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84th Annual Academy Award Nominations

Nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards Continue reading

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2011: The Best Films Of The Year

The Best Films Of 2011 Continue reading

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2011: The Great Performances

Fifteen performances (or so) that you should not miss from 2011… Continue reading

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Precursors: The 2011 Gotham Award Nominations

The 2011 Gotham Award Nominations… Continue reading

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Box Office Report: July 8-10, 2011

Box Office Report – July 8-10, 2011 Continue reading

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Box Office Report: July 24-26, 2011

Box Office Report: July 24-26, 2011 Continue reading

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Box Office Report: June 10-12, 2011

This article reprinted with kind permission of Awards Circuit, and originally linked at The Awards Circuit News Blog

Via Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, Deadline, and other sources:

With a year-long build and teasers regarding what secret lies within the film, “Super 8″ opened #1 at the box office with a less-than-estimated $35.5 million take. While critics had a largely favorable, if not somewhat tempered reaction to the film, audiences reportedly loved the film and reports show that the film could have strong word-of-mouth heading into its first full week and second weekend.

Estimates and expectations for the film were all over the board with “Super 8″. On the one hand, the start was a disappointment when compared to director J.J. Abrams’ two previous films, 2006′s “Mission: Impossible III” (opened at 47.7 million) and 2009′s “Star Trek” (opened at $75.2 million). “Super 8″ was not a franchise or relaunch and thus, served as Abrams’ first foray into wholly original content. And yet, even describing “Super 8″ has completely or wholly original will generate guffaws from those who claim the film is too much of a copy of co-producer Steven Spielberg’s own directorial and writing efforts of the past; namely, “E.T.”, “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind”, and “The Goonies”.

Confounding pundits further was the more muted viral efforts of Paramount in promoting the film. Previously, with Abrams’ TV creation “Lost” and the Abrams-produced feature “Cloverfield”, several curiously named websites appeared with clues, anecdotes, and labyrinthine games and paths for fans and those interested to follow, send around, discuss, and debate. Short of wondering if there was in fact a monster, or monsters, or what it or they looked like, the only real non-trailered promotion for the film came in the form of a short film, truncated in the finished product, which shows archived government footage of a scientist attempting to feed something in a darkened cage. Near the end of the footage, one giant arm of a creature swoops down and takes the scientist high into the air.

All of this to say that Paramount reportedly was very satisfied with the opening weekend and feel the film is positioned to withstand the oncoming “Green Lantern” and “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” this weekend, and then will have a strong foothold in the market to hold off an expected huge opening for Pixar’s “Cars 2″. Then, with the arrival of “Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon” on Wednesday, June 29, Paramount feels that both “Transformers” and “Super 8″ will have cemented themselves as huge hits with legs to carry the studio and audiences through to July 22, when “Captain America” arrives.

A children’s adaptation of a popular book series whimpers into theaters, Woody Allen makes history again, and huge attendance continued for “The Tree Of Life”. Plus, a handful of indies look to make their mark. All of this and the Weekend Breakdown after the cut!

Read more on Box Office Report: June 10-12, 2011…

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Box Office Report: June 3-5, 2011

This article reprinted with kind permission of Awards Circuit, and originally linked at The Awards Circuit News Blog

Via Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, Deadline, and other sources:

Despite landing the weakest opening attendance-wise in the “X-Men” film series to date, “X-Men: First Class” ruled the top of the box office weekend with an opening weekend tallied at $55.1 million. While this does exceed the opening of the first film in the franchise speaking strictly in a dollars-and-cents capacity (2000′s “X-Men” started with $54.5 million), simple inflation would tell you that a lot more people saw that film in its first 3 days then this one. Was it the absence of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine (save a hilarious and winning cameo by Jackman), the fact that James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and a 2011 Kevin Bacon are not bankable box office commodities, or simply attrition with moviegoers on this series?

Eyes turned to the success that another fifth film in a series experienced when “Fast Five” conjured up $568 million worldwide. Fox was optimistic that they would deliver a healthier number than they did, hoping in the mid $60-low $70 million range. Executives were saying all the right things regarding the opening, indicating that this “X-Men” is a starting over or relaunch of a series and pointed to the opening of “Batman Begins” ($54.5 million) as more of a reasonable comparison. Regardless, the film may have opened to strong reviews, but will struggle to make back its $160 production budget on the domestic side of the ledger, especially with the eagerly anticipated “Super 8″ looming in a few short days.

“X-Men” proved to be the only major opening of the weekend, but how did other independent films fare? Did Woody Allen deliver a third impressive return with “Midnight In Paris”? How did Terrence Malick’s “Tree Of Life” expand? Details and the Top 40 after the cut!

Read more on Box Office Report: June 3-5, 2011…

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