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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Weekend Preview: 'Bourne' Without 'Bourne' And the Latest from Streep, Delpy, Ferrell & Spike Lee

Everything's coming up Fresh this weekend, so it just comes down to taste. If you're in the mood for "Bourne" without Jason Bourne, Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz do a fine job (and have the longest motorcycle chase sequence ever) in "narrative architect" Tony Gilroy's "The Bourne Legacy" (Edward Norton is also worth seeing). By the end of the film, you wish for a sequel that unites Renner's Aaron Cross with Damon's Jason Bourne; otherwise the whole enterprise seems pointless.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 9, 2012 6:13 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Celeste and Jesse Forever' Best Opening Since 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

After last weekend's Olympics-be-damned slate of high pedigree new films, the second weekend provided only one with real expectations - Sundance Premiere section acquisition "Celeste and Jesse Forever." And despite overall mixed reviews, it achieved the best opening numbers of any new release since "Beasts of the Southern Wild," showing that there is room for more hits in this already upbeat specialized summer.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 5, 2012 2:23 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Studio Weekend Box Office: 'The Dark Knight Rises' Wins the Gold Vs. New Competition UPDATED TOP TEN ANALYSIS

Nothing could touch Chris Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" at the box office this weekend. Grosses for the top wide releases came in at about below 27% of the same weekend last year, mostly due to the ongoing impact of the Olympics. "The Rise of the Planet of the Apes" debuted that weekend, with a weekend gross of $55 million, more than double that of this weekend’s top new film "Total Recall."
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 5, 2012 12:43 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Best of the Week: Box Office and Olympics Butt Heads, Sight & Sound Top 50, Remembering Chris Marker and Gore Vidal & More

This week on TOH, the box office came down with a case of Olympics syndrome, Sight & Sound announced the Top 50 Films of All Time (with "Vertigo" taking the crown), we remembered avant-garde filmmaker Chris Marker and screenwriter-essayist Gore Vidal, and more!
  • By TOH!
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  • August 3, 2012 3:49 PM
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Weekend Preview: 'Total Recall' a Noisy, Shallow, Costly Misfire

For a reported budget of $200 million, you'd think that if nothing else "Total Recall" would be visually dazzling. Sadly, Len Wiseman's futuristic universe lacks believable depth and texture, and the actors are stuck with a truly uninspired script. A zero-gravity sequence is an exception to the otherwise incessant and forgettable action.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 2, 2012 1:58 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Arthouse Audit: New Releases Led by 'Ruby Sparks' Are Hurt By Olympics

Four years ago at the 2008 Olympics opening, specialized distributors avoided the date like the plague for new releases. This year, several anticipated films opened--and none showed strength consistent with what has been a robust late spring/summer. As the games tend to appeal to older audiences, this is not particularly surprising.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • July 29, 2012 2:41 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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