MCN Originals

The Weekend Report

Orient Express   Appropriately Crazy Rich Asians debuted on Chinese Valentine’s Day and its sweet message took the weekend box office crown with an estimated $25.3 million. The session saw two other national freshmen releases. The testosterone-charged Mile 22 ranked third with $13.6 million while the tale of canine origins was a couple of slots…

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Weekend of Dichotomies: Crazy Rich Asians continue to get love from the media and audiences… but haven’t started mining the big bucks yet. Mile 22 open shows how strong Mark Wahlberg is and that his non-franchise stardom may be fading a bit. Four new arthouse films will be over $10k per screen (The Wife, We The Animals, Juliet, Naked, and Blaze), though all of them are limited to 2, 3 or 4 screens.

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The DVD Wrapup: Avengers, Ninko, Escape, Aim for the Heart, Yellow Birds, Affairs of State, Gregorio Cortez, 200 Motels, Done to Your Daughters?, S.F. Brownrigg, Muppet Babies, BBC Earth … More

And, looking ahead, it’s entirely possible that “Infinity Wars,” “Black Panther” and “Deadpool 2″ – all based on comics by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee – could end up competing for the dubious honor of carrying home the first Oscar as Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.

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The Weekend Report

Movies with Bite   Super shark The Meg tore through the competition to take the weekend box office crown with an estimated 44.4 million. The session saw two other films debut in wide release and a third launch a bit less wide. The urban legend horror yarn Slender Man slotted fourth overall with $11.2 million…

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The Meg looks to be Warner Bros’ biggest opening of their rather quiet 4-film summer, cracking the Top 9 of domestic launches. The biggest question is whether the PG-13 monster shark comedy will draw family audiences today and Sunday or if they will be scared away by how big Meg’s teeth are. Screen Gems throws the somewhat controversial Slender Man into theaters and makes a small ripple. And the much praised, Cannes-awarded BlacKKlansman opens in wide-narrow, just 1512 screens, to what should be just over $7k per screen. It is a strong opening by Spike Lee standards, behind only Malcolm X in traditional Spike joints, and Original Kings of Comedy and Inside Man, which were not sold primarily as Spike films. It may also be the biggest Focus opening of under 2000 screens in their storied history. So, glass half…

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The DVD Wrapup: Bye Bye Germany, John From, Marrowbone, Wildling, Dead Shack, Bitter Money, Big Fish & Begonia, Street Mobster, US Fest, No Offense … More

Because he still considers himself to be an expert in the schmatte game, Bermann arranges for his band of peddlers to access French linens on the black market and sell them to the relatives of German soldiers killed in action, whose names and addresses he found listed in the obituaries and notices on bulletin boards.

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The Weekend Report

Mission: Impossible – Fallout proved its mettle and continued to lead weekend movie going with an estimated $35.3 million. Three new national releases entered the fray with the family friendly Christopher Robin slotting second with $25 million and the comic mash-up The Spy Who Dumped Me one spot back with $12.2 million. However, there was no yeah for the YA The Darkest Minds that bowed with $5.7 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Three disappointing launches this weekend. Disney has it’s softest non-animal opening in almost 2 years, reminding us both why they need a different marketing team if they are going to add Fox product to their line-up. Very few teams re built to hit to more than one spot at the very highest level. Meanwhile, Fox fails utterly to open The Darkest Minds. And Lionsgate has a comedy that stumbles into the market, about 60% behind its similar male take, The Bodyguard’s Hitman.

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The Gronvall Report: Director Marc Turtletaub on Puzzle

Puzzle, a beguiling contemporary love story adapted by Oren Moverman and Polly Mann from Natalia Smirnoff’s 2009 Argentinian film Rompecabezas, heralds producer Marc Turtletaub’s arrival as a director. Upon leaving a long career in the financial industry he transitioned to film in 2004, and after only four features, enjoyed his big breakthrough in 2006 as one of the producers behind Little Miss Sunshine.

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The DVD Wrapup: Final Portrait, Overboard, Dark Crimes, Iron Brothers, Streets of Vengeance, Piranha II, Star Wars Rebels, Myanmar … More

Although known almost exclusively as a sculptor, Final Portrait focuses on the creation of one of Alberto Giacometti’s hauntingly distinctive paintings, “The Portrait of James Lord.” The American journalist/critic first met Giacometti at the Café des Deux Magots in February 1952. As Lord recalled later, he was ‘instantly mesmerized’ by the artist.

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The Weekend Report

Cruise Control The folks at IMF were at full tilt as Mission: Impossible – Fallout led weekend movie going with an estimated 60.8 million. The session’s counter-programmer Teen Titans Go! To the Movies slotted fifth with a respectable $10.4 million. In the niches a clutch of new Indian imports largely tanked apart from the Punjabi…

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Mission: Impossible – Fallout lands with its best opening of the franchise, though M:I2 opened on a Wednesday and if you count Thursday and Friday together, the number is slightly better. But M:IF only had Thursday from 7p on to accrue $s in our new Friday box office count methodology. Teen Titans Go To The Movies wilts on opening, though Saturday should improve the weekend to the mid-high teens. MM2 and TE2 both have soft holds, though those too should improve to the high 50s by the end of the weekend.

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The DVD Wrapup: Night of Virgin, Lovecraft, Carpenter, Moss, Love After Love, Gravity Falls, Keeping Faith, Spiral … More

If I didn’t have a calendar on my computer – and it weren’t 110 degrees outside – I’d think that Halloween was barreling down on us, like a zombie bitch in heat. And, by bitch, I mean of the canine persuasion. This week’s selection of horror on DVD/Blu-ray is nothing short of thrilling. …

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Weekend Report

Ant-Man and the Wasp BV 76.1 (18,090) NEW 4206 76.1 Incredibles 2 BV 28.8 (6,990) -38% 4113 504.1 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Uni 28.6 (6,570) -53% 4349 333.3 The First Purge Uni 17.1 (5,650) NEW 3031 31 Sicario: Day of the Soldado Sony 7.4 (2,430) -61% 3055 35.4 Uncle Drew Lionsgate 6.6 (2,400) -57% 2742…

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The Weekend Report

It was a weekend surprise as The Equalizer 2 edged in front of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again with an estimated $35.4 million to take the frame’s box office crown. The ABBA musical debuted to $34.4 million. The session’s other wide release newcomer was Unfriended: Dark Web that slotted ninth with $3.5 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again will out-open the original by a good amount while The Equalizer: Here We Kill Agian will come up a smidgen short of the launch of the first film. McQueen and Blindspotting will both top $10k per screen in exclusive launches.

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The DVD Wrapup: I Feel Pretty, Never Really Here, In Harmony, Leisure Seeker, Scorpion’s Tail, Hong Sangsoo, Doom Asylum, T2, The Tunnel, The Good Place … More

Everything that made the let-it-all-hang-out comic such a hot commodity, only two years ago, appears to have been drained from a property that suffers from an almost complete lack of bodacious, in-your-face humor and self-deprecating mischief. Seemingly, it would be too easy to blame what must have been a demand for a PG-13 rating, but if you put a muzzle on an attack dog, it loses its bite.

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The Weekend Report

It was scary stuff kids (not really) as the debut of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation hit the beach and the top of the charts with an estimated $43.9 million. The session’s other freshman national release was the burning inferno yarn Skyscraper that slotted third with $25.5 million.

New exclusive entries had a couple of standouts including the unconventional biopic He Won’t Get Far on Foot that opened to $84,500 from four venues and the coming-of-ager Eighth Grade that graduated with honors of $250,000 from an alternate quartet of screens.

A number of alternative titles also managed to secure significant expansions. The urban comedy Sorry to Bother You added 789 playdates and posted a potent $3.8 million box office. New engagements also maintained momentum for Three Individual Strangers and Leave No Trace.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Dracula bites The Rock as the third animated take on classic monsters by Genndy Tartakovsky continues to build on the previous films, opening $3.2 million better on opening day than Hotel Transylvania 2. Skyscraper opens behind what was considered a soft launch for Dwayne Johnson’s Rampage last April. And the rest of the returning Top 10 titles (save a solid expansion for Sorry To Bother You) had a tough Friday, with 50%+ drops across the board. In limited, a strong launch for Eighth Grade and a reasonable start for Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot.

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The DVD Wrapup: Quiet Place, Dietrich/Steinberg, A Ciambra, Maborosi, Chappaquiddick, Josephine Baker, Lean on Pete, Jazz Ambassadors, Blue Desert … More

The twist here involves the curious aftermath of a cataclysmic event that, in 2020, wipes out most of humanity. Its payload of sightless creatures, possessing hypersensitive hearing and seemingly impenetrable exoskeletons, has attacked and devoured anything that makes noise. How the Abbott family has managed to survive is anyone’s guess. The advantage they hold over other Earthlings appears to be that they’re conversant in American Sign Language.

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MCN Originals

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch