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Entries in box office (151)

Wednesday
Mar192014

A Year With Kate: Quality Street (1937)

Episode 12 of 52 wherein Anne Marie screens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order

In which Katharine Hepburn is an old maid at 30 and sometimes I hate Old Hollywood.

It's strangely fitting that the last movie before Kate's string of classics turns out to be the worst film of her RKO career. Yes, I'm including Spitfire. Spitfire was laughably bad. Quality Street is downright insulting. But while groaning through the longest 82 minutes of my life, I did a little research, and I managed to solve the mystery behind the last 11 weeks of (mostly) bad movies. Better yet, I solved it with science. But first a little exposition.

I've been informed that I occasionally skip over major movie details/actor information/whatnot. Here's a quick summary: Based on a J.M. Barrie play, Quality Street is the story of a spinster teacher who, at 30 years old, finds herself too worn and ugly for her recently-returned beau (Franchot Tone, remember him?). Determined to win his heart, the spinster disguises herself as her prettier, (fictional) younger niece. This only works because by Hollywood Logic, Hepburn's bonnets have the same beauty-dampening power as Rachael Leigh Cook's glasses in She's All That.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar162014

Box Office: Smart Dogs, Ab'ed Warriors, and Speed Racers

Because animated films have good legs at the box office, Mr Peabody continued to walk up right and traded places with the muscle-bound warriors of the 300 sequel for first place.  

BOX OFFICE
01 MR PEABODY & SHERMAN $21.2 (cum. $63.1) Tim's thoughts
02 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE $19.1 (cum. $78.3)
03 NEED FOR SPEED $17.8 *NEW*
04 NON-STOP  $10.6 (cum. $68.8) Amir's Review 
05 TYLER PERRY'S SINGLE MOM'S CLUB $8.3 *new* 
06 THE LEGO MOVIE $7.7 (cum. $236.9) Nathaniel's Review
07 SON OF GOD $5.4 (cum. $50.8)
08 THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL $3.6 (cum. $4.7)
09 FROZEN $2.1 (cum. $396.3) Review | Let it Go | Jonathan Groff Interview
10 VERONICA MARS $2.0 *NEW* 

The LEGO Movie is way way out front for biggest hit of 2014 thus far but I have to admit that I'm surprised that Frozen which is now 2013's third biggest hit, far exceeding anyone's expectations, is folding up and moving out of theaters for DVD already. If they had kept milking it a bit, it probably could have passed Iron Man 3's gross. You can only make that theatrical money once, really (unless they invent 4D and retrofit) But I guess they're eager for the DVD/BluRay cash. Most of the Best Picture nominees are still in theaters but like Frozen are on DVD very very soon. They're now losing a ton of screens but you can see their final totals here (Nebraska and Her ended the season as the lowest grossers and Gravity and American Hustle as the bonafide sensations).

The big story of the weekend is surely Wes Anderson's success. The Grand Budapest Hotel was welcoming aton of new guests with the week's best per screen average. It vaulted into the top ten despite showing on roughly 3,000 less screens than the other movies. The smaller story is that Denis Villeneuve's mind trip Enemy (reviewed) starring Jake Gyllenhaal² only opened on one screen? One screen? What were they thinking? It's so hard to get attention when you're only on one screen

What did you see this weekend, my people? I hope you were watching Eternal Sunshine and are joining us for Tuesday night's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"?

 I'll admit that I fell into a weird Netflix hole of Scandal Season 2 because I could barely get out of bed. I guess my body finally collapsed from Oscar season adrenaline withdrawal? (I'll be fine tomorrow I hope). I don't respect Scandal exactly but now I see why people tune in each week. I had tuned in for a few Season 1 episodes and thought it was very poorly written trash. At the end of each Season 2 episode we turned to each other and said "Scandal!" in our best loud whisper faux shock voices on account of the, uh, scandalousness. So I guess in Season 2 it transformed into good trash tv. Either that or I lowered my standards. Which is possible with Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington steaming up my TV screen. The supporting cast though I find surprisingly  weak for such a successful show.

 

Tuesday
Mar112014

'The World is Round, People!' But Can It Spin a Little Differently?

Blue Jasmine was one of Woody Allen's biggest hits, earning $94 million globallyGeena Davis and I have been harping on gender disparity in film for ever and I've also spent a lot of time on its sister problem: ageism focused on women. But in the past couple of years it feels like the conversation has finally reached the mainstream. 

Every website, even the most misogynist-friendly, now knows what the Bechdel Test is and that the majority of movies still fail it even though it's super easy to pass. Cate Blanchett's Oscar speech got a lot of attention and Kevin B Lee recently had a major cinemetrics piece in the New York Times about women's limited screen time and now, as The Wrap reports, a new study out of San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film shows how bad the problem is not just in lead roles (only 13% of the films in the top 100 of last year) but in ageist double standards (women over 40 account for only 30% of female roles while 55% of male roles are for the over 40 set) and in racial representation (73% of all female roles are for caucasian women).

All of this despite the fact that Cate's Oscar speech was total righteous truth-telling. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar102014

Box Office: "Budapest" En Route to Becoming Anderson's Best?

Amir here with the weekend’s box office report, or the interesting part of it at least.

As expected, 300: Rise of Even More CGI and Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Non-Stop topped the charts, so we’ll skip right past them and get to the interesting stuff. Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel entered the all time top ten list for per screen average on an opening weekend. On four screens alone, the film has raked in $800,000 dollars already and will probably pass the one million mark later today. That’s an incredible coup for the director and Fox Searchlight already, but can we gauge anything about the film’s final box office performance from this number? Well, maybe...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb262014

4 Days Til Oscar. 4 Time Acting Nominees Leo & Julia

If Oscars were given out for consistent box office performance (there's already a prize for that and it's called "money") Julia Roberts would have won her Oscar in the 1990s when everything she churned out was a $100 million slam dunk and Leonardo DiCaprio would have followed suit right about now for a long run of the same incredible trick. Most of Julia's big triumphs were in the popular thriller or romantic comedy genres but Leo seems to be a special case making practically anything (save the dimly lit dim of wit J. Edgar) into a $100 million grosser whether it's a foul-mouthed 3 hour comedy, a mixed review prestigious literary adaptation, or any other genre really. He might be the only mega star who is worth his full asking price given that his marketability doesn't seem to be tied to anything but his beloved creased-brow face. 

Julia and Leo both, who received their first nominations in 1989 and 1993 respectively, both won their fourth nomination for acting this year (One of Leo's five nods is for producing) though their hits far outnumber their Oscar kudos. Let's share our four most favorite performances by each. For me that's like so:

LEO: 1) Gilbert Grape ...followed by a small gap and the rest bunched together... 2) The Departed 3) The Aviator 4) Romeo + Juliet fuzzy memory now but I remember being impressed... does it hold up? Wolf of  & Catch Me would battle it out for fifth but this is a top four. So that battle will remain a draw.
JULIA: 1) Erin Brockovich 2) My Best Friend's Wedding ....followed by a huge gap, then... 3) Pretty Woman 4) Closer

Yours?

Oscar Isaac and Bruno Delbonnel on the set of "Inside Llewyn Davis"

The other 4 time nominee in their field this year is the cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel nominated for Amelie (2001), A Very Long Engagement (2004), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He recently completed work on Tim Burton's Big Eyes (2014) so maybe he'll be back for a fifth next year? 

Are you rooting for any of these three to win?