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article image'One Direction: This Is Us' ready to take over

By Tim O'Brien     Aug 29, 2013 in Entertainment
Even though the calender says something else, Labor Day weekend marks the end of the summer movie season. There seems to be no need to release a blockbuster now or even open any major films.
The box office has reflected that as well. Even though The Butler has shown success by winning the last two weeks, the numbers were not huge. However, for a political film, it is and will continue to shine. Having that one released now was a good plan.
As for this long weekend, the question will be, which direction will the box office take.
Do not expect Closed Circuit to make a big splash, unless one goes in confusing it with Short Circuit starring Ally Sheedy. Closed Circuit is a British thriller starring Eric Bana. A terrorist-themed film that seems all too familiar. It started early but that will not help.
Now, on the other hand, the timing might be right for a concert film starring One Direction. School is back in session which means students will want to go out and movie theaters are a great place to gather. One Direction: This Is Us opens wide and takes a peek into the success of the popular boy band. It may also take people's mind off of the Video Music Awards, which dominated too many news cycles and talk shows of late.
The top concert-grossing films are Justin Bieber: Never Say Never with $73 million followed by Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds with $65 million. There mere mention of Miley and that recent award show pops back into mind. Plus, so does "twerking." Like it or not, some things in pop culture cannot be avoided.
Oh, and let's take back that timing aspect for the release of a concert movie. It might not really matter. When Miley's was released it was opposite Super Bowl weekend. Now, that was the perfect counter-programming, and it worked. That had the best opening for a concert film ever.
If Getaway sounds like a "been there done that" type of movie, it is. But The Getaway back in 1972 starred Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw kicked. This Getaway stars Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez. Just change up a few plot lines and there you have it - a new film, of sorts. Oh wait, that would have been 1994's The Getaway starring Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. In the end, it doesn't matter.
Aug. 28
"Closed Circuit" - 862 theater
Weekend
1. "One Direction: This is Us" - 2,500+ theaters
2. "Getaway (2013)" - 2,000+ theaters
3. "Instructions Not Included" - 350 theaters
4. "The Grandmaster" goes wider
Actual theater counts are still taking shape. It is slow now and will most likely be for another few weeks. But, this is a time when a surprise may pop up.
Some of those surprised can be found with the independent releases, which can do very well when the competition for an audience and screens lightens up. It is the perfect time to rediscover films that may have been over looked all summer, or catch that gem that made or will make the festival circuit rounds.
The Grandmaster could be one of those as it goes even wider this weekend. But, it will help if Kung Fu is the style one seeks. As for "Instructions Not Included" uses the idea of "unlikely father" and "playboy who finds himself with a baby at his doorstep. No need for instructions on this one, right?
It is a good time of the year to tap into the smaller films as well.
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