MCN Originals Archive for November, 2015

The Weekend Report

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 took a 50% hit but still survived Thanksgiving contenders with an estimated $51.3 million weekend. (Figures reflect a three-day period.) The incoming crowd was right behind with Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur grossing $39 million and Creed, a Rocky continuation, clobbering $29.3 million. A third national release, Victor Frankenstein, fizzled with a $2.3 million tally.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The Hungry Finale is holding well going into its second 3-day weekend. The Good Dinosaur is running ahead of The Peanuts Movie, but behind the last Disney movie to open wide on Thanksgiving weekend, Tangled. And Creed is solid, not sensational, as it builds word of mouth that will probably make it the leggiest of the November movies. The Danish Girl arrives with over $50k per screen for 3 days on four.

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The DVD Wrapup, Gift Guide II: Great American Dream Machine, McHale’s Navy, Brothers Quay, Shaun the Sheep, No Escape and more

At a time when public-broadcast stations were commonly referred to as “educational TV,” a show likened to an “intellectual ‘Laugh-In’” began production on New York City’s non-commercial WNET. “The Great American Dream Machine” was a weekly satirical variety television series. Its audience may have been miniscule compared to “Laugh-In,” but it was composed of hard-core liberals, media mavens and the next generation of opinion-makers. It didn’t take long for the show to bear fruit in the form of “The Groove Tube,” “Saturday Night Life,” “SCTV” and Kentucky Fried Movie. Watch the show today on DVD and you’ll recognize the forebears of Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, Trevor Noah and John Oliver.

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20W2O: 14 Weeks to Oscar

No matter how many times we go around this track, it gets weird at some point. It’s not like there is a bag of tricks and all you need to do for your film to get where you want is to repeat the same tricks… which is not to say that the same tricks don’t get endlessly repeated. But the subtle difference between a strategic choice that works and one that doesn’t is almost agonizing.

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Picture, The Men & The Turkey Day Recommendation

The Gurus get in their last licks before the holiday, recommending what you should make sure to see (in theaters or screeners) this week. Top three are Carol, Creed, and Brooklyn. Also, a look at the two male acting categories and, as always, Best Picture, which is surprisingly stable.

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The Weekend Report

There you have it… the poor Hunger Games finale only opened to $101 million. Shocking. (Not really. Very profitable. Likely to top $700m worldwide.) Another “underachiever,” Spectre, will become the #2 all-time James Bond movie, domestically and worldwide by this time next weekend. Not a high opening for The Night Before. Julia Roberts doesn’t draw in The Secret in Their Eyes English-language remake. Good expansions for Spotlight and Brooklyn and a very strong four-screen launch for Carol.

Klady analysis to come…

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The best reviewed Hunger Games entry also is now the smallest opener of the four movies. Lionsgate is spinning the story towards international, but there is no need for excuses. There’s still a lot of money to be made here. But it seems that the series shed lookie-loos after the second episode and is now all about the hardcore fans. Still, the movie is still looking at near $300 million domestic and over $700m worldwide.

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15 Weeks To Oscar: The Tightest, Most Open Acting Races Ever?

This season, i have tried to stay out of the predicting circus tent as much as possible. Individual situations are individual stories. Gurus o’ Gold is Gurus o’ Gold. But with The Revenant debuting widely on Monday, The H8ful Eight rolling out already, and Joy to land sometimes after Thanksgiving, we’re almost there. And I guess it’s time for me to jump in with both feet.

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The DVD Wrapup: Crumbs, Meru, Tenderness of Wolves, Living in Oblivion and more

As tiresome as most movies about our shared dystopian future have become, longtime fans of the increasingly predictable sub-genre shouldn’t give hope of finding something new and different until they’ve seen Crumbs, an instant classic from a place that looks as if it had already experienced the apocalypse and was left standing.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Actresses Rule

This week, The Gurus look at the two Actress races, both of which seem pretty well locked-in for the top 4 slots, but pretty wide open for the 5 spot. Also, as always, the latest Best Picture chart, which remains stubbornly consistent, although soft after the seventh slot.

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The Gronvall Report: Jay Roach On TRUMBO

Smoking hot following his Tony Award for “All the Way” and his multiple Emmy-winning run on “Breaking Bad,” Bryan Cranston stars as Dalton Trumbo, the phenomenally prolific author, raconteur and bon vivant who in his postwar heyday was one of the highest paid screenwriters in the nation. As comfortably as he lived, though, he firmly believed that less fortunate working stiffs were entitled to just wages and other protections that labor unions provide, and he was active in leftist politics.

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The Weekend Report

Shaken by half, it was nonetheless Spectre that stirred the top spot in weekend moviegoing with an estimated $35.2 million. Three wide releases offered scant challenge to the veteran operative. Seasonal comedy Love the Coopers slotted third with an OK $8.3 million while the Chilean mine disaster saga The 33 grossed $5.7 million. The gridiron glory of My All American faded fast at $1.4 million. A handful of films expanded, the most effective results for prior freshman class Spotlight, Brooklyn and Trumbo.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Another ugly weekend for new films as Hollywood revs up for award season. Love The Coopers is headed to a total domestic gross under $20 million. The 33—about the trapped Chilean miners, if you hadn’t heard—was barely marketed by Warner Bros, which is having a very uncharacteristic year, also seeing Our Brand Is Crisis drop from 2200 to 500 screens in Weekend 3. And Universal’s 10-screen release of Jolie-Pitt’s By The Sea is headed to a meager $10k per screen for the weekend. Katniss comes to the box office rescue next weekend… for the last time. But don’t sweat the trend pieces this week… it’s the movies and the (limited) marketing, simple as can be.

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The DVD Wrapup: Stations of the Cross, Code Unknown, Julien Duvivier, Eric Rohmer and more

Ida revealed truths about the deeply engrained anti-Semitism of many of the faithful. Stations of the Cross is Dietrich Brüggemann’s tragic depiction of religious fundamentalism at its most destructive and, as such, can be construed as serving as an indictment of one particularly conservative Catholic order. This one is based in southern Germany, an area not immune to fanaticism.

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Gurus o Gold: Who Could Get In With A Bit More Support?

The Gurus do their weekly Best Picture chart, then answer the question in each of the Top Six categories of what films or performances could get nominated if only they got a bit more of a push. That means different things to different Gurus, but feel the zen and you will know…

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16 Weeks To Oscar: What Works

Three potential field-changers – The Revenant, Joy, and The H8ful Eight – loom out there, largely unseen. But even their stories are already written in many ways, waiting for rewrites as exposure to the light changes things to whatever degree it does.

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The Weekend Report

There was never any doubt that the redoubtable 007 would lead the fall charge … just how much SPECTRE would exact. Sunday estimates pegged it at $72.4 million. Nonetheless there was sufficient room in the marketplace for a counter-programmer and The Peanuts Movie proved apt with a buoyant $44.5 million debut. The big match up was three exclusives, each opening on five screens. Spotlight focused on a Boston Globe investigation into clerical pedophilia; Brooklyn chronicled a young Irish woman’s immigration tale in 1960s America; and Trumbo detailed Hollywood’s 1950s dark blacklist era. Respectively they grossed $297,000, $179,000 and $76,800. The results ranged from great to respectable with each getting the sort of Friday to Saturday bumps that suggest strong positive word of mouth.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Spectre ghosts $27.4 million, with Daniel Craig more than doubling Snoopy’s mere $12 million with The Peanuts Movie.

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The DVD Wrapup: Jurassic World, Back to Future, Inside Out, Toy Story, Benoit Jacquot and more

To paraphrase the Budweiser advertising jingle, “When you’ve collected $1.58 billion at the worldwide box office, you’ve said it all.”

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Gurus o’ Gold: In The Starting Gate

The Gurus are back to let you know what is what as of this minute. This is the first weekly chart of the season, covering the “Top 6″ categories, Picture, Director, and the four Acting categories. Even this early in the season, things are tight enough that we have two ties.

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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