September 2010 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
September 1, 2010
September 2010 is a bit of a middle-of-the-road month, with the two unexpected sequels probably lording it over the ever-present CGI animations (Resident Evil 4 is unexpected because, well, don't all good trilogies come in threes?). But watch out for Betty White.
1. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (September 24th)
The month's biggest question mark comes right at the top: will a movie about the horrors of economic malpractice (A Nightmare on Wall Street?) do well at the box office these days, especially since it's not a wish-fulfilment revenge fantasy? A lot of workable elements are indeed in place here - there's a respected baby boomer movie star making his potentially awards-worthy comeback (Michael Douglas, of course), along with a younger actor thrust into yet another franchise (Shia LaBeouf), a wee ingenue coming off a recent Oscar nomination (Carey Mulligan), and various bouts of sinister smirking by a recognizable supporting cast (Josh Brolin, Frank Langella). It's hard to figure out what the plot's going to unfold like (corporate thriller? legal drama?), though that poster seems to be setting Wall Street 2 up as a secular version of The Devil's Advocate. Oliver Stone's recent bouts of verbal villainy pose an interesting question mark as the release date approaches, but box office-wise, will the state of the economy help or hurt the numbers?
Opening weekend: $28 million / Total gross: $71 million
2. Resident Evil: Afterlife (September 10th)
Resident Evil once again stakes out its beloved mid-September slot, and not much else has changed, either: serious-looking British character actors are still presiding over sinister test tube experiments, strangely cuddly monsters are still slithering in to gobble up unloved supporting players, and attractive, scantily-clad women are still running in slow motion while discharging their firearms and pouting their lips in discontent. You'd think it was still March 2002. The addition of 3D, of course, is not from March 2002 but rather November 1952, when Bwana Devil made its glorious debut in all dimensions known to man. I don't know if a standard-issue part 4 would've dipped in the grosses some, but the addition of said third dimension will make sure that's not going to happen. So, scantily clad women - pout away.
Opening weekend: $29 million / Total gross: $64 million
3. You Again (September 24th)
In a month lacking (any other) clear mass-audience comedy, this one should benefit. The premise isn't all that well established in the trailer, save for some vague notion about high school grudges re-played out against the comforts of modern suburban life. But hey, You Again does look kind of fun, and it certainly seems to have well-balanced the demographic spectrum, pairing the veterans (Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis) with the relative newbies (Kristen Bell and Odette Yustman), and adding in Betty White, just to really show 'em how it's done (the fact that White is clearly the biggest star in the world right now doesn't hurt, either). If the film is decent enough, legs may arise.
Opening weekend: $19 million / Total gross: $57 million