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Mar 17 2013

Box Office Takes The Call

To no one's surpriseOz the Great and Powerfulheld on to its number #1 spot and also became 2013's biggest hit (thus far).But who could have forseen that the combined draw of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey wouldn't work out so well forBurt Wonderstone.And WTF withThe Call's second place showing!Halle Berry hasn't opened a movie that strong since...(gulp)Catwomannearly a full decade ago.

my phone call to Halle

What prompted people to see it?Seriously?

Box Office WIDE
02THE CALL*new* $17.1
04JACK THE GIANT SLAYER$6.2(cum.$53.9)
05IDENTITY THIEF$4.5(cum.$123.7)

03THE GATEKEEPERS$.2(cum.$1.3)

What did you see this St.Paddy's Weekend?

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Reader Comments (49)

Its a big week for James Franco.Has anyone seen Spring Breakers yet?I'm very curious unfortunatly living in the midwest means I'll probably have to wait for dvd.

March 17,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonn

I saw the trailer forThe Calla couple of weeks back and found it a little compelling.Although I was also a little disturbed by how much 16-year-old Abigail Breslin was being sexualized.

March 17,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ.P.

I saw and loved Spring Breakers.

@John Its expanding pretty agressively this week.I wouldn't be surprised if it were fairly close to you

March 17,2013 | Unregistered CommenterZach

Just got back from Spring Breakers.HOLY HELL I LOVED IT!It's like a crazy version of Drive.With way more boobies and guns and cocaine.The best recipe ever.

March 17,2013 | Unregistered Commenterbbats

Love the captions on your illustration,got a good chuckle out of me.

I didn't check out anything in theatres this week but did watch Carrie and Blow Out.Carrie,although good,was a bit of a letdown after all of the hype I've heard over the years.Blow Out,on the other hand was absolutely fantastic.Had me glued to my TV from the first frame (I'm still reeling from the last scene);just a great great film.

March 17,2013 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

The Call is another example of people sadly underestimating the potential of a movie that appeals to an undeserved audience.The box office performance of a thriller that features multiple African Americans in lead,non-token roles should not have been this much of a surprise.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered Commenterwill h

Didn't step out to the movies this week,but finally watched Rouge - simultaneously crossing Trois Couleurs from my cinema bucket list AND completing a Jean-Louis Trintignant trifecta - with Un Homme et Une Femme and Amour - over the last several weeks.
Planning to see Stoker tomorrow,and hoping Spring Breakers or No come soon.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

You should be happy for Halle.She hasn't had any good fortune for herself lately concerning her career and this financial kick in the crotch is what's sorely missing.She's black and in her 40's still doing the damn thing and you're crying of Gabby from Precious,who lacks any talent aside from being a poor thing,once the whites in charge stop feeling sorry for her,game over.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

We better strap in.I really liked Oz,but I expect Hollwood still hasn't learned the lesson that people like to see even action movies and comedies from good directors,and we'll have to take comfort in per-theater averages until another smart blockbuster surprises us.It could be a bit.(Here's hoping Iron Man 3 is good - I adore Kiss Kiss Bang Bang!)

March 18,2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I saw SPRING BREAKERS and THE CALL and enjoyed both.The Call was genuinely suspenseful/chilling,though the last scene was bizarre.Not as bad as it looks.

Spring Breakers,meanwhile,was pure pleasure.Every time I felt the beginnings of weariness,something happened to spark renewed interest.Seeing it again Tuesday.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterWalter L.Hollmann

Is it really a two-tired system now with "wide"and "platform"?Maybe it has always been that way but it seems more noticeable now.Thus far,it has not been a good year for movies.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I heard The Call is pretty good until the end.And people probably wanted to see Halle and were interested enough.I really don't think that's the most insulting movie people have spent money on.I don't even know what The Incredible Burt whatever is but it sounds like another dumb comedy and Jack the Giant Slayer looks stupid as hell.I'd take Halle Berry in a suspenseful $5-bin thriller over those two.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Maybe they saw it for Halle's wig.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

People went to see The Call because it looks silly and fun,I am not surprised,plus even living in the uk I was very aware that this film was coming out it in the states,it was well marketed.Glad that Halle can open up a film again.

I watched Ghost from start to finish for the first time,it's one of those movies I only caught bits of in the past,loved it,and Whoopi really is wonderful in it

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterRamification

I saw "No"and "Stoker,"and I enjoyed them both."No"is very entertaining,and "Stoker"is gorgeously seedy.I did find that "Stoker"seemed too contrived to shock,but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.Matthew Goode was awesome.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I saw The Call and it was rather entertaining.Not perfect,but not terrible either.The ending,though,was a slight letdown.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I saw Stoker and thought it was probably one of the most gorgeously shot horror films I've seen awhile...crisp,yet seedy cinematography,exquisite and unnerving sound design,and terrifically creepy performances from Matthew Goode and Mia Wasikowska...I thought Kidman did about as much as she could,but I never fully understood or connected with the motivations of her character.Very underwritten role...I thought the movie built up suspense nicely--even if a bit slowly--but the payoff was not satisfying and it made the whole film seem a bit empty.But it's wonderful to look at.

I thought The Call looked terrible from the previews,but I've heard from several people that it's a goofy,yet engrossing,suspenseful popcorn movie.May have to check it out.The film's strong opening proves that Halle Berry is still a top-draw movie star.Good for her,considering it's so rare for a woman in her late forties to headline studio films,particularly a woman of color.

Can't wait to see Spring Breakers when it comes to my market.No comes next week and I will definitely be checking that out.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

/3rtful...i'm sorry but that's straight up offensive.And though I'm not trying to kick Halle when she's up,it's really not a good idea to compare them.LOL.They're about as different as two actresses can be.Really,what connects them?Nothing.Would you compare Nikki Blonsky to Helen Hunt?(But if we must,Halle Berry has never given a performance as good as the one Gabby gave in her debut.The End.)

Jason -- there's actually a third tier "wide"and "platform"and "limited"but Limited is a mix of platform that's almost wide and wide that is on its way out of theaters so it''s generally not as interesting.I realized that the movies I usually care most about are platformers (though I grow angry that they're the ones that feel almost useless to talk about since many readers can't see them) and if i'm going to cover box office i have to be able to have a wider variety of films to talk about then mass-market thrillers and men in superhero costumes.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Your love for musicals shows everywhere.You draw Lena Horne instead of Halle!:)

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I have a confession to make: Stoker actually opened at the local art house this weekend and I did not see it because I was too busy.After all the stink I've been making about it's ridiculous release strategy,I feel so ashamed.Hopefully it will still be open this coming weekend!

The trailers sure did make The Call look stupid,but I have to admit I was glad to see Halle take on a (halfway decent-looking) lead role again,and the premise was intriguing enough (if ridiculously contrived) to draw people who wanted to go see a movie.Burt Wonderstone's previews made the movie look even worse than that,so I'm happily surprised that people on the whole weren't buying it.I love me some movies about magicians (the year of The Prestige and The Illusionist made me so happy) but Steve Carell and Jim Carrey looked like they were both giving in to their worst tendencies.I can live without that.I cannot wait for Now You See Me,however (unbearably awkward title aside).

March 18,2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I saw Stoker and I loved it,but I usually do love highly stylized films...getting lost in the visuals is fun.

Surprised about Halle Berry...I thought all that custody drama had ruined her public image.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I laugh at the inflated kudos you can bestow on Gabby while have an easily dismissive attitude on the work of Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple or the post Oscar work of Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes.Aside from weight and being Academy nominees and femaleness and being actresses they have nothing in common.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

St.Patty's Day weekend and the fact that there's been nothing appealing in theaters for months meant no movies for me.I will say that I'm glad Halle Berry and Brad Anderson finally have a hit film.I'll probably wait for Netflix,but they're both under-rated.Anderson has never outright disappointed;he's a good,old-fashioned workman director.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterW.J.

I thought The Call looked terrible but Brad Anderson is a terrific director and so I'm just happy he's got a hit on his hands so next time he can make something worthy of his talents

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJA

I finally saw Animal Kingdom.Wow.Just wow.Loved it,from the peformances to the story to the editing to the ending.When it was done my bf and I were both leaning forward and cried "Wait!What happens next!"And while I'm still glad Melissa Leo won the Oscar that year,Weaver really was fantastic.So creepy and sweet and proud and just everything.And those kisses!So creepy.

I'm actually happy for Halle,even though I didn't think The Call looked very good.But I root for her for some reason.I guess I'm one of the few that actually thought she deserved the Oscar for Monster's Ball.And like someone else pointed out,how often do 40-something actresses headline action thrillers?Plus,did you see how many talented character actors are in this?Morris Chestnut,Justina Machado,Michael Imperioli,Roma Maffia,etc.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I'm happy for Halle personally.No shade from me.:) She desperately needed a hit,so get it from wherever you can.It's not like she has the options any white actresses have.And if it's between "The Call"and that shitty looking film Steve Carrell and Jim Carrey's in,I know which one I'd go see (and I didn't see either,or "Oz"for that matter--last time I was in theaters was to see "Amour"in February).I can't support Halle's poofy hair in this though.No go on that one I must say!

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaulie

Add me to the list of people happy to see Halle with a ht,as I also root for her from some reason.Now that it seems that the film is not the disaster that it looked like from the trailer I might go see it.I do agree with Nathaniel that she's always had dubious taste in projects ("BAPS"anyone?),so that her career seemed to suffer after her Oscar win was no great surprise to me.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H>

With Sir Michael Caine's birthday just a few days prior,I was prompted to finally watch Harry Brown.What a terrific dark turn into the abyss.I wasn't familiar with Daniel Barber,the director,but was very impressed with his work.I also caught most of Bad Teacher,which I must confess was a riot.And I would watch it again.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Saw I Heart Huckabees again for the first time in years.Even though I have seen him do well in other performances I am still shocked by how great Mark Wahlberg was in the movie.

Also watched The Last Days of Disco which has become a real favorite.

Finally saw 21 Jump Street and am now beating myself up for not catching it sooner,let alone when it was in theaters a year ago.Incredibly funny,engaging paired performances by Tatum and Hill.Only quibble is the movie was written by Edgar Wright associate Michael Bacall and you can really tell this is sort of the Hollywood version of a Simon Pegg and Nick Frost movie and Channing Tatum fills that one-half of the bill.He is good though.

Worked most on Sunday and I have to say I was disappointed in TCM's lineup.Where was Jim Sheridan or Neil Jordan to add a quasi-contemporary and more importantly 100% Irish twist?

Spring Breakers is not expanding into my city next week and I am really annoyed by that.

And I am still thinking about the Girls finale and whether I liked it or not or whether my mixed feelings are what Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow were aiming for.

MDA- Blow Out has become my favorite DePalma which says a lot given how dearly I hold Carrie.Incredibly smart and I think Ignatiy Vishnevetsky had it right when he called it 'one of the last movies of the 60s' in terms of a political paranoia thriller.Shame it flopped at the time.Travolta's best work goes unseen.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I've said this before,but I really love your drawings.They're just amazing.This one may not be a carbon copy of Halle Berry,but it has everything else,the movement,the sense of urgency...I just love it.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

Well,saw The Call and Burt Wonderstone for my site.The first one did nothing for me,while Wonderstone put a smile on my face,though one that didn't linger.

Also,caught up with Stoker (put me in the fan camp) and Room 237,which I'm torn on.As a doc about how people get obsessive about art,it's fascinating.As a vehicle for the wild theories around said art,it's a miss.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

No desire to see The Call.But never underestimate the draw of a good,old-fashioned abduction movie.Apparently,there are legions of Americans who enjoy this as a form of mindless entertainment.Otherwise CBS wouldn't kill in the ratings week after week.

Halle must be trying to fill the cinematic void that Ashley Judd has left.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Sawyer,I think Ashely Judd is a cinematic void.

Maybe Halle will do a remake of Double Jeopardy?

March 18,2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I finally saw End of Watch this weekend.Just.Amazing.A must see movie

Oh and Im in love with my new Apple TV thaaang!

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

I finally watched The Apartment this weekend,yes 53 or so years late.I thought it was terrific but I'm sort of baffled by its reputation as a sex comedy,or even a comedy at all.It played more like a horror movie in my mind.Thank heavens we've come a long way since those times.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

I'm not surprise "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"bombed- it's a terrible title and the studio must have just dumped it.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Sawyer in order to fill Ashley Judd's cinematic void her co-star needed to be Morgan Freeman not Little Miss Sunshine :-)

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Hey?Why all the hate for Hallie,Nathaniel?You should be happy for her that she finally has a hit movie,especially how hard it is for African American actresses!And you think Babby's performance in Precious was better than all of Hallie's peformances?WOW!Now I know you are a biased Halle hater.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterAkim

I saw Spring Breakers and flat out loved it.And it stays with you;there are some amazing sequences that stay with you for a long while.Also James Franco.

So happy for Harmony Korine.

March 18,2013 | Unregistered CommenterAR

LOL,I love how people is still talking about Gabourey Sidibe (and they said it'd be over for her after 2009).
Not that I'm defending Nathaniel,but I consider her performance in "Precious"not only better than Berry in "Monster's ball"(and while I 110% agree with your support for Kidman in "Rabbit hole"in 2010,which I consider to be her worthiest Oscar nomination,I think she effing sucks in "Moulin Rouge"...I'd take Halle Berry any day) but also much better than most of those of the latest Oscar winners.More precisely: Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shakespeare in love",Julia Roberts in "Eric Brokovich",Nicole Kidman in "The hours",Charlize Theron in "Monster",Hilary Swank in "Million dollar baby",Reese Witherspoon in "Walk the line",Helen Mirren in "The queen",Kate Winslet in "The reader",her competition,Sandra Bullock in "The blind side",Natalie Portman in "Black swan"and Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver linings playbook".I'm not saying some (most) of those are bad performances,but you have to admit that when they pick the best actress,the winning roles are really sh*tty (if you compare it to my favorite,supporting actor,it pales so infinitely in comparison).
Also,when N R is saying is better than anything Berry has done,he's comparing it with Gabby's best.I,for once,consider her best better than most actresses' best,especially those who are close her age: Mia Wasikowska,Elisabeth Olsen,Carey Mulligan,Jennifer Lawrence,Rooney Mara,etc (the thing is,most girls her age have longer credits attached to them).
Not that I'm trying to put her in a pedestal either.What most media is trying to put as best,is not really that astounding: I found in average other 2 nominations alone in the same category each year better than the winner.That's not counting other performances that weren't recognized with nominations.
Going back to Sidibe: it's not like she's not gonna get jobs.She was really good in "Yelling to the sky",but not many talk of that performance because it's not decorated with awards (also,most award shows really influence people when picking favorites).She has a ridiculous and funny role in "The big C"(completely opposite to her film debut),she had the best role in "Tower heist"(even though she played a maid and it was a crappy movie),and she has "Seven psychopaths"in her résumé.And now she's involved in an upcoming movie "White bird in a blizzard",that sounds promising.Most actresses would beg for her career (I think if actors propose themselves,they can make roles their bitchies regardless of the movie/quality/writing they're involved...and I totally think she's doing that).
(Shut out to Melissa Leo who was so ignored with her amazing turn in "Francine"and Jackie Weaver who rocks so much,even more lately).

March 19,2013 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

I still want to see The Call.The first trailer that came out was very effective and reviews from people I trust say its an hour of good suspense followed by the worst career decision Halle Berry's made since Catwoman.

March 19,2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Peggy Sue -- i know!Ha.This really doesn't look like Halle Berry but at least it sorta looks like someone ;)

Akim --hey,we all have our favorites and people we don't respond to as much.I don't think Halle is an inept actress but I have to say that i think her fame is hugely disproportionate to her talent.My thing with Halle is -- if we have to reduce it to race as so many people want to -- there are a LOT of african american actresses who are better actors than she is and they just don't get her opportunities and then the good opportunities she gets she is rarely SPECIAL in.(fwiw i think she's pretty terrific in Things We Lost in The Fire and hit and miss but the hits are pretty special in Monsters Ball) and for someone of her fame,she rarely seems to support art over product.

If that makes me a hater so be it.But it's kind of how I feel about her career.

Sawyer -- that's exactly it ;) Halle & Ashley.They really are comparable actresses I think.Every once in while they're strong in a decent part and they're always absurdly beautiful but their choices.ugh.I wonder if Halle will ever run for office.LOL.

March 19,2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

If we really want to reward African American actresses,then Regina King should have 4 Emmy nominations.Just freakin saying.

March 19,2013 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Hollywood doesn't select its star talent on quality alone.Halle Berry like her white counterparts has done a lot with a little for a longtime and since the Viola Davis' of the world get treated like the Glenn Close's of the world we should stop complaining about the injustice,especially since some of our less than talented favorites benefit from the lopsidedness too.

March 19,2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Good lord,the whole "be happy for Halle because she's black and has a hit"thing is almost as eye-roll inducing/infuriating as when my family members tell me I should support Tyler Perry because of his success.Really?I support art and I want artists of color to get great opportunities but that doesn't mean I'm going to praise everything another brown/black person does (especially when the Ava Duvernay's of the world are producing quality material for less money and struggling to find audiences).

I love Halle Berry,despite the odd choices and obvious limitations as an actress,but this is ridiculous.I haven't seen the film in question so I can't comment on it specifically,but people championing it for reasons beyond what it brings to the table as a piece of entertainment and/or art is distressing.

March 19,2013 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

I'm not happy for Halle Berry b/c she's black.Come on now.I'm only thinking about how the racist/sexist Hollywood system works where you aren't worth a damn unless you can open a film well,and how that system works against women fairly regularly,even more so for a woman of color.So if Halle has to be in pablum like "The Call"to lead to better projects down the line,then so be it.Not "X-Men"necessarily,but more like "Monster's Ball"(completely deserving of her Oscar,haters to the LEFT),"Things We Lost in the Fire,""Jungle Fever,""Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,"and "Queen."She'll never live down "Catwoman"and the like I know,but I'm always hopeful for her,and I think she's a great talent.If she had the kinds of choices Meryl and co.have,who knows what her career would be like today?But we all know how the game's played by now,so whatever.

March 19,2013 | Unregistered CommenterDorian

sawyer -- omg she's so so so so so good on Southland.Shame that show cant get arrested for awards.

March 19,2013 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

It's pretty easy to see how Halle Berry has squandered her talent on meaningless commercial products that anybody should have been able to tell would never spell a proud legacy.I mean,who else has won an Oscar,and then directly gone on to become a Bond girl?Not exactly smart thinking.But I will always admire her for having the b---- to show up at The Razzies and accept her award for Catwoman.That's cool.

March 19,2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

No surprise that Oz The Great and Powerful is at the pinnacle of the box office.What is surprising is that it looks more like a Tim Burton Movie than one of Sam Raimi's...anybody else think that?

April 2,2013 | Unregistered CommenterRandall's Movie Mania

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