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Entries in box office (204)

Sunday
Mar012015

Box Office: You Must "Focus"

I kept thinking of Agent Carter's Russian villain whenever I saw the trailer to Focus, because he said "you must focus" every other line in that series while he performed his instant super-hypnosis. Which was ridiculous but the show is really fun. Anyway: Will Smith! The media tour around Focus kept focusing (sorry) on how Will Smith is not concentrating on box office now! and Box Office doesn't define him! so they were obviously prepping for disaster should it happen. But no disaster. He's still bankable even if a $19 million opening isn't what he used to be able to carry off with ease. I wonder if the presence of Margot Robbie helped? Or maybe people don't even realize yet that it's "that hot girl from Wolf of Wall Street".

The other new wide release was the horror film The Lazarus Effect which did over $10 million. 

In news we care more about Julianne Moore entered the top ten for the first time with Still Alice during her Oscar-winning weekend and at $12 million already the Alzheimers drama is turning into quite a little hit for her. As beloved as she is, she's not a box office star so this is a major success --along the lines of a Far From Heaven. Unfortunately her other movie, the David Cronenberg picture Maps to the Stars, tanked in limited release. I'm sure the distributor utterly confused its potential audience by holding it in reserve during those weird intermittent bursts of buzz it had for well over 9 months and then releasing it quietly while everyone was concentrating on her other movie. But she's marvelous in that one, too.

The Irish thriller '71 starring Jack O'Connell and set during 'The Troubles' also opened in very limited release (reviewed) and it's very good so you should see it. 

What did you see this weekend? Or maybe you just stayed in to bingewatch House of Cards?

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.

Monday
Feb162015

Box Office: Grey Whips His Competition

Amir here, apologetic about the terrible pun in the headline, and bringing you the weekend’s numbers with a glass of wine and a pair of handcuffs.

Valentine’s Day just passed on by and more than any other year, it felt like a zenith for Capitalism and a nadir for humanity. 50 Shades of Grey came close to breaking February’s all-time record thanks to a massive audience who, going by the statistical reports of their age, mostly went to see what their mothers are secretly into. I won’t be watching the film until tomorrow night – I haven’t spent more than the cheap Tuesday ticket price on any film that won the weekend’s box office since… Toy Story 3? – so I’ll reserve my opinion on the film, but I’m genuinely looking forward to it. No, really. (Here's Nathaniel's review) Public response has been mixed, and if you, like Ana and me, are feeling masochistic, have a look at any conversation about the film on twitter and pull your hair in frustration at the short-sightedness, mob mentality and unbearable zero tolerance policies that are increasingly dominating our film discourse.

Sharp Dressed Men ruled the box office this weekend

TOP OF THE BOX OFFICE
Click on the highlighted titles for past articles on that film
01 50 SHADES OF GREY $85 new review
02 KINGSMEN: THE SECRET SERVICE $36.2  review soon
03 SPONGEBOB MOVIE $31.6 (cum. $94.8)
04 AMERICAN SNIPER $16.5 (cum. $304.2) 
05 JUPITER ASCENDING $9.2 (cum. $32.3) podcast
06 PADDINGTON $4.1 (cum. $62.3) 
07 SEVENTH SON  $4.1 (cum. $13.4) 
08 THE IMITATION GAME $3.5 (cum. $79.6) 
09 THE WEDDING RINGER $3.4 (cum. $59.7)
10 PROJECT ALMANAC $2.7 (cum. $19.5)
11 BLACK OR WHITE $2.5 (cum. $17.3)
12 THE BOY NEXT DOOR $1.7 (cum. $33.7)
13 STILL ALICE $1.7 (cum. $4.6) 

Kingsman: The Secret Service came a distant second with $35m, which is actually really strong. Add to that the international haul and this can be labelled a big success, especially considering that Colin Firth has only ever had two films open above 20 million, neither of which featured him in the lead. His highest opening ever, so congratulations to the Oscar-winning actor who might now have a spoof franchise on his hand.

Best Picture Watch: American Sniper is inching toward the top of the 2014 pile and by my estimation should be there in exactly 15 days. Whiplash finally passed the $10m mark, meaning that Winter’s Bone remains the last English language Oscar nominee to fail to break out of single digits (at $6.5m).

Toronto was at a whopping -41 degrees this weekend, so I didn't muster the courage to leave the house for a film, but I rewatched, among other things, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is still my favourite of the best picture nominees by a wide margin. What did you watch this weekend?

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?