We hope all our American readers had a great Thanksgiving and now we’re back with a weekend that is notoriously famous for being a dumping ground where movies go to die. You see, so many people go to the movies over the extended weekend of Thanksgiving that this is the first week of three or four where they need to put their nose back to the grindstone at the job or school so they can enjoy an even longer vacation over Christmas and New Year’s.
Which is a shame since we have a fairly decent gangster thriller this weekend as Australian filmmaker Andrew Dominik returns with his third movie, Killing Them Softly (The Weinstein Company), once again teaming with Brad Pitt, who starred in his Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. At least this time, Dominik’s movie is getting a moderately wide release and The Weinstein Company actually spent money on advertising to get word out about the movie, but it’s going to have a limited audience since there are so many stronger choices in theaters and everyone else will be saving their money/time for the bigger genre movies down the road. As we said, this movie is getting dumped into a weekend where very few movies do big business so we expect it to bring in roughly $7 to 8 million this weekend, which probably won’t even be enough to get into the top 5 with so many strong returning movies offering competition. It’s also likely to end up with less than $25 million total, not particularly hindered by next week’s offerings but having many options from December 14th on.
The independent horror movie The Collector was the directorial debut of screenwriter Marcus Dunstan and he wrote the script with Patrick Melton. They first appeared on “Project Greenlight” when they wrote Feast. It opened with $3.5 million in 1,325 theaters during the summer of 2009 and grossed $7.7 million total and now they’re back with the sequel, The Collection (LD Entertainment), being released in roughly the same number of theaters by a new distributor. We don’t expect this one to do that much better and being released in the awful post-Thanksgiving time frame may mean it does even worse, although it might squeak into the Top 10 with roughly $3 to 4 million depending on how the Weinstein Company decides to expand Silver Linings Playbook, which will continue to do well from word-of-mouth.
As far as the rest of the Top 10, it could be a tight race between “Breaking Dawn – Part 2″ in its third weekend and Skyfall in its fourth for first place this weekend, while Life of Pi and Lincoln should both hold up well this weekend as well.
This post-Thanksgiving weekend last year, actually the first weekend of December, saw the release of no new films, just to give you some idea how bad this weekend normally is.
This Week’s Updated Predictions –
UPDATE: While we think it’s going to be a close race for first, we think that Skyfall will ultimately prevail and move back into first place. We also think both the new movies will do slightly better than our original predictions with The Collection squeaking into the Top 10.
1. Skyfall (MGM/Sony) – $17 million -53% (same but up one spot)
2. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Summit) – $16.6 million -62% (down .9 million and one spot)
3. Lincoln (DreamWorks) – $13.5 million -47% (up .3 million)
4. Life of Pi (20th Century Fox) – $11.5 million -48%
5. Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) – $10.8 million -52%
6. Killing Them Softly (The Weinstein Company) – $7.8 million N/A
7. Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) – $7.5 million -55%
8. Red Dawn (FilmDistrict) – $5.5 million -63%
9. Flight (Paramount) – $4.5 million -47% (up .3 million)
10. The Collection (LD Entertainment) $4.0 million N/A (up .8 million)
— Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company) $2.5 million -25%
This week’s “CHOSEN ONE” Is Jay Bulger’s doc Beware of Mr. Baker (SnagFilms/Insurgent Media), which as classic rock fans may have guessed is about former Cream drummer Ginger Baker. Filmmaker Jay Bulger followed up his Rolling Stone on the reclusive rocker with a full-on film that covers his entire life with interviews with family and colleagues, who are all fairly honest that they don’t exactly get what drives him.
As one might be able to tell from the film’s title, Baker is a crotchety individual and a difficult subject, who we see breaking the filmmaker’s nose in the opening scene because he doesn’t want his ex-wives and others from his past in “his film.” Wisely, Bulger ignores the drummer’s request and gets a pretty amazing line-up of interview subjects, including Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce from Cream and Steve Winwood.
The film follows Baker’s journey across the globe to different places where he eventually wears out his welcome and after years of problems with drugs, ends up settling in South Africa with his fourth wife, setting his drumsticks aside to live a fairly secluded life.
Bulger does a fairly thorough job in telling Baker’s story both in his words and that of others, and the results are thoroughly entertaining, especially if you’re familiar with Baker’s music, since it gives you new insight into what makes him tick as well as filling you in on what he was up to post-Cream that may not be as known to fans of the ’60s supergroup.
It opens at the Film Forum in New York on Wednesday.
Martial arts master Donnie Yen stars in Peter Chan’s Dragon (Radius-TWC) as family man Liu Jin-Xi who gets caught up in the robbery of a market by two gangsters, killing them in the ensuing battle. When a detective (Takeshi Kaneshiro) comes to town to investigate the deaths, he learns about Liu’s dark secrets, which he’s been hiding from his family and the townspeople. It opens in select theaters following its VOD run.
Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren reunite for Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (Magnolia), a sequel to their 1992 action movie, this one starring Scott Adkins (The Expendables 2) as a man who wakes up from a coma to find out his wife and daughter were killed in a home invasion by Luc Deveraux, putting him up against his army of genetically-enhanced soldiers. After its run on VOD, it opens in New York, L.A. and Austin on Friday.
Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) stars in Marshall Lewy’s California Solo (Strand Releasing) playing former Britpop rocker Lachlan MacAldonich who now has settled in a farming community outside Los Angeles to sell produce, but when he gets pulled over for a DUI, he risks being deported unless he reunites with the ex-wife and daughter he’s abandoned. It opens in New York and L.A. on Friday.
Alexander Poe wrote, direct and stars in the New York-based indie rom-com Ex-Girlfriends (FilmBuff) playing Graham, who tries to get things going again with his ex Laura (Kristen Connolly from The Cabin in the Woods) except that she’s dating a guy who is also dating another one of his exes, played by Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”). It opens in New York on Friday.
Before her death, the late Anna Nicole Smith was making the B-movie Illegal Aliens in 2007 and David Giancola’s doc Addicted to Fame (Arthouse Roadshow Pictures) takes a look at the making of the disastrous movie considered to be one of the worst movies ever made.
Matthias Schweighöfer (The Red Baron, Valkyrie) stars in and directs What a Man (Fox International), the German romantic comedy playing schoolteacher Alex whose girlfriend Carolin falls for their upstairs neighbor Jens (Thomas Kretschmann) and throws him out of the apartment, so he turns to friends to find out how to be a “real man.”
Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King and the awesome Ellen Wong from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World star in Steven C. Miller’s horror-thriller Silent Night (Anchor Bay Films), a remake/sequel of sorts to the 1984 slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night, which opens in select cities.
Bollywood legend Aamir Khan (Three Idiots, the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time in North America) returns for the mystery thriller Talaash (Reliance Big Pictures), joined by Rani Mukherji and Kareena Kapoor. Khan plays an inspector looking into the death of a film star, which either was an accident or murder.
Next week, the month of December kicks off with an equally weak single offering as Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in the romantic comedy Playing for Keeps (FilmDistrict).
Copyright 2012 Edward Douglas