Despite a strong opening for Moneyball, considering the difficulty of selling such a film, The Lion King continues to lead theatres for its second week in a row and making approximately $22.1 million this first weekend of fall.

Baseball drama Moneyball managed a great deal better than expected, but then following a film like The Help we realize that drama isn’t all that dead if the story is compelling enough to its target demographic. The less we fund sequels and remakes, the more original material we will receive. We create our own supply. Brad Pitt has flexed his dramatic muscle to decent ends, most noticeably of course in his collaborations with Fincher. Indeed, director Bennett Miller has followed up Capote with another successful drama, and fashioned a style for himself that is to his fortune.

It seems my lack of confidence in today’s audiences may have been misplaced, considering I was quite sure the box office would go to Abduction. It wasn’t without reason, of course, considering the ridiculous success of the Justin Bieber film which succeeded on the foundation of fan-girls no less, much like the Twilight films. Abduction is clearly just an attempt to cash in on what the companies believed would sell. Their very jobs are to make money, not to entertain. The latter is simply a result of their greed.

I am proud to say that the IMDb rating for Abduction is an abysmal 3.9. After the support of films like The Help, and Moneyball, we may find the theatres will be able to sell films with character and substance, with something to say—and then, only then, will we see true cinema, and what it is capable of. Although Moneyball is a literature adaptation, both it and its female counterpart The Help are necessary steps to returning to purposeful and artistic cinema.

50/50 touches on a highly personal subject with humor, which isn’t always a good idea. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Seth Rogan don’t seem quite in place with the genre, considering their brands of humor are rather conflicting (Pineapple Express versus 500 Days of Summer). Not to mention the film automatically resembles Funny People, which didn’t fare so well with critics or fans alike.

Jim Sheridan’s (director of In America) latest release Dream House is surprisingly a horror film which seems incredibly derivative for him. However, it stars newlyweds Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in their first collaboration, and Naomi Watts of The Ring—one of the most successful horror remakes in my book.

All three actors are in the same class in my opinion, and I believe their performances have the potential to truly create a terrifying horror film. But there has to be more to the story than a haunting. Our horror vocabulary as an audience has grown considerably further than loud sounds to be impressed.

Considering What’s Your Number? was written by TV staff writers, we can’t be so certain this film will do particularly well. And although Anna Farris has her comedic charm, she hasn’t shown much range over the years. Even Chris Evans’ fame of late may not save this film’s numbers at the box office, but then after I Don’t Know How She Does It, I think rom-com fans will be sure to give it a shot regardless.

Weekend Box Office

September 23-25, 2011

Rank Title Weekend Gross Week
1   The Lion King (1994) $22.1M $61.7M 2
2   Moneyball (2011) $20.6M $20.6M 1
3   Dolphin Tale (2011) $20.3M $20.3M 1
4   Abduction (2011) $11.2M $11.2M 1
5   Killer Elite (2011) $9.5M $9.5M 1
6   Contagion (2011) $8.56M $57.1M 3
7   Drive (2011) $5.77M $21.4M 2
8   The Help (2011) $4.4M $154M 7
9   Straw Dogs (2011) $2.1M $8.88M 2
10   I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011) $2.05M $8.02M 2