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Entries in box office (262)


Bridge of Martian Spies with Crimson Goosebumps

Family movies continue to be a fairly safe bet for box office glory as Goosebumps took the top spot despite an extremely competitive weekend. Perhaps its secret was that it had no direct competition except for the month old animated picture and, vaguely if you're stretching, the new del Toro picture. People are calling Crimson Peak a flop but that's unduly harsh. With a budget of only $55 million he didn't overspend and, despite media's interest in him, and expectations always saying otherwise he's never been a mainstream director. His biggest hit Pacific Rim certainly didn't earn more than double the gross of any of his other pictures globally because it was awash in del Toro idiosyncracies. It was a straight up, giant robots fighting monsters movie and easy to mistake for Transformers vs Godzilla if you squinted.

Box Office charts and more on the new films after the jump...

Click to read more ...


"Pan" Sinks. "Steve Jobs" Sizzles.

It's your weekend box office report. Both The Martian and The Intern experienced small drops from their previous weekends, reminding everyone that Matt Damon and Anne Hathaway, who co-starred in Interstellar just last year, have always been fairly bankable. Their takes also indicate good word of mouth and leggy runs ahead in future weeks. The news was not good for Hugh Jackman and Pan however, perhaps reminding us that not every movie star can remain bankable when they're buried in silly makeup and made to look unlike themselves - not everyone can be Johnny Depp who people (for whatever reason) like to see buried in cartoonish makeup. Curiously Johnny Depp also once made a bad Peter Pan picture but that's another story...

800+ screens (Oct 9th-11th)
01 The Martian $37 (cum. $108.7) Podcast, Matt's foot-in-mouth tour
02 Hotel Transylvania 2 $20.3 (cum. $116.8) Tim on the director Genny Tartakovsky
03 Pan $15.5 NEW Peter Pan Movies
04 The Intern $8.6 (cum. $49.5) Review
05 Sicario $7.3 (cum. $26.7) PodcastEmily Blunt
06 Maze Runner: Scorch Trials $5.2 (cum. $70.6)
07 The Walk $3.6 (cum. $6.3) Review
08 Black Mass $3.1 (cum. $57.5)
09 Everest $3 (cum. $38.2)
10 The Visit $2.4 (cum. $61)

Jason reminds us, with sound reasoning, not to cry for Garrett Hedlund despite another massive flop (Pan) on his hands.

BOX OFFICE LIMITED (excluding prev. wide)
(Oct 9th-11th)
01 Ladrones (375 screens) $1.3 NEW 
02 He Named Me Malala (689 screens) $.6 (cum. $.7) 
03 99 Homes (689 screens) $.6 (cum. $.8)  The return of Andrew Garfield  Review
04 Steve Jobs (4 screens) $.5 NEW Review
05 Goodbye Mr Loser (51 screens) $.3 NEW  
06 Grandma (205 screens) $.2 (cum. $6.2)  Poster BlurbLily Tomlin's FilmographyReview 
07 Goodnight Mommy (86 screens) $.1 (cum. $.6)  InterviewOscar Submission
08 Freeheld (51 screens) $.1 (cum. $.1)
09 Learning to Drive (71 screens) $.06 (cum. $3.2)
10 Labyrinth of Lies (16 screens) $.05 (cum. $.09) Interview, Review, Beauty Break

Meanwhile in select cities, business was solid for the heavily promoted human rights documentary He Named Me Malala and crazy robust for the Oscar Best Picture hopeful Steve Jobs which racked up some of the highest per screen averages ever in extremely limited release. The Michael Fassbender led drama goes wide next week.

Sadly, there continued to be a lack of interest in Julianne Moore & Ellen Page's lesbian drama Freeheld. It's grossed a tiny $140,00ish to date, despite four very well liked actors (Michael Shannon & Steve Carell are in the supporting roles). In truth the buzz hasn't been good on it (apart from a few vocal supporters) but still... I feel the guilt about not having seen it yet. In my defense, I have been totally sick as previously documented, so what little leave the house energy I've had has gone to the NYFF.   

What did you see this weekend? Was it money well spent? 


Box Office: Hit Missions to Mars & Mexico

The Martian is attempting to beat Gravity's October record this weekend. The charts only reflect studio Estimates so we'll see tomorrow for sure. At any rate the all star space adventure (yes, there is much more than Matt Damon therein) is an immediate big hit. Can something this light and fun -- we'll talk about it on the podcast tonight but it doesn't exactly run deep -- make inroads to awards glory? 

In other box office news Sicario continues to perform well surviving its wide expansion with ease. Word of mouth should continue to bolster it because hotdamn it's intense. It's also quite a strange double feature with The Martian (though both are good times at the movies) since  Blunt feels like she's in consistently more danger than Damon even though she's wearing body armor and fully armed and people are rarely firing at her while he's stuck alone on an inhospitable planet without breathable air, lasting supplies, or food.

