Oscar History

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
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

9 Foreign Film Finalists

"Cheering for BODY AND SOUL or LOVELESS for the win. - Travis

"My two favorites, BPM and Summer '93, were left out so now I'm rooting for Chile's A FANTASTIC WOMAN all the way." - Peggy Sue

"THE WOULD... I'm ecstatic its profile has been given this boost." -Goran

What'cha Looking For?

new Claes Bang Actor
(Sweden's Oscar Submission)
Nikolaj Lie Kaas Actor
(Denmark's Oscar Submission)
Hana Jusic Director
(Croatia's Oscar Submission)

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience



Entries in box office (341)


Pre Summer Malaise @ the Multiplex

With DC's Big Three both overperforming and underperforming (if you know what I mean) in Zach Snyder's ugly hit, and all the box office stories being old (like Zootopia, showing incredible legs in its 5th weekend) or depressing (two terrible biopics on screens with Don Cheadle's Miles Davis and Tom Hiddleston's Hank Williams). We've definitely entered the doldrums before the summer explosion of would be all-sequel giants (like Captain America 3, X-Men 6, Finding Nemo 2, Neighbors 2, Ghostbusters 3.0, etcetera), box office charts are too dull and repetitive.

Zootopia is a smash. Holding as well as Frozen did.

So let's just check in with films whose success or lack thereof we're interested in today...

01 Batman v Superman $52.3 off 68% in its second weekend. Ouch. Review
02 Zootopia $20 astonishing hold, off just 16% in 5th week Reviewish
11 Hello My Name is Doris $2.3 going wide in its 4th week Review 
13 I Saw The Light $.7 nearly wide in 2nd week Review
15 Midnight Special $.5 still in very limited release but doing well Positive / Negative
18 The VVitch $.4 in 666 theaters again, Haha, after new trailer 

Platform Releases
19 Everybody Wants Some $.3 NEW Review
28 Miles Ahead $.1 NEW Review
33 Embrace of the Serpent $.07 hit $1 million finally! Interview
41 Knight of Cups $.02 losing screens, flopped as badly as To the Wonder did. Reviewish
42 Krisha $.03 adding screens, crossed $100,000! Review


Do tell in the comments.


My Big Fat Superhero Wedding Sequel

Batman v Superman + a little Wonder Woman dominated the weekend with a critic proof opening record for March. The test will be how well it can hold with terrible reviews and lackluster word of mouth. It's unlikely to have the staying power of something like Deadpool for example, which is still in the top ten 7 weeks after its debut. On the other hand it has free reign for a while with no direct competition coming for one entire month. Captain America Civil War arrives on April 8th. The question is this: Will Marvel's superheroes vs superheroes blockbuster be hurt by people feeling all "bleh" about Batman v Superman? Casual moviegoers rarely know the difference between studios and filmmakers and general history of quality, you know.

Meanwhile something girlier: Sally Field's little film is doing great with older moviegoers and enters the top ten in its 3rd week despite being on less than 500 screens. And finally, despite her phenomenally successful My Big Fat Greek Wedding being an ancient memory in pop culture years, Nia Vardalos's sequel did pretty well with a solid third place debut.  She tweeted out this celebratory opening weekend photo

We've never had a billboard.

What did you see this weekend?

TFE is very pleased to notice that Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia's Oscar nominated Amazon journey (which we've been raving about for months) is about to hit a million in the arthouses if it can hold its theaters for one more week. That's pretty good for such a weird black and white movie that didn't really get going until it had already lost the Oscar! 

01 Batman v Superman $170.1 NEW Review
02 Zootopia $23.1 (cum. $240.5)  
03 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 $18.1 NEW
04 Miracles from Heaven $9.5  (cum. $34.1)
05 The Divergent Series: Allegiant $9.5 (cum. $46.6)
06 10 Cloverfield Lane $6 (cum. $56)
07 Deadpool $5 (cum. $349.4)  Reviewish
08 London Has Fallen $2.9 (cum. $55.6) 
09 Hello My Name is Doris $1.7  (cum. $3.2) Review 
10 Eye in the Sky $1.0 (cum. $1.7) 

Embrace of the Serpent $.1 (cum. $.9) 73 screens Review, Interview
Knight of Cups $.06 ($.4) 68 screens Reviewish
I Saw the Light $.05 five screens NEW Review
Krisha $.03 (cum. $.05) 22 screens Review
April and the Extraordinary World $.01 one screen NEW 


What did you see this weekend?

Moviegoers are officially tired of The Divergent Series as its third installment was off 44% from the previous film. And they've still got one film to go! Studios will soon (hopefully) realize that not every book adaptation deserves multiple movies. Damn you Hunger Games & Hobbit & everything else that encouraged this awful trend of greed over storytelling purity; plodding along when you should set hearts racing is an anti-audience move. Zootopia and Deadpool continue to be huge hits. In fun news, Sally Field's vehicle Hello My Name is Doris got within a ferry ride's distance of the top ten with a million dollar weekend even though it's only on 128 screens. Well done, Sally

01 Zootopia $38 (cum. $201.8)
02 The Divergent Series: Allegiant $29  NEW 
03 Miracles From Heaven $15  NEW 
04 10 Cloverfield Lane $12.5  (cum. $45.1)
05 Deadpool $8 (cum. $340.9) Reviewish

less than 800 screens excluding previously wide
01 Hello My Name is Doris $1 (cum. $1.1) 128 screens Review 
02 Kapoor & Sons - Since 1921 $.9 NEW 143 screens
03 Anomalisa $.7 (cum. $3.4) 573 screens
04 The Lady in the Van $.4 (cum. $8.7) 301 screens Review
05 The Other Side of the Door $.1 (cum. $2.7) 227 screens 

The Bronze, a foul mouthed comedy about Olympic medalists, waited over a year past its buzzy Sundance launch to arrive in theaters and did so (on over 1000 screens) with almost no promotion. didn't even realize it was opening until I was looking up movie times for something else and I pay attention to release dates. The result was an absolutely bleak $361 per screen average, which is bound to be the worst of the year for a wide release.  

In extremely limited release Midnight Special opened at 5 locations with a strong $184,000 which bodes well for its future. Arnaud Desplechin's My Golden Days (interviewed) earned $27,000 on 3 screens, Argentina's Oscar submission from 2015 El Clan (Nathaniel's review) finally opened to $12,500 on 3 screens and Krisha (Daniel's review) opened to $10,250 on 2 screens.

What did you see this weekend?



What did you see this weekend?

In a relatively uneventful weekend save for a great second weekend for Zootopia, falling only 33% the highest per screen averages went to two films starring 60something women -- Helen Mirren in Eye in the Sky and Sally Field in Hello My Name is Doris. How about that? I mean, they're only at a handful of screens in NY and LA but perhaps they'll have decent futures.

What did you see this weekend?  

01 Zootopia $50 (cum. $142.6)
02 10 Cloverfield Lane $25.2  NEW 
03 Deadpool $10.8 (cum. $328) Reviewish
04 London Has Fallen $10.6  (cum. $38.8)
05 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot $4.6 (cum. $14.5) Review
06 The Perfect Match $4.1  NEW
07 The Young Messiah $3.4  NEW
08 The Brothers Grimsby $3.1 NEW
09 Gods of Egypt $2.5 (cum. $27.3) Review
10 Risen $2.2 (cum. $32.3)

less than 800 screens excluding previously wide
01 The Lady in the Van $.5 (cum. $8) 363 screens Review
02 The Other Side of the Door $.5 (cum. $2.1) 585 screens
03 Embrace of the Serpent $.1 (cum. $.5) 75 screens InterviewReview
04 Where to Invade Next $.1 (cum. $3.2) 151 screens Review & 2nd Opinion 
05 The Mermaid $.1 (cum. $2.9) 82 screens
06 Eye in the Sky $.1 5 screens  NEW 
07 Knight of Cups $.09 (cum. $.1) 36 screens Reviewish
08 Hello, My Name is Doris $.08 4 screens  NEW Review
09 Son of Saul $.07 (cum. $1.6) 105 screens InterviewReview
10 45 Years $.06 (cum. $4.0) 70 screens 


Zootopia Reigns

Animated films for the family remain the safest of original story bets, no pre-branding required. Disney's Zootopia was very strong out of the gate. The best Disney animated opening weekend strong, in fact. Meanwhile Deadpool crossed the $300 million mark. The Oscar Best Picture win helped Spotlight re-expand again adding 500 screens and nearly another $2 million (total gross $41.6) despite already being out on DVD.

