Tag Archives: no escape

US Box Office Report: 11/09/15 – 13/09/15

The Perfect Guy charms his way to the top, The Visit proves surprisingly prosperous, $2 million In Heaven is better than $1 million In Heaven, Sleeping With Other People is a rather lucrative past-time, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Ah, September.  That time of the year where nothing much of interest comes out, yet the box office does all kinds of weird things, regardless.  Specifically, it’s about time for a low-budget thriller of questionable value fronted by big name black actors and actresses to hold onto the top spot for a week.  Yes, following in the footsteps of last year’s No Good Deed and 2009’s Obsessed, The Perfect Guy fought its way to a hard-earned victory with $26 million in ticket sales from just over 2,000 theatres, making this the fifth straight week in a row that a film predominately starring black actors and actresses has taken the top spot – after Straight Outta Compton’s three-peat and War Room’s surprising victory last week – which is news that Hollywood should really pay attention to.

It wasn’t always so certain for The Perfect Guy, however.  Much like the movie industry itself, audiences decided to actually give M. Night Shyamalan one more shot – seriously, the fact that, despite everything post-Signs, this guy keeps getting funding for movies is proof that Hollywood is either incredibly forgiving or is just giving him more rope to embarrass himself with as a cruel joke – and turned up to see The Visit despite, y’know, it being a modern-day Shyamalan movie.  In any case, it did surprisingly decently, with $25 million in ticket sales, just barely losing to another crappy thriller.  Like, I said, interesting stuff happens on this chart in September, but that doesn’t mean that the films are actually any good.

Meanwhile, we have more terrible movies designed to suck money from devout Christians’ pockets, because there’s gotta be another God’s Not Dead sometime soon, right?  This month’s attempt to shamelessly shake down its target audience is 90 Minutes In Heaven, starring Hayden Christensen for reasons that are both incredibly self-explanatory and incredibly unclear.  Presumably because the audience still feels betrayed by the film’s lead actor having slaughtered the younglings all those years ago, this latest Lifetime-Movie-Disguised-As-Worthwhile-Entertainment did not take with moviegoers, and the film managed a pathetic 9th place and $2 million from 800 screens.

In Limited Release Land, the big story was the director of the criminally-underseen Bachelorette Leslye Headland’s second film, Sleeping With Other People.  Riding some strong press from those who like it, and opening in the always profitable New York/Los Angeles scenes, the rom-com managed an excellent $103,125 opening on 5 screens, for a per-screen average of $20,625.  It was not the only success story this weekend, mind.  Meet the Patels, a documentary about an Indian-American trying to use traditional Indian dating methods to find the woman of his dreams and it looks way more charming than that sounds trust me, had a similarly strong 5 screen opening, with $75,597 for a $15,119 per-screen average.  Finally, A Brilliant Young Mind – released in the UK as X+Y and which I have heard from a very trustworthy friend of mine is complete garbage – opened on 3 screens to a very respectable $36,000.

the perfect guy

This Full List is pretty baffling to me, so I’m not going to do a pun intro.  Just see for yourself.

Box Office Results: Friday 11th September 2015 – Sunday 13th September 2015

1] The Perfect Guy

$26,700,000 / NEW

This… seems to be becoming a thing.  Terrible mid/low-budget thrillers about men stalking women, usually with a non-white lead, I mean.  No Good Deed, The Boy Next Door, now this.  I’m all for diversity in films, but this… I’d prefer that this not become a trend.  Or, at least, I’d prefer that good versions of this movie become a trend, if they must become a trend.

2] The Visit

$25,690,000 / NEW

The words “rapping child” keep getting brought up around this movie, so absolutely no way am I ever seeing this.  White people rapping is often rather cringeworthy as is – non-professionally, I mean – I do not see how making said White rapper a young boy is supposed to improve this situation.

3] War Room

$7,400,000 / $39,188,327

This is what made it to number 1 last weekend?  This?  This looks awful!  In fact, no, it looks worse than awful, it looks absolutely incompetent.  Look, American members of the Christian faith: I realise that you’re not well-served by the film industry, but hold yourselves up to higher standards, for crying out loud!  If you tell the film industry that you’re going to turn up to any old crap, they’re going to keep making absolute crap.

4] A Walk In The Woods

$4,620,099 / $19,877,024

This looks… pleasant.  I really got nothing else, folks.  Not until I get to see it this weekend, I mean.

5] Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

$4,150,000 / $188,172,518

Wait, what?!  This is still here?  And this highWHY?!  I mean, it was OK, I guess, but it wasn’t particularly brilliant and certainly not “Hell yes, Week 7 showing!” material.  Why are you all still seeing this movie and, more importantly, where the fuck were all of you when Edge of Tomorrow was flopping painfully towards a way-too-low $100 million domestic?

6] Straight Outta Compton

$4,090,000 / $155,712,600

Thanks to this sudden frustratingly crippling inability to write whilst I’m at home, I never did get around to properly reviewing Straight Outta Compton [Owen: although Brooker did for Failed Critics].  So, Short Version: as a film, it’s brilliant – exceptionally acted, well-directed, very decently paced, only occasionally lapses into Walk Hard self-parody, glad that it had a socially relevant message instead of just “N.W.A. were great”.  Outside of that, though, it’s deeply problematic – it feels rather whitewashed, the misogyny is uncommented on, and the homophobia is suspiciously almost non-existent.  In a way, I get the intention – if it depicted something like Dre’s woman-beating tendencies, then that risks dragging the audience’s attention and discussion away from the issue of institutionalised racism – but it still feels disingenuous and wrong, especially for this story.

In other words, it feels like a film version of N.W.A.’s work and of rap music and culture in general, something deeply problematic yet at the same time amazing and a force for some kind of good.  And, therefore, I love it in the same way I love rap music.

7] No Escape

$2,879,000 / $24,155,935

This bullshit is racist.  Just wanted to remind you of that.

8] The Transporter Refueled

$2,700,000 / $13,343,496

You can hear more in-depth thoughts on last week’s Screen 1 – which also includes my going nuclear on Me and Earl and the Dying Girl for those of you who like that sort of thing – but I surprisingly had fun with this one.  Ed Skrein’s ‘tough guy’ voice is really grating, and the film really misses Statham’s effortless charisma, but I still had some fun regardless.  Nothing great, nothing special, but some decent fun nonetheless.

9] 90 Minutes In Heaven

$2,160,911 / NEW

Remember when Hollywood tried to make Hayden Christensen a star?  Fun times, fun times…

10] Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos

$1,900,000 / $6,667,352

…you know what, I’m just going to embed the trailer for this one and let you be the judge.  I genuinely can’t decide whether this looks charming and somewhat fun, or the worst animated thing that has ever happened.

Dropped Out: The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Sinister 2, Inside Out

Callum Petch is gonna find out, he’s gonna get low.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

No Escape

by Andrew Brooker (@Brooker411)

no escape 2015“We need to put ten steps between them and us.”

You know those films that act as awesome tourist adverts for the countries they are set in? Like how Brave was one giant ad for visiting Scotland, or how Lord of the Rings had everyone flocking to New Zealand? Yeah, No Escape isn’t going to be adding anything to anyone’s “must visit” list anytime soon.

Mainly because the film makes a real point to NOT naming the country it’s set in, although it looks an awful lot like Thailand. I bet they don’t put that in their tourist brochures. But whether or not they told us the name of the country, I wouldn’t want to visit it.  Mainly because mere hours after the non-specific South East Asian country’s Prime Minister has been murdered in his house and the populace has risen up against its government, the morons at the airport are still letting planes filled with fresh new plump people to kill land and push out their cargo of not-yet-carcasses into a country that’s killing everyone that isn’t from their slums.  I wouldn’t want to visit a place that so willingly ferries people in to be killed!  And such is the terror of No Escape.

