September 2, 2020
Just over 1,500 of our country’s movie theaters reopened this past weekend. Since there aren’t more than a handful of new releases out, theaters are playing some of the most beloved films of all time such as Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and Jaws.
To say that it’s been difficult for me to keep my butt out of a theater seat would be quite an understatement. Last week, the Jefferson Pointe AMC theater played all of the Rocky films, one for each day. The first five Rocky films were some of the first films I obsessed over as a young movie fan. I still watch them all at least once a year and would have loved to see them on the big screen, especially Rocky IV, which is an absolute spectacle of a film. I was too young to see it on the big screen when it first came out and would kill to see it loud and wide, among the energy of a loving crowd.
Although I can’t go to the theater yet, I get the feeling that a lot of people are going to start going to the movies again.
If that’s you, please go only if you are 100 percent healthy. Distance yourself, and wear a mask.
Onward to the box office and coming releases.
marvel’s test pilot
This past weekend’s best-selling new release, The New Mutants, took the No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office, selling just over $7 million over its first three days of release.
A superhero-horror mashup from Marvel Comics and director Josh Boone (The Fault In Our Stars), The New Mutants features what looks like the next crop of young adult actors in Hollywood, including Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga. A troubled, expensive production, it’s hard to believe that the studio would release The New Mutants as something of a tester film.
It’s a swing for the fences for Marvel. It’ll be interesting to see how Mutants sells in the coming weeks.
Other films get no traction
Three other new films screened everywhere, including The Personal History of David Copperfield, Words on Bathroom Walls, and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. Unlike The New Mutants, these three movies flopped hard. And really, the reopen in general was a flop. The weekend’s total ticket sales hit just $11 million. For reference, the average 2020 pre-Covid weekend saw around $140 million in ticket sales.
The Big movie news
The biggest movie news of the week, however, is that Tenet began screening this past Monday (and is screening somewhere in town right now). If any film is poised to get people out to the theater right now, it’s probably this one. The reviews are strong and the word of mouth is stronger for Christopher Nolan’s new time-bending, sci-fi production masterpiece. I’m going to do everything I can to wait for either a drive-in screening or a home screening.
In addition to Tenet and The New Mutants, this weekend will see another film getting the wide release treatment: Mark Williams’ old-guy action flick, Honest Thief, starring Liam Neeson. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to see Neeson go back to doing artsy flicks. His run in the action genre might be the most stale thing in commercial cinema right now aside from superhero flicks.
In the event you have already seen Tenet, I’d love to hear your reviews. Send ’em my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. But no spoilers!
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