Insidious fans have had to wait a few years for the franchise’s fourth installment, but with this weekend’s The Last Key, the story of Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) finally has its next chapter. In honor of this long-awaited arrival, we decided to dedicate this week’s feature to a look back at some of the (many) other fourth chapters in the horror genre, with an emphasis on the better-reviewed in the bunch. Buckle up for a slew of final chapters and spine-tingling returns, because it’s time for Total Recall!


Use the arrows to rank the movies, or click here to see them ranked by Tomatometer!

We here at RT went deep into the vault of horror franchises to tally up the victims of some of film and TV’s most deadly psycho killers. Take a peek at the results — if you dare!

 


Norman Bates  – Psycho (1960) 96%

Norman-Bates

Haunting Grounds: Bates Motel
Estimated Body Count: 20
Has there ever been a cinematic slasher more pitiable than Norman Bates? The poor guy is practically at war with himself, and his mom nags him from beyond the grave. Heck, every time he makes friends, they seem to end up dead. If Psycho exerted a profound influence on the slasher genre (and onscreen violence in general), it wasn’t because Norman was a particularly prolific killer. Alfred Hitchcock’s original (and the sequels) depicted a man in the clutches of inner torment and madness that was so gripping and scary that it didn’t need buckets of blood (or, in one memorable case, chocolate syrup) to be deeply unsettling.  Nine deaths are attributed to Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) on the five-season AMC prequel TV series Bates Motel. But, really, who can say for sure?

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THE CREEPER – Jeepers Creepers (2001) 46%

creeper

Haunting Grounds: The Jeepers Creepers series
Estimated Body Count: 20
When Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer wrote “Jeepers Creepers” in the late 1930s, they surely never guessed their snappy little pop ditty would go on to provide the theme song for a murderous winged creature who possesses a bee- and dog-like ability to smell fear, and who can regenerate body parts by ingesting those of his victims. And that’s not all — the Creeper can also overcome overwhelmingly negative reviews, too! Although critics kept 2001’s Jeepers Creepers from a Fresh certification, the Creeper was back just two years later with a sequel, and there was even talk of a third installment. Not bad for a bad guy who’s limited to a single 23-day feeding frenzy every 23 years, right?

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THE THING – The Thing (1982) 82%

The-Thing

Haunting Grounds: The Thing from Another World, The Thing, The Thing
Estimated Body Count: 20
Human beings have long wondered what otherworldy monstrosities might be lurking out in the far reaches of space, which helps to explain the enduring appeal of John W. Campbell’s 1938 short story, Who Goes There? It’s the tale of an Antarctic research team that unwittingly rescues a malevolent alien from an icy grave. The creature repays the favor by forcibly (and messily) assimilating every living being within reach, including 20 unlucky scientists and a handful of dogs. Campbell’s monster — referred to as the Thing — has provided rich fodder for filmmakers over the decades, inspiring 1951’s The Thing from Another World, John Carpenter’s 1982 cult classic The Thing, and, most recently, the 2011 prequel/reboot of the same name.

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JAWS – Jaws (1975) 98%

Jaws

Haunting Grounds: The Jaws series
Estimated Body Count: ~21, if you count the whale in Jaws 2
Most of the slashers on our list are bona fide film icons, but few of them can boast of having changed the entire industry the way Peter Benchley’s great white shark did: Before Jaws‘ 1975 debut, studios actually held their big films out of the summer market, believing the vacation months to be a commercial graveyard. Almost $500 million (and lots of bloody ocean water) later, a franchise was born — and although the third and fourth installments aren’t good for much besides unintentional humor, the original remains a certified classic with a 98 percent Tomatometer rating. Granted, the kill count here takes into consideration the havoc wreaked by multiple great whites over the course of the franchise, but it merely illustrates what Benchley already knew: the ocean is scary enough even without a gigantic bloodthirsty shark chasing you around, so tossing one in the mix just ups the ante.

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LEATHERFACE – The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) 89%

Leatherface

Haunting Grounds: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series
Estimated Body Count: 30
The twisted true-life tale of grave robber Ed Gein has inspired many notable cinematic grotesques, from Norman Bates in Psycho to Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. However, Tobe Hooper may have done the most to immortalize Gein in the annals of perverse pop culture by emphasizing his habit of making clothing out of human flesh. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre introduced Leatherface, a developmentally disabled fellow under the control of his cannibalistic family. Though he started out as a pretty timid guy who was as afraid of visitors as they were of him, Leatherface came out of his shell in the sequels and reboots, making up for lost time in liberally employing his Poulan 306A.

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PINHEAD – Hellraiser (1987) 72%

PinheadHaunting Grounds: The Hellraiser series
Estimated Body Count: 35
By the late 1980s, the slasher genre was starting to feel a little stale — and then along came Pinhead, the sadomasochistic leader of the extradimensional pack of hooligans known as the Cenobites. The spike-headed hook fetishist wasn’t featured heavily in 1987’s Hellraiser, but Pinhead’s combination of creepy appearance, selective taste for victims, and clear fondness for gruesome torture stole the movie; throughout the eight-film series (four of which were released straight to DVD), Pinhead has remained the only constant, and for good reason: although his body count may be relatively low, no one else can match his prowess with a sharp, well-placed hook.

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CHUCKY – Child's Play (1988) 71%

ChuckyHaunting Grounds: The Child’s Play series
Estimated Body Count: ~38
Chucky may have devolved into a pint-sized Tony Clifton at this point, but the original Child’s Play was a superior genre piece — creepy, suspenseful, and blessed with an insidious sense of humor. Child’s Play riffed on the idea of innocence gone horribly wrong, with a quasi-Cabbage Patch Kid embodied by a vicious serial killer thanks to a voodoo ritual. Subsequent sequels — the most recent of which, Curse of Chucky, just recently made its way onto home video — have delivered more camp than scares, but Chucky’s left a trail of more than 35 corpses in his wake — and probably didn’t enamor himself to Teddy Ruxpin.

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FREDDY KRUEGER – A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) 95%

Freddy-KruegerHaunting Grounds: The Nightmare on Elm Street series
Estimated Body Count: ~39
Arguably the most recognizable movie monster of the 1980s, Freddy Krueger may not be able to compete with other horror icons when it comes to killing in bulk. But the dermatologically-challenged Elm Street resident certainly wins points for style; in addition to his expert use of claw-tipped leather gloves, Freddy is adept at shape-shifting, strangulation, and generating geysers of blood from the bodies of future heartthrobs. Even accounting for the various forms Freddy has taken over the years in his efforts to turn the sweetest dreams dark and bloody, we’ve got his kill count somewhere in the vicinity of 39. That might be fewer than one might expect, but Mr. Krueger is an artiste who chooses his victims very specifically.

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FATE – Final Destination (2000) 35%

Final-Destination-2Haunting Grounds: The Final Destination series
Estimated Body Count: 39
Remember the old margarine commercials that said you can’t fool Mother Nature? Well, according to the Final Destination series, you can’t cheat Fate, either. It’s often said that revenge is a dish best served cold — but for the unseen hand of Fate, it tastes even better when garnished with a series of incredibly brutal (and, it must be said, very morbidly entertaining) booby traps. The series’ unseen antagonist has dispatched 39 victims, using everything from the mundane (death by falling brick) to the cleverly rewind-worthy (shower cord strangulation, ladder through the eye, death by falling cherry picker). By the time we surpassed The Final Destination and got Final Destination 5, the series was clearly aware of its silly appeal, and each creatively choreographed death was equally as hilarious as it was cringeworthy.

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GHOSTFACE – Scream (1996) 79%

GhostfaceHaunting Grounds: The Scream franchise, Scream (TV series)
Estimated Body Count: 49
One of the rare slasher antagonists who’s a killer by committee, the Scream series’ Ghostface is played by a revolving door of mask-donning, knife-wielding psychopaths. Their motives are different (peer pressure, revenge, etc.), but the results are the same, no matter who wears the Edward Munch-inspired getup: teenagers will turn up dead, following the conventions of horror movies. And, as with other horror franchises, the body count increases with each sequel. Adding to the mayhem was the first season of MTV’s Scream, which aired this summer. All in all, this council of killers is responsible for at least 49 slayings.

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LEPRECHAUN – Leprechaun (1993) 27%

LeprechaunHaunting Grounds: The Leprechaun series
Estimated Body Count: 50
The Leprechaun series is the embodiment of the finest that Irish culture and letters has to offer, easily surpassing the works of James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. The titular antihero is murderously committed to acquiring a pot o’ gold, an undertaking that prompts travel to such exotic locales as Las Vegas, Compton, and outer space. Despite his diminutive stature, the Leprechaun’s super-sharp claws and teeth have helped him tally 50 onscreen fatalities, including a very young Jennifer Aniston, who made her big screen debut in the first film.

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JIGSAW – Saw (2004) 51%

JigsawHaunting Grounds: The Saw series
Estimated Body Count: 60
John Kramer was first christened “Jigsaw” by detectives who discovered the serial killer’s calling card was a puzzle piece-shaped hunk of flesh carved from the corpses of his victims. The name stuck as the cops closed in on Kramer and realized his elaborate, irony-laden traps were designed to punish those he deemed guilty of criminal acts or taking life for granted (he must have been a fan of Se7en). More characters and plot twists (Jigsaw doesn’t work alone! Something about cancer!) were introduced as the series wore on, and Saw evolved into a labyrinthine annual soap opera drenched in blood and agony. A Grand Guignol for our times.

Watch Trailer


HANNIBAL LECTER – The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 96%

Haniibal-Lecter

Haunting Grounds: Manhunter, The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Hannibal, Hannibal Rising, Hannibal (TV)
Estimated Body Count: 98
Before 1991, you may not have even known what fava beans were — but after Anthony Hopkins’ first appearance as Doctor Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, nobody ever thought of them the same way again. Like Jason Voorhees, Lecter doesn’t appear in much of the famous reboot — he’s only in a little over 15 minutes of Lambs — but it was the first time we actually witnessed the good doctor rack up a few kills on screen (both Manhunter and its remake Red Dragon only imply Lecter’s murdered some folks), and audiences had a clear, um, appetite for the flesh-craving serial killer’s brand of mayhem: he’s gone on to appear in a number of other books and movies. Although we just saw the end of Hannibal‘s three-season run on NBC, series creator Bryan Fuller insists we haven’t seen the last of Lecter just yet.

Watch Trailer


MICHAEL MYERS – Halloween (1978) 96%

Michael-Meyers
Haunting Grounds: The Halloween series, minus Season of the Witch
Estimated Body Count: ~107
The best-known escapee of Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, Michael Myers has never been a big fan of babysitters, nor is he particularly fleet of foot. He digs Blue Oyster Cult, and makes special use of Star Trek paraphernalia and kitchen cutlery. Since the release of John Carpenter’s landmark Halloween, Myers’ legend has been told in a number of sequels, and if his reasons for killing are obscure, he’s still coldly efficient at the task; he’s racked up a whopping 100-plus notches on his belt.

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THE INVISIBLE MAN – The Invisible Man (1933) 94%

InvisibleManBodyCount
Haunting Grounds: The Invisible Man (1933)
Estimated Body Count: 123
We were shocked (shocked!) to discover that killers with high body counts could even be found in Old Hollywood fare. Based on the H.G. Wells 1897 novel, James Whale’s pre-code horror film featured Claude Rains (Casablanca) in his American film debut as the titular villain, also known as Dr. Jack Griffin. Hiding away in a snowy village, Griffin experiments on himself while working on a drug called “monocane,” which he believes is the secret to invisibility. Although he does succeed in turning himself invisible, he also becomes a crazed murderer. Killing those who get in his way, and a train full of people just for kicks, Griffin eventually causes the death of 123 people – including himself.

Watch Trailer


JASON VOORHEES – Friday the 13th (1980) 63%

HalloweenHaunting Grounds: The Friday the 13th series
Estimated Body Count: 146
Rocking facial protection that would do Jacques Plante proud, Jason Voorhees terrorized Camp Crystal Lake with cold precision (and an ability to cheat death that Rasputin would envy) in Friday the 13th. Occasionally, he breaks out of the bucolic confines of the countryside to wreak havoc in the big city (Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan), Hades (Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday), and the future (Jason X). According to our research, Jason has put a whopping 146 unfortunate souls on ice. Pretty impressive for a cat who drowned in 1958.

Watch Trailer


En español: Read this article in Spanish at Tomatazos.com.

While the summer movie season started with a bang with the sharp claws of a mutant super hero, it ended quietly over the four-day Labor Day holiday session with the 3D horror sequel
The Final Destination
topping the lowest-grossing weekend of 2009. None of the three new releases managed to unseat last weekend’s box office winner and the Top 20 sunk to just $116M over four days and $91M over three days — the worst such tally of the year.

With moviegoers not showing much excitement for the weekend’s new releases, The Final Destination remained at number one by default grossing an estimated $15.4M in its second round over the four-day holiday session. The Warner Bros. thriller witnessed a drop of 55% across the three-day period which was normal for fright films. After 11 days of play, the fourth installment in the successful franchise has scared up a sturdy $50.7M. A $70M final seems likely for Final which will be the best gross of the series. This weekend’s three-day take of $12.3M was the lowest for any number one film since Bangkok Dangerous bowed on top to $7.8M this weekend one year ago.

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Brad Pitt’s supporting role in Inglourious Basterds led to an estimated $15M in ticket sales over four days in the third weekend putting it close behind in second. The Weinstein Co. release dropped moderately and raised its 18-day cume to a solid $95.2M. Overseas, Universal has grossed an additional $83.3M putting the global tally at $178.5M for the $70M-budgeted Nazi drama.

Opening in third place was the critically-panned romantic comedy
All About Steve
with an estimated $13.9M over four days. Fox’s PG-13 film averaged a healthy $6,175 from 2,251 theaters. The turnout was larger than expected as the film took advantage of the good will generated this summer for stars Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper after their runaway comedy hits The Proposal and The Hangover, respectively. Plus with so many violent and male-skewing movies dominating the multiplexes over the last few weeks, Steve played as nice counter-programming to women looking for something light and funny. Critics showered the pic with some of the worst reviews of the year however, making it an early contender for Razzie nominations.

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Gerard Butler didn’t flex too much muscle with his new action offering
Gamer
which debuted in fourth place with an estimated $11.2M. The R-rated pic about a gaming system where players control real people and weapons averaged a lackluster $4,476 from 2,502 locations for Lionsgate over the Friday-to-Monday period. Competition for young men was intense between all the other violent R pics in release as well as from college and pro football games over the weekend.

Sony’s District 9 has become that rare sci-fi movie with legs and broke the $100M mark this weekend. The alien flick dipped to an estimated $9M boosting the total to $103.3M and counting. It is the 20th release of 2009 to join the century club. Following in sixth was the horror sequel Halloween II which collapsed in its second weekend tumbling to an estimated $7.1M for an 11-day tally of $27.1M. This latest reboot of the Michael Myers franchise could be dead, that is until it gets a new lease on life years from now.

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Meryl Streep’s Julie & Julia grossed an estimated $7M giving Sony $80.6M to date. Testosterone pic G.I. Joe fell to an estimated $6.7M lifting Paramount’s cume to $141M.

Two films with just over $5M in four days rounded out the top ten. The Time Traveler’s Wife dropped to an estimated $5.5M and has taken in $55.8M thus far for Warner Bros. Miramax debuted the Mike Judge-directed comedy Extract to a weak response with audiences spending an estimated $5.3M for an average of just $3,298 over the long weekend from 1,611 locations. Reviews were mixed for the R-rated title.

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With the summer now almost in the books, the latest cumulative grosses for the top ten movies of the season included $400.7M for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, $297.6M for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, $290.9M for Up, $272.2M for The Hangover, $257.2M for Star Trek, $194.2M for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, $179.9M for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, $176.8M for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, $161.1M for The Proposal, and $141M for G.I. Joe.

Opening to solid numbers in platform release was National Geographic’s Amreeka with an estimated $70,000 from only four theaters for a $17,500 average over the long holiday weekend. Reviews were generally good for the PG-13 pic about a single mom from the West Bank that moves to the U.S. It will expand to more cities on September 18.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $96.1M over four days which was up 12% from last year’s Labor Day holiday session when Tropic Thunder held the top spot with $14.6M; but down 16% from 2007’s holiday when Halloween opened at number one with $30.6M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office
Guru

Time for the weekly update, folks. As always, thanks to everyone who has submitted reviews and helped contribute to the show. Every week, we continue to bring you a lively, upbeat, and fun perspective on movies, and participation from RT and Current users, as well as viewers of the show, has been a big part of it. We do, of course, need more people to take part in the show each week, and that’s why we’re here to tell you how you can contribute! If you’ve watched the show at all and thought to yourself, “Wait, I can do what these people are doing! And I have much more interesting things to say than that!”, then you need to head on over to the Current website to see how you can offer your Webcam reviews for the movies they’ll be tackling TWO WEEKS from now, since the show will have a week off next week: 9, Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, and Whiteout. What’s more, if Current uses your review on the show, you’ll get a crisp Benjamin in your wallet. That’s right, $100 just for telling us what you thought about the movie you saw! The submission form itself can be found on the right hand side of the Current page linked above, and remember, the deadline for webcam reviews is Sunday at midnight!

If you missed the last episode, which featured this week’s reviews as well as rapper-actor Ludacris’ favorite movies and Brett’s list of the worst movie jobs, there are now a number of ways you can watch it. Not only do they replay every episode several times throughout the week on Current TV, you can also download them from iTunes, watch them on Hulu, or watch the last episode here:




If you’ve never submitted a webcam review to The Rotten Tomatoes Show before, we have just the thing to help you out. Below, you’ll find two instructional videos featuring Brett Erlich from RTS and our Editor in Chief, Matt Atchity, that will help guide you through the process of creating and submitting your reviews. Give them a look, and prepare to stun the masses with your filmic knowledge!

In the first video, Brett and Matt explain exactly how you go about submitting your video review, offering tips on different cameras you can use, lighting, and setting. You can see it here:

Submission Tutorial Video #1:


The second video goes into more detail about the actual content and execution of your video, including what to talk about, how to say it, and how you can tailor your sound bites to fit nicely with the pace of the show. Check it out, and then click the link below the article when you’re ready to submit yours!

Submission Tutorial Video #2:



Click HERE to submit your webcam review!

This week at the movies, we’ve got the return of Michael Myers (Halloween 2, starring Malcolm McDowell and Scout Taylor-Compton), three dimensional fatalities (The Final Destination, starring Shantel VanSanten and Bobby Campo), and the dawning of the Age of Aquarius (Taking Woodstock, starring Demetri Martin and Emile Hirsch). What do the critics have to say?



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1207868[/tomatometer]

Halloween II

Rob Zombie is back with a new chapter in the rebooted Halloween franchise. However, we don’t yet know for sure if Michael Myers’ latest adventure is a trick or a treat, since it wasn’t screened for critics. Once again, the masked madman is back in town, slashing everything in his path. It’s time to guess the Tomatometer! (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we scare up some of the best horror sequels around. Also, browse our gallery of memorable scream queens and take a look at Zombie’s Five Favorite Films.)



