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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Box Office Top Ten Led by 'The Possession' and 'Lawless,' Disaster 'The Ooogieloves' Brings Up Rear UPDATE

Grosses for Labor Day weekend are about even with last week’s as well as the same as last year (always the weakest holiday), led by overperforming Lionsgate horror entry "The Possession," hitting the youth crowd, while Weinstein's "Lawless" is delivering at expected levels with a discrete older audience.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 2, 2012 2:15 PM
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Summer Box Office Lessons: Grosses Dip, Dozen $100 Million Grossers, Wahlberg Rocks

As summer 2012 ends, studio execs are heaving sighs of relief. The expense of making and marketing a tentpole blockbuster keeps climbing, and with it the need to gross $500 million or more worldwide to ensure profit. Twelve films will gross more than $100 millon domestically (numbers through 8/26) in the US and Canada, down dramatically from 17 last year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 31, 2012 2:25 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Sleepwalk With Me' and 'Samsara' Open Huge

It's been a strong summer for specialized movies, but no weekend has had two major new openings like this one. Two new films, "Sleepwalk With Me" and "Samsara," should better than expected results. Among expanding films, "Robot and Frank" showed the most strength, but several other longer-playing films are also finding modest audiences, helping to sustain robust summer business.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 26, 2012 4:28 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Box Office Top Ten: Anti-Obama Polemic Performs on Weak Weekend, 'Premium Rush' Starts Slow UPDATED

While three new studio releases started off shockingly slow, the strongest showing was "2016: Obama's America," an anti-Obama polemic that-- on just over 1,000 screens-- rose to eighth place after several weeks of more limited play. Overall business was typical of the summer dog days.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 26, 2012 1:43 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Weekend Preview: 'Samsara,' 'Little White Lies,' 'Wild Horse,' 'Premium Rush' & More

Consider this a weekend to indulge at the movies. The 70mm documentary "Samsara" is a gorgeous, spiritually rich experience to let wash over you, while "Wild Horse, Wild Ride" examines the equine-and-man relationship and delivers a moving result akin to last year's "Buck." Guillaume Canet ("Tell No One") returns with the unabashedly French "Little White Lies," which requires antsy Americans to accept its slow pace and self-indulgence in order to appreciate its fine acting, particularly Marion Cotillard and Benoît Magimel.
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • August 23, 2012 4:29 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Arthouse Audit: Pattinson Fans Fuel 'Cosmopolis' Launch

This year has seen an astonishing three films outperform the $10,000 per screen average benchmark on a platform release. That includes this weekend's specialty box office leader, David Cronenberg's exercise in brainy style, "Cosmopolis," boosted by "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 19, 2012 4:24 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend Box Office: 'Expendables 2' is Lackluster, 'Sparkle' Shines UPDATED

It's the dog days of August. Four new openings aimed at three sets of audiences opened to varying results Friday. None rose above expectations. And the biggest one, Sylvester Stallone's "The Expendables" sequel, came up short.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 19, 2012 1:07 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Preview: 'Side by Side' & 'The Awakening' Best Bets Over Divisive 'Sparkle,' 'Cosmopolis' and 'Robot & Frank'

There's no shortage of films opening this weekend, but many will be disappointments if you go in with high expectations. The safest bet is Chris Kenneally's doc "Side by Side," which is both a treat for film buffs and a primer for anyone looking to get behind a camera in today's fast-changing digital landscape. Also getting strong reviews is Craig Zobel's Sundance entry "Compliance," which is suitably disturbing given the true story behind it, but its real-life grittiness is undermined by casting an actress who looks like a stripper to play a small town teenage girl.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 16, 2012 3:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: Summer Doldrums

This week's specialized take fell flat. The new openings (mainly NY exclusives) all performed okay, with none breaking out. But the broader market showed signs of weakness as "Ruby Sparks" failed to impress in its wider break, "Celeste and Jesse Forever" didn't repeat its more standout opening weekend performance as it expanded, and other films under-performed in later weeks.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 12, 2012 2:49 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office Analysis: 'Bourne Legacy' Bumps 'Dark Knight Rises,' Streep's 'Hope Springs' Shows Legs

As the Olympics head to a close, overall weekend grosses show signs of life, and better yet, are spread over several films with different core audiences. All three new films performed well, with “Hope Springs” likely to have the best hold down the line. “The Dark Knight Rises” fell two places to third, but the biggest drop went to “Total Recall,” after a tepid opening weekend, making its second-week fall-off even more disappointing.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 12, 2012 1:23 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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