Exceeding Hollywood’s expectations, original films are surprising at the box office

Hollywood’s hunger for originality may be paying off, according to Kim Masters. “The Woman King” – the historical action drama with an ensemble of black women – did not disappoint at the box office and may be headed for a sequel. And despite the many controversies surrounding the director and cast members, the psychological thriller “Don’t Worry Darling” could have a surprising opening this week. Meanwhile, James Cameron’s upcoming “Avatar” sequel could be a “heavy roll of the dice” for Disney, Masters says.

Thirsty for original material

Kim: People in Hollywood are very pleased to see “The Woman King” with Viola Davis, an original action film with wonderful black actresses, do a number of $19 million in September, which was expected to be completely dead. This isn’t a “Top Gun: Maverick” double number, but it has an A-plus rating in cinema.

Hollywood is hungry for original material that can play in movies at all, so this encouraged people.

“Don’t Worry My Love” Controversy.

Kim: “Don’t Worry Darling” is another original piece. Most people have heard of it since the incredible Olivia Wilde controversy, and the question would be, “Does this help or hurt?”

Checkmate: I don’t think we need to go into all the details of what happened. If you know, you know. But there’s a question about whether all these distractions, the off-camera stuff, will affect people’s willingness to go see the film. Tracking is around $16, $17, $18 million for this weekend. Some believe it could go as high as $20 [million].

All this other stuff is just noise”

Checkmate: I think most moviegoers don’t care about these things. When they decide to go to a movie, maybe they’ve heard about it through controversy, I think they look at reviews, they look at whether it has stars they know, whether it looks appealing to them. I think all this other stuff is just noise and really doesn’t affect the willingness to go see the movie.

Kim: I don’t know what motivates people to go to a movie at this point, but I have to think there’s a little bit of curiosity. Some of this gossip about this movie has gotten pretty crazy, but maybe people want to see if they can tell the tension between some of the lead characters.

Olivia Wilde, who is the director, was dating Harry Styles, who stars in the film. Florence Pugh’s, supposedly, just wanted nothing to do with these people until she did. And maybe that’s kind of heartwarming for people to look at and try to say, “I wonder if I could see that at their shows.”

The Harry Styles factor

Checkmate: There’s an element of car crash, but there’s also the Harry Styles factor here. He’s a huge pop star and there are fans of his who would probably see this movie even if the Rotten Tomatoes score was zero. He happens to be about 33 [percent], which is not a big deal. Critics don’t like this movie, but this movie could do a lot because of the Harry Styles factor.

The whole movie business is a gamble

Kim: Look, the whole movie business is gambling. You think you have the facts. You hope you have the facts. You spend the money and pray.

Checkmate: The same could be said for the ‘Avatar’ franchise, because we have [another] great movie. This weekend, the original ‘Avatar’ returns to theaters after 13 years to get us excited about ‘Avatar:[The Way of Water]”, coming in December.

Checkmate: This is a franchise that Fox has agreed to make four sequels to. They invest about $1 billion in this franchise, and all of a sudden Fox is gone. It’s taken by Disney. Now Disney is either blessed or stuck with four “Avatar” movies.

“It’s a heavy roll

Kim: When I say the movie business, and the whole business is a gamble, never more so than Jim Cameron. He has delivered. I mean, those of us old enough remember the angst of “Titanic” and this definitely paid off.

I don’t usually believe in saying, “Don’t bet against this person,” because sometimes I feel like you can actually bet against a person. I’d hate to bet against Jim Cameron, but that’s like a heavy roll of the dice. The effects will be amazing, but it’s been a long time since “Avatar” came out. These characters come from a large [time] before.

Checkmate: It is, but that’s why they’re doing the reissue. And I think the marketing will reacquaint us with them before this movie comes out. It’s pretty hard to bet against the sequel to the highest-grossing movie of all time when it was released.

Kim: It exists!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.