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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Box Office Top Ten: 'Non-Stop' and Edited TV Series 'Son of God' Top Oscar Weekend

Two strong new openers --Universal's domestic pick-up "Non-Stop" and "Son of God," a theatrical revamping of cable hit "The Bible"-- led another strong weekend at the box office. Only one Oscar contender factored in the Top Ten, scoring over $1 billion around the world. But another CG movie is dominating the first quarter.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 2, 2014 1:46 PM
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'Non-Stop' and 'Son of God' Continue 2014 Box Office Roll

Marking the 14th straight weekend of improved grosses over 2013, two less-heralded new releases scored strong Friday returns. Number one for the day is the French/US co-production "Non-Stop," starring Liam Neeson. Close behind at #2 is "Son of God," a theatrical version of the successful cable miniseries "The Bible" from last year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • March 1, 2014 11:24 PM
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Why the Oscar Box Office Slump? It's Not What You Think

When the Academy decided to extend the list of Best Picture contender to up to 10 (the last three years have had nine), one of the goals was to open up the competition to more widely-seen films. The studios have fallen in line, and one result has been more studio films in the mix, particularly some released at year's end.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 25, 2014 5:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Veronica Mars' Kickstarts Studio Same Day Theater and Home Viewing Breaththrough

Warner Bros. has confirmed that their March 14 limited release "Veronica Mars" will open day and date in theaters as well as on multiple Video on Demand venues. This will be the first time a major studio has ever done this, which makes it one of the most significant film business stories of the year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 23, 2014 7:34 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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Box Office Top Ten: Newcomers '3 Days to Kill' & 'Pompeii' No Match for 'Lego''s Legs

"The Lego Movie" (Warner Bros.) continued its amazing run with a third weekend at #1 and shows no sign of weakening. The movie elevated the weekend's Top Ten total to $94 million, significantly down from last week's holiday numbers, but still $10 million above the same time last year. 2014 to date remains 9 % ahead of 2013.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 23, 2014 1:36 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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Box Office Top Ten: Audiences Still Love 'Lego' and Kevin Hart, Snub Colin Farrell

Looking at the Box Office Top Ten this week, you'd think we were still in the 1980s. Four new openers include three remakes of '80s hits, and another adapts a major novel from the decade. Another familiar pop culture artifact from the period -- Legos -- returned as the top film this weekend, as Warner Bros.' animated 3D film continues its strong run in its second weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 16, 2014 2:06 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Friday Box Office: 'LEGO Movie' Bests Valentine's Day Opener 'About Last Night'

With Valentine's Day falling on a Friday this year, three new films aimed at the dating crowd opened to varying results, but at the end of the night none quite topped the list. "The LEGO Movie" (Warner Bros.) stayed in front by a tiny margin (grossing $13,030,000) on its way to an easy full holiday weekend win ahead, fueled by matinees and strong word of mouth. Business overall was impressive, spread among several decent performers.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 15, 2014 2:23 PM
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