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'Hotel Transylvania 3' Tops Weekend Box Office While 'Skyscraper' Struggles
Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation continued the franchise tradition of debuting atop the weekend box office and doing so with over $40 million over the three-day. The weekend also featured a strong expansion from Annapurna's Sorry to Bother You, which landed in seventh position on the weekend chart, but unfortunately for Universal's Skyscraper, the weekend's other new wide release, it struggled over its opening weekend, failing to meet the studio's expectations, delive...

'Hotel Transylvania 3' & 'Skyscraper' Aim to Top Weekend Box Office
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation took in an estimated $16.65 million on Friday and is expected to finish the weekend with $43 million (including $1.3 million in Amazon Prime showings and $2.6 million in Thursday night previews. Universal and Legendary's Skyscraper is struggling in its opening weekend, taking in an estimated $9.26 million on Friday and looking at a three-day weekend around $25 million. This comes up well short of Mojo's ...

A Good, Spooky Ride
A review of The Blair Witch Project
by Robert A. Fulkerson

As a kid, I bought into all of the scary stories that other kids passed around the playground during recess. There was no way I was going to say the name Bloody Mary three times and look into a mirror. Hell, I was scared enough of the story that I wasn't about to say it standing in a dark closet with no mirrors.

Director: Daniel Myrick And Eduardo Sanchez II

Stars: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard, Bob Griffith, Jim King, Sandra Sanchez, Ed Swanson, Patricia Decou

Rating: R

Release: 07-14-1999

Time: 80 minutes

Buy Movie at The Blair Witch Project is probably the closest thing I've seen cinematically to captures those childhood feelings of spooky bogeymen in the dark. Framed as a documentary, the movie starts off as we watch three student filmmakers load up a car with camping gear and cameras and trek into the woods around Burkittsville, Maryland to uncover the truth behind the legend of the Blair Witch.

The balance of the film traces the descent of the three filmmakers from adventurous rationality to panicked paranoia. Along the way, we don't see any mind-numbing special effects or many perfect camera shots. We don't have a musical score to gently guide our emotional responses. All we have are some crude "special effects", shaky hand-held camcorder shots and lots of breathing and running sounds.

The special effects in the film are limited to some art projects gone bad made out of tree branches, some piles of rocks and one slightly gory scene with a pool of blood and some personal belongings. Without the glitz, glamour and dough that Hollywood usually pours into scary movies, it's refreshing to see how effective the power of suggestion can be.

While I was sitting in the theater with 250 other people, I enjoyed the honest depiction of the group dynamics of three people lost in the woods. I could feel the frustration that Josh and Michael felt with Heather for getting them lost in the first place. I empathized with Heather trying to organize such an undertaking and trying to keep everything together as it slowly unraveled. I've been those people (though, admittedly, I've never gotten lost in the woods trying to debunk a witch story).

The performances of the three actors was superb in bringing natural feeling to their parts. Without a script, their improvisational acting lends an edginess to their roles that lots of other seasoned actors with scripts will never get the chance to have.

After the movie was over, I rushed home and immediately checked out the Blair Witch website at (if you haven't done that yet, you're missing out on a good chunk of the whole experience). Oodles of information awaited me about the history of the Blair Witch as well as police and family pictures and video interviews of the investigation that followed the disappearance of the filmmakers. You can even chat with other fans of the movie in a virtual Burkittsville, where some of the chatters still believe that it's a true story.

Blair Witch is not the best movie I've ever seen, but it is damn good. It deserves a huge amount of credit for an ingenious use of very little in the way of budget and resources to make such an impact on so many people. Now, on playgrounds at recess, Bloody Mary will have to share time with the Blair Witch.