MCN Originals Archive for February, 2018

20 Weeks To Oscar: A Week To Go

Every one of the five films that is considered to have a real chance of winning Best Picture has a position of strength and a soft underbelly.

Do you want to go through them all again?

I don’t either.

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The Weekend Report

Black Panther’s 46% decline can be viewed as a moderate downturn, but its estimated $108.2 million weekend box office is formidable. The modest opposition saw three new national release, with the best of the bunch, the antic comedy Game Night, slotted second with $16.7 million while head-trip adventure Annihilation opened to $10.8 million. The resurrected Orion Pictures label provided the young adult fantasy romance Every Day with a low spark of $2.9 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Weak openings for Game Night and Annihilation are less interesting than the continuing story of Black Panther, which will pass $700 million worldwide this weekend. Only nine movies have ever cracked $1.3 billion and Black Panther is sure to be the tenth. It will likely fall behind The Avengers and be the all-time #2 Marvel movie. (But it probably won’t pass Furious 7 as the biggest non-summer/non-holiday grosser.) These landmark-porn details distract from its profound success: the only horse race between films is created by the media.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Top 3

As The Gurus count down to Oscar night, they pick their Top 3 in every category (except picture, where it’s still Top 5). The group is unanimous in a surprising nine categories, including all four acting awards, while Editing and Doc Feature are toss-ups. The Gurus see the maximum number of Oscars going to one film being… three.

Next week… Top 2.

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The DVD Wrapup: Florida Project, Daddy’s Home 2, The Hero, Thirsty and more

By setting his closely observed humanist drama, The Florida Project, within the shadow of Disney World, Sean Baker (Tangerine) describes how a community of homeless, underemployed and frequently lawless single parents has taken root on one of the commercial strips leading into Uncle Walt’s greatest fantasy.

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The Weekend Report

Black Panther devoured seventy percent or more of the marketplace, with a record-setting box office estimated at $192.2 million (all numbers reflect three-day portion of holiday weekend). Two films premiered nationally as counterprogrammers: animated Early Man wound up slotting seventh with $3.1 million, while faith-targeted biblical drama Samson earned $1.9 million.

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Friday Box-Office Estimates

Roar.

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Gurus o Gold: Counting Down To Oscar Night

The Gurus are working through this final stage of the Oscar season. This week, The Top 4s. Next week, The Top 3s. Then, The Top 2s. And on show week, Only The Winners. (They’re all winners… it is an honor just to be nominated.)

And as you asked… The Gurus currently thinking no movie wins more than four Oscars. And the second biggest number of Oscars to… Dunkirk.

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The DVD Wrapup: Ballad of Lefty Brown, Wonder, Blades, Seijun Suzuki, Fellini, Hellraiser, Paradise and more

Set in the desolate plains of Montana, before the arrival of the railroad, The Ballad of Lefty Brown is an ode to the traditional revenge Western. When famed frontier lawman and Montana’s first elected senator Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda) is brutally murdered – assassinated, to be precise — his longtime sidekick and friend, Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman), vows to avenge his death. The trouble is, Lefty is more than a tad over the hill and he’s outgunned by some ornery desperadoes.

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The Weekend Report

Fifty Shades Freed topped weekend moviegoing with an estimated $38.8 million, followed by two other national newcomers, the free adaptation of Peter Rabbit, with $24.8 million, while clipped-from-the-headlines The 15:17 to Paris went hand-to-hand for $12.4 million.

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Friday Estimates

Wedding bonds, rabbit leaps, terror topped.

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The DVD Wrapup: Only the Brave, LBJ, Suburbicon, Aida’s Secrets, Clouzot’s Inferno, Jackie Gleason and more

Joseph Kosinski’s stunningly effective Only the Brave is the rare disaster movie guaranteed to leave its audiences not just in tears, but in mourning for the victims, their families and community at large, as well.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: The Big Quiet

Can you hear it?

Listen carefully.

Silence.

We are still a month from The Oscars.

We are still weeks from voting.

And in what has felt like a pretty open season is not accelerating into a passionate discussion of the top movies of 2017. The discussion is about the Solo trailer and Black Panther.

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The Weekend Report

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle returned to the top of the weekend viewing charts with an estimated $11 million. As the Patriots and Eagles await kick off of Super Bowl LII in frigid Minneapolis, moviegoing takes a back seat. And with that chill in mind the sole national newcomer – haunted house Winchester – opened in third with $9.1 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

One half-ass release, barely promoted or advertised. Holdovers defined by the two weekends since two wide releases for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day weekend with a single weak studio release each. Star Wars out of the Top 10 long before Jumanji. Some Oscar boost in expansions, though nothing blowing up. Super Bowl Sunday. Winter Olympics coming. Welcome to February.

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The DVD Wrapup: Last Flag, Westfront 1918, My Art, Viva L’Italia, Gothic, Viva Espana and more

At first glance, the best reason for picking up Last Flag Flying are the names on the promotional material. The Amazon Studios production was directed by Richard Linklater (Boyhood), adapted from a novel by co-screenwriter Darryl Ponicsan (Cinderella Liberty) and stars Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne. (Good enough for me, anyway.) Last Flag Flying also got extremely positive reviews. But Linklater’s heartfelt story about whether honor and the bonds of brotherhood still matter, played in no more than 110 domestic theaters, earning  just under a million dollars before shipping off to ancillary markets, where money figures are kept close to a studio’s vest. When it was released, just ahead of Veterans Day, many pundits predicted Last Flag Flying might produce an Oscar nomination, or two, but it was ignored … not “snubbed,” ignored. That’s what happens when a picture underperforms in the marketplace for no good reason.

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Sundance: New Frontier Round-up

If you’re going to sell me that you have a six-player “epic ‘80s fantasy” experience featuring female warriors, man, I want some interactivity with that that goes beyond white-labeling last year’s cat cannon functionality reworked to shoot lasers out of my arms, and I want some story and character development that makes the female warriors feel actually incepted out of story and a hero’s journey, with enough substance wrapped around the experience to give me a connection to my character and the other avatars and to care why we are there.

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MCN Originals

Eric N on: Weekend Report

Judi Levine on: The Weekend Report

YancySkancy on: 4-Day Estimates

Triple Option on: 4-Day Estimates

Sideshow Bill on: 4-Day Estimates

Bulldog on: 4-Day Estimates

Sideshow Bill on: 4-Day Estimates

hcat on: 4-Day Estimates

leahnz on: 4-Day Estimates

Dr Wally Rises on: 4-Day Estimates

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch