MCN Originals Archive for February, 2016

364 Days To Oscar: Wrapping Up

This show was 85% of the way to being the kind of show that builds the loyal audience and can then build on that audience. Big congratulations to Reggie Hudlin and David Hill. They did it right… or at least are on the right track.

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Gurus o’ Gold: The Final Vote (including a few last second changes)

A couple of Gurus have last minute changes to their picks. And the entire rundown in every category is here.

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The Weekend Report

Deadpool would not be Trumped as it glided to its third weekend at the top of the charts with an estimated $31.7 million. Three national releases bowed Oscar weekend, with Gods of Egypt commanding second spot with $13.7 million. The other two weren’t as vibrant with Olympic oddity Eddie the Eagle grossing $6.2 million and the dirty-cops-and-robbers Triple 9 scamming $5.9 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

To the surprise of no one, Deadpool kills it for a third weekend. Newcomer Gods of Egypt won’t get close to $15m, while Triple 9 would be happy to get to triple 6 with 4 zeros. And feel-good movie Eddie the Eagle is going to need to spread its wings over time if it isn’t going to be grounded.

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The DVD Wrapup: Spotlight, Good Dinosaur, Cannibal Women, Bees and more

Like All the President’s Men, Spotlight is a journalistic procedural and the target of the investigation is abuse of power. While terrible crimes are unraveled, the excitement comes from watching highly trained and unusually dedicated reporters work on all eight cylinders in pursuit of a single goal: the truth. 

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The Academy Exclusionary Rule: 5 Standards For Exclusion That Would Make It Fair (#2 of 2)

I have pushed back against The Exclusionary Rule from its first announcement. My last column on it pretty much had the effect I had hoped for, so I retired the fight.

Now, thanks to the New York Times, the official writing on the wall has arrived for what may well lead to a complete elimination of The Exclusionary Rule. In weeks past, The Academy has told members seeking information that there would be no action until March, that the system was being restructured to be based on the judgment of each branch’s Governor, and that there was a dissension from high level members about this element of the announced changes moving forward.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Our Best Guess… Our Final Guess

The Academy’s votes are in. And now, The Gurus have spoken as well.

Ten categories have unanimous votes, including 5 of the Top 8. Another five categories have 11 or 12 of the 13 Guru votes. That would suggest a pretty boring evening, with the big unknowns being short films, Costume Design, and Sound. But it has been a season of surprises… so stay close to the TV on Sunday night.

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The Weekend Report

It was another dawn of the Deadpool as the curmudgeonly superantihero remained top choice with an estimated $55.3 million. A trio of national releases proved not much of a threat including the faith-based Risen that ranked third with $11.7 million. Also bowing was seventeeth-century horror chiller The Witch with a sturdy $8.5 million while Race, a biopic of sprinter Jesse Owens ran off the track with $7.3 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Deadpool becomes the first $200 million domestic hit of 2016 today. The Witch, the widest release ever by A24 and the first wide opening they have done, pays off with the distributor’s best weekend, passing Ex Machina‘s $5.4m expansion weekend last year. And Kevin Reynolds’ Resurrection tale, Risen, has a launch comparable to last summer’s War Room, which got all the way to $68 million domestic. Race… doesn’t. And Stephen Chow’s Chinese hit The Mermaid will deliver a $25k+ per-screen 3-day weekend despite barely any push by Sony… hardly letting people know where it’s opening, really.

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9 Days To Oscar: Is That All There Is?

Is there anything left to mine this Oscar season?

I really like the group of movies this year… but I am paying very close attention and I can’t find anything to get excited about at this point. If people I like win, I will be happy.

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The DVD Wrapup: Black Mass, Trumbo, Death by Hanging, Taviani Trilogy, Iron Ministry, Paprika, Black Panthers and more

Unlike so many other Hollywood gangster movies, Black Mass doesn’t waste a lot of time attempting to humanize Bulger and his pals. Indeed, it can be argued that Johnny Depp’s decision to wear icy blue contact lens occasionally makes him look too demonic. At one point, the recently released ex-con orders his buddies to help an elderly woman with her groceries, but it’s a brief sequence, quickly overshadowed by violent crimes. Bulger’s pain over losing his 6-year-old son, Douglas, to Reyes disease, is feels genuine, if only because it heightens his resolve to stay out of jail. Otherwise, Depp’s portrayal honestly describes a sociopathic killer, who doesn’t feel as if societal rules apply to him.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Battleground Categories Top 3!!!

