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Spiral Debuts in First Holding Off Wrath of Man

Spiral movie poster

It was a new film at the top of the box office as the weekend saw two films debut in the top five. Spiral, the latest spin on the Saw franchise came in first place with an estimated $8.7 million domestically. No worldwide numbers has been released.

Wrath of Man, last weekend’s previous champ, dipped to second place with an estimated $3.7 million and bringing its domestic gross to $14.6 million. Internationally, the film has found far more success earning $23.8 million over the week to bring that total to $41.4 million. Worldwide, the film has earned a little over $56 million.

In third place was another debut, Those Who Wish Me Dead. The film debuted with an estimated $2.8 million. Internationally, the film earned $1.2 million to deliver a worldwide total of $4 million.

Demon Slayer: Mugen Train dipped to fourth place with an estimated $1.8 million. The anime film is one of the surprises with a domestic total of $41.9 million. The film looks like it held steady from the previous weekend internationally and has grossed $395.7 million. Worldwide, the film has brought in $437.6 million.

Rounding out the top five was Raya and the Last Dragon which held the spot last week. The film added an estimated $1.7 million to its domestic total to bring that to $46.1 million. The international box office number has held steady at $61.7 million Worldwide, the film has earned $107.8 million.

While those results don’t seem great, some things are looking up.

Initial numbers have 47 films earning $26,160,000 from 31,348 theaters. That’s an increase from last weekend’s 47 films which earned $23,637,775 from 29,270 theaters. The average earning was $834.50 this past weekend, an increase from the previous weekend’s $807.58.

The weekend saw an increase in the theater count, which may point to things opening back up. An increased box office and per-average theater number is a good thing. We’ll have to wait and see where this all goes but any positive direction is a good thing.

SXSW Movie Review: Number 37

NUMBER 37 PosterA low-level criminal, Randall (Irshaad Ally), owes money to a loan shark. His legs broken and with a ticking clock to pay back his debt, his only connection to the outside world is his window facing out over his slum neighborhood of Cape Flats, South Africa and a pair of binoculars that let him see too much of what is going on.

A series of desperate and poor decisions suck in his girlfriend Pam (Monique Rockman), his friend Warren (Ephraim Gordon), the local pastor, and the police as director and writer Nosipho Dumisa rachets up the tension. “Number 37 might look like a gritty, South African street gangster movie, but it’s a lot more than that… It’s about everything that could go wrong for a couple when ambition, curiosity, greed, fear and horrific bad decision-making collide,” said Dumisa.

The very obvious immediate comparison is to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, but that almost does this film a disservice. Dumisa revealed that this was her sort-of love letter to Rear Window, which is one of her favorite films, but also her influences for the film were as based on David Fincher’s Se7en, as well as the more recent Green Room and Don’t Breathe– and that really feels more like the pedigree of the film despite the obvious homage to Rear Window. Hitchcock relied on a sense of voyeurism and mystery, but Number 37 straight up shows us the domestic abuse, threats, people being killed, and so on. We never wonder about the mystery, because there is none. What it does by showing us the action through Randall’s binoculars is contribute to the tension by making us feel as helpless as he does as events unfold.

Number 37 Film Still 2

The acting here is nuanced and powerful. Randall has to remain stoic despite his world collapsing around him. Meanwhile Pam is a voice of reason who is too often ignored, and they both face the consequences of their failures. She has to do so much more of the outward emoting, while Randall tries to fold everything together.

The filmmaking behind this is also spectacular, with excellent camerawork helping us feel the small, confined spaces the film takes place in. It has such a perfect sense of place by taking us into these slums, which become a metaphor for the tension of the film and feeling “trapped.” According to Dumisa, “These areas were constructed in the times of apartheid and people of different racial groups were forcibly removed from their homes to these areas, with the idea that the people in there would not be allowed to leave without permission. This was legal back then but over two decades after apartheid, these areas still exist, although nobody is “forced” to live there anymore…legally. Economically and psychologically these suburbs can often feel like a prison even now. Once you’re inside, it’s difficult to imagine the beautiful tourist Cape Town could exist.”

Dumisa also revealed she wrote the film originally in English, then working with her actors– most of whom were locals — and some translators, they translated the film into an Afrikaans dialect that is specific to the Cape Flats area she was trying to emulate.

This is a great film, especially for a first feature from a young 29-year old director. If Marvel is looking for someone to take the helm of a Shuri-centric spinoff of Black Panther, they should check out Number 37.

