MCN Originals Archive for August, 2017

The Weekend Report

The debut of the larkish The Hitman’s Bodyguard led the weekend with an estimated $21.7 million during an overall summer slump. The session’s other national release, Logan Lucky – Steven Soderbergh’s latest heist caper – charted third with $8 million.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Jerry Lewis: The Day the Clown Disappeared

I had multiple discussions with Lewis. The first couldn’t have been funnier or more fruitful. Emboldened by the initial discussion, I suggested including footage from “The Day the Clown Cried,” as Orson Welles had his unfinished “The Other Side of the Wind “when he was honored by the American Film Institute. I waded in as delicately as possible, knowing his sensitivity to the issue, as well as the fact he controlled the material. There probably was no diplomatic way of suggesting it.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Irene Cho: A Force of Nature

Irene Cho, founder and producer of Daily Buzz, passed away on Thursday, August 17 after suffering a stroke. Her sister, Sunny, says that Irene had returned from South Korea the previous week and was about to embark on a three-week journey to Burma. She was 46.

Read the full article » 3 Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Jackson! Reynolds! Decent number! The Hitman’s Bodyguard hits a number that can’t be called a disappointment (given the date), but yet hardly expresses box office dynamite. Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky is likewise a mixed blessing. The film should do more than double the best Bleecker Street opening ever… but will still be under $8 million on 3,031 screens. And Patti Cake$, an audience-friendly, female-led Searchlight Sundance pick-up, starts softly on 14 screens, hoping to gather steam on word-of-mouth.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Latin Lover, After the Storm, Bluebeard, Meantime, Hickok and more

With dialogue in Spanish and English, How to Be a Latin Lover recovered a respectable $32.1 million at the domestic box and another $30 million overseas. It would be nice to think that those numbers mark a trend and exhibitors are paying attention to Spanish-speaking audiences. Lionsgate has testied the DVD waters with such titles as Everybody Loves Somebody, Un Padre No Tan Padre, 600 Miles, The Legend of Chupacabras and Sundown. It’s doing so in a “synergistic partnership” with Hollywood-based Pantelion Films and Mexican conglomerate, Grupo Televisa.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Weekend Report

The debut of Annabelle: Creation scared up an estimated $35.1 million to claim the box office crown in an otherwise largely downbeat session. Another recycle The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature saw its $8.7 million debut plunge more than 50% from the prior 2014 animated foray and the adaptation of the confessional bestseller The Glass Castle bowed to a tepid $4.8 million.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Annabelle 2/”Conjuring 4″ is right where it was expected to land, maybe slightly behind. But a happy day for creepy little-girls-in-peril films. Dunkirk keeps holding strong, slightly ahead of Interstellar, but without the generous Christmas holiday that Interstellar had ahead. (Expect them to be very close in the end.) The Nut Job 2 is about 40% off of the surprise hit of the original. Spidey hits $300m domestic. Detroit drops out of the Top 10 in its second weekend. And in exclusive runs, Good Time and Ingrid Goes West score.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Tipping Point: The Streaming Wars Are About To Start (in 2020)

The pieces are coming together.

Disney is the first to announce that it will launch a proper studio streaming-app business in 2019.

The non-renewal of the deal with Netflix will “open up” $450 million or so for the streamer… but the number is irrelevant to both Netflix and Disney, although all the headlines seem to find this the most important angle.

Netflix can do a deal with another studio, though the price will be higher.

But Disney is going after the future. Completely guessing at a number here, but… $8 a month… 10 million subs in the first year… almost a billion in gross revenue.

Read the full article » 4 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Kung Fu Yoga, Breaking Point, Wolves, In Shadow of Women, Stand, Taisho Trilogy, Re-Animator and more

At a time when saber-rattlers in China and India have begun squabbling over a road along their shared border, it’s easy to forgive this Sino-Indian co-production for underachieving as the action-adventure it might have been, if only box-office returns weren’t an object (which they always are). Make movies, not war.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Weekend Report

The Dark Tower edged ahead to take the crown with an estimated $19.4 million. The session also saw two new companies debut their initial national releases. Aviron launched distaff actioner Kidnap to a decent box office of $10 million, slotting fifth. Annapurna’s critically acclaimed Detroit bowed way below expectations with $7.2 million following last weekend’s successful exclusive run on 20.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

The Dark Weekend.

Question 1. Why did Tom Rothman do The Dark Tower cheaply? Because it can do $50m domestic and $100m international and not hurt Sony.

Question 2. Why did Kidnap get a theatrical? Because it can do $25 million in theaters and make itself more valuable in post-theatrical and in international theatrical.

Question 3. What happened to Detroit? Publicized tracking numbers set the bar too high and the film didn’t have a long enough runway to overcome the bombs that were thrown that, with a little more time, might have been defused.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Review-ish: The Dark Tower (spoiler-free)

It’s not as bad as people made it out to be.

You’re going to read that a lot.

And it’s not. But it is bad. And I am not going to do the normal work of reviewing to explain why. It’s the choices made before they rolled a frame of film that killed this thing, not the choices of the film itself.

Read the full article » 21 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Circle, Amnesia, Lovers, I Am the Blues, Wakefield, Opening Night, 1944, Slither and more

Far-fetched? Not since Julian Assange and Edward Snowden became household names and Russian hackers interfered with U.S. and French elections. If anything, the sting of Ponsoldt’s cautionary tale was blunted by these revelations. Mae’s enthusiasm for the concept completely evaporated when Bailey’s team overplayed its hand by demonstrating to employees how any criminal – or average citizen, like her friend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane) – could be tracked down, anywhere in the world, and arrested or harassed. Not nice. Any character played by Tom Hanks is going to be a pretty tough nut to crack, however, it will take all the magic left in the former Hermione Granger to save us from corporate tyranny. Again, a bit too obvious.

Read the full article » No Comments »

MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook