2011 has now almost leveled out with last year thanks to the biggest summer of all time. Not only did we see the blockbusters do well, comedies specially R-rated ones broke out big time.
Both these titular months bring modest business with medium-size breakouts. While September sees summer fatigue on Box Office, October boasts the biggest season for horror movies with Halloween season. Also during this time we can see some Award contenders building momentum.
Action seekers will have Twilight famed Taylor Lautner running around to know his identity in Abduction. Lautner's box office draw is not yet proven but Lionsgate has done admirable job in generating interest, with this Eagle Eye seems to be a good target. Drive(2011) starring Ryan Gosling and Carrey Mulligan looks like another Transporter but a more monthly genre specific comparison could be last year's The Town. The early buzz is no where near that and main actors are not known to carry big movies. Relativity's Machine Gun Preacher starring Gerald Butler and Michelle Monaghan tells the story about a drug-dealing biker who becomes crusader for Sundanese children. The genre with movies like Gamer and The Last King of Scotland hasn't impressed much this month though Butler has had success before with Law Abiding Citizen. This genre's native Jason Statham stars in Killer Elite along with Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen, while Statham with Transporter have seen modest success, Owen is yet to land a hit this month, Deniro might be a non-factor here. Lionsgate with Warrior will try to repeat the success of last year's The Fighter but this lacks star power. A lot will depend on hew well the movie is received, 2006's Invincible numbers are the best bet right now.
Steven Soderbergh and Warner Bros. brings an all star cast for the first time in a Thriller genre with Contagion. While the cast is great the movie hasn't generated much buzz, the trailers make it look like another Resident Evil sequel which would be a good mark at BO. Weinstien brings Apollo 18 which should not be mistaken by 1995's smash hit Apollo 13. While movies likes Paranormal Activity have seen great success, the more better comparison here would be Pandorum that did poorly, this should do a little better close to Doom and Quaratine though. Sony with Straw Dogs (2011) tries to revitalize the horror of 1971's movie with same title. The genre is not known for big numbers, so this should micmick The Last House on the Left or The Brave One. Focus Features delayed thriller The Debt starring Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson hasn't generated enough buzz. Last year's The American did very well, but I think a better comparison here will be The Traitor.
Universal ensembles Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts for Horror/Thriller Dream House. Given the good star cast and the month kind to this genre it should do The Forgotten numbers. Relativity tries to bring back Shark horror among teens with Shark Night 3D, last year's Piranha 3D is the best comparison here.
Families will have the 3D re-release of The Lion King, but given that the original release boasted the biggest sales in home media, I don't see how this could be big. The only new release of the month for families is Warner Bros Dolphin Tale, dolphins have been played too many times but this year's Mr. Popper's Penguins showed that given good treatment these movies can do decently.
The already big list of R-rates comedies this year will see a hefty addition this month though none of them looks to break out as big. Summit's 50/50 comedic take on cancer can generate some early awards buzz, though (500) Days of Summer showed that awards buzz does not always mean big money. I Don't Know How She Does It starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan haven't generated much buzz. This looks very similar to Morning Glory and Love Happens and should modest business. Fox brings Anna Farris and Captain America famed Chris Evans in What's Your Number? which plans to immitate last year's success of Easy A. A whole lot will depend on how this is received cause Easy A showed really good staying power. Sony's Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star has sometimes funny trailer very similar to House Bunny, but no well-known comedian could hurt its potential. Lionsgate is also releasing Mexican comedy Saving Private Perez, the trailer is well made and might attract decent crowd.
Awards contender Drama starts as early as this month. Sony's Moneyball starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill has generated decent buzz so far. This could go anyway from anothe Invincible to becoming this year's The Social Network. Margaret potrayed by Anna Paquin with Matt Damon and Mark Ruffalo could pack some serious performances, given the limited release pattern it should be well received for its expansion.Sony Classics already praised movie Take Shelter comes out in theaters, though not really sure if good reviews will help its money making given that none of the characters can carry a movie yet. Restless (2011) starring Alice in Wonderland famed Mia Waikowska has been praised everywhere it was released, also Jane Eyre this March did very well. Tristar's Courageous will try to immitate 2008's Fireproof but the genre overall does not yield big numbers. Rooney Mara leads Tanner Hall which will try to attarct teen crowd, though Never Let Me Go with much better cast wasn't able to do so last year.
