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'Lone Survivor' Stuns in Wide Release; 'Her' is Weak, 'August: Osage County' Strong

Led by "Lone Survivor," which grossed double its expected amount and looks to be a powerhouse for weeks to come, this weekend continued the steady business of the last few weeks. The Top 10 grossed about $114 million, up a tick from last year, when three new wide releases grossed better than all but one of this year's two new ones.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 12, 2014 1:21 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Friday Box Office: 'Lone Survivor' Does Huge Business, Expanded 'August: Osage County' OK, 'Her' Underwhelms

With a huge $14.4 million Friday debut for their "Lone Survivor" (Universal), director Peter Berg and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg get the last laugh after their qualifying runs failed to impress critics or receive any awards attention for the film about a lone soldier's fight to escape after a devastating attack on his Navy SEAL team.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • January 11, 2014 1:59 PM
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  • 2 Comments

This Weekend, Skip Machismo Spectacle 'Hercules' and Head to Indies Galore; 'Her' and 'Lone Survivor' Go Wide

Academy ballots have been signed, sealed and delivered. What to see over the next few days to quell your anticipation for the Oscar nominations on Wednesday? Indies galore, two robust expansions and a big-budget bomb await your eyeballs in theaters this weekend.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • January 10, 2014 2:36 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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  • 0 Comments

WATCH: In New Clip from 'Her,' Joaquin Phoenix Listens as Scarlett Johansson's Samantha Navigates New Feelings

Spike Jonze's imaginative and winningly uncynical sci-fi romance "Her" has its wide release on January 10, following its limited release back on December 18, in time for awards season contention. Check out a clip from the film below, featuring Joaquin Phoenix as lonely writer Theodore as he listens to his OS girlfriend Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) talk about her recent emergence of feelings and desires -- and the resulting insecurity.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 3, 2014 12:56 PM
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'Her' Designers Barrett and Storm Talk Creating Warm, Retro Look

Turns out that red is not only the warmest color in Spike Jonze's Oscar-contending "Her," but that there was no room for blue in this cozy LA of the near future. That's because the world building was retro rather than futuristic in exploring the conflict between emotion and environment, according to K.K. Barrett and Casey Storm, the director's longtime production designer and costume designer.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 24, 2013 2:50 PM
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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

'Her' Review: Spike Jonze Returns with a Vengeance with Tech Romance (Q & A)

Some of the best movies come from filmmakers on the rebound from a flop. After years of struggling to finish his labor of love, the idiosyncratic Maurice Sendak adaptation "Where the Wild Things Are," Spike Jonze has returned with a vengeance, for the first time writing as well as directing the story of a man on the rebound from a failed marriage. "Her" can be viewed as the flip side of Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning movie about the end of their relationship, "Lost in Translation."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 20, 2013 6:21 PM
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  • 4 Comments

WATCH: New Trailer for Spike Jonze's 'Her'

A second trailer has arrived for Spike Jonze's "Her," starring Joaquin Phoenix as one Theodore Twambly, a writer so heartbroken following the end of a long-term relationship that he strikes up a tech-age romance with a computer operating system, huskily voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Watch below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 4, 2013 12:18 PM
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Crafts Roundup: A Survivor's Journey in Production Design

With the awards season upon us, we're launching a new column, "Crafts Roundup," which examines a different below-the-line category each week. As this particularly striking season is dominated by survival and/or reinvention (both fact-based and fantastical), we're starting off with production design and world building. Here are a few standouts so far:
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 21, 2013 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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