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« Podcast: The Spectacular Now & Lovelace | Main | Open Thread »

Box Office: Got Bank? The Butler Will Get That For You.

With the major success of Lee Daniels' The Butler, second week at the top and already his highest grosser, one senses that Crazy Daniels can do whatever he wants next, carte blanche. Will it be that troubled Janis Joplin biopic as rumored? I actually hope so because I want Amy Adams to sing onscreen more (when don't I want singing actresses to do this?) and I think she could use some of the abandon that Lee Daniels seems to inspire in his actresses.

I liked her rare rougher edges in The Fighter so much. If it weren't for her meercat fixation that one time, the peak of her career might well be that porch scene with Christian Bale. What have you ever done with your life, Amy?

I like my life. I like my life [...] 

All right. I drank too much. I worked in a lot of bars. And I ruined a lot of opportunities but I'm trying to do something better here. And so is Mickey. 

Come on. Come on. People took several pieces of that heart already, baby. So bring that Janis Joplin biopic on!

Oh but now we're way off track. Where were we? The weekend box office...

01 LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER $17 (cum. $52.2) Podcast & Review
02 WE'RE THE MILLERS $13.5 (cum. $91.7)
04 THE WORLD'S END $8.9 *new*
05 PLANES $8.5 ($59.5)
06 ELYSIUM $7.1 (cum. $69) Podcast & Review
07 YOU'RE NEXT $7 *new*
08 PERCY JACKSON 2 $5.2 (cum. $48.3)
09 BLUE JASMINE $4.3 *wide* (cum. $14.8) Podcast & Review
10 KICK-ASS 2 $4.2 (cum. $22.4)

In limited release Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster led the newbies with $132,000 at 7 locations and Short Term 12 opened with $60,000 at 4 locations. If I controlled the world Short Term 12 (reviewed) would have opened on 1000 screens to sold out houses but the world is a poorer place because I do not and it did not. But go see it anyway! Fruitvale Station (reviewed) inched past $15 million and Una Noche, a Cuban film winning rave reviews that Glenn just discussed, opened with $18,500

What did YOU see this weekend? Why are you so quiet this weekend?

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Reader Comments (29)

I saw The Butler with my parents, and was SO GLAD to have your podcast to listen to as soon as it was over. You've been posting them and I haven't seen any of the movies yet (plan to see Fruitvale very soon), so this was my first podcast of the season. You guys are such a great team, and I'm very on Team Katey with regards to it. A lot of what she said in the podcast, I said to my parents at lunch after (particularly with regards to O).
Re: the box office. The next time there's a list of the highest-paid actresses and Jennifer Aniston is on it, REMEMBER We're the Millers, people! This movie, which I've never seen an ad or trailer for, is going to make $100 million+! She may not appeal to the average TFE reader, but she sells movies more than people ever remember.

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

It was a busy weekend here, with lots of new movies (good ones and bad ones... well, not so many good ones actually, but I don't judge, I just watch everything, hee).

I managed to watch three: Elysium (another "world is ruined" movie, like we need another one... oh wait, actually there is one more coming, in the name of Snowpiercer), We're the Millers (surprisingly funnier than I thought, but I was so distracted by my own thought as to why the Kenny guy look so familiar, until I IMDb him after the movie to realise he was the kid from that third Narnia movie... all grown up), and City of Bones (yes, I watched that, no judgment LOL, they said it's a Twilight wannabe but I said let's add Harry Potter wannabe into it's resume too. But hot young boys and girls, who can resist?).

I missed this little movie starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusak called The Frozen Ground. I have simply not enough time for that. But I watched "Spring Breakers" just a few days ago so hey, there's only so much Vanessa Hudgens I can take in a week so I'm good.

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Oh, and sorry to stay on the topic of The Butler, but did anyone notice the casting director's name?
Leah Daniels-Butler! THAT'S THE NAME OF THE MOVIE!!!

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I saw The Butler and Blue Jasmine and appreciated both.

August 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I saw THE GRANDMASTER and found it a bit of a structural mess (the scars are visible), but even Wong Kar Wai's traidemark beautiful images felt somewhat wrong for the project. They distracted, like he was too busy focusing on the drops of water cascading off of the brim of a hat instead of the action... which, well, that's not right if you're making a movie about the greatest martial artist to ever live. Still, it's a worthy film to check out. I'd be *intrigued* by the international cut, but then again word out of Berlin wasn't that rapturious until the Weinstein's cut and it suddenly it was a masterpiece.

Also caught up with AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS. It's nice, but yeesh... that director never met a low-watt light bulb that he didn't like. It's positively funereal.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Short Term 12, the best 2013 fiction release (Act of Killing is best doc). I just could not stop urging people to go see it. It deserves to be seen by as many people as possible and the first weeks are crucial for indies. It was phenomenal in every aspect: the writing (the way it begins and ends with a story is just so smart), the editing (that slow-mo ending gave me goosebumps), the acting (where to start - everyone was superb and went beyond what was required...the actors really dug deep). Brie Larson actually reminded me of Gena Rowlands in her abandon and vanity-free take on the character. I was simply mesmerized by this piece of filmmaking. I am watching "I am not a hipster tomorrow"(the director's feature debut) and looking forward to it. I would gladly see Short Term 12 again soon as well....

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Goodbar

PJ, the author of City of Bones first made her name writing Harry Potter fan fiction with The Mortal Instruments being the title of one of her Ron and Ginny stories. Her most popular work as a fanfic writer a trilogy about Draco in leather pants (more happened than that but that was one of the selling points). Just some background info for you...

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Claire, Wow Draco in lethal pants, I gotta go google it now LOL. Thanks for the info, so it explains some of the similarities like "the Institute that can't be seen by human" a.k.a. Hogwart, both have names for normal human (mundane & muggle), hero & heroine who don't know their identity until their teen years. The only difference I guess will be the box office performance.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

I'd say I think about that porch scene about once a week. Those "I like my life"s are DEVASTATING. Girl knows her way around a climax. See also: Junebug.

This weekend I finally finally finally got to see Blue Jasmine. I thought everything with Jasmine was incredibly engaging and a lot more thoughtful than what I would have expected, but that whenever Cate was offscreen the movie immediately dropped. Sally's character was totally unfocused in both the way she was written and the way she was performed. Also went for The World's End which was a lot of fun. GREAT action scenes. So inventive and funny and exciting!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Mike in Canada, HOW have you never seen an ad or trailer for We're The Millers? Luck you! I swear it was a commercial on tv every five seconds and I saw the trailer every time I went to the movies. I wanted to slit my wrists; even the trailer is unbearable. And the saddest part is I knew it would make lots of money. But maybe Canada has better taste!

I saw The Butler with my mom. Was definitely messy, but not in the usual Lee Daniels way since the material is so much tamer and vanilla. I'd give the movie a C or a C+. Tone was all over the place, even worse than The Help (the ONLY reason I'm comparing them is bc The Help also had an issue with tone, not bc of subject matter), I felt like the comedy and drama didn't mesh together too well. And then throwing in the fact that it was also a historical biopic also threw it a bit. But Oprah was fantastic. The slap is totally her Oscar clip!

And Yaya was great too, I thought. I hope she continues to get good roles.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Glad to see you being kind to Adams again!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I saw Short Term 12 (discussed in its review thread) and Ain't Them Bodies Saints (beautiful visually and aurally but emotionally hollow... Anybody else agree?).

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I know it's a very trite thing to say, but... why is 39yo Amy Adams going to play Joplin, who died at the age of 27?!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

I wish I had seen Short-Term 12, but it's sadly only on the coasts. Keep spreading the good word, NYC and LA-ers, so the rest of us can see it too!

I didn't see much as far as movies-just caught Men in Black on cable.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I think we were wrong about Adams in The Master on 2nd watch i get her.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

I saw The World's End, and I thought it was Edgar Wright's best film yet.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTy

I saw Parting Glances. Fantastic time capsule. I highly recommend it.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I saw Ain't Them Bodies Saints. Strong beginning and end but the middle could've done with a little less arty floaty posturing. Impressive that Lowery was able to sustain that mood/tone from start to finish, but I don't think it was ultimately that well suited to the story he was telling.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Saw The Spectacular Now (appealing performances, but too low-key and thin to be truly affecting) and The World's End (far funnier, and weirder, than I expected). I keep waiting for these limited-release films to open near me since there haven't been any interesting/good-looking wide releases for a few weeks now. Bring on the fall season already!

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Not a movie, but I finally finished Orange is the New Black and loved it, although they were really forcing some of that dramatic conflict just for the sake of it. Still, it's a great ensemble of actresses and I can't wait to see where they go with it.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Saw The World's End and loved it. Part fitting bookend and also an exploration into the darker themes of the specific character archetype that Simon Pegg has played. Good work by Pegg, Frost, Considine, and Marsan.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

THE WORLDS END! Loved it. It was just really fun and the action sequences were super well done. Still think SHAUN OF THE DEAD was the peak for the trilogy, but man oh man Edgar Wright rarely disappoints.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I saw The World's End, which was ironically affecting. But my friends did not like it at all. One threatened to beat me up in the parking garage afterwards.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

"Paranoia" a thrill-less thriller

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

I watched "Killing Them Softly" on DVD on Saturday and wondered why the film came and went without so much as a blip on the radar because there is quite a bit to appreciate about it.

Considering that my weekened extended to today, which I had off, I will also count my viewing of "We're the Millers." It is every bit as predictable as I anticipated it to be, but because I have such low expectations of summer comedies, I still found the movie entertaining -- despite the base, misogynistic, homophobic humor.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Saw The World's End: Pure honey for the eyes, zippy comedic back and forth ("Let's get this antinque, on the roadshow!"), interesting action change-up (Shaun was a mix of stick swinging and firearms, Hot Fuzz was running and firearms and this was, well, wrestling and running), doesn't vastly overplot itself like Scott Pilgrim did (that series should NEVER have been condensed into one movie, frankly) and how good was Pegg? My bet: He's probably got that Globe nom in the bag. Here's the rest of the field, in chronological order:

1. Nicholas Hoult, Warm Bodies. They'll have forgotten all about out it, even if he's probably better than a couple of those who actually WILL get nominated.
2. Mark Wahlberg, Pain & Gain. They're probably not going to nominate a Michael Bay film, but this seems more likely than the other Mark Wahlberg candidate.
3. Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man 3. No, even if he's giving 110%.
4. Mark Wahlberg, 2 Guns Their taste in comedy still has weight behind it, such that they're more likely to bite for him on Pain & Gain.
5. Denzel Washington, 2 Guns I direct you to my last comment.
6. Robert DeNiro, The Family. Bwahahaha! No. He's possibly not even getting nominated.
7. James Gandolfini, Enough Said. They'll feell sad over his death enough to toss him a nom.
8. JGL, Don Jon, or as I like to call it, Don Joseph's Egotism. No, I don't respect this project enough to like calling it by it's current title or it's original title. To have even made a movie like this, he has to have an ego the size of Texas. Outside chance at a win due to "momentum", but I think the reviews might well tank it's win prospects. Unless the reviews are insanely toxic, probably a nominee though.
9. Leo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street. This is perhaps Pegg's biggest competition, due to it being a Scorsese movie, the viewed overdue nature and this piece being more "mainstream" and "against current type" than Pegg is. He's the only other one where I'd say the Globe nod is locked.
10. Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis. Eh, I don't know. The trailer made the movie look too soft on the guy, making it a softer and easier lob for the actor as well. Probable nominee, but not a likely win threat.
11. Ben Stiller, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. If he had made it in for Tropic Thunder, I'd call him an actual nomination threat. As is, I'm placing my bets that he's only possible as a nominee.

So, my predictions:


Simon Pegg, The World's End
Leo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street


JGL, Don Jon (He got in the last two times, so unless it gets toxic reviews, this'll get him in.)
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
James Gandolfini, Enough Said

Fighting over the potential sixth slot:

Ben Stiller, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Robert DeNiro, The Family
Mark Wahlberg, Pain & Gain

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I finally saw Blue Jasmine, which now has the distinction of being the first Woody Allen film I've seen in a theater. Blanchett is a force, but I hope some of the love she's getting bleeds on over to Sally Hawkins because she was great as well.

At home I watched The Spirit of the Beehive and Three Colors: Blue and White, both for the first time.

August 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Volvagia - I'm curious why you think JGL needs to have an ego "the size of Texas" to make that movie. I mean, besides anyone needing some ego to make a movie or bring a project to life, what makes you so harsh on JGL?

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Finally saw "The Searchers" and wonder, outside cinematography, why it was on so many All Time Top 10 lists for so many years.

"The Butler" was very Forrest Gumpy and overwhelmed by the parade of Movie Stars and Oprah, but was still good. Have we come a long way, baby?

"Lovelace" eh, interesting. Seyfried and Stone were good, Sarsgaard looks good in 70's underwear. Not very deep of a film, ironicalically.

August 27, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

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