Here's an easy formula to get attention for your Worst Movies of 2012 list. Take the unfathomable big-budget box-office failure that's likely to top a lot of these year-end thumbsuckers — and make it number two. Next, single out an ambitious film by a trio of filmmakers with a passionate following. Put it at the top (or is it the bottom?) of your list and wait for their fans to scream. more »
Also in Monday's early round-up of news briefs: Cloud Atlas may have had a slow start in North America, but it is possibly proving to be a big hit overseas; The Weinstein Company is grabbing a thriller starring Chris Evans, Jamie Bell and Octavia Spencer for theaters; And Chasing Ice tops out the Specialty Box Office over the weekend.
Someone involved in the making of Cloud Atlas is a fan of Elvis Costello. In the story thread where publisher Timothy Cavendish (Jim Broadbent) and a group of like-minded seniors plot their escape from the old-folks home where they've been imprisoned, the woman of the group, actress Amanda Walker, introduces herself in one scene as "Veronica Costello." That alone might not be enough to make a case for Elvis worship, but soon after the introduction the group of conspirators make a toast to "Trust." more »
All four studio releases debuted with a whimper at best and tanked at worst. Ben Affleck's Argo topped the box office in a disappointing weekend. It is hard to estimate the impact on the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy had on Sunday on the East Coast as residents scurried to get ready for the storm, but the weekend's box office took a hit nevertheless. Strong word-of-mouth made Argo one of the lone stars of the weekend.
Gross: $12,355,000 (Cume: $60,780,288)
Screens: 2,855 (PSA: $4,327)
Week: 3 (Change: - 24.9%)
Argo finally made it to number one three weeks into its release. But it was mostly by default because its competition from newcomers failed to make the box office grade. Still, Argo showed bravado on its own, with only a small dip in its returns, despite losing 392 locations. Word of mouth is clearly propelling the Ben Affleck-directed political thriller that is a strong contender for awards this season. A $100 million gross is certainly not out of the question.
2. Hotel Transylvania
Gross: $9.5 million (Cume: $130,434,000)
Screens: 3,276 (PSA: $2,900)
Week: 5 (Change: - 26.9%)
The animated feature jumped from fourth place last week to second in its fifth round. The $130 million-plus cumulative makes it one of Sony Pictures Animation's top animated-only pic. It will eventually overtake The Smurfs, which grossed $142.6 million.
3. Cloud Atlas
Gross: $9.4 million
Screens: 2,008 (PSA: $4,681)
Six slightly connected stories told over two hours and forty-four minutes was bound to be a marketing challenge. The pic received a C+ CinemaScore, so it's going to be a steep trek for this $100 million movie sees any profit. Its recognizable cast should help it as it heads overseas. While it's the best of the weekend's newcomers, it clearly didn't connect with audiences at the level needed.
4. Paranormal Activity 4
Gross: $8,675,000 (Cume: $42,632,365)
Screens: 3,412 (PSA: $2,542)
Week: 2 (Change: - 70.1%)
The pic fell a heavy 70% from its opening weekend when it opened at number one with a $30.2 million open and an $8,851 screen average. The drop was steeper than Paranormal Activity 3's 66 percent drop. The third installment had grossed about $10 million more than the current pic by this point in its release.
5. Silent Hill: Revelation (3-D)
Gross: $8 million
Screens: 2,933 ($2,728)
A weak opening for the pic, which is off 60 percent from the first movie's $20.15 million debut. Competition from Paranormal Activity 4 and Sinister likely weighed in in suppressing box office activity for the title.
6. Taken 2
Gross: $8 million (Cume $117,389,000)
Screens: 2,995 (PSA: $2,671)
Week: 4 (Change: - 39.7%)
The title lost 494 theaters compared to its third weekend and essentially tied with newcomer Silent Hill: Revelation (3-D) in the overall box office chart. Taken 2 is holding solid, beating out the first installment by $22 million.
7. Here Comes the Boom
Gross: $5.5 million (Cume: $30,610,472)
Screens: 2,491 (PSA: $2,208)
Week: 3 (Change: - 34.6%)
The film remained in seventh place in the b.o. chart, dropping over 34% and losing 523 theaters. Last weekend it averaged $2,820 compared to $3,981 in its debut.
Gross: $5.07 million (Cume: $39,514,955)
Screens: 2,347 (2,160)
Week: 3 (Change: - 42.5%)
The title dropped 195 theaters in its third round and dropped a fairly strong 42 percent plus. But with a production budget of only $3 million, the title is a clear success and its roll-out will continue. Last weekend it averaged $3,552.
9. Alex Cross
Gross: $5.05 million (Cume: $19,368,691)
Screens: 2,541 (PSA: $1,987)
Week: 2 (Change: - 55.7%)
The pic dropped nearly 56%, a steep one for the titles second round. It added two locations and its $1,987 average compares to $4,489 in its debut. The crime thriller's $35 million production budget means it has a tough road given its slow momentum.
10. Fun Size
Gross: $4.06 million
Screens: 3,014 (PSA: $1,347)
Ouch, one of the worst of the weekend's new offerings, the film clearly tanked with audiences.
13. Chasing Mavericks
Gross: $2.2 million
Screens: 2,002 (PSA: $1,099)
The worst of the newcomers, the film failed to make the top ten even though it opened wide. The debut is the ninth worst ever for a film opening in over 2,000 theaters.
If human cloning has begun, I'd like to wager some money that Tom Hanks is an early adopter. The actor has been everywhere over the last week, making the media rounds to promote his latest picture, the ambitious Cloud Atlas, and his friend Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln as well. more »
As is often the peril with movies of giant ambition, Cloud Atlas walks a crooked line between the glorious and the ridiculous, its reach unencumbered by sensible decisions or restraint. Adapted with reasonable faithfulness from a novel of equally epic sweep by British author David Mitchell, the film spans eras and genres, intertwining tales of men at sea in the 1850s with a 1970s conspiracy-based mystery with a dystopian future Seoul. Through these settings and the characters that populate them, the movie highlights themes of reincarnation and of the warring nature of mankind as empathetic and self-sacrificing versus competitive and brutal.
Everything is connected in Cloud Atlas, a few things more directly than others: actor Jim Sturgess portrays one heroic, kind-hearted soul through its evolution from a seafaring 19th century lawyer to a Korean freedom fighter in the futuristic Neo Seoul, many lifetimes (and some controversy-courting Asian make-up) later. When he first read the script, adapted from David Mitchell's novel by Lana & Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, Sturgess understandably had some questions. For starters: Why?
Also in Thursday morning's round-up of news briefs, Cloud Atlas is being criticized for using "Yellow Face" for white actors. New York salutes the late Andrew Sarris. And an Amy Winehouse play based on her life heads to the stage.
You'll hear much of the movie stars and familiar faces that pop up again and again in Tom Tykwer and Lana and Andy Wachowski's sprawling, ambitious Cloud Atlas, from Tom Hanks to Halle Berry to frequent Wachowski Starship performer Hugo Weaving. But the beating heart of the film belongs to Korean actress Doona Bae, who makes her English language debut as the luminous Sonmi-451, a genetically-engineered "fabricant" whose fierce humanity and love for a freedom fighter (Jim Sturgess) will change the future.
Now that's what you call good publicity! Tom Hanks of all people dropped an F-bomb on Good Morning America this morning (video below!), shocking GMA host Elizabeth Vargas and putting the epic, arty Cloud Atlas on the map with those four little letters. Well done!
Despite their enormous successes, the Wachowskis are known for being among the more press-shy filmmakers in Hollywood. But for their latest opus, the sprawling, soul-stirring Cloud Atlas (co-directed with Tom Tykwer), the duo have blazed a trail talking up their ambitious passion project — partly, as Lana Wachowski explains, because of the film’s deeply personal connection to her own recent transformation.
After Cloud Atlas's Fantastic Fest debut I caught up with Lana Wachowski at the Alamo Drafthouse's Highball, where she and Andy, AKA Wachowski Starship, were beaming and greeting festgoers. (I'm told they were given a tour of the Highball's private karaoke rooms but didn't partake in Austin's favored pastime.) Conversation landed on Michelle Obama, of course (the two best sets of arms in the biz? Michelle Obama and Lana Wachowski), and that's when Lana dropped a revelation in true Cloud Atlas style: "She went to our high school!" True enough — it happens Chicago's Whitney M. Young High School turned out the First Lady in '81, Lana in '83, and Andy in '86. Everything is connected, indeed. [More from Fantastic Fest...]
“What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?” The affecting spirit of Cloud Atlas was palpable last night as Fantastic Fest unveiled its second Secret Screening — the ambitious sci-fi adaptation — with Lana and Andy Wachowski (“Formerly the Wachowski brothers, now Wachowski Starship,” quipped Andy) making a rare public appearance.
WATCH: Everything Is Connected − Including These Three TV Spots From The Very Cool Looking Cloud Atlas
It's a good fall for ambitious movies. In the wake of the September release of Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Warner Bros will open Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings' Cloud Atlas to theaters on Oct. 26, and a trio of TV spots has begun building awareness of the film adaptation of David Mitchell's 2004 novel. Check out the clips after the jump and stay tuned for Jen Yamato's upcoming report on the film's debut at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX on Wednesday night. more »
Homeland and Modern Family Bit At Emmys; New York Film Festival To Host 25th Anniversary Of The Princess Bride: Biz Break
Also in Monday morning's round-up of news briefs, Toronto's How To Make Money Selling Drugs is set for a U.S. release. Cloud Atlas, meanwhile readies for an IMAX release. And Perks of Being a Wallflower and Diana Vreeland open strong in the Specialty Box Office over the weekend.