MCN Originals Archive for December, 2015

8 Weeks To Oscar: Pretending We Know

Expect surprises on nomination morning… even if the biggest surprise ends up being that there are no surprises at all.

Read the full article » 26 Comments »

Remembering Haskell Wexler

I was thinking about Haskell about a week ago. It might have been a movie or poster, it could have been one of any number of associations. He was certainly a part of our lives, especially my wives going back to the early 1970s.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Weekend Report

Star Wars: The Force Awakens dominated holiday moviegoing with a second weekend estimated at $154.6 million. A quartet of Christmas Day releases favored comedy Daddy’s Home, ranking second with $38.7 million. Also strong was bio-ish Joy at $17.3 million while hardhitting Concussion and action remake Point Break got lost in the crush of holiday options with respective bows of $10.9 million and $9.9 million. The 70mm exclusive 100-screen launch of The Hateful Eight arrived with both barrels blazing and a $4.5 million bounty.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

The Little Movie That Could, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, had another good day. It is getting the accelerated December benefit, but at a level much higher than ever before. The best previous day in December in history was $37m for The Hobbit. SW:TFA has had a higher gross than that each and every day but one (Christmas Eve) in its run so far. Daddy’s Home had a very solid opening. It’s the second biggest Will Ferrell-starring opening and the holiday period may push the number ahead of his #1, Talladega Nights. And Joy joins the party with the best non-action opening for Jennifer Lawrence and for David O. Russell overall. Concussion and Point Break open softer. And The Hateful Eight‘s roadshow draws $19k per on Friday on 100 screens, though without out any screen expansion in individual theaters and a 3:12 running time. The Revenant, which has the flexibility of adding screens in its multiplexes, did $42,500 per on 4, which is less impressive in context, but will be much more impressive in (some) coverage, grossing numbers similar to last December’s American Sniper, October’s Steve Jobs, American Hustle and Dreamgirls.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: You Better Vote Good For Goodness Sake

The Gurus are ready for a well-deserved break. But before they go, they seem to be close to settling their minds about some things. Best Picture seems to be down to a firm 9 titles. The acting races seem to be settling in (though watch out for that Best Supporting Actor race… it could bite you.) And the Gurus expect voters to step up and see a few titles they may have missed before they vote.

Read the full article » 11 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: War Room, Nasty Baby, Queen of Earth, Leonard Cohen and more

Queen of Earth, Elisabeth Moss portrays Catherine, a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. After the recent death of her father, a famous artist, and being dumped by her boyfriend, Catherine accepts an invitation from her best friend Virginia (Katherine Waterston) to recuperate at her lake house. Although her memories of the house include images of happy times spent with her then-boyfriend, Catherine anticipates spending quality time with Virginia. While it’s possible to anticipate the close friends partaking in some sexual healing, what happens next is far more disturbing. For a while, Catherine is able to hold her own in the increasingly nasty verbal exchanges. Moss’ facial expressions provide all the evidence we need to determine precisely when Catherine reaches her breaking point. Alex Ross Perry’s Bergman-esque approach to his story benefits from the pastoral setting.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Thirty Favored Features For 2015 (And Twenty More)

Fifty features, a few films out of time and a fistful of shorts.

Read the full article » No Comments »

2015’s Best, Alphabetically

The ritual of “best” lists for the Seventh Art is a perennial. Those of us from the fifth estate privileged to ply this arena get to trot out “good taste.” The passage of time may validate one’s options; conversely, looking in the rearview mirror could metamorphose us all into pillars of salt.

