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New in Theaters September 25: The Intern, Sicario, Green Inferno, Hotel Transylvania 2

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By Chris Kavan - 09/24/15 at 06:45 AM CT

As if last week didn't introduce enough new films - we get another influx of titles, as well as the expansion of a film that had the best limited opening of the year already. The good news is spread around as the films look to target a wide range of audiences: families, horror aficionados and women. Granted, fracturing your audience like that tends to mean the grosses are spread a bit thin - but it should make for an interesting weekend, especially with Maze Runner still in play. For the first time in awhile, it may not be easy to place bets on a front-runner, as this week is really going to depend on which film can draw out its target audience in the biggest numbers.

THE INTERN The Intern boasts an impressive cast, led by Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway. The director is Nancy Meyers - no stranger to films that target women having previously helmed What Women Want , Something's Gotta Give and It's Complicated. The Intern seems to follow much along the same lines as De Niro, playing a 70-year-old widower, decides retirement is not for him and becomes a new intern for online fashion mogul Jules Ostin (Hathaway). The commercials really play up the generational gap and I'm sure many of the jokes we run the same gamut. Granted, I don't think it looks that good but I have a feeling that female audiences (which haven't been targeted as of late) will surely support it. Now, if critics are at leas somewhat happy about it, I could see this rising up the ranks. It all comes down to if women decide its going to be worthwhile. The Intern could go either way, but I have feeling it's going to wind up on the winning end of things.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 Let's face it, Adam Sandler has had a rough time of late. His man-boy image that played so well when he was, well, more a boy than a man, has ran its course and that shtick just isn't going to cut it anymore. However, with animated films, it is a whole different game. The first Hotel Transylvania wound up with nearly $150 million in the US. Animated sequels can go either way - some handily outperform the original, others fall far short. I have never seen the original, so I don't have a good frame of reference for how the sequel is going to play out. The second film seems to keep with the whole "fish-out-of-water" gag - Dracula opens his hotel to humans, only to worry that his half-monster, half-human grandson is just not enough monster. But things really get interesting with Drac's dad, Vlad, shows up - and he's not at all impressed with the changes he sees. I have a feeling this is going to do well if only because, like The Intern, there haven't been any good family films as of late and even with school back in session, it may be just what the parent need. I'm a bit surprised it wasn't released a bit closer to Halloween, but, then, I don't control release dates. This could also easily rise to the top of the heap, if it can bring in the family crowd.

SICARIO While still not quite getting a nationwide expansion (that's coming next week), I'm still going to cover Sicario this week for one reason - the amazing debut it had. Opening in just six theaters, the hitman crime/drama managed an impressive $390,000 - for the year's (so far) best $65,000-per-theater average. The film has been compared to Traffic, the Steven Soderbergh film from 2000 (that also starred Benicio Del Toro). This time Denis Villeneuve is behind the camera - a good choice from the man who has brought us Enemy and Prisoners. Emily Blunt plays a young, idealistic FBI agent who finds herself thrust into hell when she is sent to the border between the US and Mexico where a new war on drugs is going on - one where violence and duplicity rules the day. Thus, Del Toro joins her as a man who knows how to get things done - and it's not always pretty. Supporting cast includes Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal, Victor Garber and Jeffrey Donovan. The film looks superb - the kind of action movie I can get behind where the blood and bullets serves a higher purpose and, make no mistake, the movie looks very violent. It's difficult to say how a broader audience will react, but I think this will continue to do well in the coming weeks.

THE GREEN INFERNO Eli Roth has been MIA for awhile - not having a theatrical release (not counting the propoganda film included in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds) since 2007 with Hostel 2. It looks like he hasn't given up his love of so-called "torture porn" as Green Inferno, a throwback to the cannibal films of the late 70s, early 80s (Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox among them), looks to be plenty bloody. The setup looks hilarious - a group of white knight activists looking to save the rain forest travel to the Amazon to do all the good they can. Of course when they wind up trapped in the Amazon, amidst a group of none-too-friendly natives, they might decide to change their tune (whichever of them is still alive, of course). Roth is taking a shot at people who think they are making a difference by posting a story on their Facebook page and giving themselves a pat on the back for the effort. This isn't exactly the kind of film that will draw a mainstream crowd, but I have to say I really want to see how this turns out. A cannibal movie in our age? Only Roth would be so bold. I still kind of wish he was still directing Cell (which has Tod Williams instead) but Green Inferno will hopefully be a welcome return - for a select group of people anyway.

It should be a rather interesting weekend. Depending on how things play out I could see several movies making the jump to first place - either Maze Runner will stay on top, or The Intern or Hotel Transylvania 2 - it will be one of those three I am sure, but you'll have to wait until Sunday to find out which one.


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