Oscar History

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Months of Meryl: Adaptation 

"This film is in my all time great top 10. I love everything about it. The acting, the plot, the crazyness of life itself." - Sonja

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Weak Weekend Box Office - Did You Go To the Movies?

It was a rather tepid week and weekend at the box office aside from some milestones further down the list. Wonder Woman continues to break records despite falling out of the top 15. In its 12th weekend its just passed by Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (if you don't adjust for inflation) making it the top grossing origin story superhero film. In other happy news for fans, both Girls Trip and Baby Driver passed the important $100 million mark this week. The Girls Trip figure isn't as unusual as the internet seems to be  pretending -- how quickly people forget that The Color Purple, Hidden Figures and The Help, which all centered on black women, were megahits and two of those in the very recent past! But the Baby Driver milestone is rarer. It's a first for director Edgar Wright who has had a devoted fanbase for years but never quite crossed over in this way. More after the jump...

Weekend Box Office (Aug 18th-20th)
W I D E  L I M I T E D
1. AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL $300k (cum. $2.9) 514 screens  REVIEW
2. ANNABELLE CREATION $15.5 (cum. $64)  2. A TAXI DRIVER $266k (cum. $842k) 41 screens
3.🔺 INGRID GOES WEST  $265k (cum. $438k) 26 screens REVIEW 
4. DUNKIRK  $6.7 (cum. $165.5) PODCAST | TOM HARDY
4. 🔺  MENASHE $230k (cum. $715k) 86 screens REVIEW
5. NUT JOB 2 $5.1 (cum. $17.6)
5. 🔺 STEP  $205k  (cum. $809k) 306 screens
6. EMOJI MOVIE $4.3 (cum. $71.7) REVIEW 6. WOLF WARRIOR 2 $204K (cum. $2.3) 50 screens 
7. 🔺 GOOD TIME  $173k  (cum. $349k) 20 screens CANNES RESPONSE
8. GIRLS TRIP $3.8 (cum. $103.9) REVIEW | PODCAST
8. 🔺 BRIGSBY BEAR $159k   (cum. $354k) 408 screens
9. THE DARK TOWER $3.7 (cum. $41.6) REVIEW 9. MAUDIE  $124k (cum. $5.6k) 124 screens REVIEW 
 10. WIND RIVER $3 (cum. $4.1) REVIEW
10.🔺 THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK  $84k (cum. $162k) 66 screens 
 11. KIDNAP $2.8 (cum. $24.4)  11.🔺 THE TRIP TO SPAIN  $70k (cum. $129k) 19 screens 
 12. THE GLASS CASTLE $2.5 (cum. $9.7) REVIEW
12.🔺 PATTI CAKE$  $66k NEW 14 screens 
13. ATOMIC BLONDE $2.2 (cum. $47.2) REVIEW | PODCAST
13.🔺 ADVENTURERS $65k NEW 17 screens

🔺 = new or added screens

numbers from box office mojo 


The Hitman's Bodyguard, which couldn't appear to be any more of an interchangeable action filler if it tried, both with its inescapable leading men and its well worn genre, took the week's #1 spot. Sadly Soderbergh's return to movies didn't really register with that many moviegoers despite a star-laden cast. Was it that it was yet another heist film? Or was the advertising campaign too weak or too late? I barely realized it was opening myself. 

Despite animated films being the only rival for horror films as the easiest call a studio can make in terms of sure return on investment, audiences just aren't that into The Nut Job 2.  The animated sequel is doing half as much business as its predecessor suggesting that maybe it hadn't needed a sequel at all. A horrifying thought for movie executives in any context since they love to think that every movie needs one. 

The best news in limited release was probably for the festival hit Good Time from A24 which worked good reviews and Robert Pattinson's against-type role to a solid per screen average in its second weekend. Less in demand but with ample room to grow, as most agree that it's a crowd pleaser, is a fellow festival darling Patti Cake$ which opened at 14 theaters to respectable if unspectacular business. Will it catch on? We'll find out soon.


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References (3)

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Reader Comments (32)

Since your back is out, are you streaming movies you've never seen? Set It Off (1996) is about four black female bank robbers – no excuse for you not to prioritize it in your movie viewing schedule.

August 20, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I watched Columbus which was painfully slow, but sometimes aesthetically very pleasing. You definitely learn a lot about architecture in Columbus, Indiana.

Also, Defending Your Life (1991) with Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn and Lee Grant. Classic comedy and I think really connects with uncertainty of today. Pure pleasure to watch because the writing and actors are so good.

August 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

I watched Logan Lucky. I am not a fan. But, I will use the word 'dramastically' as much as I can from now on.

August 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEz

I think Girls Trip deserves more credit than is given in this article. A movie starting black actresses, written and directed by black people passing $100 million is actually a big deal and definitely should be treated as such. And even moreso than that, this is a comedy told in a unique voice and perspective that is thankfully not about overcoming adversity. Not to take anything away from movies like The Color Purple or Hidden Figures, but movies like Girls Trip and shows like Insecure make me as a black person very happy. Seeing stories like comedies that have been successful with white protagonists break through with people that look like me is really meaningful and shouldn't be discredited.

August 20, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermatt

Once again, I stayed home as I watched Hell or High Water yesterday and later that night, a re-watch of Nocturnal Animals. Today coincidentally, I watched The King of Comedy for the first time as I learned while watching it on TV that Jerry Lewis had just died. We will miss Jerry as he was great in that film. A true genius in the art of comedy and a great man that wasn't afraid to help children. Him and Dick Gregory are true kings of comedy and true humanitarians. Unlike that scumbag Bill Cosby who is full of shit.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Jerry Lewis should have won an Oscar for The King of Comedy. What a great film.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

I watched Logan Lucky. I really enjoyed it although the whole film I was wondering to myself - what defines a Soderbergh film? Any ideas?

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Lewis

matt - I don't think Nathaniel meant to discredit the success of Girls Trip. It's just frustrating that studio and media didn't quite get that there's always been a huge underserved market for movies with black female leads. It's the market they should capitalize on, not acting so surprise everytime there's a new hit.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJija

I saw "Anabelle: Creation" which was ok. Anabelle is not Chucky all she does is sit there are look evil. The movie has some effective scares but the directors last film "Lights Out" was scarier. I did like some of the subtle references to the Conjuring universe and the way they manage to connect the interesting back story to the other films.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

I saw The Little Hours, which didn't impress me much, though I quite like John C Reilly in it. Then I watched Fire Walk with Me, which... holy smoke, why aren't we talking about Sheryl Lee's performance all the time! That's some Naomi-in-Mulholland-level service right there.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Matt -- what Jija said. I'm very happy for Girls Trip but the way the media is acting you'd think that no black film was ever successful which is complete ridiculousness! They do the same thing when a white female led picture makes a mint, pretending that "wow, what an unusual success" when the truth is the market is just there period. No need to act surprised!

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Ingrid Goes West - I thought it was pretty good. Aubrey Plaza is great in it - such an underrated actress.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRod

I saw Logan Lucky, which I enjoyed very much even though it was pretty much Ocean's Eleven Goes Country. Very fun performances and I got unexpectedly emotional at the climactic beauty pageant.

And then later that day I saw A Ghost Story, which... ALMOST worked? I think I needed a bit more time with the couple before he dies in order to be as connected to the characters as the film wanted me to be. But there were some incredibly touching moments and the film's concept of what happens when we pass on is kind of beautiful in ways I wasn't expecting. It didn't totally work for me, but I appreciated it and what it was trying to do.

That gross for Atomic Blonde is so depressing. It's the best movie of the summer, easily, and stars a major movie star. I worry that Hollywood is going to hold that up as "proof" that audiences "don't want to see female-led action movies" that aren't connected to a pre-existing franchise. Which is sad, especially since it's so good.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

I finally saw Dunkirk. It was totally fine. I'm sure it will win all the Oscars in the history of the world.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

I was supposed to see Logan Lucky but it fell through, so I'll go next week. I'm happy Soderbergh is back.

At home, I rewatched Umberto D., which I love. Is there a better movie about the bonds between people and their pets? I also saw The Lovers. I think Nick Davis was right when he said the actors had more fun making it than we had watching it. And finally, for the first and last time, Hope Floats, which continues my suspicion that Sandra Bullock has made a lot of movies that seem like Julia Roberts's rejects.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

What's the point of not adjusting for inflation?

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBoy Piranha

The Black female audience has always been huge,they came out for Eddie,Whoopi,90's Whitney,Angela Basset headlined 2 big hits in the late 90's,Halle Berry was a BO draw in the early 00's as was Queen Latifah,Martin Lawrence was a draw,the Barbershop movies,Waiting to exhale,I could go on.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I started watching The 3% on Netflix. I appreciate the creativity in stretching what was clearly a much smaller budget for a Netflix original series.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Black led movies are always profitable but the politics of Hollywood is to sustain their patriarchal white supremacist practice.

