Posts Tagged ‘For Colored Girls’

Weekend Estimates – November 21

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt 1|126.2|New|126.2
Due Date|8.9|-42%|72.4
The Next Three Days|6.7|New|6.7
Morning Glory|5.2|-43%|19.8
For Colored Girls|6.6|-64%|30.8
Red|2.4|-51% |83.5
Paranormal Activity 2|2.3|-64%|34.5

Weekend Box Office Report – November 7

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

No Brainer

Megamind led a torrid weekend box office frame (the largest for a pre-Thanksgiving November) with a first salvo estimated at $47.5 million. Two other national openers followed in succession with strong numbers. The comedy road trip Due Date grossed $33.4 million and the Afrocentric For Colored Girls bowed to $20.1 million.

There was also a pair of Bollywood films timed to the Dwali holiday. Golmaal 3 had solid returns of $443,000 from 86 screens while Action Replayy was disappointing with $232,000 from 99 venues. In Quebec Reste avec moi pancaked on a gross of $25,600 in an initial 19 playdates.

In limited and exclusive runs the politically charged Fair Game polled a respectable $663,000 that indicates challenging expansion plans. Among the remaining newcomers there was a good solo for Algerian Oscar submission Outside the Law of $7,500. But the big noise of the weekend was the not-for-the-squeamish 127 Hours, which played to near capacity at four and generated a staggering screen average of $66,570.

Weekend revenues ballooned as a result of buoyant new titles and some very strong holdovers.

The latest from DreamWorks Animation, Megamind, was generally pegged to debut in a mid-$40 million arena though some felt it could have performed better on a less competitive weekend. Though that contention is dubious, the rest of the year really doesn’t offer that option with both pre-sold and award titles beginning to open up the multiplex floodgates.

Due Date — with its obvious references to Trains, Planes & Automobiles — renewed faith in the power of a high concept comedy. But the riskier For Colored Girls, based upon the acclaimed play by Ntozake Shange, was the session’s major question mark. Many had pursued the property for decades and concluded that it was unfilmable, so when Tyler Perry unexpectedly stepped forward there was a collective shudder. Critical response was mixed to positive while the opening box office was better than anticipated.

Overall box office should top $155 million for the weekend and best the immediate prior session by 67%. It’s also a 28% improvement from 2009 with the launch of the animated A Christmas Carol opened to $30.1 million with the frame’s other debs The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Fourth Kind slotting third and fourth with respectively $12.7 million and $12.2 million.

If you believe that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, the opening weekend of 127 Hours would certainly buttress your argument. Aside from sterling reviews, the fact-inspired tale of endurance has generated a lot of ink centering on the intensity of the viewing experience that appears to cause at least a few patrons to faint at every screening. The industry will be watching intently to see whether it remains a date movie as it expands nationally.

Also under the microscope is Fair Game that fell short of dynamic initial business. There’s already debate about the decision to open in more than a handful of venues and a feeling that rapid expansion will result in further disappointment along the lines of Conviction.


Weekend Estimates – November 5-7, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Megamind Par 47.5 (12,040) New 3944 47.5
ue Date WB 33.4 (9,960) New 3355 33.4
For Colored Girls Lionsgate 20.1 (9,440) New 2127 20.1
Red Summit 8.8 (2,720) -18% 3229 71.8
Saw 3D Lionsgate 7.9 (2,820) -67% 2808 38.5
Paranormal Activity 2 Par 7.1 (2,250) -57% 3168 77
Jackass 3D Par 5.0 (2,330) -41% 2165 110.8
Secretariat BV 4.1 (1,570) -18% 2614 51.1
Hereafter WB 4.0 (1,680) -38% 2365 28.7
The Social Network Sony 3.5 (1,890) -22% 1860 85
Life As We Know It WB 3.1 (1,610) -23% 1950 48.6
Conviction Fox Searchlight 1.5 (2,280) -16% 672 4.5
The Town WB 1.2 (1,510) -39% 801 89.8
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest Music Box/Alliance .74 (3,720) 2% 199 2
Fair Game Summit .66 (14,410) New 46 0.66
Easy A Sony .50 (1,070) -53% 468 57.3
Legend of the Guardians WB .45 (610) -74% 740 54
Golmaal 3 Eros .44 (5,140) New 86 0.44
Waiting for “Superman” Par Vantage .38 (1,570) -36% 242 5.4
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Fox .34 (960) -57% 353 51.9
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $149.10
% Change (Last Year) 28%
% Change (Last Week) 67%
Also debuting/expanding
127 Hours Searchlight .27 (66,570) 4 0.27
Action Replayy Viva .23 (2,340) 99 0.23
Stone Overture .18 (1,630) -28% 109 1.5
Four Lions Drafthouse 41,300 (5,160) 8 0.04
Reste avec moi Seville 25,600 (1,350) 19 0.03
Client 9 Magnolia 18,400 (6,130) 3 0.02
Red Hill Strand 8,400 (1,680) 5 0.01
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi) Cohen Media 7,500 (7,500) 1 0.01
Trapped CJ Entertainment 4,400 (4,400) 1 0.01

