NOW PLAYING

opens friday

in theaters


new on DVD/BluRay


review index

HOT TOPICS



CLASSIC OF THE MOMENT

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

 

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
Comment Fun

COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
CHAOS REIGNS!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SURREAL ANIMAL MOMENTS IN MOVIES?

"The cow on the roof of the house in O Brother Where Art Thou-tombeet

"There is a snake in The Thin Red Line that is both surreal and real. It just suddenly appears on screen, this angry, probably poisonous snake during a battle and jolts you out of the fear of bullets into a fear of nature..........then it's back to bullets." -henry

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 (177)

Sunday
Jun012014

Box Office: Jolie's Star Continues to Shine

Amir with the weekend’s box office report. One of the things that has always fascinated me about Angelina Jolie is how she ranks among the greatest film stars in the world – possibly the biggest female star of this century? – without having ever been in a great film. Her off-screen life makes it really hard not to love her, but on screen, she’s mostly been better than her films, none of which are memorable in any way. Maleficent won’t change that at all, but it has become her biggest debut by a wide margin. Make of that what you will, but it is clear that four years away from the silver screen hasn’t taken the shine off . Will this financial success lend a hand to Unbroken in its chase for Oscars? My guess is that the answer is a yes.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 MALEFICENT $70 *new* 
02 X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST $32.6 (cum. $162) Review
03 A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST $17 *new* 
04 GODZILLA $12.2 (cum. $174.6) Review & Podcast
05 BLENDED $8.4 (cum. $29.6)
06 NEIGHBORS $7.7 (cum. $128.6) Review & Podcast
07 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $3.7 (cum. $192.7)
08 MILLION DOLLAR ARM $3.7 (cum. $28)
09 CHEF $2 new (cum. $6.9)
10 THE OTHER WOMAN $1.4 (cum. $81.1)  

The weekend’s other big opening also had an Oscar connection with the pairing of former host Seth MacFarlane and former winner Charlize Theron at its centre. A Million Ways to Die in the West seemed to be targeting MacFarlane’s demographic though, and it was hard to find anything appealing for the crowd that doesn’t find his brand of crude humour appealing. The promotional material did nothing to prove the opposite and the film crashed with a disappointing $17m at third place behind X-Men. I’m interested to see where he takes his career from here.

On the limited front, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves opened in select cities this weekend. Despite the presence of three recognizable faces, distributor Cinedigm Entertainment has decided against opening the film on more than two screens. It’s a baffling strategy to me, given that the genre elements of the film could have been emphasized in advertising leading to a much bigger opening than $24k but a slower rollout seems to be the plan. Critics are comparing this to Reichardt’s previous films and calling it her weakest. I seem to be in the minority on this one, but I resolutely believe this is the director’s most accomplished work. It made my top ten list of 2013 after I saw it at TIFF. Take my word - watch it!

What did you see this weekend?

Tuesday
May272014

Box Office Holiday: Mutants, Reunited Stars, and Immigrants

Amir here, with the long weekend’s box office actuals. All was well in America (and all other markets in the world) as audiences stormed to see X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film’s haul was impressive, even though it fell short of the series’ best (The Last Stand) despite the inflation of 3D tickets, but it’s safe to say fatigue hasn’t yet kicked in with this group of superheroes. In the process, X-Men knocked Godzilla off the top spot perch. Nathaniel quite liked the film, despite its limitations. I haven’t yet seen it, and with the news that Edgar Wright has been kicked off the director’s chair of Ant Man, have vowed never to see another superhero film, but that’s a gripe for another article.

X-Men: Weekend of Godzilla Past

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST $110.5 *new* Review
02 GODZILLA $38.4 (cum. $155.7) Review & Podcast
03 BLENDED $17.7 *new*
04 NEIGHBORS $17.1 (cum. $116.8) Review & Podcast
05 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $10 (cum. $187.1)

06 MILLION DOLLAR ARM $9.1 (cum. $22.7)
07 THE OTHER WOMAN $4.5 (cum. $78.6)  
08 RIO 2 $3.4 (cum. $122.5)
09 CHEF $2.9 new (cum. $4.2)
10 HEAVEN IS FOR REAL $2.7 (cum. $86.5)
11 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER $2.2 (cum. $254.1) Review
12 BELLE $2.1 (cum. $4.3) Review

The other big opening of the weekend was Blended, for which the $18m dollar sales is being branded a flop but this isn’t true when you stop to consider just how unappealing everything about this film is. The title sounds like a youtube compilation of mishaps to people who are making smoothies. The trailer sucked the life out of every single theatre I saw it in, and a lot has changed for the leading duo since they starred together in their hit 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer, most notably the fact that they weren’t has-beens then.

