Weekend Forecast for October 13-15, 2017
By Reagen Sulewski
October 13, 2017
As Hollywood attempts to get over last weekend's significant disappointment, it's another very fall-like release slate, with no huge films and a very moody and dark contender for the top spot on the weekend.
Happy Death Day answered the question we've all been wondering since 1992 – what if in Groundhog Day, instead of just having to relive a fake holiday, Phil Connors got murdered each time? Jessica Rother stars as a college student in just that situation, waking up each day on her birthday, just after being murdered. Each time she gets a little bit more knowledge about what happened to her, though perhaps she's still doomed. That'll really do a number on how you treat your day..
While decidedly not original (it's at least the third variation on the basic Groundhog Day plot this year), it's easy to see why the basic idea is so often copied – it's an audience-pleasing concept that writers and directors can have a lot of fun with. As a horror film it seems slightly flawed, as you've basically ripped all the suspense out of your slasher scenes, but with boutique horror studio Blumhouse handling it, there's a pretty good chance that they have something up their collective sleeves. Indeed, reviews are solid and with the built-in hook of the premise, there's a good chance for a small breakout – not on the level of Get Out or The Purge, but maybe to a smaller level around $19 million.
Jackie Chan comes back to North American screens in a live-action wide release for the first time in (ye gods) seven years with The Foreigner. The film gives the 63-year-old kung fu master a Liam Neeson-esque late career resurgence, except for, you know, always having been a badass throughout his career. Heavy on the action and drama and absent the comedy, it sees him chasing after a sinister government official (Pierce Brosnan, affecting a pretty broad Irish accent) in the wake of his daughter being killed in a terrorist bombing.
Chan actually looks pretty spry in this, after a number of American films where years of abuse was clearly taking its toll. It's possible this is just clever direction by Martin Campbell (he of GoldenEye, Casino Royale and The Legend of Zorro). Reviews are just okay, though the film has a bit of cheapness to it. Ultimately, the domestic total is going to be very much the sideshow, as Chan still has tremendous pull worldwide, where this one will earn its real money. There aren't a lot of great comparisons for The Foreigner considering how long it's been since Chan has made a film like this one, but I think we're looking at the dismal early 2000s era Chan when people were struggling what to do with him. I expect an opening weekend of about $10 million.
Chadwick Boseman continues on his quest to play every single significant Black person in history with Marshall. Here he's the first Black justice of the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, but early in his career during one of his landmark cases. Defending a Black chauffeur (Sterling K. Brown) against charges of sexual assault and attempted murder of a socialite (Kate Hudson), he runs headlong into the racist and segregationist law system of the day. This isn't even his most famous – that would be Brown v. Board of Education – but it's one that points to the measure of him as a man.