Another week, another horror film. That’s the mantra in Hollywood at the moment. Among the four new films going into wide release this weekend are Sony’s terror tale "Vacancy" which represents the fourth scary flick in three weeks to hit the multiplexes.

Also debuting are New Line’s murder drama "Fracture," the Warner Bros. romantic drama "In the Land of Women," and the British action comedy "Hot Fuzz" all looking to help moviegoers kill some time as they await the return of the webslinger.

Sony offers a new batch of frights in its latest horror pic "Vacancy" starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a couple stranded at a dirty motel where occupants are filmed while being brutally killed. The studio is making the right move by selling the R-rated film on concept first, and starpower second. The marketing has been creepy and effective plus the plot is different and appealing. Horror fans are likely to take interest. But moviegoers have been bombarded with scary movies so much in recent weeks that you’d think it was October. Plus the harsh rating will keep out some of the younger teens who may want in on this action. Also a wildcard will be this week’s massacre at Virginia Tech as college students may not be in the mood at this moment for a movie about senseless killings.

Most of the business will depend on marketing and the campaign has been solid. It is very difficult nowadays to set your horror flick apart from all the other ones but "Vacancy" has done it right. Competition from "Disturbia" will be a factor, but older teens and young adults who like a good scare should line up in decent spring-like numbers. "Vacancy" opens in 2,551 theaters on Friday and could pull in around $14M over three days.


Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson are forced to snoop in "Vacancy."

Recent Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling plays an assistant district attorney prosecuting a man who murdered his wife, played by Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins, in the new courtroom thriller "Fracture." The New Line release will play to a mature adult audience which puts it in a strong position given all the films targeting teens and young adults at the moment. Both actors are well-respected, however they are not necessarily box office powers. Hopkins has done well when he’s playing a cannibal, but otherwise his track record is spotty when anchoring a film with no other major commercial draws. Reviews have been somewhat positive which could help a tad. "Fracture" debuts in about 2,400 theaters and may collect roughly $12M over the frame.


Ryan Gosling wishes there was a time limit in "Fracture."

Warner Bros. goes after the ladies with the weekend’s only PG-13 entry "In the Land of Women." Written and directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Jonathan Kasdan, the romantic drama stars "The O.C."’s Adam Brody along with Meg Ryan and Olympia Dukakis in the story of a young man who learns the complexities of the other sex while caring for his ailing granny. Male appeal will be close to zero. That means that "Disturbia," which is playing very well with teenage girls, will be a major competitor here. Aside from that, there aren’t too many direct threats however the overall marketing push has not been very loud on "Women." Landing in 2,155 theaters, "In the Land of Women" might capture about $8M for the weekend.


An Adam Brody sandwich, courtesy of "In the Land of Women."

The creative team behind 2004’s cult hit "Shaun of the Dead" is back with its take on cop buddy flicks with "Hot Fuzz." The R-rated action comedy finds an overachieving London cop being transferred to a seemingly peaceful countryside village before stumbling upon a series of mysterious killings. Young men will make up the core audience. But through video and cable, "Shaun" has built up a loyal fan following which is likely to give this new entry a try. Add in positive buzz from its blockbuster release in the U.K. earlier this year (it’s already grossed $48M outside of North America) plus glowing reviews from U.S. critics and it is sure to pack a punch in the per-theater average race. Holding it back will be the moderate wide release in 825 locations. In 2004, "Shaun" debuted in 607 sites and grossed $3.3M for a solid $5,487 average. "Hot Fuzz" should be hotter and could arrest about $6M this weekend.


The dandy "Shaun of the Dead" gang is back in "Hot Fuzz."

Following its surprisingly potent number one opening, Shia LaBeouf‘s thriller "Disturbia" will face some hefty competition from "Vacancy" which also goes after those seeking a scary flick. A 45% drop could be in order giving the Paramount title around $12M for the frame and a ten-day tally of $39M.

Will Ferrell‘s hit comedy "Blades of Glory" looks set to break through the $100M mark this weekend. A 35% decline would give the Paramount release about $9M for the frame and $102M after 24 days. Disney’s animated film "Meet the Robinsons" has been holding up very well and with another weekend of mostly R-rated new entries, look for another slim dip. The 3D toon might slide by just 25% to roughly $9M boosting the cume to $84M. An invitation to the century club is in the mail.

