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« Podcast: American Hustle & Her | Main | Do You Find "Inspirational" Films Comforting or Pandering? »
Sunday
Dec222013

The Anchorman Continues...

Amir's Weekly Box Office Report

chart repurposed from boxoffice.com

Ron Burgundy and his news team were the story of the weekend with Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, though their numbers are anything but a big deal. The film opened at the lowest end of its expected spectrum and I have yet to come across anyone who’s liked this film unreservedly. I was never a big fan of the original, which I got around to a few years too late. (I expect this one to hit my rental queue sometimes in 2017). It opened behind The Hobbit, for which the amount of critical goodwill hasn’t been nearly strong enough to convince me something better than the insufferable first episode is in store. Smaug smug as it may sound, I can think of quite a few better things to do with two and a ½ hours.

American Hustle expanded beyond New York and Los Angeles and all the way to snowy Montreal, where I was able to watch it. (Personal story: this is the third time in my life that I’ve went to le cinema on trips to Montreal, after the first Sherlock Holmes installment and Ted. The experiences are very slowly but surely improving. I expect to catch a real good one on my 2017 trip.) Hustle is Russell’s unruliest but least energetic offering, though it’s totally worth watching because of Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper’s perm. At $20m, it doesn’t seem positioned to beat Silver Linings Playbook’s gross, but The Fighter’s should be within reach.

chart repurposed from Boxoffice.com

Further below, the stellar Inside Llewyn Davis continued its slow expansion and is hovering just outside the top ten. Like virtually any other film by the Coen Brothers, it is an essential watch. Spike Jonze’s Her is also playing now, though only on six screens. I’m less enthused than most, though there are certainly worthy elements about it – Hey! Look! Amy Adams again! – but Jonze is such a unique, vital voice. We should treasure this film before he hides for another three or four years.

Finally, Asghar Farhadi’s The Past has opened, though on even fewer screens than Her. This one’s really grown on me with repeat viewings so I encourage you to see it. Oh, and read my interview with Mr. Farhadi. Anyway, my weekend has consisted of Short Term 12 (I’m sorry Nathaniel) and American Hustle so far and will continue with whatever else goes with the mood on the train ride back home. What did you watch this weekend?

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Reader Comments (12)

I threw some of those dollars towards Anchorman 2; which I laughed at a lot, even though a lot of those laughs I am hard-pressed to recall. It was an ideal matinee; solid, but not an outright recommendation.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

I watched a Hong Kong production called The White Storm, starring three hunks Lau Ching-Wan, Louis Koo and Nick Cheong (Unbeatable). It's a typical HK action thriller with police force, drug lord and all, but still it was very good and I totally didn't see the second half of the movie coming. Hollywood can make hundreds of action thrillers starring Jason Statham or Dwayne Johnson but I'll say the best are from HK.

I also watched 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves and lots of Japanese actors, not sure if it opens in US yet. It was not too bad, but somehow when they opened their mouth and nothing but English came out I knew it's laughable.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

In the theater, I saw Saving Mr. Banks, which I thought was saved by Emma Thompson (who really was practically perfect in every way). The tonal disparity between it's two halves was just too much - the film had quite the bad case of whiplash. But it was mostly solid and enjoyable.

At home, thanks to Netflix, I was able to catch up with the French film Populaire (which I absolutely LOVED) and Only God Forgives (which I absolutely did NOT - I found my reaction to the film as I watched it far more interesting than the film itself).

Mostly though, I'm just mad that Her hasn't opened anywhere near me. I don't even care that American Hustle, Inside Llewyn Davis, and Nebraska are all open now. Seeing the new Spike Jonze film is really the only thing I want for Christmas.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Frozen is proving a real box office champion. It's outgrossed Wreck-It Ralph already, and should pass Tangled by next weekend. It's cornered the family film market for the holiday season, so there's plenty more money to be made.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

Saw American Hustle. Love and I actually think it is David O. Russell in old form and not nearly as Scorsese as lovers/critics of it have been suggesting. I also want Russell and Adams to work forever and Louis CK and Bradley Cooper to be our next comedy duo.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I saw HER and like THE MASTER I am likely apart of a vocal minority who accepts these films as they are instead of what they could have been. I wonder how INHERENT VICE will conclude the unofficial Joaquin Phoenix resurgence trilogy. All of them 1.85 and rated R. Two of them from Warner Bros. Two of them written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Two of them with Amy Adams. And the fashion in all three is worthy of great admiration.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Forgot to add Megan Ellison produced two of them.

December 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I dealt with an ice storm, loss of power (OMG.....I might have to read a book.....or.......!!!) and finished the last season of Justified. Such a great series. I don't understand why it doesn't get more love. Tonight, I'm catching up on Prisoners.......if the power holds. Its freezing rain again in the forecast.

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Saw both American Hustle and Saving Mr. Banks. Neither perfect, but both very enjoyable. As long as the american film industry is going to favor male actors, maybe they should expand the number of actor nominations, because Bale should be getting one. the more I think about it, the more impressed I am with Amy Adams as well. I really enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks and kudos for being exactly what they promoted. It was a really lovely piece about the making of a film. and refreshing -- no violence, no language, no children killing children....Emma is the best crier in the industry and I'll cry along with her in anything.

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermikey67

Saw HOBBIT: DESOLATION OF SMAUG because I'm a completist, but it was definitely better than the first one and I'm sure the third will be better. Still wish this trilogy was a duology, but what's done is done.

Next week I'm going to try to see AMERICAN HUSTLE, WALTER MITTY, and OSAGE COUNTY. And maybe THE PAST and HER. I actually really want to see HER like yesterday, but my friend is making me wait until she comes back into town AFTER the holiday so she can see it with me. My ability to wait will be the ultimate test of our friendship.

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Late night binge on Scandal while wrapping presents (why haven't I watched this show before now?). Then AMERICAN HUSTLE. Saw two trailers before the film: NOAH (ugh, the CGI with the snakes and hoards of people storming the Ark made me squirm, but at least Emma Watson is in it, which I did not know until just then) and Disney's MILLION DOLLAR ARM. My thoughts on the latter: What the heck is this? JERRY MAGUIRE part deux?; Another sports rags-to-riches tale like SUGAR (which was pretty good); Exotic Slumdog Marigold Millionaire Moneyball? Wait--I thought Lake Bell was on to better things after her fine work on IN A WORLD. Alan Arkin as the curmudgeon??--no way!

December 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Amir, I also saw American Hustle on Saturday in Montréal...and I had a mixed opinion. It was pretty good fun, but it should have been better. What happened to the plot? The plot was really the MacGuffin; it was only there to allow DOR to assemble a great acting group, dress them up in outrageous costumes, give them even more outrageous hairdos, let them do outragious things and tell ice fishing stories. (I knew that we'd never hear the end of that one!) I do need to see it again to solidify my opinion.

I also caught Saving Mr. Banks, and was pretty disappointed. From the moment I first saw the first trailer, I knew that Tom Hanks would be miscast as Walt Disney, and I was right. What was particularly disappointing is that Emma Thompson wasn't all that great as P.L. Travers. Part of this was due to the bad script; for example, her change of heart near the end, with her decision to sign over the rights, wasn't well explained. All the back and forth between the Australian past and the L.A. present didn't work all that well, IMHO. Finally, I'm a big Paul Giammatti fan, but he was awful in this. He's not a Pollyannish type of guy...and they gave his character a handicapped daughter, on top of it all, just to make Emma Thompson seem a bit more human than she had been seeming.

December 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

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