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Entries in Hunger Games (59)

Tuesday
May312016

Beauty vs Beast: Franchise First Class

Jason from MNPP here hoping everyone here in the States had a good holiday weekend and outside the States then just a plain good weekend, period -- I spent a good three hours (including something like half an hour of trailers) of my weekend in the theater watching the new X-Men movie, as did a few of you (not enough to make the studio happy though) and I gotta say I agree with Nat's take on it - mediocre stuff that needed to embrace its silliness more often. I'd love for just one superhero movie to be about something other than superpowers being the worst burden in all the world, ya know?

Anyway I found myself thinking a lot about Jennifer Lawrence during and after the film - god she seemed miserable, didn't she? She delivered her lines with all the passion of a smurf cadaver. That said I wouldn't be surprised if they could coerce her, with dollars, to revisit Mystique in the future... but for the time being at least she has no contractual obligations to her two big franchises. If she chose to from here on out she could make nothing but David O. Russell movies. (Imagine...) So let's look back at what was.

PREVIOUSLY It was Cillian Murphy against Rachel McAdams in a random Red Eye revisit last week, and it was Bay Breezes for everybody - McAdams' flight-bound final girl took just over 60% of the vote. Said Derreck:

"Team Lisa because she was quick and resourceful. They had the oddest chemistry going on to the point where if he wasn't all terroristy, it would have been nice if they went out for a drink at the end of the movie. But you know, murder and all tends to get in the way of that. Always the years, always the love, always the murder."

Monday
Apr112016

Streaming Thoughts: Broken Circles, Hunger Games, Gay Indies

Time for another "watch this before it leaves" warning. It's so stupidly complicated to follow these things is it not? So we'll do what we can here and there. The big 'new month calendar dump' is approaching but we'll deal with those next week. For now, let's just talk random streaming stragglers. The following titles are leaving either Amazon Prime or Netflix Instant quite soon so give them a shot if you've been meaning to.

As we do we've freeze-framed them randomly to see what they're serving up and to (hopefully) prompt discussion...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov292015

What you saw this long holiday weekend. Survey says...

What did you see this weekend? I didn't hit theaters since I was travelling but I finished Jessica Jones (which really improved as it went along) and screeners gave me a second shot at Steve Jobs (Fassy & Kate are just as big a "wow" as they were the first time) and a first go at Straight Outta Compton. In the next 24 hours The Revenant and Joy hit my eyeballs. Here's hoping for the best.

BOX OFFICE
(Nov 27th-29th)
01 Hunger Games 4 (4,175 screens) $51.6 (cum. $198.3)  Hunger Games & Oscar
02 The Good Dinosaur (3,749 screens) $39.1 new (cum. $55.5)
03 Creed (3,404 screens) $30.1 new (cum. $42.6) Review
04 Spectre (2,940 screens) $12.8 (cum $176) Review
05 The Peanuts Movie (3,089 screens) $9.7 (cum. $116.7) 
06 The Night Before (2,960 screens) $8.2 (cum. $24.1) 
07 The Secret in Their Eyes (2,392 screens) $4.5 (cum. $14)
08 Spotlight (897 screens) $4.4 (cum. $12.3) First Impression
09 Brooklyn (845 screens) $3.8 (cum. $7.2) Review, Saoirse & Best Actress
10 The Martian (1,420 screens) $3.3 (cum. $218.6) Podcast 
11 Love the Coopers (1,867 screens) $3 (cum. $20.4)
12 Victor Frankenstein (2,797 screens) $2.3 new (cum. $3.4)

With the dismal opening of Victor Frankenstein (Fox) paired with the muted response to Crimson Peak (Universal) do you think Universal is getting worried about their classic movie monster multiverse plans? Today's audiences maybe don't have a yearning for the gothic flavors of more old school horror?

Apart from Frankenstein and his monster, it was a fairly happy weekend for distributors: Hunger Games 4 held stronger in its second weekend than Hunger Games 3 (I refuse to do this "part 1 and part 2" padding bullshit anymore);  Creed, which was smartly produced on a non gargantuan budget, supposedly made back its budget in its first (holiday) weekend; Spectre is holding well for a Bond film (anyone expecting a repeat of Skyfall's anomalous numbers was insane); even The Good Dinosaur, which opened weak as Pixar films go, shows promise since the audience reaction was very positive and it has no direct competition in the next few weeks.

As for the suspected Oscar contenders things are continuing to look very golden for both Spotlight and Brooklyn which are expanding very well and should be peaking at just the right time for Oscar love. With Carol and The Danish Girl, though, it's probably too early to tell since they're only on four screens each and competition is fierce and will continue to be (as it always is in November/December) for their target demographic.

Tuesday
Nov242015

Jason Gives Thanks

Howdy folks it's Jason here - with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" we gave some thanks for two classic Christina Ricci performances (have you voted yet?) but it's a rich world with lots of good to great stuff in it so here are a few more things that have brought a big dumb smile to my big dumb face this year.

- For Getting On and the spectacular showcase it's given three crazy talented actresses (not to mention all the smaller roles they fill in with even more under-used gems), letting each of them be both hysterically funny and heartbreaking within the matter of milliseconds (and for introducing the phrase "anal horn" into my vocabulary - that one's a keeper!)

- For the venom that dripped off of Rose Byrne's every ace line reading in Spy (this scene in particular)

- For whoever is tailoring Chad Radwell's khakis on Scream Queens so they're more obscene than if Glen Powell was wearing nothing at all (don't get me wrong, he looks good that way too)

- For the way that Donald Sutherland says the word "PLUCKED" at Julianne Moore in Mockingjay Part 2, which will become my ringtone the minute the clip is available

- For the way that the camera made sweet love to every golden angle of Matthias Schoenaerts in Far From the Madding Crowd (runner-up: Alexander Skarsgard in Diary of a Teenage Girl)

- For the Film Society of Lincoln Center here in NYC, which has spent the last several months spinning from the New York Film Festival (Carol and The Lobster holla) to their annually wonderful "Scary Movies" program to the currently running Todd Haynes retrospective to the upcoming David Lynch & Douglas Sirk series that will swallow whole my holidays -- it's like they're programming one of my favorite screens in the city (at Walter Reade) just for me and me alone, and I like that

- Related to the previous, I am beyond thankful for having gotten to see Bernard Rose's 1988 gem Paperhouse on a big screen, something I've been waiting to do for 25 years

- For Greta Gerwig in Mistress America, who gave yet another stellar comic performance that we'll be grooving on decades from now, long after whatever wins the Best Actress trophy is remembered as much more than a statistic #justiceforcomicbrilliance

- For Catherine Keener's wig on Show Me a Hero

- For Golden Girls repeats (a perennial blessing but Keener's wig made me think of it)

- For Guillermo Del Toro's infatuation with oozing wounds and puffy sleeves and incest, maybe not in that specific order

- For Furiosa!

- For Nathaniel who generously opened up the doors to The Film Experience and let this lunatic in. And of course for all you wonderful people out there in the dark, indulging my whims week after week and offering up some of the funniest randomest and smartest retorts on the web - as a wise old woman in little girl ringlets once said you are all the wind beneath my wings. Fly away, you let me fly so high, oh you, you, you.


While Jason Adams wishes his parents had named him after the killer in the Friday the 13th movies, he takes comfort in the fact that on their first date they went to see The Exorcist. He writes lots of daily nonsense at My New Plaid Pants, mostly about movies and dudes in movies, not necessarily in that order.  [Follow Jason on Twitter]. All of Jason postings here.

More "About" Team Experience.

Monday
Nov232015

Beauty vs Beast: Give Thanks For Christina Ricci

Gobble gobble folks, Jason from MNPP here starting off Thanksgiving week wishing you and yours a happy holiday if Turkey (or Tofurkey) Day is your jam. Whenever I think of this holiday I feel a warm feeling in my belly, and it ain't from phantom mashed potato memories - it's because this holiday makes me think of Christina Ricci, and thinking of Christina Ricci always makes me feel warm and happy inside. I'm not the only one who associates the day with her - Nathaniel himself has done a post about her twin Turkey Day speeches in The Ice Storm and Addams Family Values before. It's a tradition, and it should become an annual association as far as I'm concerned. So pass that stuffing and let's spread the Ricci love...

PREVIOUSLY We're getting over our Hunger pains this week in more ways than one - the Hunger Games franchise is finito and as far as last week's Beauty vs Beast is concerned hand Effie the Victor Crown. She sashayed right over top of President Snow with over 80% of your votes. Said denny:

"As much as I think Sutherland is aces as President Snow, Banks was a downright revelation as Effie, completely disappearing into the role in a way that was so unexpected. So she gets my vote. Plus: "THAT. is MAHOGANY."