Domestic Market Share (Jan. 1 – Nov. 4, 2010)

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner Bros. (25) 1457.6 16.50%
Paramount (16) 1423.7 16.00%
Fox (16) 1290.9 14.50%
Buena Vista (15) 1163.9 13.10%
Sony (23) 1151.1 13.00%
Universal (17) 776.9 8.80%
Summit (10) 488.3 5.50%
Lionsgate (13) 444.2 5.00%
Overture (7) 81.2 0.90%
Fox Searchlight (6) 75.9 0.80%
Focus (7) 74.8 0.80%
Weinstein Co. (7) 62.3 0.70%
Sony Classics (21) 55.5 0.60%
MGM (1) 51.2 0.60%
CBS (2) 50 0.60%
Other * (281) 233.2 2.60%
8880.7 100.00%
* none greater than .04%

Top Global Grossers * (Jan. 1 – Nov. 4, 2010)

Title Distributor Gross
Avatar Fox 1,953,205,209
Toy Story 3 BV 1,061,408,156
Alice in Wonderland BV 1,024,537,295
Inception WB 831,539,135
Shrek Forever After Par 737,766,901
Twilight: Eclipse Summit 691,483,448
Iron Man 2 Par 622,718,600
How to Train Your Dragon Par 495,792,295
Despicable Me Uni 492,994,376
Clash of the Titans WB 489,778,913
Sherlock Holmes * WB 367,796,599
The Karate Kid Sony 359,315,646
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time BV 335,692,394
The Last Airbender Par 318,404,181
Robin Hood Uni 311,826,207
Shutter Island Par 301,977,955
Sex and the City 2 WB 301,158,934
Salt Sony 291,684,047
Resident Evil: Afterlife Sony/Alliance 277,419,991
Grown Ups Sony 270,265,798
The Expendables Lionsgate/NuImage 269,273,037
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Fox 264,341,533
Knight and Day Fox 256,518,022
Percy Jackson & the Olympians Fox 226,497,209
Valentine’s Day WB 217,596,116
* does not include 2009 box office

Weekend Estimates – November 7

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Due Date|33.4|New|33.4
For Colored Girls|20.1|New|20.1
Saw 3D|7.9|-67%|38.5
Paranormal Activity 2|7.1|-57%| 77
Jackass 3D|5.0|-41% |110.8
The Social Network|3.5|-22%|85

Dargis Digs Tyler Perry

Friday, November 5th, 2010

“As it turns out, Mr. Perry, while busily establishing his economic independence, has been finding his voice as a filmmaker. And here, he sings the song the way he likes it—with force, feeling and tremendous sincerity.”
Dargis Digs Tyler Perry

Ntozake Shange Enforced A ‘No Madea’ Rule

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Ntozake Shange Enforced A ‘No Madea’ Rule

Weekend Films

Friday, November 5th, 2010

I have to say, Lionsgate never extended an invitation to see For Colored Girls, even if I was the only one holding out hope for the film as an awards movie for a while there. And Manohla Dargis’ review makes me wish they had… or that I had bothered them about it. I have no idea whether I would agree with Manohla’s take, but as is too often the case, the dismissive reviews in the trades read like outlets all too happy to be dismissive of a passionate effort.

Speaking of which, even though it’s not opening this weekend, I’d like to put my two cents in on Love & Other Drugs, which also got pummeled by critics who, in my opinion, were not really watching the movie they were being shown, but were too busy finding a way to disconnect emotionally from a surprisingly emotional film. It isn’t a Viagra sex comedy. it’s Love Story and Sweet November… combined with a Viagra sex comedy.

I got a very strong feeling that Zwick and Herskovitz were going back to the work that they didn’t quite hit out of the park in adapting Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago as About Last Night. Here, they get a lot of the raunchiness of Mamet, but in combination with a big melodramatic story that is, by its nature, very close to crossing the line into male-unwatchable mush… and they overcome the obstacles. And it’s not, as some would position it, just because we spend a lot of first act time with Anne Hathaway’s naked body splayed across the screen. It’s because of very smart writing and a truly awards-worthy performance by Hathaway. This kind of part has eaten up some really talented actresses over the years and Hathaway just grabs the whole thing by the balls, makes very decisive acting choices, and pulls rabbits out of her hat through the whole movie.

The only reason Love & Other Drugs isn’t a truly great film is the problem of Jake Gyllenhaal, an actor who I adored when he was younger and who has me more and more perplexed over time. On paper, he is a great choice. Young, dumb, and full of cum. But he needs to evolve in this story. And while he does okay with the role, you just never get the kind of light out of him that seeps out of Hathaway’s every pore. Ruffalo might have been the right guy, though he is a little older now. It could have been the role of Ryan Reynolds’ career, though we have never seen him quite hit this note. The one who might have turned this film into a classic would have been Michael Fassbender. The role is Jerry Maguire, in many ways. Cruise is now too iconic (and too old) to make it feel real.

I’m not saying this is a perfect film. It’s not. But it is a daring, challenging piece, and deserves to be seriously considered for all of its strengths, as well as the weaknesses. And when I look at Gurus and see that Hathaway has fallen completely off the chart, that’s a shame, because she glides through it with great assurance, no doubt supported by a strong director who helped her push and keep those boundaries.

Anyway… back to this weekend and the movies I have seen…

127 Hours kills. It’s just that simple. It’s like one of those sugar sculptures you see on Food Network in competitions. It can’t possible hold together, it is so precariously on the edge at all times. It’s going to crack. It’s got to shatter. But it holds together and brings you out the other end feeling good about a man’s (figurative) life, death, and resurrection.

ironically, I think that the skill with which Boyle & Co pull this thing off makes it look easier than it was. This is a movie that should be studied in future, especially with an eye to a strong directorial focus and a lot of use of techniques to keep it fresh – in collaboration with James Franco – within that strong idea.

Unless you have severe issues and watching a trapped person for more than an hour will given you a panic attack, I highly recommend this film to everyone, pretty much of all ages over 12. That might seem a little young to some, but has TJ Lavin gotten out of the hospital yet? I think Jackass is a lot of fun. But balance it out. Balance it out.

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer is a very solid doc. Somehow, it feels like it would be incomplete without a look at Inside Job as well, in which Spitzer appears as an expert on the economic disaster of the last few years. It lends a balance. Client 9 isn’t, however, just about Spitzer’s spritzer. It is about the politics of taking down this one particular John in a world where this crime is the rule, not the exception. It’s about the hubris of the righteous. It’s about the long slow race that The Bad guys are willing to run to achieve their ends. It’s about all kinds of things.

Alex Gibney is one of our best documentarians. He shows us this again, here, with his skill, style, and meticulous attention to detail. (DP/30 with Gibney on Client 9 is here.)

Due Date is the latest from Todd Phillips, who turned from a director to a walking oeuvre with The Hangover last year. This film stinks of Trains, Planes & Automobiles in the ads, but its soul is much, much darker. And that’s why it works… and that’s why it doesn’t always work.

Essentially, Robert Downey, Jr plays a prick. His prickness is allayed by occasional bouts of decency and having Michelle Monaghan as a wife, back home. After all, how bad can he really be if he goes home to the natural sweetness that is Monaghan.

What I found myself wondering about with this character was not about his redemption, but about the weird space he inhabits, not bad enough to be BAD, not a jerk with a heart of gold… but also not a dozen other things he might have been. And my sense was that the interest Phillips and his co-writer had in this character was not making him any clear thing, but keeping him unpredictable and undefinable. Interesting. But even on Downey, who seems unable to fail in recent years, there just is no there there. Even though it was as clear as could be, I never really believed that getting home to his wife, whose due date is Now, was really driving him. I never really believed that holding his child in his arms that first time would change his life very much. I never really cared about this guy for a single second.