The Gurus were asked to pick their Top 3 in the 8 Battleground Categories. Only one pick to win has changed… but it’s a big one.

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The Weekend Report: 4-Day Edition

With added Presidents Day prognostication.

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The Weekend Report

They expected big … but not huuuge. Deadpool bowed to a record-breaking estimated $135.3 million for the three-day portion (all figures reflect three day figures) of the Presidents holiday session. Two other films launched nationally with upbeat response to How to Be Single at $18.2 million and a disappointing $14.3 million for Zoolander No. 2.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The first Hunger Games and the first Avengers are the only non-sequels to have opening days better than the one Deadpool just delivered. Remarkable. Almost $10m more than Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a summer release. Also the biggest opening day ever in the first 80 days of the year. How To Be Single probably was unaffected, but Zoolander 2 likely took a hit – not one that would make the opening great – as some of its demo surely overlaps with Deadpool audiences.

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The DVD Wrapup: 99 Homes, Grandma, Crimson Peak, Jan Troell, Sheba Baby and more

One way to view Ramin Bahrani’s gut-churning drama, 99 Homes, is as a powerful indictment of the corrupt practices embraced by the real-estate industry in the still unresolved collapse of the American economy. Lenders profited from the misery of homeowners who lost their jobs and couldn’t keep up with the first and second mortgages they pursued to afford everything from necessary home improvements to such luxuries as swimming pools, vacation condos and sports cars. As long as the economy was firing on all eight cylinders, everything was jake. When it spit out the bit, however, vultures like the character played by Michael Shannon in 99 Homes swooped in to displace the suckers and enrich themselves.

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3 Weeks To Oscar: Exposing The Wizard

Stop me if you’ve heard this…

How is it that the person with their finger on the nuclear button, and some group of producers who get to take home the coolest swag in Hollywood, are on the same short-term-memory track?

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Gurus o’ Gold: 2 Days Before Voting Begins

This week, the Gurus voted in every category for everyone they thought had a chance of winning. This led to some very interesting numbers, including one mad movie with 6 wins, besting everyone in the field by 3. And two categories where everyone is in agreement that there’s no potential upset.

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The Weekend Report

Muscular Kung Fu Panda 3 flexed its pecs for a second weekend at the top of the charts with an estimated $21.2 million. The session featured a trio of national bows, with openings that ranged from good to … Slotting second was Hollywood spoof Hail, Caesar! with an $11.4 million back office. The three-hanky The Choice grossed $6.1 million while Pride + Prejudice + Zombies got skewered with $5.2 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates


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MCN Originals

Leonard Klady's Friday Estimates
Friday Screens % Chg Cume
Title Gross Thtr % Chgn Cume
Venom 33 4250 NEW 33
A Star is Born 15.7 3686 NEW 15.7
Smallfoot 3.5 4131 -46% 31.3
Night School 3.5 3019 -63% 37.9
The House Wirh a Clock in its Walls 1.8 3463 -43% 49.5
A Simple Favor 1 2408 -50% 46.6
The Nun 0.75 2264 -52% 111.5
Hell Fest 0.6 2297 -70% 7.4
Crazy Rich Asians 0.6 1466 -51% 167.6
The Predator 0.25 1643 -77% 49.3
Also Debuting
The Hate U Give 0.17 36
Shine 85,600 609
Exes Baggage 75,900 62
NOTA 71,300 138
96 61,600 62
Andhadhun 55,000 54
Afsar 45,400 33
Project Gutenberg 36,000 17
Love Yatri 22,300 41
Hello, Mrs. Money 22,200 37
Studio 54 5,300 1
Loving Pablo 4,200 15
3-Day Estimates Weekend % Chg Cume
No Good Dead 24.4 (11,230) NEW 24.4
Dolphin Tale 2 16.6 (4,540) NEW 16.6
Guardians of the Galaxy 7.9 (2,550) -23% 305.8
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4.8 (1,630) -26% 181.1
The Drop 4.4 (5,480) NEW 4.4
Let's Be Cops 4.3 (1,570) -22% 73
If I Stay 4.0 (1,320) -28% 44.9
The November Man 2.8 (1,030) -36% 22.5
The Giver 2.5 (1,120) -26% 41.2
The Hundred-Foot Journey 2.5 (1,270) -21% 49.4