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Thompson on Hollywood

Arthouse Audit: 'Cantinflas' Soars in Limited Release While 'Boyhood' Leads Strong Crossover Successes

Though shunned by most distributors, Labor Day weekend does provide an opening for both specialized and mainstream films for those willing to take a chance.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 31, 2014 2:41 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

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

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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  • 0 Comments

Specialty Box Office: 'Calvary' Opens Soft, 'Boyhood' and 'A Most Wanted Man' Expand Well, 'Wish I Was Here' Another Focus Flop

Fox Searchlight's "Calvary" opened below expectations in its first theaters, given stellar reviews and TV ad support. "Boyhood" remains the standout as it quickly expands to over 300 screens, showing significant success with a promise of more ahead. Roadside Attraction's "A Most Wanted Man," starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, also widened with strong results. (It's one of three recent films to emerge with best actor contenders, along with Brendan Gleeson of "Calvary" and Chadwick Boseman of "Get On Up.")
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 3, 2014 2:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Life Itself' Leads New Releases While 'Begin Again' and 'Snowpiercer' Show Life

Independence Day weekend doesn't tend to be a big specialized release date. In the last six years, only "The Way, Way Back" in 2013 stands out as a significant new release over the holiday. So it isn't surprising that the pickings were modest this year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • July 6, 2014 3:12 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Behind Weinsteins' Three Weekend Winners: Surprising 'Snowpiercer,' 'Begin Again' & 'Yves St. Laurent'

This weekend belongs to The Weinstein Company, which opened three films: John Carney's original musical "Begin Again," Radius's rave-reviewed Bong Joon-ho actioner "Snowpiercer," and fashion biopic "Yves St. Laurent." Could TWC have done even better with "Snowpiercer"?
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 29, 2014 4:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: Polanski's Provocative 'Venus in Fur' Tops Tepid Specialized Openings

Films from two established directors (Paul Haggis and Roman Polanski) offered well-hyped new releases this weekend. Polanski's "Venus In Fur" (IFC) (also available on Video on Demand) was the clear leader. Paul Haggis' "Third Person" (Sony Pictures Classics) fared less well, doomed by high profile negative reviews.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 22, 2014 12:42 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'The Rover' and 'Signal' Open Soft; Sundancers 'Ivory Tower' and 'Hellion' OK

Fresh from Cannes, both "The Rover" and wider release "How to Train Your Dragon 2" opened this weekend. Just a year ago enterprising A24 opened "The Bling Ring," but the comparison ends there. A24's "The Rover" opened to only a fraction of the initial returns that Sofia Coppola's film received, and, despite decent reviews and previously successful directing and acting elements, the film fell well below expectations. The same company's "Obvious Child" showed some promise in its second weekend expansion, but the overall specialized market is lagging behind healthier grosses over recent months.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 15, 2014 4:38 PM
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  • 16 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Restrepo' Sequel 'Korengal' Tops Specialty Box Office; Kelly Reichardt's 'Night Moves' Takes Second

An eclectic group of new releases failed to provide any films with more than niche potential in upcoming weeks. The standout is "Korengal" (Saboteur), a sequel of sorts to the Oscar-nominated documentary feature "Restrepo," which had a New York opening in the range of its predecessor. "Night Moves" (Cinedigm), the latest film from indie auteur Kelly Reichardt, had a decent if not spectacular two-theater bicoastal start.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • June 1, 2014 4:55 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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