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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Arthouse Audit: 'The Immigrant' and 'Chinese Puzzle' Lead Specialty Box Office

As Cannes is well under way, The Weinstein Co. finally opened a movie that debuted during the festival a year ago, James Gray's "The Immigrant," which came to the festival freighted with big expectations. In the interim its status as one of their prime films faded, and it only now is seeing the light of day stateside.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • May 18, 2014 5:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'Ida' and 'Belle' Both Post Strong Openings, 'The Lunchbox' Passes $3 Million

Two high-profile festival entries, "Ida" and "Belle," posted solid debuts in their New York/Los Angeles openings. Lacking big-name directors, stars or high-concept story lines, both specialized films' initial success should help them to find a wider audience.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • May 4, 2014 4:33 PM
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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

Who Needs an Oscar Nomination? Sony's 'The Lunch Box' Is Best of the Limiteds

A grab bag of new specialized openings were led by "The Lunch Box" (Sony Pictures Classics), a low-budget Indian film from a first-time director that nabbed attention at Cannes last May and showed significant early life in its two-city opening.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 2, 2014 4:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Wind Rises' and 'Elaine Stritch' Pull Crowds, 'In Secret' Sags

The range of new art films this weeks shows the diversity of the specialized world, with an acclaimed animated feature, another show business documentary, two subtitled films and a higher-budget period drama all debuting to quite variable results. "The Wind Rises" and "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" are the standouts.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 23, 2014 4:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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