Tag Archives: Knock Knock

US Box Office Report: 09/10/15 – 11/10/15

Pan cannot fly, audiences do not give The Walk something it can feel, Steve Jobs wins everything, Knock Knock does Trash, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Proving either that audiences are getting smarter at avoiding garbage movies, or that completely phoning in your marketing by near-outright admitting that the film you’re trying to sell sucks isn’t a fool-proof strategy for box office gold, Pan has flopped big time.  For what was supposed to be a big, tent-pole, $150 million, franchise-starting blockbuster, the film was completely dead on arrival, managing an absolutely pathetic $15 million for third place.  Would you like a measure of just how dreadful that is?  2015 has been a year filled with terrible big budget blockbusters (and Jupiter Ascending shut up) bombing domestically, and Pan is still the worst opening of the lot!  Worse than Tomorrowland ($33 million), worse than Terminator: Portable ($27 million), worse than Fantastic 4 ($25 million), and even worse than Jupiter Ascending ($18 million)!  So, err, yeah.  Probably not getting a franchise out of this one.  Thank Christ.

Elsewhere, the bizarre-to-me “release early in IMAX” strategy has claimed yet another victim from studios that fail to understand that this is a TERRIBLE IDEA as Robert Zemeckis’ 3D extravaganza The Walk made the leap from its underperformance in IMAX last week to cinemas where actual people could see the film.  Not that anyone was interested in seeing it, mind, as The Walk completely failed to find an audience, finishing up in seventh with $3.7 million, presumably because The Martian has the whole “crowd-pleasing spectacle” market on lock.  Speaking of, that film is still your Box Office Number One with $37 million, only dropping an excellent 32% between weekends.  It’s almost like we reward Ridley Scott if he actually makes a good movie.  Maybe he should do that more often.

In the land of the Limited Releases, the big winner was Steve Jobs, possibly surprising quite literally no-one.  I mean: it’s a biopic about Steve Jobs, one that’s gone through hell to get made, directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin, starring Michael Fassbender, heavily resembling The Social Network, with excellent reviews, and has first been released in 4 cinemas in New York and Los Angeles.  If this film didn’t make an absolute killing this weekend, I’d have been incredibly surprised.  But a killing it did make, absolutely at that, with a weekend total of $521,522 and a per-screen average of $130,381 – the highest of the whole year, easily blowing past Sicario’s $66,881 from a few weeks back.  Of course, the real test is whether it can be similarly successful when it goes Nationwide in two weeks, since Danny Boyle’s been struggling with wider acceptance since Slumdog Millionaire, but I see no universe where this movie fails.

Feel free to shout that line back at me in two weeks if it does fail.

Steve Jobs was not the only Limited Release this weekend, though.  Lionsgate continued their admirable attempt to distribute films aimed specifically at Latino audiences with heist caper Ladrones.  The film, somewhat unfortunately, did not manage to do particularly well on its 375 screens, closing the weekend in thirteenth place with $1.4 million in ticket sales.  On the bright side, at least it wasn’t Knock Knock, Eli Roth’s latest excuse for a movie with a Keanu Reeves performance seemingly precisely calibrated to make one take back any praise given to him for his work in John Wick.  In accordance with a more enlightened movie-going audience realising that Eli Roth was never a particularly good filmmaker, the film crashed and burned on 22 screens with just $18,623 and an $847 per-screen average.  And as for Trash, a film that came out in the UK in February: $10,230 from 17 screens for a $602 per-screen average.  Ouch.


pan 2015

Here’s the Full List now, ENTERTAIN US!

Box Office Results: Friday 9th October 2015 – Sunday 11th October 2015

1] The Martian

$37,005,266 / $108,715,595

This film is rather sticking with me, for some reason.  I really didn’t expect it to, since I found it way too long and had the distinct sense that it would be one of those films I really like whilst watching but would just sort of forget about in the days following that viewing, but it’s genuinely sticking with me.  I think it’s because the whole thrust of the film – Mark Watney getting through his situation by organisation, bite-size tasks, and logic & reason – is very relatable to me, as somebody who goes about his life much the same way, so it resonates on that deeper level way more than I thought it would.  I like seeing that.