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1207470[/tomatometer]

The Final Destination

It appears we’ll have to wait to see what fate has in store for the young protagonists of The Final Destination, as it was not screened for critics prior to release. Once again, a group of youngsters avoid a near-death experience, but fate has other plans for them. Oh, and it’s in 3-D. Guess the Tomatometer!



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1205488[/tomatometer]

Taking Woodstock

Depending on who you ask, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair was either a beautiful, generation-defining cultural touchstone or an overrated, muddy bummer — or perhaps a bit of both. One thing’s for sure: the mother of all rock fests has been amply documented (most notably by Michael Wadleigh in his acclaimed documentary Woodstock), and critics say the versatile Ang Lee deserves credit for his approach in Taking Woodstock; he focuses on the attendees and eschews the musical performances. However, most say this gentle, amiable film is too mired in nostalgia. The film stars Demetri Martin as Elliot Tiber, whose family hotel provided a base of operations for the fest’s organizers; soon, Tiber finds himself in the midst of free thinking hippies and changing times. The pundits say Taking Woodstock captures the good vibes of the era, but misses the bigger picture, and relies too heavily on clichés to be anything more than likeable.


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s Still Walking, a gentle drama about a recently married middle aged man and his interactions with his parents, is at 100 percent.

  • At the Edge of the World, a documentary about attempts by activists to stop a whaling fleet near the South Pole, is at 100 percent.

  • Motherland, a doc about a group of grieving women who volunteer at a school in South Africa, is at 100 percent.

  • We Live in Public, a doc about Internet pioneer Josh Harris, is at 89 percent.

  • Big Fan, starring Patton Oswalt as a die-hard New York Giants fanatic whose life takes a dark turn, is at 87 percent.

  • The September Issue, a behind the scenes look at Vogue’s editorial process, is at 86 percent.

  • This Beautiful City, in which the lives of a disparate cross-section of Toronto residents intersect, is at 20 percent.

  • Play the Game, starring Andy Griffith as a retirement home Casanova, is at 11 percent.

  • In a move that studios rarely make these days, two films from the exact same genre open opposite each other on the same day targeting much of the same audience. The Weinstein Co., still riding high on the success of last weekend’s Inglourious Basterds, returns with Halloween II while Warner Bros. counters with another R-rated horror sequel with The Final Destination which differentiates itself by offering 3D chills and kills.

    The distributors are hoping that the fright battle will bring out millions of horror fans who may even see both by the time Sunday night rolls around. Older teens and young adults are the core audiences for both pics and with R-rated holdovers Basterds and District 9 also doing well with many of the same ticket buyers, competition will be fierce. One thing’s for sure – this weekend will be the bloodiest of the summer in more ways than one.

    Another group of nobody actors is tossed into the fourth and latest installment of the popular New Line horror series with The Final Destination. The franchise has littered this decade with solid, but not huge, grosses and the new pic adds 3D to the mix making it the second such fright flick this year after the January hit My Bloody Valentine which bowed to $21.2M. The cheating death series kicked off in March 2000 with the $10M bow of the first flick which displayed extraordinary legs for a terror pic finishing with $53.3M. Final Destination 2 opened better with $16M in January 2003 but ended lower with a $46.9M total. The third chapter reached new heights with a $19.2M launch in February 2006 and $54.1M final.

    Working against Final is the fact that the franchise has gotten old and may not be as relevant as it used to be. Plus another horror sequel opens day and date and will steal away much of the target audience. However on the plus side, there is a built-in audience that may want yet another dose of the same thing. Just look at the theatrical longevity of the Saw pics, or the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th franchises in the 1980s. The 3D element will add some interest and boost grosses with those higher ticket prices too. Leaping from the screens in over 3,000 locations, The Final Destination could scare up around $20M this weekend.


