NOW PLAYING

in theaters



new on DVD/BluRay


review index

HOT TOPICS



Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Beauty vs. Beast

 

If you don't vote for Jack, he'll come after you with an axe
 
VOTE! 

 

Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
The BIG EYES Poster

"I didn't even notice the stars at first but that's why I like it. Tag line is clever. I hope Burton gone substance over style (while being stylish) with this one." - Jija

"The art is ugly creepy kitsch... that is, slightly above dogs playing pool and black-velvet Elvis. I have a hard time grasping why we should care who created it..." - Owen

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in box office (181)

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?

Sunday
Jul132014

What did you see this weekend? (Besides gun-toting apes)

Given that Handsome Joe Canada (aka Amir) is too busy with World Cup mania to grace us with his presence today, I Nathaniel am here for your weekly look at the profit margin side of things. But mostly to ask you the sturdy comment question:

What did you see this weekend?

We're always curious. Your answer should be... well, there's so many good things in theaters right now it just better not be Trans4rmers. Your answer should also soon include Masters of Sex which returns tonight, my choice for Best Drama Series last season (sadly Emmy-snubbed in that category). Should we talk that up every week? Raise your hand if you're watching.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 DAWN OF PLANET OF APES $73 *NEW* Review
02 TRANSF4RMERS $16.5 (cum. $209)
03 TAMMY $12.9 (cum. $57.3) Review
04 22 JUMP STREET $6.7 (cum. $171.9) Podcast
05 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $5.8 (cum. $152) best movie dragons
06 EARTH TO ECHO $5.5 (cum. $24.5) 
07 DELIVER US FROM EVIL $4.7 (cum. $25)
08 MALEFICENT $4.1 (cum. $221.9) Podcast
09 BEGIN AGAIN $2.9 (cum. $5.2) top ten thus far
10 JERSEY BOYS $2.5 (cum. $57.1) Review

You'll notice that Snowpiercer didn't make it despite its quality. This was probably at least somewhat informed by its decision to go VOD before the movie had run out of steam at the box office. There've been quite a few articles about this (like this one) and I can't help but read them with pesky asides. I don't trust anything anyone says. I understand that VOD gives you a wider audience. But I also think not being willing to support your movie in theaters rarely bodes well for long term health on VOD. So basically I am displeased with how they've treated this action film with a big star and special effects which has now groused $2.6 or roughly half a million less than a black and white indie about Polish nuns. Yes I'm going to keep mentioning Ida whenever I see fit. Deal with it!

Because there is always so much interesting stuff hiding in way too few theaters -- Boyhood and Land Ho! -- here is that chart

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE (UNDER 100 SCREENS)
01 BOYHOOD $.3 *NEW* 5 screens Review
02 IDA $.1 (cum. $3.1) 85 screens best of year's 1st half
03 A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (1964) 50th anniversary $.07 (cum. $.4) 56 screens
04 LAND HO! $.03 *NEW* 4 screens  Review
05 YVES ST. LAURENT $.03 (cum. $.1) 14 screens

Boyhood had a fantastic per screen average but IFC went a bit timid at only 5 locations. We'll see how wide they dare go with this one-of-a-kind feature, twelve years in the making, but I hope they make a big push. More on that one this week which I told you I loved at Sundance.

Sunday
Jul062014

Box Office: The Studios Fail America on the 4th of July

Amir here with the weekend’s box office report. ‘twas quite a sad one at the multiplex; Positive adjectives were hard to come by. Tran4mers topped the charts again, but even that franchise has tired its audience so much that it now lags significantly behind the previous installments. Tammy came in second, but this one is also way behind last year’s Melissa McCarthy vehicles like The Heat. Maybe people are finally realising that having a superstar who doesn't fit Hollywood's notions of traditional beauty is completely different from having a superstar who doesn't fit Hollywood's notions of traditional beauty solely to make fat jokes about her.

 

Deliver Us From Evil was a big flop, this one falling behind director Scott Derrickson’s previous films, despite finding some major champions among critics. And if those are not enough underachievers for one week, there was also Earth to Echo, not just beating Deliver Us... as the weekend’s most awkwardly titled offering, but also beating it on the disappointment scale. This was the only new family option of the weekend, but it finished behind the leftover How to Train Your Dragon 2, which is another massive disappointment in its own right.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION $36.4 (cum. $174.7)
02 TAMMY $21.1 NEW (cum. $32.9) Review
03 DELIVER US FROM EVIL $9.5 (cum. $15)
04 22 JUMP STREET $9.4 (cum. $158.8) Podcast
05 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $8.7 (cum. $140) best movie dragons
06 EARTH TO ECHO $8.2 NEW (cum. $13.5) 
07 MALEFICENT $6.1 (cum. $213.8) Podcast
08 JERSEY BOYS $5.1 (cum. $36.7) Review
09 THINK LIKE A MAN TOO $4.9 (cum. $57.1)
10 EDGE OF TOMORROW $3.6 (cum. $90.8) Capsule / Top Ten Thus Far

Perhaps Begin Again and Snowpiercer could have emitted some positive vibes with their relatively strong expansions, but no, hang on a minute! Dinesh D’Souza’s America – a sequel to Obama’s America? Oh, who cares anyway? It’s not like that first film made any damn sense – beat both of them to finish just outside the top ten. Yes, Dinesh D’Souza! Enough has been written about the hypocrisy and sheer stupidity of this man to make one think that a multimillion dollar opening and an A-Fucking-Plus Cinemascore is out of reach for his films, but no. It’s still possible. America has disappointed us all. The silver lining is that he, too, is lagging far behind his previous film.

What did you watch this weekend? Please give us some positive vibes to counteract Hollywood's failure to schedule anything worthwhile on such a big moviegoing weekend.

See Also: Nathaniel's Top Ten at the Halfway Mark

Sunday
Jun292014

Box Office: Trans4mers Yell and Crash Their Way to the Top

Amir here with the weekend’s box office report and a painful personal story. Win win.

The national anthem of China is playing loudly at the Bay residence, the Chinese flag is at full mast, everyone’s pockets are full of Yuans. Trans4mers has become the best selling foreign film in China, raking in an astonishing $90m, making one of the richest men in Hollywood just that much richer. Add that to the film’s massive American gross – the best of 2014, so far – and we have collectively encouraged Michael Bay to continue jerking off on screen. We have to put a stop to this people! Has anyone ever been so amply rewarded for so much disservice to this medium?

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION $100 NEW looking back at the 1986 movie
02 22 JUMP STREET $15.4 (cum. $139.8) Podcast
03 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $13.1 (cum. 121.8) best movie dragons ever
04 THINK LIKE A MAN TOO $10.4 (cum.$48.1) 
05 MALEFICENT $8.2 (cum. $201.8) Podcast
06 JERSEY BOYS $7.6 (cum. $27.3) Review
07 EDGE OF TOMORROW $5.2 (cum. $84.1) Capsule
08 FAULT IN OUR... $4.8 (cum. $109.5) Review
09 X-MEN: DOFP $3.3 (cum. $223.3) Review
10 CHEF $1.6 (cum. $19.4) 

[Personal story] My last encounter with the Transformers series was The Revenge of the Fallen, the only theatre experience that has ever left me feeling real, physical pain. So much so that I decided it was time to switch from glasses to contact lenses after witnessing that nauseating visual and aural monstrosity on screen. I vowed never to give Michael Bay another chance but later broke this vow for Pain & Gain, a film I mistakenly assumed would be a suitable bonding moment for me and my dad. Near the end of the film, my dad smacked his glass of water on the table and yelled: “Enough! Enough is enough! What is this nonsense young people watch these days? This isn’t cinema.” and stormed out of the room. And this coming from an ardent Jason Statham fan! Anyway, traumatic experience for everyone involved. [/Personal story]

On the limited end of things, the biggest name was Snowpiercer. With an outstanding per screen average, the Weinstein Radius property made it to the top 20 despite playing on only 8 screens. Opinions on the film range anywhere from “masterpiece!” to accusations of messy incoherence. If you’ve been lucky enough to have seen it already, do let us know where you stand in the comments. What else did you watch this weekend?

Sunday
Jun222014

Box Office: The Jersey Boys Fail to Entertain Audiences

Amir here with the weekend’s box office report. Every other article today is using the ‘boys versus men’ pun but not us. We will just stick to reporting. The Jersey Boys fell far behind Think Like a Man Too at the box office, barely edging out Maleficent for the fourth spot. Nathaniel described the Clint Eastwood musical as a film “low on entertainment value and low on colour” and audiences seem to agree with him. Since Eastwood kissed Western goodbye with Unforgiven, he’s tackled a lot of genres and themes to varying degrees of success, but a Jersey Boys musical surely felt like an adventure too far before it was even made.  

"Man" opened big. The "Boys" did not.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 THINK LIKE A MAN TOO $30 NEW 
02 22 JUMP STREET $29 (cum. $111.4)
03 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $25.3 (cum. 95.1)
04 JERSEY BOYS $13.5 NEW Review
05 MALEFICENT $13 (cum. $185.9) Podcast

Edge is surprisingly good. But due to its huge budget it's a bomb.06 EDGE OF TOMORROW $10.3 (cum. $74.5) Capsule
07 FAULT IN OUR... $8.6 (cum. $98.7) Review
08 X-MEN: DOFP $6.2 (cum. $216.7) Review
09 CHEF $1.8 (cum. $16.9) 
10 GODZILLA $1.8 (cum. $194.9) Review & Podcast
11 A MILLION WAYS... $1.6 (cum. $40.3) Guest Review
12 NEIGHBORS $1.3 (cum. $145.7)  Review & Podcast

Below Think Like a Man Too, Kevin Hart’s second great success this year after Ride Along, 22 Jump Street beat How To Train Your Dragon 2, something I emphatically predicted would not happen. Still, I maintain that in the long run, Dragon is going to come out on top. On the limited end of things, the biggest name opening is Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur, a kinky, mildly entertaining trifle that is one of the director’s more forgettable efforts – I reviewed it here.

I continue to be nailed down to my sofa and completely enchanted by the World Cup, a far more interesting option than the new Eastwood (especially since I have little affection for his post-Unforgiven career). But I'll get around to Dragon, Jump Street and Obvious Child during the week. What did you watch this weekend?

Sunday
Jun152014

Box Office: Lord & Miller Slay the Dragon

Amir here with the weekend’s box office report. There was a huge surprise as How to Train Your Dragon 2, a critically acclaimed sequel to a massive box office success started at second place, a full $10m behind. Who’s the dragon slayer? Another critically acclaimed sequel to a massive box office success, 22 Jump Street. Still, despite the popularity of the first film and both Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, few imagined the animated family option would fall behind the raunchy comedy, but so it is. This is all the more impressive considering the screen count of Dragon was one of the highest ever.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 22 JUMP STREET $60 NEW
02 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $50 NEW
03 MALEFICENT $19 (cum. $163.5) Podcast
04 EDGE OF TOMORROW $16.1 (cum. $56.6) Capsule
05 THE FAULT IN OUR STARS $15.7 (cum. $81.7) Review

Still, despite the early receipts, I think the animated film will come out on top in the end, both because family films have better staying power and because competition in the next few weeks is non-existent. Of course, Lord & Miller, the filmmaking team behind the Jump Street franchise are no strangers to animation success. Earlier in the year, they opened The LEGO Movie to a $60m-plus opening as well; a double achievement that I believe is unique for any director in one calendar year. Correct me if I’m wrong on that count.

The top five list is rounded out with Maleficent, the unfortunately underselling Edge of Tomorrow and The Fault in Our Stars. Further down the list, The Rover, which played Cannes in May opened to respectable numbers on five screens – it had the second best per screen average of the weekend after Jump Street. (Glenn reviewed The Rover here.)

I haven’t yet seen any of the above films, because, Football people! Football! It’s the World Cup and the World Cup trumps all. What have you watched this weekend?