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Entries in box office (181)

Sunday
Sep072014

The Identical Guardians of the Top Box Office Spot

Margaret here with the weekend’s box office report-- which, if you squint, could easily be mistaken for last weekend's box office report.


It was a rough couple days for moviegoers and moviemakers alike. The weekend after Labor Day is famously among the slowest year so all major studios steered clear. Guardians of the Galaxy handily took its fourth #1 and the rest of the top fifteen looks very familiar.

The only new nationwide release was The Identical, an faith-based indie movie that is currently sitting pretty with a RottenTomatoes score of 4%. Even without any competition from other new films it couldn't crack the top ten. New in limited release, Stuart Murdoch's quirkfest musical God Help the Girl did respectable business on two screens but came in around #45.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

01 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $10.2 (cum. $294.6)  Review
02 ...NINJA TURTLES $6.5 (cum. $174.6) remember the animated one?
03 IF I STAY $5.8 (cum. $39.7)
04 LET'S BE COPS $5.4 (cum. $66.6)
05 THE NOVEMBER MAN $4.2 (cum. $17.9)
06 AS ABOVE / SO BELOW $3.7 (cum. $15.6)
07 WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL $3.7 (cum. $23.5) 
08 THE GIVER $3.6 (cum. $37.8) Review
09 THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY $3.2 (cum. $45.7) 
10 LUCY $1.9 (cum. $121.2) Podcast
11 THE IDENTICAL $1.9 *new*
12 THE EXPENDABLES 3 $1.8 (cum. $36.7)  recommended read
13 INTO THE STORM $1.5 (cum. $44.6)    
14 BOYHOOD  $1.4 (cum. $20.7)  Review & Podcast
15 CANTINFLAS  $1 (cum. $4.8)

Take out Guardians of the Galaxy and Boyhood, and the average RottenTomatoes score is 31%. Oof.

I was looking forward to seeing a movie this weekend since it is torturously hot in Los Angeles, but my local listings looked like a cruel joke and I couldn't make myself go. What about you? Who managed to find something worth seeing?

Monday
Aug252014

Box Office: An Expensive Lesson in Sequel Production

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. Much like last week, the biggest story at the multiplex is the massive failure of a has-been brand. Then, it was the shrinking shoulders of 80s action heroes that could not bear the weight of a changing, modern world. Now, it is Frank Miller’s overly familiar aesthetic and the fading stars of Jessica Alba and crew. This catastrophe is of epic proportions. Budgeted around $70m, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For failed to make even 1/10th of its production costs back and fell behind the aforementioned Expendables 3. Reviews haven’t been kind and any affection for the original film has vanished in the intervening decade. You either have to suffocate the audiences with non-stop sequels and reboots before they know who’s hitting them, or they’ll forget you. That’s the lesson for Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and one they have had to pay at least $50m dollars to learn.

The best selling wide release was also the weekend’s Film Amir Is Too Old To Watch, a romance starring Chloe Grace Moretz called If I Stay that didn’t have the muscle to take the throne from Guardians or Turtles, making this one of the year’s quieter weekends. 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $17.6 (cum. $251.8)  Review
02 ...NINJA TURTLES $16.8 (cum. $145.6) remember the animated one?
03 IF I STAY $16.2 *new*
04 LET'S BE COPS $11 (cum. $45.2)
05 WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL $9 *new*
06 THE GIVER $6.7 (cum. $24.1) Review
07 THE EXPENDABLES 3 $6.6 (cum. $27.5)  recommended read
08 SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR $6.4 *new*
09 THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY $5.5 (cum. $32.7) 
10 INTO THE STORM $3.8 (cum. $38.3)  
11 LUCY $3.5 (cum. $113.7) Podcast
12 BOYHOOD  $1.8 (cum. $16.5)  Review & Podcast
13 MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT $1.3 (cum. $6.8)  
14 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES $1.1 (cum. $203.9) Podcast & Reviewish
15 GET ON UP  $.9 (cum. $28.7) Review & Viola Davis

On the limited side, brighter news: Ira Sach's Love Is Strange a film The Film Experience adores, did strong business on only 5 screens. Here’s hoping it expands across North America as quickly as possible. The only new release I watched in the past couple of days is Ari Folman’s The Congress, which isn’t actually out until next weekend. Stay tuned for my review! What have you watched this weekend?

