Posts Tagged ‘jackass 3-d’

Weekend Box Office Report – October 17

Sunday, October 17th, 2010


Jackass 3D was better than all right with an estimated $49.3 million that easily ranked it at the top of the weekend movie going charts. Another freshman, the seasoned action-comedy Red, ranked second with $21.9 million. The session’s third national debut in medium-wide release was the inspirational N Secure with an OK $133,000 bow.

Among niche and regional bows the polemical documentary I Want Your Money failed to bring out the vote with a $236,000 tally from 537 screens. Telegu-language Brindaavanam rang up an impressive $10,320 average from 20 venues while Bollywood entry Aakrosh was a washout with a $46,400 gross from 24 screens.

Among the week’s exclusive newbies the clear favorite was Hereafter with a $37,380 per screen from six early peeks. There were also impressive openings for the three-hour plus portrait of a terrorist Carlos of $33,700 from single dates in Manhattan and Montreal and a sturdy $101,000 gross for the ripped from the headlines Conviction at 11 cells.

Overall weekend box office revenues topped $130 million for a sizeable 42% boost from seven days back. However, it fell 4% below last year’s tally and the 2010 box office has shrunk to just 2% better than the prior year’s gross for the same period.

Industry trackers had pegged the stereoscopic version of Jackass at roughly $30 million prior to its opening. But they obviously were deaf to bygone wag Henry Mencken’s observation that “no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” The recently under-served young male audience were eager to don Polaroid glasses and see the aging stars of the reality skein making fools of themselves and others up close and personal.

Pundits also undervalued Red with early estimates in a $15 million to $18 million range. The single joke premise of over the hill spies conscripted back into service (more intentionally mawkish than The Expendables) skewed older but obviously had some appeal for a younger crowd in search of something marginally less mind numbing that required optical gimmicks.

The glacial expansion of Waiting for “Superman” continued to display stamina but it’s clear that Never Let Me Go has peaked and that the rapid expansion of Nowhere Boy left the early years of John Lennon stranded outside the Cavern Club. Stone was experiencing a better than expected hold as it increased its exposure from six to 41 venues.

The frame’s two award contenders – Hereafter and Conviction – constructed solid foundations for their platform bids. Still the early signs suggest a better than anticipated commercial run for the former with the latter yarn requiring a lot of TLC to reach a wider audience.

Among holdovers the second lap for Secretariat showed signs that audiences were discovering the heartfelt saga and The Social Network continues to be propped up by award buzz rather than Facebook fascination.


Weekend Estimates – October 15-17, 2010

Title Distributor Gross (average) % change * Theaters Cume
Jackass 3D Par 49.3 (16,010) New 3081 49.3
Red Summit 21.9 (6,740) New 3255 21.8
The Social Network Sony 10.8 (3,910) -30% 2771 63
Secretariat BV 9.4 (3,070) -26% 3072 27.4
Life As We Know It WB 9.2 (2,910) -37% 3150 28.8
Legend of the Guardians WB 4.2 (1,670) -39% 2502 46
The Town WB 4.0 (1,700) -37% 2368 80.6
My Soul to Take Uni/Alliance 3.1 (1,240) -54% 2529 11.9
Easy A Sony 2.6 (1,140) -39% 2314 52.3
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Fox 2.3 (1,110) -50% 2045 47.8
N Secure FreeStyle 1.3 (2,730) New 486 1.3
It’s Kind of a Funny Story Focus 1.3 (1,660) -38% 757 4
You Again BV 1.2 (750) -53% 1588 22.7
Case 39 Par Vantage 1.2 (840) -56% 1406 11.9
Devil Uni 1.0 (1,100) -46% 891 31.6
Let Me In Overture .83 (690) -66% 1211 11.1
Alpha and Omega Lions Gate .81 (840) -46% 969 22.6
Waiting for “Superman” Par Vantage .74 (4,060) 17% 182 2.5
Toy Story 3 BV .52 (1,480) -6% 350 412.8
Inception WB .35 (1,180) -29% 297 289.7
Resident Evil: Afterlife Sony/Alliance .34 (780) -73% 438 59.7
Weekend Total ($500,000+ Films) $125.70
% Change (Last Year) -4%
% Change (Last Week) 42%
Also debuting/expanding
Nowhere Boy Weinstein Co. .33 (1,550) 554% 215 0.41
Never Let Me Go Searchlight .32 (1,390) -7% 232 1.65
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Sony Classics .27 (2,440) 1% 112 1.26
I Want Your Money FreeStyle .24 (440) 537 0.24
Stone Overture .23 (5,780) 199% 41 0.34
Hereafter WB .22 (37,380) 6 0.22
Brindaavanam Blue Sky .21 (10,320) 20 0.21
Buried Lions Gate .13 (1,270) -41% 103 0.76
Conviction Fox Searchlight .10 (9,200) 11 0.1
Aakrosh Eros 46,400 (1,930) 24 0.05
Carlos IFC 33,700 (16,850) 1 0.03
Knockout Eros 18,100 (700) 26 0.02
A Better Tomorrow CJ Entertainment 5,800 (5,800) 1 0.01
Down Terrace Magnolia 2,900 (1,450) 2 0.01
Samson and Delilah Ipix 2,300 (1,150) 2 0.01

Domestic Market Share – January 1 – October 14, 2010

Distributor (releases) Gross Market Share
Warner Bros. (24) 1380.1 16.40%
Fox (16) 1284.6 15.30%
Paramount (14) 1242.3 14.80%
Buena Vista (15) 1129.6 13.40%
Sony (23) 1111.7 13.20%
Universal (17) 765.4 9.10%
Summit (9) 425.1 5.10%
Lionsgate (12) 410.1 4.90%
Overture (7) 78.2 0.90%
Fox Searchlight (5) 72.1 0.90%
Focus (7) 71.4 0.90%
Weinstein Co. (7) 61.1 0.70%
Sony Classics (20) 52.9 0.60%
MGM (1) 50.4 0.60%
CBS (2) 50 0.60%
Other * (266) 222.3 2.60%
8407.3 100.00%
* none greater than .04%

Weekend Estimates – October 17

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Jackass 3D|49.3|New| 49.3
Red|21.9|New |21.9
The Social Network|10.8|-30%|63
Life As We Know It|9.2|-37%|28.8
Legend of the Guardians|4.2|-39%|46
The Town|4.0|-37%|80.6
My Soul to Take|3.1|-54%|11.9
Easy A|2.6|-39%| 52.3
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps|2.3|-50%|47.8

Jackass 3-D (Dir. Jeff Tremaine)

Friday, October 15th, 2010

As much as I pride myself on my film snobbery, I’m an unabashed fan of the Jackass series and films.  I used to say to anyone who would question me, “well, it’s stupid fun, but I like it for some reason.”  Well, I no longer think of it as just “stupid fun.”  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the films are shining examples of witticism.  However, they are certainly more witty than people give them credit for.  The stunts that they pull are so absurd as to be almost brilliant, but what really gets me are the ad-libbed reactions that Johnny Knoxville or Chris Pontius will throw out there after a stunt, like, “oh man, that hurt to do that to you” after Pontius puts a fish hook in Steve-O’s cheek.

The key to any great comedy is to give us likable characters and put them in precarious situations where we care about the outcome.  Jackass has perfected this formula.  All of the guys in the films are inherently likable because they are 1) self-deprecating and 2) self-harming; we, as human beings, tend to have a soft spot for people who are self-deprecating and for those that will harm themselves for our benefit.  And we always care about the outcome of each of these insane stunts and it’s usually either 1) I hope he doesn’t die and/or get maimed or 2) I hope he doesn’t vomit.  What the films do that is somewhat revolutionary is take out the whole business about a plot and story.  But, the interesting thing is that over the course of the series and the films, we have certainly seen character growth and bonds.  And male bonding is really what the series has always been about; just getting together with your best buddies and doing dumb stunts in the hopes of making your pals laugh.

But enough trying to analyze the complexities of Jackass 3-D.  I went to the midnight showing with two of my best friends and we – like most people in the theater – had quite a few drinks beforehand (and during).  The crowd was wild, which was what I was hoping for when I decided to see the midnight showing.  This is truly one of those must-see theater experiences because it’s not the same watching the film at home, without hearing the crowd collectively go, “ohhhhhhhhh.”  I don’t necessarily know that the 3-D part of the film was warranted or that they truly take advantage of it outside of a few scenes at the beginning and end, but I will say that if you’re going to see this movie, then you are going to get exactly what you paid for and signed up for.

