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September 2009 Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

September 4, 2009

He finally was able to eat that high C.

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In any case, the film looks to be a fair test of Megan Fox's star power (unlike, say, her supporting role in last year's How to Lose Friends and Alienate People). If the movie's good, the Juno and Days of Summer crowd may well turn out to see it. If it's bad, I will.

Opening weekend: $16 million / Total gross: $42 million

6) Sorority Row (September 11th)

If the fact that seemingly every notable pre-1995 horror film is now being remade bothers you, you're not alone. But if today's studios are so intent on revisiting the recent past, I'll do the same and tell you about the first film's box office run. The original House on Sorority Row was an absolutely exceptional performer for what it was. The product of long-defunct distributor Film Ventures Int'l, it was a fairly routine slasher that opened in January 1983 in 153 theaters, and spent the next five months moving around between 100 and 257 screens, going from city to city. That wouldn't have been considered a wide release even then, so the film's eventual $10.6 million total is very admirable. It's a great example of a bad exploitation film making a lot of money over time in a regional release, and it's the kind of thing that happened a lot before 1990 or so.

Anyway, back to today. Taken on its own, the trailers for this remake make it out to be an okay version of the whole Know What You Did / Gonna Make You Pay plot. The original film was certainly fairly dull, so this version should at least up the entertainment factor. Commendations also go out to whoever cast Carrie Fisher as the presumably foul-mouthed housemother. There haven't really been very many R-rated straightforward slasher films as of late (not to be confused with the torture films or those identikit evaporating ghost ones), so this has the chance to revive the genre somewhat, before some other movie does.

Opening weekend: $20 million / Total gross: $41 million




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7) Surrogates (September 25th) & Gamer (September 4th)

The premise behind these two sci-fi thrillers is similar enough that seeing the trailers back-to-back in theaters felt a little monotonous. Both of them are set in a futuristic society where the main characters are operated by remote control. Surrogates probably has the livelier trailer, and Bruce Willis does score the occasional action hit. As for Gamer, Gerard Butler may be a good romantic comedy/drama running mate for someone like Katherine Heigl or Hilary Swank, but as a solo action star, he's actually more or less unproven. Gamer does have a neat entourage of supporting actors - Kyra Sedgwick, Alison Lohman, Aaron Yoo, and the underused Terry Crews. But it's hard to see it breaking out. Surrogates has more of a shot at fame and fortune, but hey, this ain't June.

Surrogates: $15 million / $40 million
Gamer: $11 million / $31 million

9) The Informant! (September 18th)

Yes, this is the one. The only wide release this month that was made specifically to receive Oscar nominations. Everything else is either horror, CGI, bad romantic comedy, better non-romantic comedy, or odd sci-fi hodgepodge. So let's take a look at how strong the film's eligibility to be nominated is; in the pursuit of an Oscar for Best Actor, Matt Damon:

A. Is in a film directed by Steven Soderbergh
B. Plays a Real Person™
C. Has gained a lot of weight
D. Put on a funny-looking mustache
E. Is in a scene that includes the line "everyone in this country is a victim of corporate crime by the time they finish breakfast"


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