Oscar History

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What did YOU see this weekend?


Elle. Basically the same movie as The Piano Teacher but sillier. Huppert is great, but when is she not? -Jonathan

The Edge of Seventeen because I needed something light and fun. So delightful, and anchored by a wonderful Hailee Steinfeld performance. - Marina


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Entries in box office (291)


Box Office: John, Paul, Ringo, George... and Sully

What did you see at the movies this weekend? Or were you too busy bingewatching Emmy nominees before the ceremony tonight? Here's what was hottest at the box office. Other than Sully and the new Beatles Documentary Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (which won the highest per screen average of the weekend on its 85 screens), "lukewarm" might be a better description for the new releases, none of which cracked 8 figures. Sorry Bridget! You've been gone too long.

01 Sully $22 (cum. $70.5) Review
02 Blair Witch $9.6 NEW Review & Remembering Blair Witch (1999)
03 Bridget Jones's Baby $8.2 NEW Review
04 Snowden $8 NEW 
05 Don't Breathe $5.6 (cum. $75.3)
06 When the Bough Breaks $5.5 (cum $22.6)
07 Suicide Squad $4.7 (cum. $313.7) Review & Worst of Year
08 The Wild Life $2.6 (cum. $6.6)
09 Kubo and the Two Strings $2.5 (cum. $44.2) Review
10 Pete's Dragon $2 (cum $72.8)  Review

Next week Sully will surely be overthrown when Denzel and six other magnificents arrive in that shoot-em-up western.


Box Office

The box office numbers are too dire to report for the holiday weekend. Suicide Squad crossed the $300 million mark (who is still seeing this and why? It is utterly awful.) It's huge haul will ensure that Hollywood need not worry about the execution of their movies, only the brand names surrounding the movies. Depressing. The Light Between Oceans performed about half as well as expected (ouch) even though it's quite touching and reportedly faithful to the popular novel -- which ensures that Hollywood will continue to be afraid to release adult dramas outside of October-December. Depressing. A huge second week for Don't Breathe will ensure that the easiest money bet in movies (budget to potential gross) continues to be in the gore/horror genre -- just don't get too arty because then you don't cross over! (Depressing but also true for I think as long as I've been alive so whatever). And the intensely pleasurable Love & Friendship (on DVD this week) is losing its crown as the #1 platform release of the summer to Hell or High Water.

Can you tell I'm depressed? Cheer me up by telling me about your favorite screening this weeked, movie, streaming, tv, whatever. What's good?


Box Office Special: 1984 Hits

Rather than talk about this weekend's boring box office results (nothing new to see here beyond a big weekend for that new kill-the-trespassing-teenagers flick Don't Breathe) let's travel back to 1984 which was a hugely influential year for franchises of many kinds. What can the biggest hits tell us about the then and the now? 

numbers adjusted for today's dollars via box office mojo

01 Ghostbusters $589.6  
Two Oscar nods. Spawned 1 terrible sequel, two animated TV shows, and this year's reboot

02 Beverly Hills Cop $581.5
Led to two sequels, a TV remake, and a TV pilot that wasn't picked up. Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been in some stage of development for 20+ years and is still supposedly being made. We'll believe it when we see it.

Click to read more ...


Ben-Who? Weekend Box Office

The name "Ben-Hur" wasn't enough of a brand on its own to lure moviegoers to theaters this weekend for the remake. My guess: Those who know of Ben-Hur love the 1959 version too much to care about a 2016 version. I have zero desire to see it so if you dared the movie theater this weekend to do so, tell me this: did any of the 1925 sensuality or the 1959 homoeroticism survive in the 2016 version. Or is this just all antiseptic generic blockbuster action mode? 

Ben Hur in 1959, 2016, and 1925If you didn't see Ben-Hur, what did you see? Did you like it? More after the jump including the fate of Kubo and the Two Strings and the best thing I saw this weekend...

Click to read more ...


Box Office: 'Sausage Party' Is An Animated Adult Smash

This weekend while Suicide Squad suffered one of the biggest superhero second weekend dropoffs ever and Pete's Dragon had one of the mildest starts for a Disney remake, Sausage Party was breaking box office ground for adult animation. The high concept comedy had the biggest opening ever for animated film meant for grown-ups, passing 2007's violent Beowulf (apologies for reminding you of its existence).

While Party is unlikely to repeat the animation for grownups Oscar nomination breakthrough that Anomalisa achieved last year, this strong box office opening shows that medium doesn't need to appeal to the kiddies to be commercially viable. The most popular toons often become so partly because they are equally embraced by adults - we love animation just as much, so the rarity of one aimed squarely at us remains perplexing. Sausage Party is on track to surpass South Park - Bigger, Longer, and Uncut's business, so maybe we'll at least get more bawdy animated comedies if not the type of character dramas that Anomalisa was trying to deliver.


01 Suicide Squad $43.7M (cum $222.9M) Review
02 Sausage Party $33.6M NEW
03 Pete's Dragon $21.5M NEW Review
04 Jason Bourne $13.6M (cum $126.8M) Review
05 Bad Moms $11.4M (cum $71.4M)
06 The Secret Lives of Pets $8.8M (cum $335.9M)
07 Star Trek Beyond $6.8M (cum $139.7M) Review
08 Florence Foster Jenkins $6.6M NEW Review
09 Nine Lives $3.5M (cum $13.5M)
10 Lights Out $3.2M (cum $61.1M)

Limited releases were mostly quiet this weekend, with the biggest winner being the well-reviewed Texas crime drama Hell or High Water. Led by Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, and Ben Foster, the film grossed $592,000 at 32 theatres for the weekend's per screen average of almost $19K.

What did you see this weekend??