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Entries in box office (181)

Sunday
Oct072012

Liam Neeson Delivers Another Box Office Beatdown

Jean Grey, mysteriously having lost all of her mutant powers, relies on Liam Neeson for rescueLiam Neeson's surprising late career popularity continues. People love to see him putting the vicious beat down on evil types. Even if the film is as generically titled and redundantly plotted (from what I hear) as Taken 2. I wonder when we'll Neeson working a softer side again onscreen like he did in Nell, Husbands and Wives or Kinsey. Well I suppose he was more cerebral than soft in Kinsey, but the point stands. Kinsey was only 8 years ago but it seems like a different lifetime ago. It must be all those dead bodies he's left behind him onscreen since!

Box Office Dozen
01 TAKEN 2  $50 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE*
02 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA  $26.3 (cum. $76)
03 PITCH PERFECT $14.7 *EXPANDING* (cum. $21.6)
04 LOOPER $12.2 (cum. $40.3) review
05 FRANKENWEENIE $11.5 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE* on the original short

06 END OF WATCH  $4 (cum $32.8)
07 TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE $3.8 (cum. $29.7)
08 HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET $3.6 (cum. $27.5)
08 THE MASTER $1.8 (cum. $12.3) Team Experience
09 FINDING NEMO 3-D $1.5 (cum. $38.9 this time around) 

I'm sad that the surprisingly worthwhile and funny Frankenweenie didn't seem to connect with ticket buyers. It's Tim Burton's best since Corpse Bride. (Maybe he should stick to animation for awhile?).

This weekend I went to Pitch Perfect with my two besties. The movie wasn't quite Aca-mazing -- I wish the filmmaking itself had been stronger -- but it was definitely a good time. Our favorites were Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) who the marketing campaign is forcing has chosen as everyone's favorite, and Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) who trusted that if you missed her barely audible punchlines, they were still funny. She was right.

I have to set fire to things to feel joy"

What did you see this weekend?

 

Sunday
Sep302012

Box Office: Hotel Transylvania vs. Looper

The animation business is a good one to be in. Sure, the movies cost a lot to make but profit margins can be something else with global family appeal and franchising / merchandising opportunities. Hotel Transylvania took a bite out of Looper's grosses but one guess as to which film people will still talk about next year. (Perhaps Looper will be one of those rare films that doesn't drop much at all in its second weekend?) 

But the weekend's big story might just be strong showings for Pitch Perfect at only 300+ locations and a promising 100 theater expansion for The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In very limited release Robot & Frank just crossed the $3 million mark... almost entirely on word of mouth. Have any of you seen it?

Box Office Dozen
01 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA  $43 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE*
01 LOOPER $21.2 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE*  REVIEW
03 END OF WATCH $8 (cum. $26.1)
04 TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE $7.5 (cum $23.7)
05 HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET $7.1 (cum $22.2)
06 PITCH PERFECT $5.2 *NEW IN LIMITED RELEASE* 
07 FINDING NEMO 3D $4 (cum. $36.4 this time around)
08 RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION $3 (cum. $38.7)
09 THE MASTER $2.7 (cum. $9.6) Team Experience
10 WON'T BACK DOWN  $2.7 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE*  

What did you see this weekend? Did you love it?

Sunday
Sep232012

Trouble With The House at the End of Watched Curved Street

It was a photo finish this weekend with Clint Eastwood, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jake Gyllenhaal all struggling to land in first place. We won't really know who did until tomorrow. If you ask me that's a poor showing for Jennifer (given that horror is an easy cash grab on opening weekends) and Clint and a redemptive showing for Jakey who pundits always like to claim is over as a bankable leading man if he ever was. But maybe that's my bias spinning it since I have yet to seek treatment for the Gyllenhaalism. (Next up Maggie G in Won't Back Down!)

Box Office Fifteen
[TIE] 01 END OF WATCH  $13 *NEW*
[TIE] 01 HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET $13 *NEW*  
03 TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE $12.7 *NEW* 
04 FINDING NEMO 3-D $9.4 (cum $29.9 this time 'round)
05 RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION $6.7 (cum $33.4)
06 DREDD $6.3 *NEW* 
07 THE MASTER $5 (cum. $6.0)
08 POSSESSION $2.6 (cum. $45.6)
09 LAWLESS $2.3 (cum. $34.5) REVIEW
10 PARANORMAN $2.2 (cum. $52.5) 
11 THE BOURNE LEGACY $1.6 (cum. $110.4) 
12 THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN $1.5 (cum. $48.6) REVIEW
13 THE EXPENDABLES 2 $1.4 (cum. $82.9) Let's cast a female version
14 ARBITRAGE $1.2 (cum. $3.9) 
15 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES $1.2 (cum. $443.1) REVIEW

The Master had the healthiest per screen average among the wide openings (though it's only just barely "wide" now) but P.T. Anderson movies have never made as much by the end of their run as The Odd Life of Timothy Green already has (approaching $50 million) which is totally why we can't have nice things. Adults with taste continue to destroy Hollywood by staying at home and watching their premium channels instead of supporting films made for them at the theaters.  In limited release Perks of Being a Wallflower led the arthouse with a very healthy per screen average and a quarter million gross in its first weekend.

What did you see this weekend? And who is still going to Batman? He hung up his cowl, people!

In more timely news, are you watching the Emmys with us tonight? If so "see" you in the comments section.

Sunday
Sep022012

No Exorcisms Ever Rid the Box Office of Its Demons

If there's a sure way to hit #1 at the box office with minimal effort, it's this: make a demonic possession flick. Someone should do a study because it seems to me that they're the most profitable subgenre ...of anything. They always open well even if they feel virtually indistiguishable from the last one. Even if the last one was super recent. Even if they aren't innovative with f/x. Even if they have no stars. It makes you wonder if The Exorcist, discussed robustly recently here, is the most influential movie of the past 40 years rather than Jaws which usually gets the credit in building the foundation of our current cinematic culture.

Chart adapted from Box Office Mojo

This makes me wish exorcism flicks would go extreme mash-up. Let's take some genres which the mass public are weirdly averse to despite their entertainment value, say the screwball comedy or the musical or the adult romance (non comedic) and revive interest in them by throwing a little demonic possession in as a subplot. Imagine the setpieces!

What did you see this weekend? Or, since the weekend isn't officially closed until Monday night (Happy Labor Day!) which movie are you planning to see? I saw Lawless (review later tonight) and I almost made it to Premium Rush because I'm anxious for Looper. It made a kind of impulse item sense but I was thwarted.

what's in the bag?

Maybe the studio would have pushed it harder if a demon-possessed baby was in JGL's courier bag?

Sunday
Aug192012

"Cast This!" Box Office Special: Female Expendables?

Sylvester Stallone and his team of aged action heroes ruled the box office with their high-octane throwback The Expendables 2. The title is perfect because it's the kind of disposable flick you can imagine people watching half-assed for years on end on cable while eating, cleaning, making phone calls, taking a sick day, you name it.

Top o' the Box Office *newbies in bold*
01 THE EXPENDABLES 2 $28.7 
02 THE BOURNE LEGACY $17 (cum $69.5)
03 PARANORMAN $14 
04 THE CAMPAIGN $11.8 (cum. $51.6)
05 SPARKLE $12 ...more on this one soon 
06 DARK KNIGHT RISES $12 (Cum. $409.9) Review
07 THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN $10.9 

The Expendables franchise is weirdly sexist -- how can you have like a dozen action stars per movie (*stars* being a smudgey concept here once you're past the one name icons), many of them past their prime, and never include any of the women who've led or played a major hand in action hits in any decade? Yes, they exist! Word is out that the producers are planning on backing a female heavy edition of the franchise, a spin-off if you will. Why we're not allowed to have a co-ed Expendables I do not know. 

But let's help the producers out by casting it for them in the comments.
I'll start right here with six must-haves from Nathaniel's Crowded Actressexual Brain

 

  • Sigourney Weaver -- seriously, if she's not already at the tippity top of the "throw money at her" list, they're imbeciles.
  • Michelle Yeoh -- always riveting when she fights and a damn good actress, too.
  • Linda Hamilton - Duh! Even her name is tough.
  • Milla Jovovich - knows her away around an action scene and will get naked for your R rating
  • Daryl Hannah - because she's an awesomely imposing amazon (think Blade Runner and Kill Bill) and doesn't get nearly enough work 
  • Pam Grier - because think of the fun they could have referencing her fame-making work. Razors in an afro please! 