I went to The Witch again and while leaving the theater this young guy with his date was like "that is the worst movie I've ever seen!" He doesn't get out much apparently!

What did you see this weekend?

01 Zootopia $73.7 new
02 London Has Fallen $21.7
03 Deadpool $16.4 (cum. $311.1) Reviewish
04 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot $7.6
new Review
05 Gods of Egypt $5 (cum. $22.8) Review 
06 Risen $3.8 (cum. $28.6)

07 Kung Fu Panda 3 $3.5 (cum. $133.8) Dreamworks
08 The Revenant $3.3 (cum. $175.9) Cinematography
09 Eddie the Eagle $3.1 (cum. $10.8) Review
10 The Witch $2.5 (cum. $20.9) Michael's, Nathaniel's, and Eric's Reviews

excluding previously wide
01 Other Side of the Door $1.2 new 546 screens
02 Lady in The Van  $.7 (cum. $7.1) 429 screens Review
03 The Mermaid $.3 (cum. $2.6) 106 screens
04 Where to Invade Next $.2 (cum. $2.9) 150 screens  Review & 2nd Opinion 
05 Neerja $.1 (cum. $1.5) 100 screens 
06 Son of Saul  $.1 (cum. $1.5) 180 screens Podcast, Interview, Review
07 45 Years  $.1 (cum. $3.9) 100 screens Podcast
08 Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer $.07 (cum. $1.6) 79 screens
09 Embrace of the Serpent $.06 (cum. $.3) 23 screens Interview, Review
10 Knight of Cups $.05
new 4 screens Reviewish


In Praise of Ex Machina's Win

Manuel here. One of our favorite wins from last night’s Academy Awards was Ex Machina’s triumph in the Best Visual Effects category.

We marveled at its nod when the nominations came out mostly because it seemed like the low-key supportive use of visual effects that rarely get cited in the category (why else would you pass over the effects of say, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?). Add to that a stellar category across the board—Judy! BB-8! Furiosa! Mars!—and the A24 film win feels all the more laudable. Sometimes, it seems, “best” need not mean “most” to Oscar members. 

But two things are particularly striking to the inner number cruncher:

1. Ex Machina became the second non-Best Picture nominee to win in this category since the Academy expanded the Best Pic roster. Interstellar, as Amir reminded me in the comments, was the first. As you’ll remember, the expanded field was designed (in part) to accommodate critically acclaimed blockbusters (like The Dark Knight) and true to form, whether in direct response to this or not, Avatar, Inception, Hugo, Life of Pi, and Gravity were surely helped by their Best Pic cred. We all assumed this again would be the case this year and would help either The Revenant, The Martian or Mad Max: Fury Road (the latter an increasingly possible outcome given the film’s tech dominance). The same, of course, would have been the case had Star Wars The Force Awakens won but that win would have been more easily parsed. It is the most successful film of the past year having been printing money ever since it premiered which brings me to talk of box office.

2. Ex Machina became the lowest grossing winner in 18 years. When nominations were announced, it was worth being reminded that this sci-fi film was one of the lowest grossing nominees in quite some time. You had to go back to Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter’s $32 million haul to find a comparable box office example. With its win, the Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander film became the lowest grossing winner since What Dreams May Come ($55m). It’s quite a feat when, even as the category has been known to award the statuette to the lowest grossing nominee of the bunch (7 of the past 15 times), the winners have averaged a gross of $269 million. This is, after all, a category that welcomes crowd-pleasing blockbusters and effects-driven spectacles. A24 and Garland’s crew should be very proud of their win which really overcame many obstacles on its way to this surprise win.

And what a welcome surprise it was!

[Note: The film also recently won the Film Bitch Award Gold Medal in its category though we thought a correlative Oscar impossible - Editor]