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.
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 high? WHY?! 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)!