MCN Originals Archive for February, 2017

The Weekend Report

Get Out got in with an estimated $30.5 million debut. The session’s other two national openers had less fortuitous results. Animated Rock Dogs charted 11th with $3.6 million. Collide bumped into $1.5 million.

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Remembering Bill Paxton

The phone rang.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Get Out is an ironic hit on #OscarWeekendSoRacial. Will the trajectory of the film across the weekend be horror movie or comedy date film? Fifty Shades Darker continues to drop like a lead balloon, but will pass $100m domestic and $300m worldwide today as its producer prepares to present the Oscar telecast. Lion continues to expand, and Hidden Figures stays slightly ahead of La La Land at the domestic box office (but way behind internationally). Animated Feature nominee My Life As A Zucchini opens as the only $10k+ limited/exclusive.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Our Final Votes

In this final look at the field before Oscar Sunday, The Gurus bet heavy on La La Land. Also, a long list of categories where The Gurus think upsets are still possible, though the only La La upset with any traction is Huppert over Stone (and still, all voting Gurus went Stone and only 5 consider the upset possible). Plus, the Gurus are still fuzzy on the shorts.

Thanks for joining us for another season. We predict we will see you again in August.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: 4 Days Away…

It wasn’t complex. It wasn’t full of surprises. And nothing in its nature has suggested any real change at The Academy or inside The Industry.

The Academy is still old and white. Young people still tend to spark what is new about the industry. But the process of “becoming” for non-actors tends not to be an overnight event.

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The DVD Wrapup: Hacksaw Ridge, Manchester, Arrival, Bad Santa 2, Tharlo, Chabrol X 3 and more

When a Hollywood movie is said to have been based on a true story, it’s safe to assume that the actions of the protagonist were embellished to make the character more heroic or saintly. In his multiple Oscar candidate, Hacksaw Ridge, director Mel Gibson was faced with the opposite problem. The real-life story of U.S. Army medic Desmond Doss — the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor – was too good to be true, even for the movies. If anything, the truth behind Doss’ actions during the Battle of Okinawa, in World War II, had to be scaled back, so that viewers wouldn’t think they were pumped up for dramatic effect. In Gibson’s first directorial effort since 2006’s Apocalypto – or, to be more precise, since he disgraced himself after being stopped in Malibu on suspicion of driving while drunk – the number of men Doss saved or rescued was limited to 75, when it probably was much higher.

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The Film Industry Sky Continues Not To Fall

When executives are in a job for 12 or 15 or 15-16 years or 18 years as Brad Grey, Jim Gianopulos, Amy Pascal, and Ron Meyer have been in the major exit formation of the last two years, the idea that “these days, a studio chief is lucky to get to bat” is just a punchline for a joke about self-delusion.

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The Weekend Report (4-Day Estimates)

Not much change from the 3-day, except for A Cure For Wellness dropping out of the Top 10 altogether in the 4-day estimates.

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The Weekend Report

The Lego Batman Movie and Fifty Shades Darker once again topped weekend releases. The films were estimated at $34 million and $20.9 million for the three-day portion. All figures reflect the 3-day portion. A trio of new national releases failed to catch fire with the Chinese epic The Great Wall fairing best with good results of $18 million. The comedy Fist Fight bowed to a disappointing $12 million while thriller A Cure for Wellness debuted with a moribund $4.3 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Lego Batman rolls along, though it is not up to par with The Lego Movie and doesn’t bode well for the future Lego-branded titles that don’t have the most powerful franchise brands in the movie business. Fifty Shades Darker is more than 40% off the first of the series, but it will still cross $100m+ domestic. Newcomer The Great Wall is outperforming low expectations, but hardly a hit. Fist Fight is looking at the worst Ice Cube opening in over a decade. And Fox doesn’t find much interest in A Cure for Wellness, sold as horror/thriller in-betweener.

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The DVD Wrapup: Edge of 17, Gimme Danger, Cameraperson, Tree Of Wooden Clogs, London Town, Coffin Joe, King Cobra and more

When Stevie Nicks wrote the song after which Kelly Fremon Craig’s coming-of-age comedy-drama was named, she was addressing the grief that resulted from the death of her beloved uncle, Jonathan, and the murder of John Lennon, during the same week of December, 1980. It probably didn’t have much to do with the angst, optimism and anxiety that comes with entering the final year of one’s childhood or experiencing the first genuine pangs of love or pain as young adult, as most of us assumed.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Final Voting Has Begun… The Gurus Weigh In

The Gurus offer their Top 2 in every category… except when a Guru feels the win is so locked in that there is no realistic competition. Seven of the categories have unanimous votes (Actress, Supporting Actress, Animation, Documentary, Score, Song, VFX). If The Gurus’ vision is clear, one film will win 9 Oscars on the night. The Gurus will be back one more time, after voting closes.

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Keith Maitland’s TOWER On Independent Lens

Keith Maitland’s intricately conceived and executed Tower, a hybrid, mixed-media documentary, takes advantage of the versatility and cost-effectiveness of animation to reflect on American’s first mass shooting at a school, from the University of Texas Tower on August 1, 1966, when thirteen were murdered and thirty wounded in ninety-six minutes.

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The Weekend Report

There was no contest in the face-off between Legoworld and Lingerieland. The gap between the $55.1 million bow of The Lego Batman Movie and $46.8 million Fifty Shades Darker was tighter than anticipated. The week’s other newcomer, John Wick: Chapter 2, kicked out a potent bow of $29.4 million.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Cash & Carrying Gold

Here is a key stat about winning Best Picture: Since the expansion to 5+ Best Picture nominees, no film that has won Best Picture has been better than #3 on the list of domestic box office grossers amongst the nominees.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

-30%. -16%. +100%.

Those opening day drops for each of the “sequels” that opened on Friday. As you can see, John Wick 2 doubled its launch (and also its budget). Of course, even if it doubles its overall worldwide gross, JW2 is “only” a $175m worldwide movie. Lego and 50 Shades were $470m and $570m worldwide, respectively. Both “sequels” will be profitable. But how much will those original grosses drop when all is said and done?

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The DVD Wrapup: Loving, American Pastoral, Eagle Huntress, Come What May, Blush, Leonard Cohen and more

The horrifying story told in Loving may have been revelatory to many viewers, whose only knowledge of this footnote in history derived from feature articles and reviews that accompanied its Cannes debut and release last November. For others, such reminders of American apartheid are as fresh as yesterday’s news.

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The Weekend Report

It was a threepeat for Split with Shymalan’s return taking top spot with an estimated $14.6 million and a cume nearing $100 million domestic. That left newcomer Rings just behind with a $12.9 million debut. The other national freshmen received less warm embraces. Interstellar YA The Space Between Us grossed $3.7 million while The Comedian got little applause with a $1 million tally.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Opening on Super Bowl weekend can be treacherous. Sunday is already the softest day of the box office weekend, but on Super Sunday, it’s positively limp. Last year, Universal counter-programmed the event with a Coen Bros movie, which did okay for a Coen Bros movie. This year, Paramount went out with the genre that tends to fall like a stone on Sunday anyway, horror, and released the reboot Rings, which will win the weekend with a bigger launch than Hail, Caesar!, but not close to the #1 movie last SB weekend, Panda 3. The other newcomer, The Space Between Us, has a lot of space between it and the top.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Pick Your Top Two

This week, the Gurus were asked for their Top 2 picks in every category… unless they thought the winner is a lock. The results were not surprising, although Denzel Washington has moved into a lead and virtual Guru tie with Casey Affleck for Best Actor. Also close: Original Screenplay.

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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