Finally Grandma, a movie we've been rooting for since January is starting to lose theaters after a totally respectable run. While it never quite crossed over (which is harder and harder to do these days with shorter theatrical windows - see also the similar grossing word of mouth gem I'll See You In My Dreams) it'll end its theatrical run with over $6 million theatrical which is plenty to keep it in play for Best Actress honors (people have been nominated with a lot less) if the campaign is strong and especially if The Globes are there for Lily in Musical or Comedy actress. Do you think they will be?

800+ screens (Oct 2nd-4th)
01 The Martian $55 NEW Matt's foot-in-mouth tour
02 Hotel Transylvania 2 $33 (cum. $90.5)  Tim on the director Genny Tartakovsky
03 Sicario $12 (cum. $15) Podcast, Emily Blunt
04 The Intern $11.6 (cum. $36.5) Review
05 Maze: Runner: The Scorch Trials $7.6 (cum. $63.2)
06 Black Mass $5.9 (cum. $52.5)
07 Everest $5.5 (cum. $33.1)
08 The Visit $3.9 (cum. $57.6)
09 War Room $2.8 (cum. $60.5)
10 The Perfect Guy $2.4 (cum. $52.6) Review

(Oct 2nd-4th)
01 The Walk (448 screens) $1.5 NEW (cum. $1.9) Review
02 Grandma (315 screens) $.4 (cum. $5.8) Poster Blurb, Lily Tomlin's Filmography, Review 
03 Sleeping with Other People (392 screens) $.2 (cum. $.6)  Review
04 Meet the Patels (78 screens) $.1 (cum. $.7) 
05 Talvar (51 screens) $.1 NEW
06 Goodnight Mommy (43 screens) $.4 InterviewOscar Submission
07 Learning To Drive (115 screens) $.1 (cum. $3.1)
08 99 Homes (19 screens) $.1 (cum. $.1) The return of Andrew Garfield
09 Southpaw (303 screens) Re-Release $.07 (cum. $52.2)
10 Un Gallo con Muchose Huevos (112 screens) $.07 (cum. $8.9)


I came down with a brutal cold after waiting in line in the cold for an hour for Steve Jobs (and being turned away roughly 15 people before making it inside) so it looks like I'll be emptying my DVR instead of moviegoing *sniffle* 


Box Office: Vampire Hospitality, Unique Internships, and Drug Wars

Though Hotel Transylvania 2 and the Anne Hathaway/Robert DeNiro pairing in The Intern surprised no one by taking the top two spots at the weekend box office, the big story was at the tail end of the top ten chart where Denis Villeneuve's possibly Oscar nomination bound cartel-drama Sicario landed despite still being in very limited release still, with less than 60 locations. That's what's called playing to sold out crowds. I split the charts below into limited and wide release though so Sicario takes the #1 spot on the limited half of the cinema equation. We just talked about that stunning drama on the podcast

There don't seem to be estimates on SPC's German Oscar contender Labyrinth of Lies which is a pity since we're curious.

800+ screens (Sept 25th-27th)
01 Hotel Transylvania 2 $48 NEW Tim on the director Genny Tartakovsky
02 The Intern $17 NEW 
03 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials $13.8 (cum. $51.4)
04 Everest $12.1 (cum. $22.1) 
05 Black Mass $11 (cum. $42)
06 The Visit $6.5 (cum. $52)
07 The Perfect Guy $4.6 (cum. $48.7)
08 War Room $4.2 (cum. $55.9)
09 The Green Inferno $3.5 NEW
10 A Walk in the Woods $1 (cum. $27.2)
11 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation $.9 (cum. $193.4)
12 Grandma $.8 (cum. $5.1) Review, Poster

Under 800 Screens - Excluding Previously Wide (Sept 25th-27th)
01 Sicario (59 screens) $1.7 (cum. $2.2) Podcast, Emily on a roll
02 Pawn Sacrifice (781 screens) $1 (cum. $1.3)  
03 Lost in Hong Kong (28 screens) $.5 NEW
04 Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (364 screens) $.2 (cum. $8.8) 
05 Meet the Patels (63 screens) $.2 (cum. $.4)
06 Unbranded (58 screens) $.1 NEW
07 Sleeping With Other People (102 screens) $.1 (cum. $.3) Review
08 Stonewall (129 screens) $.1 NEW InterviewReview, Podcast
09 Goodnight Mommy (28 screens) $.1 (cum. $.2) Interview, Oscar Submission
10 Phoenix (85 screens) $.08 (cum. $2.8) Interview
11 Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (10 screens) $.04 (cum. $.2)
12 The New Girlfriend (45 screens) $.04 (cum. $.09) Review

Sicario's success excepted, it was a bloodbath at the arthouse. Stonewall met vitriolic reviews (my "D" grade review is somehow comparatively nice!) and a disastrous less than $1000 per screen average despite a fairly well publicized opening weekend. In other weak openings, 99 Holmes, the housing crisis drama with Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield debuted on only 2 screens and Mississippi Grind, a pool shark drama with Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds, on only one (what the hell, movies !?) and with those extremely nervous toes in movie theater waters, neither made even the top 12 at the arthouse despite well liked indie directors pairing famous stars with reliable well loved character actors to the tune of positive reviews.

Finally, we neglected to mention the opening of the French trans drama The New Girlfriend (starring Romain Duris, left) last week and though the François Ozon drama hasn't made much of a stir at the arthouse (an entire year's wait for a release after its festival debut can't have helped) but it adds to 2015's strong impression that the floodgates are now open for the T to be amply represented in LGBT cinema.

What did you see this weekend?


Box Office: Johnny Depp gets Scorched

Tim here with the weekend box office estimates. After an exciting nailbiter last weekend, things got a lot more sedate. Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials took the #1 slot without too much effort, continuing the dominance of YA adaptations about attractive 20something teenagers fighting their way through a post-apocalyptic wilderness. Let's not crack open a bottle of champagne for all those Chosen Ones just yet, though; The Scorch Trials came up just short of the first Maze Runner's debut weekend last September, suggesting that if the franchise isn't necessarily on death's door, it seems to have already hit its theoretical peak.

01 Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials $30.3 new
02 Black Mass $23.4 new
03 The Visit $11.4 (cum. $42.3)
04 The Perfect Guy $9.6 (cum. $41.4) Tim's Review
05 Everest $7.6 new
06 War Room $6.3 (cum. $49.1)
07 A Walk in the Woods $2.7 (cum. $24.8) Reviewed at Sundance
08 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation $2.3 (cum. $191.7) Tim's Review
09 Straight Outta Compton $2.0 (cum. $158.9) Podcast
10 Captive $1.4 new

The weekend's other major wide release, Black Mass, opened to a satisfactory number for what it is - a crime drama for adults, which means it's likely to hold on much longer than Scorch Trials - but it's not quite the triumphant return for Johnny Depp that some of us were quietly hoping for. Compared to his last couple of mega-bombs, it's already an unqualified success: by the end of Sunday, it will have already grossed more than three times as much as the notorious Mortdecai from last winter, and its opening weekend is about as much as the entire lifetime domestic gross of Transcendence. Still, aspiring thinkpiece writers can put away their "Depp is a major movie star again!" ledes for right now.

The most impressive performance in the top ten probably belongs to Everest: the star-packed thriller had a smallish platform opening, mostly limited to IMAX and other large format screens, that propelled it up to an impressive $13,872 per-screen average, by far the biggest of any film in the top ten. But even that pales next to the film that I suspect most of the Film Experience faithful want to hear about: Denis Villaneuve's Sicario, starring Emily Blunt, opened to $390,000 on 6 screens. If that doesn't sound like much, try this on for size: the film's $65,000 per-screen average is the highest of any 2015 release so far. Let's keep out fingers crossed that this means great things for the film as it starts to expand over the next two weeks.

How did you spend your moviegoing weekend?


Box Office: A perfect guy comes for a visit

Tim here with your box office report for this quiet autumn weekend. Or not. In fact, coming on the heels of a fairly slow August and and absolutely soporific Labor Day, this weekend was kind of unbelievably big, with both of the week's major releases managing to overperform quite a bit beyond all but the very rosiest of expectations. It was a photo finish to see who ended up in the #1 slot

01 The Perfect Guy $26.7 new
02 The Visit $25.7 new
03 War Room $7.4 (cum. $39.2)
04 A Walk in the Woods $4.6 (cum. $19.9) Reviewed at Sundance
05 Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation $4.2 (cum. $188.2) Tim's Review
06 Straight Outta Compton $4.1 (cum. $155.7) Podcast
07 No Escape $2.9 (cum. $24.2)
08 The Transporter Refueled $2.7 (cum. $13.3)
09 90 Minutes in Heaven $2.2 new
10 Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos $1.9 (cum. $6.7)

That's quite an achievement for both of the top openers. The Perfect Guy becomes the third film with African-American leads in a row, over five consecutive weeks, to take the #1 spot. Before we get too excited about the nascent sea change in American pop culture, it should be pointed out that next week, all of those films are going to be beaten by, among other releases, a movie in which Johnny Depp plays a character with the actual name "Whitey". Still, it's a stark reminder that there's a big audience for movies where the cast isn't all full of Nordic gods, and maybe that audience would even be around anytime that's not the hinterlands of early September.

