September 2015 Box Office Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
September 3, 2015
9. The Visit (September 11th)
The first of this fall's rather rich slate of horror films, and one whose prediction I have to record rather cautiously, given the identity of its maker: M. Night Shyamalan, who is perhaps unique in the anals of cinema in terms of his transformation from brilliant young auteur and helmer of box office juggernauts, into a man whose name film advertisers actively fear revealing. The idea for The Visit - children alone with their grandparents, who have apparently been transformed into homicidal weirdos* - is a decidedly Shyamalanesque mixture of clever and maybe laughable (not to jump ahead a month, but it sounds like it should have been the plot for a Goosebumps book). Indeed, the film's trailer starts out well enough, before veering off into the potentially absurd. How much of a chance audiences are going to give this concept, and more importantly, its director, is tough to say, but it's not been a strong year for horror. Good to note: one of the film's young stars, Ed Oxenbould, was exceptional in headlining Alexander and the ... Very Bad Day last fall. Let's see if he can keep his track record.
(* - "homicidal weirdos" would make a great name for a band).
Opening weekend: $11 million / Total gross: $32 million
10. The Transporter Refueled (September 4th)
This mid-level action series is here rebooted, reimagined, and thoroughly redone, if for no particular reason than installing in a new actor, Ed Skrein (previously of Game of Thrones) as the same character, extra-special-skilled deliveryman Frank Martin (though original series star Jason Statham is still kickin', to say the least). The Transporter films of old seem to have peaked at part two (in 2005), which at a $43 million total still stands as Jason Statham's biggest film as a solo lead (though I'm somehow tempted to give him full credit for Furious 7 and Spy, too. Really, wouldn't you?). The Transporter films' fortunes, in fact, have largely come and gone with the box office appeal of Statham (many of his other titles more or less played as unofficial Transporter installments), and with the similarly rebooted Hitman falling into disarray just two weeks ago, it's hard to see a path to much of a breakout run for this title, either. Still, The Transporter Refueled follows two weekends littered with extremely low openers, and it's practically the only release on Labor Day weekend, which does give it some leeway with those cinema patrons who just want to see something new that hasn't already been terribly dated by an August release tag.
Opening weekend: $12 million / Total gross: $29 million