Monday, October 09, 2006

All hail fall

A solid huzzah to Martin Scorsese, whose "The Departed" was the huge winner this weekend at the box office, taking in a well-deserved $27 million over the weekend for the #8 October opening of all time (for my rather glowing review, please see my previous post.)

And an even heartier word of thanks for what it means out here in the movie hinterlands: Fall has finally arrived for the masses. Though some of you fine folks get good movies year round, I have to wait for this time of year to finally catch up on them, and I can't wait.

Even better than Scorsese's triumph is the beatdown he put on Leatherface, who still managed to have a very solid opening at $19.2 million. Call it a teenybopper daycare center to keep the kids occupied as the rest of us enjoy "The Departed."

For Scorsese, its his first #1 opening movie since his rather abysmal 1991 remake of "Cape Fear," previously Mr. Scorsese's highest opening movie with just $10.2 million. "The Departed" made more than that amount on Saturday alone.

And in what can only be called a victory, MGM/Dimension Films' "comedy" "School for Scoundrels" took a nasty 60% plunge from its opening to 7th place, taking in only $3.4 million. I look forward to this one leaving theaters this week to make way for, hopefully, a much better movie.

All three big opening movies were actually winners this week, according to their production budgets. The "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" prequel has already made more than its production budget of $16 million, while the silly "Employee of the Month," which finished fourth at $11.8 million, cost only $10 million to make.

And in a sign of much better things to come, "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland" and Todd Field's "Little Children" are all doing well enough in rather limited release to raise expectations that all three might soon make it out here to the movie boonies.

Here's a brief look at the upcoming, wide-release movies that pique my interest:

Friday the 13th of October
"Man of the Year" - Robin Williams is certainly no Peter Sellers, but with this one about a political comedian who makes an unlikely candidate for president having been penned by Lewis Black and co-starring Laura Linney, I'm still holding out hope. If it turns out to be wretched, I guess I can always catch up on "Jackass."

Friday, Oct. 20
"Flags of Our Fathers" - Fall is Clint Eastwood's time to shine, and though I have doubts about the cast for this movie about Iwo Jima (Ryan Philippe!?!), I'm still looking forward to this one.
"Marie Antoinette" - I've already seen Sofia Coppola's oddity, and though I'd have to call it a failure, it's a noble one that everyone should check out and judge for themselves.
"The Prestige" - From the great Christopher Nolan, this pic about magicians starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and Scarlett Johansson apparently has something "The Illusionist" lacked - magic.

Friday, Oct. 27
"Saw III" - With this slasher the only wide-release opening this week, I will officially be taking the week off.

Friday, Nov. 3
"Borat" - I can only hope the "wide" tag sticks to this Sasha Baron Cohen flick that looks like it will offend just about everyone and thoroughly entertain, well, me.
"Flushed Away" - I'm not sure how many Aardman folks are involved in this one, but hopefully enough to make this animated toilet tale (literally, it's about rats in the sewer) be funny.

Friday, Nov. 10
"Stranger than Fiction" The trailer for ths Marc Forster comedy starring Emma Thompson (huzzah!) and Will Ferrell was enough to hook me.

Friday, Nov. 17
"Casino Royale" - Count me as convinced that Daniel Craig will beat back his haters and deliver a return to form for the Bond franchise.
"Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny" - I'm afraid I just don't get the Tenacious D thing yet, but I like Jack Black and Kyle Gass quite a bit, so I'll take a chance on this one.

Wednesday, Nov. 27
The Fountain - To be honest, I have no idea what this is really about, but it's a sci fi/fantasy flick from Darren Aronofsky, and that's good enough for me.

There are plenty of limited-release movies that I also want to catch ("Volver," "Pan's Labyrinth" and Phillip Noyce's "Catch a Fire" top the list), and I will manage to see some of them when I hit NYC for the Thanksgiving weekend (I can't wait!)

All hail fall, indeed.


jeremy said...

November 17th is also limited release for "For Your Consideration"--which, if you're like me, is already on your must-see list.

Reel Fanatic said...

It certainly is, Jeremy ... With the usual great cast assembled by Guest and considerably more buzz than his flicks usually get, that one just might even make it to my little corner of the world

Gewel said...

I am *dying* to see The Prestige. I noticed you left out The Grudge II on the 13th, though... ;)

Reel Fanatic said...

That is indeed an omission on my part, Ginx .. I most likely will go see that one, if only to see if Amber Tamblyn has the presence to be the center of a feature film

Anonymous said...

I'm dying to see the Departed. It's out here, just... no time. :(

Reel Fanatic said...

From visiting your blog I know you have lots of studying, Emma, but this movie is so good you should just be irresponsible for a few hours and go see it now!

Divinity said...

I'd completely forgotten about The Fountain - the trailer looked like an amazing, possibly overly-complex, fantasy rooted in a passionate love story. "Neverending Story" with adults?
I want to see Casino Royale. I just know if my purist core can take the switch to Texas Hold'em from Baccarat. Will he be drinking a Slurpee and wearing sweats too? Updating the classics worries me.

Anonymous said...

I am really looking forward to both The Prestige and Casino Roayle. I am a little ambivalent about The Fountain. On the one hand, it is a film by Aronofosky, one of my favourite directors of late. On the other hand, it was booed in Venice, which makes me wonder whether it was THAT bad or if the audiences in Venice just have poor judgement.

Reel Fanatic said...

"Neverending Story" for adults? ... Well, if it's anything like that, I"ll definitely be there!

marina said...

Excellent list. I'm particularly looking forward to "The Prestige"!

Tyler Durden said...

Prestige, IMHO, is going to be a big winner. The priestly fans are going to flock to see how the movie stacks up to the book, Nolan fans like me are going to rush regardless of what he makes, Women are going to flock to see Jackman and Bale and Men would definitely like to have a peek at Miss. Johansson :-).

Isn't the second Iwo Jima movie (Letters from Iwo Jima, I believe) opening this fall ?? I thought Eastwood was releasing them back to back.

(Pixar Fanboy alert) Flushed Away is rushed before Ratatouille because Dreamworks (or is it Paramount already) doesn't want to hear the same "Are you copying Pixar _again_ " story I suppose :-). (Pixar Fanboy Alert ends)

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm not certain when the second of Eastwood's movies will come out, Tyler, but I'm fairly certain it won't be too soon .. I heard he's still working on the second one, but I could well be wrong about that

Anonymous said...

I saw Stranger Than Fiction's trailer for the first time when I saw The Departed. It's certainly interesting! I'm not gonna pass on that. (:

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Thanks for visting my blog. I am very excited fall is here as well. I agree with you, all the Daniel Craig haters need to quit.