Jonathan Tropper’s novel This Is Where I Leave You has made the leap to the big screen and for starters, it’s a fantastic departure for director Shawn Levy. The man behind Real Steel and the Night at the Museum movies has terrific source material and an esteemed cast that has him creating something truly special beyond anything he has done prior.
The focus of the story is mostly on Jason Bateman’s Judd Altman, a man who believes he has it all. That is until he comes home and, as seen in the This Is Where I Leave You trailer, finds his wife in bed with his boss.
Sun Sep 21 21:22:51 EDT 2014
Well, a new young adult-franchise has been born. Made for a relatively low $ 34 million, 20th Century Fox took the #1 spot this weekend with their latest YA-entry, “The Maze Runner.” On a whopping 3,604 screens, its $ 32.5 million opening didn’t break the bank, nor did it outperform opening-weekend numbers from 2014 YA movies like “The Fault In Our Stars” or “Divergent,” but it did best YA films like “Ender’s Game” and the last “Percy Jackson” movie. And so for this more modest picture with fewer well-known stars, “The Maze Runner” did solid business. Especially when you consider that its overseas totals made for an $ 81.5 million dollar opening weekend global total. The film also did well considering its season, early September when audiences aren’t flocking to theaters. And so “The Maze Runner” opening was the 6th highest September opening ever, and course without 3D surcharges.
52% of audiences were female and while Dylan O’Brien isn’t a huge star, his stint on MTV’s “Teen Wolf” has certainly raise his exposure high enough to get the teen girls out of their homes on the weekend. All of this has been good enough for Fox. They’ve greenlit the sequel and already given it a release date. Nope not two years from now, pretty much the same time next year: September 18, 2015. Which means, they’ll be putting that film into production ASAP.
Fantastic Fest is a film festival like no other — it’s rowdy and teeming with avid fans of genre films, all determined to see as many films as they can over the course of an intense seven days. Your typical film festival usually places the more provocative genre films in the midnight slot, but Fantastic Fest is nothing but genre from the time you wake up to the time you stumble back to wherever it is you’re staying for the week. These films are proving that genre doesn’t need to be singular or defined by one word (horror, action, sci-fi), and as such, they’re surprising and totally unique. The less you know about a film at this fest before going in, the better, and the more likely you are to discover something truly great.
Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead, the team behind the dynamic indie thriller ‘Resolution,’ are two filmmakers who are challenging and redefining the limitations of what “genre” is and can be. With their latest film, ‘Spring,’ the pair have once again crafted an incredibly surprising film that weaves elements of science fiction, horror, drama, and, in a startling turn, romance. ‘Spring’ is a more visually mature film, with remarkable yet restrained effects work, and gorgeously eerie trappings of mythology — the kind of stuff that’s inherently intoxicating, but carry their own sort of romantic notions. It’s difficult to create something that’s both horrifying yet beautiful, but Benson and Moorehead do just that.
Of course it helps that the leads are engaging: Lou Taylor Pucci plays Evan, a nice but aimless 20-something whose mother and father have tragically died. When he goes to Italy, he falls for the mysterious Louise, played by Nadia Hilker. ‘Spring’ examines relationship dynamics: the insecurity of not knowing whether someone will be able to handle the worst of us, the desire to protect someone we care about from ourselves, and whether love is a conscious decision or a chemical reaction in our brain. How often do you walk out of a horror film contemplating relationships and love and gender dynamics that don’t involve a woman being the last person to survive a psychopath with mommy issues in a creepy mask?
Liam Neeson has been riding a wave of middle-career action hero success since Taken became a global phenomenon. He’s back in an actioner of sorts with A Walk Among the Tombstones. The thing with this film is that Neeson’s private detective character has his fair share of action scenes, but he does so much more with his mind than with his muscle.
Neeson plays Matt Scudder, the character made famous in the book series by author Lawrence Block. We meet Scudder years prior to when our film takes place and he is an alcoholic NYPD detective. One day, after he’s had a few drinks, he pursues a couple of robbers — killing two of them, injuring a third and accidentally taking the life of a little girl who was caught in the crossfire.
20th Century Fox
Young adult movies are big business. ‘The Maze Runner‘ took over the box office this weekend, proving that the audience for films were young people in science fiction dystopias are forced into violent and terrible predicaments extends beyond the ‘Hunger Games‘ franchise.
||The Maze Runner
||A Walk Among the Tombstones
||This is Where I Leave You
||No Good Deed
||$ 10,200,000 (-57.9)
||Dolphin Tale 2
||$ 9,005,000 (-42.2)
||Guardians of the Galaxy
||$ 5,180,000 (-36.1)
||Let’s Be Cops
||$ 2,650,000 (-38.9)
||Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles
||$ 2,650,000 (-45.4)
||$ 2,050,000 (-50.1)
||I I Stay
||$ 1,835,000 (-53.4)
With $ 32 million grossed over the opening weekend, ‘The Maze Runner’ isn’t a ‘Hunger Games’ or ‘Twilight’-sized hit, but it’s respectable, especially for a September release. With little competition coming in the next few weeks, it should continue to dominate the box office for the rest of the month. The big question now is if it has a chance at $ 100 million. Maybe? Possibly?