Owen Wilson is Jack Dwyer, a man as non-descript as the country he has moved his entire family to for work. Dragging his wife Annie (Lake Bell) and their two young daughters from hot Austin, Texas to hot and muggy South East Asia for his new job working for a company that will be supplying clean water to the entire country. Arriving in the country hours after the people have risen up and killed the Prime Minister, the nuclear family settle in for the night at the one “decent” hotel in the area none the wiser to the situation that’s slowly bubbling up in the streets. A restless night and an early morning has Jack out to prove just how ignorant tourists can be by heading out to hunt for a newspaper in English, in a country with no name; instead finding himself standing right in the middle of a skirmish between local law enforcement and an uprising militia. Scrabbling through back streets to get back to the hotel and his family, our fairly generic unlikely hero stumbles into the reality of the situation; the populous isn’t just fighting back against the country’s tyranny, they are hunting out and executing foreigners with no trial or process. So of course, the well armed angry mob is heading towards the same hotel that Mr and Mrs Whats-their-name are staying in.

The odds are constantly against the family as they attempt to escape the murderous drove of locals, who seem to be one step ahead of every one of the tourists that are trying to flee. As quick as the family get to the roof, the militia get their hands on a helicopter and start mowing down helpless tourists from the sky like fish in a barrel. In a daredevil move, Jack and his three damsels in distress make a leap to an adjacent building and take us to the end of what we knew was happening from the trailers we’ve been subjected to for a while now. What follows from here is a mad dash to escape the country in one piece; tense encounter followed by tense encounter as the family of four grow ever more desperate for freedom as the hours go on and more of the city they are trying to get out of falls to the control of the mob. Helped by Pierce Brosnan’s Hammond, a shady man who isn’t quite what he makes himself out to be and has “Dodgy Agency Type” written all over his face. Hammond, with his strangely jarring British accent knows far more than he lets on and drags the Americans out of the side streets and joins them in their attempts to vacate this hell hole of a country as quickly as possible. No Escape ramps up the tension and puts audiences everywhere on the edge of their seats. Well… kind of.

No Escape follows the same blueprint from almost every disaster movie you’ve ever seen. Dad has all the good ideas, ruined by either his other half or his kids who think they know better; there’s an army dude, or a secret agent, or a survivalist somewhere that knows exactly what to do and every time you think you’ve found a plan that’s going to work, the disaster, or in this case, the angry mob of non-specific South East Asian people, accidentally stumble into a way to screw up the plans. All those moments of tension quickly lose their effect once you’ve gotten over the “what would I do in this situation” feelings and you realise it’s not doing anything new or original, meaning you can predict what is going to happen at almost every turn, it almost instantly goes from being an interesting thriller with an underlying story of how foreign businesses are taking over the world, to a run-of-the-mill thriller that’s just preaching about how Western business is trying to take over the world.

Pierce Brosnan is definitely a highlight, his daft comic relief and his role that pretty much proves that he’s missing his James Bond days but he did get a couple of real chuckles from me. Not really in the “Best of a bad bunch” category, but considering his co-stars, it’s dangerously close. I’m not sure I can believe Owen Wilson in his role as the husband that steps up and saves everyone; he’s not the worst person to try and break the slump of crap jobs and do something outside of their comfort zone, I think that’s reserved for the usually great John Cusack’s role in he equally bland 2012. Literally rolling out every trope from movies like this has done the film, that could have been really interesting and tense, a proper disservice; from the angry bandana wearing paramilitary guys roaming the streets with machetes to attempted rape and even Brosnan’s obviously a bit dodgy character; the film seems to relish in its predictable mediocrity with only one real scene towards the end, that I shan’t spoil, that really managed to ramp up the desired tension but sadly, by that point, I’d all but given up on the film.

No Escape really needed to try harder to stand out from the crowd. While it’s not a complete failure as a thriller and its direction is passable, bad casting and a refusal to think outside of that well-filled box mean I can only really recommend it as a filler film when you’ve got nothing better to do on a Saturday night.