(Photo by Jonny Cournoyer / © Paramount Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection)

All Emily Blunt Movies Ranked

Emily Blunt‘s first two Rotten Tomatoes-rated movies were Certified Fresh: My Summer of Love, which you’ve never heard of, and The Devil Wears Prada, which you definitely have. The $124-million grossing and decidedly unromantic comedy paved a path for more female-led films and served as a launching vector for actresses like Anne Hathaway and Blunt. Her appearances in high-profile Charlie Wilson’s War, The Wolfman and The Muppets kept the momentum going, but it wasn’t until releasing Looper that Blunt got that most coveted of validations: internet fan cred. Following that up with Edge of Tomorrow and A Quiet Place has cemented her image of poise and natural radiant strength. She was Mary Poppins, y’all.She was even Tempest Shadow in My Little Pony: The Movie. That’s cross-generational.

In 2021, she set course with A Quiet Place Part II and Jungle Cruise. Wee where those two land as we rank Emily Blunt movies by Tomatometer!

#32
Adjusted Score: 32623%
Critics Consensus: The Huntsman: Winter's War is visually arresting and boasts a stellar cast, but neither are enough to recommend this entirely unnecessary sequel.
Synopsis: Betrayed by her evil sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron), heartbroken Freya (Emily Blunt) retreats to a northern kingdom to raise an... [More]
Directed By: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

#31

Arthur Newman (2012)
20%

#31
Adjusted Score: 20284%
Critics Consensus: Despite the natural charisma of its leads, Arthur Newman does little with its intriguing setup, and the result is bland and unconvincing.
Synopsis: Frustrated with his boring life, Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) fakes his own death and sets out to make a new... [More]
Directed By: Dante Ariola

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 23143%
Critics Consensus: Though Jack Black is back doing what he does best, Gulliver's Travels largely fails to do any justice to its source material, relying instead on juvenile humor and special effects.
Synopsis: Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) works in a mailroom at a city newspaper. While he is on an assignment in the... [More]
Directed By: Rob Letterman

#29

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)
27%

#29
Adjusted Score: 29305%
Critics Consensus: Sherlock Gnomes is sadly, utterly stumped by the mystery of the reason for its own existence.
Synopsis: When Gnomeo and Juliet first arrive in London with their friends and family, their biggest concern is getting a new... [More]
Directed By: John Stevenson

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 33718%
Critics Consensus: Fatally undermined by dodgy accents and a questionable story, Wild Mountain Thyme is a baffling misfire for a talented filmmaker and impressive cast.
Synopsis: John Patrick Shanley, who created the classic MOONSTRUCK, brings his sweeping romantic vision to Ireland with Wild Mountain Thyme. The... [More]
Directed By: John Patrick Shanley

#27

Wild Target (2010)
33%

#27
Adjusted Score: 33338%
Critics Consensus: An ineptly staged farce that dishonors the original film and squanders the comedic potential of its fine actors.
Synopsis: Longing to get out of the assassination business, a hit man (Bill Nighy) decides not to follow through with his... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#26

The Wolfman (2010)
34%

#26
Adjusted Score: 41436%
Critics Consensus: Suitably grand and special effects-laden, The Wolfman suffers from a suspense-deficient script and a surprising lack of genuine chills.
Synopsis: Though absent from his ancestral home of Blackmoor for many years, aristocrat Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns to find... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 63681%
Critics Consensus: Emily Blunt's outstanding performance isn't enough to keep The Girl on the Train from sliding sluggishly into exploitative melodrama.
Synopsis: Commuter Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 50182%
Critics Consensus: Charming and sweet, My Little Pony: The Movie will please its dedicated fanbase, even if it's unlikely to encourage non-devotees to gallop along for the ride.
Synopsis: Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Rarity embark on an epic journey to save Ponyville from a... [More]
Directed By: Jayson Thiessen

#23

Wind Chill (2007)
46%

#23
Adjusted Score: 45148%
Critics Consensus: Wind Chill is a ghost story with a clunky and unpolished script that fails to keep viewers in suspense.
Synopsis: Just before their university campus goes quiet for the winter break, a young woman (Emily Blunt) asks a classmate (Ashton... [More]
Directed By: Gregory Jacobs

#22

Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
55%

#22
Adjusted Score: 59557%
Critics Consensus: While it has moments of inspiration, Gnomeo and Juliet is often too self-referential for its own good.
Synopsis: In Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare, Miss Capulet and Mr. Montague feud over whose garden is the better. Garden gnomes... [More]
Directed By: Kelly Asbury

