Wow, Labor Day weekend was an absolute tire fire for the box office. Straight Outta Compton’s reign in the number one spot was finally defeated by second week holdover War Room. The Christian-fiction adaptation earned only $9.5 million, but that was enough as audiences widely neglected their local cinemas. New releases A Walk in the Woods and Transporter Refueled peaked at the 3rd and 4th spots, respectively, with $8.2 and $7.4 million. It’s easy to expect a similar result this weekend with school officially started, but will we get a twist worthy of the name Shyamalan and see a surprise winner? Let’s see what the chances are.
The Visit – (PG-13) 94 min. – M. Night Shyamalan has become a punchline in most movie discussions, so it only makes sense that he would shift gears and make a comedy. The Visit is a horror-comedy about a brother and sister visiting their grandparents for the first time in their rural home. Things start out pleasant enough, until the first night when the siblings are warned to not leave their bedrooms after 9:30. It becomes apparent that grandma and grandpa are not quite what they seem, and the kids are forced to play Yahtzee with possibly demon-infested elders. I’m not even kidding about that last part. Have you seen that commercial where the grandma rolls a Yahtzee and then screams at the camera while foaming at the mouth? It’s hilarious. Nothing about this movie looks good…and that might make it amazing. Shyamalan is attempting to walk the most difficult tightrope in film by blending horror and comedy, and if he fails it’s going to be in spectacular fashion. This has all the makings of a late night, watch it with your friends and make fun of it movie. I’m actually excited for it, but for the completely wrong reason. This will probably make about $16 million and be number one at the box office.
The Perfect Guy – (PG-13) 100 min. – Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A girl starts a relationship with a seemingly great guy, but over time it turns out he’s not quite what he seems. I’m going to bet that you stopped me, because jeez is this an unoriginal concept. Heck, it’s even a slight variation of The Visit, but instead of a boyfriend it’s grandparents. There’s really nothing that stands out about The Perfect Guy, and the fact that it’s Thursday evening and not a single review of the film has appeared on Rotten Tomatoes yet, I’m going to assume that the studio knows it. The only aspect of this movie that even makes me raise an eyebrow if the presence of Michael Ealy, a good actor from the unfortunately cancelled series Almost Human. I still expect The Perfect Guy to make somewhere near $12 million, but it won’t linger around for much longer. One last thing: one of the listed reasons that this film is rated PG-13 by the MPAA is due to “menace”. I don’t know why, but I find that amusing.
The Bottom Line – This weekend isn’t a happy one for America, being the anniversary of the most tragic attack on US soil in history. It’s a bummer to bring up, but it will probably have some affect on the box office. I don’t expect too many people will want these movies at this time, especially when paired with the start of school and the kickoff of the NFL season on Sunday. If you are still up for a movie during the week next week, I would say check out The Visit, as it will probably provide good fodder for your conversations about how far M. Night Shyamalan has fallen.