Early reviews out for Skyfall (good) and Cloud Atlas (bad)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a list of movies releasing in the remaining 3 months of the year, that I was going to keep an eye out for.

I thought I would do a quick update on the movies released so far and how they are faring with critics and at the box office.

From that list, The Master has already been in limited release in the US for some weeks, although I see no signs of it coming to Malaysia. It is one of the most critically acclaimed movies currently in theatres with a great score of 85 on Metacritic.com averaged from 41 reviews! However, things have been slow at the box office and I wonder if it will reach the box office take of Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous film There Will Be Blood, which made USD 40 mn in the US and another USD 35 mn in other markets.

Then Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie released, also to very positive critical reviews, aggregating a Metacritic score of 74, from 37 critics. Alas, here too the box office performance has been middling with the movie grossing just USD 22 mn in the US so far. Audiences seem to prefer Hotel Transylvania, which has a much poorer score of 47, but obviously more entertaining for kids. There is still hope that Frankenweenie will get an uptick during Halloween week, but still this will end up being one of Burton’s lowest grossing movies ever.

Last week, Argo released to universal acclaim, with an amazing score of 86 from 43 critics. It’s opened slow in spite of such good reviews, picking up just USD 20 mn in its opening weekend, but I think the feel-good factor of a successful American operation in the Middle East will give it legs in the weeks to come…hope it will hit the magic USD 100 mn mark in the US.

The movie that beat Argo at the box office this weekend is Taken 2, which in spite of poor reviews (Metacritic score of 45 from 35 critics) has just cross USD 100 mn in just 10 days.

Now comes the exciting news that early reviews of Skyfall are out and the critics seem to be very happy. Metacritic has just posted a score of 80, although it is averaged from just 4 reviews. Expect the score to go south as more reviews come in, but certainly the impression is that it is a good bounce back from Quantum of Solace. That Adele song is pretty good too, huh?

Not such good news for Cloud Atlas, which also has had its first few reviews posted. It’s averaging 41 from 7 critics which confirms my earlier fears. This movie would have struggled to find an audience even if the critics had liked it, but now all hope seems to be lost for the Wachowskis. Better luck for their next venture, the scifi flick Jupiter Ascending.

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