Marion Cotillard in The ImmigrantOn the limited side, the Sundance critical hit Cold in July was the most significant release, but without much advertising muscle or star power, it managed a modest $4k per screen average. James Gray’s The Immigrant pulled in similar averages but on a much larger scale as it expanded to 147 theatres. If you live in the vicinity of any of those 147 screens, you Must. Go. Now! It is one of the best of the year.

Nathaniel was on a viewing/reviewing spree this weekend with X-Men, The Normal Heart, Mad Men, and some 1941 pictures (vote!) but I didn’t watch a film. Instead I had the pleasure of talking to Godfrey Cheshire for a few hours! Amazing, right? It was a hoot!

How did you spend the weekend?  

Sunday
May182014

Box Office: Jon Hamm Swings & Misses (And, No, We're Not Talking About That Threesome On "Mad Men")

Amir is on holiday so I've reclaimed my number-sharing duty for tonight. It wasn't a fair fight but Godzilla squashed Jon Hamm (in his first big screen leading man gig) at the box office. Godzilla had the second biggest opening of the year.

01 GODZILLA $93.2 *new* Review
02 NEIGHBORS $25.9 (cum. $91.5) Review
03 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $16.8 (cum. $172.1) 
04 MILLION DOLLAR ARM $10.5 *new* 
05 THE OTHER WOMAN $6.3 (cum. 71.6)

In other box office news: Belle (reviewed) which is now in its third weekend added over 100 screens and is nearing a 2 million dollar gross... not bad at all considering its low profile;  Noah finally crawled past the $100 million mark as it heads out of theaters; Captain America: The Winter Soldier will topple The Lego Movie to become the year's top domestic grosser sometime next weekend; and the week's best per screen average outside of radioactive monsters was for Marion Cotillard as The Immigrant which is sadly only on 3 screens.

What did you see this weekend?

I only caught Godzilla in theaters and opted for my Jon Hamm fix via Mad Men (another fine episode that made me so angry they're splitting the season in half but more on that in the next episode of Mad Men at the Movies).

I also tried out Penny Dreadful's first two episodes and I am... intrigued but unconvinced. It's handsome enough to look at and some of the peripheral players are super vivid and amusing, particularly Billie Piper as a consumptive prostitute and Simon Russell Beale as an Egyptologist who is like what would happen if you made Harold Zidler gayer, fussier and yet more over the top.  Among the three headliners which include Josh Hartnett (nice to see him again actually) and Timothy Dalton, Eva Green is the clear standout. She understands stylization and is so autoerotic and self-sufficient a performer in every way that she doesn't even need her co-stars or surroundings to be any good - I think largely of how completely brilliant she was in the otherwise lacking Dark Shadows - and she gets the big title centerpiece of the second episode, a seance, all to herself. But I'm still not sure about the show. Individual scenes range from meh to marvelous (the best being an unexpectedly tender frankenstein creation sequence) but it feels like it's trying way too hard for self-mythology even though its borrowed most of its mythology and we can obviously meet it halfway. I got a Carnivale vibe (and I don't mean that as a compliment). I'll give it one or two more episode before I make the DVR or skip call. 

Sunday
May112014

Box Office: Neighbors Come Out On Top

Amir here, with the weekend's box office report. Three new films were released, all of which surprised with their numbers but in different directions. Neighbors, the Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy beat The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to first place, and while that isn't surprising in and of itself, the fact that it raked in $51m certainly is. I quite like Seth Rogen, at least compared to other dudebro-y comedians of the moment, and Rose Byrne is a treasure, but I couldn't find the enthusiasm to drive to their neighbourhood just yet. Maybe when the film is out DVD...

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return turned out to be a flop of catastrophic proportions, the likes of which I don't think I've ever seen. It managed a paltry 1.4k per screen average. Mom's Night Out is yet another "faith-based" film, this time dressed as a comedy - not that Heaven Is For Real and God's Not Dead aren't (unintentional) comedies, but I digress. Moms' Night Out didn't do as well the other recent religious stuff, but its mere existence surprises me. Surely its production isn't a reaction to the success of other faith-based films, but I wonder how studios emerged with this kind of material all at the exact same moment. Further research into this shall be done soon!

01 NEIGHBORS $51.0 *new* Review
02 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $37.2 (cum. $147.9) 
03 THE OTHER WOMAN $9.2 (cum. $61.7) 
04 HEAVEN IS FOR REAL $7 (cum. 75.2)
05 CAPTAIN AMERICA 2 $6.5 (cum. 244.9) Review  
06 RIO 2 $5.1 (cum. $113.1)  
07 MOMS' NIGHT OUT $4.2 *new*
08 LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN $3.7 new
09 DIVERGENT $1.7 (cum. $145) Review
10 BRICK MANSIONS $1.5 (cum. $18.3)

For the second week running, there was no arthouse title making waves though both Jon Favreau's Chef and Gia Coppola's Palo Alto performed respectably. I spent the weekend at home, catching up with some classics and enduring the pain of gouging my eyes out at the sight of We're The MillersWhat were you up to, dear readers? Did you take your mother to a movie?