#21

Jungle Cruise (2021)
62%

#21
Adjusted Score: 79591%
Critics Consensus: Its craft isn't quite as sturdy as some of the classic adventures it's indebted to, but Jungle Cruise remains a fun, family-friendly voyage.
Synopsis: Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE, a rollicking... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 70421%
Critics Consensus: While certainly overlong, The Five-Year Engagement benefits from the easy chemistry of its leads and a funny, romantic script with surprising depth and intelligence.
Synopsis: On their one-year anniversary, sous chef Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) plans to surprise his girlfriend, Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt), with... [More]
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

#19

Dan in Real Life (2007)
65%

#19
Adjusted Score: 71139%
Critics Consensus: The fine performances elevate Dan in Real Life beyond its sentimental plot.
Synopsis: Dan Burns (Steve Carell), a widower and advice columnist, meets a beautiful stranger (Juliette Binoche) in a bookstore and is... [More]
Directed By: Peter Hedges

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 70201%
Critics Consensus: Though at times formulaic and sentimental, Jane Austen Book Club succeeds on the strength of its likable ensemble cast. Even those not familiar with Jane Austen's work may find much to enjoy this lighthearted romance.
Synopsis: Six Californians (Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Emily Blunt) form a book club devoted to studying the works of the 19th-century... [More]
Directed By: Robin Swicord

#17
Adjusted Score: 72104%
Critics Consensus: Quirky and a little reserved, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is nonetheless a charming little romantic drama sold by some strong central performances.
Synopsis: Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is a fisheries scientist who one day receives an unusual request: A businesswoman named Harriet... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 74277%
Critics Consensus: By turns fluffy and biting, this show biz comedy is given girth by comic heavyweight John Malkovich and made all the more charming by Emily Blunt.
Synopsis: Defying his father and dropping out of law school, aspiring writer Troy Gable (Colin Hanks) looks for a way to... [More]
Directed By: Sean McGinly

#15

Into the Woods (2014)
71%

#15
Adjusted Score: 80573%
Critics Consensus: On the whole, this Disney adaptation of the Sondheim classic sits comfortably at the corner of Hollywood and Broadway -- even if it darkens to its detriment in the final act.
Synopsis: As the result of the curse of a once-beautiful witch (Meryl Streep), a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 81244%
Critics Consensus: First-time writer/director George Nolfi struggles to maintain a consistent tone, but The Adjustment Bureau rises on the strong, believable chemistry of its stars.
Synopsis: Just as he is on the brink of winning a Senate seat, politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets a ballerina... [More]
Directed By: George Nolfi

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 81144%
Critics Consensus: Despite a sometimes overly familiar plot, Sunshine Cleaning benefits from the lively performances of its two stars.
Synopsis: Though they once seemed to have a bright future, life seems to be passing by the Norkowski sisters. Rose (Amy... [More]
Directed By: Christine Jeffs

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 83337%
Critics Consensus: A rare film that surpasses the quality of its source novel, this Devil is a witty expose of New York's fashion scene, with Meryl Streep in top form and Anne Hathaway more than holding her own.
Synopsis: Andy (Anne Hathaway) is a recent college graduate with big dreams. Upon landing a job at prestigious Runway magazine, she... [More]
Directed By: David Frankel

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 82089%
Critics Consensus: Emily Blunt shines as Victoria in this romantic but plodding royal portrait.
Synopsis: As the only legitimate heir of England's King William, teenage Victoria (Emily Blunt) gets caught up in the political machinations... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallée

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 102223%
Critics Consensus: Mary Poppins Returns relies on the magic of its classic forebear to cast a familiar -- but still solidly effective -- family-friendly spell.
Synopsis: Now an adult with three children, bank teller Michael Banks learns that his house will be repossessed in five days... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 89762%
Critics Consensus: Charlie Wilson's War manages to entertain and inform audiences, thanks to its witty script and talented cast of power players.
Synopsis: In the 1980s U.S.Rep. Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), Texas socialite Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) and CIA agent Gust Avrakotos (Philip... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 88822%
Critics Consensus: Superbly acted and satisfyingly engaging, Your Sister's Sister subverts rom-com conventions with sensitive direction, an unconventional screenplay, and a big heart.
Synopsis: A man (Mark Duplass) falls into bed with his best friend's (Emily Blunt) sister (Rosemarie DeWitt), leading to an unexpected... [More]
Directed By: Lynn Shelton

