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Thompson on Hollywood

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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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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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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Arthouse Audit: New Specialized Openings Hit Low-Point; Subtitled 'Gloria' and 'Great Beauty' Hold Well

This weekend looks to be one of the weakest in years for new specialized films.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 16, 2014 4:44 PM
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Arthouse Audit: Niche Docs Lead Specialized Openers, Oscar Contenders Tally

Art-house exhibitors eagerly await the Fox Searchlight stateside release of Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which premiered in Berlin to wide acclaim, but it's still a month away. In the meantime, award season releases continue to show uneven results, although non-nominated "Gloria" is expanding well. As was the case last week, the leading new openers are documentaries with more limited appeal. 
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 9, 2014 7:28 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'Tim's Vermeer' Shows Life; 'Gloria' Expands Well

For the second straight week, a specialized release whose opening date was initially timed to follow a hoped for Oscar nomination that didn't work out opened to decent results anyway. "Tim's Vermeer" (Sony Pictures Classics) was thought to be a prime contender for the Documentary Feature award.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 2, 2014 3:59 PM
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Arthouse Audit: 'Like Father Like Son' Has Modest Start As Oscar Holdovers Dominate Indie Box Office

Though the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend is usually targeted by studios for new releases, the specialized arena tends to steer clear. That's because so many late-year releases still demand attention, and the date conflicts with distributors' main mid-January priority, Sundance (few major indie films open against Sundance, Cannes or Toronto). This year is no different in terms of top films, with only IFC's "Like Father Like Son" positioned to have a chance at much business.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 19, 2014 3:24 PM
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Arthouse Audit: Awards Contenders Ramp Up for Oscar Bounty, 'The Rocket' and 'In Bloom' Open Modestly

The seasonally normal slow pace of new openings continues, with only two first-weeker's reporting grosses. Overall, highlighting the issue of an overabundance of theatrical releases, 20 new films opened in New York and/or Los Angeles, most of them to be little heard from again (at least five are already on Video on Demand).
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 12, 2014 4:16 PM
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Arthouse Audit: 'Lone Survivor' and 'August: Osage County' Hold Well as 'Her' Widens

As usual, this first weekend of the new year offered few new movies. The market is packed with awards contenders in varying stages of release, with Oscar-qualifiers that opened last week dominating the action. Most of the awards pictures showed minor drops or even increases. Most of them won't break wide until next weekend's Golden Globes weekend and the Oscar nominations the following Thursday. For these films, their results on this crucial weekend reveal how much further they might go.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 5, 2014 3:57 PM
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Arthouse Audit: 'Lone Survivor' Opens Well in Two Theaters While 'August: Osage County' Falls Short

The long holiday weekend is one of the best periods of the year for specialized films. But given the plethora of high profile art films and quality wide studio releases to catch up with, business is spread out among many titles. This weekend, "Lone Survivor" exceeded expectations in limited release, while "August: Osage County" fell flat.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 29, 2013 5:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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