Well, it couldn’t last. Not that this week is completely dire as far as new releases go, but the one-two punch of Gravity and Captain Phillips was going to be tough to top. In fact, most projections have Gravity taking the top spot for the third week in a row, which would make it the only film this year besides The Butler to do so. It’s even moving back onto IMAX screens it gave up last weekend, so expect it stay in orbit at least until the beginning of November, when Ender’s Game grabs a huge chunk of the IMAX real estate, with Thor: The Dark World likely taking the rest the following week. Nothing against the quality of this week’s films. They just picked a bad time to enter the market.
Of course, you can’t blame Carrie for staking out a few weeks before Halloween to make its debut. What’s surprising is that it’s the only horror film entering wide release this month. You’d think the studios would want to take advantage of people being in a spooky mood, but I guess it’s been proven you can successfully open a horror film any time of the year, so why try to jam yourself into the October window? As for Carrie itself, I’m intrigued by the idea of Chloe Moretz in the lead role, but we’ve already seen this story adapted twice, with one version being an undisputed horror classic. I’m not really sure what’s left to do with the material, except cement itself as the version of choice for those too young to remember — or too lazy to hunt down — Brian DePalma’s take.
It’s been a big year for Benedict Cumberbatch. He starred in one franchise (Star Trek Into Darkness), has another franchise entry coming up (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), is filming the new season of Sherlock, and has been all over the casting rumors for the new Star Wars film. Plus he’s pretty much conquered my Pinterest feed, since there are a handful of people I follow who seem to do nothing but pass along memes about him. Compared to all of that, The Fifth Estate seems positively low-key, in spite of its overly dramatic ad campaign that wants us to believe Julian Assange is THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE WORLD. Although I can’t blame director Bill Condon striving for headier fare after dealing with two Twilight movies back to back. The thing is, I get the impression of a high-quality HBO movie from this rather than a feature release, despite my appreciation for Cumberbatch. Which means it’ll probably be a Redbox rental for me.
Which is likely true of the final release this week. Twenty-five years ago, Escape Plan would have been an opening night come hell or high water event. Stallone and Schwarzenegger in the same movie? They couldn’t have printed enough tickets for that. Now? Well, if The Last Stand and the Expendables films are any indication, the bloom is definitely off these two roses. Still, it’s a long-awaited pairing, even if it does smack a little of the way Universal kept finding different ways to match up its classic monsters in film after film to keep the money train going. I guess this makes Stallone Lugosi and Schwarzenegger Karloff. And now I want to see these two in Dracula vs. Frankenstein and I think I need help.