2] Hotel Transylvania 2

$20,420,392 / $116,942,033

Review will be along tomorrow, I guarantee it.  I’m also really sorry for not having written it already, I have just been absolutely swamped this past week and I’m behind on everything.  Just bear with me, it is coming.

3] Pan

$15,315,435 / NEW

Oh, boy, I need to find the time to get a written review of this out.  To not review this total trainwreck would be a dereliction of my duties as a Film Critic.  Not kidding, this is… this is really something.  At this rate, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 won’t be in my Bottom 10 of 2015 at all, and that is an utterly miserable thought to have.

4] The Intern

$8,678,187 / $49,592,234

Fun Fact I learned in my inaugural East Asian Cinema lecture this past week: What Women Want received a Chinese remake in 2011.  Why, I have no idea, but it exists for those of you who may be interested in checking that out.

5] Sicario

$7,579,324 / $26,935,340

Seeing this again on Saturday!  Might even be inspired to finish my review, too, because everyone should be singing from the rooftops about this one.  It really is that brilliant.  Very nice to see it doing OK at the Box Office, too.

6] Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

$5,371,941 / $70,765,331

There is not one element of this story that doesn’t make me hate every single one of this film’s cast members.  “And everyone just takes stuff, obviously…”  Obviously.  You just take stuff when told not to.  That’s something everyone just does, obviously, you goddamn f*cking prat.

7] The Walk

$3,719,177 / $6,430,676

Kinda disappointed in this one, even though I did rather enjoy it.  It’s charming, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fun, and the actual walk itself is brilliantly tense, but it falls down the same way that most recent biopics have fallen down and that’s in the fact that it has absolutely nothing to say about its subject other than “wasn’t this a cool thing that happened?”  It doesn’t want to interrogate Phillippe’s arrogance or the reasons as to why he wants to do the walk, so the film ends up feeling empty.  It almost gets away with it, because Zemeckis is a brilliant popcorn filmmaker, but the film’s ultimately too insubstantial to make it worth watching over Man On Wire.

8] Black Mass

$3,118,427 / $57,557,128

I really don’t have anything to say about this movie until I can see it.  Stupid release window disparities…

9] Everest

$3,073,035 / $38,253,250

I keep forgetting this movie happened, which is especially weird since I rather liked it and even shed a tear at the ending.  Huh.  Probably a good thing I don’t hand out star ratings, otherwise I’d look like a bit of a fool right now.

10] The Visit

$2,523,505 / $61,158,030

Crimson Peak is going to completely bomb, isn’t it?  Like nearly everything else that Guillermo del Toro makes, it’s going to be brilliant and it’s going to bomb hard, isn’t it?  Yet M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie will close having made more than 12x its budget domestically.  Goddammit, World…

Dropped Out: War Room, The Perfect Guy

Callum Petch has got it all wrong.  He now writes for his own website (callumpetch.com).  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

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US Box Office Report: 25/09/15 – 27/09/15

The public checks back into Hotel Transylvania, The Intern gets paid (unlike actual interns), Stonewall crumbled, The Green Inferno immolated, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Much like the first film before it, Hotel Transylvania 2 is officially your new Best September Opening Weekend Ever.  Yes, despite the first film exiting all of our collective memories almost as soon as it entered them – and it really pains me to say that because I love Genndy Tartakovsky so very, very much – it turns out that the Hotel Transylvania brand is strong with the audience that matters: kids and, even more importantly than that, the desperate parents who just want them to be quiet for 90 goddamn minutes.  They both helped power Transylvania 2 to an excellent $47.5 million haul, a good $5 mil more than the first one made… three years ago?!  Oh, GOD, time won’t stop getting away from me!

Kids weren’t the only underserved market being thrown a (possibly juicy it’s kinda hard to tell until I can see these films) bone this weekend, though, as Nancy Meyers finally returned from exile to provide yet another film that ITV2 can add to their schedules whenever they need to fill a spot and the Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift file is too worn out.  This one, The Intern, did the usual Nancy Meyers business, slotting comfortably into second place with $18 million, although that is a step down from what It’s Complicated made 6 years ago ($22 million).  Also returning from exile was Eli Roth with his evil-savage-cannibal-tribe movie The Green Inferno, but nobody gives a sh*t about Eli Roth so it barely made $3.4 million from 1,540 theatres for ninth place.

Meanwhile, the world of Limited Releases was just bursting with activity this week.  To start with, Sicario went up to 53 screens ahead of its nationwide expansion next weekend and managed to crack the Top 10 with an astonishing $30,000 per-screen average.  In terms of the weekend’s actual openers, though, the biggest success came from Lost In Hong Kong, the second feature from Xu Zheng and a massive hit in its native China, which rode a 28 screen opening to a very strong $558,900 and a per-screen average of $19,961.  Next up was Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, a film that features Michael Shannon yelling so I’m sold, which did a very strong $32,807 from 2 screens and a per-screen average of you can figure that out.  And, finally, Half Nelson writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck returned with Mississippi Grind which opened on just the one screen but managed a very respectable $14,335 nonetheless.

Bountiful weekend for the Limited Releases then!  Well, unless you’re Stonewall.  Yeah, Roland Emmerich’s apparently-thoroughly-misguided passion project crashed and burned on the 129 screens it opened on, taking an absolutely pitiful $112,414 for a per-screen average of $871.  Just goes to show: trying to turn one of the most important and diverse moments in LGBT history into a whitewashed Wizard of Oz-ification about a generic bland White guy because stories about events like these can’t just be for LGBT audiences, oh no, they must also provide easy “ins” for White straight audience members too, will just get you a tsunami of backlash, scathing reviews, and nobody will see your ‘accessible’ movie in the first place.  This almost feels like justice, it really does.


 

hotel transylvania 2

Oh, it’s been one hell of a week for me, so let’s crack on with this Full List.

Box Office Results: Friday 25th September 2015 – Sunday 27th September 2015

1] Hotel Transylvania 2

$47,500,000 / NEW

OK, Sony Animation.  Now, maybe, pretty please, can you let Genndy just make whatever he goddamn wants?  He’s given you two solid hits whilst tethered to the sinking Sandler brand, can you just let him off the leash and make his own damn films now?  Please?  I’m still bitter that you shoved that brilliant-looking Popeye movie he was developing back into the basement for this.

2] The Intern

$18,225,000 / NEW

This looks like hot garbage.  That said, I haven’t actually seen any Nancy Meyers films yet, although I want to try and find the time to get at least one watched before I sit down on Saturday and spend… 121 minutes?!  …how?

3] Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

$14,000,000 / $51,685,672

For those who missed it a couple of weeks back, here’s my review.  Still waiting for a point to appear in this franchise, some reason as to why I am spending this much time with these non-characters, but I will say that I would take this series over the Divergent films any day of the week.  For one, despite them having nothing going on so far, at least Maze Runner isn’t drop dead boring like Divergent is.  And for two, unlike Divergent, there are only going to be three of these things instead of four.  Hopefully.  Please.

4] Everest

$13,090,000 / $23,129,805

Oh, yeah, this one went to actual cinemas this week.  Think we can see that this genius release strategy hasn’t really worked at all.  Just because something worked for a Mission: Impossible movie, doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for your film as well.  Your film doesn’t feature Tom Cruise, after all.

5] Black Mass

$11,510,000 / $42,608,179

A lot of my university friends are really, really excited about this one, for some reason.  In fact, if it weren’t for them, it’d probably have flown under my radar near-totally.  The fact that it’s not coming out in the UK until mid-November for some bizarre reason might have something to do with that.  Plus, I’m mega-excited for The Peanuts Movie whilst those heathens couldn’t give two sh*ts, so…

I don’t actually have a punchline for this entry, so we should probably just move on.

6] The Visit

$6,750,000 / $52,260,580

OK, I’m hearing from a lot of people that this is actually alright and that is very disconcerting to me.  Because, well, it sounds awful and it’s Shyamalan.  But it’s apparently alright?  I dunno, this sounds wrong to me.  Or, you know, maybe I’m just worried that it being OK and doing decent business will lead to him trying to make a second Avatar movie.  I know that that series will never hit cinema screens again, but he’s already ruined it once and I don’t much like going through the rest of my life being terrified that he may try again.

