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Thompson on Hollywood

Woody Allen Propels 'Fading Gigolo' to Strong Second-Best Limited Opening of 2014

In the specialty world, strong grosses follow critical reaction most of the time. When distributors fear reviews, they often avoid narrow two-city, high-profile openings, going broader or even heading straight for video on demand. Millennium Films, despite mixed reactions to the "Fading Gigolo" premiere at Toronto, committed to a high-end New York/Los Angeles debut for the John Turturro film starring (but not directed by) Woody Allen, along with a wide advance screening program and significant marketing expenditures. The surprise result is the second-best limited opener of the year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 20, 2014 8:57 PM
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  • 4 Comments

'Captain America' Tops Box Office Top Ten for Third Week as Depp's 'Transcendence' Flops

This Easter weekend three religious-themed films made the Top 10, led by new opener "Heaven Is for Real" (Sony) which barely missed taking the #2 spot despite playing in more than 1,000 fewer screens than the box office leaders. This unheralded low-budget effort reinforces the most significant trend of 2014 so far: faith-based films nabbing substantial audiences.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 20, 2014 1:03 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Friday Box Office: Sequels Beat New Entries, Faith-Based 'Heaven' Is Strong, 'Transcendence' Starts off Weak

Easter Weekend, with its Friday school holiday, is usually an appealing date for new releases, and the studios came through with four debuts. Despite that, two holdover films, both sequels, came in #1 and #2 yesterday, with "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (Buena Vista) and "Rio 2" (20th Century Fox), at $9.6 and $9.2 respectively, leading the way.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 19, 2014 3:48 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Box Office Top Ten: 'Captain America' Stays Strong to Beat 'Rio 2'

All signs on Saturday pointed to "Rio 2" (Blue Sky/Twentieth Century Fox) easily claiming the top spot this weekend. The animated sequel led the Friday box office, and kid-oriented films normally pop above average for the rest of the weekend. So it looked like it would easily top the second weekend for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (Marvel/Buena Vista). But something changed.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 14, 2014 2:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Only Lovers Left Alive' Tops Trio of New Big-Name Openings

The heaviest slate of significant new films to open in one week so far this year, all of which had considerable attention from Cannes to Toronto in 2013, opened to variable results this weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 13, 2014 4:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Friday Box Office: 'Rio 2' Edges 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'; 'Noah' Plummets, 'Only Lovers' Leads Specialty Openers

"Rio 2" took the lead in the Friday box office with $12 million reported, placing it just ahead of the second weekend for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" at $11.9 million. "Noah" plummeted in its third weekend. Three specialty openers disappointed.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 12, 2014 7:17 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Scarlett Johansson is Two for Two This Weekend as 'Under the Skin' Marks 2014's Second Best Limited Opener

Jonathan Glazer's well-reviewed Scarlett Johansson-starrer "Under the Skin" (A24) scored the best limited opening so far this year after the phenomenal "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Clocking less than 20% the latter film's start, "Under the Skin" still marked an impressive opening for a challenging and highly-stylized thriller.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 6, 2014 5:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Top Ten Box Office: Marvel's 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Smashes the Field

Marvel/Disney's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" vacuumed up nearly 60% of the Top 10 gross of $157 million. Recent openers "Noah" (Paramount) and "Divergent" (Lionsgate) took powerful body blows and fell quickly from their modest starts. "Captain America"'s strong number distorts the overall box office performance, which is otherwise showing signs of weakness.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 6, 2014 1:07 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Friday Box Office: 'Captain America' Does Huge Business, 'Under the Skin' Has Healthy Limited Opening

Marvel's latest juggernaut "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (Buena Vista) replicated its one-week earlier initial initial success with a domestic take of $37,041,000, a record for an April opening. This is just under $3 million better than the previous best April first day achieved by the non-3D "Fast Five" (2011), with the take including $10.2 million for Thursday evening shows.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • April 5, 2014 2:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Cesar Chavez,' 'The Raid 2,' 'Finding Vivian Maier' & 'Mistaken for Strangers' Find Initial Success

Four new specialized/independent releases from diverse backgrounds showed initial strength this weekend. Two of these -- "Cesar Chavez" (Pantelion/Lionsgate) and "The Raid 2" (Sony Pictures Classics) -- are intended for wider release. Two others -- "Finding Vivian Maier" (IFC) and "Mistaken for Strangers" (Abramorama) -- are documentaries focusing, as have so many hits in the medium, on aspects of the creative process, and seem headed to decent or better art-house success.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 30, 2014 4:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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