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10th Anniversary: A SERIOUS MAN

"I have never seen a film that mixes laugh-out-loud comedy so intimately with dead serious philosophical questioning. It packs so much into its short runtime. " - Dr strange

"This movie is one of my favorites - Michael Stuhlbarg the biggest reason, he's so heartbreakingly fantastically good in everything." -Rebecca

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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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The Lion King's Leftovers

What did you see this weekend? Disney's photorealistic animated remake of the animated classic was all the rage as audiences stampeded to theaters like a herd of wildebeests. Though the numbers below are just estimates it's accounting for about 72% of the nation's box office. Insanity. Next time you hear someone complaining about 'Hollywood running out of ideas' check how many of Disney's recent remakes they've seen before taking them seriously.

Weekend Box Office Estimates
July 19th-21st 
🔺 = New or Expanding / ★ = Highly Recommended
The Lion King The Farewell
1 🔺 The Lion King  $185 *new*
1 🔺 The Farewell $1.1 (cum. $1.6) REVIEWINTERVIEW ★
2 Spider-Man Far From Home $21 (cum. $319.6)   TOM HOLLANDREVIEW 
2 🔺 Art of Self Defense $1 (cum. $1.2) REVIEW
3 Toy Story 4 $14.6 (cum. $375.5)  PODCASTREVIEW
3 Super 30 $445k (cum. $1.7) REVIEW, INTERVIEW
4 Crawl $6 (cum. $23.8) REVIEW
4 🔺  Maiden $255k (cum. $850k) REVIEW ★
Yesterday $5.1 (cum. $57.5)
5 🔺  Wild Rose $255k (cum. $1.1) PODCASTSOUNDTRACKING 
Stuber $4 (cum. $16) REVIEW
6 Last Black Man In... $249k (cum. $3.8) REVIEWPODCASTBEST OF ★
Aladdin $3.8 (cum. $340) REVIEW1992 RETRO
7 Pavarotti $230k (cum. $3.9)
Annabelle Comes Home $2.6 (cum. $66.5) 
Echo in the Canyon $207k (cum. $2.6) 
9🔺 Apollo 11 $75k (cum. $9) REVIEW
10 Secret Life of Pets 2 $1.5 (cum. $151.5) REVIEW
10 Biggest Little Farm $62k (cum. $4)  

numbers on that chart are pulled from boxofficemojo

Expanding to other major markets in its second weekend The Farewell  is still packing enough houses to almost make the regular top ten list despite being in only 35 theaters. Maiden is climbing the charts as it slowly expands but The Last Black Man in San Francisco is running out of juice in its 7th weekend. Apollo 11 also got a mini boost as it re-expanded to just over 100 theaters. Still, it looks like an 8 figure gross is out of the question despite being the top documentary hit of the year (thus far).

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Reader Comments (23)

The Lion King's numbers are nuts! I'm sure its not the whole reason but I'm sure that the heat wave that's gripping most of the nation is helping pull in the crowds of parents with kids going stir crazy because its too hot to go outside for long and looking for a few hours refuge somewhere cool .

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Just re-watches of Midnight in Paris, Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate, and From the Earth to the Moon miniseries.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Saw THE FAREWELL and I thought it was pretty damn flawless.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

These remakes are so hollow and I haven't seen one yet.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I stopped going after Cinderella, though I did see Beauty & the Beast and The Jungle Book because of the Oscar nominations since I see every Oscar-nominated movie every year. But I haven't paid a dime to see them (other than DVD rental fees on Netflix) since Cinderella, and am feeling very good about that right about now.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Forecasting the Australian box office figures which will be released in about 8 hours, I can pretty much guarantee that the weather is not a significant factor in the TLK income. As debated with a friend on FB recently, it's all about Disney and their 1984-like marketing to make you feel you HAVE to see it. The quote oin one of the articles Nathaniel linked to yesterday says a lot really: "Christopher Torres, a 22-year-old New Yorker, called it a “cultural obligation” to see “Toy Story 4.”" (*face palm*)

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Wild Rose - a bit too familiar, but Jessie Buckley is incredible and should have 5 musicals lined up right now. And I'm always down to see Julie Walters.