#7

The Wind Rises (2013)
88%

#7
Adjusted Score: 95365%
Critics Consensus: The Wind Rises is a fittingly bittersweet swan song for director Hayao Miyazaki.
Synopsis: A lifelong love of flight inspires Japanese aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, whose storied career includes the creation of the A-6M... [More]

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 93156%
Critics Consensus: My Summer of Love is a moody, bittersweet love story featuring outstanding performances from the leads.
Synopsis: When upper-class Tamsin (Emily Blunt) meets working-class Mona (Natalie Press) they are immediately drawn to each other. Although coming from... [More]
Directed By: Paul Pavlikovsky

#5

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
91%

#5
Adjusted Score: 104369%
Critics Consensus: Gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever, Edge of Tomorrow offers entertaining proof that Tom Cruise is still more than capable of shouldering the weight of a blockbuster action thriller.
Synopsis: When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj.... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 110594%
Critics Consensus: A nerve-wracking continuation of its predecessor, A Quiet Place Part II expands the terrifying world of the franchise without losing track of its heart.
Synopsis: Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family must now face the terrors of the outside world as they... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

#3

Sicario (2015)
92%

#3
Adjusted Score: 102548%
Critics Consensus: Led by outstanding work from Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, Sicario is a taut, tightly wound thriller with much more on its mind than attention-getting set pieces.
Synopsis: After rising through the ranks of her male-dominated profession, idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) receives a top assignment.... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#2

Looper (2012)
93%

#2
Adjusted Score: 103706%
Critics Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is thrilling, Looper delivers an uncommonly smart, bravely original blend of futuristic sci-fi and good old-fashioned action.
Synopsis: In a future society, time-travel exists, but it's only available to those with the means to pay for it on... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#1

A Quiet Place (2018)
96%

#1
Adjusted Score: 118865%
Critics Consensus: A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.
Synopsis: If they hear you, they hunt you. A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by... [More]
Directed By: John Krasinski

The critically-acclaimed, Oscar-winning No Country For Old Men comes to DVD this week, accompanied by a litany of fellow Fresh films (Lake of Fire, Summer Palace, Dan in Real Life) as well as a gaggle of critical duds (Hitman, Bee Movie, August Rush, and more).


No Country For Old Men

Tomatometer: 94%

Joel and Ethan Coen add another celebrated film to their resume with this four-category Oscar-winning thriller about a bag of stolen cash, a man on the run, the killer on his tail, and the old lawman desperately trying to make sense of it all. While we’ll get no commentary track on this initial DVD release (just wait for the inevitable super-sized special editions), three features comprise the bonus menu, but the film itself is its own reward — just ask those Academy voters.

Bee Movie

Tomatometer: 54%

Jerry Seinfeld‘s bid for post-Seinfeld success came last year in the form of a honeybee: a neurotic, rather Jerry-esque bee named Barry Bee Benson, to be exact, who leaves corporatized hive life for the great big world of humans in New York City’s Central Park. When Barry discovers that humans have been stealing the hard-earned honey of his buzzing brethren, he takes the most American action there is — he sues the human race. With a supporting voice cast that includes Chris Rock, Renee Zellweger, Patrick Warburton, and Matthew Broderick — and cameos by Sting, Ray Liotta, and Oprah WinfreyBee Movie is full of that familiar Seinfeld sardonic humor, although, as the critics say, it’s fairly forgettable.
Dan in Real Life


Tomatometer: 66%

Steve Carell‘s trademark hangdog deadpan finds appropriate anchor in this romantic comedy from Peter Hedges (Pieces of April). Carell stars as Dan, the widowed father of three girls who writes an advice column for a living; when Dan meets his dream girl (Juliette Binoche) during a family get-together, he’s elated — until he learns she’s his brother’s new girlfriend. A soundtrack by Swedish singer-songwriter Sondre Lerch underscores Dan’s comic heartache, though some critics found the script to be occasionally too flat and contrived. A decently packed bonus menu with director commentary, deleted scenes, and outtakes round out the disc.

August Rush


Tomatometer: 38%

Freddie Highmore, Britain’s omnipresent kid actor, stars as a musically-gifted orphan on a quest to find his birth parents — and exposure any and every person he meets along the way to the magic of music. Sound schmaltzy enough for you? Well, throw in Robin Williams (channeling his doppelganger, U2 front man Bono) as a musical street pimp named Wizard, salvation in the form of a choir, and lines like “The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen,” and you’ve got one heckuva a saccharine smorgasbord.

