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September 2015 Box Office Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

September 3, 2015

Hey! They made it to the merge!

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6. The Perfect Guy (September 11th)

This tawdry-looking crazy-ex-boyfriend thriller seems modeled - in casting, execution, advertising, and release date - on last year's No Good Deed, another Screen Gems title that opened on September's second weekend, and ended up with a remarkably strong #1 finish ($24 million) at that, especially given the reviews and time of year. Essentially every one of those factors are in play here yet again, and it helps that the film's trailer carries a particularly salacious money shot (the boogeyman's under the bed). Stars Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, and Morris Chestnut may not be particular draws under all circumstances, but for this film and genre, they should do very well in getting the picture one of the month's stronger openings, even if the film won't really last well past weekend two.

Opening weekend: $23 million / Total gross: $49 million




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7. The Intern (September 25th)

While all market research about me would probably say otherwise, writer-director Nancy Meyers is actually one of my favorite filmmakers. Her lengthy and acerbic big-star films about the lives of the casually upper-class have been consistently entertaining and slick fantasies for grown-ups, and for my money, her Something's Gotta Give (2003) is still one of the best romances of the past 15 years. The Intern marks a bit of a departure - the usual Meyers gloss is still there, but this tale of an older beacon of wisdom (Robert De Niro) and a young e-commerce founder-CEO (Anne Hathaway) who employs him, is not a love story, but more like a cross-generational bonding experience, reminding me somewhat of In Good Company, Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace's film of a similar theme. The Intern will likely get decent reviews, but it's difficult to say if that lack of a romantic angle will hurt the numbers somewhat. Most Meyers pictures have also more naturally found their niche in December, a release date I think The Intern would have been better suited for. Still, I'm grateful for another one of her films whenever they may come.

Opening weekend: $13 million / Total gross: $45 million


8. Captive (September 18th)

Another violent true story (a common thread in the month's second half), Captive is a dramatization based on Brian Nichols, a convict who murdered four people as he escaped from his courtroom trial for rape in 2005, and who willingly surrendered himself to the police after an emotionally and spiritually transformative night with a woman he had taken hostage. The story's religious angle seems a natural fit for the growing Christian cinema market, but the film has a major studio sheen, and name actors - David Oyelowo, most recently of Selma, and Kate Mara, who might be surprised to find this film literally giving her last release, Fantastic Four, a run for its money. I assume that at least some of Captive's marketing will be geared directly to religious audiences, so its opening should be strong enough, and if reviews are good, it might play well for a few weeks more.

Opening weekend: $14 million / Total gross: $43 million



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