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As the decade comes to a close, it's fun to look back at box office success stories from the ensuing 10 years. At indieWIRE they've collected a list of the top grossing independent films of the 2000s.
As the full post makes clear, how you define "independent film" in this kind of situation is really, really difficult. What defines an independent studio today is different than what it was even a decade ago (when the line between major and indie studio started to get quite blurry).
For its list, indieWIRE decided to include larger studios like Miramax, New Line, Lionsgate or Summit only if the production that was acquired was truly independent -- as was the case with "Paranormal Activity." However, specialty divisions like Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics are included.
Here's the list:
1. The Passion of the Christ, 2004 (Newmarket) $370,274,604
3. Juno, 2007 (Fox Searchlight) $143,395,265
4. Slumdog Millionaire, »
- Christina Warren
Notice I didn't say best movies -- that territory has been well covered by far more passionate list makers than I am. (By the way, do you agree with me that a devotion to ranking is primarily a male urge? Tell me three good reasons why I'm right or wrong. At any rate, I don't have the gene for it.) As the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close, though, here's fodder for your New Year's Eve party: A list, in no particular order, of 10 movie developments from the past 10 years that have impressed, depressed, excited, upset, »
- Lisa Schwarzbaum
28 December 2009 6:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Sleepers come seemingly out of nowhere. They are the little films that confound expectations, attracting enthusiastic audiences that happily spread the word. Sometimes they come from the studio system, produced almost as an afterthought, but mostly they're produced well off the radar. On occasion, they upend the established order by opening at No. 1 at the boxoffice. But more typically they start small, building over time, hanging on in theaters as more heralded movies come and go. Often the filmmakers involved meet with initial rejection before wildly triumphing in the end. And in the process, they expose the limitations of Hollywood's conventional thinking about what makes a hit. Sleepers, when everyone wakes up to their potential, tend to be wildly successful, resulting in boxoffice returns that dwarf their modest budgets. And so, top sleepers of the past decade, take another bow.
10. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (Sony Pictures Classics, 2000)
Budget: $17 million
- By Gregg Kilday, Jay A. Fernandez and Borys Kit
Bend It Like Beckham-helmer Gurinder Chadha's keenly anticipated comedy, It's A Wonderful Afterlife (Iawa), has been selected for a world premiere at the coveted Sundance Film Festival, which runs January 21-31, 2010, in Park City, Utah.
Produced by Indian Films and Bend It Films in association with Studio 18, Iawa stars the legendary Shabana Azmi, with a posse of well-known international talent; Goldy Notay, Sally Hawkins, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Zoe Wanamaker and Jimi Mistri, among others.
Azmi plays the role of Mrs. Sethi, a hysterical North-Indian mother who is desperately searching for a son-in-law for her fat daughter.
Shot in London and billed as My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Shaun Of The Dead, Iawa will be released in the UK by Icon on April 2, 2010 (Easter) and in India and Pakistan on April 16, 2010 by Studio 18.
The film has already attracted a host of top-of-the-line mainstream distributors like Icon (Australia »
It’s always stressful to whip up a holiday feast, but Nia Vardalos has an extra-special helper in the kitchen this year — her 4-year-old daughter.
“She’s my sous chef,” the My Big Fat Greek Wedding star told People at the taping of the 11th Annual Home for the Holidays. “I give her a plastic knife and just get her to chop things up. [For] Christmas, I suddenly have a young helper in the kitchen!”
Since announcing late last year that she and husband Ian Gomez had adopted a preschooler, Nia has started passing on her Greek heritage using her favorite holiday recipes. »
Nia Vardalos has a special helper in the kitchen for the holidays this year - her 4-year-old daughter. "She's my sous chef," the My Big Fat Greek Wedding star told People at the taping of the 11th Annual Home for the Holidays TV special. "I give her a plastic knife and just get her to chop things up. [For] Christmas, I suddenly have a young helper in the kitchen!" Since announcing late last year that she and husband Ian Gomez had adopted a preschooler, Vardalos has started passing on her Greek heritage using her favorite holiday recipes. "She makes something called salt-and-pepper soup, »
- Melody Chiu
Lots of families have movie-going rituals for the holidays, whether it's siblings banding together to escape after mom and dad have hit the hay or families who prefer to celebrate the holidays in the dark with a bucket of popcorn and the latest glitzy - and hopefully cheery - studio offerings, occasionally with Chinese food afterwards.
My family hits the theater on Christmas day or thereabouts and sometimes we've picked winners and sometimes - the more memorable ones, unfortunately - we've picked some doozies. I'll admit I enjoyed seeing My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Rumor Has It, The Holiday, The Pursuit of Happyness, and other fuzzy flicks with my loved ones during the winter holidays. However, one year my mom and I went to see The Family Stone thinking it would be a fluffy comedy slash love story slash playfully warm family film, as it had been marketed: Sarah Jessica Parker »
- Jenni Miller
The 11th Annual A Home For The Holidays with Faith Hill will hit TV screens just before Christmas for charity.
The TV special will include moving performances by five-time Grammy Award winner and Academy of Country Music (Acm) Award winner Faith Hill, who headlines for the second time, Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige, musician and featured adoptee Michael Franti, Grammy and Acm Award-winning country superstar Reba McEntire, Grammy Award-winning Latin pop singer Shakira and Grammy and Acm Award-winning star Carrie Underwood, among others. Jenna Elfman (“Accidentally on Purpose”) and Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) are among the celebrities presenting inspirational stories about adoption.
Following the success of the past 10 annual shows, the special continues to tell touching stories about foster care adoption to raise awareness for this important social issue. The inspirational stories of these American families are enhanced by performances from some of today’s most popular artists. »
Courteney Cox's representative has shot down rumours the star is planning to adopt a baby.
The former Friends actress has spoken of her desire to expand her family with husband David Arquette, and recent reports suggested Cox has been looking into adoption to give their five-year-old daughter Coco a sibling.
America's National Enquirer reported the 45 year old recruited help from My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos, who is married to Cox's Cougar Town co-star Ian Gomez, as she is this year's National Adoption Day Coalition spokesperson.
But a representative for Cox has dismissed the rumours, insisting the report is a "complete fabrication," according to GossipCop.com.
Cox isn't the only Friends star to face baby speculation - earlier this week (begs07Dec09) her pal Jennifer Aniston also had to deny rumours she's looking to adopt a child. »
As with 2000 and 2001, I'm reprinting my original top ten lists and commentary. If I've got something new to say, it'll be in red below.
Please note: This list was based on NYC release dates in the year 2002. Some movies are listed as different years at the IMDb based on when they were produced or released in their home country or in La or whatnot.
Undervalued: Morvern Callar, Roger Dodger, About a Boy, White Oleander, Panic Room and Kissing Jessica Stein Top 10 Runners Up: Chicago, Monsoon Wedding, Punch Drunk Love and Spirited Away I still am glad I championed most of these movies though I am sad that some of them aren't in the top ten... particularly Morvern, Monsoon and the Miyazaki. The MMMs. Though I'm not sure I'd know what to remove to make room for them.
10. 8 Women (François Ozon)
Ever since I a French teacher took my friends and »
- NATHANIEL R
Let's talk about the insane performance of "New Moon" at the box office this past weekend. It was projected to earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $70 million. That number was doubled once the ticket sales had been counted. Impressive, to say the least.
What's interesting is that, when you look back over the opening weekend box office record-breakers, "New Moon" is sort of the odd man out. Or, more accurately, odd woman out. Look at the list, the franchises represented there: "Star Wars," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Batman," "Indiana Jones"... lots of male-oriented stuff. This isn't to say that only boys can like "Star Wars" or that there aren't a few gender-neutral/family-friendly title-holders -- I'm looking at you "Harry Potter," and you too, "Shrek" -- but the trend definitely seems to favor the boys. That on its own is noteworthy. Dig a little deeper, and some questions start to surface. »
- Adam Rosenberg
Michael Weldon of "Psychotronic Magazine" praised this movie's awfulness to me almost 30 years ago, and I only caught up with it this week.
The Children concerns the ghastly events that occur after a school bus drives through a noxious cloud of gas...which is exactly how Richard Matheson got The Incredible Shrinking Man going, so it's not a bad start. There are only a few kids on the bus, luckily (I'm surprised the filmmakers got any parents to trust them with their kids -- but then, half the kids in this film have the same last name as the producer). I'm going to have to provide some spoilers here because the movie is so bad and so poorly paced that no one will watch it through without a damn good reason. These kids, though normal looking, become radioactive zombies with an impulse to approach any adults with arms outstretched, begging for hugsies! »
The hysterical comedy My Life in Ruins has arrived on DVD from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and M&C.s giving away four copies! Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) stars as a discouraged single woman looking for a way to reconnect with her soul and find her kefi-Greek for .mojo.. Working as a tour guide in her native country, she leads a motley group of eccentric tourists on a dilapidated tour bus through Ancient Greece, while waiting to land her dream job. Opening her eyes to an exotic foreign land, she soon begins to see things in a new way finding her kefi and a new romance in the process. From director Donald Petrie (How To Lose a »
- Patrick Luce
Last week's major release was a 70-year-old classic, and coincidentally today brings yet another iconic film that's actually two years older. "Snow White" was Disney's first animated feature, and appropriately enough it marks the launch of their new "Diamond Series" Blu-ray line. But blasts from the past aren't the only highlights of the week, as Jack Black and Michael Cera rock it old school in today's DVD Report.