Nancy Drew


Tomatometer: 48%

If, like some of us, you were an avid fan of the Nancy Drew mystery books — over 170 stories published under the pseudonym “Carolyn Keene” since 1930 — then you might have felt some apprehension when a feature-length film about the classic sleuthing teen was announced. Unfortunately for us purists, the reviews confirm those fears. Emma Roberts stars as the titular teen, whose prudish, Type-A manner clashes with the spoiled kids she encounters when she and her dad (Tate Donovan) move to Tinseltown. A Hollywood mystery surfaces, of course, but grown audiences will remain unspooked. I say, bring on the Choose Your Own Adventure movie instead!

Sleuth


Tomatometer: 36%

The gimmick of casting this cat-and-mouse thriller is intriguing on its own; having starred as a young adulterer opposite Laurence Olivier in 1972’s Sleuth, Michael Caine now plays the older role opposite Jude Law in Kenneth Branagh‘s remake. Unfortunately, the script by Harold Pinter, adapting Anthony Shaffer’s play, fails to serve the two leads well, making for a tedious time — unless you enjoy watching two distinguished British actors out-act one another. Law, Caine, and Branagh make recompense in a jointly recorded commentary track in the special features.

 

Hitman


Tomatometer: 15%

With a title like Hitman, you know what you’re getting into with this video game adaptation from French director Xavier Gens (Frontier(es)). Timothy Olyphant stars as a bar coded professional killer named Number 47 dealing with his sinister bosses, a Russian politico, and a hot prostitute (Olga Kurylenko) on the run. Overwhelmingly derided by the critical set, who might alternately recommend the film to a PS2-obsessed pre-teen boy, Hitman at least serves one purpose: bringing you a closer look at future Bond girl Kurylenko half a year before Quantum of Solace hits theaters.

Lake of Fire


Tomatometer: 94%

When Nirvana covered the Meat Puppets’ “Lake of Fire” in their Unplugged album session, they sang that the Biblical body of water was “where bad folks go when they die.” In his sprawling documentary on abortion, director Tony Kaye brings us a comprehensive look at the often violent, always vehement hot button debate that has raged for 25 years since Roe vs. Wade. Kaye, who filmed the doc over a period of 17 years, is the same director who earned Hollywood’s praise for directing the 1998 skinhead drama American History X (then disappeared from view following his bitter falling out with New Line and star Edward Norton). Be warned that Lake of Fire contains graphic images; a commentary with Kaye accompanies the DVD.

Summer Palace


Tomatometer: 70%

A young rural woman gets accepted to Peking University and encounters sexual awakening, politics, and discontent against the backdrop of the Tiananmen Square protests in controversial director Lou Ye‘s epic drama. Actress Hao Lei gives a brazen performance as the film’s restless protagonist, who spends over two decades (the late 1980s to the 2000s) struggling to get over the lost love of her life. At over two and a half hours, Ye’s film could be split into two stories — one of the young woman and another of her adult years) — but his film captures the zeitgeist of an entire generation forever marked by Tiananmen-era experiences, at times recalling the verve of Godard and the French New Wave. Shown in competition at the Cannes Film Festival without government approval, the sexually-explicit film was subsequently banned in China, its filmmakers censured from further filmmaking for a five year span.

 

So there you have your new releases for this week. In the words of the ancient Romans, “Amicule, deliciae, num is sum qui mentiar tibi?

When they sit down on January 15th to determine the Best Song nominees for this year’s Oscars, voting members of the Academy’s Music Branch will have plenty of tunes to choose from — 59, to be exact.

While a number of the contenders were written by film-music vets — including Alan Silvestri, Alan Menken, and Diane Warren — this year’s field also boasts submissions by big pop names (John Legend, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer), rock superstars (Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters), and critically beloved songwriters (Marshall Crenshaw, Mike Viola, Dan Bern).

According to Variety, August Rush leads the crowd with four contenders, followed by Dan in Real Life, 56 Drops of Blood, Enchanted, Good Luck Chuck, Into the Wild, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story with three apiece.

On January 15th, the Academy will randomly screen clips featuring each song for voters, who will then have the unenviable task of narrowing the group of 59 down to three, four, or five nominees.

Source: Variety

Following a sluggish fall season, November kicks off with a bang this weekend with two high profile films both reaching for the number one spot while appealing to vastly different audiences. Paramount and DreamWorks target kids with the animated comedy Bee Movie from Jerry Seinfeld while Universal goes after adult audiences with its crime drama American Gangster which pits Denzel Washington against Russell Crowe. With little overlap in business, the overall North American box office should surge and finally beat out year-ago levels leading to a solid kickoff for the holiday movie season.

A decade after conquering the television world, Jerry Seinfeld aims to take over the land of film with Bee Movie. The PG-rated toon tells the story of a bee that must try to save his world from those nasty humans that take their honey. Also lending vocal talents are Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Oprah Winfrey, and Chris Rock who snagged the coveted ‘and’ credit for what amounts to about 60 seconds of dialogue. Timing for the Paramount/DreamWorks release is as good as it gets. Not only is early November a hot time for kids movies to score at the box office but the marketplace has suffered a virtual drought when it comes to family-friendly entertainment this fall with The Game Plan being the only major contender. Parents are dying to take their kids to something else, anything else.

Bee Movie falls into the lucrative category of digitally animated comedies about talking creatures featuring the voice of a popular comedian. Last November’s Happy Feet with Robin Williams opened to $41.5M, the previous year’s Chicken Little bowed to $40M, and 2004’s Shark Tale debuted with $47.6M. Bee has the slick animation and funny situations that kids like but also features humor that adults will enjoy too so it will play to a broad audience. And the millions of Seinfeld fans that have had nothing but DVD box sets every Thanksgiving will finally have some new material they can check out from their favorite comic. Critics have not been very kind but that should not affect the grosses that much. The studio’s marketing blitz will be enough to make children demand a trip to the local megaplex. With a highly commercial product, no competition for the family audience, and an ultrawide launch in over 3,500 theaters, Bee Movie could win the box office battle this weekend and gross about $42M.


Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie

Boasting a much higher bodycount this weekend is Ridley Scott‘s American Gangster starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe which will shoot up some solid numbers from adult audiences. The R-rated drama tells the true story of Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas who built up a mammoth empire selling heroin. Crowe plays the detective out to shut him down. Starpower from the three names, all of whom have won or been nominated for Oscars multiple times, will be the driving force at the turnstiles. Universal’s $90M+ production also has garnered strong reviews which will help the cause and has been backed by an effective marketing push. The running time of nearly two hours and forty minutes will cut back on the amount of times each auditorium can play the film. Even multiplexes that double-screen the picture will probably run out of seats on Friday and Saturday nights.

Gangster should play out like a Denzel movie more than anything else since his box office track record is the strongest and has more consistency than those of Scott and Crowe. Having scored ten career number one openings to date, Washington has seen his top bow come from last year’s Inside Man which debuted to $29M and a $10,275 average. Last fall’s organized crime hit The Departed opened to $26.9M and a $8,912 average and makes for a good comparison given its genre, starpower, acclaim, rating, and length. Gangster will attract a larger African American audience than Scorsese‘s award winner did so an opening north of $30M seems likely. Appeal to men and women will be equally strong. Many adult dramas have struggled at the box office this fall but American Gangster has the firepower to go out there and pull in paying audiences. Plus the weekend’s other major offerings will not eat into its customer base by too much. Heading into 3,054 theaters, American Gangster might debut with around $34M this weekend.


Washington and Crowe in American Gangster

After starring in the year’s second highest grossing horror film 1408, John Cusack hits the big screen again in the family drama Martian Child. The PG-rated film finds the actor playing a writer whose adopted son claims to be from Mars. Parents looking for a movie that they can see with their kids this weekend will be lining up for Jerry and his insect pals so Child will face an uphill battle. New Line hopes that there will be room in the marketplace for a live-action pic for kids but even The Game Plan in its sixth session will be a force to be reckoned with. Invading over 2,000 theaters, Martian Child might take in roughly $6M.


John Cusack in The Martian Child

Following its strong top spot launch, the horror flick Saw IV is sure to fall hard on the second weekend. Sophomore drops amounted to 47% for Saw II and 56% for Saw III and the decline should get even larger for the fourth installment. A 60% plunge would give Lionsgate about $13M for the frame and a ten-day cume of $51M.

