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What did you see this weekend? (Besides gun-toting apes)

Given that Handsome Joe Canada (aka Amir) is too busy with World Cup mania to grace us with his presence today, I Nathaniel am here for your weekly look at the profit margin side of things. But mostly to ask you the sturdy comment question:

What did you see this weekend?

We're always curious. Your answer should be... well, there's so many good things in theaters right now it just better not be Trans4rmers. Your answer should also soon include Masters of Sex which returns tonight, my choice for Best Drama Series last season (sadly Emmy-snubbed in that category). Should we talk that up every week? Raise your hand if you're watching.

02 TRANSF4RMERS $16.5 (cum. $209)
03 TAMMY $12.9 (cum. $57.3) Review
04 22 JUMP STREET $6.7 (cum. $171.9) Podcast
05 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $5.8 (cum. $152) best movie dragons
06 EARTH TO ECHO $5.5 (cum. $24.5) 
07 DELIVER US FROM EVIL $4.7 (cum. $25)
08 MALEFICENT $4.1 (cum. $221.9) Podcast
09 BEGIN AGAIN $2.9 (cum. $5.2) top ten thus far
10 JERSEY BOYS $2.5 (cum. $57.1) Review

You'll notice that Snowpiercer didn't make it despite its quality. This was probably at least somewhat informed by its decision to go VOD before the movie had run out of steam at the box office. There've been quite a few articles about this (like this one) and I can't help but read them with pesky asides. I don't trust anything anyone says. I understand that VOD gives you a wider audience. But I also think not being willing to support your movie in theaters rarely bodes well for long term health on VOD. So basically I am displeased with how they've treated this action film with a big star and special effects which has now groused $2.6 or roughly half a million less than a black and white indie about Polish nuns. Yes I'm going to keep mentioning Ida whenever I see fit. Deal with it!

Because there is always so much interesting stuff hiding in way too few theaters -- Boyhood and Land Ho! -- here is that chart

01 BOYHOOD $.3 *NEW* 5 screens Review
02 IDA $.1 (cum. $3.1) 85 screens best of year's 1st half
03 A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (1964) 50th anniversary $.07 (cum. $.4) 56 screens
04 LAND HO! $.03 *NEW* 4 screens  Review
05 YVES ST. LAURENT $.03 (cum. $.1) 14 screens

Boyhood had a fantastic per screen average but IFC went a bit timid at only 5 locations. We'll see how wide they dare go with this one-of-a-kind feature, twelve years in the making, but I hope they make a big push. More on that one this week which I told you I loved at Sundance.

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Reader Comments (33)

I saw Begin Again, which was worth it for Keira Knightley's surprisingly amazing voice. I've seen Boyhood already though, and all the hype you're hearing is true - it's incredible. Hoping to get to Fault in Our Stars and Apes soon.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Yes for Masters of Sex. Great series.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteradelutza

I caught up with 'The Lunchbox,' which was as sweet and warm a film as hyped. It's a pleasant movie, and I mean that as positively as I can.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

I saw Begin Again and LOVED it. So so much. I've listened to nothing but the soundtrack for the past two days.

Also saw How to Train Your Dragon for the first time so I can see the new one tomorrow. I have no idea how it took me 4 years or why, because that movie is wonderful and SO CUTE.

I didn't realise Boyhood was so long so I couldn't go this weekend, but will definitely see it this week.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Yves Saint Laurent should definitely be in the costume discussion this year.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

I thought Snowpiercer was rushed to VOD because Harvey is bitter that his cut of the film was badly received, and not so much for the typical reasons.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClaire


July 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

Saw Boyhood in a sea of white people at BAM Friday night (I wept), then caught Snowpiercer (C+) and didn't get caught sneaking into Begin Again (so sweet, B+) on Saturday! A+ weekend.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Finished binge watching Orange is the New Black. And now I have withdrawal symptoms. That is, I interpret things as if they were equivalent to something that happened in the show. True story; there's this guy in my neighbourhood who makes obscene or plainly stupid gestures to me, (licking his lips sensually) but not in a good way, just trying to offend me. He only dares to mumble something to me when I have my headphones on. So, he's my Boo.

Another true story. Just a couple of days ago, in the subway back home, i was weeping (with my sunglasses on) because it was the anniversary of my father's death. There were actually not real tears going down, I'm too shy to cry in public. But then, a woman came to say hello, and she told me to ask for help. I guess I really looked sad. She gave me a brochure of some Christian cult, Temple of the Sun, or of the Light or the sunlight, can't remember. I was so mad at her for not minding her own business in what she probably believed was being a good Christian, that I was about to shout this at her and call her names. But then I remembered Tiffany 'Pennsatucky' Doggett and how dangerous people with misguided deep religious beliefs can be, that I was just speechless. I could only look at the man in front of me, and he just shrugged his shoulders as Nicky would do after one of those Chapman self-centered diatribes.

