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Box Office: Fury Attacks with a Tank Full of Gas

Amir here, reporting to box office duty. America finally flocked to the theatres to quench its months-long thirst for knowledge: just what the hell is Brad Pitt’s hair cut about? Most of you have surely found out by now, but I have to wait until Tuesday to see Fury, because my favourite actor present or not, I’m just not willing to spend more than the $7 for ticket plus popcorn deal on a war movie in a tank.

What did you see this weekend? Let us know in the comments how you liked it.

01 FURY $23.5 NEW
02 GONE GIRL $17.8  (cum. $107)  Jason's Review
03 THE BOOK OF LIFE $17 NEW Interview
04 ALEXANDER AND THE... $12 (cum. $36.8)
05 THE BEST OF ME $10.2  NEW
06 DRACULA UNTOLD $9.8 (cum. $40.7) 
07 THE JUDGE $7.9 (cum. $26.8)
08 ANNABELLE $7.9 (cum. $74.1)
09 THE EQUALIZER $5.4 (cum. $89.1)
10 THE MAZE RUNNER $4.5 (cum. $90.8) Nathaniel's Review

Excluding Wide Releases Losing Theaters

01 ST. VINCENT $.6 68 theaters (cum. $.8) Michael's Review
02 KILL THE MESSENGER $.4  427 theaters (cum. $1.8)
03 BIRDMAN $.4 4 theaters NEW composer interview | opening night party 
04 DEAR WHITE PEOPLE $.3 11 theaters NEW Michael's Review
05 MEN WOMEN & CHILDREN $.3  608 theaters (cum. $.4)

The weekend’s other wide openings, a Día de Muertos-themed film called The Book of Life and a Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Best of oh, who even cares?, both snuck in the top ten, though critical and public enthusiasm seems rather low. I’m happy for Reel FX bouncing back from the train wreck that was Free Birds, though. Meanwhile, the biggest news of the weekend was the per screen average gross of Birdman, where it ranks among the top 20 of all time.

This year’s best average gross still belongs to Wes Anderson’s Budapest Hotel, but Birdman is the bigger surprise. Anderson is one of a series of active filmmakers whose films always pull the same trick, opening on a few screens to massive numbers before expansion – his namesake P. T. Anderson and Woody Allen always do the same to great degrees of success. Yet, for Birdman to pull of similar numbers is genuinely surprising. My guess is that the film’s appeal remains limited outside of the major markets, but I reserve the right to retroactively edit this prediction out if the film does well.

Other films of note opening this weekend: Listen Up Philip, Dear White People, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, a film I have surprisingly thought about so often since TIFF that it has forced itself into my top 10 of the year. Go see it! It’s magical.  

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Reader Comments (25)

I saw BIRDMAN for the second time and it was wonderful again. my review tonight!

I was also seen bingeing on BOB'S BURGERS. I heart Louise & Tina.

October 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I sat down for Fury, I didn't care for Fury.

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

Bob's Burgers is amazing. I just watched an episode where there were two boys fighting over Tina and pretty much laughed the entire time.

I ended up watching To Wong Foo again over the weekend. I started thinking about who I would cast in a remake even though I hope a remake never happens. Jon Hamm as Vida Boheme is the furthest I got.

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

<<I saw BIRDMAN for the second time and it was wonderful again. my review tonight!>>


October 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

"This is were I leave you" far from perfect but WAY better that what I heard.

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersteans

Birdman at the movies. Another masterful Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze partnership (No?). Successful in its entirety, every single aspect of it.
Mala Noche at home. Van Saint's Eraserhead - a first movie in B&W that introduces his style and themes that will be recurrent in his following movies. Made me want to rewatch Paranoid Park, one of his top 3 movies.

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Goodbar

Bob's Burgers shout-out! (But I'm a Linda man myself)
I saw Pride, for which I thank you, Nathaniel.
This week we're choosing between Boxtrolls and Goodbye to Language, which are, I realize, quite different 3D experiences.

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Nat- OH. EM. GEE.
Love Bob's Burger's so much. You know I'm not really into TV at all but I binge watched both seasons of this show. Incredible. I agree on Tina & Louise (though the mom is probably my favourite character) but it's so well written, it doesn't have a single iffy character. I love it.

October 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterAmir S.

Saw Pride and it is easily among my favorite films of the year so far! Kinda want to see it again in fact. Andrew Scott is fantastic.
Excited for Birdman to open here (hopefully soon?)

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

I was able to see Force Majeure and The Tale of Princess Kaguya at the Philadelphia Film Fest this weekend. Really enjoyed both of them! Kaguya was a touching film and beautifully designed. Force Majeure really surprised me since I didn't know much about it going in. It was a lot funnier than I expected while also being interesting story about relationships and trust issues. The audience I saw it with seemed to love it.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdoughyjunn

I saw "Whiplash," which may be my favorite film of the year so far. Both JK Simmons and Miles Teller is excellent. I would like to see it again so I can jot down Simmons's great putdowns and creative cursing.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I saw Relatos salvajes (Wild Tales). Loved it. So cathartic. Argentine actors are mesmerizing.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Peggy -- yay! wasn't it fun?

October 20, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I watched the NZ horror-comedy Housebound (VOD). Reminded me of an Edgar Wright film in some (favorable) ways (with a touch of Flight of the Conchords like absurdity), certainly worth a look if that's the sort of thing that spins your wheels.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDrG

Amir -i love that Brad Pitt is your favorite actor! I somehow hadn't known this or forgotten that I knew it. Either that or i should be embarrassed because it's like Shia Labeouf or something ;)

October 20, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nat- No, It really is Brad Pitt. Hard to come up with a single favourite American actor, but Pitt, DDL and Phoenix are as close as it gets.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Saw Fury and, thoughts? Tank combat stuff pretty much is top to bottom thrilling to watch. Sad about the down time being so dull. And, having seen it, what are my serious thoughts on Oscar? Probably just a single nom, though a major one. Editing. No one really made me stand up and go "YEAH! They deserve acting traction!", even if none of them are BAD per se (they ARE trying their hardest to elevate completely stock characters with dull dialogue) and the costume design is mostly so dirty that I'd see this landing closer to 7-10. My current position for Fury, after having seen it and digesting overall critical reaction is...18th.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I finally saw "Gone Girl," which I liked enough, but boy, does it feel every bit it's length. I'm still not sure I'm sold on Pike as the best in show (Perry was the biggest shocker for me in terms of strength of performance), though a thought I had was how suited for "Amy" Michelle Pfeiffer would have been had the film been made 15-20 years ago.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Delighted by a viewing of CHEF. I need a Cuban sandwich right now! Also watched THE SONG OF LUNCH. Interesting take on poetry, and Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson are just so damned good onscreen. Speaking of Emma Thompson et al., also saw Graham Norton's recent show --the bit about her antics on Red Carpets is pretty funny. Luke Evans is so pretty.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I saw Dear White People. It was full of some great lines and astute points, but taken as a whole, it was all a little much for me. Sam reminded me of that person that you run across in life who goes on long diatribes and can never be rebutted.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Amir - i love him too. In my top ten all time favorite movie stars (male division)

October 20, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

At home: Bird People. The first hour was kind of dreary and patience testing, but around the halfway mark things take a turn for the bizarre, and it's so delightful that it totally turned the movie around for me.

At theaters: Well, technically this was before the weekend, but I saw Force Majeure at a Lincoln Center preview. I quite enjoyed the movie. Had an odd experience at the Q&A after, though - the director was very willing to talk about the movie, giving very long in depth answers on anything anyone would ask him. Usually that would be a good thing but he was so insistent on interpreting the film FOR the audience that it became a bit suffocating. Very little room to interpret and interact with the film when the director sits there for an hour telling you exactly what to think. I probably would've liked to read the Q&A a week later or so, but immediately after was just too much, so I bailed.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

At the movies: Gone Girl--Fincher knows how to manipulate an audience. Audacious fillmmaking but kinda starts to splinter apart at the end. Dracula Untold--I don't usually enjoy vampire superhero films but this had some style and the CGI wasn't out of control. Luke Evans is someone to watch.

At home: Donnie Darko--should have waited to watch this right after Nightcrawler, which I'm looking forward to. Mary McDonnell and Jenna Malone were lovely in this. Still digesting what this bizarro movie means LOL.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Nat - Yes! LOVE Bob's Burgers and Tina & Louise. I'm thinking I might even be Tina for Halloween this year.

Troy - ooh, interesting idea with Pfeiffer in Gone Girl...

I saw Whiplash and mostly loved it. Teller and Simmons (arguably a lead but Supporting doesn't feel like too big of a fraud) are great and the movie zips along with intensity and humor. Unfortunately the script forces some moments that don't feel earned and the directing/cinematography, while mostly great, sometimes get a little heavy-handed. But overall it's a thrilling experience. I never knew a drum solo could be so suspenseful!

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I caught two movies on the last weekend of the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma. My favourite was Maps to the Stars, which was a lot funnier than I'd expected. (Black comedy, of course, but still funny.) I can't believe that it's not getting at least a qualifying release in the US, if only to get Julianne Moore into the Best Actress race. (It's supposed to be in commercial release here in Montréal on 31 October, but I don't know about the rest of Canada.)

I also caught Force Majeure, which I liked a little less than most people seemed to have. I found it a bit too heavy-handed at times...exemplified by the periods where the soundtrack music blasted our eardrums.

Finally, the Hong Kong Oscar candidate, The Golden Age, got a commercial release here, so I caught it on Saturday. I wasn't sure what to expect of an almost three-hour biopic, but it pretty much held my interest all the way through. (I'd have preferred it to be shorter, though.) Tang Wei was pretty good, but so were many others in the cast. I somehow can't see it getting a nomination, though.

By the way, that brinigs my total of Foreign-language candidate seen up to 11, so far.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

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