Look for a better hold from Steve Carell‘s dramedy Dan in Real Life. The Buena Vista title enjoyed a solid average and has generated good word-of-mouth. The weekend’s new releases may not provide too much competition so a decline of 35% could result. That would put Dan at around $7.5M for a total of $22M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: Crashing into multiplexes on a tidal wave of buzz was the raunchy comedy Borat which only debuted in 837 theaters but scored a potent top spot bow of $26.5M for a sizzling average of $31,607. The Fox blockbuster was the only film in 2006 to hit number one while playing in less than 2,000 venues. Final grosses reached $128.5M domestically and over $260M worldwide. Two new kidpics split the family audience and followed in second and third. Disney’s Tim Allen sequel The Santa Clause 3 bowed to $19.5M on its way to $84.5M while Paramount’s animated comedy Flushed Away debuted close behind with $18.8M before finishing with $64.5M. Falling to fourth was Saw III with $14.8M for Lionsgate while the Warner Bros. crime thriller The Departed rounded out the top five with $7.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com,

For the third straight year, the weekend before Halloween was ruled by a
$30M+ opening from the Saw
franchise proving that the horror series is still the top choice for those
looking for a scare. While
Saw IV
debuted at number one with a brutal box office bow, the romantic
dramedy Dan in
Real Life
starring
Steve Carell
opened impressively in second place and made for a popular counter-programming
choice for those not interested in blood and gore. Overall, the North American
box office came back to life as the top ten was about even with this same
weekend in each of the last two years when by no coincidence earlier Saw
installments reigned supreme.

Lionsgate’s wildly successful fall movie slate welcomed another hit with
Saw IV
which topped
the charts with an estimated $32.1M launch taking in more ticket sales than the
next four films combined. It was the largest debut for any film since the comedy
Superbad in
mid-August, the best opening for any horror film this year, and proved that the
distributor’s highly profitable franchise was still a big hit with fans.
Premiering in 3,183 theaters, the R-rated torturefest averaged a gruesome
$10,088 per site. The performance was a bit below the $33.6M opening of
Saw III
from this
weekend last year and ahead of the $31.7M start for
Saw II
in 2005. Those
films reached $87M and $80.2M, respectively in the domestic market. As the
fourth installment in a horror franchise, Saw IV should suffer rapid erosion in
the weeks ahead, but a muscular final gross of $70-75M could still result.


Buena Vista delivered a strong start for its comedy-drama offering
Dan in Real Life

which bowed to an estimated $12.1M from 1,921 theaters for a solid $6,289
average per venue. The Steve Carell vehicle about a widower who falls for his
brother’s girlfriend posted impressive numbers given its moderately wide release
and benefited from the studio’s sneak previews last weekend which helped to
spread word-of-mouth for a film that was not necessarily an easy sell. Critics
had mixed feelings but were generally pleased with Dan.


With Saw IV stealing away the horror crowd, the vampire thriller
30 Days of Night

fell sharply in its second weekend dropping 58% to third place with an estimated
$6.7M. Sony’s $30M fright flick has scared up $27.3M in ten days and looks
headed for about a $40M finish.


Disney’s family comedy
The Game Plan

enjoyed a great hold in its fifth frame sliding only 24% to an estimated $6.3M
for a $77.1M cume. Lionsgate found itself in fifth with
Why
Did I Get Married?
which grossed an estimated $5.7M, off 53%, giving
the Tyler Perry
hit $47.3M to date. So far this fall, the distributor has opened four films with
debut averages of over $5,000 including two with averages north of $10,000.


A pair of well-reviewed adult dramas followed suffering only small declines.
George Clooney‘s
legal thriller
Michael Clayton
dipped only 25% to an estimated $5M giving Warner
Bros. a solid $28.7M to date. Miramax witnessed a good sophomore hold with its
Ben Affleck-directed
mystery Gone
Baby Gone
which took in an estimated $3.9M, down just 29%, pushing
the ten-day total to $11.3M.


The sports spoof comedy
The Comebacks

collected an estimated $3.5M in its second weekend, down a moderate 38%, and put
its sum at $10M after ten days. A $17-19M final is likely. Sony’s crime drama
We Own the Night

followed dropping 37% to an estimated $3.4M giving the
Joaquin
Phoenix
/Mark
Wahlberg
pic $25.1M thus far. Rounding out the top ten was the latest
re-release of Tim
Burton
‘s

The

Nightmare Before Christmas
which fell 37% to an estimated $3.3M
giving the Disney title $10M from its limited engagement.


Two star-driven underachievers dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The
Reese
Witherspoon
Jake
Gyllenhaal
drama
Rendition
declined by 42% in its second frame taking in an estimated
$2.4M for a ten-day tally of just $7.8M. A $13-15M final should result for New
Line. Paramount’s
Ben Stiller
flop
The Heartbreak Kid
 
tumbled 54% to an estimated $1.8M leaving the pic with only $35.1M overall. The
Farrelly brothers project will struggle to reach $39M.


