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About Webslinger

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    Box Office Gold

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  1. Halloween had an awesome opening, even if it landed just a bit short of the recently-established October opening record (though it does look like Universal is going pretty conservative with their estimate for today, so the record may still be in play with actuals). Universal got every step of the marketing right and delivered a movie that capitalized on viewers' recognition and appreciation of the original film while also appealing to a younger horror crowd that may never have seen it. With strong word-of-mouth and its namesake holiday still yet to come, it should be in line for another big weekend next time out. A Star Is Born had another terrific hold. Its prospects of surpassing $200 million still look good, especially with another weekend without meaningful competition coming up. Venom stabilized a bit after last weekend's big drop. Like other PG-13 films in the marketplace, I do wonder how much sneak-in business for Halloween might have helped. Either way, it's still all set to top the $200 million milestone domestically and should be able to target something around $210 million. Goosebumps 2 dropped just a bit harder than its predecessor, but it still held up nicely. Next weekend should have another strong hold in store with no competition and the Halloween date drawing nearer. First Man had a pretty underwhelming hold in the face of such strong reviews. I guess it's just not connecting with audiences as anticipated, and strong breakout performances from other films in the marketplace have shrunk the potential audience too. It's probably looking at a disappointing total in the realm of $45-50 million. The Hate U Give did okay in its wide expansion. I've heard enough about it offline that I'm surprised it's not a way bigger deal, but oh well. The A+ CinemaScore carried fellow well-received YA adaptation Love, Simon to strong legs in the spring, so hopefully that will be the case here too. Smallfoot and Night School both put up strong holds. The former should leg its way out over $80 million, while the latter should be in line for something in the high-70s. Bad Times at the El Royale saw a predictably large drop. It should fare much better on home video (like many other Tarantino-inspired films that don't find much of an audience in theaters), but it was screwed up against Venom, A Star Is Born, and now Halloween. The Old Man & the Gun played decently in its nationwide expansion, though its potential will be limited without much awards heat surrounding it. Yikes at that Sisters Brothers number. I had no idea that it was expanding so wide until the Friday estimate came in, and I guess the same was true for a good many other potential viewers. Another troubling loss for Annapurna, I guess. Mid'90s played well in platform release and should manage an okay performance when it goes wider next weekend.
  2. Webslinger

    Classic Conversation, now with added Teen Angst

    Sucks for the Brewers, especially seeing it end on their home turf. I'm hoping the Red Sox really have their act together come Tuesday.
  3. Webslinger

    Best films of 2018!

    A Black Panther BlacKkKlansman A Fantastic Woman A Star Is Born A- Annihilation Avengers: Infinity War Eighth Grade First Man First Reformed Hereditary Incredibles 2 Isle of Dogs Leave No Trace Mission: Impossible - Fallout A Quiet Place Sorry to Bother You Paddington 2 Thoroughbreds B+ Blockers Crazy Rich Asians Deadpool 2 Disobedience Game Night Halloween Love, Simon Tully Unsane The Wife B Ant-Man and the Wasp Bad Times at the El Royale Christopher Robin Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Ocean's 8 Ready Player One Red Sparrow A Simple Favor Solo: A Star Wars Story The Spy Who Dumped Me Upgrade A Wrinkle in Time B- The Equalizer 2 The House with a Clock in Its Walls Sicario: Day of the Soldado Tag C+ The Predator C Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom The Meg Tomb Raider 12 Strong C- Venom D+ Fifty Shades Freed The Happytime Murders D The Cloverfield Paradox Nonfiction Corner Won't You Be My Neighbor? - A/A- Fahrenheit 11/9 - B+
  4. Webslinger

    Halloween (2018)

