MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

3 Weekend Reviews

I’m going to keep these brief, as that’s what the films deserve.

1. Need For Speed – Great idea. Fun to see live car stunts. Screenplay broods for too long. Villain is weak. Director doesn’t really know how to bring the character work that he is trying for to life on camera. Aaron Paul proves that he can be a leading man in films. Dominic Cooper, a really fine, underrated actor, is mostly wasted… doesn’t even get to do serious crazy. Imogen Poots is very likeable, but not unforgettable. And Dakota Johnson once again reminds us of how much sex appeal can be mustered in mere seconds… though makes her current magazine spread all the more shocking for how forgettable it is. But basically, a not-painful high-budget Corman film that isn’t nearly as fun as it should have been and seems like a massively wasted opportunity.

2. Bad Words – Jason Bateman is a funny guy. This is a funny movie. But it is clearly from a first-time director and the screenplay is missing a strong punch. Very comparable in quality to Don Jon, which was more profane on the face of it and lost track of the idea somewhere in the 2nd act. Like Need For Speed, the set-up is stronger than the punch. Also suggests promise for Bateman as a director. But this one is not a lost classic. It’s a movie you would be very happy to find in a weekend afternoon for a few laughs… on cable/satellite. (You won’t see it on Netflix because it’s a studio-distributed film and you wouldn’t be that thrilled to have paid for it on Amazon or iTunes.) Also has one the best “missing scenes over credits that failed to materialize” ever… Kathryn Hahn’s character’s performance in the church basement.

3. Le Week-end – I watched this movie on a plane… and watched it a second time. Really love the performances here. It’s a slow burn, but a smart burn. Can’t imagine anyone under 40 being able to watch more than 10 minutes of it. Jeff Goldblum, in a small role, is a perfect match with Hanif Kureishi’s dialogue… mesmerizing. I would pretty much watch Broadbent and Lindsey Duncan read phone books. This one, in terms of fit with other films, reminds me a lot of Muchael Tolkin’s The New Age… a movie I loved and have watched many, many times, but which virtually no one saw in theaters. It also connects, for me, to the Michael Lindsay-Hogg film, The Object of Beauty. This is the October-of-their-years entry, as compared the others’ late July. But all three are chatty, filled with great actors doing great work with smart dialogue and a sense of maturity in the films. I really can’t suggest that everyone reading this will like it, much less love it. Even I took a full act to warm to the film as it takes its time before showing itself. But I really look forward to seeing this again and again. Roger Michell is one of those directors whose work will be better remembered over time.

3 Responses to “3 Weekend Reviews”

  1. KMS says:

    I’ll add that the Veronica Mars movie — which I helped fund and saw at a fan event in Dallas last night — is pretty much everything most fans of the show have been waiting/hoping for these past seven years. The direction is a bit pedestrian, and there are a few weak moments, but overall it’s a die-hard Marshmallow’s wet dream. It would probably be slightly entertaining for uninitiated viewers, but I can’t imagine it would play nearly as well without having seen most of the show and being familiar with the various characters and their personalities, mannerisms, etc. In other words, while almost everything Dick Casablancas (played by Ryan Hansen) says is funny, it’s much funnier if you know his character’s attitude and history.

    I’m not sure how this film will do at the box office, given how much new ground it seems to be breaking with both its funding and release strategy. All I know is that multiple screens were sold out last night ($18 a ticket, but we got shirts and lanyards). I really hope the film proves successful enough for WB and the cast to consider a sequel and/or spinoff series. I know that novels (which will be considered part of the VM canon) are already underway by show creator Rob Thomas himself.

    Rating: B+

  2. chris says:

    The other thing about “Need for Speed” is: 130 minutes? Ridiculous.

  3. LexG says:

    1) Why is BAD WORDS a super-exclusive SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT for a week? Isn’t that kinda like having DODGEBALL or THE INTERNSHIP as some LIMITED RELEASE? Is it really an Arclight/Landmark “hipsters breaking down the door” event like a Coens or Wes movie?

    2) Why isn’t ENEMY playing in L.A. at all? It allegedly came out today, but apparently L.A. isn’t important enough to get new movies.

