THE SOCIAL NETWORK Takes Top Prize from the National Board of Review

by     Posted 4 years, 18 days ago


While different folks have their own dates for when awards season has officially “begun”, I set it at the date the National Board of Review announces their picks for the year.  In two of the past three years, the NBR’s pick for Best Picture has gone on to win the Oscar.  However, last year’s NBR winner, Up in the Air, went home empty-handed.

This year, the NBR has given the top prize to The Social Network.  The film also picked up the prizes for Best Director (David Fincher), Best Actor (Jesse Eisenberg), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Best Actor).  Other winners included Lesley Manville getting Best Actress for Another Year, Christian Bale winning Best Supporting Actor for The Fighter, and Jacki Weaver receiving Best Supporting Actress for Animal Kingdom.  Hit the jump for the full list of awards, including the National Board of Review’s Top 11 films, Top 10 Independent Films, Top 6 Foreign Films, and Top 6 Documentaries.

“Keep the Budgets Low and the Quality High”: The Hollywood Economy for Adult-Oriented Dramas

by     Posted 4 years, 63 days ago


The Town, The Social Network, and Secretariat are not only performing well at the box office and touted as potential Best Picture nominees, but they also have Hollywood brass taking notice:  You don’t have to spend upwards of $100 million to make a great dramatic film anymore.  In fact, spending less is proving to be more beneficial to all those involved.  According to the LA Times these three movies mentioned above

“… have in common something beyond the fact that they are dramas driven by strong story lines, not by A-list actors.  They are examples of the new Hollywood Economics: If you want to make a drama, whether it’s a biopic or a crime thriller, your budget ceiling, with rare exception, is going to be 40 million.”

Hit the jump to learn more about recent dramatic film hits and misses, and what highly anticipated upcoming film is adhering to this new budget cap.  After you’ve digested all the facts and figures, let us know your thoughts on this economic epiphany.

Weekend Box Office – JACKASS 3D Sets Records with $50 Million Debut; RED Strong with $22.5 Million

by     Posted 4 years, 64 days ago


On Friday we told you that Jackass 3D had secured fall’s single-day debut record with over $21 million and that the sequel seemed destined to become one of the season’s all-time weekend champs with a projection of over $40 million. Turns out that the Jackass boys were destined for bigger things. With an estimated $50 million from 3,081 locations, the third installment in the franchise now holds both the October and the all-time fall weekend record – eclipsing Scary Movie 3’s $48.1 million set in 2003.

Title Weekend Total
1 Jackass 3D $50,000,000 $50
2 Red $22,500,000 $22.5
3 The Social Network $11,000,000 $63.1
4 Secretariat $9,500,000 $27.5
5 Life as We Know It $9,200,000 $28.8
6 Legend of the Guardians $4,325,000 $46
7 The Town $4,040,000 $80.5
8 My Soul to Take $3,160,000 $11.9
9 Easy A $2,650,000 $52.3
10 Wall Street 2 $$2,350,000 $47.8

Weekend Box Office – THE SOCIAL NETWORK Climbs to the Top with $23 Million

by     Posted 4 years, 78 days ago


One of fall’s most anticipated films had an auspicious start, befitting its legacy as “The Facebook Movie.” The Social Network had no trouble placing first with an estimated $23 million. Meanwhile, horror releases Let Me In and Case 39 continued to inspire little fear and even less money after their anemic Friday debuts.

Title Weekend Total
1 The Social Network $23,000,000 $23
2 Legends of the Guardians $10,500,000 $29.7
3 Wall Street 2 $10,200,000 $35.9
4 The Town $9,800,000 $64.1
5 Easy A $7,000,000 $42.4
6 You Again $5,600,000 $16.4
7 Let Me In $5,200,000 $5.2
8 Case 39 $5,100,000 $5.1
9 Devil $3,900,000 $27.6
10 Alpha & Omega $3,000,000 $19

Ben Affleck Was in the Running to Direct SUPERMAN: THE MAN OF STEEL?!

by     Posted 4 years, 83 days ago

As reported here yesterday, acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky is on the list to possibly direct the next cinema visage of Superman. Last week Aronofsky was thrown into the prospective list of directors with Duncan Jones, Tony Scott, Matt Reeves, Zack Snyder and Jonathan Liebesman.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ben Affleck was also in the pile of possible directors.   Apparently he discussed helming Superman: The Man of Steel last week, but is no longer pursuing it. THR stated that Affleck has (obviously) gained some heat with his critical and commercial hit The Town.

What I want to know is, who yanked on Affleck’s cape and dragged him back to Earth?  The Hollywood Reporter is claiming Affleck backed out.  If he did, it probably was a wise choice on his move.  With 2007’s Gone Baby Gone and now The Town, Affleck has some solid critical and monetary success under his feet and his career is flying again. Was the gamble of overseeing one of DC Comics most iconic properties not worth his current momentum, or did Nolan sprinkle some kryptonite on Affleck?

Do you think he was smart to remove himself from the list of directors, or has he made a huge mistake?

Weekend Box Office – WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS Wakes Up To $19 Million

by     Posted 4 years, 85 days ago

The estimates are in and it looks like, for once, the financial analysts got it right… I mean the box office analysts. Oh, what’s the difference anyway? There was indeed enough equity left in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street premise after 23 years to put the sequel – Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – in the top spot for the weekend with an estimated $19 million.

Title Weekend Total
1 Wall Street 2 $19,000,000 $19
2 Legend of the Guardians $16,300,000 $16.3
3 The Town $16,000,000 $49
4 Easy A $10,700,000 $32.8
5 You Again $8,300,000 $8.3
6 Devil $6,500,000 $21.7
7 Resident Evil 4 $4,900,000 $52
8 Alpha & Omega $4,700,000 $15.1
9 Takers $1,600,000 $54.9
10 Inception $$1,200,000 $287.1

Friday Box Office – WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS Runs Off with $8 Million

by     Posted 4 years, 86 days ago

The sequel to Wall Street – director Oliver Stone’s iconic commentary on 1980s greed – has arrived in theatres in time to comment on the greed of recent years… and to make a bunch of money. Ain’t capitalism grand?  Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps topped the box office on Friday; earning an estimated $8 million from its 3,565 locations. When adjusted for inflation, that is just a few thousand over what the original made in its debut back in 1987. It is also more than double what Stone’s last major feature, W., made just under two years ago. Last weekend’s number one movie, The Town, pulled off another surprise heist – snatching Friday’s number two spot over two newcomers: Disney’s You Again and director Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole. It’s been months since a strictly family film dominated, and with Wall Street 2 now projected to make over $20 million by Monday, it doesn’t look like that streak will be ending anytime soon. Full details on Wall Street weekend when you check back tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1 Wall Street 2 $8,000,000 $8
2 The Town $5,000,000 $38
3 Legends of the Guardians $4,900,000 $4.9
4 Easy A $3,800,000 $25.9
5 You Again $2,750,000 $2.75

THE SOCIAL NETWORK and THE TOWN to Bookend 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival

by     Posted 4 years, 90 days ago


More announcements today from Tokyo: two Hollywood films will bookend the festival, which will open with director David Fincher’s The Social Network and close with Ben Affleck’s The Town. Both films are slated for a Japanese release in 2011. Ten films have also been announced for the World Cinema segment of the festival, including Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut Jack Goes Boating, and Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer. Visionary French director Claude Chabrol, who passed away earlier this month, will be honored posthumously with a screening of his 2009 film Inspector Bellamy. Look for more news as the Tokyo International Film Festival swings into high gear in advance of its October 23rd opening. Full press release after the jump.

Weekend Box Office – THE TOWN Takes In $28.3 Million

by     Posted 4 years, 92 days ago


Everything went according to plan for the movie The Town after its somewhat surprising first place finish on Friday. That means that the R-rated drama is America’s new number one movie; taking in an estimated $23.8 million from 2,861 locations.

Title Weekend Total
1 The Town $23,800,000 $23.8
2 Easy A $18,200,000 $18.2
3 Devil $12,500,000 $12.5
4 Resident Evil 3D $5,840,000 $43.9
5 Alpha & Omega $9,200,000 $9.2
6 Takers $3,000,000 $52.3
7 The American $2,756,000 $32.8
8 Inception $2,015,000 $285.1
9 The Other Guys $2,000,000 $115.4
10 Machete $1,700,000 $24.3

Friday Box Office – Ben Affleck’s THE TOWN Has a Big $8.3 Million Debut

by     Posted 4 years, 93 days ago

With a string of recent dramas – both good and bad – underperforming at 2010’s box office, you can color me happily surprised to find Warner Brother’s The Town easily topping Friday’s box office estimates. Ben Affleck’s second feature film as director matched great reviews with a tireless promotion schedule and took in an estimated $8.3 million from its 2,861 locations. Already well above projections, The Town is now on track to make $25 million by Sunday. Meanwhile, the two films that were supposed to battle for number one – Sony’s Easy A and Universal’s Devil – came up a little short despite their demo-skewing PG-13 pedigrees. Easy A brought in an estimated $6.8 million while Devil seems to have inspired only limited devotion at number three with $4.9 million. In hindsight, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to place producer M Night Shyamalan’s name so prominently in the film’s advertising? Lionsgate’s low budget, animated Alpha & Omega closes out Friday’s top five with $2.3 million. Details and the weekend’s top ten back here tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1 The Town $8,380,000 $8.3
2 Easy A $6,800,000 $6.8
3 Devil $4,930,000 $4.9
4 Resident Evil 3D $3,000,000 $36.8
5 Alpha & Omega $2,300,000 $2.3


