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Entries in box office (177)

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.

Thursday
Jul242014

I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray ♫

A topic worth thinking carefully over though this stream of consciousness must do for now.

Esquire claims that 1999 was the last Great Year of Movies. Several good points are made but OF COURSE the writer had to throw out that exhausting false equivalent "tv is better than film" argument again that actually has very little to do with the topic at hand. Stop people of the internet. Think before you type. The two art forms are not interchangeable - they have different strengths and weaknesses and the transcendent TV series are but a tiny sliver of the product on TV just as the most magical movies are a tiny sliver of films made. The best TV is not equivalent to cinematic blockbusters, what's equivalent to that if you must have your damn equivalencies are massively watched shows like The Big Bang Theory, The Voice, Duck Dynasty and Modern Family and the like and anyone who thinks those shows are better than what's been at movie theaters in 2014 deserves to be slapped. Or at least be strapped to a chair and forced to sit through these pictures plus Boyhood and Love is Strange (which will be here soon).

The problem of abundance and people ignoring and not supporting that abundance is complicated. The truth is people are lazy and windows to home viewing are short which as only rewarded the laziness and people would rather just let stuff come to them. That doesn't in any way mean that "stuff" playing in movie theaters is lesser than it used to be.

Anyway the article is a good read and there are strong points made about just how creatively fertile that period at the movies and how influential versus the depressing sequel fanaticism of the now. And, what's more, we don't know what's going to be influential from the now. Maybe Under the Skin will have descendants. The lack of originality is not fully to be blamed on Hollywood's creativity or filmmakers but on us. We're the ones that pick the hits and the world wants Transf4rmers for some ungodly death-wish reason, you know? "Age of Extinction" is right!

 

But anyway, yes, 1999 was a great year for movies. Still, most of the best ones cited in the article were not enormous hits: Run Lola Run made $7 million; Go made $17 million; Being John Malkovich made $22 million, Fight Club made only $37 and was considered a financial disappointment, etcetera. Time has made these movies enormously celebrated but that time was not 1999.

My very longwinded point is this and it's always this and those citations help underline my point: there are always great movies. You just have to actually look for them because almost never do they fall in your lap on 4000 screens and make $200 million plus in the US. And, finally, to wrap all this up there has been at least one year since 1999 that was phenomenal all over your face - bam! -  and that was 2004 as recently discussed on the podcast. 

Sunday
Jul202014

What did you see this weekend?

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes continued to sell well (and should easily surpass Rise's gross) but the only box office story of much interest this weekend is Boyhood's incredible success at only 33 locations.  Though IFC Films almost never campaigns for Oscar nominations in any meaningful way, there are some whisperings that the response to Boyhood may change that. We'll see.

Raher than a top ten chart let's look at wide and platforming.  

WIDE RELEASES
01 DAWN OF PLANET OF APES $36 (cum. $138.9) Review
02 THE PURGE: ANARCHY $28.3 *new*
03 PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE $18 *new* 
04 SEX TAPE $15 *new*
05 TRANSF4RMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION $10 (cum. $227.1)

UNDER 100 SCREENS
01 BOYHOOD $1.1 (cum. $1.8) Review
02 WISH I WAS HERE $.4 *new*
03 OBVIOUS CHILD $.1 (cum. $2.6) Review
04 IDA $.1 (cum. $3.3) Capsule
05 BELLE $.1 (cum. $10.4) Capsule

In other news Chef, Jon Favreau's 'pulling in all his favors' all-star comedy crossed $25 million in its 11th week. The movie, a light sweet comedy about a chef whose career falls apart forcing him to reevaluate his choices, has been a true word of mouth hit in limited release. Almost by accident I saw it yesterday with a friend and her family who had decided they wanted to see a movie, any movie, at the last minute last night on our beach weekend. It was the perfect kind of casual entertainment for a group. Of course to enjoy its sweet father/son drama, it's shameless twitter-ad placements, and the enjoyable camaraderie of the stars, I had to turn off my inward groaning that not only did portly Jon Favreau have Scarlett Johansson as a love interest but his other love interest was Sofia Vergara - realism unbounded! (And worse still neither of them existed as people but to prop up his character arc towards becoming a better man.) But I guess when you write and direct and star and produce your own picture you can pretend that the world's most voluptous women would be totally into your mopey ass and exist only to meet your emotional needs when you crash. 

WHAT DID YOU SEE THIS WEEKEND?