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Thompson on Hollywood

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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  • 0 Comments

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

Arthouse Audit: 'Her' and 'The Past' Not Eye-Popping, Face Serious Competition

Two significant limited holiday entries opened this pre-holiday weekend, often a tricky time to attract specialized audiences. Spike Jonze's "Her" (Warner Bros.), with somewhat younger appeal, boasted a weaker limited opening than "American Hustle" last weekend, while Sony Pictures Classics slotted "The Past" as their end-of-year entry. Both will break wider in January.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 22, 2013 3:35 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'American Hustle' Scores Year's Best NY/LA Launch, Softer 'Saving Mr. Banks' Hits More Cities

"American Hustle" (Sony) had a year's-best limited opening, while "Saving Mr. Banks" (Buena Vista) had a decent take in a slightly wider start, both in advance of 2,000-plus breaks next Friday. Nothing else of note opened this weekend, a sign of the times as the studios increasingly, particularly during awards season, dominate the market and make it difficult for smaller films to gain traction in the major cities.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 15, 2013 4:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Philomena' Off to Strong Start, 'Nebraska' Second Weekend Lags

Weinstein heart-tugger "Philomena," this week's awards-friendly limited opening, scored an initial number comparable to two recent Oscar contenders ("Nebraska" and "Dallas Buyers Club"), just ahead of its rapid expansion this Wednesday. Per usual, the specialty market is getting crowded, with not just new limited films but plenty of wider-releases, including "Catching Fire," grabbing the attention of older audiences. It's a time of high-risk opportunity, as not all releases will achieve their hoped-for maximum attention.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 24, 2013 4:27 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Book Thief' Survives Critics, Oscar-Contender 'Wind Rises' Sells Out Two Theaters

This week's newbies are a mixed bag. "The Book Thief," a rare major studio platform release, overcame less than great reviews for a respectable showing, while Disney's release of Hayao Miyazaki's subtitled animated feature "The Wind Rises" sold out most shows at two one-week-only theaters. The rest of the newcomers fell far short of these two, with Alex Gibney's documentary "The Armstrong Lie" the best of the mediocre bunch.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 10, 2013 4:33 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Dallas Buyers Club' Opens Well; 'About Time' Has OK Showing

The non-stop flow of Oscar and other award hopeful releases continues this week. Focus Features' final film from the current team, "The Dallas Buyer's Club," opened credibly in four cities in the U.S. and Canada. The well-reviewed AIDS drama, focused on a true-life character's attempt to find his own cure, shows signs of promise going forward in the competitive season ahead.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • November 3, 2013 4:30 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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