Is there any cure for this, doctor? :)

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I saw Begin Again and thought it was wonderful. What a charming movie.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I didn't see any new releases (although I have Borgman, Ida and Begin Again happening soon.)
But I saw La Dolce Vita on the big screen, which was fantastic.
And just this minute I finished watching Upstream Color. I think it wi be a few days or weeks before I decide what to make of that.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Would've seen BOYHOOD, but didn't realize how long it was (and also limited time options) so I couldn't fit it in. Next week though I'm ALL OVER THAT. Instead I ended up seeing APES and really liked it. I've already seen BEGIN AGAIN and SNOWPIERCER but I'm glad both are doing well in limited theaters (in Snowpiercer's case... relatively well for something out on VOD).

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

watching Paper Moon for the Smackdown

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertom

I saw Life Itself, the Roger Ebert documentary, which I liked but didn't love. It was mostly full of praise from his friends and colleagues but nothing more than that really. It would have been nice to hear someone with a dissenting view of his by-the-book, populist film reviews. Still overall, it was well done and entertaining; other than some of the hospital scenes which were incredibly hard to watch.

I also watched All That Jazz which was terrific, every bit of deserving of its classic status. I didn't think I would like a movie about musical theater that much but I really did. The direction, editing, performances, music, and choreography were all top-notch. The version on Criterion comes out soon so I hope to see it again then.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

I'm very excited about the return of Masters of Sex, and I'll be blogging it, but a business trip tonight means blogging will be delayed.

Begin Again on Friday night was lovely.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

I wanted to see Boyhood but the running time kept me away. Why 2 hours & 45 mins?

And yes Im watching Masters of Sex.... so so good.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

I saw 22 Jump Street. I liked the first one, but wasn't in a hurry to see the second; but I happened to be near the theatre on Sunday afternoon and saw that there was a showing in ten minutes, and my job is making me miserable, so I thought why not? I thought it was much funnier than the first one.

I do wonder, though, with the huge box office, the studio is surely going to want mores sequels, but I'm not sure where you'd go with this property after Lord and Miller so comprehensively took a flamethrower to the idea of further installments.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

Wow! Jersey Boys still in the top 10... maybe not a total flop after all. I want to see both Saint Laurent biopics, but the one with Gaspard Ulliel more.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I saw Begin Again thursday night, and was thoroughly charmed. It's no Once, but still, perfectly lovely. I've had "Lost Stars" on repeat ever since.

I also saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes yesterday, and was pleased to discover that it was just as good a summer blockbuster as I had heard. I continue to be stunned by Andy Serkis and his mo-cap colleagues. It's not without its flaws (the absolute lack of three-dimensional female characters, the uninventive dialogue) but it's an above average summer actioner nonetheless.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

Saw Boyhood followed by a Q&A with Linklater and Coltrane. I'm surprised many people here mention its length. I never expected anything shorter. The novelty element doesn't wear thin and the movie flows well. However, plot and character development did not impress me, so I was not emotionally involved much. Linklater did say that Coltrane became more and more of a collaborator as time went by and he started documenting him more than giving him a dramatic arc to work with. The problem is, Coltrane's teenage boredom and discoveries are not that original or emotionally deep, cinematic-wise. I wish Linklater had had more control over the story HE wanted to tell. I still appreciate the experiment very much, even though at the end I felt like it was a wasted opportunity to create something absolutely fantastic. I was more interested in the sister's character because she had more layers to her and also a more lively and interesting personality. I really liked Ethan's character, but his performance was not as naturalistic as it should have been for this kind of movie. he reminded me of Tom Cruise in his acting choices. I love Arquette in general, but wish we could have seen more of her. The movie I wish I had seen (in this order): Girlhood, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Boyhood. I sound negative, but I still liked it...

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Goodbar

I saw Snowpiercer and loved it! Was surprised that the theater was fairly full for midweek matinee.

Also caught Stranger by the Lake on Netflix. Sexy and terrifying at the same time. Loved the final shot and the fact that the director/editor didn't flinch away and let it play out in all of its chilling (bewildering) glory. Stupid, lovestruck (beautiful) Franck...

