Bereft of inspiration today, Nathaniel turns to box office, the thing everyone else talks about elsewhere on the interwebs. Endure it! I have questions.
01 new RANGO $38
02 new THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU $21.1
03 new BEASTLY $9.8
04 HALL PASS $8.8 (cumulative: $26.8)
05 GNOMEO & JULIET $7.2 (cumulative: $84)
06 UNKNOWN $6.5 (cumulative: $53)
07 JUST GO WITH IT $6.4 (cumulative: $88.1)
08 THE KING'S SPEECH $6.2 (cumulative: $123.5)
09 I AM NUMBER FOUR $5.7 (cumulative: $46.4)
10 JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER $4.2 (cumulative: $68.8)
Because I am finally free of Oscar season time constraints, I'll let you choose which new release from this week and next I should watch next to remount the "right now" movie horse. Obviously I need no push to get to JANE EYRE (Fassy! Mia!) so I left it off the list. Which other one should I write about?
Also how sad is it that a movie no one seems to like at all (Just Go With It) will now be one of Nicole Kidman's highest grossers in many years? The world -- and by world I mean movie theaters. Duh! -- would be an infinitely better place if this and Rabbit Hole ($2 million) switched cumulative grosses. Imagine the ripples in Hollywood moviemaking if female-led dramas with tremendous performances won default ticket purchases and sexist lazy comedies had to earn Oscar nominations to win any attention at all! Heh.
Other new releases: Take Me Home Tonight ($3 million), Happythankyoumoreplease ($35,000) and Uncle Boonmee reviewed ($27,800) which had a great first weekend take for a difficult movie that waited 10 months to capitalize on its Cannes hoopla. It should easily outgross Apichatpong Weerathesakul's biggest US market hit which was Tropical Malady (2005) which didn't earn that much until its fifth week in theaters.
Top 10 Foreign Films This Year (Thus Far)
01 BIUTIFUL w/ Javier Bardem $4,200,000+
02 YAMLA PAGLA DEEWANA $993,000+
03 OF GODS AND MEN $818,000+
04 DHOBI GHAT (MUMBAI DIAIRIES) $576,000+
05 7 KHOOM MAAF $268,000+
06 EVEN THE RAIN w/ Gael García Bernal $230,000+
07 IP MAN 2 $182,000+
08 WHAT WOMEN WANT w/ Gong Li and Andy Lau $123,000+
09 THE HOUSEMAID $117,000 +
10 POETRY $114,000+ don't miss it!
So happy that people are noticing South Korean's actressy cinema (#9 & #10) post Mother (2009).
At the subtitled speciatly box office we continue to see that if you want to make any money at all it helps to be a Bollywood feature (even with zero media attention you can earn money. See: #2,4,5). The second easiest way to sell tickets is to have a beloved star in the lead role.
Of Gods and Men's terrific opening and Even the Rain's pretty solid one suggests -- at least to this foreign film Oscar enthusiast -- that they should not have waited for a nomination for release. If there was this much interest despite snubs, imagine how much extra sympathy press they would have gotten had they already had "hit" status and then got snubbed. Of Gods and Men obviously didn't need the Oscar buzz to sell tickets and Even the Rain always had Gael García Bernal and instant recognition factor (Christopher Columbus related) going for it... Meanwhile, below this top ten lay the remains of other Oscar snubbees who waited to see how the Academy would treat them before sticking a toe in the US market: Argentina's Carancho ($39,000) German's When We Leave ($19,000) and Romania's If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle ($12,000). The biggest foreign flop this year has to be Ong Bak 3 right? The first film in this Tony Jaa muay thai trilogy was a major art house hit earning nearly $5 million stateside and $20 million worldwide but the novelty wore out fast and/or they waited way too long to capitalize on interest and/or the sequels weren't very good? For the record I suspect it was a lethal combo of all of the above. I enjoyed the first one a lot and couldn't stomach the second which flopped in the US but it surprised me how long it took for them to make a sequel. For a year there in the mid Aughts I totally thought Tony Jaa was going to be the next international action star but then... crickets.
In other news, just because I like the film quite a lot, Xavier Dolan's Heartbeats has earned $18,000 to date but is still in theaters and available on demand. I feel like this would have done much better had his debut film I Killed My Mother had a real release in the States to build awareness of the new auteur. (I still read conflicting reports about whether or not it actually ever opened in the US and if it's that hard to know...).
On the subject of teeny tiny grosses, Germany's crime drama The Robber, which I didn't particularly "like" but which was unquestionably exciting and well-made on a technical level, has earned $5,000. It's already lined up for an English language remake (possibly with Andrew Garfield) and while I can see them trumping the film on an emotional engagement level, I think they'll be hardpressed to duplicate this one's technical virtuosity and cumulative white knuckle effect. It is scary intense.
Here's the trailer for The Robber which actually does a good job of not giving the movie's best moments / surprises away.