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Thompson on Hollywood

Strange August Box Office Weekend Boosted by Holdovers, 'Sin City' Bombs, Top Ten Chart

Strange days have found us. Late summer weekends can yield weird results, but rarely like this. Six of the Top Ten positions changed from Friday, which is rare, as two of three new films declined steeply. Meanwhile several of holdovers enjoyed solid jumps. Last week's top two films switched positions, with "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Buena Vista) returning yet again as the top grosser after having been bested by "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Paramount) for the last two weeks.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 24, 2014 4:21 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Love Is Strange' Spices Up Lagging Specialized B.O.

Sony Pictures Classics' mature romance "Love Is Strange," the second Sundance opener in a row to dominate the specialty box office, did sizable initial business in New York and Los Angeles. With an appeal to older audiences, both straight and gay, it looks positioned for future success in a market otherwise crammed with longer-running, underperforming and/or Video on Demand titles.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 24, 2014 1:09 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Top Ten Takeaways: What Went Wrong with 'The Giver' & 'Expendables 3,' Surprise Genre Gains Popularity

Less impressive are three new wide releases. The unheralded cop comedy "Let's Be Cops" (20th Century Fox) led the pack at $17.7 million, with an $8.5 million additional gross from its Wednesday opening. It bested the disappointing, much more expensive "The Expendables 3" (Lionsgate), which for a variety of reasons fell short of predictions. Also below its anticipated level was the young adult dystopian adaptation "The Giver" (Weinstein), which may have proved too similar to"The Hunger Games" and "Divergent."
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 17, 2014 4:52 PM
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  • 9 Comments

SPECIALTY BOX OFFICE: 'Trip to Italy' and 'Frank' Best of New Sundance-Premiered Openers as 'Life After Beth' Lags

Three high-profile Sundance 2014 films top the grosses for this week's specialized openers. Comedy "The Trip to Italy" (IFC) and music drama "Frank" (Magnolia) fared best in theaters only--from distributors who often use day-and-date Video on Demand avenues. A third, zombie flick "Life After Beth" (A24), which has been viewable on Direct TV for the past month, opened soft in two prime bicoastal locations.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 17, 2014 12:58 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Expendables 3' Sinks at Box Office, 'Ninja Turtles' and 'Guardians' Still Lead

The August surge was weaker yesterday, but the Top Ten, led by last weekend's leaders "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Paramount) and "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Buena Vista), managed to continue the recent improvement over last year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 16, 2014 1:31 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Why Brad Pitt-Starrer 'Fury' Is Moving from November to October (VIDEO)

Sony Pictures is pushing up the release of David Ayer's intense world War II film "Fury," marking "Inglourious Basterds" star Brad Pitt's return to World War II as the commander of a battle-weary five-man tank unit at the end of their tour of duty--from November 14, 2014 to October 17, 2014. "Transformers" star Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman ("Noah"), Jon Bernthal ("Walking Dead") and Ayer regular Michael Pena ("End of Watch") also star in this 35 mm portrait of men under pressure.
  • By Anne Thompson and Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 12, 2014 1:56 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Top Ten Box Office Takeaways: 'Turtles' Beats 'Guardians'; 'Hundred-Foot Journey' Scores With Adults, 'Get On Up' Stumbles

For the second time this summer and the first time ever in August, two films grossed over $40 million on the same weekend. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (Paramount) opened over expectations at $65 million, while Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" (Buena Vista) dropped a reasonable 56%. Last summer four films opened at over $40-million mark, three on one weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 10, 2014 4:50 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Specialty Box Office: 'What If' Leads Weak Openers; 'Boyhood' and 'Most Wanted Man' Pass $10 Million

For the second straight weekend, a high-profile festival acquisition opened to mixed results, as CBS Films' Daniel Radcliffe vehicle "What If" struggled to find significant traction in ten markets before it moves wider next week. Last week's top opener "Calvary" (Fox Searchlight) struggled in some markets as it expanded more broadly than usual.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 10, 2014 1:45 PM
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Friday Box Office: 'Mutant Ninja Turtles' Upends Marvel's 'Guardians' in Surprising August Upset

An unexpected pre-back-to-school surge in box office led to a much stronger than expected showing for Paramount's reboot of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," winning the day's top gross of $25.6 million.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 9, 2014 1:17 PM
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Rogen's Roll Continues as Sony Pushes Bumbling Spy Bromance 'The Interview' to Christmas (VIDEO)

Seth Rogen is on a roll, from comedies "This is the End" to "Neighbors," and now Sony is pushing back the multi-tasker's latest comedy "The Interview" from October to holiday prime time, Christmas Day. Rogen co-wrote, co-produced, and co-directed with partner Evan Goldberg, and also stars with equally workaholic James Franco and Lizzy Caplan ("Masters of Sex").
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 7, 2014 3:39 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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