4 out of 5 stars

Number 37 had its premiere at SXSW March 10, 2018, and will have two additional showings:

Monday, March 12, 2:30pm, Alamo Lamar C
Wednesday, March 14, 7:30pm, Alamo Lamar C

For more information and for additional “buzz” screenings, check out their official schedule at SXSW here.

A Quiet Place Part II was Not so Quiet at the Box Office

A Quiet Place Part II

It was two new films at the box office each giving us a sign there’s some life remaining at movie theaters.

A Quiet Place Part II grossed $48.4 million in its first weekend delivering a $12,985 per-theater average. It is projected to earn another $10.1 million for Memorial day giving it a four-day domestic weekend total of $58.5 million. Internationally, the film has also earned $20.7 million for a worldwide gross if $79.2 million.

The first film opened with $50.2 million domestically and went on to earn $188 million there and just under $341 million worldwide.

In second place was Cruella which opened with $21.3 million. The film is projected to earn an additional $5.2 million Monday for a four-day weekend total of $26.5 million. No international numbers have been returned. The film also debuted on Disney+ as part of their $30 extra offering and it’s unknown how many took advantage.

Spiral toppled from the last weekend’s top of the box office to come in third place. The film grossed an estimated $2.3 million to bring its domestic total to $19.8 million after three weeks. The film earned under $100,000 internationally over the week to bring that total to $6.8 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $27.2 million.

Wrath of Man dropped to fourth earning an estimated $2.1 million to bring its domestic gross to $22.1 million after four weeks. Over the week, the film added about $5.5 million to its international gross. THere it has earned $57.7 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $80.5 million.

Raya and the Last Dragon took fifth place with just under $2 million. The film has grossed $50.9 million after 13 weeks. Over the week, the film added $6.7 million to its international earnings to bring that to $77 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $128.5 million.

Initial numbers have 45 films earned $80,796,617 from 27,972 theaters. That’s a vast increase from last weekend’s 45 films which earned $20,349,140 from 34,608 theaters. The average earning was $2,888.48 this past weekend, a huge increase from the previous weekend’s $587.99.

Black Widow Delivers Over $218 Million in its Debut

Marvel Studio's Black Widow

It looks like Disney‘s plan to split openings between theaters and a “premier” offering on Disney+ has paid off for Marvel StudiosBlack Widow. The film opened with $80 million in domestic theaters, the best debut of a film since the pandemic caused utter chaos.

Subscribers to Disney+ are able to rent the film for an extra $30 (plus they need a regular subscription) and Disney reported that generated more than $60 million. The studio has been tight-lipped as to how films have done so to release this one is interesting and raises more questions about what hasn’t been released.

The film also earned $78 million from 46 international territories to ring its box office haul worldwide to $158 million but with its digital numbers, it’s over $218 million.

F9: The Fast Saga was knocked out of first place earning an estimated $10.9 million. Domestically, the film has brought in $141.3 million, one of the better numbers for films since the pandemic. The film also earned about $30 million over the week at the international box office to bring that total to $400.5 million. Worldwide, the film has earned an impressive $541.8 million.

The Boss Baby: Family Business dropped one spot to third. It earned an estimated $8.7 million to bring its domestic total to $34.7 million. Internationally, the film earned just shy of $250,000 over the week to bring that number to $1.7 million and $36.5 million worldwide.

The Forever Purge came in fourth place adding an estimated $6.7 million to its domestic total. That now stands at $27.4 million. Internationally, the film added about $3.8 million to its total over the week to lift that to $7.4 million. Worldwide, the film has brought in $34.8 million.

Rounding out the top five was A Quiet Place Part II which added a little over $3 million to its total. The film has earned $150.7 million domestically. Internationally, the film added about $16.2 million over the week to bring that total to $128.3 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $279 million.

Initial numbers have 39 films earning $119,147,708 from 28,025 theaters. That’s shy of just double the previous weekend’s 44 films which earned $68,949,541 from 30,906 theaters. It’s one of the best weekends of the year so far. The average earning was $4,251.48 this past weekend, over double the previous weekend’s $2,230.94.

Tom and Jerry Delivers an Impressive Opening

Tom and Jerry

It seems like kids’ films are a hit during the pandemic as Tom and Jerry took the top of the weekend box office with an impressive $14.1 million. The film also earned an estimated $25.1 million internationally giving the film a weekend opening of $38.8 million.

The number is impressive as it also debuted on HBO Max part of Warner Bros.’ dual release strategy. With that number, the strategy would seem to be a smart one and vindicating the decision by the movie studio.

