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Horror film tops box office; Lopez film surprises


Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published September 19, 2019

Heads Up! This article is 3 years old.

Horror flick It: Chapter Two once again took the No. 1 spot at the U.S. box office, this time with a stellar $40.7 million more in sales, upping the Andres Muschietti film to $153 million in domestic sales over its first 10 days of release. Add in foreign sales and Chapter Two has already sold an incredible $323 million. Whoa.

Look for Chapter Two to end up doing similar business to the first film, which brought in just over $700 million worldwide. And yes, you can count on there being a third film. Hopefully no more after that, though. Remember back when you, dearest Hollywood, had some restraint? Let’s get back to that. Please?

Also at the Box

The said-to-be excellent Hustlers had a great opening weekend, selling over $33 million domestically over its opening weekend. The film, which was written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and The Meddler), stars Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, and Cardi B. And, in addition to selling well and getting a lot of buzz, Hustlers is getting some really great reviews, currently holding a Metacritic score of 80/100.

This was supposed to be the weekend of The Goldfinch, but that movie is supposedly a slog, and currently holds a score of just 41/100 on Metacritic. Ouchie. Word is that Jennifer Lopez has already begun her Oscar campaign.

Action flick Angel Has Fallen continued to fill seats, taking the No. 3 spot at last weekend’s box office with another $4.4 million in sales, upping the $40 million film’s four-week sales total to just over $60 million.

Good Boys took the No. 4 spot with $4.26 million while The Lion King rounded out the Top 5 with another $3.55 million in sales.

The Lion King has now sold $1.616 billion worldwide in nine weeks, making it the seventh-highest grossing movie of all time behind Jurassic World ($1.671 billion), Avengers: Infinity War ($2.048 billion), Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2.068 billion), Titanic ($2.187 billion), Avatar ($2.789 billion), and Avengers: Endgame ($2.796 billion).

Here’s an interesting fact: the two James Cameron films on the list, Avatar and Titanic, are the only movies on the list that were made before 2011. Also, 11 of the Top 25 films are action here films and 21 of them are part of a franchise.

This trend of only about five different intellectual properties dominating your movie dollars continues to be as troubling as ever. Call it the Wal-Mart-ification of the film industry.

What can you do to fight against this? Don’t go to those movies at the theater. Go to small movies. Go to the Cinema Center. Pay to rent/stream indie films.

New this Week

The fall movie season slowly begins to settle in with the release of the hotly anticipated new Brad Pitt film, James Gray’s sci-fi thriller Ad Astra. It looks excellent and the buzz is good. This is a big budget, smart, artsy sci-fi flick with an incredible supporting cast that includes Donald Sutherland, Jamie Kennedy, John Ortiz, Liv Tyler, Ravi Kapoor, Ruth Negga, and Tommy Lee Jones. Can’t wait for this one.

Also out everywhere is Focus Features’ Downton Abbey film, directed by Julian Fellowes. Buzz on this film isn’t so hot, but, that being said, I think it will likely satisfy the fanbase. Should it be a movie that plays on 4,000 big screens? Probably not.

And finally we have Rambo: Last Blood (also known as “the movie where Rambo wears a cowboy hat”). The flick was written by star Sylvester Stallone and directed by Adrian Grunberg, who here gets his big break after 25 years working as an assistant director on films like Amores Perros, Traffic, Collateral Damage, Frida, Master and Commander, Man on Fire, Jarhead, The Limits of Control, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

So, basically, Grunberg has worked with a whole lot of great directors over the years.

This one might be better than we’re expecting (although the Stallone Theory, in which Sly gets a pushover director to direct so that he can backseat drive, is very much at play here).

So those are this weekend’s wide releases. More than ever, you should be on the lookout for some great smaller films. They’re out there, and this is the season for them.

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