Spookiness abounds this weekend at the box office, both in terms of the slew of horror films coming out and the likelihood of none of those films making much money. People tend to have other things to do than go to movies when Halloween falls on a Friday. Strange.
Studios are holding their major films for future weekends; the closest thing to a regular wide release hitting theaters is Dan Gilroy's Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a morality challenged wannabe crime reporter. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive--94% on Rotten Tomatoes, and our own Nick Schager praised the film's atmosphere and "magnetic, uninhibited" lead performance, though he also points out it has "little new to say about its subject" of the sensationalism and superficiality of TV news. Elsewhere it's being called "the perfect movie to see on Halloween." Still, even given its near-universal praise, the film is unlikely to do much higher than $10 million on opening weekend.
grim, humorless psychological thriller." It was produced by Clarius Entertainment, whose track record as a distributor isn't exactly good (remember how well And So It Goes, She's Funny That Way and Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return did? No?), so it's a good bet that Before I Go to Sleep will bomb. Kidman, you can go back to good movies. Any day now.
Also hitting theaters in limited release is Horns (review here), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival over a year ago and has been dumped on Halloween weekend by distributor RADiUS-TWC. You have to think they know they have a stinker on their hands--the film's gotten a fair amount of buzz, but you can't erase that 44% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Horns' day-and-date VOD release could cut into its theatrical earnings, which probably wouldn't have been all that good to begin with if you go by the grosses of Radcliffe's last two films, What If ($3.5 million) and Kill Your Darlings ($1 million).
Lionsgate is re-releasing Saw for its 10-year anniversary, but without the added wow factor of 3D, most fans of the franchise would probably rather stay home and pop in the Blu-ray. Also unlikely to make bank is horror anthology The ABCs of Death 2 (review here), which came out on VOD earlier this month.
Leaving the horror films behind, the latest from Jean-Luc Godard, Goodbye To Language 3D (review here), will probably have the wide-ranging box office appeal that all Godard films have, which is to say it will get positive reviews (89% on Rotten Tomatoes) and make very little money. Director Pat O'Connor's Private Peaceful (review here), opening in New York, is also likely to fly under the radar of your average moviegoer.
And let's not forget about Hit by Lightning...
...no, let's forget about Hit by Lightning.