Michael Keaton and Dylan O'Brien in American Assassin

In Theaters This Week (9/15/2017): American Assassin, mother!

Jennifer Lawrence in mother!

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  This week brings the latest from director Darren Aronofsky and a potential franchise starter to bear against the reign of the evil clown movie.  That is a sentence I was not ever prepared to write.

Michael Keaton, American Assassin

American Assassin is chronologically the first book in the Mitch Rapp series by the late author Vince Flynn, and was looked at as a potential franchise opener, but lackluster reviews and an evil clown make it unlikely that we’re going to see multiple entries in this, unfortunately.  The odds of a film called AMERICAN ASSASSIN being an international hit, seem dim.

Darren Aronofsky’s thriller mother! (yes, lowercase “m” and punctuation in a title….thank you, Darren) is getting mixed to positive reviews.  It has the star power of Jennifer Lawrence, but then Jennifer Lawrence hasn’t really had a hit since The Hunger Games ended.  Aronofsky’s films have never really been huge box office draws, they have served more as showcases for actors during awards season (Natalie Portman and Mickey Rourke both owing their Oscars to Aronofsky), but this film being dumped in September seems to indicate the studio didn’t feel it had a great chance of getting much Oscar buzz.

American Assassin (Dylan O’Brien, R, 1hr 51min)

mother! (Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, R, 2hr 1min)

How Did We Do Last Week?
KT picked It to easily win last weekend, but the film doubled box office expectations, opening with $123.5 million with Home Again waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in second with $8.6 million.  It smashed pretty much every record for a September opening that exists, nearly tripling the take of the previous record holder (Hotel Transylvania 2).  It was the largest horror movie opening of all-time.  It was the second biggest R-Rated movie opening of all-time.  It made all that money while Florida was being steam cleaned by Hurricane Irma (Florida accounts usually for roughly 5% of the domestic box office), so it probably would have broken Deadpool’s record for largest R-Rated opening had Florida’s theaters not been shuttered.  Thank you, America.  You have ensured that my deep fear of clowns will be confronted head-on by a sequel, and that I am going to have to spend the rest of September (at least) peeking through half-closed eyes while I write this column.
(2017 Prediction Record: 33-4; Lifetime prediction record 71-9).

Bill Skarsgard in It

WHO WILL WIN THE WEEKEND?
Neither newcomer has a chance of making the $50-$60 million that It is expected to bring in during its sophomore weekend.  Pennywise may be on top of the box office until Blade Runner 2049 comes to town October 4th.
Bill Skarsgard in It

16 thoughts on “In Theaters This Week (9/15/2017): American Assassin, mother!”

  1. I won’t be seeing mother! ever. Nothing else from blasted Aronofsky. Only Requiem For A Dream, because you say it’s brilliant. I’m just waiting for a happier time to watch it, because even IT (review forthcoming) I had to drag myself to see, and Twin Peaks is a literal obsession with me, and the darkness of it still made it tough to get motivated to finish it. But I will say this: I cannot reconcile your opinion of RFAD with the films of Aronofsky’s that I have seen, because I can only explain them as the work of a total fraud. If I agree with you about Reqiuem, up will be down, black will be white, and dogs and cats will be getting together.

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    1. Ok but haaaaappier time. Requiem is brilliant but in a way thats going to sear itself on your brain like a branding iron. I never recommend it, I just think its brilliant but no one ever watches it twice. Watch Gifted. Great movie. Happy times.

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  2. Dave, before you go and watch mother! I would recommend reading the plot synopsis on wikipedia. I know it will spoil the movie, but in this one case it might be a good idea, because it might make you decide to not see the movie. I was right not to see it, and to keep Aronofsky at arm’s length. This is really horrific, in every sense of the word. I don’t care if it’s an allegory, that isn’t a cure-all that makes reprehensible material better. And if you’re going to go with the “allegory” excuse, the allegory had better have merit.

    I’m never going to go see a movie with Lawrence, Bardem, Pfifer, or Harris ever again. It’s time to draw a line in the sand. I don’t care if you’re an atheist, that’s not my objection. I just want to know that when you first meet me, your assumption is that I’m a nice fellow, and not a sociopath. I now know what the entire cast thinks of humankind. Except, presumably, themselves. They’re superior, and are going to open some eyes.

    Or maybe not. An “F” Cinemascore. Dave. An “F.” And it’s not just a result of misleading advertising and wrong expectations, because no one in their right mind would ever expect to sit in a mainstream movie theater and watch THIS. I don’t wish anyone ill will, not even Darren Aronofsky, but if this does not end his career, something is broken on planet Earth.

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    1. Wow. I am really glad I saw Wind River which, review pending, was fricking incredible. Aronofsky’s always controversial, but I know you well enough to know he must have gone off the reservation. It wasn’t a priority to see. There’s plenty of interesting stuff coming. Wind River cracked my year’s top 5.

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      1. I’m glad I was able to be of service! I had to warn you, man. For all I know the film has artistic merit when you actually watch it, and by that I mean the cinematography, ect, but my favorite part of the story is when Him comes right out and says that he’s God at the end. I don’t think Aronofsky finds his target audience as smart as they think he finds them. Some people are acting like the masses would flock to this movie, if they only understood. But how could anyone with half a brain not understand? I think that Aronofsky is a snake oil salesman, and that he’s trying to telegraph his jaundiced worldview so that even people incapable of subtle readings will understand.

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      2. It has one very violent and disturbing scene but its not constant. Its a modern crime western if I had to genre it. Same writer as Sicario and Hell or High Water. I think its Renners best performance.

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