Sunday
Aug172014

"Let's Be Expendable," said the Box Office

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. The hearts of the old heroes shattered, their muscles shriveled, their skin drooped and the Botox melted. Who would have thought one day the toughest, meanest men in Hollywood would fall to four teenagers; and not just any old group of teenagers, but teenagers from a very slow species. TMNT held on to the top spot as The Expendables 3 opened at fourth place. Equally damning for the action crew is that they fell behind Let’s Be Cops, a remarkably unfortunate title at a time when no one in America wants anything to do with cops.

Damon Wayans Jr and Jake Johnson demonstrating what moviegoers thought of the weekend's new offerings

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 NINJA TURTLES $28.4 (cum. $117.6) Remember the animated feature version?
02 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $24.7 (cum. $222.2)  Review
03 LET'S BE COPS $17.7 (cum. $26.1) *new*
04 THE EXPENDABLES 3 $16.2 *new* recommended read
05 THE GIVER $12.7 *new* Review
06 INTO THE STORM $7.7 (cum. $31.3)
07 THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY $7.1 (cum. $23.6)
08 LUCY $5.3 (cum. $107.5) Podcast
09 STEP UP ALL IN $2.7 (cum. $11.8)
10 BOYHOOD  $2.1 (cum. $13.8)  Review & Podcast
11 HERCULES $2 (cum. $68.1) 
12 GET ON UP $1.9 (cum. $27)  Review

Rounding the weekend’s dull wide releases is The Giver, a film with little to admire but its “cheeseball sincerity.” The Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep’s vehicle came in at fifth, and completes what is to my memory one of the worst reviewed weekends in recent times. The Rotten Tomatoes average of the three new films stands at a paltry 25 percent and none of these films have generated any enthusiasm from the audiences.

The limited side was similarly dull with Coogan and Brydon’s follow-up to the hilarious The Trip, titled The Trip to Italy (reviewed), falling short of the standard set by its predecessor, Life after Beth continuing the series of films in which Aubrey Plaza’s comic talent goes to waste, and La Jalousie, this week’s only foreign arthouse offering, receiving lukewarm reaction almost a whole year after its Venice debut.

Have you seen any of these films? Any older films you got passionate about watching instead this weekend? Let us know in the comments what you're excited about. 

Sunday
Aug102014

Green For Green: Weekend Box Office

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. Forecasts were uncertain whether Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still had the appeal to take the multiplex by storm. The turtles are as popular as ever, apparently, crushing Guardians of the Galaxy in its second week. I have no doubt that you’re all sick of me bitch and moan about Michael Bay and Marvel week after week – but see? I have a point; we do have to talk about them every week; there’s no escape. So we’ll skip them for the good news: Boyhood passed 10 million and is still expanding. 

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES $65 *NEW*
02 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY $41.5 (cum. $175.9)  Review
03 INTO THE STORM $18 *NEW*
04 HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY $11.1 *NEW*
05 LUCY $9.3 (cum. $97.3)  
06 STEP UP ALL IN $6.5 *NEW*
07 HERCULES $10.7 (cum. $52.3)
08 GET ON UP $5 (cum. $22.9) Review
09 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES $6.4 (cum. $47.5) Reviewish & Podcast 
10 PLANES FIRE & RESCUE  $5.5 (cum. $62.9)
11 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $2.2 (cum. $68.5) 
12 A MOST WANTED MAN $2.2 (cum. $10.4) Review
13 BOYHOOD $2 (cum. $10.6) Review

There were other wide releases this weekend. Helen Mirren returned with The Hundred-Foot Journey. One would assume a film that thinks of only a hundred feet as a journey would also be about turtles, but it is not. It’s some sort of inspirational, we-are-the-world, all-races-holding-hands story about a white woman who learns to love Indians without bothering with the whole Maggie Smith/Judi Dench shtick of actually travelling to India. Lasse Hallstrom, purveyor of mushy Euro-pudding directed. Finally, Step Up All In also opened to a top ten spot, but at 26, I feel too old to write about it.

On the limited end of things, What If starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan opened on 20 screens to mild reception. When this film played TIFF last year under the title The F Word, its target demographic seemed pretty happy with what they’d seen, and given the presence of a genuine star, I’m surprised CBS Films opted for such a low key release and the incredibly bland title. Meanwhile, the best film of the week didn’t even register on the charts, presumably because no one saw it, but the tiny little documentary called Fifi Howls From Happiness is funny, outrageous, clever and a beautiful dialogue between two artists, one behind the camera and one in front of it, that deserves a far bigger audience. I hope my review convinces you to see it.

What did you watch this weekend?

Sunday
Aug032014

Guardians of the Box Office. What Did You See This Weekend?

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. As expected, Guardians of the Galaxy topped the week’s chart, though it wasn’t quite expected that it would do this well. In true Marvel fashion, the previous record for the month of August has been blown up with a big bang, what with Guardians taking in nearly $25m more than Bourne Ultimatum. As I’m sure you know, I haven’t yet seen the film. Nathaniel has but is not enthused

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 GUARDIANS OF GALAXY $94 *NEW* Review
02 LUCY $18.2 (cum. $79.5)  
03 GET ON UP $14 *NEW*
04 HERCULES $10.7 (cum. $52.3)
05 DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES $8.7 (cum. $189.3) Reviewish & Podcast
06 PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE $6.4 (cum. $47.5)
07 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $5.5 (cum. $62.9)
08 SEX TAPE $3.5 (cum. $33.9) 
09 AND SO IT GOES $3.3 (cum. $10.4)
10 A MOST WANTED MAN $3.3 (cum. $7) Review

The other big opening of the weekend, the James Brown biopic Get On Up finished below Lucy, faring slightly better than that Clint Eastwood musical biopic no one liked earlier this year.

Just outside the top ten, there is Boyhood, now IFC Studio’s third best selling film of all time. Here’s an interesting statistic: My Big Fat Greek Wedding, IFC’s best selling film, has grossed more than all the studio’s other 331 films, combined. Even more mind-blowing than that fact is the below possibility:

 

 

The prospect of a sequel to Boyhood doesn’t excite me much, but entertaining the thought that it could be in some way related to the Before trilogy is really messing with my head and I like it!

Other than Guardians, only two films boasted a better per screen average than Boyhood: Magic in the Moonlight and Calvary, a new limited release with a surprisingly strong opening and quite limited wide potential, I imagine. Otherwise, the small market remained relatively quiet. And so did I. August should be the month when I get back into gear and hit the theaters, but for now, these are all just names to me.

What did you watch this weekend?

Sunday
Jul272014

Scarlett's Weekend. What Did You See?

Amir here, with the weekend’s Scarlett Johansson re Box Office report

‘twas a battle between two kickass heroes at the multiplex this weekend, and the The Rock’s old school muscles and sword and sandals fell to the fierce power of ScarJo and the wonder of technology. Lucy beat Hercules to top the weekend. Those weren’t the only new releases that entered the top ten: the anonymously titled And So It Goes starring Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas started with a tepid $2k per screen average for the slightly older crowd, while A Man Most Wanted did really solid business on only 361 screens. Experts are currently analyzing whether the audience interest stems from Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performance or the work of Iranian character actor Homayoun Ershadi.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 LUCY $44 *NEW* Trailer thoughts
02 HERCULES $29 *NEW* 
03 DAWN OF PLANET OF APES $16.4 (cum. $172) Review
04 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $9.8 (cum. $51.2)
05 PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE $9.3 (cum. $35.1) 
06 SEX TAPE $5.9 (cum. $26.8)
07 TRANSF4RMERS $4.6 (cum. $236.3)
08 AND SO IT GOES $4.5 *NEW*
09 TAMMY $3.4 (cum. $78.1) Review
10 A MOST WANTED MAN $2.7 *NEW*

and...
11 22 JUMP STREET $2.5 (cum. $185.6) Podcast
12 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $2.2 (cum. $165.6) best movie dragons
13 MALEFICENT $1.7 (cum. $232.1) Podcast
14 BOYHOOD $1.7 (cum. $4.1) review
15 BEGIN AGAIN $1.5 (cum. $12.3) top ten thus far

But the real star of the weekend is surely Johansson. What a difference a couple of years can make. After the promise of her early years, for nearly a decade it seemed like she would never be able to fulfill her potential. But consider what she has given us in the past 10 months: two Oscar-worthy performances in Don Jon and Under the Skin, a wildly acclaimed voice performance in Her, the only positive element of the otherwise forgettable Winter Soldier and an ensemble part in the surprise hit Chef. In the process she’s worked with two of America's hottest auteurs and proved her acting chops in a variety of genres. It’s almost impossible to think the same actress is behind both the gum-sporting Jersey girl Barbara Sugarman and the nameless alien of Skin. If the final piece of the puzzle of her resurgence was to show that she can carry a film to box office success without the help of other spandex-clad superheroes, Lucy seems to have given us the answer. With exciting reports that she’s in talks with Coen Brothers to join the cast of Hail, Caesar!, there are no signs of her slowing down. Long may her reign continue!

On the limited end of things, Woody Allen’s new film, Magic in the Moonlight, received the customary Allen treatment of opening in very few locations to very strong per screen average on its way to wide release. Furthermore, in line with the other recent Allen tradition of making one dud for every hit, Magic has so far ended on the lower side of the spectrum, critically speaking. I haven’t yet seen it, so I’ll reserve judgment until I do. Unless it suffers the same fate as You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, which means I’ll never find out.

What did you watch this weekend?

Thursday
Jul242014

That's What I Call Movies: The Hits of '73

To give the impending Smackdown some context we're looking at the year 1973. Here's Glenn on tickets sold...

1973 was like the end of a box-office era. While year-end charts weren’t suffocated with superheroes, CGI natural disasters, and dystopian visions of futuristic societies for a little while yet, but 1973 was as far as I can tell the last year to not have a single now-traditional effects-driven film in the top ten hits of the year. Just one year later in 1974 the end-of-year charts would include the one-two punch The Towering Inferno and Earthquake (plus Airport '75), and 1975 essentially ushered in the modern era of the blockbuster with Jaws and since then it's been a steady increase.

Here is what the top ten films of 1973 looked like.

01 THE STING $156m 
02 THE EXORCIST $128m
03 AMERICAN GRAFFITI $96.3m
04 PAPILLON $53.3
05 THE WAY WE WERE $45m
06 MAGNUM FORCE $39.7
07 LAST TANGO IN PARIS $36.1
08 LIVE AND LET DIE $35.3m
09 ROBIN HOOD $32m
10 PAPER MOON $30.9m

Just look at those films and let them sink in for a moment.

The runaway hit film of 1973 was a period-set heist movie. Then there was a religious horror film (always popular with audiences, but rarely to this extent), a nostalgic indie featuring mostly unknowns, a romance about class and marxism, a European X-rated erotic drama, a Disney kids cartoon and a black-and-white comedy set during the Great Depression. Only one franchise film (the weird Blaxploitation-themed James Bond entry Live and Let Die) is on the list, and not a single spaceship or flowing cape amongst them. 

It’s cliché and frankly rather boring to decry the so-called death of movies for adults in favour of Hollywood’s constant churn of male-centric fanboy action films. I think it misses the point in many ways, not least of which that it is predominantly adults that are making Man of Steel, Fast & Furious 6 and Star Trek Into Darkness the colossal hits that they are rather than just the teenage boys that they once may have been.

Still, it’s fascinating to look at this list and compare to it today’s. It seems crazy to realise the likes of Battle of the Planet of the Apes (the fourth and worst sequel), Soylent Green and Westworld were all beaten at the box office rather handily by Paper Moon, but let’s not pretend that the kids and their comic book and Young Adult adaptations are the ones to blame for the disparity of 1973’s Oscar best picture being no. 1 of the year and 2013’s (12 Years a Slave) ranking at no. 62 beneath adult-targeted films like Last Vegas, A Good Day to Die Hard and Now You See Me.

 For what it’s worth, the top film at the box office 41 years ago was Enter the Dragon  which was released not even a whole week after the death of its now iconic star Bruce Lee. It held the number one spot for four weekends.