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Entries in box office (175)

Sunday
Mar162014

Box Office: Smart Dogs, Ab'ed Warriors, and Speed Racers

Because animated films have good legs at the box office, Mr Peabody continued to walk up right and traded places with the muscle-bound warriors of the 300 sequel for first place.  

BOX OFFICE
01 MR PEABODY & SHERMAN $21.2 (cum. $63.1) Tim's thoughts
02 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE $19.1 (cum. $78.3)
03 NEED FOR SPEED $17.8 *NEW*
04 NON-STOP  $10.6 (cum. $68.8) Amir's Review 
05 TYLER PERRY'S SINGLE MOM'S CLUB $8.3 *new* 
06 THE LEGO MOVIE $7.7 (cum. $236.9) Nathaniel's Review
07 SON OF GOD $5.4 (cum. $50.8)
08 THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL $3.6 (cum. $4.7)
09 FROZEN $2.1 (cum. $396.3) Review | Let it Go | Jonathan Groff Interview
10 VERONICA MARS $2.0 *NEW* 

The LEGO Movie is way way out front for biggest hit of 2014 thus far but I have to admit that I'm surprised that Frozen which is now 2013's third biggest hit, far exceeding anyone's expectations, is folding up and moving out of theaters for DVD already. If they had kept milking it a bit, it probably could have passed Iron Man 3's gross. You can only make that theatrical money once, really (unless they invent 4D and retrofit) But I guess they're eager for the DVD/BluRay cash. Most of the Best Picture nominees are still in theaters but like Frozen are on DVD very very soon. They're now losing a ton of screens but you can see their final totals here (Nebraska and Her ended the season as the lowest grossers and Gravity and American Hustle as the bonafide sensations).

The big story of the weekend is surely Wes Anderson's success. The Grand Budapest Hotel was welcoming aton of new guests with the week's best per screen average. It vaulted into the top ten despite showing on roughly 3,000 less screens than the other movies. The smaller story is that Denis Villeneuve's mind trip Enemy (reviewed) starring Jake Gyllenhaal² only opened on one screen? One screen? What were they thinking? It's so hard to get attention when you're only on one screen

What did you see this weekend, my people? I hope you were watching Eternal Sunshine and are joining us for Tuesday night's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"?

 I'll admit that I fell into a weird Netflix hole of Scandal Season 2 because I could barely get out of bed. I guess my body finally collapsed from Oscar season adrenaline withdrawal? (I'll be fine tomorrow I hope). I don't respect Scandal exactly but now I see why people tune in each week. I had tuned in for a few Season 1 episodes and thought it was very poorly written trash. At the end of each Season 2 episode we turned to each other and said "Scandal!" in our best loud whisper faux shock voices on account of the, uh, scandalousness. So I guess in Season 2 it transformed into good trash tv. Either that or I lowered my standards. Which is possible with Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington steaming up my TV screen. The supporting cast though I find surprisingly  weak for such a successful show.

 

Tuesday
Mar112014

'The World is Round, People!' But Can It Spin a Little Differently?

Blue Jasmine was one of Woody Allen's biggest hits, earning $94 million globallyGeena Davis and I have been harping on gender disparity in film for ever and I've also spent a lot of time on its sister problem: ageism focused on women. But in the past couple of years it feels like the conversation has finally reached the mainstream. 

Every website, even the most misogynist-friendly, now knows what the Bechdel Test is and that the majority of movies still fail it even though it's super easy to pass. Cate Blanchett's Oscar speech got a lot of attention and Kevin B Lee recently had a major cinemetrics piece in the New York Times about women's limited screen time and now, as The Wrap reports, a new study out of San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film shows how bad the problem is not just in lead roles (only 13% of the films in the top 100 of last year) but in ageist double standards (women over 40 account for only 30% of female roles while 55% of male roles are for the over 40 set) and in racial representation (73% of all female roles are for caucasian women).

All of this despite the fact that Cate's Oscar speech was total righteous truth-telling. [More...]

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Monday
Mar102014

Box Office: "Budapest" En Route to Becoming Anderson's Best?

Amir here with the weekend’s box office report, or the interesting part of it at least.

