MOVIE BUFF-ET: ‘Venom’ squares off with ‘A Star is Born’ at the weekend box office


Only two new movies open up in local theaters this weekend, but there still is a little something for everyone as “A Star Is Born” opens with Oscar aspirations and Sony’s “Venom” seeks to prove it doesn’t need an appearance by Spider-Man to sell tickets.

New In Local Theaters

  • Venom (PG-13) 1 hr. 52 min.
    (AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Rogers Towne, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle Hills, Bentonville Skylight)
    » Watch trailer
  • A Star Is Born (R) 2 hr. 16 min.
    (AMC Fiesta Square, Malco Razorback, Malco Rogers Towne, Malco Springdale, Malco Pinnacle Hills, Bentonville Skylight)
    » Watch trailer

Box Office Report predicts that “Venom” will win the weekend with box office sales reaching $68 million, while “A Star is Born” will have a strong showing for Warner Bros. at $48 million. Box Office Mojo’s predictions are in the same neighborhood, calling for “Venom”to make $60 million with “A Star is Born” drawing around $48 million.

A Star Is Born

That being said the word of mouth around “A Star Is Born” is strong coming off showings at several major international film festivals. Oscar buzz is building for director/star Bradley Cooper in both categories, and Lady GaGa is said to bee a shoo in for a Best Actress nomination in the third remake of the 1937 original.

While the story of a famous musician whose star has begun to wane while mentoring a younger talent whose star is only beginning to ascend may be familiar to movie buffs, the chemistry between Cooper and GaGa reportedly adds a new tone to the film that resists falling into music video territory.

Sam Elliot is also receiving strong notices for his supporting role as the brother of Cooper’s character.


Venom, however, is being described as a frustrating mess by critics, despite the considerable talents of star Tom Hardy and his co-star Michelle Williams.

Writer David Michelinie and artist Todd McFarlane created Venom in 1986 as an adversary of Spider-Man, and the villain instantly captured the imagination of comic book and later animation fans before making it to the big screen in the 2007 in director Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3.”

Over the years, the various iterations of the character has grown so popular that Venom leaped into being a star in his own right. However, the question remains is the character strong enough to support a blockbuster franchise of its own without the help of the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler?

Only time and ticket sales will tell.

Even if Venom is muscular enough to hold “A Star Is Born” at bay for the weekend box-office title, will it have staying power?

“A Star Is Born” looks like a movie that will have legs thanks to the Oscar buzz and the good word of mouth that is already bubbling. The film could stay in theaters through Thanksgiving and perhaps longer.

If “Venom” is as sloppy as the early notices are indicating on social media, fans of the character may flock to see it this weekend, but the film could quickly fade.

Though I distinctly remember reading and being intrigued by Venom when his first appearance hit the stands in “Amazing Spider-Man No. 300 back in 1986, the reviews and social media chit-chat has convinced me to see “A Star Is Born” if I only see one movie this weekend.

Classic Corner


The Malco Razorback Cinema Grill is holding special screenings of the Steve McQueen classic “Bullitt” to celebrate the 1968 film’s 50th anniversary on Sunday at 2 p.m. and Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The thriller directed by Peter Yates is a gritty, hard-nosed organized crime story that lifted McQueen from TV fame to movie stardom. As police Lt. Frank Bullitt, McQueen paved the way for the rise of the relentless, justice-seeking cop or detective archetype that replaced the cowboy as the hero of the day on the big screen and TV in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The car chase scene through San Francisco in Bullitt’s Dodge Charger is perhaps the most influential chase scene of the 1960s cinema. “Bullitt” is not only one of the best action films of the 1960s, but one of the best of all time.


In anticipation of the Oct. 19 opening of the latest “Halloween,” the Malco Razorback Cinema and Grill and the Malco Pinnacle Hills Cinema will screen John Carpenter’s original at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Halloween” wasn’t the first slasher film, but it did set the standard by which all such movies of are judged. The film is a brutal classic that still provokes scares to this day. Carpenter not only directed the film but also wrote the screenplay with producer Debra Hill. One of the strengths of the film is the iconic music, which Carpenter also crafted. The film introduced scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, and the mad slasher Michael Myers to popular culture.

If you’ve always wanted to see the movie on the big screen, here is your chance.

TCM’s Monster of the Month — The Mummy

In keeping with its Halloween tradition of naming a Monster of the Month each October, Turner Classic Movies celebrates movies featuring the Mummy each Sunday this month.

This Sunday three of Universal Studio’s five classic Mummy films take center stage with 1940’s “The Mummy’s Hand” featuring Tom Tyler at 7 p.m (CT), 1944’s “The Mummy’s Curse at 8:30 p.m. (CT), and 1944’s “The Mummy’s Curse” at 9:45 p.m. (CT). The latter two films feature two of horror star Lon Chaney Jr.’s three performances as the Mummy.

Here’s a list of the other Mummy film’s TCM will be airing on Sundays.

Oct. 14
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy
Mummy’s Boys
The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy

Oct. 21
The Mummy (1959)
Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb
Pharaoh’s Curse

Oct. 22
The Mummy’s Shroud
Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb