erik lundegaard

Movies - Box Office posts

Monday August 18, 2014

Movie Audiences Return ‘Giver,’ Find ‘Expendables' Expendable

Expendables 3

Expendable? Absolutely. 

Someone needs to make a movie about all the dystopian Y.A. novels forced to battle each other in an arena for our pleasure and amusement. I guess we could set it in Hollywood, Cal., circa the futuristic world of, I don’t know, 2014. Call it ... “Sloppy Seconds”? “A.K.: After Katniss”? Title ideas welcome.

“The Giver,” based on a 1993 Y.A. novel by Lois Lowry, directed by Philip Noyce (“The Quiet American,” “Salt”), and with a cast that includes Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Alexander Skarsgård and new Aussie Tiger Beat sensation Brenton Thawaites, opened in more than 3,000 theaters this weekend but grossed only $12.7 million. This follows the somewhat disappointing box office of “Divergent,” which opened in March and has grossed only $150 million domestic. Cf. the first “Hunger Games,” which grossed $408 million in 2012.

“The Expendables 3” grossed $16 million in 3,221 theaters, but that continues a downward trend. The first “Expendables” opened to $34.8 million in 2010, “The Expendables 2” to $28 million in 2012. Now this. Sylvester Stallone’s sexugenarian franchise keeps getting more and more muscle-bound and keeping dropping like a rock. Correlation?

“Let’s Be Cops,” the other big opener, grossed $17.7 million in 3,094 theaters, but that was still only good enough for third place.

First place was taken by the second weekend of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” ($28.4 million), while the third weekend of “Guardians of the Galaxy” was a close second  with $24.4. “Guardians” has now grossed $222 million total. In a few weeks, it will probably be the highest-grossing movie of the year (currently: “Captain America,” $259 million), so kudos to its makers, for making it, and to us, for seeing it. It’s a fun ride.

Among indies, “Boyhood” grossed another $2 million and is now at $13.8 total. It’s Richard Linklater’s third-highest-grossing movie ever, after mainstream fare “School of Rock” ($81 million in 2003) and “Bad News Bears” ($32 million in 2005). 

Posted at 07:31 AM on Aug 18, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday August 10, 2014

Weekend Box Office: ‘Boyhood’ Pulls in Another $2 Million; Doofuses Waste $65 Million on ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

In his review of the reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” which opened in 3,845 theaters this weekend, Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir wrote the following:

I had to draw on my own ninja training and reflect intensively on the transitory nature of all phenomena, just to fend off the profound yearning for death.

O’Hehir better get used to dying because we’ll get more of these. Despite a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the fact that the first reboot grossed only $54 million total in 2007, this rebooted “TMNT” led the weekend with a $65 million haul. It’s the 10th-best opening this year, and the 4th-best ever in August. Thanks, doofuses of America.

Other openers were all “meh” with the critics and the box office: “Into the Storm” drew a 21% rating and $18 million in 3,434 theaters; “Step Up: All In” (not to be confused with “Get On Up”) drew a 43% rating and $6.5 million in 2,072 theaters; and “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” continuing the reductive sunset-Brits-and-India theme with Helen Mirren, drew better reviews (64%) but so-so box office ($11 million in 2,023 theaters).

Last weekend’s No. 1, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which has the advantage (one assumes) of a 92% critic rating and a 96% audience rating on RT, fell off only 56% for another $41 million. After 10 days, it’s slightly ahead of where the latest “Transformers” movie was: $175.9 vs. $175.3 million. But it seems unlikely to break the $300 million barrier. Which means we’ll have our first $300 million-less summer since 2001.

Whither “Transformers”? It keeled over with a bang. All the other Ts grossed at least $300 million, unadjusted, and at least $350 million, adjusted, while “Age of Extinction” won’t even reach $250 million. It’s stuck in the low 240s and grossed only $500K this weekend. Good riddance, I say. Or would say if it wasn’t killing overseas, where it’s grossed an additional $789 million for a worldwide total of $1.032 billion. Fourteenth-best all time. Thanks, doofuses of the world.

Among the smaller, indie releases, “A Most Wanted Man” grossed $2.2 million in 808 theaters for 12th place, while “Boyhood” grossed another $2 million in 507 theaters for 13th place. Haven’t seen the former yet but you should go see the latter. Because it’s the best movie of the year. And because somebody has to combat the doofuses.


Something to fight the doofuses with.

Posted at 09:08 AM on Aug 10, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday August 03, 2014

'Boyhood' Grosses Another $2.5 Million in Only 311 Venues; Oh, and 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Sets August Box Office Record

Guardians of the Galaxy

Chris Pratt (second from left): Fifth-billed to Topher Grace no more.

“Guardians of the Galaxy,” the sci-fi superhero movie comedy actionfest based upon the 2008 Marvel Comics comic book, which was itself based on the 1969 Marvel Comics comic book (sorta kinda not really), blew away the competition, not to mention history, at the box office this weekend: It set a record for August releases with a $94 million domestic take. The previous record was held by the final Matt Damon “Bourne” movie, which grossed $69 million the weekend of August 3, 2007. So a big leap.

Meanwhile, “Get On Up,” the James Brown biopic that garnered positive-if-mixed reviews (it’s “by the numbers” but Chadwick Boseman is good), grossed only $14 million in 2,468 theaters. After playing Jackie Robinson last year, what does Boseman do for an encore? MLK? James Baldwin? Bayard Rustin? (P and I will see the movie this week, no doubt; she’s excited.)

In the battle of last weekend’s No.s 1 and 2, “Lucy” dropped 58% and finished second with $18 mil, while “Hercules” dropped like a ... (cough) ... rock, falling 64% for $10 mil and fourth place.

The good news? Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” grossed $2.5 million in only 311 venues. It’s now at $7.5 domestic and $10.5 million worldwide. Have you seen it? You should. A friend worried that it would be too “heavy” but that’s silly. It flows. It’s fascinating and beautiful. Something in it, and probably many things in it, will remind you of you. Doubt that’ll happen at “Guardians of the Galaxy.” 

Posted at 04:50 PM on Aug 03, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday July 27, 2014

Newest Superhero, Lucy, Clobbers Oldest, Hercules, at Weekend Box Office

Lucy and Hercules

“I won?” “She won?” The newest superhero (left) clobbers the oldest (right) at the domestic box office.

“Hercules” had a bigger budget ($100 to $40 million), better reviews (63% to 58% on Rotten Tomatoes), more theaters (3,595 to 3,173), greater name recognition, and, of course, way bigger biceps; but the girl, “Lucy,” still came out on top. She’s grossed an estimated $44 million to Herc’s $29 at the domestic box office this weekend.

This feels increasingly the way, doesn’t it? Beyond “Maleficent,” currently at No. 4 for the year with $232 million domestic, the annual top 10 is still the old boys club: Captain America, Transformers, X-Men, Spidey, Godzilla, 22 Jump Street, Planet of the Apes. But in head-to-head matchups, the girls are increasingly kicking ass.

So Angelina Jolie with sharp cheekbones cut up Seth MacFarlane’s flaccid western in late May. So Shailene Woodley with cancer beat out Tom Cruise with Groundhog Day Syndrome in early June. And now little Scarlett Johansson, armed only with looks, lips and boobs, plus 100% brain capacity, Luc Besson as director and Taipei as locale, has clobbered Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s attempt to pull the Hercules myth out of the B-grade swamp it’s forever been stuck in. 

Is this a trend? Girls gone box office? Are the studios noticing? Will they notice in particular when Katniss wipes the floor with all the year’s movies in November? Or will they point to the so-so performance of “Divergent” ($150 million) in March and do nothing as usual?

Either way, ScarJo: Hen hao. Ni hen li hai.

The other openers? “And So It Goes,” the poorly received sexagenarian comedy starring Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas, bombed in 1,762 locations, winding up with $4.5 million and in eighth place; but Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last starring role, “A Most Wanted Man,” directed by Anton Corbijn, grossed $2.7 million in only 361 locations. It also garnered good reviews: 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.

In other good news, “Boyhood,” with phenomenal reviews (99% on RT), and playing in only 107 locations, grossed $1.7 million. It’s now up to $4.1 million for a movie that’s barely playing. If it’s playing near you? Get out and see it.

Posted at 09:34 AM on Jul 27, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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Sunday July 20, 2014

Weekend Box Office: Hollywood Releases Crap Movies, America Doesn't Go See Them

The image to the right appeared in my email inbox on Friday.

Rotten TomatoesSo no wonder “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” repeated at the top of the box office. It fell off 50% and still grossed $36 million.

Of the new films, “The Purge: Anarchy” (49% RT) grossed $28.3 million for second place, “Planes” (49%) grossed $18 million for third place, and “Sex Tape” (16%) uploaded $15 million for fourth place.

Is it still summer? Because it’s hard to tell from both the crap movies Hollywood is releasing and our tepid reaction to them. (BTW: Correlation?)

In overall 2014 box office news, “Spidey 2” crawled over the $200 million barrier, “Transformers 4” ($227m) is bumping up against “Maleficent” ($228m) for fourth place, but “Captain America” still rules with $258 million.

But: a year ago today, three movies had already done better than that: “Iron Man 3” ($407), “Man of Steel” ($284) and “Despicable Me 2” ($268).

Two years ago today? Two movies blew those numbers away: “The Avengers” ($614) and the original “Hunger Games” ($405).

No worries. “Hercules” arrives next week. Here he comes to save the day. 

Posted at 08:18 AM on Jul 20, 2014 in category Movies - Box Office
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