destination, which is actually the fourth in the Final Destination series of movies, and better yet, it’s in 3-D! The premise is that it’s about this guy has a horrible premonition about this big multiple car crash with flying debris heading into the stands that kills everybody — but he and some friends are able to escape, which sets up more horrible premonitions and more death and destruction. Fun stuff.
This movie is rolling out in roughly the same number of theaters as Halloween II. However, I am going to predict it will come in with $25 million and the reason is simple: it’s 3-D! That means one thing: a lot of theaters will be jacking up their ticket prices to show this movie. So that extra boost will help a lot, I imagine, and that is my big box office “premonition” for this weekend at the movies.
So running down what I think will happen:
- The Final Destination $25 million
- Halloween II $23 million
- Inglourious Basterds $20 million
- District 9 $10 million
- G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra $7 million
- Julie and Julia $6 million
- The Time Traveler’s Wife $5.5 million
- Taking Woodstock $4 million
- Shorts $3.5 million
- G-Force $2.7 million
That’s it. Back at weekend’s end when we figure out whether my premonitions came through for this weekend’s box office, here at the Reject Report!