MCN Originals Archive for March, 2016

Review: Miles from Home and I Saw the Light

Film biographies date to the dawn of cinema with the lives of politicians, entertainers and sports players providing a treasure trove of drama and entertainment. But the rearview mirror hasn’t been kind to the genre. We know that many bygone favorites printed the legend and skirted over or ignored the subject’s flaws. It didn’t seem to matter to the audiences that flocked to The Pride of the Yankeesor The Jolson Story but today’s moviegoer is not as forgiving about blurred lines.

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The Weekend Report

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t the only story in the Easter marketplace but its estimated $168.3 million debut did account for approximately 66% of session revenues. There was still good news for the frame’s other national newcomer My Big Fat Greek Wedding that opened at third with $18.1 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Klady has the Thursday-Friday estimate coming in behind Jurassic World. WB would prefer it to be reported as above. Either way, a strong opening day for Batman v Superman. Either way, the minimum target based on this opening day would be $175 million domestic. We are reminded once again that Batman opens.

Meanwhile, opening day for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 does what the original MBFGW did in its first 6 weeks.

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Review: Batman v Superman (Non-Trailer-Spoiler-Free)

This is a movie that a mediocrity could have done much, much better. This film could only be this bad because the filmmaker was truly ambitious and truly not up the fulfillment of any small percentage of those ambitions.

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The Weekend Report

Zootopia stayed at the top of the weekend charts with an estimated $38.1 million, followed by national releases of Allegiant, the conclusion of the Divergent franchise, with $29 million, and the faith-based Miracles from Heaven that praised $14.9 million. A third national frosh, the comedy about Olympic gymnastics The Bronze, failed to qualify with a $403,000 tally.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The return of the Divergent series takes the top spot for the day, but will lose the weekend to the third weekend of fast and slow talking animals. Also opening, Miracle From Heaven, surprisingly not a remake of Overboard in which Batman gets knocked in the head hard and comes back to life on a boat with the hero of “Alias” in a white dress pretending to still be married to him. Top indie is Midnight Special, which should be over $30k per screen on five.

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The DVD Wrapup: Freaks & Geeks, Daddy’s Home, Censored Voices,Black Mama White Mama, Mammon and more

For all of the respect shown these fondly remembered “cult classics,” however, “My So-Called Life” and “Freaks and Geeks” lasted all of one of season, while “Veronica Mars” was always in danger of being cancelled. Indeed, the shows’ greatest accomplishment might have been clearing the way for “Glee,” a show that smashed through the imaginary lines they blurred.

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The Weekend Report

Zootopia posted an estimated $50.9 million, remaining king of the kino kingdom. 10 Cloverfield Lane held captive a solid $25.3 million but three other national openers took it on the chin. Romcom The Perfect Match took a passable $4.2 million gross but both inspirational The Young Messiah and broad comic The Brothers Grimsby showed scant commercial pulse at $3.3 million and $3.1 million, respectively.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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The DVD Wrapup: Agnes Varda, Macbeth, Coming Home, Finding Gaston and more

At 87, the much celebrated European filmmaker Agnès Varda doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Aligned with the French New Wave, her early work not only pre-dated the movement and but also influenced its more identifiable practitioners. If she isn’t as well-known as André Bazin, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette and her future husband, Jacques Demy, it’s because of her desire to make films that didn’t focus on established traditions or classical standards. So it took longer for American audiences to warm to her singular vision and experimentation. Being a woman in an industry dominated by men couldn’t have helped her chances for commercial success, either. Varda also has remained active as a creator of stylized documentaries, a judge at prestigious festivals and frequent recipient of honorary awards. Cinelicious Pics has done the arthouse crowd a huge favor by releasing a double feature of rarely seen films Varda made concurrently with Jane Birkin in the mid-1980s: Jane B. Par Agnès V. and Kung-Fu Master.

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The Weekend Report

Zootopia has a monster Saturday to become an all-time Top 10 animated opener, the biggest ever outside of the summer window, biggest for Disney Animation (aside from Pixar), and except for Inside Out, biggest true original (The Simpsons Movie not being a true original, though the first feature from the franchise). London Has Fallen opened over $20m, but is is still down from the original. And Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has got to be doing a lot of WTF-ing this weekend.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Zootopia looks to return March animation openings to serious business, chasing the March record ’06 open of Ice Age 2 (after that, Fox moved that franchise, ironically, to the summer). London Has Fallen has fallen about 25% off of the first of the franchise’s opening day as Focus releases the former FilmDistrict franchise soon after having schlesseled the top exec it came with. And the only good box office news for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is that it will outgross Admission and not be Tina Fey’s worst starring launch.

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The DVD Wrapup: Danish Girl, Boy, Intruders, Beautiful When Angry, Iron Sheik and more

The Danish Girl is an intelligent and absolutely gorgeous movie. If neither the book nor the movie bear much resemblance to the historical facts, the film’s interwar European settings, set design and period costumes are splendidly rendered and the lead characters’ paintings are very easy on the eyes.

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MCN Originals

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“One of my favorite things in watching any performance on film is when there isn’t a lot of cutting going on and when you get a chance to become really absorbed in the artist in hand. The same way we do, hopefully, at a concert, when we get a chance to really trip in to something that’s happening on stage. Whether the singer’s singing, or one of the other musicians is playing, we sort of stay there instead of cutting round with our eyes a lot.”
~ Jonathan Demme

“We’ve talked about this before in the past, my obsession with the Shakespearean histories having the ideal combination of the sweet and the sour. In ‘Henry IV, Part II’ which we’ve discussed before, in the end of that story it’s very complex and haunting because Prince Hal becomes Henry the King, and he has transcended his hoodlum days and at the ceremony is Falstaff, his good friend with whom he has really fucked around and been a loser with, and Falstaff comes up to him and says, ‘Now that you’re king we can really party,’ and the king famously says, ‘I know thee not, old man.’ It becomes Henry IV’s anointment and Falstaff’s catastrophe. That’s life. I have experienced very little unfettered triumph. There are moments, such as when my children are born, but even that comes with new fears and anxieties. In a sense the better you can communicate that life is both at once, the more powerful over time something becomes. One strives for something where the threads are there because it lasts in way that is very palpable. The idea of a tragedy is powerful in literature and theater, but in cinema it doesn’t work, certainly not commercially, and less so critically. Why is that? I think it has to do with how movies are so close to us.”
~ James Gray