by     Posted 4 years, 94 days ago


I’ve made it a point not to understand people who don’t like Ben Affleck.  The guy is charming and has never been hesitant to poke fun at himself (“Word, bitch!  Phantoms like a motherfucker!” he proudly proclaims in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).  But he did a good job of silencing the haters with 2007 directorial debut Gone Baby Gone.  Of course, then came the chorus, “He should just stay behind the camera!”  Now with his new film The Town, he’s directing and starring and he does a great job at both.  While his new effort isn’t quite the emotional powerhouse he delivered with Gone Baby Gone, The Town is a thrilling ride that’s worth taking.

Producer Basil Iwanyk Video Interview THE TOWN; Reveals an Extended Cut is Coming on DVD/Blu-ray

by     Posted 4 years, 96 days ago

With Ben Affleck’s great movie The Town getting released this weekend, I was able to sit down with producer Basil Iwanyk at TIFF to discuss not only making the film, but how he got into producing.  He explained that he was originally an executive that helped decide what projects got made.  However, upon realizing that he was more interested in making movies, he changed careers.  It’s an interesting story as most would be happy as an executive.

Anyway, during the interview we also discussed the challenges of making The Town, and Iwanyk revealed the editing process on the film was challenging and there are plenty of deleted scenes.  In fact, so much was cut, he revealed we’ll be getting an extended cut on DVD/Blu-ray with 15 to 20 minutes of additional footage.  Also, if you’re a fan of alternate endings, we’ll be getting one of those as well.  Hit the jump for a lot more:

10 Movie Clips from Ben Affleck’s THE TOWN

by     Posted 4 years, 97 days ago

As I said when I posted my mini-review/video blog of Ben Affleck’s The Town:

I got to see the film at the Toronto International Film Festival.  As a huge fan of his debut movie, Gone Baby Gone, I had high hopes for his second feature about a group of bank robbers in Charlestown (a suburb of Boston) and the Federal agents after them.  Thankfully, not only did Affleck deliver a great movie, he cemented his status as a director that deserves your attention.  For more on what I thought, click here.

Anyway, with the movie getting released this weekend, Warner Bros. has released ten movie clips and you can watch them after the jump.  While I’ve seen a lot of films at this year’s TIFF, The Town is still one of the best. Definitely recommended.

Exclusive: Producer Basil Iwanyk on CLASH OF THE TITANS 2, the Remake of A STAR IS BORN, and THE EXPENDABLES 2

by     Posted 4 years, 99 days ago

With director Ben Affleck’s The Town premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, I got to sit down with the producer Basil Iwanyk to talk about making The Town and his other projects like Clash of the Titans 2, the remake of A Star is Born, The Seventh Son (with director Sergey Bodrov), and he even gave me an update on The Expendables 2 because he just spoke with Avi Lerner.

The big news about A Star is Born is he thinks in the next 6 to 8 weeks the film might be coming together and they’re aiming to shoot in the first 4 or 5 months of next year.  He also tells me that he’s incredibly happy with the script for Clash of the Titans 2 and that it takes place 5 or 6 years after the first film and it’ll be more realistic – including the depiction of the monsters.  He also reveals Gemma Arterton will be back.

Finally, for people who thought the first Clash of the Titans had some problems…Iwanyk is extremely candid about his thoughts on the first film and why it didn’t completely work.  He also reveals why we’ll never see the full set of deleted scenes.  So much more after the jump:

TIFF 2010 Video Blog: Ben Affleck’s THE TOWN

by     Posted 4 years, 102 days ago

Earlier today I watched director Ben Affleck’s The Town at the Toronto International Film Festival.  As a huge fan of his debut movie, Gone Baby Gone, I had high hopes for his second feature about a group of bank robbers in Charlestown (a suburb of Boston) and the Federal agents after them.  Thankfully, not only did Affleck deliver a great movie, he cemented his status as a real director that deserves your attention.

One of the many things that impressed me about his second feature is the way he built on what worked in his debut.  I think we can all agree the performances in Gone Baby Gone were great, and now in The Town, he not only got the entire cast (Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper) to deliver realistic and believable performances while also directing himself on screen, he shot a few hefty action sequences which will impress you by their size and scope.  While I’m not always the biggest fan of Affleck in front of the camera, I think he’s a great director and someone that I hope makes a lot more movies.

Anyway, for more on what I thought, hit the jump for a video blog I recorded with Peter from Slashfilm a few minutes after we got out of the theater.

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