MCN Originals Archive for June, 2013

The Weekend Report

A couple of new films enlivened weekend moviegoing, but it was moola-moola at the top for the second frame of Monsters University, with an estimated $46.1 million. That left the bridesmaid slot to debuting The Heat with $39.3 million and position four for incoming White House Down with $25.3 million.

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Wilmington on Movies: The Heat

The Heat is a crude, violent, often tasteless, clichéd and outrageously foul-mouthed buddy-buddy cop comedy that also happens to be funny—sometimes screamingly funny.

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Wilmington on Movies: White House Down

I hate to admit this, but I sort of enjoyed White House Down. This doesn‘t mean that I‘m ready to forgive producer -director Roland Emmerich and his latest landmark-basher all their cinematic sins (among them Emmerich’s last movie raid on Washington D. C., and the White House, the 1996 Independence Day) , or that I think that moviemakers with outlandishly big budgets at their disposal should keep attacking and blowing up the White House on screen until they get it right —which may never happen until they hire Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and James Franco for the job — or that I‘m getting soft in my old age. It’s just that White House Down, defying all my expectations, made me laugh a little.

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Friday Estimates

Monsters stay on top with a very solid Friday-to-Friday drop. The Heat has the ladies of comedy kicking both Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum’s asses. Man of Steel continues to come closer to the ground. And Almodóvar tops the non-Indian indies.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Ballad of Narayama (1958 and 1983)

The 1958 film version of The Ballad of Narayama is one of the masterpieces of Keisuke Kinoshita, a great Japanese writer-director—peer and friend of Kurosawa and Ichikawa—who, these days, sometimes seems as unfairly marginalized as his main character in Narayama: Orin, the elderly woman who will be left alone on the mountain Narayama by her children.

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The DVD Wrapup

Black Pond, Burt Wonderstone, Phantom, Rambler, Supporting Characters, Lesser Blessed, Storming Juno, Place at Table… and so much more.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Gladiator; Hell’s Half Acre; The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The Roman Empire falls for Russell Crowe. And Hollywood fell for his movie. Am I being too sarcastic? Well, to be finicky about it, Gladiator may not really have deserved the Best Picture Oscar.

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Wilmington on Movies: World War Z

A lot of the film’s quality, or at least its sometimes entertaining excess, is probably due to producer-star Brad Pitt, for whom this disaster epic was obviously a labor of zombie-love, as much as of zombie-commerce. Pitt is one actor whose good looks you tend not to hold against him. He’s a guy who, like Paul Newman and Robert Redford (two fathers of some of his performances) kids himself enough to remove what might be a taint of narcissism.

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Confessions Of A Film Festival Junkie: LAFF 2013

On one particular horrific evening I ran into one of the festival organizers on my way into the complex. Naturally I expressed my frustration about the parking situation. It was evident I was not the first to voice such a complaint. Nonetheless he shrugged it off as if it were a minor concern in an otherwise smoothly operating machine.

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The Weekend Report

Monsters University picked up considerable steam in the days prior to its release and breezed past World War Z in industry tracking. When the dust settled, MU bowed to an estimated $81.3 million and WWZ packed a wallop of $66.2 million. Together they propelled weekend business to another industry record for the month of June.

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Wilmington on Movies: Monsters University

That’s the problem: You can write most of it yourself, whereas you’d be hard-pressed to come up with half the humor and emotion, the twists and turns of Pixar’s Toy Story Trilogy, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, Up, and this movie‘s dazzling post-prequel Monsters Inc.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The world box office war between Monsters and Zombies doesn’t appear to be close. Pixar’s offering is likely to pop on Saturday while Paramount’s Z is likely to slow against must-see Friday. Meanwhile, the Man of Steel is showing weakness because of the only green matter that means anything in the movie business.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Things to Come

The two great Godfathers of literary science fiction were the fanciful Frenchman Jules Verne and the immensely-well-read Britisher H. G. Wells. But though both of them have been adapted endlessly for the movies, only one of them actually wrote a science-fiction screenplay, adapted from one of his own books.

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The DVD Wrapup

Jack the Giant Slayer, It’s a Disaster; Brass Teapot; Movie 43, Let My People Go, Come Out and Play, Rectify… And so much more.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Two Mules for Sister Sara; Of Human Bondage; Jack the Giant Slayer

Of Human Bondage is an important part of film history for several reasons. It’s director John Cromwell’s faithful, intelligent (if severely shortened) adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s best-selling and much-admired semi-autobiographical novel about the sad early life of a sensitive and idealistic London medical student named Philip Carey, who falls ruinously in love with a pretty, yet selfish and sadistic waitress named Mildred. The movie is a classic — not just because it’s a fine version of a powerful novel with a very moving lead performance by Leslie Howard in the Maugham-ish role of Philip—but because it’s the movie that made a star of the acrtess who played Mildred, 26-year-old Bette Davis.

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Wilmington on Movies: Man of Steel

Man of Steel is one of the loudest movies I’ve seen recently. Or maybe ever. In this almost constantly erupting show guns fire, buildings topple, planets explode. Watching the picture—which revives Superman for the movies on the 75th anniversary of his first appearance in Action Comics (April 1938)—I felt as if I were being continually blasted out of my seat, and it wasn’t always an enjoyable feeling. It’s got a lot going for it. It’s not a bad or indifferent movie. But it’s not a particularly good one either.

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The Weekend Report

Man of Steel reset the record book with an opening weekend estimated at $111.6 million. The session’s sole brave national counter-programmer debut was apocalyptic comedy This is the End, which Raptured second place with a solid $20.2 million. Bright were a couple of exclusive newcomers. Nonfiction yarn of session singers 20 Feet from Stardom opened to $51,200 at three spotlights and the youthful felons of The Bling Ring made off with a big haul of $197,000 from just five crime scenes.

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CONFESSIONS OF FILM FESTIVAL JUNKIE: LAFF 2013

In relation to film festivals and Los Angeles, location is a royal pain. Somehow the city’s first international film festival–the sorely-missed FilmEx–always managed to position itself in a physically appropriate part of town to the zeitgeist of the moment.

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Wilmington on Movies: The Bling Ring

They were a gang of four wannabe-fashionista girls, and one computer geek boy from the San Fernando Valley. Based on real life kids who were the subjects of a Vanity Fair article about their crimes, they became famous for going on joy-raids into the homes of the celebrity rich of Los Angeles-and-thereabouts, and stealing their bling: that is, their jewelry, shoes, objets d’art and fancy clothes and occasionally wads of dough the owners just leave lying around the place.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Superman comes back and opens very well. This Is The End smartly counterprograms to success as well.

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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