In second place was The Croods: A New Age which has been a success story in these strange times. The film dipped to second place with an estimated $1.3 million. Domestically, the movie has grossed $52.4 million. The film earned around $500,000 over the week to bring its international earnings to $103.7 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $156.1 million.

The Little Things came in third place earning an estimated $930,000 to bring its domestic total to $12.9 million. Internationally, the film earned about $1.9 million over the week to bring that total to $10.3 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $23.2 million after 4 weeks.

Wonder Woman 1984 continues to bring in dollars after ten weeks coming in fourth place. The film earned an estimated $705,000 to bring its domestic total to $43.6 million. The film added about $600,000 to its international grosses to bring that total to $117.4 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $161 million.

Rounding out the top five was The Marksman which earned an estimated $701,002. Domestically, the film has now earned $12.3 million. Internationally, the film added about $200,00 to its total for the week to bring that total to $3.9 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $16.3 million.

Initial numbers have 35 films earning $20,785,270 from 18,830 theaters over the weekend. That’s a vast improvement from the previous weekend’s $8,125,181 from 35 films and 17,792 theaters. The average improved to $1,103.84 per-theater versus the previous weekend’s $456.68.

Sony and Netflix sign a First-Look Agreement for Streaming Plus First Streaming for Theatrical Releases

Netflix

Netflix has won the rights to stream Sony Pictures‘ theatrical releases starting with the studio’s 2022 releases. The deal also includes a first-look with Sony for all the direct-to-streaming films from the studio. Netflix is required to commit to a certain number of titles and doesn’t stop Sony from selling direct-to-streaming titles to other services, Netflix would have to pass first though. Netflix also gets the streaming rights for an unknown number of older films in Sony’s vault.

The deal only covers the United States and is believe to be owrth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Sony has been agnostic as far as streaming and video-on-demand forgoing their own branded platform to instead license entertainment to others.

The deal with Netflix is a change as Sony had a deal with Starz, which is now owned by Lionsgate. That deal has been in place since 2006. The Netflix deal is believed to be for five years and would lock in Sony’s films with Marvel Studios once again making Netflix part of Marvel’s film future. No doubt the guaranteed success of the next Spider-Man, Venom, and more in that universe was part of Netflix’s decision.

This deal is on top of the deal that Netflix has for Sony’s animated releases.

About 74 million out of Netflix’s 204 million live in the United States.

Wonder Woman 1984 Repeats in First Place as the Top Five Remains Unchanged

Wonder Woman 1984

That’s three weeks in a row in first place for Wonder Woman 1984. The film earned an estimated $3 million over the weekend to bring its domestic box office to $32.6 million. At the international box office, the film earned about $8.8 million over the week to bring that gross to $98.8 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $131.4 million.

In second place was The Croods: A New Age which earned an estimated $1.8 million. That raises its domestic earnings to $36.9 million after 7 weeks. Internationally, the film added $10.55 million over the week to raise that number to $90.95 million. It has earned $127.8 million in its run so far.

In third place was News of the World. The film added an estimated $1.2 million to its domestic total to bring that to $7.1 million.

Monster Hunter came in fourth place earning an estimated $1.1 million. So far, the film has earned $7.8 million domestically. Internationally, the film earned about $900,000 over the week to bring that total to $5.8 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $13.6 million.

Rounding out the top five was Fatale which earned an estimated $670,000. The film has brought in $4 million at the domestic box office.

Initial numbers have the weekend box office grossing $9,069,545 from 23 films and 10,545 theaters. The theater number is underreported as Wonder Woman 1984‘s theater count has not been released. The previous weekend saw $12,893,502 from over 10,758 theaters and 27 films which also included the theater undercount. That’s a per average theater earning of less than $860.08 compared to the previous weekend’s $1,198.50.

Family Films Again Dominate as Raya and the Last Dragon Wins the Weekend Box Office

Raya and the Last Dragon

Family films have been a bright spot in the rough movie theater business. Raya and the Last Dragon topped the weekend box office taking in an estimated $8.6 million domestically. The film also earned an estimated $17.6 million at the international box office delivering $26.2 million worldwide. The film also debuted to be purchased on Disney+. It’s unknown currently what those numbers have returned though Disney has released some data to show off the success of their strategy, though that has been choosey as to what to release.

The film opened below Warner Bros.’ Tom and Jerry which earned $14.1 million last weekend and also had a dual release on HBO Max. What’s interesting is that film was free while Raya and the Last Dragon cost additional dollars on Disney+. Raya and the Last Dragon lost out on about 250 locations due to a dispute between Disney and Cinamark, the third-largest theater chain in North America.