And Nathaniel in fairness to Matt, you did respond surprised as fuck Straight Outta Compton was huge leaning on the idea its viral ad campaign was enough to push people to the multiplex where the genre of music isn't your cup of tea unless a girl is doing it.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

AB's failure is that Theron is not really big BO unless paired with the following,another BIG star,a franchise or a well reviwed movie,she is no Sandra or Julia.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Saw and loved Wind River. Not been a Renner
Fan. But loved him in this.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenternatalie

I started on the 1985 Smackdown movies - and so far it's been pretty rough. "Prizzi's Honor"? Bring a book.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

I mean, 3 examples of films led by black women being hits in the span of 32 years isn't exactly um, a good track record. I think it further proves the point that it is as unusual as the internet is pretending. I just find it odd to say Wright's is a rarer success because it's his first.

I believe it's a first time ever for black female led film from a black director as well.

I get what you're saying about the media acting "shocked" which yeah they shouldn't be because these movies can make a profit. But they should emphasize if not the "shock" over its success highlight how it doesn't happen often.

I don't think trying to minimize the achievement of its success are the way to do it. It IS a big deal. It IS unusual but because these movies don't get the chance to exist. Certainly more so than movies about white boys who become criminals. The movie's success is proof there's a good market for it!

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve_Man

I also got started on the 1985 Smackdown and watched Agnes of God and Twice in a Lifetime, two very different movies. But why is Prizzi's Honor so hard to find? No streaming, no DVD rental. Hoping to get it from my library soon.

Also saw Strange Weather. Hunter and Coon were very, very good and it was intermittently entertaining but I'm not sure there was a whole lot of there there.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Dave S: Yeah, that movie was...yikes. If you want crime as comedy, go to the Coen Bros or Scarface 1983 or the later Saints Row games. Don't go to Prizzi's Honor.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Oscar recognition does not ensure distributors to keep certain titles in circulation if the public does not latch on. The Color Purple matters despite having a problematic rep with the white taste makers who have a beef with Spielberg or are dismissive to black material. But the public never let it go. It is a cultural touchstone of the decade and for those who love both the book and the movie.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Oh please the only politics Hollywood cares about is a killing at the box office.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Oh please the only politics Hollywood cares about is a killing at the box office.

That's a lie. They use black productions like horror movies for a quick and cheap big buck to fiance their regularly schedule white programming.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I'll cosign some the previous comments. "Girls Trip" over $100 million IS unique and groundbreaking in a number of ways...

1. It was made by and for people of color. The fact that it went "mainstream" is a great bit of icing on the cake, but a movie unapologetically starring black women going to the Essence Music Festive was never built to earn that much money. That it did is a big friggin' deal.

2. The movie isn't weighty or bogged down in racial politics or black suffering. That's a big friggin' deal. Too often our movies have to be about either/or to even be produced.

3. It's a frivolous black comedy about grown black women clownin' over a weekend trip. I can name quite a few comedies that center around white frivolity that hit the zeitgeist regularly. I can't do the same for black comedies...and the ones that have (say, a "Friday") are centered around black MEN. So, yeah, black women earnin' $100 million without having to be maids, slaves, mammies, or welfare mothers is a big friggin' deal.

Ain't no other way to put it.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKBJr.

Volvagia - ...that was a comedy??? I saw at least one review refer to it as such, but I assumed it was a typo.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

I was on vacation and I read the "movie capsules" recommendations in the major newspaper that is distributed in the rural areas.

It gave Baby Driver 4 stars, calling it fresh, original, etc.

It gave Atomic Blonde 2 stars, calling it hackneyed, cliched, and incomprehensible. It didn't even mention the fight scenes. I mean they could have said , "A spy story with fight scenes by the guys who did John Wick. But it has a girl in it".

So the next tier of audiences (those people who casually go to a movie) aren't going to see Atomic Blonde because they've been told it's bad. And they have no idea what it's about.

I'm developing a shorthand for these kind of reviews. If a woman character explains part of the narrative, there are "plot holes" (because they habitually don't listen to women speaking); if a woman carries the narrative the plot is "incomprehensible"; if a woman is the lead, the story is "low stakes" and the movie is "niche", "minor", "predictable".

I do love Atomic Blonde. I've seen it 3 times because I'm not the only one who wants to see it. It is really beautifully constructed, and the care that's taken in the fight scenes is taken in the rest of the movie too. Such a clever puzzle and so wonderfully crafted.

August 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Thanks for the information

August 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRanjit

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