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:
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:
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:
One of the most challenging parts of any Stephen King adaptation is walking that fine line between childhood fears and adult terror. It is a perfect example: how do you take images meant to be frightening to 12 and 13-year-olds and adjust them for an adult audience? This is the formula that King has used to make him one of the most successful authors of all time, but stepping outside of the characters’ heads — and behind a movie camera — only ramps up the challenge of balancing tone just right. That’s why it’s been so heartening to hear It director Andy Muschietti say all the right things in pre-release interviews. For better or worse, it sounds like he really gets it.
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:
If the early buzz is to be believed, fans couldn’t get any more excited for the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Not only does the film have one of the most-watched movie trailers of all time, and is also projected to make over $60 million in its opening weekend, it’s also coming into theaters riding a wave of impressive reviews. And somehow, the movie has done all of this without tipping its hand on some of the most impressive scares. All of this for an R-rated horror movie about children being jeopardized. We’ve come a long way since the original miniseries, America.
How can we use classic films to teach history? It’s a more difficult question than one might think. On the one hand, early Hollywood classics are full of negative and — let’s face it — racist stereotypes that can be difficult for many people to watch. On the other hand, these movies provide a valuable opportunity to view a bygone era through its cultural artifacts and see what narratives were being pushed on the general public through film. An individual film in-and-of itself may not contain much value, but as a point of data on a timeline? It can be a very valuable window into how much things have (or haven’t) changed.
Today the world of comedy lost one of its brightest stars. Jerry Lewis was no stranger to controversy during his decades-long career, but his impact on both Hollywood and comedy in general cannot be denied. From his early days as Dean Martin’s partner-in-crime to his career-capping turn in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy — and countless box office success in the interim — Lewis’s impact on Hollywood will be a source of much discussion for years to come.
As long as there have been horror movies, there have been attempts to mix together horror movie characters in crossover films. Who can forget Freddy vs. Jason, the critically reviled — but financially successful — 2003 film that pitted the stars of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises against each other? Not to mention those years where it was rumored that Evil Dead’s Ash might get thrown into the mix for a sequel; no matter how many middling reboots these franchises go through, there will always be someone who pitches a project where Hollywood just slams ’em all up together.
We’ve reached the doldrums of August, where studios release the titles not marketable enough for the summer movie season and not quality enough for serious award consideration. That means an odd mixture of horror films, formerly prestigious movies that have lost a little bit of their luster, and absolute junk just looking for a few screens to dominate for a couple of weeks. Oh, and what do you know? That perfectly describes this weekend’s new releases! Gee!
While Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been dominating the conversation, Rian Johnson’s film wasn’t the only movie featured in next week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly. Their annual Fall Movie Preview includes updates and photos from a handful of upcoming releases, including Stephen King’s It, arguably the most highly anticipated movie of the fall. We’ve already seen Mark Hamill fight people with a lightsaber, but a bunch of kids running around the Northeast in the 1980s fighting a supernatural monster? Why, we haven’t seen that since Stranger Things came out! And that was a whole year ago!
With two new releases and a third movie switching from a limited to a wide release, this was a weekend of big changes at the box office. Gone are familiar stalwarts like Wonder Woman and Baby Driver, and in its place are (with respect) the also-rans of summer, a few genre-driven films looking to carve out a name for themselves in a time of year devoid of major blockbuster releases. Here are the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
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