Generating a scorching bow in a platform launch in New York was
Sidney Lumet‘s
critically acclaimed drama

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
which grossed an estimated
$73,500 from only two houses for a strong $36,750 per site. ThinkFilm reported
that numerous moviegoers were turned away at sold out shows on Friday and
Saturday and that the film will expand into six additional markets for a total
of 50 locations this Friday.



Also showing strength in its debut was the inspirational tale
Bella
with an
estimated $1.3M from 165 playdates for a solid $8,026 average. The Roadside
Attractions release targeted the Latino and faith-based audiences and won the
Audience Award at Toronto last year.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $82M which was off 2% from last year when
Saw III debuted in first place with $33.6M; and down a scant 1% from 2005
when Saw II opened in the top spot with $31.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandaya,
www.boxofficeguru.com

Jigsaw’s twisted games return for another late-October round of torture fun with Saw IV which should allow the lucrative franchise to claim the biggest horror opening of the year for the second straight time. The R-rated gorefest follows last year’s Saw III which bowed to $33.6M this very weekend setting a new debut record for the series. Jigsaw’s death in that installment did not stop a fourth flick from being produced since the most popular horror movie villains never truly die anyway. Although III set a new opening weekend record for the Lionsgate series, it did not match Saw II‘s overall $87M gross and instead finished a bit behind with $80.2M. Still, with small budgets (Saw III was produced for $12M) this cash cow continues to churn out profits and shows no sign of stopping.

The audience for Saw IV is clearly defined and new fans are not likely to be generated. Competition will come primarily from last weekend’s number one opener 30 Days of Night which will suffer a sharp fall this weekend. Otherwise, there is not much to distract genre fans on the weekend before the pumpkin holiday. The marketing has been on par with previous films, but as the franchise ages it risks losing fans who may have had enough with three helpings already. Plus this year has seen a wide assortment of horror films crash and burn which has led to some fright fatigue. Another factor could be the World Series which last year only affected Saw III‘s Friday bow but this year will cut into both Saturday and Sunday business. Many young adults may opt for the torture that the Red Sox are inflicting on the Rockies instead. Saw IV opens on Friday in 3,183 locations and could take in about $29M over three days.


Saw IV

Steve Carell provides some laughs to those not interested in Halloween horror. Following the relatively disappointing $100.3M gross for his $175M budgeted comedy Evan Almighty, the funnyman returns in the dramedy Dan in Real Life playing a depressed widower who falls for his brother’s girlfriend during a family reunion weekend. Juliette Binoche and Dane Cook co-star. The PG-13 film is not a full-fledged comedy so it won’t attract the entire Carell fan base that has grown rapidly over the years thanks to The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the hit sitcom The Office. Also Buena Vista is not releasing the film too wide so the numbers will be kept to a manageable level. Dan should skew mostly to an adult audience so a cluttered marketplace filled with options for mature moviegoers will be a factor too. A poor title won’t help either. Though reviews have been generally positive for this lovable loser tale, a large number of moviegoers might just wait for the DVD on this one. Dan in Real Life stumbles into more than 1,700 theaters on Friday and could collect about $9M.


Steve Carell in Dan in Real Life

Last weekend vampires ruled the box office with 30 Days of Night, but this time a steep fall is guaranteed. Horror pics always drop hard on the second weekend and add in the arrival of Saw which will steal away the same audience, and a 55% decline could result. That would give Sony about $7M for the frame and a decent ten-day total of $27M. Tyler Perry‘s hit comedy Why Did I Get Married? has little in the way of new competition to deal with which means another good hold is likely. The Lionsgate pic may slide by 40% to around $7M as well and boost its 17-day total to $48M.


30 Days of Night

The Game Plan has been the fall season’s top grosser and Disney once again has no threats opening against it. The Rock‘s durable hit should dip by 30% to roughly $6M for a cume to date of $76M. George Clooney’s well-reviewed legal drama Michael Clayton will face some competition for adults from Steve Carell this weekend, but a solid hold does seem likely. A 30% drop would put the Warner Bros. title at $4.5M for the session and lift the sum to $28M.

