It’s the proverbial something-for-everyone this coming weekend as Hollywood offers up a thinking man’s murder mystery from an award winning director, a “Conjuring” spinoff that’s certain to awaken a horror audience that’s been horribly under-served and a Nicolas Cage faith based thriller.
THIS WEEK’S PREVIEWS AND PREDICTIONS
GONE GIRL—FOX—WIDE—149 MINS—R
Based on the uber-popular 2012 Gillian Flynn novel of the same name, “Gone Girl” is one of the most anticipated films of the year. And why not? It marks director David Fincher’s first time in the helmer’s chair since “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, it features an impressive cast that includes Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Missi Pyle, Sela Ward and Tyler Perry (yes, in men’s clothes) and a built-in audience of fans of the book which has sold over 2.5 million copies. The movie debuted to raves on Friday night at the New York Film Festival and Twitter buzz has been very strong. Any fears of moviegoers shying away from such dark fare as this (example: the disappointing opening of “A Walk Among The Tombstones”) should have been allayed by this past weekend’s $35 million take on “The Equalizer” but will the film’s adult audience run out opening weekend? This one’s tough to call.
BOX OFFICE INSIDER’S WEEKEND PREDICTION: $27 MILLION
CAST: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Missi Pyle, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Sela Ward
DIRECTOR: David Fincher (“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, “The Social Network”, “House of Cards”)
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 10:00 PM
ANNABELLE—WARNER BROTHERS—WIDE—98 MINS—R—D-BOX
Normally when a studio announces a spinoff of a popular horror film (this time out it’s based on the surprise 2013 horror hit, “The Conjuring”), it includes some of the original cast or perhaps the director but…..the doll? Yep, ready for her close-up, Mr. Demille, is “Annabelle”, a vintage doll that John (Ward Horton) decides would be the ideal gift for his lovely wife Mia (Annabelle Wallis, yes Annabelle Wallis). Talk about a perfect candidate for a re-gift. The doll’s arrival precipitates a trail of violence, destruction and satanic mayhem. Dude, you couldn’t have just bought her flowers? “The Conjuring” stunned the industry with a $41.8 million opening weekend in July of 2013 and although this won’t come close to that plateau, the film should reap the benefits of a complete dearth of horror movies over the past few months.
BOX OFFICE INSIDER’S WEEKEND PREDICTION: $25 MILLION
CAST: Annabelle, Annabelle Wallis (“The Tudors”), Ward Horton , Alfre Woodard
DIRECTOR: John R. Leonetti (“The Conjuring” DP)
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 7:00 PM
LEFT BEHIND—FREESTYLE—1,750 RUNS—98 MINS—PG-13
Speaking of tough to call, it’s always dicey trying to predict faith based films. The general rule is if that audience can immediately identify that it has a Christian slant then they’ll come out (see “Heaven is For Real” and “God’s Not Dead”). But if they have to sift through the marketing campaign (ala “Girls Night Out” or “The Song”) then they’re less apt to come on board. There is no denying that “Left Behind” should hit that audience square in the face. The movie is based on the very successful book by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins and is a remake of the 2000 movie which starred Kirk Cameron so a Christian audience will immediately know what to expect from the film, which revolves around the End of Days and The Rapture and the worldwide chaos which ensues. Mark Borde and the gang at Freestyle know how to release these kinds of films (“God’s Not Dead” and its $60 million gross would be example #1) which are so dependent upon grass roots and social media publicity to reach its succinct but fervent audience. The only question would be is the presence of Nicolas Cage a plus or a minus in this kind of film?
BOX OFFICE INSIDER’S WEEKEND PREDICTION: $5 MILLION
CAST: Nicolas Cage, Lea Thompson, Jordin Sparks, Chad Michael Murray
DIRECTOR: Vic Armstrong
THURSDAY NIGHT LATE SHOWS: 7:00 PM