Read the full article » No Comments »

DVD Geek: Pan

An ‘origin’ story that does its darnedest to turn Peter Pan into Harry Potter.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Fifteen Feature Documentaries For 2015

The Look Of Silence, Amy, Heart of a Dog and twelve more highlights of the 2015 year in documentary.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Gronvall Report: Adam McKay On THE BIG SHORT

onsidering the widespread devastation caused by the 2008 market collapse (from which, it hardly needs saying, we are still recovering) this is gallows humor, but of a very fine order. Equally fine is the drama, which succeeds largely because the flawed characters at its center are nothing if not recognizably human.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Weekend Report

The box office wars are over and The Force Awakens has won its opening weekend worldwide. Soft starts for The Road Chip and Sisters can’t be thrilling, but should survive through the holidays.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Star Wars: The Force Awakens did some business. Sisters, not so much.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Gronvall Report: On SON OF SAUL

There is no catharsis or relief or uplift to be found, only a very credible approximation of the relentless hell that was the Nazi death factory. And yet you cannot look away.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: M:I, Ted 2, Burroughs, Time Out of Mind, Slow Learners and more

Everyone who’s fallen in love with the mythos of the Beat Generation has, at one time or another, wondered how William S. Burroughs fit into the bigger picture. Apart from being an extremely cool guy, an accomplished writer, avant-garde artist and intellectual outlaw, the grandson of the man who founded the Burroughs Adding Machine Company didn’t fit into any of the molds created by the media to explain the confederation of artists that most prominently included Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, Herbert Hunke, Neal Cassady, Gary Snyder and Gregory Corso. It’s almost impossible to imagine Burroughs hitchhiking across the country with Kerouac and Cassady, simply to “go,” and not be mistaken for a mortician or bible salesman. And, yet, go he did … to Mexico, Tangier, Paris, Rome, London and the Amazonian rain forest.

Read the full article » No Comments »

10 Weeks To Oscar: Work It!

What movies seem like they are playing above their station this season? Room? Brooklyn? Spotlight? What do they share?

Hustle.

Read the full article » 6 Comments »

Gurus o’ Gold: What Underdogs Are Still Barking?

The Gurus offer a wildly shaken Best Picture chart, with only a single film holding the same position as last week. So then, which are the underdogs that still have a chance of getting in as we close in on the Oscar nomination voting? It’s a long, interesting list.

Read the full article » 3 Comments »

Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (No Spoilers Until Marked Light Spoilers) WITH SPOILERS IN COMMENTS

I don’t feel like making a detailed, spoiler-ed argument for a very small percentage of readers who have actually seen The Force Awakens. So I am writing a few spoiler-free graphs, then clearly marking a place for a few soft spoilers, then I will stop… until Thursday or Friday, when I will publish a spoiler piece about the film.

Read the full article » 57 Comments »

The Weekend Report

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 made it four in a row at the top of the weekend box office with an estimated $11.2 million. The session’s sole incoming national newcomer, historical whaling saga In the Heart of the Sea, was just behind with $10.9 million with just $1.1 million separating the top four movies in the marketplace. Exclusive freshmen met tepid response with the exception of awards contender The Big Short, bowing to a potent $713,000 from eight swaps.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

On a sleepy weekend, a week from Star Wars, a film sold as a Moby Dick prequel, In The Heart of The Sea, will open to just over $10 million, just outgrossing the 4th weekend of HungerMock2 and Creed, which is holding well, but started from a modest perch. The Big Short opens to something close to $75,000 per screen on 8, which is impressive, but not a sure indicator of what will happen when it goes wider, especially given the wide-release ad dollars already spent against this eight-screen kick-off.

Read the full article » No Comments »

MCN Originals

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Beauty and the Beast 23.8 4210 -63% 252.4
Power Rangers 15 3693 New 15
Life 4.3 3146 New 4.3
Kong: Skull Island 3.7 3666 -49% 122.8
Logan 2.6 3163 -44% 193.9
CHIPS 2.5 2464 New 2.5
Get Out 2.5 2474 -34% 141.3
The Shack 1 2330 -35% 46.3
Katamarayudu 0.67 254 New 0.67
The Belko Experiment 0.55 1341 -64% 6.3
Also Debuting
Wilson 0.1 310
Phillauri 75,200 74
Slamma Jamma 43,200 338
Car Dogs 4,800 10
I Called Him Morgan 4,200 1
The Second Time Around 2,400 3
In Search of Israeli Cuisine 2,400 2
Bokeh 1,800 9
Afterimage 1,200 3
Tuktuq 1,100 2
Dig Two Graves 1,000 7
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