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16 items from 2017

‘Cars 3’ is Stuck in Neutral, But ‘Wonder Woman’ and Tupac Shakur Come To the Rescue

18 June 2017 1:24 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Rough Night” described the box office this weekend for too many movies. “Cars 3” (Disney), Pixar’s latest animated entry, took the top spot — but fell below opening estimates. “The Mummy” continued its domestic unraveling, falling to $13 million and number 4 in its second weekend. And then there’s Sony’s “Rough Night” — the latest attempt to replicate the “Bridesmaids” R-rated female comedy magic, and latest to fall short.

Winners were “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.) at number two, and  two original, non-franchise films with Lionsgate’s Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez On Me” flying much higher than predicted, while the British sharks-in-the-water thriller “47 Meters Down” (Entertainment Studios) scored a surprisingly strong $11.5 million.

Next week, expect another sequelitis outbreak with “Transformers: The Last Knight” (Paramount, fifth in the series) the sole wide opener next week on Wednesday. “Despicable Me 3” (Universal), actually the fourth in its franchise, opens the following week; a few countries have opened already, »

- Tom Brueggemann

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‘Wonder Woman’ Sends Indie Box Office Straight to Hades

4 June 2017 10:18 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Wonder Woman” captured the weekend zeitgeist with reviews as good as any new adult-appeal specialized opener — and gobbled up potential audience. But that’s not the sole reason the specialty box office went to hell this weekend.

“Churchill” (Cohen), with the pedigree of an arthouse crossover winner, went nationally in top theaters but failed to capture more than desultory business. A trio of niche releases showed some mid-level interest in New York and Los Angeles — “The Exception”(A24), “Letters from Baghdad” (Vitagraph), and “Band Aid”(IFC) — but none looks likely to cross over beyond the big-city arthouse market.

The scariest weekend news: the total lack of response to Ken Loach’s Cannes 2016 Palme d’Or-winner “I, Daniel Blake.” While it’s been a long wait after a year-end qualifying run, it’s shocking that the well-reviewed BAFTA-winner met with near total disinterest.

Last weekend’s top opener “Long Strange Trip »

- Tom Brueggemann

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Engaged Chris Blue Jokes His ‘Wedding Is Paid Off’ Now After Winning The Voice

31 May 2017 12:35 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chris Blue may have been named the new winner of The Voice on May 23, but that’s not the only reason he’s celebrating.

The Knoxville-bred singer is also getting ready to marry his longtime love, fiancée Stephanie Dunkley.

“The wedding is paid off,” Blue tells People after his win. “ can actually decorate the church, and we’ll have wedding cars.”

He adds: “Our lives will never be the same.”

Dunkley has battled bone marrow cancer for most of her life and faced a major bone marrow transplant prior to Blue’s audition.

“When I lost her, I really thought it was over, »

- Brianne Tracy

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5 Things We Learned About Harry Styles From His Solo Carpool Karaoke

19 May 2017 12:40 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Harry Styles has been doing a lot as a solo recording artist during his hiatus from One Direction.

And the British crooner, 23, revealed new details about his independent music venture while riding shotgun with longtime mate James Corden during Thursday’s Carpool Karaoke.

1. He feels more “in control” as a solo singer.

Back in December 2015, Styles had a group Carpool with his 1D band mates Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne, months following Zayn Malik‘s departure. “I feel like I have more control over the buttons,” Styles joked during his one-on-one ride with Corden, after pointing out he »

- Karen Mizoguchi

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Eva Longoria Talks Newlywed Bliss: ‘People Get Really Annoyed with Us Because We Love Each Other So Much’

17 May 2017 5:30 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Almost a year after getting married, Eva Longoria is still in the honeymoon phase.

The actress opened up to People about newlywed life with Mexican media mogul José “Pepe” Antonio Bastón, and her role as stepmom, while promoting her new film, Lowriders.

“My husband is the best part of life,” Longoria, 42, gushes. “Like, people get really annoyed with us because we love each other so much!”

Longoria and Bastón, 49, tied the knot in a gorgeous ceremony in Valle de Bravo, Mexico in 2016. Dating since 2013, Bastón popped the question in Dubai in December 2015 with a ruby and diamond engagement ring.

“People always ask, »

- Brianne Tracy

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Jennifer Lopez Wears a 4.6 Carat $33,000 Diamond Ring and Anklet to the NBC Upfronts

16 May 2017 7:03 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

While she may have missed appearing on the original Vh1 showcase series, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Jennifer Lopez is a bonafide diva. After all, as Beyoncé once said, “diva is a female version of a hustler,” and the pop star is nothing if not a prolific multi-disciplinary talent. A point she hammered home on Monday morning, arriving on the NBC Upfronts red carpet in typical showstopping fashion.

While she already completely dominates the musical world and is responsible for some of the most iconic rom-coms of the early aughts, Lopez now has her eyes set on conquering TV, »

- Emily Kirkpatrick

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‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is a Failure, and Summer Box Office Could Follow

14 May 2017 2:47 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” surpassed Warner Bros.’ modest expectations by revealing itself as a full-on belly flop, grossing $14.7 million. While nothing else approaches its level of disaster, it’s a beacon for the weaknesses that have begun to plague summer 2017.

