MCN Originals

Friday Box Office Estimates

Lego Batman rolls along, though it is not up to par with The Lego Movie and doesn’t bode well for the future Lego-branded titles that don’t have the most powerful franchise brands in the movie business. Fifty Shades Darker is more than 40% off the first of the series, but it will still cross $100m+ domestic. Newcomer The Great Wall is outperforming low expectations, but hardly a hit. Fist Fight is looking at the worst Ice Cube opening in over a decade. And Fox doesn’t find much interest in A Cure for Wellness, sold as horror/thriller in-betweener.

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The DVD Wrapup: Edge of 17, Gimme Danger, Cameraperson, Tree Of Wooden Clogs, London Town, Coffin Joe, King Cobra and more

When Stevie Nicks wrote the song after which Kelly Fremon Craig’s coming-of-age comedy-drama was named, she was addressing the grief that resulted from the death of her beloved uncle, Jonathan, and the murder of John Lennon, during the same week of December, 1980. It probably didn’t have much to do with the angst, optimism and anxiety that comes with entering the final year of one’s childhood or experiencing the first genuine pangs of love or pain as young adult, as most of us assumed.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Final Voting Has Begun… The Gurus Weigh In

The Gurus offer their Top 2 in every category… except when a Guru feels the win is so locked in that there is no realistic competition. Seven of the categories have unanimous votes (Actress, Supporting Actress, Animation, Documentary, Score, Song, VFX). If The Gurus’ vision is clear, one film will win 9 Oscars on the night. The Gurus will be back one more time, after voting closes.

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Keith Maitland’s TOWER On Independent Lens

Keith Maitland’s intricately conceived and executed Tower, a hybrid, mixed-media documentary, takes advantage of the versatility and cost-effectiveness of animation to reflect on American’s first mass shooting at a school, from the University of Texas Tower on August 1, 1966, when thirteen were murdered and thirty wounded in ninety-six minutes.

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The Weekend Report

There was no contest in the face-off between Legoworld and Lingerieland. The gap between the $55.1 million bow of The Lego Batman Movie and $46.8 million Fifty Shades Darker was tighter than anticipated. The week’s other newcomer, John Wick: Chapter 2, kicked out a potent bow of $29.4 million.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Cash & Carrying Gold

Here is a key stat about winning Best Picture: Since the expansion to 5+ Best Picture nominees, no film that has won Best Picture has been better than #3 on the list of domestic box office grossers amongst the nominees.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

-30%. -16%. +100%.

Those opening day drops for each of the “sequels” that opened on Friday. As you can see, John Wick 2 doubled its launch (and also its budget). Of course, even if it doubles its overall worldwide gross, JW2 is “only” a $175m worldwide movie. Lego and 50 Shades were $470m and $570m worldwide, respectively. Both “sequels” will be profitable. But how much will those original grosses drop when all is said and done?

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The DVD Wrapup: Loving, American Pastoral, Eagle Huntress, Come What May, Blush, Leonard Cohen and more

The horrifying story told in Loving may have been revelatory to many viewers, whose only knowledge of this footnote in history derived from feature articles and reviews that accompanied its Cannes debut and release last November. For others, such reminders of American apartheid are as fresh as yesterday’s news.

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The Weekend Report

It was a threepeat for Split with Shymalan’s return taking top spot with an estimated $14.6 million and a cume nearing $100 million domestic. That left newcomer Rings just behind with a $12.9 million debut. The other national freshmen received less warm embraces. Interstellar YA The Space Between Us grossed $3.7 million while The Comedian got little applause with a $1 million tally.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Opening on Super Bowl weekend can be treacherous. Sunday is already the softest day of the box office weekend, but on Super Sunday, it’s positively limp. Last year, Universal counter-programmed the event with a Coen Bros movie, which did okay for a Coen Bros movie. This year, Paramount went out with the genre that tends to fall like a stone on Sunday anyway, horror, and released the reboot Rings, which will win the weekend with a bigger launch than Hail, Caesar!, but not close to the #1 movie last SB weekend, Panda 3. The other newcomer, The Space Between Us, has a lot of space between it and the top.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Pick Your Top Two

This week, the Gurus were asked for their Top 2 picks in every category… unless they thought the winner is a lock. The results were not surprising, although Denzel Washington has moved into a lead and virtual Guru tie with Casey Affleck for Best Actor. Also close: Original Screenplay.