Wednesday
May072014

Superlink

Rambling Film, riffing on our "best movie titles" post, does an alphabet of great movie titles
Inside Movies omg The Lovely Laura Linney is finally returning to screens in a promising vehicle. She's joining Bill Condon's upcoming Sherlock Holmes movie A Slight Trick of the Mind starring Sir Ian McKellen 
i09 Jaws with Godzilla trailer's audio. It's a pretty impressive mashup
Film Stage Adèle Exarchopoulus next film Insecure gets a poster 

Defamer in the race to make the movies more like tv series with big budgets (sie) Disney/Marvel is surely leading. In addition to dozens of new Marvel movies, they are planning multiple new Star Wars universe episodes - not just three.
Towleroad Andrew Garfield in drag. Stay tuned for a music video 
THR the Interstellar teaser poster debuted but honestly it's so boring I don't want to waste valuable visual space on the blog sharing it

Thinking About Bankability
Awards Daily thinks Maleficent will test Angelina Jolie's box office pull. Sasha's right in that people will perceive that it's to Angelina's credit if it's a smash but I think that's silly. As with most would be blockbusters I think people are overestimating the importance of the headliner. Everyone knows "Maleficent". You could put an unknown in it, save lots of money on production costs, and still have a box office winner. Maybe not as big (and certainly with less pre-release hype) but still... The only franchise that seems to believe you don't need a star is the Superman franchise (People don't really even like Superman Returns or Man of Steel but, fact, they both opened huge). Batman is a franchise that regularly uses stars. It's always wasting its money because Batman is huge no matter who is under the mask. For me the only test of box office clout is when the actor is selling something people are only seeing because it's them. So successes like Angelina's Salt or virtually every Leonardo DiCaprio film, or American Hustle last year are directly attributable to the actors in them. But most of these big budget big awareness movies? I don't think it's the case and I wonder sometimes why Hollywood does. 

Subtracting some zeroes now...

Movie City News David Poland weighs in on the frustrating argument over the dwindling returns for subtitled movies in the US marketplace. Glad he addressed that because I hated the IndieWire piece. 

Today's Must Read
Matt Zoller Seitz is always a great read but this week he says what I'm sure so many of us are feeling about the superhero movie genre in this beautifully titled piece "Things Crashing Into Other Things: Or, My Superhero Movie Problem"

Sunday
May042014

The Amazing Samey-Man, A Redundant Box Office Chart

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. For the past ten days, I have been drowning in a stack of Hot Docs screeners, missed deadlines and research for [shameless self-promotion!] the next episode of my podcast. As I recover from all of that, it is reassuring, in a perverse way, to look at the box office top ten and realize that all is the same in the world. Order is restored. The audiences are happy. A fucking superhero film has won the day.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out on top with a figure that is being labelled “disappointing” around the web despite being higher than the GDP of nine small countries combined. Sure, that number is lower than the earnings of previous Spidey outings, but none of the preceding films suffered from an Electro that looks like an early draft version of a bad 80s sci-fi villain, or a Harry Osborn that looks like an early draft version of a bad 90s Leo DiCaprio. All this despite tens of millions of dollars spent on the CGI budget...

LOLZ

THE TOP TEN
01 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $92 *NEW* 
02 THE OTHER WOMAN  $14.2 (cum. $47.3)
03 HEAVEN IS FOR REAL $8.7 (cum. $65.6) 
04 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER $7.7 (cum. $237.1) Review
05 RIO 2 $7.6 (cum. $106.4) 
06 BRICK MANSIONS $3.5 (cum. $15.4)
07 DIVERGENT $2.1 (cum. $142.6)  Review
08 THE QUIET ONES $2 (cum. $6.7)
09 GOD'S NOT DEAD $1.7 (cum. $55.5)
10 THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL $1.7 (cum. $51.5)

The rest of the top ten looks mostly similar to previous weeks. The Other Woman, a film led by three women that miraculously manages to fail the Bechdel test, is in second place, while Heaven Is For Real and God’s Not Dead continue to surpass all expectations as they hold on to the third and ninth positions, respectively.

On the limited end of things, Walk of Shame proved to be an aptly portentous title for the film's red carpet premiere, as it limped to a $745 per screen average on its opening weekend, but two smaller films did solid business. Belle, a historical drama about the true story of an illegitimate mixed-race child to a navy admiral received respectable reviews, while the Polish film Ida, Pawel Pawlikowski’s black and white, WWII drama has become one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. I saw this one at TIFF last year, and its meticulous, chilly design gained my admiration more than love, but I’d happily give it another shot.

What have you watched this weekend?

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 30 Next 6 Entries »