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Entries in box office (301)

Sunday
Sep042016

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?

Sunday
Aug282016

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? 

TOP TWENTY OF 1984
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 ...

Sunday
Aug212016

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 ...

Sunday
Aug142016

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.

TOP TEN

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??

Sunday
Aug072016

Box Office Special: When Films are Bigger Abroad...

What did you see this weekend?

Let's ignore Suicide Squad's big box office weekend (read Lynn's review here) as that story is overworked already given the months of hoopla on the internet and the expected fact of a very big weekend (that's what happens with much-hyped superhero films). Instead for the weekend box office column, let's talk about a situation that occurs each year in terms of different preferences in blockbusters around the globe. Those differences sometimes go a long way in explaining why some franchises never die (Hello, Ice Age) even long past their natural expiration dates. Though Finding Dory has easily topped the domestic charts in the US to become 2016's champ, it couldn't reach the global power of Captain America: Civil War (#1), Zootopia (#2) or The Jungle Book (#3) worldwide. Taste and success do vary across borders.

Stephen Chow's "The Mermaid" is the 7th biggest hit of 2016... but it did only $3 million in the US

After the jump let's look at the titles from 2016 with less than a third of their treasure chests coming from the US (currently the biggest film market though China will reportedly surpass us soon). What can we learn from this list?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug012016

Box Office Bourne Again

Off blog my weekend was rough so I didn't make it to the movies. But here's to hoping you did. Nostalgia for Matt Damon's return to the Bourne franchise was greeted with enthusiam by moviegoers and what suffered as a result was nostalgia for another return over at Star Trek Beyond which took a big tumble in its second weekend. Meanwhile yet another nostalgia play (it's all about revivals these days) Ghostbusters became yet another $100 million domestic hit for Melissa McCarthy (she has six of them now) though the problem with this one is that it cost far more than her other films to make.

In other box office news: Cafe Society is about to outgross Woody Allen's last feature (Irrational Man) and it's only been out for a week; The Legend of Tarzan is now the 11th most popular film of the year (but with its hefty price tag will it get a sequel?); and if you want to see Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic (which you really should because it's quite good) get to it in the next couple of days because it's per screen average didn't fare too well with this weekend's significant expansion so it's unlikely to stick around much longer; and we can maybe finally say goodbye to the Ice Age franchise on their fifth outing. Their international box office is what's been keeping the series afloat but the fifth film is significantly underperforming so cross your fingers if you're screaming "enough already" every time that once funny squirrel bounces across your movie theater screens chasing a nut in a trailer. 

TOP TWENTY
๐Ÿ”บ01 Jason Bourne $60 NEW Review 
โ–ซ๏ธ 02 Star Trek Beyond $24 (cum. $105.7) Review
๐Ÿ”บ03 Bad Moms $23.4 NEW
๐Ÿ”ป04 Secret Life of Pets $18.2 (cum. $296.1) 
๐Ÿ”บ05 Lights Out $10.8 (cum. $42.8) 
๐Ÿ”บ06 Ice Age Collison Course $10.5 (cum. $42.1)
๐Ÿ”ป07 Ghostbusters $9.8 (cum. $106.1) Review
๐Ÿ”บ08 Nerve $9 NEW 
๐Ÿ”ป09 Finding Dory $4.2 (cum. $469)  Review
๐Ÿ”ป10 Legend of Tarzan $2.4 (cum. $121.8) Review
๐Ÿ”ป11 Hillary's America $2.3 (cum. $8.6)
๐Ÿ”บ12 Cafe Society $2.2 ($3.9) LIMITED RELEASE Review
๐Ÿ”ป13 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $1.4 (cum. $43.9) Review
๐Ÿ”บ14 Captain Fantastic $1 (cum. $2.4) LIMITED RELEASE Review
๐Ÿ”ป15 Central Intelligence $910K (cum. $125.3)
๐Ÿ”ป16 The Infiltrator $817K (cum. $14.3)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ17 Absolutely Fabulous $800K (cum. $3.3) LIMITED RELEASE Review, Production Design
๐Ÿ”ป18 Purge: Election Year $703K (cum. $78.3)
๐Ÿ”ป19 BFG $416K ($52.1) Review
๐Ÿ”ป20 Hunt for the Wilderpeople $350K (cum. $2.9) LIMITED RELEASE Review 

What movies did you catch this past weekend?

Next weekend Suicide Squad opens and will surely dominate the conversation and may well feel like the end of summer movie season though there are a few weeks left of that. The really interesting contest is the following week when Florence Foster Jenkins battles both Pete's Dragon and those anthropomorphic R rated food items from Sausage Party.  Tough to say which film might survive that brawl.

Sunday
Jul172016

Box Office: Ghostbusters, Sultan, Cafรฉ Society

Though the new Ghostbusters couldn't defeat the very family friendly Secret Life of Pets to take the box office crown, it was still a win for Paul Feig & Melissa McCarthy company (their best opening yet, just beating their previous best for The Heat). Other winners this weekend: Sultan, the Bollywood sports drama starring Salman Khan, is now the #1 foreign language release of the year, jumping over the Chinese hits The Mermaid and Ip Man 3; Woody Allen's Café Society experienced more demand in its opening weekend than of his films since Blue Jasmine; and, finally, the provocative survivalist family drama Captain Fantastic led by a typically sterling Viggo Mortensen expanded fairly well. Next weekend will be key for Captain Fantastic with word of mouth; there's neither anything like it in the marketplace nor really anything to compare it to in ages (since maybe The Mosquito Coast in the Eighties?) but unfortunately that much originality in topic and purpose usually hurts movies at the box office in this era of intense branding.

TOP WIDE
800+ screens. arrows indicate gaining or losing screens
๐Ÿ”บ01 The Secret Life of Pets $50.5 (cum. $203.1) 
๐Ÿ”บ02 Ghostbusters $46 NEW Review 
๐Ÿ”ป03 The Legend of Tarzan $11.1 (cum. $103) Review 
๐Ÿ”ป04 Finding Dory $11 (cum. $445.5)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ05 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $7.5 (cum. $31.3) Review
๐Ÿ”ป06 The Purge: Election Year $6 (cum. $71)
๐Ÿ”ป07 Central Intelligence $5.3 (cum. $117.5)
๐Ÿ”บ08 The Infiltrator $5.2 (cum. $6.7) NEW Review
๐Ÿ”ป09 The BFG $3.7 (cum. $47.3) Review
๐Ÿ”ป10 Independence Day: Ressurection $3.4 (cum. $6.7) 

Sultan is now the #1 foreign hit of the yearTOP LIMITED
Excluding previously wide. 
๐Ÿ”ป01 Sultan $985K (cum. $5.2)
๐Ÿ”ป02 Hunt for the Wilderpeople $563K ($1.4) Review 
๐Ÿ”บ03
 Cafe Society $355K NEW Review

๐Ÿ”บ04 Captain Fantastic $277K (cum. $406K) Review
๐Ÿ”ป05
Swiss Army Man $262K (cum. $3.7) Halfway Mark Achievements


What movies did you catch this week?

Beyond Captain Fantastic and Ghostbusters, I Netflixed it bingeing Stranger Things (we'll talk about it soon) and finally finishing Grace and Frankie Season 2, and I apologize that I didn't have Estelle Parsons on my Guest Actress ballot for Comedy and that Emmy didn't nominate her either. This is why they need blue-ribbon panels; there are just too many eligible shows that voters aren't taking seriously that contain better specific performances than the shows they vote for reflexively in all categories as we saw all over the Emmy nominations.