Once I got started I couldn't stop. I literally thought of 22 more actresses who would be perfect while collecting these photos -- like give me a scene of Run Franka Potente Run. Even if it's just a cameo! -- including recent action divas like Léa Seydoux (so very hawt in Mission: Impossible -Ghost Protocol or Kate Beckinsale (fresh in the brain on account of Total Recall).

But I don't want to hog all the fun. Which actresses would you line up to see in a huge dumb explosive ensemble actioner? Give me at least six of your favorite options, preferrably ten, ranked, in the comments. Maybe we'll revisit this once we have all your lists.

Ready... set... GO!

 

Friday
Aug172012

Bachelorette Hits It Big on iTunes

Beau here again to congratulate writer/director Leslye Headland and crew... again. We'll know who wins this weekend's box office wars soon enough but Bachelorette which is still two weeks away from theaters has already struck gold. It recently became the first pre-theatrical release to hit number one on the iTunes Rental Store. It's fallen to #6 as of this writing but this is a remarkable achievement, not least of which is the fact that the rental price is a costly $10 (but, compared to a night out or a ticket price? hardly). Honestly, it couldn’t have happened to a better film.

Since my review of the film, I’ve watched the film again (twice!) and while some inconsistencies and editing snafus have arisen, I stand by my initial opinion that it is the best film to have been released in 2012 thus far. Its willingness to challenge is the key.

A film that tackles drug addiction, suicide attempts, abortion and vanity with such flagrant disregard for conventional standards is enough to make me stand up and cheer. And it doesn’t just skirt by these issues, like a tourist bus on safari pointing out the animals and then speeding away quickly. Bachelorette stops the bus, drags you off, and puts you in such close contact with these animals that your initial reservations about likeability (what a stupid fucking concept) dissolve, and you’re left with a surprisingly incisive look at a small niche that resembles a greater whole. Even my dad last night remarked, ‘I know all three of these women.’ 

For a 58-year-old dude in rural California to say that? Struck a chord. So congrats to Leslye and company. I can’t wait to see your success continue!

Have you ever paid for a rental of an unreleased film? Do you think these alternate distribution methods are the future?

Sunday
Aug122012

Box Office Quickie: Meryl Streep, The Right Choice

Remember that glorious bit on the sitcom Modern Family where Cameron sang the praises of Meryl Streep?

Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice from Kristian Møller Jørgensen on Vimeo.

Meryl Streep could play Batman and be the right choice."

I kept thinking about that this weekend when Hope Springs hit theaters competing with all these new releases. Could Streep play a genetically mutated super spy like Renner? Could Streep play Catwoman as well as Hathaway? Could Streep play a disaster seeking political office like...Oh wait, that was last year. Whatever, one thinks of her range, she is a box office star as the opening weekend of Hope Springs indicates. Sure 4th place isn't great but when you stop to remember that it's a movie about senior citizens struggling with sexual intimacy than 4th place is basically 5 consecutive weeks at number one.

The Bourne Legacy's terrific opening weekend is interesting. Does this mean you don't need Matt Damon or that even just the memory of Matt Damon is bankable?

Top o' the Box Office To You
01 new THE BOURNE LEGACY $40.2 
02 new THE CAMPAIGN $27.4 
03 THE DARK KNIGHT RISES $19.5 (Cum. $390.1) Review
04 new HOPE SPRINGS  $15.6 Oscar Prospects?
05 DIARY OF AN ANNOYING FRANCHISE PT. 2 $8.2 (Cum. $30.5)
06 TOTAL RECALL $8.1 (Cum. $44.1) Review

Jeremy, Rachel, Meryl and Anne race away with the box office

Other box office notes of...uh...note:
Total Recall
took a disastrous 68 percent drop in its second weekend suggesting that it probably won't earn back even half of its budget in domestic release;  Brave continues to climb the Pixar charts having just passed WALL•E with Cars in its sights next; After seven weeks Beasts of the Southern Wild appears to have finally hit the wall and will now descend *sniffle*. (It's done very well for itself but I was hoping we'd see braver moviegoers embrace it in larger numbers. It's always worth hoping that the general public will get a little more adventurous in their moviegoing... I mean THIS is available to them and they still want reheated superhero leftovers?); Farewell My Queen, my pet cause, has been inching towards the magic $1 million mark at the arthouse but I worry it'll fall short now... it'll need a couple more weeks to get there and those might be hard to come by.

Finally, Ruby Sparks couldn't drum up much interest in a big expansion so it's not much longer for this world... I have the guilt about not seeing this. I must go this week! Must you?