Sunday
Nov222015

Box Office: Katniss Reigns (Softly) While Spotlight Gains

[Whistles Katniss theme]

As expected Katniss and her unmerry band of rebels dominated the weekend box office as The Hunger Games franchise finally wrapped up. Though this is the softest opening yet for the franchise it's not soft enough to end Hollywood's love of splitting final chapters into two for no good narrative reason so the trend will obviously continue for now. (sigh). I personally have no real ill will for this franchise  (it's okay but I bowed out after the second film -- just too dull for my personal tastes) but The Film Experience does have official stance ill will for franchise decisions that no reasonable trustworthy person could ever claim were based on anything other than milking more money from fans. "Event" showbiz is fun but the first priority really should be to the generous fan bases of serial cinema -- Hollywood owes fans good storytelling, not padding to take more of their paycheck once you've hooked them. You're not drug dealers, movie studios, you're showmen! Putting on a great show needs to be your priority. Hopefully the upcoming slate of finale splitting franchises fail in much more embarrassing / decisive ways so -- Hollywood deserves the wrist-slapping.

BOX OFFICE
(Nov 20th-22nd)
01 Hunger Games 4 (4,175 screens) $101 new Hunger Games & Oscar
02 Spectre (3,659 screens) $14.6 (cum. $153.7) Review
03 Peanuts Movie (3,671 screens) $12.8 (cum. $98.9)
04 The Night Before (2,960 screens) $10.1 new
05 Secret in Their Eyes (2,392 screens) $6.6 new
06 Love the Coopers (2,603 screens) $3.9 (cum. $14.8) 
07 The Martian (2,086 screens) $3.7 (cum. $213) Podcast
08 Spotlight (598 screens) $3.6 (cum. 5.8) First Impression
09 The 33 (2,452 screens) $2.2 (cum. $9.9)
10 Bridge of Spies (1,532 screens) $1.9 (cum. $65.1) Review, Tom Hanks
11 Goosebumps (1,787 screens) $1.7 (cum. $76) First Impression
12 Brooklyn (113 screens) $1.1 (cum. $2.1) Review, Saoirse & Best Actress
13 Hotel Transylvania 2 (828 screens) $.7 (cum. $166.4) on director Genndy Tartakovsky
14 Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (283 screens) $.6 (cum. $3.9)
15 Suffragette (517 screens) $.5 (cum. $3.5) Carey's Performance, Review

Among the limited releases Spotlight and Brooklyn had the strongest per screen totals. Hopefully they'll stay strong in wider release since at heart they're quite accessible entertainments and it's infinitely depressing that anything non-genre that aims for adult audiences and quality these days is automatically viewed as "specialized" in its appeal. Room, a much trickier sell than either of those premise-wise is having a tougher time expanding but if the A24 Best Picture hopeful can hold out until top ten lists and awards noms give it some extra juice it should do well. It's already gathered a reasonable $2.8 million in its first month or so in release.

In extremely miniscule release Todd Haynes's latest masterpiece Carol earned a robust quarter million on just 4 screens... though in rather frustrating news it seems to be sticking to its originally aborted release date (opposite Star Wars) in terms of when it will show up in a lot of sizeable markets and won't be in some other smaller markets until Christmas day and beyond. In short: we're not sure when to schedule our proposed Carol week since it's going to take forever for many of you to see it. We feel your pain; you don't deserve the torturous wait.

What did you see this weekend? 
I had a homebody weekend looking at screeners for Black Mass (for the first time), Truth (again), and the first half of Jessica Jones (Netflix).

Thursday
Nov192015

Will Mockingjay Part 2 Change The Hunger Games' Disappointing Oscar History

If next January comes around and brings no Oscar nominations for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 then it will have the unenviable tally of zero nominations from four films. Only The Twilight Saga, Mission: Impossible and Fast and the Furious franchises can claim such a strike rate. There was a time when every film that made over $200 at the American box-office could claim at least one nomination - even Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me! But since Mission: Impossible II in 2000, that has no longer been the case. Still, for Lionsgate’s hugely successful Hunger Games to bow out with nary a single nomination to its name is genuinely surprising.

What’s more, these films are hardly wanting for acclaim and nomination-worthy elements. Salute (or click) for more!

Click to read more ...