It’s now been two weekends since Pennywise the Dancing Clown was unleashed upon unsuspecting audiences, and Hollywood may never be the same. Seriously. The kind of box office numbers we’re seeing right now will inspire, uh, major changes in how Hollywood tries to jump on specific trends. And while two new movies made a sort of solid showing for themselves over the weekend, the fact is this: it’s Pennywise’s world. We’re just living in it. Here’s the box office projections as of Sunday afternoon:
If there’s one bone I can pick about the most recent adaptation of Stephen King’s It, it’s that the movie doesn’t spend enough time with Pennywise the Dancing Clown. Sure, we get that incredible opening sequence where he lures Georgie to his death, but people are right to call Bill Skarsgard’s character one of the most iconic horror characters in decades: he’s fantastically creepy and desperately in need of a lot more screen time. And now, with Andy Muschietti working on a director’s cut for the home video release, we might have one of the first scenes we’d like to see added back in.
Well, that’s kinda awkward timing. On Thursday of last week, the New York Times published an article titled “Attacked by Rotten Tomatoes,” an in-depth look at the popular review aggregation site and the role it may have played in this summer’s disappointing box office numbers. The article ends with a prolonged examination of the various ways that studios are trying to “battle Rotten Tomatoes on multiple fronts,” seemingly accepting the idea that Rotten Tomatoes has been bad for the movie industry (despite the fact that Rotten Tomatoes is, in fact, owned by said members of the movie industry). The article may have been an interesting read for those unfamiliar with the controversy, but for those in the know, it was old news, part of an ongoing debate that tried to argue that critics were duping poor, easily misled moviegoers.
Oh, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. When are those two crazy kids ever going to get together? There’s is a love story we can all relate to: she, the inexperienced college student and would-be journalist, and he, the millionaire Seattle playboy, willing to teach her in the practice of love. Would their shared appreciation for BDSM be enough to overcome their differences and help them find true love? I don’t know for sure, but based on this first teaser trailer for Fifty Shades Freed, I’m going to venture that the answer to that question is yes.
As we head deeper into September, two things have become pretty clear about 2017 box office numbers: one, Hollywood desperately needs to bounce back a little bit from the doldrums of August, and two, whoever decided to hedge their studio’s bets with a September release date for a movie about a killer clown is looking like a [profanity] genius right about now. We’ll get to all of that in a moment, but first, here are the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
I’m always of two minds when it comes to critics asking actors about superhero movies at film festivals. On the one hand, I understand the needs of our industry; if you don’t at ask at least one or two questions about Marvel and DC movies, another publication will, so there’s no point in pretending that any of us are above the fray. On the other hand, though, actors who have just put their all into a dramatic performance deserver better than questions about summer blockbusters that happen to be years away. Save your superhero questions for the very end and get off them as quickly as possible, that’s my motto.
It isn’t very often that a documentary becomes a hit with mainstream audiences, but that’s exactly what happened with Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me back in 2004. The documentary followed Spurlock on a month-long experiment in unhealthy diets, with the filmmaker eating exclusively at McDonald’s for weeks on end. The result was a smash hit: Super-Size Me grossed $11.9 million dollars — good for 25th all-time among documentaries — and even garnered an Academy Award nomination. More than that, though, is the effect the film had on the fast food industry, with publications like Refinery29 saying years later that Spurlock’s film likely helped companies “increase consumer awareness of size, as well as ingredients and nutrition.”
In a weekend where no new releases cracked the Top 10 and six movies maintained their exact spot in the rankings, you’d think there would be less news worth sharing. That isn’t quite the case. Sure, as sites like Box Office Mojo have noted, this is a historically bad Labor Day Weekend for movies in theaters, but it’s also a uniquely static weekend for releases, one that even required me to create a second chart just to capture all the data points. Let’s start as we always do, with the box office grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
In Hollywood’s race to reboot, remake, and just generally fix every one of its disappointing superhero franchises, the one nut studios haven’t been able to crack is the Fantastic Four. We’re now three movies and two unique cinematic universes into that particular franchise, and none of them have lived up to the potential of their iconic characters. So when it was announced a few months ago that 20th Century Fox would be angling for a more kid-friendly reboot of the Fantastic Four, people figured, sure, why not. I mean, it’s not like they’re going to muck up these movies any worse.
There are bad weekends, there are bad weekends, and then there are historically terrible weekends the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades. Guess which one applies to this past weekend? With the overall box office dipping more than $30 million from last week, and the overall numbers landing as historically bad, we seem to be ending August on a terrible note. Nevertheless, here are the box office numbers through Sunday afternoon:
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