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

Why are people surprised that a film shot over 12 years is almost 3 hours long? I'd be more surprised if it was shorter. I also don't understand why they'd keep you away if you're a film lover... I don't know. Maybe if it was a random basic movie, sure. But this is clearly a movie of artistic merit.

I desperately want to see Boyhood (which is maybe why I'm acting like such a sassy bitch, haha), but this limited release stuff is bull, since I don't live in a relevant city yet. The closest place playing it is Miami, which is like 7 hours away -_-

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I saw Begin Again, which I liked more as it went along. I liked Keira Knightley a lot more than I thought I would (always love Ruffalo). In that scene where Keira listens to the song written in LA, I thought that her sojourn in grim pics like Anna Karenina had served her well. She's now got the experience of artistically expressing all those kinds of emotions, and she did so very deftly in that scene.

July 13, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Just to clarify that in my case, the long running time of BOYHOOD doesn't deter me in watching the film. It just deterred me seeing it THIS particular weekend. The times just didn't work out. Looking forward to seeing it next weekend!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

iggy -- no. there is no cure for this. I have two years of experience with it

everyone -- don't let the boyhood length deter you. everyone knows i am the first critic to complain when a film is more than 110 minutes long (honestly my ideal length is 90 which might be why old movies are so appealing... there was so much less fat and they just moved despite the slower pace of the editing.) but Boyhood earns the title. It actually needs the time to reach for the 'this is slices of life' expressiveness even if some of it is repetitive.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I saw Boyhood and... biggest surprise of the year for me... I was horribly underwhelmed. I thought the acting was distractingly bad at times and that Linklater, for some odd reason considering he has children, had no understanding of how children talk with one another or their parents. The things he had these 6, 8, 10 year old children saying, not to mention the way they read the lines, rang so false to me.

The novelty of the film makes it worthwhile but I was hoping for so much more.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I saw a screening of the Sorcerer restoration on Friday. One of the all time great 70s cocaine movies. Not as good as Wages of Fear, but close, and so bracingly cynical it takes your breath away. Saturday I saw Los Olvidados at BAM - one of the top holy grail movies that I've been waiting years and years to see. It totally lived up to my expectations - a great, tragic semi-neorealist work from Luis Bunuel about the travails of Mexican street kids in the late 1940s. Wrapped things up today with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Liked it a lot, but I've been nitpicking it ever since (muddy 3D, underwritten human characters, bad third act) which is never a good sign.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Watched SNOWPIERCER which I loved, in addition to WORDS AND PICTURES which surprised me by having some substance rather than being the rom com that the trailer sells it as. Plus Clive Owen is so darn dreamy in it!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P.

This weekend I watched:
Begin Again
Season 2 of House of Cards.

And I watched Snowpiercer on VOD but here is why - I live in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. I've thought about this movie non-stop for weeks and it will take months to come near me. This is actually the first thing I've ever watched on VOD. I would have gladly gone to see it in a theater... if it would come around near me. This is why I hate limited release movies. It's just not fair to those of us who are crazed movie lovers who don't live in NY or LA or Chicago or Boston.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen

@Travis - Yeah, isn't Stranger By the Lake's last shot great? Almost hypnotic and beautiful and creepy. I saw it months ago and it still stays with me.

I finally saw Stories We Tell - what an interesting movie. For a while it was just riding the line between interesting and indulgent (okay, you're a dysfunctional family, but who's isn't?) but if you stick with, the twists and turns really start adding up and paying off.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Not sure what all the fuss is about long movies, unless you are in a theater and your butt starts to hurt. If the story is great, who cares how long it is? I take issue with folks who say the same thing about a book (oh, too long, I'll never read it. If it starts to suck, put it down!) Nathaniel--I know you and other film critics have to watch A LOT of movies in a small amount of time, so I get your concerns.

For the record, BOYHOOD is awesome; three hours go by very quickly. Now, WOLF of WALL STREET, on the other hand...ugh.

Also saw EDGE of TOMORROW, which I liked a great deal. And LUTHER (yay Idris!) and CARNIVALE (been meaning to catch up with this awesome show) on VOD.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I watched two very different movies. "The Swimmer" kept surprising me throughout, and the ending was sensational. I cannot believe this original, thought-provoking work was the same guy who directed "Mommie Dearest." Also, the splashy "Paint Your Wagon," which was very entertaining and featured some astonishing photography and setpieces. Clint doesn't sing half bad either. But Lee Marvin...boy howdy...BAD!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I'm watching Masters of Sex and I love it. But to say that the first season is in any way better than the seventh of Mad Men (Even if it's only a haf-season) is crazy talk.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoecitos

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