I tried to see Dark Phoenix at a cheap theatre, but God exists and he intervened to spare me. The sound broke, so I went for a really nice walk instead.

Gonna be a good film week ahead - I'll get to The Farewell and I'm seeing 2001 A Space Odyssey on 70mm tomorrow and Lawrence of Arabia (never seen it - been stubbornly waiting to see it in theatres for years) in 70mm on Sunday. LOA has felt like my biggest cinematic blindspot, but this will be the best way to finally experience it.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

No way will I ever see The Lion King. No. Even if it's nominated for Best Picture by some insane fluke. Just no.

Saw Midsommar and really liked it. I can see where many would just absolutely want noting to do with it, but it's clear now that Ari Aster is a major talent.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I saw Spider Man, and running through my mind the whole time was can a movie this popular with audiences and critics (90% on RT!) be THIS wretched? This is the stupidest film I've seen in ages. Gyllenhaal and Jackson will do, but everything and everyone else - including Tom Holland - were beneath contempt.
Wild Rose was very disappointing, but Julie Walters and the little boy were wonderful. I found the subplot about her being a wretched mother was much more interesting than the country music career stuff. Loved the Kacey Musgraves cameo.
The Art of Self-Defense (I spent a lot of time trying to beat the heat) was a very funny pitch-black comedy for the first hour or so, but then became way too implausible. Jesse Eisenberg and Alessandro Nivola were both superb, and overall I still liked it for its originality and daring.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s

Saw Witness for the prosecution again, its wonderful but I wonder, was Dietrich a good actress or just someone that the camera loved? Either way, you cannot take your eyes off her.

Sorry to bother you, first time watch. Uneven, but a lot of things that I liked - especially the soundtrack!

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterhaajen

I saw Men in Black: International for the second time with Thompson/ Thompson/ Hemsworth. The wide releases just look unbearable.

And I repeat: MiB:I has all the MiB fun without having to endure the smarm of Will Smith.

The general word on this movie seemed to be that it was the sequel no-one asked for or wanted. BUT: I wanted it. I wanted the MiB fun with two leads I actually liked.

Another dismissal was that it didn’t add anything new. BUT: almost every time you exchange a male lead for a female lead, you get something new and different.

Tessa Thompson does a really interesting characterization with unexpected nuances. She uses the qualities of reserve and restraint, unusual choices in an action movie. Her air of courteous disbelief and nicely disguised scorn in the workplace seems so recognizable and familiar.

In their mechanism repair scene, where she starts laughing at the utter stupidity of what Hemsworth is saying, it’s funnier because of her previous politeness.

Thompson has created a character that has many possible avenues for growth. Hemsworth is a really good co-star, as he leaves lots of room for his colleague to work. They are really good together and I could watch them in sequel after sequel.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I haven't seen a Disney movie in theatres (or on Netflix) since the summer of 2015—including Marvel, Pixar, etc.—and have zero regrets: Thank you, New York Times, for your public service!

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I just saw The Farewell with my sister. It was such an amazing film. My sister started balling after only 5 minutes into the film. I joined her soon after, and by the end of the film I was full on hack-sobbing. I had so many complicated feelings during the film, and I don't think I've ever emotionally resonated and felt as exposed by a film as this one. I've always known that representation matters, but that idea is tritely-used phrase by neoliberals that it didn't hit me how much it mattered until this film. I saw this film in a packed theater filled with a white audience. Everyone was crying and obviously emotionally impacted by the film, but I don't think they probably even were able to understand 1/10 of what Chinese-Americans can get from the film. So many perfect tiny moments that were everything: the taxi drivers crowding around to be chosen, the morning exercises with Grandma, the food and fake iPhone burning at the graves, etc. etc. etc. The cultural tension, the language, the relationships, the shame, the complex familial ties, just so much there.

I'll be thinking about this one for a very, very long time.

Acting-wise, Awkwafina was amazing, but her Chinese was just so, so awful that it sometimes took me out of the film. It's obvious she tried really hard but it was just horrible. I wish they had dubbed her or something. Even though she's not supposed to be good at Chinese in the film, it was just beyond believably bad.

