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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office Returns to Normal: 'Good Day to Die Hard' & 'Safe Haven' Open, 'Silver Linings' Heads for $100 Million

After a disastrous weekend when grosses dipped to half of last year's, two new releases and one strong holdover continued the Thursday Valentine's Day rebound. Friday's Top Ten total is close to the 2012 sum. Three of the week's four new films premiered a day earlier. All three fell off their initial numbers, though, suggesting that the recovery is not complete, even for just one weekend. (We'll report holiday weekend totals on Monday.)
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 16, 2013 2:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'Lore' and 'Charles Swan' Modest Openers, Holdovers Stay Strong

With few significant new openings these days and competition for multiple adult-appealing Oscar contenders still significant, "Lore" and "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III" both posted just average opening grosses. The snow in New York likely had some impact on box office there (both films opened only in NYC and Los Angeles), but the reality is 2013 is starting off slowly in terms of debuting releases.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 10, 2013 4:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office Top Ten: 'Identity Thief' First Breakout of 2013 Amid Weak Field

A weekend standout amid weather closings, "Identity Thief" outdid expectations for a terrific opening. While a number of recent releases and older Oscar contenders held up well (following the depleted Super Bowl weekend), most or all of the Top 10 films are successes. So what's the worry?
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 10, 2013 1:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Friday Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Outpaces Weak Pack

The good news: Universal's Melissa McCarthy comedy "Identity Thief" scored the best Friday gross of any film so far this year. Battling both a Northeastern blizzard-- which closed theaters across the most populated stretch of the country-- and inferior reviews, it easily surpassed the first-day gross for "Bridesmaids" (just under $8 million in May 2011), which, propelled by great word of mouth, stuck around for months to gross a total $169 million. The bad news: the rest of the box office.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 9, 2013 2:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: Four Docs and Oscar Shorts Program Buoy Specialized Weekend Box Office

After a January of weak specialized openings (led by First Run's "56 Up"), February is showing some life with four new documentary releases and a shorts program. The standouts are Sony Pictures Classics' Oscar-nominated "The Gatekeepers" in two cities and Zeitgeist's "Koch" in New York. Arthouses in 2013-- like much of 2012-- will be sustained in part by a steady flow of decent if not spectacularly grossing non-fiction films. Still, multiple films scoring strong initial response in the same weekend is an anomaly.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 3, 2013 4:46 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office Top Ten: Low-Scoring Game Boosted by Veteran Holdovers

It was a piss-poor weekend at the box office. Grosses showed somewhat more strength Saturday than Friday. The Super Bowl always damages both audience turnout and viable new releases, but this looks like the worst in total gross since at least 2007, and less than that when higher ticket prices are included. And this doesn't come in a vacuum -- business has been down since the start of the year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 3, 2013 1:29 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Friday Box Office: Is It Time to Panic Yet?

Another post-holiday Friday, another dismal box office report. And with the Super Bowl upon us, the weekend is unlikely to get much better. The top ten films yesterday grossed around $22 million, compared to $31 million last year (also opposite The Big Game). This continues a trend for recent weeks for Fridays to be significantly below their counterparts in 2012. What has salvaged the weekends somewhat have been improvements for the other two days, reflecting the older audience component that has been evident since October. But that is less likely this week.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 2, 2013 4:25 PM
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  • 5 Comments

MVPs of the Movies: Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Eddie Murphy and Robin Williams Top the List

What does it take to be one of the most valuable actors of all time? 24/7 Wall St. considered this and ranked almost 700 leading actors. They found that in order to top the list, an actor needed to have starred in not just one but several high-grossing franchises
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 31, 2013 2:22 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Arthouse Audit: VOD Vet 'John Dies at the End' Scores, 'Quartet' Builds

The contrast between the fevered buying at the just completed Sundance and the pace of business, particularly for new openings, at specialized theaters was fairly stark this weekend. Among those new films reporting grosses, each opened in only one city (two in New York, one in Los Angeles), all getting a least some sampling among initial viewers.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 27, 2013 4:19 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office Top Ten: Weak Openers Led by 'Hansel and Gretel'

Things picked up on Saturday after poor box office performance Friday due to Eastern weather. But it was still a weak result overall, with the Top Ten down about 25% from last weekend (even without major football competition) and about $6 million under last year (which saw a slight bump for two new Oscar nominees).
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 27, 2013 1:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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