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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Box Office Top Ten: 'The Lego Movie ' Wins the Gold, 'Monuments Men' Settles for Silver

What Olympics? Led by a strong performance from "The Lego Movie" (Warner Bros.), this was the best non-holiday weekend of the year so far. The top ten grossed $136 million--$54 million and more than 60% better than last year--bringing the year to date increase to just under 9% so far.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 9, 2014 1:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Friday Box Office: 'Lego Movie' Has Robust Opening Day, 'Monuments Men' in Distant Second Place

Despite competition from the tape-delayed opening Olympics ceremony, box office was strong yesterday, with "The Lego Movie" (Warner Bros.) taking in a strong $17,140,000 ahead of what is likely to be a very strong matinee-fueled weekend, though not record breaking for February. "Lego" looks to be among Warners' most recent #1 films the third to open to over $50 million and will be the biggest opening of 2014 so far.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 8, 2014 1:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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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Super Bowl Weekend Saved by Strong Holdovers 'Ride Along' and 'Frozen;' 'Labor Day' Opens in Seventh Place

Despite two new disappointing films (Focus's "That Awkward Moment" and Paramount's "Labor Day"), holdovers sustained this typically low-grossing Super Bowl weekend. Universal sleeper hit "Ride Along" and Disney's unstoppable "Frozen" led the way to a Top 10 that totaled $67 million, up slightly from last year, and continuing the steady improvement so far in 2014.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 2, 2014 1:44 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Friday Box Office: 'Ride Along' Reigns Again, 'Awkward Moment' Connects, 'Labor Day' Lags

For theaters, Super Bowl Weekend is sometimes an early Valentine's Day, as the week's new releases tend to have a rom-com theme. This year is no different, with both new wide releases -- "That Awkward Moment" (Focus) and "Labor Day" (Paramount) -- meant as counter-programming against the football hoopla.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 1, 2014 1:30 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Who Needs an Oscar Nod? 'Gloria' Scores Strong Initial Numbers Along with 'Stranger by the Lake' and 'Visitors'

The new year has its first subtitled success with the strong opening of Chile Oscar submission "Gloria" (Roadside Attractions), which did not make the Foreign Language shortlist. Opening with a higher per screen average than "No," Chile's nominee last year (starring Gael Garcia Bernal), "Gloria" benefited from strong reviews.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 26, 2014 4:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Box Office Top Ten: Action Holdovers and Animated Hits Edge Out Costly Bellyflop 'I, Frankenstein'

Despite a flopping new wide release ("I, Frankenstein"), grosses for the Top 10 this weekend actually enjoyed a healthy jump over last year ($91 million up from $81), showing strength from two unexpectedly big Universal films ("Ride Along" and "Lone Survivor"), two animated features and sustained interest in several Oscar contenders led by "American Hustle."
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 26, 2014 1:04 PM
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Box Office: Universal's 'Ride Along' and 'Lone Survivor' Top Weekend as 'Jack Ryan' Stumbles and 'Hustle' Rides Oscar Wave

Universal bounced back from its second big-budget dud of 2013, "47 Ronin," with two lower-budget 2014 releases that should pass the $100 million domestic mark. "Ride Along" and holdover "Lone Survivor" grabbed the top two spots, stealing the thunder from the spate of year-end Oscar contenders hoping to sustain their runs
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 19, 2014 3:39 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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