October 2010 Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

October 1, 2010

I wish I had a box of sparklers

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6. Hereafter (wide on October 22nd)

Clint Eastwood joins the Halloween fray. Opening in more or less the same slot as Eastwood's other recent thriller, Changeling, Hereafter packs just a touch more star power. The premise might seem a bit ambiguous, and those looking for a mainstream thriller are likely to be disappointed. But the trailer gets better as it goes along, and there were some good notices from the Toronto Film Festival. Matt Damon does have a knack for generating roughly $40 million grossers, and that's a tradition he might just slightly one-up here. Just slightly.

Opening weekend: $15 million / Total gross: $50 million

7. Saw 3D (October 29th)

Saw 3D? What an inconsiderate title for a movie: for years to come, video store owners will have to explain how, no, this is really part 7. John Saw's latest symphony of terror is the only film scheduled for wide release on October's last weekend, and it's a date that comes no less than six years to the day after the first Saw film helped bring on the resurgence of low-budget horror filmmaking (thanks, I guess?). Hard to say what to make of the 3D - which, as has recently been demonstrated, no longer guarantees unrivalled box office prosperity, at least not for sequels. Every Saw film since Saw 3 (the real Saw 3) has depreciated in gross; this will not, and there should be enough gusto left to get this one up to some respectable numbers. Footnote: They say it's the last Saw movie. This time, I believe them.

Opening weekend: $26 million / Total gross: $48 million


8. Conviction (October 15th)

Here's another one of those dramas about the underdog saving the day, and another hard-to-resist Oscar bait for the masterful Hilary Swank. But where Amelia failed last year, this looks to succeed, and Swank may face up against Annette Bening at the Oscars yet one more time. Conviction shouldn't jump too far out of the gate in the opening weekend, but a few good legs are pretty much a guarantee, especially with some of the critical notices this has been amassing.

Opening weekend: $12 million / Total gross: $42 million

9. Life as We Know It (October 8th)

This was bound to happen: between the two of them, Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel already have three romantic comedies to their name in 2010, and so their cinematic team-up was only a matter of time (think of them as the uglier version of Freddy Vs. Jason). Heigl has box office pull left, and the premise, while unapologetically predictable, should utilize that very obviousness to pull off at least a modest box office success, if not quite a game changer. The film has to get marks for that poster - bold, funny. May the film follow suit.

Opening weekend: $16 million / Total gross: $41 million

10. Secretariat (October 8th)

Yet another chapter in the equine sweepstakes that have occasionally captivated the nation. To be fair, Secretariat looks like a nice little movie, with that inspiring trailer and the casting of Diane Lane, always likeable. It's also being sold as a family film, but the lack of prominent characters under the age of 30 doesn't really swing the tide in that direction. Call it Dreamer without kid appeal, though it still won't end up on the too shabby side. After all, I've never heard of a movie about horses that was panned by critics. Have you?

Opening weekend: $12 million / Total gross: $34 million

11. My Soul to Take (October 8th)

Here's Wes Craven's first film in five years, and one that may well serve as the Cursed to Scream 4's Red Eye (confusing, I know). It could be a decent little tale of teen terror, and I'm always up for a non-sequel from Craven, but I dunno - it's looking more and more like My Soul to Take might just be lost in this month's horror show of remakes and sequels. The 3D might help, but it's fractional.

Opening weekend: $14 million / Total gross: $31 million

12. Buried (expands October 8th)
What we're dealing with here is a certainly atypical star vehicle for Ryan Reynolds, whose role in The Proposal has catapulted him into being cast in a whole lot of movies, for starters. There's a unique premise at work here, and one that seems hard to sell as a film. But, this is exactly the kind of movie that can grow based on buzz and word-of-mouth, even if the per-screen averages from the limited release haven't been all too encouraging. Legs, maybe?

Opening weekend: $9 million / Total gross: $25 million

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