Amir here with the weekend's box office report. To the surprise of no one, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out on top, edging out not just this week's meagre competition, but also the original Hunger Games. Back then, it was surprising that the YA adaptation could open to more than $150m, but with the book series now even more universally recognized and a leading lady who is threatening to become Hollywood's biggest star, these numbers aren't shocking. Still, to put things in perspective, Catching Fire now has one of the top five best opening weekends of all time, neck and neck with The Dark Knight Rises for the best 2D-only opening.
Staggering numbers. The question at this point is whether the film has enough fuel in its tank to beat Iron Man 3 to the year's top spot.
01 THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE $161.1 *new*
02 THOR: THE DARK WORLD $14.1 (cum. $167.8) Review
03 THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY $12.5 (cum. $50.3) Discussion
04 DELIVERY MAN $8.2 *new*
05 FREE BIRDS $5.3 (cum. $48.5)
06 LAST VEGAS $4.4 (cum. $53.9)
07 JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA $3.4 (cum. $95.4)
08 GRAVITY $3.3 (cum. $245.5) Many Previous Posts
09 12 YEARS A SLAVE $2.8 (cum. $29.3) Slavery in Cinema & Previous Discussions
10 DALLAS BUYERS CLUB $2.7 (cum. $6.4) Podcast & Review
The weekend's other debut is the critically dismissed Vince Vaughn joint, Delivery Man, about a man whose countless sperm donations in youth have led to countless children. I haven't seen it but I found Starbuck, the original Quebecois film this is based on, genuinely funny and engaging a couple of years ago at TIFF, where it was the runner up for the People's Choice Award.
Beyond that, the main talking points are the buzzy Oscar contenders, all present in the top twenty at this point, unless you count Philomena a top contender. Dallas Buyers Club entered the top ten, 12 Years a Slave continues to hold well - am I the only one surprised by this film's success? Nebraska is also doing well (though Alexander Payne's approval ratings with critics continues to baffle me). But I think the real story is that All Is Lost has now reached almost $5 million, pleasantly strong for a film with virtually no marketing hooks. I wasn't a big fan of the film, but I can't begrudge J.C. Chandor his success. He's an exciting talent.
Aside from Nebraska, I caught up with Terms and Conditions May Apply, which is on Oscar's documentary longlist and is actually really captivating, rewatched the superb Brazilian Oscar submission Neighboring Sounds, and caught up with an Iranian film called When Everybody Was Asleep, which is quite possibly the message-iest of all message-y movies. What did you all see?