In second place was Tom and Jerry, last weekend’s champ. The film added $6.6 million to its domestic total to bring it to $23 million in two weeks. The film also earned about $9.2 million over the week internationally. The movie has grossed $34.3 million internationally. Worldwide, the film has brought in $57.3 million after two weekends.

Chaos Walking is another debut film. It came in third earning $3.8 million domestically. The Lionsgate film also grossed $2.6 million internationally for a worldwide total of $6.4 million.

Boogie was also a debut and grossed $1.2 million domestically. There’s no international number so far for the Focus Features film.

Rounding out the top five was The Croods: A New Age which was second last weekend. The film earned an estimated $780,000 to bring its domestic total to $53.6 million after 15 weeks. Internationally, the film earned about $300,000 to bring that total to a little under $104.1 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $157.7 million.

In comic film news…

Wonder Woman 1984 is still handing in there and dropped to seventh for the weekend. The film earned an estimated $511,000 to bring its domestic total to $44.4 million after 11 weeks. The film also grossed about $700,000 over the week internationally to bring that total to $118.1 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $162.5 million.

Initial numbers have 31 films earning $24,116,232 from 19,976 theaters. That’s an improvement on last weekend’s 35 films which earned $20,785,270 from 18,830 theaters. The average earning was $1,207.26 an improvement on the previous weekend’s $1,103.84.

Tenet Opens with a Nolan Best While New Mutants Brings in $10 million

New Mutants movie poster

It feels weird reporting weekend box office numbers but Hollywood and theaters are attempting to get back to normal despite reality. Tenet and New Mutants were the two big openers for the weekend with interesting results that are a bit hard to interpret.

Tenet opened with over $53 million in 41 international markets. That’s the biggest opening for director Christopher Nolan. Not surprisingly, Warner Bros. has been a bit cagey about data they’re releasing as far as the performance goes. For instance, the film opened in Canada where numbers were not released and it’s unknown if they will be or folded over into next weekend’s numbers.

The film begins to open in the U.S. this week for an official opening on Thursday for Labor Day weekend.

The final Fox “X” film, New Mutants opened to $7 million from 2,412 to take the top spot of the domestic box office. The film also earned $2.9 million from 10 international markets. The movie was a holdover from Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox.

The film has a reported budget between $67 and $100 million, a more modest amount compared to recent “X” releases. It’s hard to see how the film turns a profit in today’s environment and one wonders if the film would have faired better being sold for $25 on demand.

New Mutants has been savaged in reviews earning 32% on RottenTomatoes from critics and 53% from audiences as of this article. That’s on top of issues concerning white-washing and the inability of the film to get small details right like the spelling of the last name of one of the creators of the characters and comic series.

Theaters are at about half open compared to the same time last year. 2,500 theaters were open in the US and about 3,000 in Canada.

Bill & Ted Face the Music opened both on-demand and in theaters warned an estimated $1.1 million 1,007 locations. Because it opened on-demand in homes, major theater chains overlooked the film.

Three New Films Pack the Top Five

Jungle Cruise

It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen this but three new films have all filled the top five lifting the box office slightly from the previous weekend.

Jungle Cruise topped the box office with an estimated $34.2 million. The film also debuted on Disney+ where it reportedly earned about another $30 million, a third of its debut total. Internationally, the film earned about $27.6 million a bit lower than expected. The domestic gross was a bit more than expected despite renewed COVID conerns. At the box office the film grossed $61.8 million but with Disney+ added that total is over $90 million for the opening weekend.

The Green Knight opened with $6.8 million at the domestic box office putting it in third place. No international numbers have been returned.

In second place was last weekend’s top film Old. The film earned an estimated $6.9 putting it just about $70,000 between it and third place. It has now earned $30.6 million domestically. Over the week, the film added about $11.4 million at the international box office to bring that to just under $18 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $48.6 million.

Black Widow slipped to fourth place earning an estimated $6.4 million to bring its domestic total to $167.1 million. Internationally, the film grossed about $15.4 million over the week to bring that total to $176.5 million. Worldwide, the film has grossed $343.6 million.

Stillwater rounded out the top five. It debuted with an estimated $5.1 million with no international returns so far.

Initial numbers have 56 films earning $78,603,446 from 35,813 theaters. That’s a slight uptick last weekend’s 55 films which earned $70,566,747 from 34,099 theaters. The average earning was $2,194.83 this past weekend, an improvement from the previous weekend’s $2,069.47.

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