LAST YEAR: Like clockwork, Saw III came in and dominated the pre-Halloween box office with a franchise-best $33.6M debut grossing more than the rest of the top five combined. The Jigsaw pic eroded fast and ended up trailing Saw II‘s total tally and finished with $80.2M. Holding tight in second place was Martin Scorsese‘s crime saga The Departed with $9.8M in its fourth assignment and the lowest drop in the top ten. The magician drama The Prestige followed closely in third with $9.6M. The war drama Flags of Our Fathers ranked fourth with $6.3M while the animated hit Open Season placed fifth with $5.9M. Opening to dismal results outside the top ten was the Tim Robbins drama Catch A Fire with only $2M on its way to a horrible $4.3M. Platforming in only seven sites was the ensemble drama Babel which went on to gross $34.3M and win the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

This week at the movies we have a lovelorn single dad (Dan
in Real Life
, starring
Steve Carell and
Juliette Binoche),
brothers on a train (The Darjeeling Limited,
starring
Owen Wilson and
Jason Schwartzman,
and the return of Jigsaw (Saw IV,
starring Tobin
Bell
and
Scott Patterson
). What do the critics have to say?

The perpetually awesome
Steve Carell and
Juliette Binoche team up for
Dan
in Real Life
, a rom-com about an advice columnist who falls for his
brother’s significant other. It sounds good on paper: who wouldn’t be intrigued
by the pairing of the brilliantly guileless Carell with Binoche, an actress of
uncommon range and depth? Though Life suffers from an uneasy mix of sitcom wackiness and sentimentality, director Peter Hedges has a clear love for the film’s characters, with most critics agreeing Carell and company overcome the weak script. At 60 percent, Dan looks to survive his mid (Tomatometer) Life crisis.
 





"Want to join my Lynne Cheney book discussion group?"


Wes Anderson‘s back, and with him comes the visual splendor and melancholy humor
for which he’s known. In
The Darjeeling Limited
,
Adrien Brody joins
Anderson regulars Owen Wilson and
Jason Schwartzman in the story three brothers
trekking across the Subcontinent in search of spiritual truth. The critics
aren’t all on board with Darjeeling; some find Anderson’s quirks
overwhelming and impersonal. But the majority says it’s engaging and funny in
that deadpan Wes Anderson way, with loads of quirky visual touches. At 66
percent on the Tomatometer, The Darjeeling Limited may be worth the trip.
(Check out our Wes Anderson Total Recall feature
here.)
 



“I’m telling you, Wes Anderson has never seen Harold and Maude!”


For those of you who yearn for even more insight into the twisted mind of
Jigsaw, you’re in luck: Saw IV hits theaters Friday. However, if you’re a
movie critic, you won’t be able to see it before the rest of us civilians, since
it wasn’t screened before release. Whoever correctly guesses the Tomatometer
will be the sharpest tool in the RT shed.
 




Scott Patterson wishing he were back in Stars Hollow.
 

Also opening this week in limited release:
Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
,
a doc about the venerable folksinger/lefty activist, is at 92 percent on the
Tomatometer;
The Living and the Dead
, a psychological
horror film about
an unbalanced man caring for his sick mother, is at 89 percent;
Jimmy Carter
Man From Plains
,
Jonathan Demme‘s doc about the 39th president, is at 81
percent;
Sidney Lumet‘s


Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
, a family drama starring
Philip Seymour
Hoffman
, Marisa Tomei, and
Ethan Hawke, is at 79 percent;
The Island, a
Russian import about a soldier who takes refuge in a monastery, is at 71
percent;
Mr. Untouchable
, a doc about the rise and fall of drug kingpin
Nicky Barnes, is at 63 percent;
Lynch
, an examination of the man behind
Twin
Peaks
, is at 63 percent;
Black Irish
, a coming-of-age dysfunctional
family drama, is at 50 percent;
Lagerfeld Confidential
, a doc about the
fashion icon, is at 45 percent;
Music Within
, a drama about a Vietnam Vet
who fought for the rights of the disabled, is at 38 percent;
O Jerusalem
,
a dramatization of the establishment of Israel, is at 33 percent;
Slipstream
,
written and directed by Anthony Hopkins, is at 30 percent;
Bella
, about
an unconventional love story in New York City, is at 30 percent; and
Rails &
Ties
, a drama about a family struggling with illness starring
Kevin Bacon
and Marcia Gay Harden, is at 23 percent.
 





Seeger, with some random groupie.
 

Finally, props to
m_ioannidis for coming the closest to guessing
The
Comebacks
10 percent Tomatometer. And semi-props to
SplendidIsolation and
BlueStar 50 for coming the closest to guessing
Sarah Landon and the
Paranormal Hour
‘s zero percent score.

Recent Steve Carell Movies:
———————————–
24% — Evan Almighty (2007)
74% — Over the Hedge (2006)
92% — Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
83% — The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
51% — Melinda and Melinda (2005)

Saws:
—————–
27% — Saw III (2006)
35% — Saw II (2005)
46% — Saw (2004)

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