I will say that I don’t think the film is as strong as the first two installments.  Perhaps it’s a result of getting older (both myself and the crew) or perhaps it’s because there’s only so many new ways to put yourself at risk of death and disease, but the film didn’t make me laugh or cringe as much as the first two.  However, it’s still ridiculously funny and one of the best times I’ve had in a theater this year.  I don’t want to spoil the stunts for you, but I will say that I enjoyed the scene with Super Mighty Glue, the scene with the gorilla in April and Phil Margera’s hotel room, Bam’s “Rocky” re-enactments, the “Helicockter,” the scene where Wee-Man walks into a bar with his little person lady friend, the scene with Knoxville and the bull, Steve-O and Pontius playing “tee ball,” and a whole handful of others.  There were a few parts that fell flat, but the film moves so fast that we don’t have time to notice and nothing really made me gag, which is both a plus and a minus.  The sweat-suit cocktail, though, was one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen and I mean that as the highest compliment.

Anyway, I’m surprised I was able to write 700 words about a film that is really all about the visceral.  And my visceral reaction to the movie was: very, very funny.

Box Office Hell – October 14

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Our Players|Coming Soon|Box Office Prophets|Box Office Guru|EW|Box Office . com
Jackass 3D|27.8|n/a|26|n/a|31
The Social Network|10.1|n/a|11|n/a|10.7
Life As We Know It|8.7|n/a|8|n/a|8.5

Frenzy on the Wall: 10 Movies to See This Fall/Winter

Monday, August 30th, 2010

I write this column every year. In fact, I write this column three times a year, with the changing of the movie seasons. The interesting thing about writing this particular column at this particular time in this particular year is: 1) this has been such an unfathomably terrible year at the movies that the fall has never been more important and 2) never has a fall/winter movie season looked so appetizing from afar.

What’s most astounding to me about this year’s fall crop is that there are movies that I couldn’t fit on this list that I’m still dying to see; movies like Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Ben Affleck’s The Town, Casey Affleck’s I’m Still Here, the documentary Catfish, Stone, Red, Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, Todd PhillipsDue Date, Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, Doug Liman’s Fair Game, the new Harry Potter movie, Love and Other Drugs, Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s The Tourist, Julian Schnabel’s Miral, and Blue Valentine.

These are all movies I cannot wait to go see, yet none of them cracked the top ten list of the movies I most want to see before the year is over.

So without further ado, these are the ten movies that I am most excited to see this fall:

Never Let Me Go (Dir. Mark Romanek) – September 17th

Considering that Romanek has only directed one feature previously – the underrated One Hour Photo – it might be somewhat surprising for me to include his sophomore feature on this list. But when one looks at the music videos he’s directed, it’s clear that this is a man who has a distinct vision and a unique way of bringing that vision to life. I’ll always remember the scene in One Hour Photo when Robin Williams is running through a parking structure and the way the camera follows him, creating a sense of uneasiness in the viewer just by the way the camera tracks him down the parking garage as he runs in circles.

Here, Romanek is working with a peculiar storyline that follows three young people (played by Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Keira Knightley) as they grow up in a very different kind of school. Based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and adapted for the screen by Alex Garland, this promises to be something like a Michael Bay film (like The Island) as filtered through the lens of a Merchant-Ivory sensibility. I don’t know about you guys, but that definitely has my interest piqued.

The Social Network (Dir. David Fincher) – October 1st

I’ve made no secret of my love for David Fincher throughout my years writing this column. I put him on a pedestal with a handful of other directors across the world as one of the visionaries of cinema. I just find that Fincher never takes the easy approach and has a very particular vision that never ceases to amaze me. The way that Fincher handles the mise-en-scene of his films is always just a little bit off-kilter, just like his camera and the lighting; he is one of the best in the business at creating a certain mood and sustaining it throughout the running time of the film.

Here, Fincher works from a script by the Aaron Sorkin, who has such a great sense of dramatic tension and who writes dialogue better than almost anyone. To have Fincher’s visuals matched up to Sorkin’s dialogue sounds like a such a treat that I can barely contain myself. And that was before watching one of the best trailers that has ever been cut before. If you haven’t watched the preview for The Social Network, do yourself a favor and watch it now.

Anybody who refers to this film as “the Facebook movie” is someone who clearly doesn’t have a strong interest in film. For us geeks, we call it “the Fincher film.” He’s reached that echelon for me where it really doesn’t matter what the subject matter of his film is, I know he will elevate it to something of merit artistically. I also think that Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield are going to smash it out of the park playing the Facebook founders. And being a fan of Justin Timberlake’s work on SNL, I’m excited to see what he can do in the hands of a master filmmaker. This is my number 1 must-see film of the year.

Jackass 3-D (Dir. Jeff Tremaine) – October 15th

Lest you think I’m some kind of film snob, this is the comedy I’m most excited to see this year. I don’t know what to tell you; you either love this stuff or you hate it. All I know is that the first two installments in this franchise had me crying with laughter. Comedy is such an instinctual thing and I will never be able to explain to you logically why I find it hilarious to watch a man get hit in the face by a giant hand. What these sick bastards do just entertains me to no end, but I understand completely why someone would be off-put by their antics.

But I’m going to be there opening night and I imagine I’ll laugh til’ I cry once again.

Black Swan (Dir. Darren Aronofsky) – December 1st

I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Wrestler. I mean, I thought it was fine and I enjoyed it for the most part, but I thought it was a bit of a let-down from what I had come to expect from Darren Aronofsky. The three features he had directed previous to that film were complicated and implored the viewer to open their minds and think long and hard about the narratives presented. I felt like The Wrestler was Aronofsky recharging his batteries after the difficult – and beautiful – The Fountain. He was trying to go back to telling a story that had a very clearly defined beginning, middle and end. While I enjoyed seeing Aronofsky tell a more conventional story, I longed to see him tell a story that engaged my brain a bit more.

Well, it seems like that’s exactly what Aronofsky has in store for us with Black Swan, a thrilling tale of ballet and horror starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. Portman is one of the most talented young actresses of her generation, but it seems like she’s been a bit stuck as of late. I admire that she’s taken risks in films like Brothers and The Other Boleyn Girl, but it seems like she’s been trying a bit too hard to break away form a certain kind of mold and has been miscast in films where she’s been forced to be a too…adult. Despite the fact that she’s now 29, she still looks so young that it’s hard to take her seriously as the mother of two young children (as she was in Brothers).

But as a young ballet dancer who’s beset by psychological turmoil when a rival joins the company, I think she could potentially hit that out of the park. Portman was never better than she was in Closer, playing up a mixture of vulnerability and sexual empowerment, and it seems like Black Swan might present her with a role that straddles that same line. I’m excited to see what kind of magic Aronofsky and Portman can bring to the table.

The Fighter (Dir. David O. Russell) – December 10th

I just re-watched I Heart Huckabees later and I still feel, six years later, that it is one of the most underrated films that has been released in the past decade. Never before (or since) in my lifetime have I felt like the critical community so missed the mark when it came to reviewing a film. I hate to be one of those assholes who says, “well, they just didn’t get it!” but when it came to that particular film and the critical community…well, they just didn’t get it!

It is such a funny film in a deadpan way, yet it speaks to a lot of the existential issues we all face on a day to day basis. Namely, it deals with a specific feeling that a lot of youth faces today: how do we make a difference and can we make that difference without sacrificing our ideals? More than that, it’s about how we navigate the murky waters of today and how people that seem to be our polar opposite are, in the end, exactly the same as us.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a pretty big David O. Russell fan (and I haven’t even gotten into the brilliance of Three Kings!) and I think Mark Wahlberg has done a lot of his best work while being directed by Russell. Here, Wahlberg plays a real-life boxer named Mickey Ward and Christian Bale plays his trainer and half-brother Dickie Eklund, who was an addict. Bale playing an addict, Wahlberg playing a boxer, directed by the great David O. Russell? I mean, who isn’t excited about this project?

How Do You Know (Dir. James L. Brooks) – December 17th

Spanglish was awful (except for the scene where Adam Sandler makes that delicious looking sandwich) and the trailer for this film looks absolutely terrible. But this is James L. Brooks we’re talking about. The man makes a movie every six years if we’re lucky and more often than not, he’s hit the mark.

Brooks tries to make a very specific kind of film each time out: films that defy conventional plot descriptions and deal with adult themes that are tonally difficult to figure out. In other words, he makes films that are neither comedies nor dramas, but contain elements of both. Some weirdos call these films “dramadies” but I don’t think Brooks’ films can be labeled so easily.

This latest film involves a love triangle between Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson. Jack Nicholson plays Rudd’s father. There’s some kind of accounting scandal and at least one of the leads is a professional baseball player. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the film is “about” because James L. Brooks films are all about the how rather than the why.