Next week, expect Fox’s “Alien: Covenant” to lead three new summer entries. Ridley Scott’s return to his 1979 classic opened to $42 million in a majority of the world (but not China, among other territories); it will need to soar next weekend at home in order to restore some confidence to the industry.

The Top Ten

1. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 (Disney) Week 2- Last weekend #1

$63,007,000 (-57%) in 4,347 theaters (no change); PTA (per theater average): $14,494; Cumulative: $246,164,000

2. Snatched (20th Century Fox) New – Cinemascore: B; Metacritic: 46; $; est. budget: $42 million

$17,500,000 in 3,501 theaters; PTA: $4,999; Cumulative: $17,500,000

3. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Warner Bros.) New – Cinemascore: B+; Metacritic: 41; $; est. budget: $175 million

$14,700,000 in »

- Tom Brueggemann

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Indiana Groom Makes 90-Year-Old Grandpa His Best Man: ‘I Didn’t Think He’d Want an Old Man Up There’

12 May 2017 8:31 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Kc Schafer began his happily ever after with his wife Sarah in Louisville, and he had a special person by his side as his best man: his 90-year-old grandpa.

“He has been my role model and idol since I was a little kid,” Kc Schafer, 27, of Clarksville, Indiana, told ABC News about his decision to make his grandpa, Charles Schafer, his best man. “I spend so much time with him. He pretty much modeled me into the man I am today.”

Schafer also played a special role in his grandson’s engagement. Schafer went shopping for a coffeemaker with his grandpa, »

- Katherine Richter

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This Was the Worst Box Office of 2017 — But ‘How to Be a Latin Lover’ and ‘Baahubali 2’ Were Amazing

30 April 2017 1:45 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

This weekend was the nadir of what has become a bipolar year at the box office, but it comes with an extraordinary, if unsettling sidelight: Mass audience fare is no longer guaranteed, even with top stars and well-known IP.

How to Be a Latin Lover” (Lionsgate) and “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” (from previously unheralded Great India) ranked second and third, both over $10 million. Those are grosses better than not only Stx’s “The Circle” (which had the benefit of Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, and is based on Dave Eggers’ novel), but are also better than any new release on the same weekend last year. Studios concede the weekend before the new Marvel release in early April, but that’s also an opportunity that two smart distributors recognized.

That left “The Fate of the Furious” (Universal) as the default #1 again. $19 million for a third weekend, and $192 million total, is strong »

- Tom Brueggemann

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Arthouse Box Office: Niche Ethnic Releases Overpower Specialty Openers

30 April 2017 10:26 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Specialty films these days range across more than core upscale urban and critically acclaimed quality fare. This weekend’s surprise: two foreign-language films placed second and third in the box office Top Ten.

The U.S./Mexican coproduction “How to Be a Latin Lover” (Lionsgate/Pantelion) ranked second with over $12 million from 1,118 theaters. Even more impressive, the Indian epic sequel “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” (Great Indian) placed third with $10,138,000 in only 425 theaters. Both movies beat James Ponsoldt’s Dave Eggers novel adaption “The Circle” (Stx), starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, which opened to only $9.2 million in more than twice as many theaters.

(Read more in our Top Ten report.)

Among the specialty audience usual suspects, nothing managed to open with as much as a $10,000 per theater average. “Obit” (Kino Lorber) ranked highest, while Rami Malek-starrer “Buster’s Mal Heart” (Well Go USA) and “Natasha” (Menemsha) led the other New York openers. »

- Tom Brueggemann

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Box Office Plummets: ‘Fate of the Furious’ Falls, as Five Fresh Films Fail to Fly

23 April 2017 1:10 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

While good news could be just around the corner with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” two weeks away, this weekend it’s hard to find much to cheer about. Combined, five new wide openings could barely muster $17 million, while the second weekend of “The Fate of the Furious” saw a 61 percent drop.

The grim details, as well as some positive news, after the Top Ten.

The Top Ten

1. The Fate of the Furious (Universal) Week 2 – Last weekend #1

$38,682,000 (-61%) in 4,329 theaters (+19); PTA (per theater average): $8,936; Cumulative: $163,578,000

2. The Boss Baby (20th Century Fox) Week 4 – Last weekend #2

$12,750,000 (-20%) in 3,697 theaters (-46); PTA: $3,449; Cumulative: $136,992,000

3. Beauty and the Beast (Disney) Week 6 – Last weekend #3

$9,773,000 (-27%) in 3,315 theaters (-277); PTA: $3,008; Cumulative: $471,097

4. Born in China (Disney) New – Cinemascore: A-; Metacritic: 58; Est. budget: unknown

$5,147,000 in 1,508 theaters; PTA: $3,413; Cumulative: $5,147,000

5. Going in Style (Warner Bros.)  Week 3 – Last weekend #5

$5,005,000 (-20%) in 3,038 theaters (-38); PTA: $1,647; Cumulative: $31,766,000

6. Smurfs: The Lost Village (Sony »

- Tom Brueggemann

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New Indie Players Score at the Box Office with ‘Colossal,’ ‘Their Finest,’ and ‘Your Name.’

9 April 2017 10:46 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Two new indie distributors injected some life into the specialty box office this weekend with two unconventional releases.

Both “Colossal” (Neon Films) and Japanese anime smash “Your Name.” (FUNimation) rode positive reviews to strong box office. With more conventional World War II drama “Their Finest” (Stx), three films from non-establishment distributors show impressive arthouse strength.

Read More: ‘Colossal’ Is the Monster Movie No Studio Would Ever Make, And It’s Teaching Hollywood a Lesson

Jessica Chastain vehicle “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” shaping up to be the biggest specialty release so far this year, justified its initial wider run with a solid second weekend.

At least nine of the new limited releases this week also are available on Video on Demand. The only one to see much traction was “Alive and Kicking” (Magnolia), directed by specialty industry veteran Susan Glatzer, marking an unusual documentary presentation from Blumhouse Productions. The dance movie grossed $9000 in five theaters. »

- Tom Brueggemann

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Why ‘The Boss Baby’ Trumped ‘Ghost in the Shell’ at the Box Office: Top 10 Takeaways

2 April 2017 1:51 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

It was animated “The Boss Baby” (20th Century Fox) vs. manga remake “Ghost in the Shell” (Paramount) starring Scarlett Johansson at the weekend box office.

As expected, the week’s two new wide releases combined to gross just under $70 million, but with a shocker: the latest DreamWorks Animation release took the lion’s share of that total. $100-million actioner “The Ghost in the Shell” turned out to be yet another pixel-packed movie to be met by blah critical and domestic audience response. Foreign will have to save the day on this one.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (Disney) barely missed its third #1 weekend, but propelled the Top Ten box office to a 37 per cent ($43 million) improvement over last year (when nothing much was going on). The year-to-date uptick remains a steady five per cent. And that’s ahead of the expected huge April 14 opening for F. Gary Gray’s »

- Tom Brueggemann

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ Tops Box Office as ‘Power Rangers’ Comes on Strong

26 March 2017 2:14 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Beauty and the Beast” (Disney) held beautifully, down less than half after its phenomenal opening, and easily led the Top Ten for the second weekend.

But the Lionsgate reboot of “Power Rangers” (officially “Saban’s Power Rangers”) exceeded expectations to lead the new wide releases. The two other studio newbies, “Life” (Sony) and “Chips” (Warner Bros.) stumbled out of the starting blocks with weak showings as more attention is directed at the four March 2017 releases well past $100 million domestic (“Kong: Skull Island”/Warner Bros. and “Logan”/20th Century Fox) as March looks to be the new April in terms of studio release schedules. The calendar keeps expanding and the returns at the top are strong.


1. Beauty and the Beast (Disney) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$88,347,000 (-49%) in 4,210 theaters (no change); PTA (per theater average): $20,985; Cumulative: $316,953,000

2. Power Rangers (Lionsgate) New – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 44; Est. budget: $100 million

$40,500,000 in 3,693 theaters; PTA: $10,967; Cumulative: $40,500,000

3. Kong: Skull Island »

- Tom Brueggemann

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‘Kong’ Tops the Weekend Box Office, But ‘Logan’ Stole Some of His Thunder

12 March 2017 2:01 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Competition in the expensive action-film market made things tricky for the opening of “Kong: Skull Island” and the second weekend of “Logan.” There’s no doubt as to the victor; “Kong” opened far better than pre-opening estimates (a very good thing for Warner Bros. which spent $185 million to revive the big gorilla). “Logan,” however, dropped much more than expected. Had they not been head to head, assume that a sizable chunk of the audience for each would have seen the other.

Overall, it left theaters with a top 10 total is up 27 percent from the same weekend last year. But before anyone gets too excited, that 2016 weekend didn’t have two films in their first two weeks that cost nearly $300 million combined.

Next week sees “Beauty and the Beast,” another strong potential (and at $160 million, also expensive) release. With less overlap, it’s expected to outgross both “Logan” and “Kong” in its opening and total run. »

- Tom Brueggemann

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The Best of Movie Poster of the Day: Part 16

7 January 2017 5:12 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Above: Mondo poster for The Graduate (Mike Nichols, USA, 1967); artist: Rory Kurtz; lettering: Jay Shaw.On my daily movie poster Tumblr I don’t make a habit of posting fan art or art prints—call them what you will—because I’m most interested in the intersection of commerce and art that is the theatrical movie poster. But I make an exception when something stands out, and nothing stood out last year quite like Rory Kurtz’s beautiful, elegant and unexpected Mondo illustration for The Graduate, which quite rightly racked up over 200 more likes than even its nearest competitor. But its nearest competitor was fan art too: a brilliant poster for Badlands by the insanely talented Adam Juresko, whose art poster for In the Mood for Love (featured in my Maggie Cheung article) was also in the top four. What makes art posters easy to like—beyond their extraordinary artistry »

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