Welcome to September. Although this first weekend offers almost nothing for new movies, the weeks that follow are likely to drive more box office revenue than August. If you can bear with one more barren week, the drought should come to a close starting next week.
Believe it or not, the widest release of the weekend is the theatrical reissue of Steven Spielberg’s 1977 sci-fi masterpiece ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind‘. Just as ‘Terminator 2’ did last weekend, this re-release comes on the eve of the release of the film’s newly-restored 4K Ultra HD disc. Set to play on 700 screens for just one week only, you’d better hop on this opportunity while you can.
The only new wide release (600 screens) is the Weinstein Company’s long-delayed ‘Tulip Fever‘. After being shelved for almost three years, the sexual drama is being dumped in the wasteland between summer and fall. From vanilla director Justin Chadwick (‘The Other Boleyn Girl’) comes the scandalous 17th Century story of a painter (Dane DeHaan) who become obsessed with his subject. When a merchant (Christoph Waltz) commissions him to paint a portrait of his trophy wife (Alicia Vikander), the artist and his subject initiate a steamy affair. Finding true love with one another, they plot a get-rich-quick and getaway scheme. Weinstein is trying so hard to find an audience with this one that the studio released an oddly graphic red band trailer two weeks ago. The supporting cast – which includes Tom Hollander, Jack O’Connell, Zach Galifianakis, Judi Dench and Cara Delevingne – is so strong that I wish this movie didn’t arrive with so much negative buzz.
Lionsgate Premere is debuting the action-thriller ‘Unlocked’ on an unspecified number of screens. From the writer of a ‘Halo’ videogame and the director of ‘The World Is Not Enough’, the film places London under threat of a biological attack that forces an ensemble of characters to work together to thwart the terrorist plan. The cast includes Noomi Rapace, Orlando Bloom, Toni Collette, Michael Douglas and John Malkovich.
‘I Do… Until I Don’t‘ – the new film written by, directed by and starring Lake Bell – is also out in limited release. The mockumentary plays with the notion that marriages should be sold as seven-year contracts by showing the lives of three couples. Starring alongside Bell are Ed Helms, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser and Amber Heard. Bell’s last film (‘In a World…’) had some truly strong characteristics. Assuming that she’s getting better with each effort, this one has some potential.