Oh, the horror: `Saw IV’ debuts

first_imgI love film festivals! My record is four movies in a single day (that’s a lot of popcorn and Diet Coke). But I’ve never attended AFI, so this should be a lot of fun because the lineup sounds pretty diverse. There are films from 37 countries and of various genres including drama, comedy and horror. Opening night features “Lions for Lambs,” the new Robert Redford, Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep political movie. Tickets are on sale now at www.afi.com. [email protected] (818)713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The 13-minute short is set in a hotel room in France and is the brief coda to a doomed romance and the prologue to “Darjeeling.” DID YOU KNOW? Schwartzman is the son of Oscar-nominated actress Talia Shire of the “Rocky” movies and “Godfather” trilogy. That makes him the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and first cousin of Oscar winners Nicolas Cage and Sofia Coppola. BUZZWORTHY: I’m so glad to see the quirky and sweet “Lars and the Real Girl” expanding into 296 theaters. It stars Ryan Gosling as a troubled young man who suffers from a delusion that a life-size doll is his girlfriend. Sounds bizarre, but the movie is really touching and Gosling’s performance is Oscar worthy. LIMITED RELEASE: Opening in 165 locations is the new drama “Bella.” AFI FEST: If none of the movies playing appeals to you, consider taking in one of the 148 films at the American Film Institute’s annual festival, which takes place Nov. 1 to11. Things have gotten quite scary for the movie industry now that ticket sales have declined five weekends in a row when compared with last year. But, I think the losing streak will have the heck scared right out of it with today’s release of the fright flick “Saw IV.” This is one potent franchise that has No.1 opening written all over it. A year ago, “Saw III” opened at $33.6million, while 2005’s “Saw II” bowed at $31.7million. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here when I predict at least a $30million bow for the latest entry in this popular horror series. DAN’S REALITY CHECK: By debuting in just fewer than 2,000 locations compared with more than 3,000 for “Saw IV,” Disney seems to be conceding first place. But the studio, which has had a major hit this fall with “Game Plan,” will be counting on its comedy “Dan In Real Life” to place a solid second. The movie starring Steve Carell has previewed well and could finish in the $10-$12million range. One thing it has going for it: “Dan” cost far less than to make than Carell’s most recent film, “Evan Almighty.” “Evan” grossed just more than $100million domestically but was still considered a major disappointment because it cost $150million to produce. DARJEELING PRELUDE: Good thing I haven’t seen “The Darjeeling Limited” yet! The film starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman expands into 650 theaters today, and Fox Searchlight Pictures will be showing a short film, “Hotel Chevalier,” along with it. “Hotel” stars Schwartzman and Natalie Portman and is director Wes Anderson’s companion piece to his “Darjeeling.” Previously, it was a popular iTunes download. last_img