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« Liz whips her hair back and forth... | Main | Linkages »
Sunday
Aug102014

Green For Green: Weekend Box Office

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. Forecasts were uncertain whether Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still had the appeal to take the multiplex by storm. The turtles are as popular as ever, apparently, crushing Guardians of the Galaxy in its second week. I have no doubt that you’re all sick of me bitch and moan about Michael Bay and Marvel week after week – but see? I have a point; we do have to talk about them every week; there’s no escape. So we’ll skip them for the good news: Boyhood passed 10 million and is still expanding. 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES $65 *NEW*
02 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $41.5 (cum. $175.9)  Review
03 INTO THE STORM $18 *NEW*
04 HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY $11.1 *NEW*
05 LUCY $9.3 (cum. $97.3)  
06 STEP UP ALL IN $6.5 *NEW*
07 HERCULES $10.7 (cum. $52.3)
08 GET ON UP $5 (cum. $22.9) Review
09 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES $6.4 (cum. $47.5) Reviewish & Podcast 
10 PLANES FIRE & RESCUE  $5.5 (cum. $62.9)
11 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $2.2 (cum. $68.5) 
12 A MOST WANTED MAN $2.2 (cum. $10.4) Review
13 BOYHOOD $2 (cum. $10.6) Review

There were other wide releases this weekend. Helen Mirren returned with The Hundred-Foot Journey. One would assume a film that thinks of only a hundred feet as a journey would also be about turtles, but it is not. It’s some sort of inspirational, we-are-the-world, all-races-holding-hands story about a white woman who learns to love Indians without bothering with the whole Maggie Smith/Judi Dench shtick of actually travelling to India. Lasse Hallstrom, purveyor of mushy Euro-pudding directed. Finally, Step Up All In also opened to a top ten spot, but at 26, I feel too old to write about it.

On the limited end of things, What If starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan opened on 20 screens to mild reception. When this film played TIFF last year under the title The F Word, its target demographic seemed pretty happy with what they’d seen, and given the presence of a genuine star, I’m surprised CBS Films opted for such a low key release and the incredibly bland title. Meanwhile, the best film of the week didn’t even register on the charts, presumably because no one saw it, but the tiny little documentary called Fifi Howls From Happiness is funny, outrageous, clever and a beautiful dialogue between two artists, one behind the camera and one in front of it, that deserves a far bigger audience. I hope my review convinces you to see it.

What did you watch this weekend?

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Reader Comments (15)

Saw Boyhood this weekend! So glad to finally catch it and can't wait to see it again. Saw it Friday and it's been ruminating in my head ever since. Though it is always weird to say, (and although it's not without it's flaws), I think it's easily the best of the year for me so far. If it's not a best picture nominee, I'll be completely surprised. Excited to read more about it.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterT-Bone

Saw King of the Hill, 1 PM (an unfinished Godard late 60s documentary and totally the kind of thing that isolated a lot of his early New Wave fans- but still fascinating), Larisa Shepitko's very solid Wings, and finally, Abel Ferrara's Welcome to New York.

I need to note with Welcome to New York, which is essentially the DSK sexual assault story, that the way DSK- well now, named Devereaux in this to avoid legal problems- has his excesses in display (played so pointedly beguiling and lacking in vanity from Gerard Depardieu) is something that I think people who found Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street morally questionable (and I think it is still a great film), should seek this film out. It's practically a counterpoint in how to show a man's rise, carnality, exhibitions, and his rough fall with the masks blown off. Ferrara, which may come as a surprise to a few who only know him from Ms. 45 and Bad Lieutenant, is impressively clinical in approach.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Friday, I saw Magic in the Moonlight, which is pretty weak tea. There's about a forty minute section in the second half where Woody wakes up and seems to be building toward a point, but it dissipates pretty quickly. All in all I'd say this is his most half assed movie since Whatever Works. Which is to say, I enjoyed it as a Woody Allen dead ender, but I know it's not really a very good movie.

Saturday I saw Edge of Tomorrow. The very ending was a semi-disappointing muddle and I'm not sure the movie was actually *about* anything then delivering impeccable sci fi entertainment, but man oh man was that a spectacularly entertaining sci fi summer actioner for about 95% of its run time. Easily one of the best movies of the summer.

Today I saw Joaquim Pinto's debut film, the simple, powerful coming of age tale Tall Stories, at Lincoln Center. The summer rep schedule in NYC is just an embarrassment of riches. When deciding what to see today, I had to choose between this, a D.W Griffith classic, Bunuel's Phantom of the Liberty, and a rarely screened Manoel de Oliveira film.

