Before October barrels into town with a truckload of big releases in tow, September has to end. The final day of the month finds four new films in wide release with another handful of indies backing them up. Can the charms of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen top Anna Faris despite a sensitive subject? Will audiences flock to see how real-life couple Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz likely met? And just what is 'Courageous'? The answers lie ahead in your look at what's opening in theaters this weekend.


What's the story: Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, a 27-year-old Seattle radio producer who gets diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. Based loosely on the life of screenwriter Will Reiser, '50/50' details the ups and downs of the disease with help from Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Angelica Huston. Check out Mike Ryan's 25 Questions about '50/50' for more.

Box-office projection: It's a cancer comedy (which is another way of saying "tough sell"), but '50/50' has at least a few things in its favor for potential financial success. For starters, it currently owns a 91 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a mere 3 percentage points less than last week's critical sensation 'Moneyball.' Additionally, the trailers have done a good job at pushing the comedy of this dramedy, and it's hard to argue with the likability of the cast. Rogen is the biggest name here, and he seems to ensure an opening of at least $10 million when it's his face the movie is selling. With the great reviews, perhaps some older audience members who might otherwise ignore the foul-mouthed star will be inclined to see '50/50' as well. That's an optimistic way of saying here's hoping this one connects, as it's one of 2011's best films yet. $12.1 million

[Showtimes & Tickets | Mr. Moviefone's Six-Second Review | Unscripted w/ Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anna Kendrick]

'What's Your Number?'
What's the story: Spurred on by a magazine article, recently unemployed Ally (Anna Faris) looks back at her past 20 sexual encounters with the hopes of finding "The One." Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Joel McHale, Chris Pratt, Anthony Mackie, Martin Freeman, Andy Samberg and Blythe Danner all co-star.

Box-office projection: As the lovely Ms. Faris herself said to Moviefone, 'What's Your Number?' is coming out at a time when audiences have finally embraced R-rated comedies with female leads. Add that to the fact that Faris is a somewhat dependable female comedy anchor and 'What's Your Number?' could succeed. Unfortunately, the buzz on this one is low, and the R-rated comedy pie could be split by '50/50.' Temper expectations, but don't be surprised if this does better than you think. $10.3 million

[Showtimes & Tickets | Mr. Moviefone's Six-Second Review]

'Dream House'
What's the story: A family (led by Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz) move into a new home and find out that brutal murders took place there previously. If you've seen the trailer for 'Dream House' you know the bigger twist.

Box-office projection: If you haven't actually heard of 'Dream House,' you're forgiven. The film -- which was delayed from its original February bow because of reshoots -- is being released with little fanfare by Universal: it's not being screened for critics and the original trailer seemed to give away the milk for free. Those are bad signs, but there is some hope: Craig is a bona fide star, and some fans will likely want to see if he and co-star Rachel Weisz offer any indications to their future real-life marriage. It's also a horror flick, and there haven't been many of those in recent weeks. $8.3 million

[Showtimes & Tickets | Mr. Moviefone's Six-Second Review]

What's the story: Four police officers struggle with their faith in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Box-office projection: Speaking of movies you've haven't heard much about. 'Courageous' is an indie film with no-name stars, but because of its focused heartland-based marketing, it's poised to surprise over the weekend. Opening on over 1,000 theaters, 'Courageous' could knock off one or two of the films above. Hey, you didn't think 'Dolphin Tale' would do very well either, right? $8.9 million

[Showtimes & Tickets]


Michael Shannon plays a Midwestern father haunted by apocalyptic visions in 'Take Shelter'. Elswhere, the long, long, long, long delayed 'Margaret' finally gets released. Directed by Kenneth Lonergan ('You Can Count on Me') and starring Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and many others, 'Margaret' was filmed six years ago.

What movie will you see this weekend?
50/50171 (55.3%)
What\'s Your Number?82 (26.5%)
Dream House32 (10.4%)
Courageous24 (7.8%)

Photo: '50/50' (Chris Helcermanas-Benge) / 'What's Your Number?' (Fox)
CATEGORIES Movies, New Releases