    The Final Destination

    Rob Zombie broke the Labor Day opening weekend record two years ago at the end of August with the four-day $30.6M debut of his reboot of Halloween. Dimension Films is back with the sequel which finds the director behind the camera again but distribution duties being handled in-house by The Weinstein Co. instead of MGM which released the last pic. Once again it is the Halloween brand name that will pull in fans. Zombie’s involvement created tremendous excitement the first time, but this time his presence means less. Now in its fourth decade, the Michael Myers series has always had its fan following so a wide age range could be in play here – long-time fans plus younger adults more accustomed to the latest reboot.

    Competition from Destination and the other R-rated hits out now will be a major factor and should curtail the potential. Moviegoing becomes less of a priority at the end of August so the marketplace will only expand so much. But horror titles and male-skewing pics tend to do the best so while both new fright flicks have a shot at capturing the top spot, Halloween II may be the one that offers less in terms of new entertainment. Attacking over 3,000 theaters, the new Myers tale may take in about $19M.


    Halloween II

    Continuing his string of diverse films, Oscar winner Ang Lee gives audiences his latest work Taking Woodstock which tells the tale of a young man who helps make the monumental 1969 festival happen. The PG-13 film stars comedian Demetri Martin, Emile Hirsch, and Liev Schreiber and has attracted mixed reviews with many key critics expressing their disappointment. The less-than-stellar critical response will have a big impact on the box office on this type of film which really needs more support to convince moviegoers. The Focus release will tap into a small amount of business from the director’s fan following and older ticket buyers looking to relive their hippie days. Opening in about 1,300 theaters, Taking Woodstock may take in around $3M.


    Taking Woodstock

    Last weekend, Inglourious Basterds was expected to top the charts with a solid bow but went even higher with a stellar $38M debut. It was the tenth biggest opening ever for an R-rated summer film. Audience feedback is positive, but the incoming artillery from the pair of new horror flicks will cut into Tarantino’s core audience of young men. Midweek grosses have been solid with $4.7M on Monday and $4.2M on Tuesday, but they haven’t been as strong as those seen by District 9 a week earlier which launched with a slightly smaller opening weekend tally. The director’s previous best debut, 2004’s Kill Bill Vol. 2, tumbled by 59% in its sophomore frame and something similar, possibly smaller, could be in store. A 55% decline for Basterds would give the war saga about $17M for the weekend and a robust $71M in ten days. An invite to the $100M club is likely to be sent to The Weinstein Co.

    The alien slumdogs of District 9 have been getting a warm reception from human ticket buyers. A 45% drop to $10M should occur giving Sony an impressive $90M thus far. The incoming R pics could allow G.I. Joe to be an alternative option for young boys. A 40% drop to $7M seems likely giving Paramount $132M to date.

    Chick flicks The Time Traveler’s Wife and Julie & Julia should not face too much competition this weekend. A slim 25% dip for the well-liked Meryl Streep film would result in a $6.5M frame and $70M sum to date while a 45% drop for the poorly-received Rachel McAdams pic would leave a $5.5M session and $46.5M total.

    LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, the action-comedy Tropic Thunder ruled the box office grossing $14.6M over the four-day Labor Day holiday frame which ended the summer movie season. Debuting in second was the Vin Diesel actioner Babylon A.D. which opened to just $11.5M across four days for Fox on its way to a weak $22.5M. The Dark Knight crashed through the half-bilion mark in third with $11.1M over the long weekend in its seventh round boosting the total to a jaw-dropping $504.8M. The House Bunny held up well placing fourth with $10.2M and was followed closely by Overture’s new political thriller Traitor which bowed to $10M over four days and $11.5M over six days from just over 2,000 theaters. A final tally of $23.5M resulted making it the top grosser among the weekend’s four new releases. Two new comedies to fail in their debuts were Lionsgate’s spoof pic Disaster Movie with $6.9M over the long weekend and MGM’s College with a measly $2.6M. Final grosses reached $14.2M and $4.7M, respectively.

    Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

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