The Weekend Report Archive for January, 2005

Peek-a-Boo!

Hide and Seek scared up a hair-raising gross estimated at $22.2 million to handily take the lead in the weekend box office derby. However, audiences were less inclined for the equally visceral Alone in the Dark that had a roughly 90% less chilling $2.5 million debut. Overall business rebounded 24% from last weekend’s snow-out in…

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The Bill Chill: Snowdance Hits Theaters

You can’t fool with Mother Nature and she came down with a fury in the Northeast and Midwest, shivering movie going to the bone. The cinematic force majeur was likely to wither admissions by 20% to 25% of unrecoverable income with exhibition and distribution sources trying to emulate Happy rather than Grouchy and Sneezy. The…

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Passing Game

It was relatively peppy talk as Coach Carter led the Martin Luther King holiday frame with an estimated $29.2 million debut in a crowd of new openers. Apart from Meet the Fockers, the top five viewing choices were either new titles or national launches including a potent expansion of In Good Company, an OK premiere…

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Ek Static!

Though it couldn’t unseat Meet the Fockers, the Sixth Sense clone White Noise was a very honorable second place with a $24 million debut in a generally upbeat frame. Noise was the sole national opener but the span included limited expansions of both National Society of Film Critics winner Million Dollar Baby and Hotel Rwanda…

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This is the Way the Year Ends

Not With a Whimper, But a Pop! It was still all Fock and all action as Meet the Fockers continued to hold sway in theaters with an estimated $43.2 million during the New Year’s holiday period. The close out of 2004 saw a modest improvement from the prior year to bring the annual domestic tally…

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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