7] The Perfect Guy

$4,750,000 / $48,871,135

I got nothing.  In fact, to tell you the truth, I completely forgot this thing existed until I just typed in the words for this entry.  Remember when this was number 1 two weeks back?

8] War Room

$4,275,000 / $55,999,681

Oh, please, October.  Please hurry up and eject nonsense like this from the chart.  God, September is the worst.

9] The Green Inferno

$3,494,000 / NEW

Right, this won’t be sticking around next week so let me get both of my commentaries for this film out of the way in one go.  1] This film stars Sky Ferreira, who is primarily a pop singer and should be way bigger than she is (due to lots of bad luck, mainly).  If you haven’t listened to her 2013 debut Night Time, My Time, go do so.  2] American movie goers, it worryingly sounds like critics are going to give a passing grade to Knock Knock in a few weeks when that finally drops on your side of the pond.  Do not believe them, stay away from it.

10] Sicario

$1,770,000 / $2,350,594

Got to see this one early on Wednesday as part of an Unlimited Screening.  My review’s not up cos I can’t crack it – left it too long for various personal issues you don’t care about – although I may try it again after I see the film again when it properly comes out, but for now…  oh, you need to see Sicario.  You need to book your tickets in preparation for Sicario right now.  Right.  Now.

Dropped Out: A Walk in the Woods, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Straight Outta Compton, Grandma

Callum Petch can’t feel his face when he’s with you.  He now writes for his own site (callumpetch.com).  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

Failed Critics Podcast: Small, Bald, Jaundiced Critics

spidermanWelcome to another episode of the Failed Critics Podcast where the team are at their most despicable.

No, we haven’t brought back Brooker and Paul!! I’m talking about the prequel to Illumination‘s Despicable Me franchise, all about those little yellow goofy sidekicks. Joining Steve Norman and Owen Hughes to review Minions is our animation expert Callum Petch. The team also take a look at action thrillers Everly (starring Salma Hayek) and Eli Roth’s Knock Knock (starring Keanu Reeves).

There’s even some news for the group to discuss this week as Tom Holland is named as the new (yes, NEW) high school age Spider-Man (they’re really making another Spider-Man film!) (Really!)

We also have a special guest débutante to the Failed Critics podcast in Nick Lay, author of our articles on We Are Many, Dish & Dishonesty and Kung Fury! In a pre-recorded review, he joins Owen all the way from Canada to discuss the micro budget British thriller Through The Lens. Meanwhile, Steve reveals the startling news that prior to this week, he’d somewhat unbelievably never seen The Terminator before, whilst Callum takes over the b-movie duties from Owen to review 80’s cult classic Hard Ticket To Hawaii.

Join Steve, Owen and Callum again next week as we review Terminator: Genisys and Magic Mike XXL.

LISTEN VIA ACAST FOR THE MOST INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINK

Knock Knock

Well, at least Keanu Reeves is still picking interesting projects?

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

WARNING: Minor-ish spoilers for Knock Knock, semi-major spoilers for the 1971 version of Straw Dogs, and possible Trigger Warning for discussion of rape scenes.

knock knock reevesI think Knock Knock is attempting to run on the Straw Dogs principle.  Allow me to explain.

In the 1971 version of Straw Dogs – the good one, in case you need further distinction between the two films – there is a centrepiece sequence in which Amy, the wife of David, is raped by Charlie.  The scene has become infamous, however, because of how ambiguous it is seen to be by many people for, at a certain point during the rape, Amy can be seen by some to enjoy it, indicated by her kissing and embracing Charlie, possibly turning the rape into consensual sex. It turns the scene into something much less clear-cut, that can distort or enhance the film’s subtext depending on how you view it, although it is important to mention that Amy has traumatic flashbacks to it throughout the rest of the movie, and that her second rape later on is clearly and unambiguously a rape.

