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Entries in box office (227)

Sunday
May032015

Avengers Assemble... Your Loot! 

As expected Marvel's latest evil plot for world domination was a significant success at the box office. The US opening took in an estimated $187.6 but that's just the beginning of its gross and in addition to what it's already earned overseas ($340 million). Even though its launch wasn't as successful as its predecessor, it should still end the year comfortably with crazy big grosses. How high can it fly? Expect a big drop-off domestically next weekend since audiences and critics seem grumpier this time. I personally don't think that's so much about the movie itself as it is about the increasing ubiquity of its genre. It will be harder and harder for these films to wow people as their ranks have grown so swiftly. The special becomes the standard and so forth. 

In 'it's about time' news, Furious 7 had a big percentage drop and lost 500 theaters. In far more curious news Cinderella one of the year's leggiest hits somehow rebounded (second run houses?) to return to the top ten despite losing more theaters. 

WIDE RELEASE
01 Avengers: Age of Ultron $187.6 NEW Review & Marathon
02 Age of Adaline $6.2 (cum. $23.4)  Trailer discussion
03 Furious 7 $6.1 (cum. $330.5) Review
04 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $5.5 (cum. $51.1)
05 Home $3.3 (cum. $158.1) the rise and fall of Dreamworks
06 Cinderella $2.3 (cum. $193.6) Review
07 Ex-Machina $2.2 (cum. $10.8) Review
08 Unfriended $1.9 (cum. $28.5) 
09 The Longest Ride $1.7 (cum. $33.2)
10 Woman in Gold $1.6 (cum. $24.5) 

Limited releases were fairly quiet this week though Far From the Madding Crowd opened with $172,000 at 10 locations and Clouds of Sils Maria got a nice expansion and should soon cross the million dollar mark.

What did you see this weekend?

Sunday
Apr262015

Box Office: Muscle Cars, Curvy Androids, and Eternal Youth

Oscar Isaac Dance Off to celebrate EX-MACHINA's wide release. Who'll join us?The concept of characters that don't age insures of at least one thing: they don't usually get to have sequels without looking ridiculous. Adaline may never age but her actressy vessell Blake Lively will. Still Blake had a good opening for what looked like a ridiculous movie so kudos to her! In other box office news, Furious 7 continued to the success story of the film year having already cracked a billion worldwide and bound to be more succesful domestically than anything released last year since it will soon surpass Katniss and that Sniper.

The happiest news for cinephiles is the success of A24's thinky sexy sci-fi oddity Ex Machina as it went into wide release with a per screen average as good as most of its competition. Russell Crowe's directorial debut (he also stars) The Water Diviner kicked off its US run without much fanfare but still managed over a million in limited release.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Furious 7 $18.2 (cum. $320.5) Review
02 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $15.5 (cum. $43.9)
03 Age of Adaline $13.3 NEW Trailer discussion
04 Home $8.3 (cum. $153.7) the rise and fall of Dreamworks
05 Unfriended $6.2 (cum. $25.1) 
06 Ex-Machina $5.4 (cum. $6.9) Review

Russell Crowe seems pretty proud of himself.

LIMITED RELEASE - EXCLUDING MOVIES THAT WERE ONCE WIDE
01 The Water Diviner (AUS) 320 Theaters $1.2 NEW 
02 Brotherly Love (US) 200 Theaters  $.2 NEW
03 Clouds of Sils Maria (France) 71 Theaters $.2 (cum. $.5) Articles
04 Child 44 (UK) 510 Theaters $.1 (cum. $1)
05 Wild Tales (Argentina) 58 Theaters $.1 (cum. $2.5) Review
06 The Salt of the Earth (France/Brazil/Italy) 47 Theaters $.09 (cum. $.5) Conversation
07 What We Do in the Shadows (NZ) 18 theaters $.07 (cum. $3.2) Review
08 Kung Fu Killer (Hong Kong) 28 Theaters $.06 NEW
09 Adult Beginners (US) 10 Theaters $.04 NEW 
10 Seymour: An Introduction (US) 378 Theaters $.03 (cum. $.5) Review

What did you see this weekend?
Any of these 16 movies listed or did you watch movies at home?

Sunday
Apr122015

Box Office Machina Sparks

Scott Eastwood (Son O' Clint) headlines the new Nicholas SparksFurious 7 and Home dominated the charts just like last week and Cinderella logged its fifth consecutive week in the top five -- she's got legs, that girl with in the glass slippers.

The only new wide release The Longest Ride, came in third. It's on the lower end of the nevertheless very consistent scale of Nicholas Spark adaptations. They've never opened below $10 million but average out around $17 million for a first weekend. The Notebook (2004) remains the most successful overall though it also opened in the lower end of the range. So only time will tell how popular the latest one is.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Furious 7 $60.5 new (cum. $252.5) Review
02 Home $19 (cum. $129.5)
03 The Longest Ride $13.5 NEW 
04 Get Hard $8.6 (cum. $71.2)
05 Cinderella $7.2 (cum. $180.7) Review

The point is that Nicholas Sparks is as much of a brand as, say, Marvel movies or Bond pictures. The plots and actors may vary from film to film but you mostly know what you're going to get.

This snarky dismissal made me giggle: 

 

No, I WON'T be seeing the new Nicholas Sparks movie! I expect to see a man hold a lady's face, not simply adjust her hat

A photo posted by Stephen Merchant (@stephenmerchant) on Apr 11, 2015 at 6:40am PDT

 

No, I WON'T be seeing the new Nicholas Sparks movie! I expect to see a man hold a lady's face, not simply adjust her hat

Meanwhile in limited release While We're Young continues to perform for Noah Baumbach despite its initial mixed response with criticss, and Ex Machina, Alex Garland's directorial debut was the biggest movie in limited release with a quarter million despite only 4 screens. The other strongest "per screen average" belonged to the Juliette Binoche/Kristen Stewart duet Clouds of Sils Maria which we'll talk about real soon.

What did you see this weekend?

 

Sunday
Apr052015

Furious #7, Cinderella #1

As expected the big loud noisy high speed franchise on wheels Furious 7 broke April box office records and earned the biggest opening weekend of 2015... until Age of Ultron arrives.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Furious 7 $143.6 new Review
02 Home $27.4 (cum. $95.6)
03 Get Hard $12.9 (cum. $57) 
04 Cinderella $10.2 (cum. $167.2) Review
05 Divergent: Insurgent $10 (cum. $103.3)
06 It Follows $2.4 (cum. $8.5) Review
07 Woman in Gold $2.1 new
08 Kingsman: Secret Service $1.7 (cum. $122.2) Review
09 Do You Believe $1.5 (cum. $9.8)
10 Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $1 (cum. $30)

The other story is leggy Cinderella. The lux live action adaptation -- which has spurred on much future live-action remake planning from Disney animation (see that bizarre Winnie the Pooh news and next year's possibly even bigger Beauty & The Beast film) has just become the #1 biggest grosser of 2015. Not that the glass slippered princess will wear that particular tiara for more than a day or two at the rate the Fast & Furious company is collecting coin. 

What did you see this weekend?

Sunday
Mar292015

Box Office: Get Hard at Home While We're Young

Another weekend, more millions in Hollywood coffers for by-most-accounts weak films. The three biggest hits this weekend were all poorly reviewed.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Home $54 NEW
02 Get Hard $34.6 NEW  
03 Divergent: Insurgent $22 (cum. $86.3) 
04 Cinderella $17.5 (cum. $150)  Review
05 It Follows $4 (cum. $4.7)  Review

Yup, the big stories were Home wildly overperforming (we all thought it might flop given Dreamworks history, just documented in Tim's fascinating two-part retrospective) and Get Hard doing well and reinforcing that mainstream audiences love Kevin Hart... and rape jokes. Always the rape jokes.

PLATFORM RELEASE
01 Wild Tales (Argentina) 116 Theaters  $.2 (cum. $1.5) Review
02 What We Do In the Shadows (New Zealand) 146 Theaters $.2 (cum. $2.1) Review
03 While We're Young (US) 4 Theaters $.2 NEW Review
04 Danny Collins (US) 29 Theaters $.2 (cum. $.3)
05 '71 (UK) 121 Theaters $.1 (cum. $.9) Review

Wild Tales held its theaters but the big story was Noah Baumbach's seventh feature While We're Young, charting a surely-soon-to-be-broken 'best indie debut this year' with a $60,000 per screen average. Meanwhile the long and frankly mystifying journey of Serena, starring two or our most bankable actors Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence and based on a bestselling novel no less, ended with a whimper. The movie finally ended up in theaters, albeit only 60 of them and grossed just over $100,000 in its first week. Meanwhile Hungary's wildly acclaimed and Oscar submitted allegorical thriller about rampaging dogs named White God (read Jose's interview with the director) stuck its toe into two US theaters for $16,000. 

What did you see this weekend? Did any of you see Serena? Was it from morbid curiousity. If you haven't will you please take our advice and seek out Wild Tales or '71?

Sunday
Mar222015

Not Much Divergence In These Box Office Grosses

The Divergent Series: Insurgent (argh. that title) mirrored its predecessor with roughly the exact same opening weekend take. So it kept its audience but didn't grow, which might not bode well for a long life or the blind greed now-common decision to split its final movie into two parts. The reviews are worse this time. Nevertheless it's the 4th big hit for divisive Shailene Woodley out of only 6 movies so we're stuck with her for a long time to come. The other interesting mirroring going on is with Cinderella. While it hasn't been posting numbers quite as big as its Disney live-action predecessor Maleficent day-by-day, it's been close surprisingly close despite no Jolie-sized starpower. In other words, it's going to be far more profitable; despite looking more beautiful and lux it costs HALF AS MUCH to make.

KISS HIM! 

WIDE RELEASE
01 Divergent: Insurgent $54 NEW
02 Cinderella $34.4 (cum. $122)  Review
03 Run All Night $5.1 (cum. $19.7) Review
04 The Gunman $5 NEW 
05 Kingsman: Secret Service $4.6 (cum. $114.5) Review
06 Do You Believe $4 NEW
07 Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $3.4 (cum. $24.1)
08 Focus $3.3 (cum. $49.4)
09 Chappie $2.6 (cum. $?) Review
10 SpongeBob Movie $2.3 (cum. $158.7)

PLATFORM RELEASE
01 It Follows (US) 32 Theaters $.3 (cum. $.5) Review
02 What We Do In the Shadows (New Zealand) 134 Theaters  $.3 (cum. $1.8) Review
03 Wild Tales (Argentina) 81 Theaters $.2 (cum. $1.1) Review
04 '71 (UK) 116 Theaters $.2 (cum. $.6) Review
05 A La Mala (Mexico) 123 Theaters $.1 (cum. $3.4)
06 Mr Turner (UK) 79 Theaters $.08 (cum. $3.8) Review & Interview
07 Love & Lost (China) 24 theaters $.08 NEW
08 Red Army (84 Theaters) $.07 (cum. $.5)
09 Danny Collins (US) 5 Theaters $.07 NEW 
10 Deli Man (US) 38 Theaters $.07 (cum. $.3)  

'71 looks good to hit 1 million IF it can keep its theaters for another couple of weeks (which is a big question mark since its per screen average isn't super strong). Critically raved horror film It Follows and Oscar nominated comedy Wild Tales continue to do strong business while slightly expanding. The latter just passed Leviathan's gross domestically which puts it behind only Ida from its competitive pool in the US market. That said Wild Tales is by far the most popular of last year's foreign nominees, having already grossed $25 million globally. Al Pacino's star has seen more bankable days. Did The Humbling ever even open after its Oscar qualifying release in December? And now Danny Collins made under $100,000 in its tentative 5 theater launch.

What did you see this weekend?

Sunday
Mar152015

Box Office: Wild Tales of CG Mice and Mike Leigh's Success

For today's box office charts, since there isn't much news beyond Cinderella's expected but terrific opening, here's two charts. 1) The unavoidable movies and 2) the movies you have to seek out. The quality differential is damn frightening. Every single one of the platform toppers are really good! If only audiences could have better taste... sigh... but it's not all their fault. The studios have trained moviegoers to not seek quality since quality is harder to sell and easy marketing hooks are a far more fail safe option with which to run a business since quality (a tough job) is neither here nor there. And once people stopped seeking quality, it got harder and harder to find even if you were seeking. The story of the dwindling of the American arthouse. Well, that and the fast turn-around to DVD and On Demand.

Erica Rivas in WILD TALES. Her wedding doesn't go as well as CINDERELLA's.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Cinderella $70 NEW Review
02 Run All Night $11 NEW
03 Kingsman: The Secret Service $6.2 (cum. $107.3) Review
04 Focus $5.8 (cum. $44)
05 Chappie $5.8 (cum. $23) Review

PLATFORM RELEASE
01 Wild Tales (68 Theaters) $.2 (cum. $.8) Review
02 '71 (65 Theaters) $.2 (cum. $.3) Review
03 It Follows (4 Theaters) $.1 NEW Review
04 Mr Turner (89 Theaters) $.1 (cum. $3.7) Review & Interview
05 Red Army (58 Theaters) $.07 (cum. $.4)  

Oscar nominated Dick Pope and Mike Leigh on the set of Mr TurnerIt Follows, the latest buzzy horror had the week's best per screen average. More artistically leaning horror films have been on a real roll lately creatively but the public interest hasnt yet been piqued so they haven't peeked. Mr Turner is closing out its run soon but it did well... Mike Leigh movies tend to gross right below that region in the US. The ones that Oscar likes do best which probably isn't a surprise:  Secrets and Lies (5 nominations, all in top 8 categories) grossed roughly quadruple what his films usually gross; Topsy-Turvy (4 nominations... mostly in craft categories and his only film to win Oscars, 2 of them) is his second most popular; Vera Drake (3 Oscar nominations, all in top 8 categories) and Mr Turner (4 Oscar nominations, all in craft categories) grossed slightly more than his usual releases. This explains why SPC is so obsessed with releasing them in December but it's a pity because some of them without obvious Oscar hooks need more time to build. Another Year, I maintain, would have been far more successful if released in the fall because it's quiet and contemporary and its power sneaks up on you. 

TFE Recommends: Do yourself a huge favor (if you haven't yet) and take a group of friends to see Argentina's Oscar nominee Wild Tales. It's so funny and comedies are always best with a group. Super accessibly entertaining too as long as your friends know how to read or can speak Spanish. I'm dying to hear which is your favorite from the six short films within the film. I'm partial to "The strongest" (#3) and "Until death do us part" (#6) but they're all good.

What did you see this weekend? If you saw Cinderella chat about that here. I liked it but I really wanted Lucifer to eat those damn CG mice. 

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