After a slow start, September 2015 is shaping up to be a pretty solid month for the box office. After last week’s solid numbers, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Black Mass picked up the baton and ran with it, leading another strong weekend.
After September opened with a whimper, we were prepared for a dull couple of weeks. It looks like we shouldn’t have been so quick to judge. The one-two punch of The Perfect Guy and The Visit have suddenly made the least interesting month of the year interesting, opening big and opening close enough to one another to make for an interesting race. In the slower movie months, weekends like these are rare treats.
Summer is officially over, September is here, and the movies stink. While the big releases and heavy-hitters of the fall movie season make the festival rounds or rev up their marketing campaigns, audiences have to tough it out and wade through a lot of not-so-good movies. Welcome to September. It’s like this every year. Get ready for an excruciating month at the movies and at the box office.
The final Harry Potter novel was full of grand battles and grander revelations, but it also featured a tiny detail that radically changed the saga’s timeline. Although J.K. Rowling’s first book in the beloved series was published in 1997 and the final book in 2007, a date on a gravestone revealed that the events of the final novel take place in 1997. That means that Harry Potter himself was born in 1980. Which means that he’s 35 in 2015. And according to Rowling herself, that makes today, September 1, 2015, the first day of school at Hogwarts for Harry’s eldest son.
There’s one reason and one reason only why we’re getting a Ghostbusters remake in 2016 instead of an actual Ghostbusters 3 five years ago. That reason is named Bill Murray and he’s been the not-so-secret sequel roadblock for as long as we can remember. But then he accepted a small role in the new reboot, because he’s Bill Murray and Bill Murray does whatever he wants. Sometimes that means randomly showing up at your birthday party. Sometimes that means popping up in a film franchise that he seemingly had zero desire to revisit. Now, Murray explains his reasons for joining a new Ghostbusters movie he was so vocally against.
All summer movie seasons end with a whimper and 2015 was no different. The final weekend of August was a pretty sad display across the board, with Straight Outta Compton nabbing the number one spot by default while just about every new release faltered. You know it’s a slow weekend when a movie promoted exclusively to faith-based audiences nabs the number two spot.
Straight Outta Compton dominated the box office for the second weekend in a row, ensuring that every other movie in the top 10 that doesn’t feature Tom Cruise trembled in its mighty wake. Anyone with their finger on the cultural pulse foresaw the N.W.A. biopic doing well, but it’s performing above and beyond all expectations.
Every time a movie about and for audiences who aren’t white and male does well, everyone acts like it’s a big surprise. “Black people and women like movies? Who’da thunk it?” It’s actually not surprising at all that Straight Outta Compton had a massive opening, handily defeating its more standard competition. Because all kinds of people like movies and when you make movies for all kinds of people, you end up with huge weekends at the box office.
A few weeks ago, tracking for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was supposedly in the toilet. Early reports suggested that Tom Cruise’s fifth outing as super-spy Ethan Hunt was not getting people excited. This would be the end, the experts said, of a franchise that has kept Cruise’s career surging forward for the past two decades. Well, that was apparently a big load of crap because Rogue Nation opened well and opened in the same ballpark as the rest of the franchise. Even with inflation differences, this series keeps on hitting the same box office sweet spot.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is going to be one the highest grossing films of 2015 no matter what, so every trailer and poster can’t help but feel ever-so-slightly redundant. Oh, remember that movie that you and everyone you know is already going to see anyway? Here’s an unnecessary reminder that it exists! And yet Lionsgate has been playing fans like a fiddle with their marketing campaign, and the latest trailer is one seriously impressive advertisement.
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