MCN Originals Archive for May, 2016

The Weekend Report (3-Day Weekend)

Apocalypse couldn’t blow up to $80 million; Alice Through The Looking Glass cracks $33 million; and Birds was almost $25 million Angry.

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The Weekend Report

X-Men: Apocalypse led the field for the Memorial holiday frame with an estimated $64.8 million (all figures represent first three days of extended weekend). Session’s other national debut, Alice Through the Looking Glas , took second with $27.9 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Apocalypse noise at $26.2 million, Alice hardly heard at $9.7 million; and birds stay Angry at $5 million, even after a 54% plunge.

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Wilmington on Movies: Alice Through the Looking Glass

This new movie’s flaws seem to me less ruinous, its strengths less negligible, and its effect more enjoyable than naysayers have allowed. That doesn’t mean that you should rush out and see it, simply that the people involved did a better job than they have been credited.

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The DVD Wrapup: Zoolander 2, Finest Hours, A Married Woman, Manhunter, The Damned and more

With approximately 100 minutes to go, co-writer-director-star Ben Stiller will be required to recycle gags from the original, coordinate the many cameo appearances of well-known stars and fashionistas, preen in character for the camera and hope that viewers have forgotten that Robert Altman’s Prêt-à-Porter did a far better job skewering the industry seven years before Z1 was unleashed in 2001.

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The Weekend Report

The debut of The Angry Birds Movie flew to the top of the weekend charts with an estimated $39.1 million. Other wide openers were Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising in third spot with $21.8 million and the 1970s-style neo-noir spoof The Nice Guys a step back at $11.1 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Kids love anthropomorphic animals… even birds who can only fly by slingshot. And satire is what closes on Saturday night according to George S. Kaufman and The Nice Guys, which WB really worked their asses off on, is suffering through that this weekend. ope for legs. In between, take a wonderfully broad hit comedy, cleverly add girl power, and… meh. Less than half the opening of Neighbors for 2. Meanwhile, Weiner and Maggie’s Plan get solid, if not overwhelming arthouse launches.

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The DVD Wrapup: Theeb, Naked Island, Witch, Maurice Pialat, Cop Rock and more

There are times when Naji Abu Nowar’s terrific World War I adventure, Theeb, feels very much like Lawrence of Arabia writ small. Less than half as long, it tells a similarly exciting story from the point of view of Bedouin tribesmen who attach themselves to a British Army officer assigned to blow up an Ottoman railroad in the heart of the desert. Because Theeb is essentially a coming-of-age story, it betrays no secrets to reveal that the officer rather quickly becomes a non-factor in the drama, leaving only what he left behind to drive the narrative

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Review: The Nice Guys, Maggie’s Plan

Although unshielded,  The Nice Guys are the newest crew of the buddy cop genre that spawned 48 Hrs., Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys and more recently,Ride Along. They are bigger goofballs than their antecedents and, regrettably, lack the requisite charm to divert attention away from a muddy narrative that involves nefarious shenanigans linking the automobile and porn industries.

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Cannes Review: Hell Or High Water

“Three tours of Iraq and no bail-out for people like us,” reads a spray-painted wall in the opening shot of Hell or High Water (formerly Comancheria), a crime drama from David Mackenzie (2013’s Starred Up). With gripping tension and real-world stakes from the get-go, the graffiti message resonates as a reminder of the bitter resentment people have for financial institutions, and they’re willing to fight back against them.

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The Weekend Report

Captain America: Civil War took a sharp turn but nonetheless maintained a commanding lead  with an estimated $72.6 million. The week’s two national rollout performed roughly as expected, with Money Monster slotting third with $14.8 million and the The Darkness a notch back at $5.2 million.

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Cannes Review: The Transfiguration

Out of the darkness, the remedy to tired post-Twilight vampire movies arrives in Cannes with little to no fanfire: U. S. director Michael O’Shea’s The Transfiguration, a debut that drives an sturdy stake into familiar material while breaking new ground in urban realism.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

No surprise to find the Avengers sequel disguised as a Captain America movie still in front by a large margin. The 74% drop isn’t even a surprise, matching last summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and running only $16m behind the same. Some may be disappointed with the Money Monster opening, but it’s solid given its material. Its figure outpaces Hail, Caesar! and The Finest Hours‘ openings, which are really the only comparables this year and isn’t far behind Bridge of Spies‘ opening last year. Good start for Love & Friendship on four screens, projecting a $25k per-screen for the weekend.

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Cannes Review: The Student

On Day 3, sidebar program Un Certain Regard has again proven more interesting and daring than the Competition. It’s a list of films that already includes a fundamental powerhouse: The Student, by Russia’s Kirill Serebrennikov,

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The DVD Wrapup: Mustang, Where to Invade Next, Patty Duke, In a Lonely Place and more

Nominated for a 2015 Academy Award in Best Foreign Language Film category, Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s and co-screenwriter Alice Winocour’s heart-breaking coming-of-age drama, Mustang, describes what happens in a country, Turkey, where the dreams and hopes of too many girls are crushed at the onset of puberty.

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Review: DHEEPAN, THE LOBSTER

At its heart, Audiard’s film is about identity. In the process of starting a new life his trio of refugees have the additional hurdle of adopting roles that have little bearing on their pasts. Ironically, the scenario playing out in the building among the locals is presented as more tenable to their experience than they are allowed to admit.

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The Weekend Report

Captain America: Civil War delivered a blistering blow with a potent estimated debut of $182.4 million. The film accounted for roughly 76% of all weekend ticket sales, and coupled with its Disney stablemates, corralled 87% of business for the frame. The company also became the first in 2016 to surpass $1 billion at the domestic box office on Friday and set a new record for that benchmark as well. While no one put out a sacrificial lamb as counterprogramming, the second weekend of Mother’s Day served that purpose with a carbon-copy gross to its opening session.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

“In a world… in which $70m – $85m opening days have become shockingly normal…” here comes the next Avengers installment, sans a couple of Avengers, with a Captain America title, thus opening just slightly lower than the two Avengers movies. Notably, it opened to less than Batman v Superman, though expect that to flip soon. Down-ballot films were clearly damaged, though The Jungle Book held well, even it had been a regular weekend slate.

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Review: A Bigger Splash

There’s a glow that enshrines the Mediterranean isle of Pantelleria. The idyllic fashion in which it’s presented in Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, the skeptical would conclude it was a fictional locale. It’s not. Pantelleria is a getaway for wealthy Europeans.

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The DVD Wrapup: East Side Sushi, Glassland, Scherzo Diabolico, The Club, Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party and more

In addition to excellent acting, Marty Rosenberg’s cinematography makes the sushi look consistently mouthwatering. East Side Sushi may not carry the weight of a potential nominee for an Oscar or a Spirit nomination, but it succeeds nicely as an entertainment that can be enjoyed by teens and adults. The blend of ethnic elements is as natural and unforced as the Juana’s prize recipes. It reminds me favorably of the underappreciated rom/com/dram The Ramen Girl, in which Brittany Murphy played a fish out of water in Tokyo. Predictably, that wonderful picture went straight-to-DVD, too. Need I mention that the casts for both pictures are predominantly non-white?

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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