WATCH AT HOME!
Film Bitch History
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

Greatest Supporting Actors who WEREN'T nominated this decade

"I love this topic. It's fascinating. So many great picks. But as much as I love Letts in Lady Bird, I do think that 2017 lineup is perfect.- brookesboy

"I LOVE THIS DISCUSSION!!!!!!!". -Arkaan

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Interviews

recent

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

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in American Sniper (19)

Sunday
Feb222015

Box Office: 50 Shades of Oscar Green

This weeks box office is nearly identical to last week's only less cash to go round. The top three films still reign holding off newcomers and outside the top five people are still checking out the Oscar nominees for some last minute looksies before the big ceremony tonight (yes, we'll be live-blogging). American Sniper is now just $17 million away from becoming 2014's #1 film.  But it has started to lose theaters and its per scene average isn't what it used to be. At any rate it's going to be a photofinish with the top three of 2014: Hunger Games 3 & Guardians of the Galaxy 1 are just 3 million apart in grosses and Sniper is approaching them with unblinking dead-eyed determination.

TOP OF THE BOX OFFICE
Click on the highlighted titles for past articles on that film
01 50 SHADES OF GREY $23.2 (cum. $130.1)
02 KINGSMAN $17.5 (cum. $67.1)
03 SPONGEBOB MOVIE $15.5 (cum. $125.1)
04 MCFARLAND USA $11.3 NEW
05 THE DUFF $11 NEW
06 AMERICAN SNIPER $9.6 (cum. $319.6) 
07 HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 $5.8 NEW
08 JUPITER ASCENDING $3.6 (cum. $39.5) 
09 IMITATION GAME $2.5 (cum. $83.9) 
10 PADDINGTON $2.2 (cum. $67.6)
11 STILL ALICE $2.1 (cum. $7.9) 

In happy news for our long awaited Julianne Moore Oscar coronation Still Alice, expanding to just under 800 screens, nearly made the top ten and has already earned a very healthy $8 million for a movie about the cheery topic of alzheimers. Selma will soon cross the $50 million mark. Despite whining in some corners that it underperformed it's actually the 4th most successful Best Picture nominee.

Friday
Feb132015

Best Film Editing: Drums, Guns, or Twelve Years of "Boyhood"?

They call Editing the "invisible art" but when it comes to Oscar Watching each year, the prize is highly visible. Most pundits, armchair and professional, think of it as a bellwether. Everyone knows this one key stat: No movie has won Best Picture without an Editing nomination since Ordinary People (1980). But that stat is actually kind of misleading because it IS possible to win without an editing nomination and it's not even super rare. Birdman, should it triumph, would be the eighth film to do so... it used to happen about once a decade. Birdman's failure to get nominated in the category isn't particularly telling, if you ask me. Inarritu's technical gamble has very little visible editing given that the picture is a series of continuous shots stitched together in clever ways to appear to all be one thing.

The Nominees:

American Sniper - Joel Cox & Gary Roach
Boyhood - Sandra Adair
Grand Budapest Hotel - Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game - William Goldenberg
Whiplash - Tom Cross 

Should Boyhood lose the editing Oscar many people will be all "it's over, Birdman is winning!" but this isn't necessarily the case. In fact, Best Pictures only win this award about 50% of the time. Which is why this category feels up in the year. Any of the contenders could win: comedy doesn't win this category much (a pity since editing is so crucial to comic rhthyms) but Budapest feels like a real threat in all the craft categories; Boyhood could win on love for the film + respect for the time commitment but it's far less showily edited than the others and Oscar often wants to see your work;  If they want to honor American Sniper or The Imitation Game this could be the place for either with the ticking time bomb suspense that these former Oscar winners drum up; But speaking of drums... my bet is that Whiplash is the surprise winner here and I was going to make that call, I swear, before it won the BAFTA in this category. Whiplash's very masculine energies, focus on rhtymic intensity, and taut energy (despite repetitive scenes) are well served by this department. Bonus points for the editor's name being "Tom Cross". It's like an old fashioned stage name for a young movie star. It's just great. Well done, Mr & Mrs. Cross.

Will Win: Whiplash
Could Win: Boyhood
Should Win: Grand Budapest Hotel 

My ballot for this category 

Sunday
Feb082015

Box Office: Jupiter Descending

Amir  bringing you the weekend’s box office news. While awards season was in full swing this weekend with the DGA, BAFTAs and Grammys, Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water swept in and wiped off its competition while entering the top five best selling February releases of all time. This is one those films that totally slid below the radar for me; then again, the Venn diagram of people who care about this film and people who care about DGAs and BAFTAs is two separate circles. The weekend’s far buzzier title for cinephiles was Jupiter Ascending, the new visualeffectsapalooza from the Wachowski siblings. It is predictably visually stunning with incoherent plotting and confusing editing etc. etc. Like Cloud Atlas, this was mostly a failure, financially speaking, and you have to wonder how long it will be before they stop getting bankrolled for their strange visions. Finally, Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges’ Seventh Son also bombed, but Universal, having predicted the dreadful critical response, made the very smart decision of opening it internationally a few weeks ago, so they’ve already made up the costs elsewhere.

TOP TEN
01 THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE $56 NEW
02 AMERICAN SNIPER $24.1 (cum. $282.2) 
03 JUPITER ASCENDING $19 NEW 
04 THE SEVENTH SON $7.1 NEW  
05 PADDINGTON  $5.3 (cum. $57.2)
06 PROJECT ALMANAC  $5.3 (cum. $15.7)
07 THE IMITATION GAME $4.8 (cum. $74.7) 
08 THE WEDDING RINGER $4.8 (cum. $55.1)
09 BLACK OR WHITE $4.5 (cum. $13.1)
10 THE BOY NEXT DOOR $4.1(cum. $30.8)

American Sniper slipped to number 2 on the list but is now firmly the third best film of 2014, still with a reasonable shot at becoming first. Not that being the box office champ necessarily helps its chances with winning the Oscar though – the last time the box office champ (among the nominees) won the Oscar was Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. The Imitation Game is the second best selling best picture nominee and will remain so, given it is still going strong at the theatres. Here is an interesting stat in case you love meaningless stats: the second best selling film is the most likely winner of the Academy award in recent years. Of the thirteen winners this century, five came second in financial terms. Those horrendous “honor the man, honor the film” ads might pay off after all.

 

 

I haven’t been catching up with recent releases at the theatres, but have been rewatching all of Iranian auteur Dariush Mehrjui’s films because of my upcoming introduction of his film, Hamoun, at TIFF, which you should attend if you’re in or around Toronto!

What have you been watching?

Monday
Feb022015

American Sniper = Frozen

American Sniper continued to be the story at the box office (Super Bowl weekend didn't slow it down) adding an incredible $31 million to its now gargantuan cume and it still maintains a great per screen average suggesting a long run still. It's now replaced Gone Girl as 2014's biggest non-franchise non-cgi driven hit aimed at adults. It will leapfrog Winter Soldier and LEGO this week to become the third biggest hit of 2014 behind The Hunger Games and Guardians of the Galaxy

A strange turn of events. It's like the Frozen of 2014 (which also surpassed all expectations to close its year as #3) without the earworm diva showtunes

TOP O' THE BOX OFFICE
01 AMERICAN SNIPER $31.8 (cum. $248.9)
02 PADDINGTON $8.5 (cum. $50.5)  
03 PROJECT ALMANAC $8.5 NEW 
04 BLACK OR WHITE $6.4 NEW  
05 THE BOY NEXT DOOR $6.0 (cum. $24.6)

In other significant box office news: Game of Thrones made $1.5 million with its IMAX gamble; Still Alice crossed the million dollar mark but is still at less than 100 theaters; Mauritania's first Oscar nominee Timbuktu debuted to only $50,000 from 4 theaters; and A Most Violent Year went wide to an unspectacular $1.7 million but at least it's out there to be seen. If you didn't see it this weekend, you know what Jessica Chastain would have to say about that...

This was very disrespectful.

So what did you see this weekend? 


Monday
Jan262015

Oscar Acting Races: 5 Box Office Musings

Manuel here to offer some random box office facts about the acting races. The big Oscar box office story continues to be American Sniper’s unprecedented success, so much so that Bradley Cooper garnered a shoutout last night at the SAG Awards despite not being nominated. I’m starting to feel the Best Picture category might not be the only three-way race as we wade deeper into Phase 2. Numbers and statistics junkie that I imagine myself to be, I was curious to see whether the past fifteen years’ worth of box office numbers in the acting categories could help us gleam anything about potential outcomes. Spoiler alert: not much, but enjoy the following random tidbits below. 