MVP's are the actress for the grandma, the uncle, and Awkwafina.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

Oh, I also saw The Lion King. The animation was amazing, yet horrible. It's weird because it clearly was an intentional choice to ignore the fundamental principles of animation (exaggerated facial expressions and movement, leadings eyes, clear mouth visimes) yet it sooooo bad. They're pretty much using the same software as films like Zootopia and Pixar films, so I don't get why Favreau insisted on making the animals so lifeless. What a waste of thousands of underpaid, extremely talented Disney animation artists and the hours they poured into the film.

It was an entertaining movie and definitely doesn't deserve it's sub-50 RT score, but lifeless for sure.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

If it's any consolation I don't think Disney has much more left to remake. The Lion King was their biggest 2D animated hit ever and by a pretty wide margin and also fell in the nostalgia sweet spot, it's kind of all downhill from here for them box office-wise. Dumbo's more meager box office probably convinced them not to pilfer too much more from their more distant past and once The Little Mermaid and Mulan are out they're pretty much done with the Disney Renaissance assuming they have enough sense not to try doing Pocahontas. So the worst of this trend is probably behind us.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

Yes we are having a heatwave but I rather melt than watch the most pointless remake in the history of cinema. chasm301 wait until you experience Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia " on the big screen- it makes our current pathetic excuse for the movies seem even tinier. By the way has Disney bought the New York Times? They are pushing "The Lion King" as if they had produced it

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

MJS: There's only, possibly, one kinda major one left past Mulan and The Little Mermaid: The Great Mouse Detective. Embrace the style of Lion King 2019, but do it as an even more over the top parody of most of the excesses and stupidities of the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock show. And, ooh, ooh, ooh, if they want to go there, just have Harris Brewis (hbomberguy) write it. I can only imagine what he'd write to match THE BOOMERANG.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Kinda sad when you post box office before RT. Box office isn’t even your major thing they should step their game up. I watched Lion King. Im not fond of the Disney remakes (Cinderella was actually pretty good tho), and yes it is pretty much an exact replica in theory; the experience is fairly different because of the realism and Favreau’s approach. I didnt mind the animals not emoting because...they’re animals. Why should they act like people for us to relate? I just saw it as a...weird weird wildlife doc with translators. Not as strong as the original, but still worthy in its own right.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterkris01

Volvagia, that’s gonna be a no from me, dawg.

July 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRandy

Went to see Extremely Wicked and Shockingly Evil and Vile all by myself. I like the fact that it did not show the gory details of the murders although it managed to show some to remind us of the title's magnitude as enacted and exacted by Ted Bundy.

I thought Zac Efron was effective especially that one particular scene where he wrote a single word in a semi-wet glass panel coupled with a look he gave his girlfriend where his transformation from lamb to jaguar was chilling. Efron bore a certain resemblance to Bundy when I went online to read more about the latter. Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario, Haley Joel Osment and the Metallica singer were alright in their roles, but when Jim Parsons and and John Malkovich showed up at the end, the film suddenly snapped me out of its vivid storytelling and it descended briefly to camp. Not even the fun camp. I wished they cast someone else for the two crucial roles. The music at the end was beautiful and scary and appropriate: a spacey version of the Queen of the Night's killer aria from Mozart's opera. It is like Julee Cruise singing an art song. That one was quite good though. The movie itself is a definite hit and miss. But this might be the most powerful performance I have seen from Efron (though I only saw him in Hairspray, Neighbors and The Paperboy, so what do I know).

July 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

Unfortunately "The Farewell" hasn't come out where I'm at yet, but I'm rewatching "Fleabag" S2 which is a 2-ish hours that is completely amazing. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a genius.

July 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I saw two recent films on DVD — Little and Shazam! — not realizing that they are variations of the same story.

July 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBrevity

beyaccount, I'm not Chinese, but I am Filipino and came to the US when I was 8. Awkwafina's character apparently came to the US when she was 6. All I know is... if you asked me to deliver a speech to my family in my native language, I would NOT have done as good a job as Awkwafina's character nor had full meaningful conversations as her character did with everyone else throughout the film. So I think her "bad" Chinese is definitely on point.

July 22, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

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