MCN Originals Archive for November, 2014

20 Weeks To Oscar: The Trouble With Biopics

We’re close to an all-biopic Oscar season. Maybe that’s why it’s such a blur right now. The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Selma, Unbroken, Foxcatcher, Mr. Turner, Big Eyes, and American Sniper are all specifically biopics. Boyhood and Birdman are fiction, but have major biographical elements driving them. Lots of bios.

Read the full article » 3 Comments »

The Weekend Report

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 held top spot over the extending Thanksgiving holiday with an estimated $56.9 million. Turkey days featured two new national releases that came up short of expectations. Animated Penguins of Madagascar bowed in second spot with $25.7 million and the sequel of revenge Horrible Bosses 2 ran fifth at $15.5 million. Exclusive newcomers included Oz horror yarn The Babadook with $18,800 from two engagements. The biggest clues were left by Oscar hopeful The Imitation Game, that bowed to $484,000 on just four secret estates.

Read the full article »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Mockingjay continues to rule the roost and is now looking to catch up to the domestic gross of the first Hunger Games, but not the second (which it is still behind by 24%). It’s now past $400m worldwide. newcomer/spinoff The Penguins of Madagascar is looking soft, due for a Saturday uptick, but not close to Big Hero Six opening numbers, even if you adjust expectations because of the Wednesday launch. Interstellar had an uptick this weekend, even as it dropped more than 10% of its screens. And newcomer/sequel Horrible Bosses 2 is no Horrible Bosses… but how different they really are at the box office won’t be known until the end of next weekend, once we’ve digested Thanksgiving.

Read the full article »

The DVD Wrapup: Monte Hellman, Les Blank, Dirty Movies, Lines of Wellington, Drunk History and more

Traditionally, the one sure way to kill a genre film’s commercial appeal is for a critic to label it “existential” or “experimental” or compare it to the films of Antonioni. No matter how much a Western or road picture was embraced by intellectuals, if it didn’t draw a crowd to the drive-in or local bijou, no amount of arthouse revenues could save it or advance the career of the artiste. Monte Hellman broke into the movie business in 1959 with a string of genre films made under the Corman banner: Beast From Haunted Cave, The Terror and a pair of back-to-back collaborations with Jack Nicholson, Back Door to Hell and Flight to Fury and The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind. Five years would pass before Universal attempted to tap into the counterculture market with his “existential road movie,” Two-Lane Blacktop. Forty years later, this unqualified financial disaster would enter the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, where The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind someday may find themselves as well.

Read the full article »

20 Weeks To Oscar: First Major Event

Guild nominations are rarely outside of the well-established box. It takes a series of those events in coordination to change the game. Critics awards… lovely. But enjoy them for what they are, because they may not match nominations, much less winners.

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

Gurus o’ Gold: Thanksgiving Week

This week, The Gurus offer up opinions on Best Picture and the two Supporting Acting categories. Also, what movies should voters try to see this holiday weekend before nominations commence? It’s a pretty big list, which is a sign of a strong year of movies, if not easy awards choices.

Read the full article » 5 Comments »

The Weekend Report

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 generated the biggest box office bow (wow) of the year with an estimated $123.2 million salvo. The franchise’s third outing was always expected to be boffo albeit tracking indicated it would not attain the $158 million level of the prior chapter. Nonetheless, some held out hope for a gross close to $150 million. In light of the anticipated b.o. tsunami, competitors steered clear of the date with even limited, niche and exclusive debuts pared way back. But there was an encouraging $23,500 gross for the offbeat California-shot, Iran-set hipster vampire tale A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night from two playdates. The sesh also featured small expansions for The Homesman, Foxcatcher and The Theory of Everything with the latter two maintaining hefty screen averages.

Read the full article »

Friday Box Office Estimates

A little move called Mockingjay: Part 1 shocked the movie world on Friday by a) having the biggest opening day of 2014, b) having the weakest opening day of the Hunger Games franchise, c) being unwatched by anyone in the movie world who doesn’t have a financial stake in it. In other box office news… well… is there any other box office news?

