MCN Originals Archive for August, 2013

Friday Box Office Estimates

Morgan Spurlock tops the box office charts with his insightful documentary about a little-known musical group called One Direction. But the real surprise of the weekend is Lionsgate’s Spanish-language, 347-screen opening for Instructions Not Included doing $1.9 million on Friday, well ahead of The Getaway and more than doubling the mainstream release Closed Circuit.

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The DVD Wrapup

The Great Gatsby, Pain & Gain, Shadow Dancer, Painting, Reluctant Fundamentalist, Smiley’s People, Me & My Gal and more.

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The Weekend Report

Lee Daniels’ The Butler continued to serve it up and take top spot among weekend moviegoers with an estimated $16.9 million. A sure sign of summer’s end is the lack of new product to buttress the declining days until the Labor Day holiday. Three new national releases failed to ignite much fire with the best of the batch being third-ranked The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, a teen lit fave that fell short of Twilight potential with an opening weekend launch of $9.4 million. On its tail was apocalyptic comedy The World’s End at $9 million and the horror entry You’re Next with $7.1 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Three new wide releases in the marketplace, but all three are niche players, so the top of the chart looks very familiar. Blue Jasmine expands its way back into the Top Ten. And a quartet of disappointing August releases fills out the Top Ten from Planes‘ inability to truly lift off, to a massive 78% Friday-to-Friday drop for Kick-Ass 2.

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MCN Gurus o’ Gold: Pre-Fall-Fest Edition

The Gurus are putting their turbans back before the festival madness from Venice to Telluride to Toronto (and eventually, New York) begins, offering their top 15 picks with no order at this time. It’s a bit early to be making placements with so many of the films unseen.

पार्टी शुरू करते हैं

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The DVD Wrapup

Amour, Floating City, Martin Bonner, Don’t Stop Believin’, Wither, Tortoise in Love, Q, Life of Muhammad… and more.

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Interview: A Few Choice Details From Lee Daniels on THE BUTLER

“What are they doing to me? Y’know, the last thing I want to see is ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler.’ Y’know, what are you doing to me? You’re drawing attention to, you’re trying to, you’re like… The MPAA, what are you doing? I don’t know, I have to look at it as a gift from the universe, I gotta not look at the negative. I tend to look at the negative, so I have to look at it as a gift from the universe. And just say, okay, let me go for this. Let me just go with this and let it just wash over me.”

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The Weekend Report

Weekend box office went topsy-turvy as The Butler served up the top dish with an estimated $25.1 million opening. Three other films debuted nationally, including Kick-Ass 2 that was expected to rank first but had to settle for position three with $13.5 million. Also new were the biopic Jobs with $6.8 million and the thriller Paranoia down the list with $3.5 million. Exclusive debuts were largely blah with better results for French import You Will Be My Son of $13,200 at a solo engagement and Sundance-prized Ain’t Them Bodies Saints grossing $25,700 from three initial playdates.

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Wilmington on Movies: Lee Daniels’ The Butler

The Butler is a stretch, and a sentimental exaggeration of course.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Premature speculation about the debut numbers for The Butler have turned a strong performance into a minor disappointment at the hands of a media that has taken to using shoddy box office analysis as The New Normal. Opening weekend will still be over $20m, but will likely be at least 25% off original media spin. Kick-Ass 2 will take a step backwards from the original’s opening and a partof that fall has to be attributed to Jim Carrey, who is one of the great actor/promoters ever. The whirlwind of activity that Carrey can produce in the media was missing… and certainly cost the films many millions in publicity opportunities. Jobs just didn’t happen. The film ate all the mockery about Kutcher and got none of the “but surprisingly, it’s quite good” love.

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The DVD Wrapup

Adele Blanc-Sec, Reality, Errors of Human Body, Odd Angry Shot, Guillotines, Seconds, Damned, Shane, Community and more.

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Wilmington on DVDs: To the Wonder

To the Wonder is one of those pictures that either knocks you out or irritates you—or maybe does a little of both.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Ran; Kagemusha

Akira Kurosawa’s lavish and violent epic Ran, inspired by “King Lear,” is one of the most famous and admired of all Shakespearean films. Most aficionados rank it at or near the top of the Bard’s film canon, even though Ran dispenses with the main element that makes Shakespeare so great and imperishable, jettisoning all of the bard’s British poetry (substituting a spare Japanese translation), along with a good deal of the play’s brilliant plot and unforgettable characters.

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Wilmington on Movies: Elysium

We are shown a future world where things have gone to hell and are about to get worse (maybe), due to the devastating consequences of greed, violence, brutality, authoritarian government, social and racial prejudice, and the insane selfishness of that era‘s one-percenters. It’s our world, of course, taken to extremes, Philip K. Dick or Robert Heinlein style.

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The Weekend Report

It was a crowded house at the multiplex with four new releases taking the top spots in the marketplace. The sci-fi allegory Elysium topped the charts with an estimated $30.3 million with the antic comedy We’re the Millers not far behind with $26.4 million. Family films trailed as the animated Planes prop-elled to $22.2 million and the flagging franchise Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters at the tail-end at $14.5 million. The limited launch of Lovelace failed to penetrate with a $183,000 tally from 111 exposures.

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Friday Estimates

Four new films on top of the chart, three of which started pretty well. Elysium won’t open to District 9 numbers, but still a decent start. We’re The Millers opened a little stronger than 40-Year Old Virgin… but that hit was all about legs. The number on Planes may seem a little soft, but as August goes, it may turn out to be Disney’s biggest opening in this month ever… or number 2 or 3. And Percy Jackson becomes the latest wannabe franchise to open well off of the original, though international is where the money for the first film was, so only time will tell on the overall success or failure of this sequel.

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Wilmington on Movies: We’re the Millers

The disrobing of the legendary Rachel isn’t the epic sex fantasy scene one might imagine, but just another misjudged scene in a somewhat daring but basically lousy movie comedy—a forced, crude, often senseless show about a group of misfits or outsiders (played by Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts and Will Poulter), pretending to be a typical American suburban bourgeois family (called the Millers), while smuggling dope across the border from Mexico,

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas