This looks like the weakest weekend of the year for nationwide releases. None of the new movies appear to deserve the coveted “#1 Movie in America” title to flaunt in television spots next week.
Aside from ‘The Thing’, the only other pre-Halloween horror movie to hit the big screen this October is ‘Paranormal Activity 3‘. This, the second follow-up to the low-budget surprise indie hit ‘Paranormal Activity‘, is once again a prequel that reveals slightly more content that’s supposed to make the first two films even better.
The original film showed a couple living in a haunted house. It ended with the girl getting possessed, killing the dude and disappearing. The second movie was a prequel about the possessed girl’s sister and brother-in-law. More of the same, it added nothing to the story. ‘Paranormal Activity 3’ goes back to the ’80s when the sisters were young, and is supposed to reveal why this family is haunted – all through the use of VHS videotapes. This movie sucks.
Britain is also pumping out a sequel this weekend, only it’s a slapstick comedy about a less-than-qualified secret agent. ‘Johnny English Reborn‘ stars Rowan “Mr. Bean” Atkinson as the goofy spy. While the original movie didn’t perform huge domestically, it did very well worldwide, especially in the U.K. ‘Reborn’ has already been on the big screen overseas for a few weeks and is faring well again. However, opening on 1,500+ screens in the U.S., it probably won’t do as well on these shores. (This movie also sucks.)
From the director of the first, fourth and upcoming fifth ‘Resident Evil’ movies, as well as ‘Mortal Kombat‘, ‘AvP‘ and ‘Death Race‘, comes yet another ‘Three Musketeers‘ movie. This one takes place in a time when the Musketeers are down and out, not what they used to be. They bring on a fourth, the young and temperamental D’Artagnan. Together, they must take down an enemy threatening Europe with complete annihilation.
Family friendly G-rated sports movie ‘The Mighty Macs‘ is receiving the smallest wide opening this weekend on 1,000 screens. Starring Carla Gugino, David Boreanaz, Marley Shelton and Ellen Burstyn, ‘The Mighty Macs’ is based on an underdog true story of an all-girls Catholic college basketball team that goes the distance.
Four Sundance 2011 films also open this week. On 50 screens is ‘Margin Call‘, a dramatized ‘Wall Street’-esque thriller about the corporate events leading up to the current financial crisis. ‘Margin Call’ stars Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey.
Opening on four screens is ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene‘. Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of the ‘Full House’ Olsen twins, plays a young woman who breaks free from a backwoods cult and tries to re-enter normal society. This non-linear tale bounces back and forth from the eerie life of the cult compound to the uncertain stability of her post-cult life.
I missed ‘Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey‘ while it was at Sundance, but have heard that it’s one of the most delightful documentaries of all time. The film introduces us to Kevin Clash, the man behind that puppet, and shows us what it’s like to create such a beloved character, yet not be known for it.
And opening on one screen is ‘The Catechism Cataclysm‘, a comedic horror film about a Father in the Catholic Church who takes his fold on a wilderness trip. Along the way, he drops his Holy Bible in a rest stop toilet and unleashes hell on Earth.