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Thompson on Hollywood

Boffo Four-Day Holiday Box Office, Led by 'The Hobbit,' 'Django Unchained' & 'Les Miserables,' Rings Out Record Year

It's an embarrassment of riches. The days following Christmas have been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs in grosses. On Friday, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" repeated the #1 spot it regained on Thursday, but "Django Unchained" climbed ahead of "Les Miserables" for #2, with the latter falling to #3 narrowly after leading all films on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 29, 2012 4:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Christmas Box Office Reality: Top Dog 'Les Miserables' Beats Out 'The Hobbit' and 'Django Unchained,' Rest of Field Shows Weakness

After great openings days on Tuesday, both "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained" fell 33% on Wednesday, with the result that the order of the top three films shifted from Christmas Day. "The Hobbit," up slightly from Tuesday, edged out "Django" by a clear margin, while falling about $1 million behind "Les Miserables." All three films though are showing great strength early in the holiday week.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 27, 2012 4:18 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Tops and Flops of 2012 Box Office - Lessons Learned

On the surface 2012 doesn't look like a game-changer, after a decade of film business upheaval. In many ways the top fifteen top-grossers are all-too familiar--sequels, tentpoles, animated family fare and a comedy. But dig into the hits a bit and there are developments that could change how future films get made.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 26, 2012 3:37 PM
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  • 8 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Amour' Open Strong

The two most awarded and critically-acclaimed films of 2012 both opened last Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles, earning the highest Metacritic scores of the year (among the best of recent years). Their performance through the first five days show that audiences are responding. While faced with major competition for adult audiences as well as the normal pre-holiday slump, both posted numbers that would be considered strong any time of the year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 23, 2012 4:21 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Pre-Holiday Box Office is Weak: Christmas Can't Come Too Soon for Studios, Theaters

Pre-Christmas weekends vary wildly in performance year by year, depending on where the dates fall (the closer to Christmas, the worse the business until December 25) and the strength of new openings. With the debuting films this year ranging for modest to weak, whatever strength there was came from the second week of "The Hobbit," which took a steep (but not unusual) fall from its smaller-than-expected opening. The result is a so-so total gross at best.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 23, 2012 1:03 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Pre-Holiday Box Office: 'Jack Reacher' Best of So-So New Openers

Warning signs for this year's year-end box office prospects appeared in Friday's numbers. Even though pre-Christmas Friday was two days earlier this year (generally the closer the day is to the holiday, the fewer people are going to movies), the take for the Top Ten was only $28 million yesterday, compared to $37 million on the same Friday last year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 22, 2012 5:39 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Foreign Language Shortlist Films All Open or Set for Release by Early 2013

Something funny happened on the way to the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar shortlist. Unusually, all nine contenders announced Friday morning have either already been released in the US or will be during the first quarter of 2013.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 21, 2012 4:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Pre-Holiday Box Office: 'Zero Dark 30' 'Amour' Openings Boost Oscar Chances; 'Guilt Trip' 'Monsters 3D' Start Slow

Four new films opened midweek, during the pre-Christmas period when most people postpone their moviegoing until the holiday. "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Amour" both opened well in limited release in NY/LA, particularly for the date. The two wide studio releases -- "Guilt Trip" and 3-D rerelease "Monsters 3D" fell far short of similar recent openings on a pre-Christmas Wednesday.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 20, 2012 3:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: Holiday Prospects for Holdovers 'Hyde Park,' 'Karenina,' 'Hitchcock,' 'Rust and Bone'

This is not looking like a strong holiday season for the specialty players.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 16, 2012 4:01 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office Top Ten: 'The Hobbit' Breaks Records, But What Does It Mean?

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" delivered about 70% of the top ten revenue in the pre-Christmas doldrums. Grosses almost doubled from last weekend and climbed about 13% from last year, making this a very successful weekend indeed. Yes, "The Hobbit" set a record for December weekend openings-- in raw dollar count--but the numbers suggest that it might not be quite as strong as seems at first glance. Down the line, a whole series of Thanskgiving and earlier releases show few signs of giving up their screens as a whole slew of major new films prepare to battle to grab their spots over the next two weeks.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 16, 2012 1:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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