MCN Originals Archive for July, 2014

The Weekend Report

Lucy had the brains and the brawn to lead weekend box office with an estimated debut of $44 million. That left that other new muscleman Hercules in the bridesmaid slot with $29 million. The third national release—Rob Reiner’s senior rom-com And So It Goes—took $4.4 million.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

The power of Scarlett Johansson’s brain on drugs outdoes The Rock’s muscles. And FreeStyle Entertainment takes out a Michael Douglas/Diane Keaton without telling anybody, while Woody #45 opens modestly.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Report

If any actors should have been able to interest audiences in the concept of artificial intelligence forwarded in Transcendence, it was Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman.

Read the full article » No Comments »

31 Weeks To Oscar: Telluride, Toronto & New York

I feel like all the pieces are in the right place after announcements from New York (FIRST!) and Toronto, with the Telluride schedule showing itself more clearly than ever because of TIFF’s new rules about opening weekend and North American premieres. I hate the idea of this all being a competition between the festivals. All three are so distinct. They each have a purpose. And for me, the more above board everyone is, the better.

Read the full article » 13 Comments »

A Story Of Deep Delight: Talking BOYHOOD With Richard Linklater

A conversation about time, duration, contracts, some parallels between Boyhood and poetry, making a period film in the present tense, and why film “improvisation” doesn’t exist.

Read the full article » 6 Comments »

The Weekend Report

Simple simian says Dawn of the Planet of the Apes rules again with an estimated $35.8 million. However, a trio of new wide releases lined up right behind it. Best of the bunch was the shocker sequel The Purge: Anarchy that bowed to $28.3 million. Both the animated sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue and romcom Sex Tape entered below expectations with respective grosses of $17.9 million and $14.9 million.

On the alternative side Begin Again added 363 screens and plateaued. The question now is just how far can Boyhood penetrate into the marketplace. Its weekend gross of $1.2 million from 34 screens in exclusive engagements in top urban markets is truly impressive. Nonetheless it will need sustained TLC and vigorous promotion to assure its embrace in second and third tier centers in order to reach a broad audience and secure its position as an early awards contender.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

The Purge: Anarchy leads on Friday, but it’s down about 23% from opening day of the first high-concept, low-budget thriller. If it continues on this trajectory, it will gross about $26m for the weekend and still be very profitable. But don’t look elsewhere or you may think that ending the weekend as the #2 film is some sort of tragedy. Also opening, Sex Tape, which looks like Cameron Diaz’s weakest comedy opening since 2005/2006. The film is, literally, in the mid-summer Friends With Benefits slot… a film that also underperformed in spite of some hot talent. And Planes 2 opens softer than Planes, which was basically an up-converted direct-to-DVD spin-off of Cars. Of course, given that this is a film for young kids, it could still end up with a $20m weekend and a gross not too dissimilar to the first release, given the paucity of kids’ films in the market.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup

Like Father Like Son, Face of Love, Vinyl, TV Westerns, sxtape, Southern Comfort, WWI, D-Day and more.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Interview: Jonathan Glazer On The Birth Of UNDER THE SKIN

In a rangy interview, we talk to Jonathan Glazer about themes in Under The Skin, sight, the eye, Mica Levi’s inventive score and artistic productivity. (He admires Fassbinder’s output.) There are spoilers.

Read the full article » No Comments »

32 Weeks To Oscar: Toronto, Telluride, and Collateral Damage

Whatever corner was turned by Telluride and by distributors, make no mistake… Telluride is now in the “me-first” Oscar race game. After 33 years of not having a single Oscar nominee for Best Picture, suddenly they were cranking out at least one a year. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen like the breeze shifting directions. But most of these films “officially” premiered at Toronto. So TIFF made claims to being the first stop for Oscar as well. And TIFF’s pedigree in this regard started 7 years earlier than Telluride… 1999… with American Beauty. And they’ve had 8 Oscar winners in 13 years. And 3 Audience Award winners won Best Picture in the last 6 years.

Read the full article » 13 Comments »

The Weekend Report

The Apes rise, the Transformers drop but are far from extinction, Begin Again expands nicely, and Boyhood does awards-season opening numbers in July with an estimated $74,000 on 5 screens.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

The Apes come out swinging, though on the second tier of summer hit openings. Transformers, which is still the biggest opening day of 2014, will become the quickest film to $200 million today, although Cap 2 was holding better in its third weekend. And Boyhoodopens very strong on just 5 screens, projecting to over $50k per, which would make it the biggest exclusive opening of the year after The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup

Jodorowsky’s Dune, Le Week-End, Cannabis Kid, Rigor Mortis, Pretty One, Watermark, POWs, Vicious, Endeavor and more.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Review-ish: Planet of The Apes (non-spoiler)

This film really becomes The Dark Knight to the first film’s Batman Begins. You spend much if the movie anticipating which weird, never-before-seen turn the thing might take next. It’s Shakespearean, it’s Biblical (Old and New Testament), it’s The Walking Dead, it’s The Lion King, it’s Lincoln it’s The Godfather, it’s Titanic. It’s all over the place. Yet… it really comes together.

Read the full article » 22 Comments »

The Weekend Report

There was a lot to celebrate during the Independence holiday span … but it wasn’t at the multiplex. Weekend business hit its lowest point for the period in the past decade. Leading the pack for its second weekend was Transformers: Age of Extinction with an estimated $36.2 million during the three-day skirmish. Raucous comedy Tammy was second and best of a trio of newcomers with $21.2 million. The other freshmen were exorcism chiller Deliver Us from Evil, which grossed $9.5 million and family-targeted Earth to Echo all that E.T.-ish at $8.2 million.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Knights At Table: Remembering Mazursky

On the appointed day I made my way toward Bob’s Donuts and could hear laughter and boisterous banter well before I reached my destination. When I finally spied Mazursky I could see him at the center (not literally) of a group of about eight people—the loud folk I’d heard from a distance. I approached cautiously and as I neared he waved me over.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Death & Life: Part Two

I knew Paul Mazursky for about 10 years.

I am a member of The Table, as we call it. The tradition is, simply, a bunch of guys – and yes, some women – who get together in the mornings to break bread (usually donuts) and talk shit. The common denominator is show business. And the table has enjoyed some of the best writers, directors, actors, comics, artists, execs, journalists, etc for which you could ask.

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

The DVD Wrapup

The Unknown Known, Lunchbox, Cannibal Holocaust, Final Terror, Operation Petticoat, Helix and more.

Read the full article » No Comments »

MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
~ Brett Ratner Has A Sad

“The loss of a local newspaper critic is a real loss. People who know the local audience and know the local cultural scene are very important resources. You can’t just substitute the stuff that comes in from nowhere through syndication or the wire. I think at the same time, some of the newer outlets have really beefed up and improved their coverage and made room for criticism. The real problem is in the more specialized art forms — fine arts, classical music, dance and jazz, say. There is a real slowing of critical voices, partly because those art forms have smaller audiences. Newspapers and magazines can say that doesn’t get enough traffic, so we don’t have room for that. To me, that’s especially worrisome. This is the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do, which is not to try to figure out what people are already interested in and recite that back to them, but to hopefully guide them to something that they should be interested in, connecting potential audiences with more interesting work.

“Then again, not everyone needs a critic. People have been going to movies for more than 100 years now, and probably the vast majority of those people have not read movie reviews or cared what critics thought. But there has always been an important subset that wants to know more, that wants to think about what they’ve seen and what they’re going to see, and wants someone to think along with. I think critics are important, not just as dispensers of consumer advice — though that’s certainly part of it, too — but as trusted voices and companions for people to argue with in your head when you’re going to movies or afterwards.”
~ A. O. Scott