Sure, if you boil down most of his films to the bare essentials, they are about a boy and a girl and falling in love and yadda yadda yadda. But, the emotions and themes are never that shallow and even when he stumbles, he always makes something that is worth considering.

Somewhere (Dir. Sofia Coppola) – December 24th

I think Sofia Coppola is capable of being one of the best filmmakers alive. I think her first two films (Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation) are about as close to perfect as two films can be. I also think that her last film (Marie Antoinette) was one of the most disappointing that I’ve ever seen – beautiful to look at, to be sure, but interminable and without a plot. I think Coppola made a mistake in trying to make a film that was outside her comfort zone before she had truly mastered her particular milieu. In other words, I think she tried to stretch before she was ready. Perhaps she’ll never be ready, but I do know that he first two films had a wisdom to them that cannot be learned.

With this film, it seems like Coppola is returning to Lost in Translation territory in that we have a movie star – this time played by Stephen Dorff – lounging around a hotel and trying to find himself. The catalyst for his potential change comes in the form of his daughter (played by Elle Fanning).

The few clips I’ve seen have made the film feel very familiar and a bit derivative of Coppola’s own work. But I have more faith in her than that and I’m hoping that this film is as good as I expect all of her work to be. It won’t be a comeback film if it’s as excellent as it should be because Coppola has never been anything less than brilliant. But even brilliant artists make mistakes. Here’s hoping this isn’t one of them.

True Grit (Dir. The Coen Brothers) – December 25th

I have no feeling one way or another for the original film version of True Grit, starring John Wayne. I thought it was fine enough, but not exactly a scared cow of cinema. So it doesn’t bother me that much that someone decided it might be a good film to revisit and remake. And it certainly doesn’t bother me that the Coen Brothers are the ones who decided to remake it. And it CERTAINLY doesn’t bother me that Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, and Barry Pepper decided to join the cast.

The crucial role in the film will be played by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, as the young girl who enlists the aid of a US Marshall to track down her father’s murderer. That man is, of course, Rooster Cogburn – originally played by Wayne and now played by The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges.

Honestly, if you’re a film fan at all and you’re reading this column, do I really have to give you reasons to see the newest Coen Brothers flick?

The Way Back (Dir. Peter Weir) – December

This one doesn’t have a firm release date yet, but when I hear the name “Peter Weir,” I instinctively know that it’s going to be an expertly made film, from the hands of a true craftsman. What I find most fascinating about Weir is that I don’t know that I’d call him an “auteur” because each of his films feel so different. I can’t say that there’s a definitive “Weir style” or that he’s explored a specific theme and returning to it many times over the course of his career.

Instead, Weir has been a bit of a chameleon. He doesn’t work that often, but when he does, he makes films that cause me to say, “wow, I need more Peter Weir in my life!” Whether he’s making Fearless, Green Card, Witness, The Mosquito Coast, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Truman Show, or Master and Commander, he’s always delivering something astounding.

With his latest film, The Way Back, he’s making a film that has perhaps one of the most fascinating premises of the year: it’s the true story of a group of soldiers who escaped a Siberian gulag in the 1940s and walked 4000 miles to freedom in India. It stars Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Mark Strong, and Saoirse Ronan. It’s the first script written entirely by Weir since Green Card, so we know it must be an important story for him to tell.

Whenever it winds up being released, I’m sure we can count on it being gorgeous to look at and thoroughly engaging at the very least.

Tree of Life (Dir. Terrence Malick) – ?Who Knows?

I’ve put this on every damned list for the last two years. It’s the latest Terrence Malick film, it’s got Brad Pitt and Sean Penn and potentially dinosaurs. It’s shrouded in secrecy despite the fact that it stopped shooting two years ago. It’s about a family in Texas as well as the creation of the world we live in and somehow, those things will merge or run parallel to one another or something. It will be the most beautiful film we’ll see all year and it’ll most likely blow our minds…

…if Malick stops cutting it and lets it get released.

This used to be the one film I was most excited to see. After having waited for it for so long, it seems even further away. It doesn’t even seem realistic that I’ll see it anymore, like it’s a specter or a mirage. It’s somewhere in the distant at all times, taunting me with its beauty and brilliance. Please, Terry Malick, stop playing games with my heart and let me see this damned thing already!