MCN Originals

Friday Box Office Estimates

It’s not pretty, but the projections on Transformers 5 are pretty much on target at this point… slightly low. Even people in Iowa know that the movie is waiting for international to take it from relative zero to an uncomfortable hero. Drops for Cars 2, Wonder Woman, and Pirates 5 are looking pretty good for the weekend. The Beguiled will do boffo per-screen on four… high 50k, low 60k. But the king of indie this weekend is The Big Sick, which could end up doing $70k per screen on five.

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Rotten Tomatoes, Movie Openings & Reality

There have been 131 wide-release summer movies in from 2014 until now.

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The DVD Wrapup: Marseille Trilogy, Life, Bird With Crystal Plumage, Lawnmower Man, Car Wash and more

Way back in the Pleistocene Age, when all film students and cineastes had to rely on for evidence of a film’s virtues were barely-watchable 16mm prints of vintage movies, it was sometimes difficult to appreciate what differentiated true classics from run-of-the-mill entertainments. Poorly maintained projectors occasionally caused the film stock to melt, while scratches and other defects turned dialogue into garble. That all changed with laserdiscs, DVDs and the concerted efforts of preservationists, who benefitted mightily from advanced digital technology. In his introduction to the Criterion Collection release of Marcel Pagnol’s “The Marseille Trilogy,” Bertrand Tavernier (‘Round Midnight) describes how his opinions about Marius (1931), Fanny (1932) and César (1936) changed after watching the 2015 restoration, conducted by Compagnie Méditerranénne de Film and the Cinémathèque Française. In short, the experience was revelatory.

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WTF? Lord/Miller Latest Disney Victims?

Thing about Young Han is… Wonder Woman. Guardians of the Galaxy. Dr. Strange. Ant-Man.

IP Machine Shops are figuring out that the way to keep the engine running is to have some bits that aren’t 100% canon. Loosen up, people.

Star Wars is a mature bit of IP. It’s power is remarkable. But everything can be killed by misguided, well-intended management.

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The Weekend Report

Cars 3 sped to the top of weekend moviegoing with an estimated $53.3 million. It was also good news for the Tupac bio All Eyez on Me that ranked third with $26.4 million. The other two national newcomers were less vibrant. The shark threat nail biter 47 Meters Down had an OK start of $10.9 million but the female rave Rough Night pancaked with an $8 million debut.

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The Gronvall Report: Director Aisling Walsh On MAUDIE

“I think it all starts early: you say as a teenager that, for instance, you want to be an astronaut. I come from a family who believed I could do whatever I wanted to; I never thought of myself as a female in a male-dominated world. People have asked me if my directing career would have been different if I had been born a man. I don’t know. Who knows what kind of films I would have made? But given my interests and my methods, I don’t know that I would have done things any other way.”

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Cars 3 opens to almost exactly the same Friday number as Cars, while the whole enterprise looks to international and merchandising to make the effort worth Pixar and Disney’s while. Meanwhile, All Eyez on Me reminds us that a 24 on Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t matter if there are people predisposed to see the movie. Byron Allen’s new distribution venture opens 47 Meters Down to about two-thirds of what The Shallows opened to… which will likely be seen as a win in some quarters. And Rough Night lived up to its title at the box office.

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Review-ish: Rough Night

Rough Night takes five appealing and funny actors, starts down the road of a very broad (no pun intended) comedy, and then stops dead in its tracks…

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The DVD Wrapup: John Wick 2, 3 Generations, Frantz, Three Sisters, South Park 20 and more

Director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad make it ridiculously easy for Wick to be found and even more ridiculously easy for the battle-hardened assassin to eliminate his pursuers using “gun fu,” a hybrid fighting style that combines martial arts and close-up gun play. That’s pretty much the whole story here. How John Wick differs from almost every other ultra-violent franchise extant, including the straight-to-video flicks of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris, is the attention paid to detail, nonstop action and imaginative death blows. Reaves, who, like Tom Cruise, performs most of his own stunts, is an attentive student of the martial arts.

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Confessions Of A Film Festival Junkie: LAFF 2017

The bottom line for LAFF is that it will live or die based on its film selection. LAFF is not not a film market with the industry eyeing film acquisitions and emerging talent, and it’s not a series of social events sustained by deep-pocketed patrons.

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The Weekend Report

Wonder Woman lassoed top spot for a second weekend a with an estimated $57.5 million That was bad news for the high-profile The Mummy reboot that dug up only $32.2 million. The session featured two other national debuts: the spartan horror It Comes at Night ranked sixth with a chilly $5.9 million, while military pooch patrol Megan Leavey barked up $3.7 million.

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Friday Estimates

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The DVD Wrapup: The Assignment, Beauty/Bambi, Land of Mine, Sense of an Ending, The Ticket, Gene Kelly, Heath Ledger and more

While you can’t say the story told in Walter Hill’s latest, The Assignment, was ripped from today’s headlines – Denis Hamill’s original screenplay is nearly forty years old, after all – the fact that a protagonist undergoes gender reassignment, however involuntary, is reasonably topical.

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Review: The Mummy (spoilers)

But The Mummy is, in so many ways, everything that is wrong with the IP era of film. So much so, that it is a shocking experience.

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The Weekend Report

Wonder Woman wowed with an estimated debut of $100.7 million to lead session movie going. It was also good news for the frame’s other national newcomer the animated Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie that bowed with $23.5 million to rank second overall.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

She’s a wonder, Wonder Woman. There are a lot of ways to dissect the opening of Wonder Woman, the first non-Batman/Superman standalone character film in the DC Cinematic Universe. The broadest one is that this will be the smallest opening of the four films under Zach Snyder, but may well be the biggest domestic grosser when all is said and done… because “average moviegoers” actually like it. The film may also skew the gender balance of ticket buyers, which would add to audience count, not detract.

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Review: Wonder Woman

After arriving in London, Diana Prince does a lot of fish-out-of-water schtick. And it’s pretty terrific. Diana is a walking emancipation proclamation for women and this plays charmingly, not archly. After all, she is 100% right and she is in situations where if a modern woman showed up, these things absolutely should have been said.

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The Netflix Thing, June 2017 (The Movies, Part 1)

With all the screeching and squealing about Netflix at Cannes, I decided to take a look at what the Netflix “movie” business really looks like this year… not by posturing, but by the detail of what actually exists.

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Memorial Day Three-Day Estimates

Pirates are not all Dead Men with $76.8 million on 4,276, while Guardians Vol. 2 steams to $26.3 million on 3,871 for a $339.6 million cume. A quiet third, Baywatch proves not so biggle with its jiggle, $22.9 million on 3,647.

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Wrapping Cannes 70

The Square, though. I can’t wait for actual audiences to see it. I can’t wait to discuss its many possible interpretations. It’s one of the best Palme decisions in years.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“It’s a film festival’s job—and increasingly so—to create moments of recognition, of enjoyment, of shock, of learning. Not of consumerism. Not of implementing cultural policy. But moments without pretence, unclouded by vested interests, by intervention, by cynicism, by everyday business. Committed to nothing but the thing itself. Under obligation to nothing, to no one, not even to the filmmakers themselves. To basically seek access to a form that does not yet exist, a place no one has been to, a time that has not yet come. ’A form that thinks, and a thought that forms,’ as Jean-Luc Godard has it.”
~ Hans Hurch, late director of the Viennale

“There’s a mass belief that if you’re texting, you’re somehow not interrupting the conversation—you’re not being rude. It’s an illusion of multitasking. I started filmmaking when people didn’t expect to have a phone on set, when it would’ve been seen as unprofessional to pull out a phone. Phones have become a huge distraction, and people work much better without them. At first it causes difficulty, but it really allows them to concentrate on what they’re doing. Everybody understands. I’ve had a lot of crews thank me. With a set, we’re trying to create a bubble of alternate reality.”
~ Christopher Nolan