MCN Originals Archive for December, 2012

The DVD Wrapup

Cosmopolis, Looper, A Man Vanishes, Trouble With Bliss, War of the Dead, Justified, Climate of Doubt … and more.

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Critics Top Tens Update

The first 100 lists and Zero Dark Thirty leads the Top Tens by a significant margin. Further down the list, The Dark Knight Rises and The Sessions move into the Top 20, and The Master makes a leap forward. Still lots more lists to come …

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Wilmington on Movies: Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained—his most entertaining movie since Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown and a movie of almost inspired tastelessness—pulls us into a movie land that movie buff Tarantino knows well: the world of mid-to-late ’60s-early ’70s Italian spaghetti Westerns—a roost ruled by director Sergio Leone and star Clint Eastwood with their “Man With No Name” Trilogy, but also home to a variety of trashy offshoots by men with lesser names.

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The Weekend Report (3-Day)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey nudged ahead of some fierce competition to retain the top spot on the weekend charts with an estimated $32.9 million. The Christmas day behemoths followed close behind with Django Unchained grossing $30.5 million and the screen adaptation of Les Misérables scoring with $28 million. The frame’s other wide release, Parental Guidance, ranked fourth with $14.8 million to win the seasonal comedy honors by default. Other newcomers included Matt Damon-starring Promised Land with an okay $190,000 at 25 venues and a disappointing $14,200 at five sites for Peter Jackson’s production of West of Memphis.

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Friday Estimates

The Hobbit continues its expected journey, passing the $200m domestic marker. And Django Unchained beats back the French for Liberté!

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Wilmington on DVDs: Jean Gremillon During the Occupation

Jean Gremillon, a forgotten giant of French cinema, a genius as neglected in America as he is idolized in France, gets a long-overdue DVD revival in this superb package from Eclipse, Criterion’s budget-label-for-the-cognoscenti. The three films inside the box—Remorques (1941), Lumiere d’ete (1943) and Le Ciel est a Vous (1944)—may be little known to most of us, but they’re among the genuine French film classics of the Occupation years. And, if Gremillon is among the very best, so were the people with whom he worked.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

I don’t want to come across like an uptight philistine or a bourgeois simpleton, but the one thing this movie didn’t convince me about was the stature of Ai Weiwei’s art—which may be either my fault, or the film’s, or possibly Ai Weiwei‘s.

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The Torontonian Reviews: Django Unchained

Riding up as the sunset of 2012 falls, Quentin Tarantino’s latest revenge narrative spurs another fire in the hearts of cinemagoers who have grown to love the director’s particular brand of raucous story-telling. Although boiled twenty minutes too long, this spaghetti Western is nonetheless thrilling, meaty, and immensely enjoyable.

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The DVD Wrapup: Gandu, Killer Joe, Wimpy Kid, Liberal Arts, Red Hook … More

If the distance between Mumbai and Calcutta can easily be measured in kilometers – 1,663, to be exact — the gap between Bollywood and the traditional Bengali cinema is every bit as wide. One is obsessed with romantic fantasy, while the other is more invested in real-life scenarios and everyday people. As wildly inventive as it is deliberately transgressive, “Gandu” widens that fissure with a study of urban youth so intense and disturbing that it could have emerged fully blown from the bowels of infamous Black Hole of Calcutta prison.

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Wilmington on Movies: The Guilt Trip; Monsters Inc. 3D

Barbra Streisand plays a nice Jewish mother named Joyce Brewster, and Seth Rogen plays her not-so-nice Jewish, or at least half-Jewish, son Andy — and for this movie I have just one word: Meshuggener! No, that’s not nice. The movie tried. It really did.

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The Weekend Report

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey staved off a torrent of new product to easily retain top spot in the marketplace with an estimated $36.6 million. Its closest competition came from the Tom Cruise actioner Jack Reacher and the mid-life comedy This is 40 that debuted respectively with $15.5 million and $12.1 million. Two other national releases opened to listless results.

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Friday Estimates

The Hobbit‘s journey is, not unexpectedly, still on top. The new Cruise arrives with $5 million and if it grosses $15.5m, it will match the opening of 1992’s A Few Good Men. Happy anniversary! This is 40 and The Guilt Trip open to fairly intimate crowds.

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The 2012 Top Ten Lists Updated

It’s still early, but Zero Dark Thirty, Amour and Lincoln rule the top of the Top Ten lists, while Looper, Django Unchained and This is Not a Film make moves upward.

See individual Top Ten Lists here.

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Gurus o’ Gold: All We Want For Christmas Is Our Two Best Pics…

The Gurus wish you all a happy holiday.

But they would be even happier if they could pick a couple of surprise Oscar nominations. And there are also a few nominations that they think might be surprise gifts left under the ol’ Oscar tree.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Trouble With the Curve

Trouble With the Curve is Eastwood’s first onscreen role since the valedictory-seeming tough guy-retiree part of Walt Kowalski in 2008’s Gran Torino. It’s a good role, and, for the most part, a good movie, even though it’s, at times, corny and predictable and full of clichés and a shameless star vehicle and yadda-yadda-yadda. Clichés don’t damage a movie as much as most people think though; what matters is how you play them. But if anyone can liven up a gunfight or a bar-fight or a car-chase or a put-down, it’s Eastwood.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Baron Blood

The director is the legendary Mario Bava (Black Sunday, Black Sabbath), a visual movie-making genius who gives us something fascinating or interesting to look at in almost every shot, including a long homage to the Vincent Price-Andre de Toth 3D horror classic House of Wax, and more twisting staircases, somber towers, shadowy torture chambers, gargoyles, well-used Iron Maidens and impaled victims than you could imagine outside of Transylvania on a dark and windy night.

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DVD Gift Guide Redux: The Story of Film, Qatsi, Ice Age, The Point … More

If there is such a thing as a no-brainer gift this holiday season, it’s The Story of Film: An Odyssey.” I can say this here, without fear of being contradicted, because anyone already drawn to a website dedicated to movies would certainly relish spending all 916 minutes in the company of Mark Cousins as he chronicles the history of the international cinema.

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DVD Geek: Lawrence of Arabia

One of the greatest color films ever produced, David Lean’s 1962 Lawrence of Arabia shows the Earth unadorned by its decorative vegetation or man-made blemishes, with landscapes so vast that humans are no more than tiny specks passing across the surface, hardly larger than the grains of sand beneath the feet of their camels. Set during World War I in the Middle East, the film concerns not only battles, but the political maneuvering which would set the stage for power equilibriums in the region that are continuing to this day.

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2012 Top Tens: The First of the Lists

As the first lists roll in, Zero Dark Thirty and Amour lead the chart. With just 21 lists, there are more than 85 movies mentioned so far… seems to be a lot of love to go around.

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The Weekend Report

Critical indifference to The Hobbit failed to blunt fan enthusiasm that began with early Thursday screenings generating $13 million. Overall the film rang up screen averages of more than $20,000 with its 326 Imax and 461 48 f.p.s. excursions performing at a more ramped up level. The film accounted for about 60% of all weekend sales and the Tolkien adaptation itself roughly split viewers with 49% opting for stereoscopic engagements. The audience itself skewed 57% male with 58% of the crowd aged 25 years-older and advanced.

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MCN Originals

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Coco 4.2 3748 -33% 121.4
The Disaster Artist 2.6 840 416% 4.2
Justice League 2.5 3508 -44% 203.9
Wonder 2.5 3519 -31% 94.4
Thor: Ragnarok 1.7 3047 -38% 296.5
Daddy's Home 2 1.6 3263 -24% 86.7
Murder on the Orient Express 1.5 3089 -26% 89.1
Just Getting Started 1.1 2161 NEW 1.1
Lady Bird 1 1557 -19% 19.8
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 0.8 1620 -40% 16.3
Also Debuting
Unexpectedly Yours 88,700 49
I, Tonya 84,300 4
Furkey Returns 49,900 69
Sat Shri Akaal England 43,200 38
Malli Raava 30,700 46
Noel & Cie 12,500 48
November Criminals 2,600 20
Bullet Head 1,900 9
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4