"Year One" combines the talents of mega-producer Judd Apatow and legendary director Harold Ramis for a old-fashioned road trip through the ancient world. Starring Black and Cera as down-on-their-luck cavemen, the film draws together an eclectic cast from the comedy scene, including Paul Rudd, David Cross, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Hank Azaria and many others. "Year One" had an underwhelming response at the box office, but Sony is hoping this Blu-ray and DVD release will bring in new fans. Audio commentary with Raims, Black »
- Brian Jacks
Exclusive poster for indie horror/thriller “Into the Darkness” has just been released featuring the four leads Dalal Bruchmann, Kiowa Gordon, Anna Enger and Wolfgang Weber. Film poster art was created by our Ford Fairchild.
The story follows a group of friends descend upon a remote wilderness area to camp and party reuniting after a year apart. Their decision to embark on a short exploration of an unknown cave system turns into a horrific struggle for survival. Can they find the light before the darkness finds them?
“Into the Darkness” stars Kiowa Gordon (Twilight Saga: New Moon), Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Wolfgang Weber (Nip/Tuck, CSI: Miami), Austrian actress Dalal Bruchmann, Anna Enger (Drop Dead Diva), Film Threat Magazine’s “Indie Actor to Watch” Russ Russo, Darian O’Rear and Ronnie Patel.
Year One (Unrated)
The marketing made it look like it was all about Jack Black and Michael Cera as primitive cavemen, when in reality it's very much a Biblical comedy. In either guise, it fails to fire on all cylinders, never igniting into a full-blown laugh romp. Still, Black and Cera display enough rambunctious charm to keep the proceedings moving along nicely. And maybe the unrated edition will restore some much-needed adult-oriented humor. Also on Blu-ray. Rent it.
Add to Netflix queue | Buy at Amazon
As I wrote in my review, Eddie Murphy gives a very warm, very funny performance as a stressed-out financial executive trying to be a better parent to his seven-year-old daughter, but the film springs to life only at rare moments, which are surrounded by so much fatty tissue that you fear the movie will die of a heart attack before it huffs and »
- Peter Martin
Nothing can really compare to the craptacular showing of Zyzzyx Road, the film that brought in a whopping $30. That's no typo -- it didn't bring in $30 million, not even $30 thousand. I'm not sure any film could ever compete with that, except for maybe a For Justin & Kelly sequel, but there is a stinker this summer that comes sort of close.
It was set to be her big comeback. Two films, one she was headlining, and one that she wrote, directed, and starred in. The first made the rounds, but the other didn't go much further than a blog post or two. Figure out who I'm writing about yet? Yes, it's Nia Vardalos and her feature I Hate Valentine's Day. Gordon and the Whale dug into the little feature that couldn't, revealing that after spending $5 million and making well over $200 million on My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Valentine's Day only brought »
- Monika Bartyzel
Finally!!! What we have all been waiting for, in Cannes, in Berlin before that and ever since closing down Picturehouse. The Indie Industry is giving a big sigh of relief to find the best among us is back in the game. Congratulations. Here is their official unexpurgated and unedited press release...Sydney:
Berney & Pohlad Unveil Apparition, Align with Sony
by Brian Brooks (Updated 4 hours, 15 minutes ago)
Pohlad And Berney Launch New Motion Picture Distribution Company Apparitionand Announce Output Deal With Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquistions Group
New York—August 6, 2009—Bill Pohlad and Bob Berney have launched a new motion picture distribution company, Apparition, which will acquire and release films. The new company’s initial slate includes The Tree of Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, and Jane Campion »
- Sydney@SydneysBuzz.com (Sydney)
6 August 2009 7:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
New York -- River Road Entertainment's Bill Pohlad and distribution guru Bob Berney announced their new distribution venture Thursday, saying that the company would be named Apparition and that it would release Terrence Malick's anticipated opus "The Tree of Life."
The company also said it had pacted with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group for all domestic ancillary rights; the Peter Schlessel division will handle home video and other platforms.
"Life," which River Road is producing, adds to Apparition's previously announced title, the Jane Campion period drama "Bright Star," which premiered at the Festival de Cannes. Apparition said Thursday that Campion's film, which examines the romance between John Keats and Fanny Brawne in the 19th century, would open on Sept. 18, shortly after its North American premiere at the Toronto international Film Festival.
Malick's fifth film and first since 2005's colonial drama "The New World," "Life" has been the subject »
- By Steven Zeitchik
Online retailers have revealed Fox Home Entertainment plans to release the Greek infused romantic comedy My Life in Ruins on October 6 simultaneously on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. My Life in Ruins, hoping to mooch of the success of My Big Fat Greek Wedding with shared star Nia Vardalos, crumbled to ruins at the box office with a meager $8.5 million in ticket sales. The film co-stars Rachel Dratch, Richard Dreyfuss, and Alexis Georgoulis. The only disc features to share at this time are a requisite 1080p transfer and 5.1 DTS-hd Master Audio track. Additional features will be shared upon receipt from the studio. My Life in Ruins on Blu-ray retails for $39.99 but can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com for $27.99 by clicking here. »
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