Amir reporting. You’ve heard it all: Noah stormed the theatres; audiences flooded to see it; “Oh, Noah! The film isn’t very good;” Aronofski’s drowning in his worst reviews since The Fountain was showered with… oh fuck it! This will be the only pun-free box office report you will read this Sunday. (But yes, since you’re asking, Noah did sail comfortably ahead of the competition!)
With even stronger numbers coming in from abroad, Aronofsky’s latest is going to be a massive international hit despite the (mostly made up) controversies that preceded its release. On the other hand, God’s Not Dead barely dropped at all from last week’s astonishing sales. Perhaps Freestyle Releasing, the film’s distributor, has intentionally pit it against Noah to offer an ideological alternative? Am I reading too much into it? Possibly.
01 NOAH $44 *new*
02 DIVERGENT $26.5 (cum. $95.2) Review / Jai Courtney
03 MUPPETS MOST WANTED $11.3 (cum. $33.2)
04 MR PEABODY & SHERMAN $9.5 (cum. $94.9) this franchise's history
05 GOD'S NOT DEAD $9.0 (cum. $22.0)
06 THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL $8.8 (cum. $24.4)
07 SABOTAGE $5.3 *new*
08 NEED FOR SPEED $4.3 (cum. $37.7)
09 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE $4.3 (cum. $101.1)
10 NON-STOP $4 (cum. $85.1) Amir's Review
Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is another film that continues its powerful streak, and for good reason. Despite what you might hear elsewhere, this is Anderson’s best film, give or take Fantastic Mr. Fox and a real delight. Most of his films look like pastries; this one tastes as sweet, too. With a worldwide gross that is already in the ballpark of the total of his biggest hits ($69m for Budapest to Moonrise’s 68m and Tenenbaum’s 71m) it is clear that Anderson’s dioramic designs and eccentric humor are no longer for a niche audience. Irrespective of what one thinks of the film, it’s worth celebrating that an auteur with such a distinctive vision can do solid business without compromising his artistic sensibilities.
Cesar Chavez, a rare chance to see Michael Peña in the lead and the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Sabotage were the weekend’s other wide releases. Sight unseen, I’m willing to bet the latter is the biggest waste of Olivia Williams’ talent. On the limited side, two documentaries opened for the lucky readers living in major markets. Mistaken for Strangers follows the unfairly derided band The National and is as close as one can get to an interesting music documentary. Finding Vivian Maier is artless as a film but its subject, a mysteriously reclusive street photographer who spent decades working as a nanny, is so fascinating that it makes up for the shortcomings.
What have you watched this weekend?