The other release, The Visit, meanwhile finds famous and infamous thriller-maker M. Night Shyamalan being handed the keys to maybe, perhaps, let himself out of director jail. The film received less than luminous reviews, but they still look  rosy and loving compared to his recent spate of much-despised misfires: 56 on Metacritic, and 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, Shyamalan's first Fresh movie since 2002's Signs. Moreover, produced on a shoestring, apparently with much of the director's own money, The Visit has already turned a profit. No, it's not The Sixth Sense, but it's a definite upswing in Shyamalan's fortunes any way you look at it.

For myself, I've seen neither of them, though I did finally catch up with Straight Outta Compton this weekend. Since I'm boring, let me kick it over to the audience: What did you watch this weekend?


Biggest Foreign and Documentary Hits of the Year (Thus Far)

Since Labor Day Weekend is historically a lame box office weekend, it affords us a fine opportunity to look back at the year thus far rather than wait for box office results. Especially in terms of films that aren't usually spoken of in terms of box office. So let's look at two sets of baker's dozens: 2015'S FOREIGN LANGUAGE and DOCUMENTARY HITS.

*second* biggest-hits in Foreign & Documentary: "Baahubali: The Beginning" and "Amy"

How many have you seen?

Top Dozen of 2015 thus far
01 Bajrangi Bhaijaan (India) $8+
02 Baahubali: The Beginning (India) $6+ 
03 A La Mala (Mexico) $3+
04 Wild Tales (Argentina) $3+ Review
05 Dil Dhadakne Do (India)  $3+ 
06 Tanu Weds Manu Returns (India) $3+
07 Clouds of Sils Maria* (France)  $1+ Various Sils Maria Articles
08 Piku (India)  $1+
09 Assassination (South Korea) $1+
10 Phoenix (Germany) $1+ Nina Hoss Interview
11 i (India)  $1+
12 Timbuktu (Mauritania) $1+ Review, César Winners
13 Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (Israel) $.9+ Review, Second Opinion

As we always see in the foreign charts in the past decade or so, Bollywood films continue to be solid imported hits without the benefit of any media attention whatsoever. That's what comes when you have distribution companies that cater to niche audiences and understand/market directly to them. This is surely what China Lion is attempting of late though they have yet to find as much regular support for Chinese language films. Aside from the Hindi language films, the top of the charts also painfully remind us that subtitled films have far teensier grosses even when they get breakout media attention than they once had. Wild Tales for example surely would have been at least a $13 million rather than a $3 million hit a decade ago. The chart also shows us that Oscar nominations help (see #4 and #12) but aren't necessary (see #10 and #13). 2015 hasn't yet had a breakout Oscar-headed hit like Ida from Poland last year (Phoenix was passed over for Oscar submission last year by Germany so it's been on its own without awards-buzz to find its audience. Happily, it's done just that). Sadly Sweden's sublime Oscar entry for this year A Pigeon Sat on a Branch... earned only $200,000 at the US box office. Maybe Labyrinth of Lies, Germany's submission, which opens September 25th can fill that semi-annual slot of foreign hit that doesn't wait for its Oscar fate to make a stir. 

* I'm fudging to include Clouds of Sils Maria I know. It's surely ineligible for France's Oscar submission as its more than 50% English. If you remove it from the list, the film that enters at the lowest rung is The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared from Swedish director Felix Herngren. It earned nearly a million at the US box office but was a huge hit internationally with an additional $50 million!

Top Ten of 2015 Thus Far
01 Monkey Kingdom $16+ 
02 Amy $8+ Review
03 The Salt of the Earth $1+ Documentary Nominees Conversation
04 Iris $1+
05 The Wolfpack $1+ Review
06 Dior & I $1+
07 Meru $.8+ 
08 Red Army $.6+
09 Best of Enemies $.6+ Review
10 Cartel Land $.6+
11 Seymour: An Introduction $.6+ Review
12 Deli Man $.5+
13 The Hunting Ground $.4+


The list includes only one of last year's Oscar nominees The Salt of the Earth since most of them played in their correct calendar year. The big story beyond Disney's nature epic and the Amy Winehouse hit, is the success of Sundance Award Winners since The Wolfpack, Cartel Land and Meru were all hits in release. The late Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) final full documentary feature Iris about eccentric fashion icon Iris Apfel was also well-received.

From this list we really expected Red Army to break out a little further as the Russian Olympic hockey documentary was quite entertaining and benefitted from a highly accessible international-interest storyline. If they hadn't waited for their Oscar nomination -- which they didn't get -- they might have fared better. 

Here's a crazy colorful musical number from the year's #1 foreign language hit Bajrangi Bhaijaan starring Salman Khan called "Selfie Le Le Re"

When was the last time you saw a Bollywood film in theaters? Do you seek out the buzz titles from these categories?

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