Read the full article »

The DVD Wrapup: Into the Storm, Automata, Wind Rises, Summer’s Tale, Brazilian Western, Alive Within, I Am Ali, Worricker, Monkey Shines and more

Ever since Western film critics and animation buffs helped convince Walt Disney Company to showcase the work of Hayao Miyazaki, by distributing titles from Studio Ghibli outside Japan, niche audiences here have applauded his takes on mankind’s struggle to balance nature and technology, the strength and wisdom of his female characters, and maintaining a pacifist stance in world enamored of war. They also have admired the ways fantasy and supernatural themes are integrated into manga-influenced stories of almost breathtaking visual beauty. Knowing Americans’ genetic predisposition to not reward movies that carry subtitles, Disney has arranged for casts of prominent voice actors to mute any objections to them.

Read the full article »

Gurus o’ Gold: A Week From Thanksgiving, aka Screener Time

There’s been a march on the Top Ten and the man leading the charge has moved up the Actors list as well. The field narrows as the holiday gets closer.

Read the full article » 17 Comments »

20 Weeks To Oscar – The Ides Of November

It’s still early. And it’s so late! There are a few titles floating out there, waiting for their moment in the spotlight. But it’s getting awfully late to make a first impression.

Read the full article » 10 Comments »

Wilmington on Movies: Foxcatcher

When a movie comedian goes dramatic, the results can be devastating—as Steve Carell proves again in Foxcatcher.

Read the full article »

The Weekend Report

Walt and Harry get a hero’s welcome after two decades away, grossing out an outrageous $38 million, while Big Hero 6 mashes up an estimated $35.8 million. Interstellar doesn’t quite go beyond infinity with $28.5 million, but gets tantalizingly close to the $100 million barrier.

Read the full article »

Gurus o Gold: Just After Selma & American Sniper

The Gurus voted on Best Picture again this week after the Tuesday screenings of Selma and American Sniper. One of the films skyrocketed into the Top 6.

Read the full article » 5 Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Twenty years later, the original-star sequel to Dumb & Dumber‘s opening day is just $2.1 million behind the entire opening weekend of the original. Back in 1994, it took seven weeks for that film to generate 85% of its domestic box office.This film will have more like four weekends to do the same. The Friday/weekend flip between Interstellar and Big Hero 6 should occur again this weekend as BH6 hits the $100m tape on Sunday. Newcomer Beyond the Lights from Relativity will open a little behind Addicted, Lionsgate’s October “urban” entry. Foxcatcher will be the big per-screen opener of the weekend, looking at about $35k per on five.

Read the full article »

The DVD Wrapup: Mood Indigo, Jersey Boys, Tammy, Happy Christmas, Land Ho!, I Am Yours, Demons, Ornette/Jason, S.O.B., Compleat and more

Imagine a collaboration between Jacques Tati, Pee-wee Herman and Giacomo Puccini and it might resemble Michel Gondry’s latest romantic fantasy, Mood Indigo, not that he needs much help in that department.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

Gurus o Gold: Just Before Selma & American Sniper

The Gurus rank the Top 6 categories right before the AFI double feature of Selma and American Sniper. Will either film move into the Top 10? You’ll have to wait for the next charts to find out…

Read the full article » 15 Comments »

The Gronvall Report: Talking With ROSEWATER’s Maziar Bahari

“We are going through a really turbulent time in journalism. There are the chaos and challenges within the industry itself. Then there are the waves of citizen journalists [operating online and digitally]. Meanwhile, because news now can travel instantly, leaving no time for deniability, governments become more and more afraid of media coverage.”

Read the full article »

The Weekend Report

The weekend was expected to be highly competitive between spaced-out Interstellar and the cuddly animated robot of Big Hero 6. When the dust cleared the tilt went friendly with BH6 grossing an estimated $56 million and the sci-fi eye-popper close behind with $48.3 million. The two films accounted for roughly 66% of the session’s box office. Similarly, it was drear among the new exclusive with the notable exception being the Stephen Hawking origin story The Theory of Everything with a potent $206,000 box office from five screens.

Read the full article »

Friday Box Office Estimates

The weekend will go to Big Hero Six in the end rather than Interstellar, but the placement at the top of the chart means almost nothing in reality. These two films are not cannibalizing one another. Geeks who love Interstellar will surely also see Big Hero 6 this weekend or next. And kids under 10 aren’t expected to rush to Interstellar. These are both strong openings, but by no standard sensational. Both films should have the kind of legs that reach to Thanksgiving weekend. Interstellar‘s open is about 23% off of Inception and Big Hero Six, compared to other animated films in the first weekend of November slot, should be slightly ahead of Wreck-It-Ralph, but still #4 all-time.

Read the full article »

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