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Entries in box office (175)

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...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar172013

Box Office Takes The Call

To no one's surprise Oz the Great and Powerful held on to its number #1 spot and also became 2013's biggest hit (thus far). But who could have forseen that the combined draw of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey wouldn't work out so well for Burt Wonderstone. And WTF with The Call's second place showing! Halle Berry hasn't opened a movie that strong since... (gulp) Catwoman nearly a full decade ago.


my phone call to Halle

What prompted people to see it? Seriously?

Box Office WIDE
01 OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL $42 (cum. $145)
02 THE CALL  *new* $17.1 
03 THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE  *new* $10.3
04 JACK THE GIANT SLAYER  $6.2 (cum. $53.9)
05 IDENTITY THIEF $4.5  (cum. $123.7)

Box Office PLATFORM
01 SPRING BREAKERS *new* $.2 
02 STOKER  $.2 (cum. $.6) 
03 THE GATEKEEPERS  $.2 (cum. $1.3)
04 NO  $.1 (cum. $.7)
05 FROM UP ON POPPY HILL *new* $.05 

What did you see this St. Paddy's Weekend?

Monday
Mar042013

What Did You Watch This Weekend?

There was not a pot of gold at the top of that beanstalk... or rather there was but it had already been raided to build said beanstalk in the first place.

Box Office WIDE
01 JACK THE GIANT SLAYER *NEW* $28 Review
02 IDENTITY THIEF  $9.7 (cum. $107.4)
03 21 AND OVER  *NEW* $9.0
04 THE LAST EXORCISM PART II  *NEW* $8
05 SNITCH $7.7  (cum. $24.4)

Given Jack the Giant Slayer's gargantuan budget ($200 million), and the loss of the family audience next weekend when Oz: The Great and Powerful cuts it off at the knees beanstalk (har-de-har-har), this has to be a regarded as a face plant (plant. get it, I... never mind). Unless its overseas take is significantly better.

Box Office PLATFORM
01 THE GATEKEEPERS $.2 (cum. $.6)
02 STOKER *NEW* $.1 Review 
03 NO $.1 (cum. $.3) Review
04 HYDE PARK ON HUDSON  *$.04 (cum. $6.2)
05 STAND UP GUYS $.1 (cum. $3.2)

Though Stoker had a non-spectacular 'highest-per-screen-average of any movie' claim this weekend, I always wonder why genre efforts with famous stars don't open wider to begin with. I mean, seven theaters??? Sure this is an art horror film rather than a easy-sell slasher but remember when Bug opened wide and they pretended it didn't have critically acclaimed roots? It was hardly a hit but it made $3 million in its opening weekend and $7 million in total. If you hide Stoker for long enough, it won't even get to $7 million because the buzz will warn away the people who are scared of anything non-generic... which is obviously a lot of people if you look at box office receipts for horror films where interchangeable slashers tend to reign.

One unreported story of the box office this winter season is surely that the non-bankable Oscar bait failures like Quartet and Hyde Park on Hudson still somehow managed to earn non-embarrassing grosses. Especially Quartet which nearly equalled Beasts of the Southern Wild's take with about .1% of its publicity - the power of the Dowager Countess!?! 

What did you watch this weekend? I took in Stoker, Jack the Giant Slayer and a couple of 1930s movies