LAST YEAR: Spooky flick "Silent Hill" topped the charts opening to a strong $20.2M on its way to $47M for Sony. The Weinstein Company’s spoof hit "Scary Movie 4" tumbled 58% in its second weekend to $16.8M for the runnerup spot. Debuting in third was the Michael Douglas actioner "The Sentinel" with $14.4M before finishing with $36.3M for Fox. The studio’s toon sequel "Ice Age: The Meltdown" followed with $13.3M in its fourth frame while competing animated entry "The Wild" rounded out the top five with $8.3M. The weekend’s other new release, the Hugh Grant comedy "American Dreamz," bowed poorly in ninth with $3.7M on its way to just $7.2M for Universal.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies, we’ve got mother/daughter conflict ("Because I Said So," starring Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore) and dark proceedings on a North Dakota sunflower farm ("The Messengers," starring Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller). What do the critics have to say?

Diane Keaton is one of America’s finest actresses, and Mandy Moore has continued to emerge as an engaging cinematic presence. Thus, critics say it’s especially disappointing that "Because I Said So," a dramedy about the dating woes of a mother and daughter, is so derivative. Keaton stars as a mom who is overly involved in Moore’s love life, in the hopes of helping her avoid past mistakes. The pundits say the actors in "Because" do the best they can with the material, which isn’t much, since the script is slight and shrill. At eight percent on the Tomatometer, the critics are saying to stay away from this one just "Because."


The eight percent tomatometer came as a shock.

The folks behind "The Messengers" are sending a missive to audiences by not screening the film for critics. The message is this: the movie probably isn’t any good. Directed by the Pang brothers, the film stars Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller as a couple whose children see dead people; evil goings-on ensue. Memo to readers: Guess that Tomatometer!


"I see…film critics!"

Also opening this week in limited release: "East of Havana," a documentary about young rap artists in Cuba, is at 100 percent; "An Unreasonable Man," a documentary about Ralph Nader‘s tumultuous career, is at 91 percent on the Tomatometer; "Fired!" a comedic meditation on the nature of getting sacked, is at 75 percent; "In The Pit," a Mexican documentary about freeway builders, is at 57 percent; "Puccini for Beginners," a screwball love-triangle comedy starring Gretchen Mol, is at 36 percent; "The Situation," a multifaceted look at the U.S. occupation of Iraq starring Connie Nielsen, is at 36 percent; and “Constellation,” a story of familial togetherness, is at zero percent.


"An Unreasonble Man" is good for consumers.

And finally, it’s time to dole out congrats to those clairvoyant souls who correctly guessed last week’s Tomatometers for "Epic Movie" and "Blood and Chocolate." To sir_mcchris_the_pirate, we say, "yo-ho-ho and a bottle of props" for correctly guessing "Epic"’s three percent. And a "bow-wow-wow-yippie-yo-yippie-yay" to the one and only dreday, on a Tomatometer-guessing spree; the good doctor correctly estimated "Blood"’s eight percent.

Recent Diane Keaton Movies:
————————————-
53% — The Family Stone (2005)
69% — Something’s Gotta Give (2003)
13% — Town and Country (2001)
11% — Hanging Up (2000)
32% — The Other Sister (1999)

Recent Mandy Moore Movies:
—————————————
41% — American Dreamz (2006)
45% — Romance and Cigarettes (2006)
67% — Brother Bear 2 (2006)
34% — Racing Stripes (2005)
60% — Saved! (2004)

Films Not Screened for Critics in 2007
———————————————-
3% — Epic Movie
8% — Blood and Chocolate
22% — The Hitcher
16% — Primeval

This week at the movies we’ve got a Secret Service agent on a mission ("The Sentinel"), an "American Idol"- skewering political satire ("American Dreamz") and a very creepy town ("Silent Hill"). What do the critics have to say?

A Secret Service agent is determined to save the president from an assassination attempt. It’s a setup that has worked successfully before ("In the Line of Fire"), but critics say "The Sentinel" isn’t sharp enough to make good on its premise. Michael Douglas stars as the agent who falls into a web of intrigue, and Kiefer Sutherland, who’s getting pretty good at foiling conspiracies, plays his protege. Critics say the film is slick, but a bit too convoluted to really work. At 26 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Sentinel" is not very well-fortified.

What is "American Dreamz?" Is it a comedy? A satire? An ambitious attempt to capture the zeitgeist of our politically divided, entertainment-craving times? More to the point, is Paul Weitz‘s latest any good? In parts, the critics say, but not as a whole. "American Dreamz" tells the story of a recently re-elected, now intellectually curious president (Dennis Quaid) who makes a guest appearance on a popular TV singing competition where would-be songbirds and would-be terrorists convene. The critics say "American Dreamz" is a bit too ambitious for its own good, and lacks the sharp bite to really work as satire. At 38 percent on the Tomatometer, this one may not be the stuff that "Dreamz" are made of.

We’re guessing that the people behind "Silent Hill" would consider the little girl on the poster to be the perfect movie critic for one reason: she’s got no mouth. And there isn’t anything for the critics to say, because, like a bunch of other movies this year (all of which have turned out to be critical duds), "Silent Hill" was not screened for the scribes. Kids, you know what that means: Guess the Tomatometer! And while you’re at it, get a glimpse of the film in the Rotten Tomatoes’ "Silent Hill" photo gallery.

Recent Michael Douglas Movies:
————————————–
37% — The In-Laws (2003)
29% — It Runs in the Family (2003)
23% — Don’t Say a Word (2001)
32% — One Night at McCool’s (2001)
83% — Wonder Boys (2000)

Recent Paul Weitz Movies:
——————————–
82% — In Good Company (2004)
94% — About a Boy (2002)
17% — Down to Earth (2001)
60% — American Pie (1999)

WeinsteinCo’s Scary Movie 4 made a huge pile of cash over the holiday weekend, demolishing Panic Room‘s $30 million Easter haul from a few years back. The silly sequel scared up an amazing $41 million from more than 3,600 screens — and yes, Scary Movie 5 will be hitting theaters at this time next year. (Shocker, eh?)

Still going pretty darn strong in second place was Fox’s Ice Age: The Meltdown, which added another $20 million to its (impressively) grand total of $147 million. Third place went to another returnee: Sony’s The Benchwarmers fell 49% to snag $10 million in its second weekend, giving it a total haul of about $36 million.

Disney’s unkindly-reviewed The Wild debuted in 4th place, pulling in just under $10 million from 2,800 theaters, while the dance-hall drama Take the Lead took the fifth spot with $6.7 million (and a $22.5 million total).

Next week’s wide releases look to be Universal’s satire American Dreamz, Fox’s Secret Service thriller The Sentinel, and Sony’s horror flick / video game adaptation Silent Hill.

For a closer look at the weekend numbers, pop on over to the Rotten Tomatoes Box Office Page.

In addition to a ton of low-budget, independent, documentary, and dramatic films, this year’s South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival promises a rather flashy infusement of high-end studio fare, too! So while it’s always important to shed some attention on the little guys (which we’ll be doing soon enough), it’s also fun to note that SXSW will be offering high-end "gimme" titles like "V for Vendetta," "The Notorious Bettie Page," "American Dreamz," and the geekily-anticipated "Slither."

As a movie nerd who’s covered SXSW for several years now, I can honestly opine that it’s one helluva good time. The people are friendly, the weather is nice, the BBQ is astonshing, and the movies … well, the movies are pretty awesome. Have a sneak peek at some of what this fest has to offer:

A Prairie Home Companion
Dir: Robert Altman
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, John C. Reilly, Virginia Madsen, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Maya Rudolph

An adaptation of the popular radio program by Garrison Keillor, featuring an all-star cast.

American Dreamz

Dir: Paul Weitz
Cast: Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Marcia Gay Harden, Mandy Moore, Willem Dafoe, Judy Greer, Chris Klein

A satire about American identity, set around a popular television singing contest called American Dreamz.

Even Money
Dir: Mark Rydell
Cast: Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, Kelsey Grammer, Nick Cannon, Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker, Carla Gugino, Tim Roth, Jay Mohr

Gambling addiction bring the stories of three otherwise unconnected people together as it destroys each of their lives.

The Notorious Bettie Page
Dir: Mary Harron
Cast: Gretchen Mol, Lili Taylor, David Strathairn, Cara Seymour

The story of Bettie Page, uber-successful 1950’s pin-up model, one of the first sex icons in America, and the target of a Senate investigation.

Slither
Dir: James Gunn
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, Gregg Henry

A small town is taken over by an alien plague, turning residents into zombies and all forms of mutant monsters.

This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Dir: Kirby Dick
Featuring: Kevin Smith, John Waters, Matt Stone, Kimberly Peirce, Jamie Babbit, Atom Egoyan, Darren Aronofsky, Mary Harron

This documentary is a provocative investigation of the people, places, and decisions that constitute the movie ratings board.

Friends with Money
Dir: Nicole Holofcener
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, Jason Isaacs, Timm Sharp, Joan Cusack, Frances McDormand, Scott Caan

A comedy/drama about how money, and the lack of it, affects and distorts relationships among a small group of Los Angeles friends.

District 13
Dir: Pierre Morel
Cast: Cyril Raffaelli, David Belle, Tony D’Amario, Bibi Naceri

District 13 is a violent Paris slum that is so out-of-control that the authorities have constructed a giant wall around it, allowing the occupants to fight it out for themselves inside.

Hard Candy
Dir: David Slade
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh

An online predator is taken captive by a resourceful young girl in this kinetic thriller.

V For Vendetta
Dir: James McTeigue
Cast: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Rupert Graves

In the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, a man cloaked in mystery ignites a revolution and finds an unlikely ally in a seemingly mild mannered young woman.

…and that’s only ten of the 100+ titles on display. For a full rundown of the SXSW program, click right here and then try and figure out how many miles lie between you and Austin, Texas.

The South by Southwest Film Festival runs from March 10th – 19th, and you can certainly expect a few reports from the event next month.

From Paul Weitz, the director of "American Pie," "About a Boy," and "In Good Company," comes the slick-looking satire known as "American Dreamz," which seems to star Dennis Quaid as George Bush, Hugh Grant as Simon Cowell, and Mandy Moore as Kelly Clarkson. Anyway, the trailer‘s pretty great, and I recommend you check it out right here.

"On the morning of his re-election, the President decides to read the newspaper for the first time in four years. This starts him down a slippery slope. He begins reading obsessively, reexamining his black and white view of the world, holing up in his bedroom in his pajamas. Frightened by the President’s apparent nervous breakdown, his Chief of Staff pushes him back into the spotlight, booking him as a guest judge on the television ratings juggernaut (and the President’s personal fave), the weekly talent show American Dreamz. America can’t seem to get enough of American Dreamz, hosted by self-aggrandizing, self-loathing Martin Tweed, ever on the lookout for the next insta-celebrity. His latest crop of hopefuls includes Sally, a conniving steel magnolia with a devoted, dopey veteran boyfriend, and Omer, a recent Southern Californian immigrant (who just happens to be a bumbling, show tune singing, would-be terrorist awaiting activation). When both Sally and Omer make it to the final round of Dreamz—where the President will be judging along with Tweed—the stage is set for a show the nation will never forget."

Universal will unleash the "Dreamz" on April 14th. Starring alongside Quaid, Grant, and Moore will be Willem Dafoe, Judy Greer, Marcia Gay Harden, Chris Klein, and Shohreh Aghdashloo. (And I’ve got a big red circle around this flick all of a sudden.)

Tag Cloud

australia Sci-Fi movies Showtime Paramount Exclusive Video Oscars Nickelodeon robots singing competition Shudder Winter TV diversity Mary Tyler Moore comic TCM Brie Larson Heroines Animation Comics on TV telelvision cancelled Sneak Peek finale canceled TV shows SDCC Emmys Fargo BBC Cannes Countdown 007 kids name the review TIFF Star Trek Mary poppins Women's History Month NBC crossover cartoon Hallmark Family concert Podcast Alien crime CBS miniseries Fantasy critics Neflix Grammys TV One NYCC YouTube Premium Britbox Dark Horse Comics Marvel Studios binge target unscripted scene in color 93rd Oscars black batman news Masterpiece streaming movies sports MSNBC 2017 stop motion Amazon Studios legend nfl Holidays facebook TV rt labs critics edition new star wars movies Apple TV Plus Musical anime The CW nature VOD BBC America fresh live event dc classics kong international Paramount Plus Writers Guild of America CMT witnail Opinion justice league Kids & Family Elton John crime drama political drama toronto Disney Set visit DirecTV GoT Spectrum Originals comedies psychological thriller Action harry potter archives rotten Pixar gangster Television Academy Academy Awards Tomatazos Cartoon Network TCA Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt french President jurassic park crime thriller comic book movie young adult golden globe awards Tokyo Olympics disaster black comedy 72 Emmy Awards supernatural E! popular halloween BAFTA Certified Fresh 1990s Character Guide Wes Anderson Super Bowl cancelled TV series book adaptation Lifetime Election Tumblr 2016 HBO hist sitcom genre Polls and Games Disney Channel stoner composers documentary Toys Travel Channel Instagram Live die hard feel good trophy Watching Series historical drama Vudu Classic Film aliens National Geographic Tubi NBA Disney+ Disney Plus spider-verse aapi TLC Horror Ghostbusters fast and furious PBS Amazon TNT Holiday razzies romantic comedy PaleyFest USA Network breaking bad ABC Red Carpet laika royal family deadpool LGBT rotten movies we love 24 frames Pop TV Emmy Nominations Hallmark Christmas movies animated sequels dragons Trailer 71st Emmy Awards adaptation SundanceTV Calendar RT21 A24 Cosplay hollywood The Witch posters remakes adenture elevated horror Star Wars comic book movies zero dark thirty Anna Paquin dceu strong female leads dogs Country psycho Food Network Comic-Con@Home 2021 versus USA CNN rt archives Drama Sony Pictures Nat Geo slasher MTV 99% rt labs Rocketman cats Musicals Comedy Central Pirates scary social media revenge YouTube Red worst DGA latino Ellie Kemper japanese 2015 sopranos Legendary Apple TV+ Universal GIFs debate MCU game show foreign thriller Ovation football science fiction vampires cars Infographic WarnerMedia TV renewals ABC Family The Walt Disney Company Western what to watch spanish Quiz werewolf spanish language Film documentaries award winner Video Games south america screen actors guild slashers emmy awards wonder woman Rock biography American Society of Cinematographers Disney streaming service dramedy medical drama Rom-Com mcc Lionsgate GLAAD Columbia Pictures VICE Arrowverse VH1 Fox Searchlight satire E3 ratings docuseries children's TV Bravo police drama italian Crackle marvel cinematic universe Superheroes Prime Video TCA Awards Schedule renewed TV shows 2019 Amazon Prime The Walking Dead criterion 79th Golden Globes Awards Awards Tour new zealand reviews LGBTQ based on movie Warner Bros. franchise Binge Guide AMC Plus Teen Valentine's Day ABC Signature joker Marvel Television Premiere Dates Chernobyl Mary Poppins Returns japan monster movies directors spinoff rom-coms FOX Spike Marathons A&E boxing Best and Worst natural history true crime free movies boxoffice OneApp TBS 21st Century Fox Amazon Prime Video IMDb TV all-time HBO Max movie See It Skip It festival docudrama Sundance TV jamie lee curtis Funimation adventure cancelled TV shows First Reviews festivals travel casting television DC streaming service dexter trailers HFPA spain Adult Swim Extras Acorn TV series YA transformers cooking asian-american live action 90s History war 2020 Broadway TV movies Music dark TruTV kaiju 4/20 Winners San Diego Comic-Con leaderboard space anthology El Rey cinemax FX The Purge green book know your critic basketball Fox News Universal Pictures Lifetime Christmas movies book Netflix Christmas movies Reality Competition spy thriller venice Esquire Box Office action-comedy Rocky BBC One superman comic books Crunchyroll christmas movies comics scary movies Trophy Talk twilight films Captain marvel screenings toy story ESPN blockbuster child's play game of thrones romance Sundance Discovery Channel DC Comics 2021 a nightmare on elm street WGN PlayStation ITV Image Comics indie reboot richard e. Grant Shondaland streaming CW Seed spider-man mockumentary Year in Review Freeform technology dreamworks Superheroe The Arrangement Hollywood Foreign Press Association discovery 20th Century Fox Turner Classic Movies period drama new york IFC Films hispanic heritage month Spring TV Pop canceled Sundance Now Comic Book New York Comic Con zombie prank Mindy Kaling video CBS All Access Mystery Interview independent Summer james bond mutant saw X-Men Black History Month Mudbound TCA 2017 Thanksgiving Creative Arts Emmys Hulu vs. Syfy chucky Epix Starz women Television Critics Association talk show BET Awards teaser halloween tv SXSW nbcuniversal Endgame parents 45 serial killer cults art house king kong HBO Go lord of the rings Chilling Adventures of Sabrina critic resources Hear Us Out Netflix hidden camera universal monsters Apple Paramount Network 2018 Baby Yoda Turner Reality worst movies TV Land Trivia Avengers Logo blockbusters OWN Comedy doctor who sag awards Song of Ice and Fire Lucasfilm 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Fall TV best indiana jones high school Christmas godzilla quibi ViacomCBS marvel comics ID BET DC Universe obituary Nominations politics ghosts 73rd Emmy Awards comiccon scorecard TCA Winter 2020 RT History golden globes IFC blaxploitation FX on Hulu Stephen King video on demand Disney Plus tv talk olympics The Academy YouTube Tarantino hispanic mission: impossible Film Festival cancelled television APB biopic Walt Disney Pictures mob Pet Sematary heist movie stand-up comedy Pacific Islander Black Mirror pirates of the caribbean king arthur Peacock Martial Arts Awards Marvel Pride Month theme song cops Biopics superhero FXX Photos First Look sequel Tags: Comedy zombies AMC suspense