As it stands, Bradley, Rosamund Pike, Robert Duvall (improbably, really) and Meryl Streep hold the title as the highest grossing nominees from their respective races. How might this help Bradley; well, let's take a look back at the box office history in the acting races.

  • Did you know that the last three times Best Leading Actor went to the highest grossing film of the bunch it went to men winning their second (Tom Hanks) and third (Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day Lewis) Oscars?
  • In stark contrast, headlining the biggest hit in the category usually helps you win* in the Best Leading Actress category (see: Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank, and Julia Roberts) and the Best Supporting Actress category (see: Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Hudson, Cate Blanchett, Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Connelly). I’d come up with a random theory about this statistical anomaly where it not, like everything else below, most likely random happenstance.
    *Or rather, the Oscar has statistically gone to the actress in the highest grossing film of the group.

All info collected from BoxOfficeMojo 

  • 2014 will be the first year since 2011 where Best Supporting Actor, a category that most often than not boasts the highest per film average of all four acting categories (usually bolstered by films like The Dark Knight in 2008, Lincoln & Django Unchained in 2012, and Chicago & Catch Me If You Can in 2002) will be the lowest grossing category among the acting races. And just as in 2011, when Christopher Plummer picked up a statuette for Beginners ($5,790,894) the lowest-grossing nominee will most likely walk away with the win.
  • Unsurprisingly, averaging in the past fifteen years a little less than $50 million per film, Best Leading Actress is usually the lowest-grossing category among the acting nominees. Notice those two most recent upticks in the category in 2009 and 2013? You can thank one Ms Sandra Bullock for those.
  • 2007 may account for the lowest averages for all acting categories, but 2005 is the last year where only one film nominated for an acting award crossed the $100 million threshold: Walk the Line. This year, out of 13 films nominated in these four categories, three films have accomplished this feat: Gone Girl, Into the Woods and American Sniper, with The Imitation Game looking likely to join them.
Let's talk money. Do you think Bradley actually has a chance at gold? Stats would seem to think so; Renee & Russell prevailed at least once during their recent threepeat and actors really seem to be warming up to him in the film, no?
Wednesday
Jan212015

We Are the Link

Fistful of Film a wonderful personal take on We Are the Best from a father of girls 
Section Eighty a composer discusses the Oscar-nominated film scores
Coming Soon Milla Jovovich confirms she's about to make another Resident Evil movie, supposedly the final one. She turns 40 this year and started this series when she was but 25.
KCRW Actor Craig Chester believes he's haunted by the ghost of Montgomery Clift 
Out Alexis Arquette taking no prisoners in an interview. But bizarre that she didn't know her own sister was up for an Oscar! 

 

Indie Wire the lineup of New Directors New Films this year The Tribe and White God are both featured. They feel like anything but "new" to me after a whole year of festivalling but I still haven't had the chance to see either - will they ever open theatrically or just keep doing festivals like this one for a second year?
In Contention most anticipated films of Sundance 
We Recycle Movies you should check out Anne Marie's rainbow countdown to the Oscars
The Carpetbagger welcome to Phase 2 of the Oscars. Also: Mark Schultz changes his tune again on Foxcatcher. I am not saying this snarkily but with concern: this is why we need universal health care and easier access less stigma for mental illness treatment. Something is seriously wrong with this guy 

American Sniper Mania
Grantland excellent piece by Mark Harris on why American Sniper's box office won't help its Oscar run ... "success breeds scrutiny"
Rolling Stone on American Sniper's stupidity - they use a similar comparison to Forrest Gump like the one I tweeted icymi
Movie City News David Poland doing some train of thought hand wringing on the extreme combativeness of theAmerican Sniper and Selma Oscar battle... that isn't really a battle but that people have suddenly made it into one 
Playbill ...but perhaps the worst American Sniper news is that its leading Broadway's Elephant Man revival to cancel several performances due to Bradley Cooper's awards schedule 

Off Cinema
Pajiba the one reason to keep watching Girls 
NYT John Cameron Mitchell returns to Hedwig, the role which made him and also, not so incidentally, brought us a brilliant film director. Make another movie, Mitchell! All three of yours are heaven.
i09 looks at lesser known characters in the public domain. Will any of them be revived? 
i09 they also look at the case of James Bond, now public domain in Canada! But not in the US or Europe.
Towleroad's the story of Björk's new album, released two months early. Sad she broke up with Matthew Barney. They seemed like such an iconoclast match