The battle of the tiny bots wound up with Ant-Man ahead of the incoming Pixels with respective box offices of $24.7 million and $23.9 million. The session saw two other national debuts with limited punch. Rocky Southpaw slotted in fifth with $16 million and young adult adaptation Paper Towns was right behind at $12.4 million. In limited wide release, The Vatican Tapes exorcised $809,000. In the niches, the record-setting streak of Baahubali continued, adding 50 dubbed Hindi prints and a weekend tally of $670,000 that pushed its cume to $8.3 million. Current Chinese chart-topper Pancake Man had a potent debut of $267,000 from 13 creperies.Read the full article »
An underwhelming launch for Pixels is still enough to put it out front on Friday, though there is still an outside chance that Pixels or Ant-Man could pass it by the end of the weekend. It’s not a Blended or That’s My Boy box-office car wreck, but it’s not as strong an opening as Jack & Jill. Also opening are Paper Towns and Southpaw (currently in that order), with both films servicing specific niches and not, apparently, reaching far beyond. Towns has a legit shot at still being nicely profitable if it gets past $40 million, as this opening suggests. Southpaw has a bigger budget and will need help internationally, though Wanda’s funding may lead to Wanda’s influence at the Chinese box office, where it could make it all back.Read the full article »
Christopher McQuarrie wins the “Best Written MIssion: Impossible Movie” title. The story is clear. The characters are appropriately hyper-real, but grounded and their behavior follows logically. There are mysteries that keep unraveling. And it doesn’t choke you with details that can’t be deciphered without 27 watchings.
Cruise is good. Pegg is great. Newcomer Rebecca Ferguson has a very real chance at being a part of our cinematic conversation for decades to come. Sean Harris is just right and just weird enough. Really excellent casting all around.
So what is keeping this film from greatness?Read the full article »
One needn’t have been a zealous fan of “Flight of the Conchords” and Eagle vs Shark, or even a vampire completist, to be drawn to What We Do in the Shadows. Those who are, however, probably will get a real kick out of this razor-sharp genre parody from New Zealand. The largely improvised mockumentary defies the odds by doing an end-run around the Scary Movie and Scream franchises and adding a supernatural spin to such bros-will-be-bros pictures as Swingers and Saturday Night Fever.Read the full article »
Although he would occasionally return to the thriller format, it’s the sagas of the bourgeoisie that Sautet is most identified with and provides his legacy.Read the full article »
Ant-Man swarmed to the top of session moviegoing with an estimated $57.8 million. And there was a better than anticipated bow for Trainwreck of $30.2 million that landed the comedy third on the chart. And in limited wide release the latest spin on the redoubtable Sherlock, Mr. Holmes, was off to a better-than-elementary start of $2.4 million.Read the full article »
Ant-Man rises, a little behind where the first Captain America and Thor films started on opening day. Both ended up around $175m domestic and over $350 million worldwide. This launch is significant for Marvel’s ongoing Avengers-lite films, though the real story will be whether Ant-Man II can grow like Cap & Thor did. Trainwreck is right about where Spy opened. Both films have female leads and Apatow connections. Spy is past $100 million domestic and matching that would be huge for first-time movie star Amy Schumer. Strong limited indie launches for Woody Allen’s Irrational Man (est $25k per) and Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s The Stanford Prison Experiment (est $12k per) and a nice start for Mr. Holmes on 363 screens (est $5k per).Read the full article »
The DVD Wrapup: Salt of the Earth, Ex Machina, It Follows, Goodbye to All That, Black Stallion and more
Alex Garland’s highly ambitious digital wet dream Ex Machina advances the sub-genre by setting it in an idyllic retreat, owned by a reclusive cyber-billionaire, and infusing his megalomaniacal vision with ideas inspired by Greek and Roman tragedies and mythology, the Old Testament, the Bhagavad Gita, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, Titian, Mary Shelly, crappy 1970s disco and Depeche Mode. Ex Machina is the kind of super-smart movie that should carry footnotes at the bottom of the screen.Read the full article »
They may be pint-sized in every other aspect but Minions are box office gold with a domestic debut estimated at $115.1 million. That left poor seconds for two other national newcomers. The horror entry The Gallows was left hanging with a $9.8 million bow and the sci-fi drama Self/Less had to cope with the latter at $5.4 million.Read the full article »
Minions had (by estimate) the 23rd biggest opening day ever, which is also the fourth best opening day of 2015. It is, however, the best opening day by an animated film in history, passing up Toy Story 3‘s $41.1 million launch day of 2010, which led to a $110m 3-day. Will it become Universal’s third $120m+ opening of the summer? This is also the fourth $100m opening of the year, tying the record, and it is the fourth of this summer, doubling the previous record of two. With the final Hunger Games coming in November and the possibility of Star Wars becoming the first December $100m opening, box office records continue to be shattered.Read the full article »
I wonder if Meryl Streep gets depressed when she isn’t nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress. Maybe she feels relieved, knowing that she can avoid the annual crush of parties, press conferences and all of the ass kissing that comes with each and every nomination. Maybe, someday, Streep will be allowed the privilege of being chosen alongside one or both of her acting daughters, Grace and Mamie Gummer, or simply cheer them on from the sidelines. Streep doesn’t appear in Clouds of Sils Maria, Olivier Assayas’ brilliant drama about actors and acting. If any actress deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Streep, it’s Juliet Binoche, who not only stars in Clouds of Sils Maria, but also delivers one of the great performances of her career.Read the full article »
The idea is to answer the often posed question about why so many more men are directing studio movies than women. Answers to the question, mine included, tend to be a bit off the cuff. And I would prefer to have some facts going into any serious conversation.Read the full article »
The revenue model for movies has changed. Repeatedly.
Never as dramatically as in the last 50 years, the second half of the history of the theatrical motion picture.Read the full article »
There’s nothing wrong with The Third Man even if the world it describes is wrong to the core and bad to the bone.Read the full article »
Despite new franchise entries, once again Jurassic World and Inside Out led the frame with respective weekend estimates of $30.9 million and $30.2 million. The Independence holiday freshmen followed with Terminator Genisys grossing $28.2 million and Magic Make XXL stripping off $11.8 million. Exclusive newcomers were dominated by the launch of Amy, the controversial documentary on singer Winehouse. It bowed to a potent $241,000 at six sites. There were also OK results for UK import Jimmy’s Hall and the non-fiction Cartel Land.Read the full article »
After all the absurd jockeying for position, it doesn’t look like the two popular newcomers have any chance to beat the two holdovers over the 5-day or the 3-day numbers, with Magic Mike XXL looking like the most front-loaded and thonged of the foursome. The only question for Inside Out, which currently looks like the weekend’s easy winner is whether the holiday Saturday will slow it down with family attendance compared to the more adult films. In the indies, Amy is the clear heroine, showing the public’s continuing interest in experiencing music docs in theaters, with a $60k per-screen for three days on five.Read the full article »
There are moments in Dan Fogelman’s wildly uneven rock-‘n’-roll fantasy, Danny Collins, that suggest the writer-director was raised on classic-rock radio and his titular protagonist (Al Pacino) was modeled less after Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger or Rod Steward, than Neil Diamond, Billy Joel or a post-Wings Paul McCartney. That much is clear when Collins arrives on stage for the first time, looking as if he might rip into “Born in the U.S.A.,” “Katmandu” or “Maggie May,” but, instead, delivers what amounts to Diamond’s between-innings anthem, “Sweet Caroline.” It sounds out of place when sung by a wrung-out, blurry-eyed geezer, whose “Elvis scarves” are older than everyone in his band. Collins has been so strung out for so long that he hasn’t written a new song in 30 years and can’t readily recall the details of two of his marriages.Read the full article »
The reason I don’t feel that a fuller review is needed here is… come on… it’s Magic Mike XXL. Nothing hidden (unlike the first one, which snuck a pretty damned good Steven Soderbergh movie in over the G-string party). The movie is not as serious, but it’s more fun than the original. And the traces of why are all over.Read the full article »
Here are all the trailers currently available – some domestic, some international, one just a clip – for films from the broad contenders list published Monday.Read the full article »