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Directors ofFor Sama

Lulu Wang(The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra(Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes(Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu(Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke(Ash is Purest White)

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Aug 12 2019

A scattershot weekend at the box office.What did you see?

Since we haven't done a massive box office chart ofeverythingin wide release (800+ screens) and the corresponding specialty titles in a month or so,let's do that shall we?What did you see on this scattershot weekend that had literally 9 new releases premiering and nothing truly dominant?After the jump the full chart and some context aboutThe Farewell's major financial success (and Oscar dreams)...

Weekend Box Office
August 9th-11th (Actuals)
= new or expanding / ★ = recommended
1Hobbs & Shaw$25.2 (cum.$108.3)REVIEW
1The Farewell$2 on 704 screens (cum.$10.2)PERSONAL TAKE,INTERVIEW
2Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark$20.9 *new*
2Maiden$258k on 173 screens (cum.$1.9)REVIEW
3The Lion King$20.2 (cum.$473.3)REVIEW
3The Peanut Butter Falcon$204k on 17 screens *new*REVIEW
4Dora and the City of Gold$17.4  *new*
4Luce$134k on 24 screens (cum.$307k)
5Once Upon a Time in Hollywood$11.6 (cum.$100.3)REVIEW,PODCAST
5The Bravest$110k on 150 screens *new*
6The Art of Racing in the Rain$8.1 *new*
6Them That Follow$85k on 195 screens (cum.$101k)
7The Kitchen$5.5  *new*
7David Crosby Remember My Name[DOC]$82k on 47 screens (cum.$295k)
8Spider-Man Far From Home$5.2 (cum.$370.9)TOM HOLLAND,REVIEW
8Exit$82k on 19 screens (cum.$134k)
9Toy Story 4$4.5 (cum.$419.7)PODCAST,REVIEW
9The Nightingale$71k on 27 screens (cum.$119k)
10Brian Banks$2.1 *new*
10Tel Aviv on Fire$70k on 28 screens (cum.$138k)OPHIR NOMINEE
11Yesterday$1.1 (cum.$70.4)
11Echo in the Canyon[DOC] $68k on 60 screens (cum.$3.1)

numbers on that chart are pulled fromboxofficemojo.

Hobbs & ShawandOnce Upon a Time in Hollywoodboth past the key $100 million mark this weekend..but the new titles mostly struggled to make a splash with the exception of an overperformingScary Stories...

The weekend's best per screen averages went to the new indiesThe Peanut Butter Falconand two movies on 5 screens or less (which aren't on the chart above) the American remake ofAfter the Wedding(reviewed) with Julianne Moore,and the Oscar-hopeful documentaryOne Child Nation(reviewed) which is only on 2 screens but likely to catch on if festival buzz and reviews are any indication.But the story of specialty titles continues to beThe Farewellwhich keeps expanding superbly.It took its first percentage hit this weekend (off only 8%,though) as expanded to arguably wide release (some people consider 600+ wide but we think 800+ is a more accurate description in this day and age since 600 was considered wide when we were kids and 3000 screens for one picture (now such a norm) was impossible to imagine.ButThe Farewellstill has a solid per screen average and amazing word of mouth.At $10 million (and still growing) it's already the highest grossing foreign language film of the year (yes,it's an American movie but most of it is in Chinese).

It's looking very strong for a Best Picture nomination at year's endconsidering the ecstatic reviews are paired with these kind of numbers.Ten million isa lotof money for a specialty title and it's not even done earning yet.Consider thatMoonlightonly had $15 million in the bank before its Oscar nominations andThe Hurt Lockerwon with a domestic gross of just $17 million.Other contemporary Best Picture nominees in the same monetary ballpark includeWhiplash$11 million,Letters from Iwo Jima$13 million,Room$14 million andCall Me By Your Name$17 million.Films that gross under $10 million almost never wind up as Best Picture nominees,the exceptions are rare foreign language titles likeAmourorRomabutThe Farewellhas already outgrossed both of those.

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Reader Comments (2)

Once … Hollywood – Although heavily hyped,the Tarantino film was a mixed bag for me.It has some great parts (like Leo and the young actress working on the western),but overall: too long,too many scenes with dirty girl feet (!),and it's misogynistic and ugly at the end (spoiler: with gory and violent murders of two women by men that the audience I saw it with cheered and clapped,much to my horror;by contrast,a lone male is attacked by a dog without a lot of thought or attention put into how that is depicted).After a flat two hours,the movie also suddenly uses narration for the last 30-45 minutes,for events that occur "six months later,"which I found to be very lazy and distracting.I do think Leo and Brad give good performances,and Margot is sunny in a small doppelgänger role as Sharon Tate.But the movie was too bloated and meandering IMHO.

Euphoria – This is like a more expensive version of 13 Reasons Why?I do appreciate the serious work of the young actors,including Zendaya,Jacob Elordi and Hunter Schafer (who is amazing and expressive).

August 12,2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

i'm so happy about the success of The Farewell!but i'm very skeptical about any big oscar nominations for it.almost everyone i've talked to has come away with feedback like "it's a sweet little movie!"...and i tend to agree.but who's true there's often the indie that makes good,and maybe this is the one.but it doesn't seem to have an overwhelming,moving pull?

August 12,2019 | Unregistered CommenterEricB

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