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article imageWhat Hollywood needs is an October surprise at the box office

By Tim O'Brien     Sep 27, 2012 in Entertainment
This is the weekend to look for legs, as in, does "Trouble With the Curve" have any? With baseball movies and many films from Clint Eastwood, they build over time.
That is only one item from the box office that will be tracked. After weeks of bad box office, studios are looking for that movie that will ignite the fire once again. With award season buzz popping, they need a sleeper hit. Surely, they do not want to wait until "Breaking Dawn" opens. Sure, the lovebird stars are making sure fans are not mad at them, but that is not until November. What Hollywood needs is an October surprise.
Weekend releases
1. "Hotel Transylvania" - 3,349 theaters
2. "Looper" - 2,992 theaters
3. "Won't Back Down" - 2,515 theaters
4. "Pitch Perfect" - 335 Theaters
Looking at that list, does sleeper fluff the pillows? Well, sleeper wouldn't apply to "Hotel Transylvania," could it? It has the marketing behind it but can it get the family crowd back to the theater? Sleeper could apply to "Looper," however. Word of mouth will drive this time travel picture, for sure. Films like that have a built in audience that will not follow trends.
Meanwhile, "Won't Back Down," is getting quite a public relations push. In the Midwest, especially in the Chicago area, it will be interesting to gauge the interest in this teacher flick. The recent teacher's strike may have soured many. We will see.
As for the October surprise, that just may be "Argo," from Ben Affleck. It may be pushed by actual events in the era of Jimmy Carter (even though historical corrections were made after Toronto). Oh, and this is a presidential year in the United States. "Argo" is generating a great deal of buzz, for the acting and for the story. "Argo" will go wide on October 12. Before that, "Taken 2" will hit theaters on October 5. The first, released during January, did very well as that month is usually for leftovers and films to be forgotten.
Now comes word that "Hitchcock" will open the American Film Institute (AFI) Fest and "Lincoln" will close it. Two films surely being released and hyped for Oscar consideration.
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