Although it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, Knock Knock seemingly wants to use that principle to fuel its entire movie.  Evan (Keanu Reeves) is a devoted and loving husband and father who, one night when his wife and children are away on a trip, provides shelter for two women, Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas), who are stranded in the cold and rain lost on their way to a party.  They then proceed to, whilst waiting for a cab, slowly start coming onto Evan, who frequently and firmly rebuffs their advances.  Then, when the cab does arrive and it’s time for them to leave, they approach Evan, naked, unzip his trousers and, despite his pleas, give him a blowjob, eventually transitioning into full-on sex between the three of them.

The second half of Knock Knock chronicles their subsequent punishment of Evan for the sex, using the justification that Evan is completely deserving of this because he didn’t stop them.  The fact that the sex kept going after the initial blowjob is treated, by the two girls and the film itself despite Evan’s constant pleas that he didn’t want to do it and is a loyal father and loving family man, as though it were consensual and that Evan should just have said “no”.  Except that he did.  Frequently and emphatically.  And the film goes to great strides during its second half to show that, no, Evan could not have physically stopped them from overpowering him, because if he could break free and stop them at any time the film would be over.  Evan was, at least from where I am sitting – and though I have talked with many people about this, I am still not completely certain or confident in saying this, so feel free to continue this debate in a civilised manner in the comments or on my Twitter – raped, yet the film treats him as if he could have just stopped it at any time.

That is an extremely privileged and rather reprehensible viewpoint that, if the genders were reversed, would be taken as being a rape apologist.  But it’s what the entire film bases its moral compass on and, therefore, its second half on.  And it’s so tone-deaf and just plain wrong, not to mention its marginalisation and discrediting of female-on-male rape, that I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.  “This can’t be the film’s entire message and point.  There has to be a twist coming, a reveal that will change this whole thing completely.”  But it didn’t, and there is no twist, which is just bewildering to me.  After all, movies like this are basically morality plays and I cannot believe that this film’s message is “Don’t ever cheat on your wife, being raped is no excuse.”

By which I mean, I literally cannot believe it because, well, this film is too utterly ridiculous to be taken as a straight-faced erotic horror-thriller.  The dialogue is utterly ridiculous – Keanu Reeves earnestly extolling the virtue of vinyl is something that really needs to be seen to be believed – the characters are paper-thin, the tension is nearly non-existent because the film gets really stupid the further in it gets, the acting is legitimately laughable – including a woefully miscast Reeves who spends pretty much the entire time purposefully giving the exact opposite of his John Wick-quality performance – and the payoff to this seemingly straight-faced tense and terrifying horror-thriller is… two full-on honest-to-god gags.  Not of the unintentional kind, of which this film has plenty, but of the genuine intentional kind.  One of them’s actually pretty damn funny, too.

So I’m having a hard time taking Knock Knock seriously because… well, I really don’t know if it wants to be taken seriously.  It’s so ridiculous, so histrionic and melodramatic, that I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a ridiculous parody or is just so completely inept that it’s coming off like this.  So is the film sincere in its primary message – and secondary message of “Bitches be crazy” – or is it just negligence brought on from nobody adjusting the film’s moral compass to be more firmly behind Evan or the girls?  Is Keanu Reeves – because, good lord, he deserves every last Razzie that’s going to be thrown his way come end of year, and I say this as one of his absolute biggest fans – purposefully being so hammily terrible or is just hammily terrible?

What’s more… I don’t hate this movie.  It is an incredibly bad movie with a reprehensible moral compass (if everyone involved is being serious) and nothing to recommend about it besides its unintentional hilarity, but I don’t hate it.  I think I was honestly having fun at how utterly terrible this film was, like I was watching a future Mystery Science Theater 3000 candidate unfolding in front of my eyes, if that show were still with us.  Like, the film is pure garbage, but it wasn’t the kind of garbage that causes me to sit and question why we as a collective humanity exist and why I am wasting my life watching the film in front of me.  Knock Knock is almost, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, so bad that it’s good, even though it’s kind of an embodiment of every MRA douchebag “aren’t women so mean to nice guys” and rape apologist ever at the same time, somehow.

And yet I don’t hate it, and I’m afraid for what that says about me as a person.

Callum Petch is cheating on you, yeah.  Listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio (site link) and follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!