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The immigration thriller was directed by “Gravity” screenwriter Jonás Cuarón and stars Gael García Bernal (“Y Tu Mama Tambien”) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Watchmen”). It debuted this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it received strong reviews for its performances and direction, and won the Special Presentation Prize from the International Federation of Film Critics.
“‘Desierto’ operates on a level that is swift, primal and unrelenting,” wrote Variety critic Justin Chang in a favorable notice.
The film centers on a group of Mexicans whose attempts to cross the border into the United States are complicated by a shotgun-wielding vigilante. Given the headlines Donald Trump has generated by attacking immigration policy during the recent presidential race, the subject matter is certainly topical.
Stx Entertainment made a splash two weeks ago when it acquired another Toronto Film Festival release, »
- Brent Lang
Has the curse of Mars movies been broken? It sure looks that way, box office wise, thanks to the terrific opening of Ridley Scott’s optimistic, crowd-pleasing “The Martian” starring Matt Damon which brought in a terrific $54.3 million this weekend. And October seems to be a great launching pad for action dramas set in outer space. “The Martian” fell just shy of the $55.7 million opening Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” the current highest-grossing October film record holder, but between the success of these two films and Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” it feels like space exploration is hitting its stride on the big screen of late with audiences. An A- Cineimscore likely means “The Martian” will keep packing them in for weeks to come. Globally, the film had a $100 million-plus weekend and it still has big markets like China, Japan and Russia to open in. After a few stumbles, Matt Damon has »
- Rodrigo Perez
The impressive figures could yet see the critically acclaimed film overtake October record-holder Gravity when final figures are in: on estimates based on its Friday showing, Scott’s movie is just $700,000 short of the $55.7m record posted by Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-winning sci-fi thriller in 2013.
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- Ben Child
Matt Damon may have earned the ire of the internet when he again put his very famous foot in his very famous mouth this week, but all those angry headlines didn't deter moviegoers from going to see The Martian, which landed the second-best October opening ever with $55 million, about $700,000 behind Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. Ridley Scott's space epic has been well-received, the Oscar buzz has already started, and it also opened with $45.2 million internationally. The weekend's other major movie from a major-movie director, Robert Zemeckis's The Walk, didn't do nearly as well, roping in a paltry $240,379 on Wednesday, and making $1.9 million its entire five-day opening. The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit, the daring Frenchman who strung a metal cable between the Twin Towers in 1974 and walked on the wire, some 110 stories in the sky.The other big news of the weekend was about Adam Sandler's »
- Greg Cwik
Ridley Scott, Matt Damon and “The Martian” brought home $55 million at the box office this weekend, as the saga of an astronaut stranded on the Red Planet soared within range of the best October movie opening ever. That was more than enough to dethrone “Hotel Transylvania 2” to become the No.1 movie in North America. Director Scott and star Damon were the main reasons fans turned out in force for the well-reviewed “The Martian,” which is roughly even with the $55.8 million debut of Alfonso Cuarón’s space epic “Gravity” on this weekend two years ago. But one thing “The Martian” had in its favor. »
- Todd Cunningham
Ridley Scott's 3D space epic The Martian rocketed to a $55 million opening in North America, coming in ahead of expectations and almost beating Gravity to nab the top October opening of all time, according to Sunday estimates. The Martian, from 20th Century Fox, continues Hollywood's love affair with space, and comes exactly two years after Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity opened to a record $55.8 million. Last November, Christopher Nolan's Interstellar debuted just north of $47 million. If The Martian does better than expected Sunday, it could beat Gravity and become the new October record-holder. Overseas, The Martian also
- Pamela McClintock
The 20th Century Fox release, starring Matt Damon as an astronaut left for dead on Mars, proved moviegoers remain drawn by the gravitational pull of space adventures. The estimated North American opening of "The Martian" surpassed that of Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" and virtually equaled the debut of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity."
Last week's box-office champ, "Hotel Transylvania 2," slid to second with an estimated $33 million.
- The Associated Press
The talk of The Martian breaking Gravity's October, opening weekend record began early and really spiked after the Ridley Scott film posted a better opening day than the 2013 Alfonso Cuaron sci-fi flick. However, estimates show The Martian coming up a shade shy of the $55.7 million October record. Provisioned with an "A" CinemaScore, though, this one should survive well week-to-week. 20th Century Fox is reporting an estimated $55 million weekend for The Martian, which puts it $785,112 short of the October opening record, but enough for second place on the chart. By comparison, Gravity scored an "A-" CinemaScore back in 2013 as it went on to enjoy weekends with drops no larger than 36.3% over its first seven weekends. In fact, over the course of its entire 31 week run, Gravity only dropped more than 50% three times. Being a major Oscar contender and 3D event film will do that. I expect big things in The Martian's future, »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
'The Martian' with Matt Damon: Box office record? 'The Martian' fights 'Gravity' for October box office record; actual winner, however, is an Earthbound comedy Released by 20th Century Fox, Ridley Scott's extremely well-received The Martian, starring Matt Damon in the title role as a U.S. astronaut fighting for his life after being left behind all alone on Mars, opened with an estimated $18 million on Friday, Sept. 30, '15, at 3,831 North American theaters, about two thirds of which in 3D. Bear in mind that the Friday estimate includes $2.5 million from Thursday evening and midnight screenings. Directed by eventual Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón, Warner Bros.' Gravity, another extremely well-received space movie about a pioneering American fearlessly kicking death's ass while stranded in a – literally – alien realm, collected $17.48 million over the same weekend back in 2013. Sandra Bullock starred as the lost-in-space astronaut and middle-American Mom struggling to »
- Zac Gille
Welcome to the 41st season of Saturday Night Live! I’m your host (of these recaps), Emilie Sowers. I’m very excited to cover this upcoming season, which has the potential to be both a more stable year after the various cast shake ups of the past couple seasons, and a particularly exciting year as it will take place during an already bonkers election season, the sort of time during which, historically, SNL has really shone. Our inaugural season 41 episode will be hosted by and will feature the musical stylings of Miley Cyrus, a person who is universally beloved, not at all divisive, and who definitely won’t cause any Internet commenters to declare the decline of SNL/modern society/the entire world. Let’s dig in! Cold Open: A message for America from presidential candidate Donald Trump and his wife Melania. It felt like this was more important as »
- Emilie Sowers
Matt Damon and “The Martian” launched with an impressive $18 million at the box office Friday, and the Ridley Scott-directed space saga’s orbit will take it north of $50 million in its first weekend for Twentieth Century Fox. The PG-13-rated “The Martian” will take the No. 1 position away from Sony’s animated “Hotel Transylvania 2,” and has a shot at overtaking the $55.8 million debut of “Gravity” on this weekend two years ago as the biggest ever in October. That Alfonso Cuaron-directed space epic took in $17.4 million on its first Friday for Warner Bros. The starpower of the lead actor and. »
- Todd Cunningham
While more and more blockbusters are being released in 3D, the medium has not necessarily translated into Oscar night success stories. While the glasses may sometimes be uncomfortable for theater-goers, the immersive quality that 3D provides makes it a big money maker for CGI-heavy films and big summer releases.
Oscar, on the other hand, has historically preferred more traditional visuals, i.e. the 2D variety. Only six films that have received wide releases in 3D have been nominated for best picture in Academy history, and none have won. Director Robert Zemeckis is hoping that his latest film, The Walk, which was released this Wednesday, will become the seventh 3D film to earn a nomination and finally take home the big prize.
Here’s a look at the last six films widely released in 3D that were nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards:
- Patrick Shanley
London – Welcome to Mexico’s crossover industry. The 23rd Raindance Festival’s pioneering Focus on Mexico Co-Production Forum gave a London producer audience the chance to discover the energy and ambitions of one of, challenges aside, the world’s flourishing national industries.
Many of those ambitions, if the eight projects presented by Mexican directors and producers, are anything to go on, now run through the U.S.
Five titles are in some way Mexican-u.S. crossovers. Though all made by Mexican filmmakers, two are set totally in the U.S, one off its shore, another couple straddle Los Angeles and Latin America. Two Raindance project directors – Grau and Ezban – have been signed up by Paradigm Talent Agency.
The question at the Focus on Mexico was to what the burgeoning Mexico-u.S. film axis could interest potential U.K. co-producers.
Montserrat Larque’s “Over There,” a cutting-edge emigration comedy, is set »
- John Hopewell
London: Mexico’s Jorge Michel Grau (“Somos lo que hay”), a seminal humanistic voice on Latin America0’s genre auteur scene, is readying “7:19,” a suspense drama with social dimensions set around Mexico City’s 1985 earthquake, the most destructive in Mexican history.
Lead produced by Velarium Arts, the Mexico City label which Grau runs with producer partner Mayra Espinosa Castro, “7:19” will star international actors who speaks Spanish, Espinosa Castro said at London’s Raindance Fest where she presented “Yamaha 300,” a Grau project, at its Focus on Mexico Co-production Forum.
