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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance 2012 Revisited: Top Ten Winners, Theatrical Numbers Down, VOD Profits Up (Charts)

As the buying frenzy for Sundance 2013 begins -- bolstered by the unexpected Oscar nominations for last year's grand jury prize-winner "Beasts of the Southern Wild" -- let's look at what happened to the rest of the 2012 acquisitions. Last year, the prices for top films fell a bit below 2011, after several high-profile acquisitions underperformed...
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 17, 2013 6:00 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Fox Searchlight to Rerelease 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' in Wake of Four Oscar Nominations

Fox Searchlight Pictures will re-release Benh Zeitlin’s "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which last week was nominated for four Oscars including picture, director, adapted screenplay and the youngest best actress nominee ever, Quvezhane Wallis. The film will play in select cities on January 18, a year after the movie debuted at Sundance and took home the grand jury prize and excellence in cinematography award.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 16, 2013 7:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Catching Up With Foreign Language and Documentary Feature Nominees

Three categories - Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature and Animated Feature - frequently have nominees that have received little or no U.S. theatrical play, and even sometimes no set playdate ahead. Things look better this year, but still not ideal for those who want to see all the nominees prior to the awards.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 14, 2013 6:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Amour' Gets Post-Oscar Nomination Expansion Bump

Two films with senior citizen casts stood out above the other specialized limited releases this weekend, the first after the Oscar nomination. "Amour," with its surprise five nominations, all in major categories (including the oldest ever Best Actress nominee) had a very good expansion timed to the announcements. Meantime, "Quartet," another film with a proven draw despite her age (Maggie Smith at 78 is seven years younger than Emmanuelle Riva) opened to solid results in exclusive New York/Los Angeles theaters.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 13, 2013 4:22 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekend Box Office Top Ten: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Takes Top Spot; Four Oscar Contenders Pass $100 Million

The initial wide release of "Zero Dark Thirty" easily made number one for the weekend, becoming only the second of the nine Best Picture Oscar contenders to attain that position ("Argo" did so for one week in October). Unusually, four Oscar rivals have already grossed over $100 million, one is closing in on that marker and another ("Silver Linings Playbook") be positioned to make a run at it.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 13, 2013 1:23 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Box Office Preview: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Achieves Mission; 'Haunted House' Edges 'Gangster Squad' for Second Place

"Zero Dark Thirty" stood out among eight Oscar Best Pictures nominees in release the weekend after the nominations with a strong $9 million and a likely dominant #1 position expected for the weekend. But the shocker so far is Open Road's unheralded "The Haunted House," which for its opening day seems to have slightly edged Warner Bros.' delayed release of "Gangster Squad" for #2 so far. The latter was thought to possible be a rival to "Zero Dark" for the top spot. Instead, even though it is showing at 1,000 more theaters than "Haunted," it looks to be in a battle for second place, a very disappointing result for this bigger-name driven, much more expensive film.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 12, 2013 2:49 PM
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  • 3 Comments

2012 Box Office Wrap: Wide Release Blockbusters, Underperformers and Bellyflops, Studio Winners and Losers

It's not easy figuring out what films were hits or misses (or something inbetween). Domestic gross totals don't tell the whole story. You need to look at revenue as well as production and marketing costs to assess global returns. (Remember, theaters return about half of what they take in at theater wickets to distributors.) Here's our stab at sorting out 143 films initially released in 2012 that played wide (750 screens or more) for at least one week.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 6, 2013 5:35 PM
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  • 12 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Expands Strongly, '56 Up' First Doc Hit of 2013?

Late year releases, many expanding, dominate the specialized market this weekend. By far the biggest, "Zero Dark Thirty," is mainly playing in upscale multiplexes, providing fierce competition to such already strong wide releases as "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables."
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 6, 2013 4:05 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Weekend Box Office Top Ten: 'Texas Chainsaw' Wreaks Havoc; 'Django' Bests 'Les Mis;' 'Zero Dark Thirty' Soars

Three strong Christmas pictures have been battling for box office supremacy for ten days, with "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables" switching positions almost daily. But none of them ended up on top this weekend. Younger audiences, bored with the the adult and family films dominating the holidays, responded to the first new horror film since Halloween by making "Texas Chainsaw 3D" number one for the weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 6, 2013 12:55 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Saturday Box Office Preview: 'Texas Chainsaw' Opens at Number One, Followed by 'Django,' 'Zero Dark Thirty' Expands

Younger moviegoers eagerly greeted Lionsgate's "Texas Chainsaw" (3D and 2D), the first new horror release since Halloween with a $10 million-plus Friday gross, much bigger than expected and heading to a likely #1 spot for the weekend. Although it has a $4 million edge on the day's #2 ("Django Unchained"), genre films like this tend to have their best day on Friday, so the final weekend lead could be challenged.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 5, 2013 2:16 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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