Leave a Reply

The Hot Blog

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Lucy 17 3173 NEW 17
Hercules 11 3595 NEW 11
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 4.7 3668 -55% 160.4
The Purge: Anarchy 3.4 2856 -65% 44.8
Planes: Fire & Rescue 2.8 3839 -57% 28.6
Sex Tape 1.9 3062 -68% 22.8
And So It Goes 1.3 1762 NEW 1.3
Transformers: Age of Extinction 1.3 2476 -54% 233
Tammy 1.1 2562 -54% 75.8
22 Jump Street 0.8 1613 -46% 183.9
Also Debuting
A Most Wanted Man 0.71 361
The Fluffy Movie 0.51 432
Kick 0.37 179
Magic in the Moonlight 0.12 17
She's Dating the Gangster 70,000 46
Alludu Seenu 29,100 86
The Divine Move 13,000 11
Happy Christmas 4,150 4
A Master Builder 3,100 2
Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah 2,800 13
Eyjafjallajokull 1,800 4
Come Back to Me 1,500 8
A Letter to Momo 1,100 1
Very Good Girls 1,100 9
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
It was supposed to be a horse race (notwithstanding Belmont) but at the finish line the singular teen romance The Fault in Our Stars left the competition in the dust with an estimated $48.1 million debut. Conversely, the frame’s other major release Edge of Tomorrow proved disappointing in a distant second at $28.9 million.
Exclusive newcomers were strong, including a solo Manhattan campaign of $9,400 for Citizen Koch. Much-ballyhooed abortion-themed rom-com Obvious Child proved fertile with $84,100 at four dispensaries.
In the niches, Indian import Holiday partied fair at $373,000 while Pinoy romantic comedy Maybe This Time grossed an impressive return of $552,000 on a trifling 51 screens.
Revenues for the session exceeded $160 million and ebbed 3% from last weekend’s tally. It was 8% improved from 2013 when the debut of The Purge posted $34 million and holdovers of Fast & Furious 6 and Now You See Me duked it out for place position with respective box office of $19.6 million and $19 million.
Industry tracking pitted The Fault in Our Stars against Edge of Tomorrow with the former demonstrating a slight edge as it picked up momentum toward opening day. The adaptation of John Green’s YA novel of teens who strike sparks in a cancer support group had a prognosis of $35 million.
The tide truly turned when Fault generated $8.2 million and Edge took in $1.8 million from Thursday previews. Crystal ball-gazers upped the ante to $55 million but the picture took another surprise turn with an unexpected 31% drop from Friday to Saturday business. Strong WOM in exit polling bodes well to broaden the opening weekend crowd, a predictaly 82% of women and was 79% aged 25-years and younger.
Edge of Tomorrow appeared to suffer from the amusement park factor with the movie crowd opting to skip this particular fun ride. Tracking had pegged the pic to open at between $32 million and $34 million. Reviews were upbeat for the futuristic mayhem with a Groundhog Day twist that opened a week earlier in 27 international territories to $18.7 million.
Exit demos also indicated that the sci-fier wasn’t particularly stepping on Fault’s toes with a 61% male tilt and 73% of the audience aged 25-years and older. A studio spokesman expressed confidence for a strong second weekend hold but history and upcoming competition definitely have the picture bucking considerable odds. International prospects are already ahead of Edge of Darkness’s likely final domestic tally with a second weekend estimated at $82 million that included a $25 million bow in China, $16.6 million in South Korea and Russia with $8.6 million.
Open Road's Chef expanded effectively again, prepping $10 million domestically.
Weekend (estimates) June 6 - 8, 2014
Title
