MCN Originals Archive for January, 2015

20 Weeks To Oscar: The Most Shocking Event Of The Week!!!!

The Answers

Clint Eastwood.
Bradley Cooper.
Alexandre Desplat.
Foxcatcher.
The LEGO Movie.
Life Itself.

The Question…

What are six Oscar occurrences today that are legitimately more surprising than Selma “only” getting a Best Picture nod?

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The DVD Wrapup: The Skin, Men Women & Children, Petra Von Kant, Jewel in Crown and more

Blessed with terrific performances by Lancaster, Mastroianni and Cardinale, The Skin describes the carnage of war from the sanitized point of view to which we’re accustomed. It’s certainly not for everyone, however. Even some WWII completists will find it shocking.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Screenermania!

An industry in which a $2.4 million buy-in ($900,000 before you are nominated for anything) just for DVDs—before ads, books, promo items, appearance costs, etc,—to be considered “serious” about receiving awards is a problem.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Trouble With Endings (spoilers)

This piece deals with the end of three Oscar Best Picture candidates, reveling the ending of American Sniper, The Imitation Game, and Unbroken. DO NOT PROCEED is you haven’t seen the films or do not want to know the endings… you have been warned!

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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20 Weeks To Oscar: SNUB!

A snub is a smile turned upside down. That’s the First thing that always hits me when people scream, “SNUB!.” In order for some potential nominee who didn’t get nominated to be snubbed, someone who did get nominated has to have been undeserving in the eyes of the screamer(s). Second thing I think of is…

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Gurus o’ Gold: One Last Guess Before Nominations

The Gurus are back for one more round before nominations are announced on Thursday morning. The last slots for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay are the most contentious slots for The Gurus. And Grand Budapest Hotel moves up slightly while Selma moves down slightly.

Look for the Gurus rankings of all the categories (other than shorts) on Thursday afternoon.

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Studio Market Share 2014

Domestic box office ended the year with a $10.43 billion tally, a 5% downturn from the prior twelve months. Actual admissions will dip for 2014 by roughly 7%. Bragging rights went to 20th Century Fox, releases from which accounted for $1.79 billion and a market share of 17.1%. It was also a boost for the studio that had finished last among the traditional majors a year ago. With eight of its releases grossing in excess of $100 million, Fox saw its box office expand by 69%. None of the majors saw a comparable boost or dip, with Universal taking the hardest hit of 22%. But that’s market share, not related to profitability.

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Best of 2014: A Top 40

Against the odds, good and great movies are made. And shown. And seen. And listed numerically, if not wholly ranked. Here’s one critic’s enhanced top forty for 2014.

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The Weekend Report

The third installment of unlikely franchise Taken easily led weekend moviegoing with an estimated debut gross of $40.1 million. Trailing in second spot was the national expansion of Selma with $11.1 million. Also expanding from its Oscar qualifying run was Paul Thomas Anderson’s post-Altman Pynchon adaptation, the neo-noir Inherent Vice , which buzzed $2.8 million from 645 screens.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

For all the negativity around Taken 3, it will still open better than the original in 2008, though not quite as well as the sequel (2012)… which could still be enough to become the biggest opening ever in January (though it will probably fall short by a few million). Selma opens nicely, though not overwhelmingly. There aren’t a lot of good comparable releases with an awards push, a hold on limited screens into January, and then the big expansion. Selma continues to be on its own path, approaching $11 million for the weekend.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: How To Get Nominated

I’m starting this piece with less than an hour to go in the Oscar voting. And my advice (this is the cheap stuff… if I ever became an awards consultant, my advice would be way more valuable than this) is different for Phase II. But here goes… a list. I hate lists. But it feels like the right format here…

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The DVD Wrapup: Boyhood, Horns, Salvo, Dark Valley, Happy End, 88, Boys From Brazil, Dark Sails, SpongeBob… More

And, no, viewers and critics weren’t merely impressed by the project’s fascinating backstory. The film also features brilliantly convincing performances by Hawke and Patricia Arquette. Through contributions large and small, happy and sad, the entire cast provides a highly realistic context for at least one American boy’s life in the early 21st Century. The brilliant thing about Linklater’s vision is that nothing in the story seems forced or gratuitous, including the various inevitable introductions to inebriants, sexual awakenings and traumas that come with living in dysfunctional environments.

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One Last Time: How Sony F***ed Up The Business Of “The Interview”

I’ve written this 20 ways, but in honor of another series of bizarre articles about how GREAT Sony has done with The Interview, I feel compelled.

Sony will likely take at least a $10 million loss on The Interview as they handled it. Versus a minimum $40 million profit.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: In A Holding Pattern

There will be plenty to do for the next week, as we wait for the only nominations that the industry actually cares about. The Critics Choice Awards… Golden Globes… in some ways, these are really the start of the award season for real people. Neither group is particularly legit and neither will have more than a very, very minor influence on the ultimate Oscar winners. More, these televised awards tend to continue the process the settling.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Back From The Holidays, Polls Close Thursday

The Gurus are back from the holidays and just after PGA nominations, another look at the Best Picture race as the Oscar nominations speed towards a close on Thursday. Eleven different films got Top 10 votes from more than half the Gurus, keeping things interesting.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Sexism and Racism and Awards Voting, Oh My! (2015 Edition)

This morning’s PGA vote is as unsurprising as unsurprising can be. To begin with, there is nothing included that is out of the box that has been defined for months. American Sniper has built a lot of heat over the holidays. Nightcrawler has been gaining heat for a while already. And Foxcatcher has been expected by most prognosticators since Cannes, pushed into “unexpected” status only in the last few weeks.

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The Weekend Report

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies remained a hard habit to break as it retained the top spot in weekend movie going with an estimated $21.8 million. Christmas Day openers Into the Woods and Unbroken followed respectively with $18.8 million and $18.3 million and the session’s sole newcomer The Woman in Black: Angel of Death ranked fourth with $15 million. Exclusive newcomers included 2014’s last award’s contender A Most Violent Year with a potent opening weekend of $165,000 at four venues and Chinese blockbuster The Taking of Tiger Mountain with a sturdy $50,800 from seven screens. Box office revenues for the frame exceeded $155 million and ebbed from last weekend’s tally by 26%. It was however 11% improved from 2014 when Frozen inched ahead of newcomer Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones with $19.6 million to $18.3 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The final Hobbit film remains firmly ensconced in the top slot for another weekend. The Woman in Black 2 , following up on the Daniel Radcliffe surprise hit from CBS Films in 2012, opens just about 10% behind the first without Mr. Potter front and center. Into The Woods and Unbroken remain neck-and-neck as they have ever since Christmas Day. And A Most Violent Year ‘s first weekend appearance is chasing $50k per-screen on four.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Soft Settling

This is the time of year when I usually write a story about what Bill Condon coined, “The Great Settling.” What that means, essentially, is that Academy voters have now had a chance to watch their DVDs, go to their screenings, hear some whispers, be fed a bunch of narratives, and get advertised to endlessly for a month and the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Another Oscar Zit

Walter Keane’s daughter from his first marriage, Susan, believes her dad’s story. And she built a website.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima