MCN Originals Archive for November, 2014

Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: AFI 2014

Gary Essert spent close to a decade raising money and fighting industry resistance before the curtain rose on FilmEx back in 1971. It was the first truly international and substantial celebration of global cinema in the city that thinks of itself as the movie capital of the world. Now Los Angeles has two such events (and myriad specialty/niche movie showcases). AFI Fest gets underway Thursday with the world premiere of A Most Violent Year kicking off the show. For the record AFI connects back to FilmEx as the institution came aboard shortly after the latter’s board forced Essert out and that panel proved incapable of running the operation.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: A Thin Line Between Love & Hate

When people start answering questions under the protection of anonymity (“isn’t identified for lack of wanting to be seen taking a position on this in the New York Times because there is only downside from being quoted in a story like this”)… well, professional spinners is gonna spin. And professional reporters are, it seems, going to take a side when they don’t have truly firm facts.

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Wilmington on Movies: Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler is a movie mostly about Los Angeles at night, mostly about the times when a lot of the city closes down and the streets go black, and freelance newshounds and videographers come crawling out of the dark corners and racing through the dark streets to take pictures of disaster and bloodshed and mayhem — which they peddle to the noisier TV channels and news programs: all those second or third tier (or less) stations whose (not always) unspoken motto is “If it bleeds, it leads.” It’s a good movie: tough, eloquent, very well-shot (by Robert Elswit)—a rousing little show that tries to tap the same sort of sleaze-scraping, unsparing vein as Ace in the Hole (about newspapers and sensationalistic journalism), Sweet Smell of Success (about newspaper gossip columnists) and A Face in the Crowd (about populist rightwing TV). A lot of the time, it succeeds. Sometimes sweetly, and sometimes with a spray of acid.

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The DVD Wrapup: Maleficent, Planes 2, Hercules, Franco X 2, Begin Again, LFO, Vanishing, Coffee in Berlin, Miss Marple, Pemberley, Running From Crazy … More

The great thing about owning the rights to one of the American cinema’s most cherished works is the ability to borrow from it to the point of re-invention. The privilege can be abused, of course, especially if the re-adaptation is made by lesser talents than those responsible for the origin.

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The Weekend Report

Halloween said si to Ouija as the spooky yarn edged out newcomer Nightcrawler for top spot at the box office. Respective estimates for the films were $10.9 million and $10.7 million. The session’s other wide release was the chiller Before I Go to Sleep that grossed a disappointing $1.9 million. Holiday-timed retreads of Saw and The Nightmare Before Christmas also failed to treat.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

In spite of premature guessing by the “trades,” Ouija wins Friday over excellent adult thriller Nightcrawler. There is still a good chance that Nightcrawler will win the weekend, holding better on Saturday and Sunday than Ouija. The last time Halloween fell on a Friday (2008), Zack & Miri Make A Porno started with a $2.2m Friday and made it to the $10m mark. So the tale for Nightcrawler will be told today, as people actually buy tickets.

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MCN Originals

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
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