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The DVD Wrapup: Queen of Katwe, Jack Reacher, Tyler Perry, Killbillies, Victoria and more

That Queen of Katwe is set almost entirely in Uganda, with a side trip to Russia, shouldn’t matter a whit to anyone looking for an escape from the bad news relayed by the talking heads on cable news. The unlikely story of 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi, who rose from poverty in the slums of Kampala to excel in the cutthroat world of international chess competition, fits neatly alongside such compelling David-vs.-Goliath, Cinderella and fish-out-of-water dramas as Stand and Deliver, The Blind Side, The Perfect GameThe Great Debaters and Music of the Heart, as well as uplifting chess-specific titles as The Dark Horse, Life of a King and Brooklyn Castle.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Simple Case For Moonlight

The phenomenon of Moonlight was on full display at the Telluride Film Festival. Audiences were not only screaming and standing on their feet when the movie ended, but many walked the intimate streets of Telliride in a kind of shock, rocked to their core. Men and women. Straight and gay. Some were black… but it is Telluride and well… most were not.

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The Weekend Report

The Split held sway at the box office with a second weekend estimate of $26.2 million. Nipping at its heels was newcomer A Dog’s Purpose that wow bowed at $18.4 million. Also debuting were a fond farewell for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, slotting fourth with $13.5 million and pure pyrite for Gold that opened to $3.4 million.

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Friday Estimates

Split becomes a monster for Universal, likely to hold off the family film, A Dog’s Purpose, also from a happy Universal, scoring early in 2017 with 2 non-franchise films, reminding the industry that IP is not the only way. Resident Evil 6 doesn’t care much about the soft US opening. Their grosses have been 80% international the last 2 films, both over $195 million. La La Land and Hidden Figures both pass $100m domestic this weekend, buoyed by Oscar noms. Even with a nice expansion bump, Team La may be a little disappointed that the bump isn’t bigger. They’ll live. And the weekend bump may well be bigger than the Friday. Gold fools.

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Gurus o’ Gold: First Take At Ranking The Nominees

The Gurus ranked every Oscar category except for the shorts (even Gurus need to catch up with those nominees). And according to the Gurus, La La Land won’t break or tie the record for most wins. The film will have to settle for nine wins. The category in which The Gurus are the most indecisive? Make-up and Hair, with all three nominees ranked within two points of each other.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Simple Case FOR La La Land

How can anyone claim that a musical that opens with scores of people getting out of their cars to dance and sing on the freeway is “easy” “obvious” or “made for Oscar voters?” If audiences didn’t fall in love with that 5 minutes, the whole picture probably goes down. That is a massive risk.

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The DVD Wrapup: Inferno, Handmaiden, Light Between Oceans, Black Girl, Man Who Fell to Earth, Monster, Takashi Miike, Korean War … More

On the plus side, the action carries us, along with Langdon and Brooks, from Florence to Vienna, Budapest and Istanbul’s magnificent Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern. If Nostradamus had compared notes with Dante, viewers are led to believe, we might have been able to avoid 9/11, the 2008 Depression and the Trump presidency.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Right Before The Noms

This has been, perhaps, the most boring Oscar season in modern history.

But the other truth is, this has been a great award season for movies. Everyone has their personal preferences, but man, what a high quality line-up of product for awards this year. High and low.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Last Guesses Before Nominations

The Gurus are making their last group gasp before nominations arrive on Tuesday. (A couple Gurus, stuck in Sundance, may add to the charts.) Not a lot has changed in Best Picture, but some long-expected nominees have been pushed out in Actress. If the Gurus are channeling a true vibe, La La Land will lead the way with 14 nominations, followed by Arrival with 10. Dive in. Every category except for shorts is there this week. And after nominations, The Gurus will return with rankings of the nominees.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“If you’re smart and you get old, all you know is that everything changes. You’re not in control of anything. If you don’t learn that early, you’re going to be fucked. No, really… you can rail it all you like. It’s like the last railings of [these] people. It’s like the last railings of this group of people who are going extinct and you want to go, ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ What are you clinging to? America of the ‘50s? Or England of the ‘50s with Brexit? People pottering around tending their garden in Norfolk thinking, ‘These Syrians are going to come in any minute now and ruin my roses.’ What a load of cock.”
~ Ian McShane

“What IS it with people who ask questions on posts like the person who posted is their personal researcher and water carrier? Do they not realize they’re online themselves? That they can read the story the post links to? That of the seven billion people on earth, almost none of them are mom?”
~ Rebecca Solnit