Scheduled to shoot from Oct. 19, “7:19” is exec-produced by Daniel Birman Ripstein’s at Alameda Films (“The Crime of Father Amaro”), and co-produced by “Instructions Not Included” producer Monica Lozano who will distribute in Mexico via her new Alebrije Distribution shingle, the distribution arm of production label Alebrije Cine y Video. Ad also has rights to Latin America.
One of »
- John Hopewell
The outer space thriller is outselling “Gravity” at a similar point in its sales cycle, Fandango reports. The ticket service didn’t say how much the film was outpacing “Gravity” by, but it does report that “The Martian” currently accounts for 54% of weekend ticket sales.
Despite the robust pre-sales, tracking services aren’t predicting that “The Martian” will overtake “Gravity” as the top October debut in history. It is currently projected to gross $45 million, which is short of “Gravity’s” record-holding $55.8 million launch.
- Brent Lang
At the beginning of each month, HBO announces which films will be leaving its library. We collect the full list of titles here so that you can plan the most effective viewing strategy for the rest of the month. You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Screen: Gravity (2013) Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 space thriller is a technical marvel, which is why we can’t wholeheartedly recommend that you stream it on anything less than a full-size projection set. If you can’t manage that, then sure, watch Sandra Bullock desperately try to survive as she hurdles toward earth on your laptop or phone, but just know you’re missing out. Leaves October 10. And Now for Something You Can Only Watch for One More Month: Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life (1983) A collection of sketches about life, death, and making fun of large Catholic families. Not as beloved as Holy Grail or Life of Brian, »
- Jackson McHenry
Guillermo del Toro has always been terrified and captivated by the supernatural.
His latest big-screen endeavor, “Crimson Peak,” marks the ninth movie in which the director explores otherworldly phenomena, and incorporates a recurring element of what he calls “horrible beauty.” The opening scene of the film, which hits theaters Oct. 16, was inspired by a ghostly encounter his mother had as a child, and was undoubtedly drawn from his own fears.
Born and raised in Guadalajara by a poet mother and businessman father, del Toro had his first spectral experience at around age 12. While in a room that once belonged to his late uncle, the boy heard the older man’s voice. Though the young del Toro was already deeply interested in the supernatural, and had even told his uncle to send him a sign if there was something beyond death, he wasn’t prepared for an occurrence. “I got very scared, »
- Jenelle Riley
There is no shortage of snow-caked, visceral imagery on display in the second trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu's survival Western, The Revenant. This trailer offers a lot more Tom Hardy, who plays the villain of the piece, and a fair bit more of the plot of the film.After being left for dead and buried alive after a bear attack, Hugh Glass (A Grizzly Adams bearded Leonardo DiCaprio) seeks out the sonuvabitch (Tom Hardy) who also had a hand in murdering his son. Vengeance and long-take action sequences ensue.The whole thing looks to be gloriously visual, as Alejandro González Iñárritu continues his mission (along with his Mexican cohort, Alfonso Cuaron) to re-evaluate film grammar and the long take of the digital age of cinema. ...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Spectacle has gone over well enough at the Oscars in recent years. James Cameron’s “Avatar” and Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” were big hits with the Academy. Ditto Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi.” And you could argue last year’s champ, “Birdman,” was a breed of spectacle, too.
That’s the lineage Robert Zemeckis’ “The Walk” is hoping to join after it opens the New York Film Festival tonight (after being delayed a day due to the Pope’s visit). A jaunty, slick, commercial presentation of high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s death-defying stroll between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center in 1974, the film could spark for Academy members looking for something unique in the race this year. That is, unless they feel like they’ve already seen this one before.
- Kristopher Tapley
On the heels of the Toronto world premiere of the environmental call to arms, the film’s director Avi Lewis and author of the book of the same name Naomi Klein have announced special screenings in 13 global cities from September 26.
Organisations including 350.org, Greenpeace, Friends Of The Earth, Fossil Free Berlin, Fossil Free Amsterdam and Stop Skouries Gold Mine are partnering in the event with a goal to inspire people at grassroots level to take action in the fight for climate change.
All of the screenings – taking place in Berlin, Bergen, Oslo, Barcelona, Edinburgh, Manila, London, Dublin, Manchester, Bucharest, Stockholm, Thessaloniki and Amsterdam, where the film will be projected on a coal-fired power station – will be accompanied by panel discussions with environmentalists, anti-austerity activists and labour organisers, along with a Skype Q&A with Lewis and Klein. Questions will be taken via the twitter handle @thischanges and hashtag #thischangeseverything.
The timing is appropriately scheduled ahead of the »
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