Distributor
Gross (average)
% change *
Theaters
Cume
The Fault in Our Stars
Fox
48.1 (15,160)
NEW
3173
48.1
Maleficent
BV
33.6 (8,520)
-52%
3948
127.5
Edge of Tomorrow
WB
28.9 (8,280)
NEW
3490
28.9
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
14.9 (4,090)
-54%
3639
189
A Million Ways to Die in the West
Uni
7.2 (2,270)
-57%
3160
30.1
Godzilla
WB
6.0 (1.920)
-50%
3110
185.1
Neighbors
Uni
5.2 (1,940)
-36%
2674
137.8
Blended
WB
4.0 (1,370)
-51%
2928
36.5
Chef
Open Road
2.5 (1,940)
32%
1298
10.3
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
1.9 (1,290)
-46%
1481
196.3
Million Dollar Arm
BV
1.8 (1,120)
-49%
1643
31.4
Belle
Searchlight
.75 (1,580)
-40%
476
7.6
Rio 2
Fox
.72 (1,030)
-35%
702
125.6
Maybe This Time
ABS
.55 (10,820)
NEW
51
0.55
The Other Woman
Fox
.48 (980)
-65%
489
83.2
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
.43 (1,360)
-31%
317
255.9
Holiday
Big Pictures
.37 (2,590)
NEW
144
0.37
Heaven is for Real
Sony
.37 (830)
-54%
446
88.8
Words and Pictures
Roadside Attractions
.29 (2,940)
269%
98
0.54
Grand Seduction
eOne
.28 (3,020)
-13%
97
0.82
The Lego Movie
WB
.26 (960)
-5%
274
255.8
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fox Searchlight
.24 (1,280)
-37%
185
57.8
Ida
Music Box
.21 (2,540)
-10%
84
1.3
The Immigrant
Weinstein
.19 (1,320)
-39%
145
1.4
Divergent
Lionsgate
.19 (650)
-43%
298
149
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films)
$156.60
% Change (Last Year)
8%
% Change (Last Week)
-3%
Also debuting/expanding
Fed Up
Weinstein Co.
83,600 (950)
-49%
88
1.2
Obvious Child
A24
84,100 (21,030)
4
0.08
Cold in July
IFC
68,900 (970)
-38%
71
0.25
Night Moves
Cinedgm
48,500 (1,520)
126%
32
30,800
Lunchbox
Sony Classics
50,700 (1,100)
-9%
46
4.1
Filmistaan
UTV
35,500 (1,480)
24
0.04
WolfCop
Echolands
34,900 (4,360)
8
0.03
Ping Pong Summer
Gravitas
26,400 (1,760)
15
0.03
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
Weinstein Co.
23,200 (5,800)
4
0.02
Only Lovers Left Alive
Sony Classics
22,800 (760)
-53%
30
1.6
Tracks
Mongrel
13,800 (2,760)
5
0.01
Citizen Koch
Variance
9,400 (9,400)
1
0.01
Trust Me
Paladin
5,100 (565)
9
0.01
Burning Blue
Film Arcade
4,600 (380)
12
0.01
The Case Against 8
Submarine
4,300 (1,430)
3
0.01
Test
Variance
2,400 (800)
3
0.01
Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014)
Distributor
Box Office
Market Share
Warner Bros. (12)
728.5
16.80%
Buena Vista (11)
677.1
15.60%
20th Century Fox (11)
615.2
14.20%
Sony (11)
577.7
13.30%
Universal (10)
540.5
12.50%
Paramount (8)
322.2
7.40%
Lionsgate (13)
285.4
6.60%
Open Road (6)
95.1
2.20%
Fox Searchlight (5)
83.7
1.90%
Weinstein Co. (12)
76.5
1.80%
Relativity (5)
75.5
1.80%
FreeStyle (6)
68.9
1.60%
Focus (6)
39.2
0.90%
eOne/Seville (14)
35.3
0.80%
Other * (142)
107.9
2.60%
4328.7
100.00%
* none greater than 0.4%
Top Domestic Grossers (Jan. 1 - June 5, 2014) *
Title
Distributor
Box Office
The Lego Movie
WB
255,590,340
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
BV
255,447,104
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony
194,388,396
Godzilla
WB
179,093,006
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Fox
174,401,266
Divergent
Lionsgate
148,811,524
Frozen *
BV
137,534,677
Ride Along
Uni
134,965,071
Neighbors
Uni
132,600,495
Lone Survivor
Uni/eOne
125,026,404
Rio 2
Fox
124,909,565
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Fox
110,162,081
300: Rise of an Empire
WB
106,601,189
Noah
Par
100,950,258
Maleficent
BV
93,846,968
Non-Stop
Uni
91,869,306
Heaven is for Real
Sony
88,412,645
American Hustle *
Sony/eOne
82,661,672
The Other Woman
Fox
81,725,819
The Monuments Men
Sony
78,132,865
* does not include 2013 Box Office