    It isn’t on the same level as its original namesake, but this new Halloween works as a highly effective sequel and homage that mostly lives up to its potential. In abandoning the established events across the many sequels, director and co-writer David Gordon Green sets this film up as an intriguing study in the long-ranging psychological effects of the events of the original film and a slow-burn, character-driven affair cut from the same cloth as John Carpenter’s first film (right down to credits that mimic those of the original and make frequent use of its eerie classic score). There’s a surprisingly large amount of character development outside of just Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode and her offspring, and it works as a chilling means of adding weight and meaning to Michael Myers’s senseless murders; seeing Myers kill unassuming, good-natured people just because they happen to land in his way makes the proceedings feel significantly more terrifying than they would be in a film with less interest in developing its murder fodder. The onscreen violence works in much the same way as Carpenter’s: relatively restrained in what it shows of the act, but deeply unsettling and unflinching in its grisly depiction of the aftermath (there were numerous well-earned squeals from my audience). Returning to the role that launched her to stardom, Jamie Lee Curtis doesn’t miss a beat in establishing Laurie as a paranoid survivalist; she plays Laurie’s decades-long mental trauma effectively and capitalizes on all opportunities for crowd-pleasing bravado in the climax. Newcomer Andi Matichak also steps into the shoes Curtis wore 40 years ago with solid work as Laurie’s initially terrified but ultimately resourceful granddaughter. The only real disappointment across a strong cast is that Judy Greer doesn’t get enough screentime as Laurie’s daughter, though her involvement in the climax makes up for it to some degree. This Halloween leans so heavily – though ably and deliberately – on the tropes the first film established that it doesn’t necessarily feel fresh, but it’s awfully damn fun as a crowd-pleasing homage and direct continuation of the original masterpiece. B+ Stray Thoughts: - I loved the lampshade-hanging conversation between Allyson and her friends in which she clarified that all that business about Laurie being Michael's sister was just made up by people who wanted to believe it was true. (More on this one later.) Kinda funny that Jamie Lee Curtis has played this character both ways in canon during this franchise's run. - Not gonna lie: I laughed at the line-crossing humor in seeing the male half of the murdered teenage couple have the date tattooed thinking it would be the night he would lose his virginity, only to have it appear prominently after his gnarly death. - No surprise given the involvement of Green and McBride as screenwriters, but there's a lot of effective dark comedy here too. It's not quite at a Scream-level of self-referential comedy, but it still feels light for a film with such graphic kills. - ...that said, there were numerous points where the audience starting laughing as female characters were about to be offed, even though the film wasn't trying to present those deaths as funny. It felt weirdly misogynistic, but the movie itself more than makes up for that unintended reaction by giving the Strode ladies plenty of big moments toward the end of the film. - The guys who sat behind me talked through a decent portion of the film, but to their ever-so-slight credit, all their chatter was actually about the movie. Their commentary was almost entertaining in its savviness at a few points. Nevertheless, I was so tempted to just turn around and clear up their confusion about whether Laurie was Michael's sister.
  5. For what it's worth, my Halloween audience this afternoon seemed pretty well pleased with the final product. It should hold relatively well and score another big weekend next time out, especially with the titular holiday still yet to arrive.
  6. Webslinger

    Classic Conversation, now with added Teen Angst

    There were at least a dozen kids under the age of 10 at my noon showing of Halloween today. Lots of awesome parenting there.
  7. Awesome start for Halloween. I was decidedly unimpressed with Venom, so I'll definitely root hard for Halloween to claim the October opening record. As for the First Man chatter further up the page, it kinda reminds me of Cinderella Man, but at an even lower performance level: well-reviewed Oscar bait with a recognizable lead and a story superficially similar to past adult-driven successes, but audiences just greeted it with a "meh" reaction and it had neither the opening nor staying power expected of it.
  8. Webslinger

    Classic Conversation, now with added Teen Angst

    Ever since I read a column comparing this year's Dodgers to the 2006 Cardinals - a comical underdog that looked like a shell of themselves from other recent years that went on to win the World Series - I've had a strong feeling that the Dodgers would get back to the World Series this year. I hope to be wrong, though; it would fun to see the Brewers get there after the general pre-season expectation that they were still a few years away.
  9. Webslinger

    Classic Conversation, now with added Teen Angst

    Clint Eastwood killed it in Gran Torino, but yes, it's kinda uncomfortable watching a movie that's trying to hard to "solve" racism where everyone involved also seems to have a lot of fun using the racial slurs in the script.
  10. Webslinger

    Classic Conversation, now with added Teen Angst

    The 2001 Mariners were a 116-win team. Did 'em tons of good in the playoffs, right? #stillbitter
  11. Webslinger

    Best Actress Predictions 2018

    Yeah, for now, it's definitely Glenn Close vs. Lady Gaga here. Gun to my head, I'd guess right now that the Academy follows its history with actresses and honors the... er ... star that's born over the industry veteran. But Glenn Close wins this if the critics' groups all rally behind her for career honors and SAG follows suit.
  12. Webslinger

    Classic Conversation, now with added Teen Angst

    I think the Astros are going to be the first repeat World Series winner since the Joe Torre dynasty Yankees in 2000, though that prediction comes partly out of trying to accept a Red Sox loss before it could happen. I do feel less certain about the ALCS after seeing the Sox down the Yankees in 4. A week ago, I thought for sure that series would go the full tilt and take so much out of the victor that the Astros would cruise to the pennant.
  13. Webslinger

    Classic Conversation, now with added Teen Angst

    I know pitchers generally suck at batting and I do love seeing Nelson Cruz mash a baseball without having to worry about how poorly he'd play rightfield, but I have to admit that NL games are far more interesting to watch with pitchers batting - and the double-switch shenanigans that come with it as the game progresses.
  14. Webslinger

    Best Picture Predictions - 2018

    I know Warner's doing it primarily because they must feel good about the film's ability to compete, but it's good to hear that A Star Is Born isn't category frauding its way into Musical/Comedy. There's plenty of music in it, but no one's mistaking it for a traditional musical nor a comedy - especially not the latter.
  15. Webslinger

    Classic Conversation, now with added Teen Angst

    I assume you're referring to the Red Sox/Yankees game that's sending my blood pressure through the roof right now, no? Friggin' Kimbrel, dude.

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