While Halloween should be favourable to Horror movies this year surprisingly we have more thriller and drama. Action Seekers have Summit's The Three Musketeers which will bring Alexander Dumas's Period Adventure back to theaters. While the genre or past movies hasn't been big money earners this could turn into another Pirates of the Carribean, but I think The Man in the Iron Mask is a better match here. Disney will try to make Hugh Jackman's IMAX release Real Steal the new generation Rocky but it might turn out to be Fighting. Given that Jackman is bigger name it should do better than genre's Kickboxer and Bloodsport somewhere close to Rocky Balboa. FilmDistrcit brings The Rum Diary starring Johnny Depp, while it might look odd but Depp's previous The Tourist and Once Upon a Time in Mexico are the best comparisons here both of which did modest business.
Two very similar drama thriller are placed this month with Sony's The Ides of March boasting the ensemble of George Clooney, Ryan Gosling with Marisa Tomie and Roadside Attractions Margin Call with an all star cast lead by Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Demi Moore. Sony has done a good job in generating interest and Clooney has had good success with Syriana in political dramas. Margin Call aims to be this years Wall Street but given the platform release it would need great word-of-mouth as BO is not very kind to these movies. Fox brings this months only Sci-Fi Thriller with In Time starring Justin Timberlake, Cilian Murphy and Amanda Seyfried. This year's Source Code looked much better in comparison though the star cast is marginally better here.
This months resident horror movie Paranormal Activity returns with its second sequel this time going back to the childhood of the sisters. Paranormal Activity 2 showed that the movies are well liked, though franchise fatigue might lead to a decrease. Having way lesser competition from the predecessor will help its prospects for sure. Universal transports remake of 1982's shape-shifting aliens The Thing (2011). This looks like something that was better in the past, 30 Days of Night would be much better comparison here. There is also Fox Searchlight's Martha Marcy May Marlene which suggests it is a drama but the spooky trailer could attract some horror audience, releasing it close to Halloween will definitely help its prospects
Universal reassigns Rowan Atkinson to Johnny English Reborn as the titular secret agent. Atkinson is well passed his peak though Mr. Bean still continues to hold its audience and while the original did great overseas this one will have to depend on good Cinemascore. Also from Universal is Paul Rudd, Jennifer Aniston comedy Wanderlust. Neither Aniston not Rudd have done good these months which makes me think this will another The Switch or Love Happens. Fox ensambles Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black in The Big Year which could be the biggest surprise this month. Marley and Me and The Devil Wears Prada director David Frankel brings the on-screen adaptation of Mark Obmascik's 1998 novel with the same title.
Paramount steps up with Footloose (2011) which is the remake of 1982 movie with the same title. There has been success in this genre in the past with Step-Up and High School Musical. Still 2009's remake of Fame did not spark the same as the 80's original, though this one has a better known original. Sony and Roland Emmerich brings Anonymous, a period drama that talks about Shakespeare. With the exception of Shakespeare in Love thanks to Oscars, the genre does not yeild big numbers and Emmerich hasn't proven himself in anything except disaster movies. Paramount Vantage brings Sundance winner Like Crazy starring Felicity Jones, Antony Yelchin and Jennifer Lawrence. This could very well be this years Blue Valentine and might do better with Awards attention. Freestyle Releasing brings The Mighty Macs an ensemble about girls basketball. The very first and obvious movie that comes to mind is Disney's 1992 hit The Mighty Ducks that generated two sequels but that had much more family appeal. Sony Classics brings Antonio Banderas's drama in The Skin I Live In, but given the platform release this might be just be a fan-based affair.
September and October 2010 made $545.3 million and $687.7 million respectively both ending as the second largest months in terms of grosses. Last September saw breakout of The Social Network, The Town and decent run of Easy A and Resident Evil : Afterlife making it the biggest of the franchise. October 2010 saw biggest opening of the month in Jackass 3-D and top-5 opening for Paranormal Activity 2 with decent run of RED and decline of Saw series. 2011 is lagging in big names and will need big surprises in order to beat 2010. Lookout for this year's last edition of Movies 2011 - November to December