And Zach Galifianakis is a bit of a cipher in all his work. He is funny. In many ways, he is Richard Dreyfuss without the energy. But like Downey, he seems a bit like he is in his own movie here and Downey is just coincidental. So much of what he does here is just being the joke, however broad or nonsensical. Get the laugh, be the stooge, move on.

Thing is, the movie does make you laugh. And for that, it deserves credit. And in some ways, it is an experimental comedy, as though Phillips looked at Planes, Trains and said, “Let’s remake it, but let’s see what it looks like without a soul.” That is a daring choice. And with the impending baby and Galifianakis, they do have some soul in there. it doesn’t feel like gag-gag-gag, like something like Starsky & Hutch. But as almost none of the insane adventures really stick to the characters – aside from various kinds of dirt and torn clothing – it really is. And that’s where it gets to be a bit more interesting than, perhaps, it deserves to be.

Doug Liman’s Fair Game is a testament to the relentlessness of some smart liberals. I’m not going to drag it out and I hope to actually talk to Liman in the weeks to come about his process. What I got from this film was a director trying to make a thriller out of a BBC drama. One act of Valerie Plame, superspy, and her unsuspecting husband, Joe, the intellectual. Then she is exposed. Then the marriage suffers, but is reborn in very chatty righteous indignation against those who exposed her.

It’s hard to see pretty women and blown-dried men in nice suburban home with full access to the media as uber-victims. It just is. Yes, a great injustice was done and the law was broken in the vain effort to change the news cycle. It could not have been fun to live through. But walk down any block in New Orleans and you will find more than one significantly more compelling, tragic, dramatic story. So the only way to make a drama about comfortable people who are a little less comfortable because someone did something to them is to find an angle inside of that story that isn’t The Story. In some ways, Liman tried to do that with the first act. But that was only one act. Perhaps this is a story about being an insider and then the small push off of that core. Maybe it;s about media failing to see the importance of something…or seeing it from too personal a perspective. I don’t know. All I know is that the central story here is just not that heartbreaking. This is not to diminish or excuse… but we’re talking movies, not real life. Liman has real skill in upping the ante and making more of something that seem mundane or vice versa, putting a “that’s life” twist onto a real thriller. But this hill was a little too much of a molehill to make into a mountain.

Gurus o’ Gold – A Post Toronto Look At The Field

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Updated on 10/11/10, 3p… adding Guru #15, Emanuel Levy and a few adjustments to others…

A Trailer For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Posters: For Colored Girls

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Gurus o’ Gold – A Pre-Toronto Look At The 2010/11 Field

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Welcome to the first Gurus gathering of this upcoming season.

It always seems a little silly to offer strong opinions before the Toronto International Film Festival has even begun. So we don’t. Consider these a gentle guide to what the buzz is, very early in the season.

We asked The Gurus to offer their 15 favorites to end up nominated for Best Picture come January. No ranking, No “sure things.” Just instinct and as much insight as is possible at this moment.

Last year, we did the same and the result was that The Gurus hit seven of the final ten in their Top Ten from this long distance. Two more were picked in the Top Sixteen. And the only film to get nominated that was nowhere to be found on this early list? The Blind Side. (Perhaps that explains the shock from the media when it got nominated… even after becoming a well-reviewed massive box office hit.) So maybe this early poll isn’t really all that silly .

Is there a stone unturned this year? Well, not Stone, which got a vote from Pete Howell. And not Tree of Life, which got 4 votes last year at this time… and just 3 votes this time around (2 of them from the same Gurus as last year).

This is not the look for the future of Gurus moving forward. But our team is designing a databased system that will launch when Gurus goes full-out in November. So, until then…

UPDATE, 9/7/10 – The last three Gurus have now chimed in.

The Participating Gurus
Anthony Breznican – USA Today
Greg Ellwood – Hitfix
Pete Hammond – Deadline Hollywood
Eugene Hernandez – indieWIRE
Pete Howell – Toronto Star
Dave Karger – Entertainment Weekly
Mark Olsen – LA Times
David Poland – Movie City News
Steve Pond – The Wrap
Sean Smith – Entertainment Weekly
Sasha Stone – Awards Daily
Kris Tapley – In Contention
Anne Thompson -indieWIRE
Susan Wloszczyna – USA Today