OnScreen is back for another week of Guess The Box Office!! Greg Ehrhardt and Ken Jones will be recapping last weekend’s box office results, previewing the new releases to come this weekend, and throwing in some predictions while they are at it.
Last week’s results:
1) Venom: $35.0
2) Star is Born: $28.4
3) First Man: $16.0
Greg: A fairly uneventful weekend at the movies: Venom dropped precipitously as we both expertly predicted, and A Star is Born had an excellent hold, once again as we predicted. The only mild surprise is First Man coming in at the low end of the industry forecast, at $16 million for the weekend. The lesson learned Ken, is that Ryan Gosling is not a movie star!!!!!
Ken: And I don’t care because he’s a bona fide actor. And he proved it again with First Man.
Greg: We’re going to have to settle this with a duel I’m afraid. I will say First Man should hold on pretty well for the next few months and break $60 million domestically. Its an ok result, but, let’s be real, you get the same acting performance out of Chris Pine, Jake Gyllenhall, or Jean Claude Van Damne and you get a much better box office performance.
Ken: …………………………… I refuse to acknowledge your ridiculousness.
Greg: Glad you saw what I did there. Let’s get to Halloween, the only movie of significance opening this weekend. Credit where credit is due, it’s pretty ballsy to make a movie where you just pretend the other 9 sequels of the franchise just didn’t happen. Based on the good reviews its getting, you can expect to see a lot more of this, although to be fair, the first movie to do this was X-Men Days of Future Past, wiping away X-Men Last Stand forever after the fact. But to do this without any elements of time travel, and to pay off, is quite an achievement
Ken: Oh, come on! Credit where credit is due, the first movie to do this was Superman Returns!!!! It pretended that Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace never happened. That, by the way, is the only redeeming quality of the otherwise unremarkable Superman Returns because Superman III and IV are trash. Superman Returns doesn’t have much going for it, so at least let it have that.
Greg: This opens up a whole realm of possibilities for future Hollywood sequels. Don’t like the Jurassic Park sequels?? Boom, let’s just undo The Lost World and invent a whole new direct sequel because we feel like it. Let’s bring Sam Neil and Jeff Goldblum back to the original island for revenge on the T-Rex 30 years later!!!
Ken: Hollywood deciding that it can just bequeath itself franchise mulligans is the least shocking development ever. Remember, this was going to be Neill Blomkamp’s plan for his Alien movie before that got scrapped.
Greg: I want to get into the sequels for a bit. A lot of critic reviews are saying this is the sequel Laurie Strode deserved, but I think that’s giving Halloween II short shrift. Nothing will compare to the visceral experience of the 3rd act of the original, but Halloween II has some excellent set pieces and basically starts the long held horror tradition of victims getting creative and grisly deaths at the hands of the killers. It was an interesting decision to have this sequel start immediately following the events of the first movie, one that is either brilliant or grossly detrimental.
Ken: I’ll admit it; you are much more of a Halloween aficionado than I am, as there is a lot about Halloween II that I don’t remember. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve seen it from beginning to end. I do recall that it takes place in the immediate aftermath of the first movie.
Greg: I say possibly detrimental because, knowing it takes place immediately after the end of the first movie, it takes away from the mystique of not knowing where he’s been or what he’s been up to. Having it start immediately afterward already puts the idea in the audience’s head that he’s definitely there I think takes away from the dread that the first one was so good at.
Ken: I’ll tell you what can take away from the dread is driving a character into the ground by inundating audiences with bad sequels and remakes. How many Michael Meyers movies are there in total now? Eight? *Pauses to check IMDb* Dear God. This will be the 11th, ELEVENTH, Halloween movie made since 1978! For the sake of comparison, there have been twelve Friday the 13th movies and nine Nightmare on Elm Street movies. How many of these ELEVEN Halloween movies will have been good? Two? Three?
Greg: I consider two of the numerous Michael Myers sequels to be worthy of the franchise: Halloween 4, aka The Return of Michael Myers, which had a terrific and tense final act when everyone barricades themselves in the house and the car chase afterwards, and H20, which is held a bit higher by the fans than it has a right to be, but Mike Myers stalking teenagers on an empty high school dormitory made for good thrills.
Ken: I remember seeing H20 in the theaters and I remember Jamie Lee Curtis literally chopping his head off at the end. That’s about it. And Michelle Williams was in it too, I think. And then two years later they were back with another Halloween movie and I thought, “But how?” Since then, “chop his head off like Michael Meyers” has kind of become a thing, mostly in sports talk. “If you’re playing Tom Brady and the Patriots, you need to cut their heads off to make sure they’re dead, like Michael Myers, just ask Atlanta Falcons fans.” If they’re now saying those movies never took place, are we still allowed to use that expression?
Greg: I’m pretty excited for this movie. I’d be more amped if it didn’t ignore Halloween II, because I think it’s a perfectly fine movie made by Carpenter and Hill. I’m a little concerned the common denominator of the reviews is that it’s not particularly scary. But part of what worked in the original movies was how much Michael Myers’ evil wore on Dr. Loomis, who was no spring chicken. We should see that same effect, this time on Laurie Strode. Evil doesn’t just hurt as its right there chasing you, but stays with you for decades.
Ken: One of my favorite recent directors is Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Green Room). Part of what makes his movies so good is that the violence in them is visceral and realistic; it has consequences that stay with the characters. I love gonzo and camp like anyone, but if you can ground your horror at least a little bit in reality and put the fates of the characters in real peril then that just adds to the horror.
Greg: Tracking for this movie is somewhere in the $60 million range, which I found hard to believe until the glowing reviews came out. Unlike Venom, I’m not shorting this; I think $60-$65 is right on the money. We haven’t had a good Michael Myers movie in 20 years. People are ready to see him in the big screen. I know I am.
Ken: And that movie was the first Austin Powers movie! (How did we make it to the end of this before the first Mike Myers reference? Heck, you can make the argument that it’s been 40 years since we’ve had a good Halloween movie. I’m right in line with the $65 million projection, and maybe even a smidge higher.
Greg: That’s all for this week. Next week, I attempt to steal Ken Jones job with not one, but TWO reviews right here in this space: A Star is Born, and Halloween. And a few jabs at Ryan Gosling while we’re at it. See you next time.
You can follow Ken Jones on Twitter @KenJones81 and Greg Ehrhardt on Twitter @Grege333. Like and follow OnStage Blog: OnScreen on Facebook.