As expected, 300: Rise of Even More CGI and Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Non-Stop topped the charts, so we’ll skip right past them and get to the interesting stuff. Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel entered the all time top ten list for per screen average on an opening weekend. On four screens alone, the film has raked in $800,000 dollars already and will probably pass the one million mark later today. That’s an incredible coup for the director and Fox Searchlight already, but can we gauge anything about the film’s final box office performance from this number? Well, maybe...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb262014

4 Days Til Oscar. 4 Time Acting Nominees Leo & Julia

If Oscars were given out for consistent box office performance (there's already a prize for that and it's called "money") Julia Roberts would have won her Oscar in the 1990s when everything she churned out was a $100 million slam dunk and Leonardo DiCaprio would have followed suit right about now for a long run of the same incredible trick. Most of Julia's big triumphs were in the popular thriller or romantic comedy genres but Leo seems to be a special case making practically anything (save the dimly lit dim of wit J. Edgar) into a $100 million grosser whether it's a foul-mouthed 3 hour comedy, a mixed review prestigious literary adaptation, or any other genre really. He might be the only mega star who is worth his full asking price given that his marketability doesn't seem to be tied to anything but his beloved creased-brow face. 

Julia and Leo both, who received their first nominations in 1989 and 1993 respectively, both won their fourth nomination for acting this year (One of Leo's five nods is for producing) though their hits far outnumber their Oscar kudos. Let's share our four most favorite performances by each. For me that's like so:

LEO: 1) Gilbert Grape ...followed by a small gap and the rest bunched together... 2) The Departed 3) The Aviator 4) Romeo + Juliet fuzzy memory now but I remember being impressed... does it hold up? Wolf of  & Catch Me would battle it out for fifth but this is a top four. So that battle will remain a draw.
JULIA: 1) Erin Brockovich 2) My Best Friend's Wedding ....followed by a huge gap, then... 3) Pretty Woman 4) Closer

Yours?

Oscar Isaac and Bruno Delbonnel on the set of "Inside Llewyn Davis"

The other 4 time nominee in their field this year is the cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel nominated for Amelie (2001), A Very Long Engagement (2004), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013). He recently completed work on Tim Burton's Big Eyes (2014) so maybe he'll be back for a fifth next year? 

Are you rooting for any of these three to win?

Sunday
Feb232014

Box Office: Can a Plane Stop The LEGO Movie?

Amir with the weekend’s box office report. The LEGO Movie managed to fend off meek competition and remain in the number one spot. Three weeks at the top and the amount of money it has cashed in so far have warranted Warner Brothers to announce a sequel, already planned for 2017! But don’t expect it to stay number one next week, when the Liam Neeson no-snakes airplane thriller, Non-Stop (featuring Lupita Nyong'o in an abrupt change of pace) hits the screens. That film has taken its title as a cue for its advertising and I suspect enough people are intrigued to see it despite what sounds like a ludicrous plot.

BOX OFFICE
01. THE LEGO MOVIE $31.4M (cum. $183.1m)
02. 3 DAYS TO KILL $12.3m new
03. POMPEII $10m new
04. ROBOCOP $9.4m (cum. $43.6m)
05. THE MONUMENTS MEN $8.1m (cum. $58m)

This weekend saw two new wide openings: Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, which managed to earn back 1/10th of its production budget and died faster than an entire city under a volcano.  When I was a child, I was absolutely obsessed with the real life story of this natural disaster - I had a large collection of books, pictures and other pre-internet Pompeii-related memorabilia. That the marketing campaign of this film managed to keep me away from the theatre tells you just how much the studio did everything wrong. 3 Days to Kill was the other offering. I can’t think of anything interesting to say about this one, which is possibly the same position McG and Kevin Costner have found themselves in since signing on.

In limited release The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki’s maybe-last-film-maybe-not, maybe-a-masterpiece-maybe-just-propaganda opened on 21 screens did modest business. (Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, reviewed here, was the only film with a better per screen average this weekend.) I’m afraid I found Miyazaki's Oscar nominee a bit underwhelming at TIFF – and I still hold a grudge because the screening kept me from guesting on Nathaniel’s festival podcast – but it’s definitely worth your time. What is not worth your time is In Secret, formerly known as Therese, that I caught up with at the same festival. In my review I called it the second worst film I have ever seen in seven years of attending the festival. I stand by that statement and advise you against spending any money on this atrocity, unless you are looking for a lot of unintentional laughs.

As you read this I'm watching Agnès Varda’s Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962) for the first time. For the FIRST time! What have you watched this weekend?

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