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:
It’s been a relatively quiet last couple of months for Josh Boone’s X-Men: The New Mutants. While there are certainly bigger and louder comic book movies to chase down — hello, Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War — Boone’s film managed to avoid headlines and will have the rare chance to genuinely surprise audiences when it starts rolling out the marketing material. And while there’s still a few hurdles left to overcome — the movie is still months away from hitting theaters, after all — at least Boone and his cast can celebrate the end of production on his standalone X-Men movie.
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.
In their mad rush to kickstart a cinematic universe without actually giving new characters individual movies, Warner Bros. has often struggled in the shadow of its Marvel competitors. Fans who are rooting for the success of the DCEU — those willing to see see the good and the bad of the movies, at least — know that movies like Wonder Woman are important because they create personal and well-rounded characters that we can then smash up against each other in movies like Justice League. After all, nobody would care who gets invited to an All-Star Game if there wasn’t an entire season’s worth of plays and memories to get us to that point.
From the moment it was first announced, David Gordon Green and Danny McBride’s Halloween remake has been the Holy Grail of horror fans everywhere. Not only do the two filmmakers have the blessing of original Halloween director John Carpenter — who is reportedly very happy with the script and keen on writing the score for the new movie — they also have the backing of indie horror studio Blumhouse Productions, which has been behind two of the breakout hits of 2017: Jordan Peele’s Get Out and M. Night Shyamalan’s Split. While fans’ reactions to the Rob Zombie remakes may be mixed, there’s nothing but good vibrations going on for Green and McBride’s reboot, and Blumhouse is keen on capitalizing on the trust they’ve earned.
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.
Over the year’s, Marvel’s marketing strategy seems to have pivoted slightly. As the movies have become more successful and the core group of actors have settled into their roles, Marvel seems to now be emphasizing the fresh blood in its pre-release publicity. Tom Holland gushing about playing Spider-Man? Brie Larson discussing the importance of Captain Marvel? Taika Waititi having a blast talking up his cast and crew? It doesn’t really matter what side of the camera you were on; if you’re still riding that Marvel high, you’ll be the one to do the talking.
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.
Have you ever scrolled through Donald Trump’s IMDb page? Owing to his background as a New York City socialite, Trump has appeared as himself in many talk shows and entertainment news segments; at last count, Trump has approximately 266 appearances in movies and televisions shows ranging from Late Night With David Letterman to his many, many appearances on the various iterations of The Howard Stern Show. What’s more interesting, however, are his appearances that fall under the ‘actor’ category. How did Trump continue to pop into shows like Spin City and Sex and the City despite his questionable reputation among New Yorkers?
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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