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Entries in box office (192)

Monday
Jun102013

Box offices binges on "The Purge"

It's Tim, taking over Monday box office duties for Nathaniel while he's away, so if I've made some little formatting mistake, apologies in advance.

It says all there is to say about the cool state of the box office right now (nobody wants to put something out just in time to have Man of Steel cut its legs off next week) that the big story is a horror movie with toxic word of mouth hugely outperforming expectations. Truthfully, though, $34 million for the Ethan Hawke home invasion thriller The Purge is pretty impressive: it more than doubled the open weekend of Hawke's last horror picture, Sinister, while blasting past pretty much every comparable film in recent memory. That's what a drought in the marketplace will do for you: horror fans will turn out to see new wide releases if it's been a long time, even if the new release in question looks completely awful. I know whereof I speak.

Meanwhile, Wedding Crashers reunion/feature length Google ad The Internship has made exactly the non-splash that could be predicted based on how much nobody in the entire world was talking about the movie, though it's worth pointing out that it's not particularly out of line with the recent films Vince Vaugn and Owen Wilson have made seperately in the past few years. Also, Fast & Furious 6 broke the $200 million mark before Star Trek Into Darkness, which is a statistic that I don't think anybody would have willing to predict at the start of the summer.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN
01 THE PURGE $34.1 *NEW*
02 FAST & FURIOUS 6  $19.2 (cum. $202.8)
03 NOW YOU SEE ME  $19.0 (cum. $60.9)
04 THE INTERNSHIP $17.3 *NEW*
05 EPIC $11.9 (cum. $83.9)
04 STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS  $11.4 (cum. $199.9) The Dumbing Down of Star Trek
07 AFTER EARTH  $10.7 (cum. $46.1) M Night Shyamalan's Fall
08 THE HANGOVER PART III $7.3 (cum. $102.3)
09 IRON MAN THREE $5.8 (cum. $394.3) Reviewed & Podcasted
10 THE GREAT GATSBY $4.2 (cum. $136.1) Reviewed & Dreamt About

In limited release, Frances Ha and Before Midnight are both purring along nicely (both were up from last weekend, in fact!), though neither they nor anything else came close to breaking into the top 10. The only prominent new film, Joss Whedon's modern-dress version of Much Ado About Nothing, put up a strong but not mind-blowing $34,388 per-screen average at five theaters, and didn't even crack the top 20, though its nationwide expansion on June 21 ought to improve its fortunes considerably, while giving all of us who don't live on the coasts a chance to see what Whedon's post-Avengers palette cleanser plays like.

Did you see anything this weekend? I didn't, taking advantage of the weather to do yardwork, though a friend and I are catching The Purge tonight. Like I said, horror fans are used to seeing things that we know are going to be utterly worthless.

Wednesday
May222013

Q&A: Disappointing Actresses, Mixed-Up Hunks, Subtitled Crickets

And now the return of the 'Ask Nathaniel/Q&A' series wherein you asked me questions and I pick two handfuls to answer. 

Disposable project on the line for Emily. Yes, another one.DAVID: Which actresses filmographies are you most disappointed in? I'm thinking in terms of actresses you admire and think are incredibly talented, but, for whatever reason, end up working in subpar films.

NATHANIEL: I think the popular answer here is Rachel McAdams but aside from Mean Girls I've never cared too much. The answer that came immediately to mind was Emily Blunt. It’s not that she’s making terrible films per se, it’s just that given how Oscar worthy she was in that plum comic part in Devil Wears Prada seven long years ago, and then how sexy she was in that blink and you’ll miss her bit in Charlie Wilson’s War soon thereafter, I expected her career to explode in the way, say, Carey Mulligan’s did post An Education or at least for her to be more direct competition for Anne Hathaway. I wonder why Blunt isn’t either in more demand or more interested in challenging herself. Maybe it's just bad luck. She seems to be working exclusively in indies that don't crossover, mainstream films that are quickly forgotten or headlining gigs which don't really work in some crucial way (Young Victoria, Adjustment Bureau). I’d love to see her really challenged either by a role or by an auteur. Will Into the Woods bring a happily ever after to that heat-losing career?

The second choice is Evan Rachel Wood who seemed to chuck what looked like incredible range and promise to the side for a long procession of Very Bad Girls. This was, in no small part thanks to her inarguable electricity in Thirteen (2003) but when you play variations on one theme too often you either become a superstar or people lose interest. I thought she was good in Ides of March (2011) but it isn't what she needed. What she needs is a total about face role.

JOHN T: The last foreign language film to clear $20 million was Pan's Labyrinth, almost seven years ago. What do you think it would take for a foreign language film to catch on in that way again?

Amy Adams, Oscar Tragedies, and a Beefcake Triple after the jump...

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Monday
May132013

Box Office Big Spenders: Tony Stark vs Jay Gatsby

Excess was in this weekend, the second of the summer movie season despite the slight technicality of Spring having just started. Billionaires Tony Stark and Jay Gatsby were flaunting their expensive suits and pining for Pepper & Daisy everywhere you looked.

Iron Gatsby via Nathaniel R

Cheer up boys, you can now afford your second twenty-second home.

BOX OFFICE TOP DOZEN
01 IRON MAN THREE $72.4 (cum. $284.8) Reviewed
02 THE GREAT GATSBY  $51.1 *NEW* Reviewed
03 PAIN & GAIN  $5 (cum. $41.6)
04 PEEPLES  $4.8 *NEW* 
05 42 $4.6 (cum. $84.7)
06 OBLIVION $3.8 (cum. $81.6) Reviewed
07 THE CROODS $3.6 (cum. $173.2)
08 THE BIG WEDDING $2.5 (cum $18.8)
09 MUD $2.3  (cum $8.3)
10 OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL $.8 (cum. $229.9) Reviewed
11 SCARY MOVIE 5 $.7  (cum $30.6)  
10 THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES $.6 (cum. $19.9) Reviewed

Though I'm nearly always pleased when a non-franchise non-genre drama wins big gold coin, The Great Gatsby's huge gross fills me with dread for our collective future. I  think the movie is admirable in some ways and a failure in others but the movie isn't really the point. I was holding on to Drama as my last refuge from those fucking 3d glasses and you know Hollywood will assume that it was the EXCITING 3-D that drove audiences to purchase tickets to a lengthy romantic drama. Worse still, Baz Luhrmann -- a true original who works so infrequently he probably only has about 3 more movies in him before he dies --  apparently has his heart set on doing Hamlet next... and with DiCaprio, too (meaning DiCaprio would have starred in 50% of his filmography). Annoying Fact: Hamlet has been filmed over 50 times for the screen and is revived somewhere on stage every year.

FOR GOD'S SAKE BAZ... AT LEAST PICK A LESS OVER-WORKED SHAKESPEARE IF YOU GOTTA HAVE THE BARD. THERE ARE DOZENS TO CHOOSE FROM!  AND P.S. YOU'VE ALREADY DONE THE BARD WITH LEO AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO TOP ROMEO + JULIETFIND NEW TOYS TO PLAY WITH!

What did you see this weekend?  And are you, like me, weeping over the apparent future of Bazmark Productions?

Monday
Apr222013

Box Office: Tom Cruise On Top... Again

Amir here, to fill in for Nathaniel for the 411 on this weekend's box office. I haven't seen any new releases in quite a while, but I'll definitely get to Oblivion later in the week. Looking at the top ten, it turns out I'm not the only one who can't resist Tom Cruise on the screen. The man can do (almost) no wrong when it comes to opening a film at #1, his star power having endured many couch-jumpings, turbulent relationships, rock musical failures and all sorts of other crazy stuff. Oblivion's 38 million dollar gross isn't stellar but it's good enough to put the film on course to easily make its budget back. Ooh, what's that you say? International sales? Well, yes, considering that, Oblivion has already grossed more than its production budget, so we'll count it as a solid success. 
 

Box Office (Wide)
1. Oblivion ($38.1) (new) REVIEW
2. 42 ($18) (cum. 54)
3. The Croods ($9.5) (cum. 154)
4. Scary Movie 5 ($6.3) (cum. 22)
5. G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($5.7) (cum. 111)
6. The Place Beyond the Pines ($4.7) (cum. 11) REVIEW
7. Olympus Has Fallen ($4.5) (cum. 88)
8. Evil Dead ($4.1) (cum. 48)
9. Jurassic Park 3D ($4) (cum. 38) MEMORIES
10. Oz: The Great and Powerful ($3) (cum. 223) REVIEW

There were no other wide releases this weekend, but here's the story I'm interested in: The Croods has quietly become a sensation. It's barely lost any screens and is holding on to its sales really well. I threw a hissy fit when my aunt forced me to take my little cousin to watch it, but I ended up enjoying its cliched thrills quite a bit, high-fiving my cousin frequently when the unlikely cave-superheroes escaped doom at every turn. Could an Oscar nomination be on the cards? I'm skeptical but the massive box office might count for a lot if the field is weak and team DreamWorks play their cards right. 

Three new films ruled the day among limited releases. I'd personally only heard of Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem before I sat down for this post, but Home Run (a sports drama) and Filly Brown (a hip-hop drama) took the top two spots. Further down the screen count pecking order, Francois Ozon's superb new film In the House had the best screen average of any film this weekend ($11,738) and if you haven't seen it, get yourself to a theater as soon as possible. If your thirst for francophone cinema is still not quenched, hilarious Canadian sperm donation comedy, Starbuck, is still playing on 30 screens. 

What did you all see this weekend?
Tom Cruise in a space suit? Tattooed Ryan Gosling? Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and the has-been team?
Monday
Apr012013

Box Office "Rock"ed. How Was Your Easter Weekend?

Easter is quite a benevolent holiday what with the fluffy bunnies, pastel eggs and resurrection from the dead sans zombie feelings. But the world wanted big explosive violence and big muscled men at the movies. Does anyone remember on Monday how troubled GI Joe: Retaliation once was, what with the very expensive "oops, we're not going to release it after all!" that it went through last year.

The Rock was top of the box office.

1,000 + Screens
01 GI JOE: RETALIATION $41.2 *NEW*
02 THE CROODS  $26.5 (cum. $88.6)
03 TYLER PERRY'S TEMPTATION TO PUT HIS NAME IN EVERY TITLE  $22.3 *NEW* 
04 OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN  $14 (cum $54.7) 
05 OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL $11.69 (cum. $198.2) Review
06 THE HOST  $11 *NEW*  
07 THE CALL $4.8 (cum. $39.4) comment discussion
08 ADMISSION $3.2 (cum $11.7) on Tina Fey / on Paul Rudd
09 SPRING BREAKERS $2.7  (cum $10.1) False Advertising?
10 THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE $1.3 (cum. $20.5)

So the gamble to waste all that prep P&A last year and pull the movie last minute in 2012 for a safer spot pre-summer movie season in 2013 paid off. In very limited release I don't think you can say that wasting your early press and publicity efforts paid off at all.

Less Than 100 Screens
01 THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES $.2 *NEW & REVIEWED* 
02 NO $.2 (cum. $1.3) Review
03 GINGER & ROSA  $.1 (cum. $.3)
04 FROM UP ON POPPY HILL  $.1 (cum $.2)
05 ON THE ROAD $.1 (cum $.4)

Ginger & Rosa and On The Road are two more pictures to add to the endless pile of "one week qualifiers" that have worked hard to win attention at festivals and on the Oscar circuit in one year only to not let anyone spend money on them until well into the following year when people have moved on and are confused when the movie is brought up again as a "new" film. It's a strange strategy that almost never pays off and yet distributors keep trying it! Eternal optimism.

For what it's worth both pictures have plenty to recommend them even if they aren't home runs: Ginger & Rosa is a completely rare beast - a thoughtful intelligent picture about teenage girls flinging themselves into politics and hormonal indulgences with a terrific emotionally expressive performance by Elle Fanning; On the Road is beautifully shot but more hit and miss with performances but man does Garrett Hedlund ever hit it as the object of everyone's erotic and creative attention. 

Thursday
Mar282013

The Dirty Secret of Spring Breakers

Hi everyone, Tim here; you may know me from my film review blog Antagony & Ecstasy, from my dogged commitment to the Film Experience’s own Hit Me with Your Best Shot or you may not have the damnedest idea who I am and don’t care. But I’m going to be with you on Thursdays for at least a little while now, with a weekly column, where we’ll talk about… well, that’s the trick, isn’t it? Movie stuff. Whatever seems to be interesting about the new movies poking their heads around that particular week: something particular about the way a movie was put together, or conceived, or, in this case, sold.

The dirty secret of the film industry is that it exists to be profitable. It actually does good to be reminded of that, because even in the case of the costliest, sprawlingest tentpole movies, we tend to act like that the filmmakers are our buddies, or some such; but it’s true of even the most independent-minded, anti-commercial cinema that it’s actually supposed to make some sort of money. Sad as it is to think, even microbudget indies that cost fractions of pennies by movie budget standards are still wildly expensive by actual human being standards, and if they constantly hemorrhage money, then it would be impossible to keep making them.

All of which is to say: I truly don’t begrudge Annapurna Pictures the right to turn a profit on Spring Breakers, more...

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