Earlier tonight I started Ben Wheatley's film A Field in England, but was having trouble getting into it, so I just switched over to TV. I'll finish it some other time.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I saw Ninja Turtles. It had some MAJOR problems but somehow, I enjoyed myself. Admittedly, however, it - along with Power Rangers - was a childhood stable of mine, so I was (somewhat) predisposed to enjoying aspects of it.

August 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

Speaking of childhood favorites......why has no one made a live action Jonny Quest?

Does Max Martini not want to play Roger T. "Race" Bannon? Afraid of the love scenes with George Clooney as Dr. Benton Quest?

Seriously, seems like a natural project.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Henry - I think they tried a few times but it never got off the ground (much like Voltron). Max Martini as Race Bannon... That actually might work, lol. I can't picture him with the hair, though.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

You'll know the meaning of the "hundred-foot journey" if you watch the movie! You'll probably cringe at times, but most of it is good and fun. It does feel like one of those 'old' movies that you'd catch on TV one day. There's something very sweet and charming about it. I liked Helen Mirren a lot in it! It's pretty balanced between the two French and Indian sides. Race doesn't become any issue here.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Mai

So... Megan Fox has recovered with the help of Michael Bay. Oh, the irony!

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I finally caught Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Some parts were brilliant, but I kept felt like I was watching a film that was about to be superb. Certain visuals worked that shouldn't have (Koba wielding the machine gun was disturbing when it so easily could have been comical or at lesat cartoonish), but Gary Oldman was terrible and I still cannot get why the human characters cannot figure out how to be as compelling.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Anthony- I can see the meaning of the hundred foot journey in the trailer, hence the Marigold Hotel joke. Glad you enjoyed the film!

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

I saw Boyhood, and I'm with the critics on this one. One of my favorite movies of the last few years. I can't stop thinking about it.

I really hope Patricia Arquette gets some awards attention for her performance.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I saw Frankie & Johnny based on Nick Davis' high praise of it was somewhat charmed but also somewhat underwhelmed. Pfeiffer and Pacino were great but the movie is a tricky balance of comedy (so of it very broad) and drama that never quite totally gelled for me.

I also saw Enemy. W. T. F. It took me a while to get into it because some of the character choices were just so weird, but by the time it ended I thought we were only halfway done with the movie. It just went by that quickly and held me in its zone for so long that I wanted more! And so glad to see Gyllenhaal differentiate those two roles with subtlety. But wow. What a mindfuck.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I saw STEP UP ALL IN and like clockwork it was quite good. They know how to churn these movies out with style. They're not the best thing you'll ever see, but they have some things to say about culture and community and what it means to be an artist all with fantastic choreography and some wonderful costume and production design.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I saw three films which opened here in Montréal this weekend:

The Hundred-Foot Journey...a major disappointment. Nice to look at the French scenery, I know, but not much else to it. Helen Mirren's French accent was awful; the lead young lovers had no chemistry...and there just wasn't enough food porn in what was supposed to be a food porn movie.

Magic in the Moonlight...certainly not vintage Woody at all. Again, there was a real lack of chemistry between the supposed couple of Emma Stone and Colin Firth. In fact, Firth was really bad in this, and I'm normally a real fan of his. As for Emma Stone, I felt she was miscast; you would have wanted someone with a bit more personality for the role. Most of the supporting roles weren't all that great, except for Eileen Atkins as Firth's Aunt Vanessa. Nice South of France scenery couldn't by itself make this any sort of a masterpiece.

Calvary...quite good, actually! Brendan Gleeson was really affecting as the priest, and the supporting cast were good enough that I'd say this would have the best ensemble cast of the year, at least for an English-language film. The only problem with this, for me, was that I'd read an online review in which the reviewer revealed just who was making the threat against the good Father, and that really did spoil much of the suspense.

I also went back, yet once again, to see Ida while it's still playing. Nat, our dreams have come through; Ida has been chosen as the Polish Oscar candidate:

http://culture.pl/en/article/ida-selected-as-candidate-for-an-academy-award

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

I rewatched three favorites:

Jezebel. This one just looks better and better. Wyler was a master of shot composition. That ballroom scene proves it. And Bette's nuanced work still reveals new facets.

The Citadel. Another Best Pic nominee from 38, the sentimental chestnut shows Robert Donat at the top of his form. Such an underapreciated performer.

Network. Just keeps establishing its classic status with each viewing. Contains more truly great performances than any other film. Finch deserved that Oscar.

August 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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