Film Discussion

US Box Office Report: 29/06/18 – 01/07/18

People still love dinosaurs, the Day of the Soldado is surprisingly profitable, Uncle Drew nets a three-pointer, Leave No Trace does exactly that, and Other Box Office News.

Last weekend, the hottest tickets in town were a nostalgic trip back to the simpler times of 25 years ago where one could enjoy their super-fun dinosaur movie without having to have said suspension of disbelief ruined because the female lead spent the entire film in high heels, and a nostalgic trip back to the simpler times of 14 years ago where one could enjoy their super-fun superhero movie without having to be constantly reminded of the uncomfortable Randian-undertones powering the entire narrative.  This weekend, it was much the same, as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Incredibles II both held firm at positions no. 1 and 2 on the charts, the former dipping 60% in its sophomore weekend for a haul of $60 million, and the latter dipping 43% in its third weekend for a haul of $45.5 million.  Next weekend, meanwhile, the hottest ticket in town will be a nostalgic trip back to the simpler time of 3 years ago when a downer of a Marvel movie was chased by one featuring Paul Rudd charming his own shirt off to the delight of everybody.  Who says Hollywood doesn’t do new ideas anymore?

And to demonstrate that point, this weekend’s biggest new release was a sequel to Sicario.  Yeah, that 2015 Denis Villeneuve modern classic that didn’t need a sequel yet has one anyway with another in the pipeline.  Still, to go along with a shockingly ok critical response (including that of our very own Shaun Rodger), Day of the Soldado managed to do shockingly alright for itself, easily securing third place with $19 million.  According to Box Office Mojo, that one weekend total is more than the original Sicario made in the entirety of its time in Wide Release, so I guess everybody involved did something right?  Hot on its heels, however, was the basketball comedy Uncle Drew, a film based on a Pepsi Max ad campaign in which NBA all-star Kyrie Irving gets covered in old man prosthetics and then surprises people on hidden camera with his B-Ball skills.  That overperformed Lionsgate’s estimations, coming in fourth with a cool $15 million signalling either a triumph against seemingly bad ideas (if both films are good) or the death of cinema (if they’re not).

In Limited Releases, Debra Granik, the director of 2010’s still fantastic Winter’s Bone, returned from the narrative wilderness with yet another tale about people living in the wilderness, the supposedly magnificent Leave No Trace.  It went into the weekend with festival buzz, a rare perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, and 9 screens to make full use of those facts…  Only for absolutely no-one to show up.  Leave No Trace didn’t just fail, it fucking died taking just $24,018 for a measly $2,669 per-screen average.  On the other hand, the similarly buzzed-about “crazy true story” documentary, Three Identical Strangers, absolutely decimated everything in its path with a weekend total of $163,023 from 5 screens, a per-screen average of $32,605, proving that said subgenre’s appeal is not just limited to Netflix series and that I have absolutely no idea what films are going to breakout or not.  Also notable: Xavier Legrand’s Custody opened on 1 screen to $5,337 – I reviewed it at the London Film Festival last year, it’s pretty great.

US Box Office Results: Friday 29th June 2018 – Sunday 1st July 2018

1] Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

$60,000,000 / $264,787,335

Question: is it worse that Fallen Kingdom cut a line confirming Uptight Female Comic Relief being a lesbian, or that said line would have been entirely based around how she would totally have sex with Chris Pratt if she were straight?  It’s the latter, the correct answer is the latter.

2] Incredibles 2

$45,546,000 / $439,729,514

I found out that the last Cineworld Unlimited Secret Screening, the one that took place whilst I was on my way back from a Pearl Jam gig that was cancelled at the last minute and therefore couldn’t attend, was for Incredibles 2 so allow me to extend a hearty jealous “FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCKKKKKKK YOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUU” to all the lucky bastards in the UK that already saw it.  Although, I did get to finally go to the Genesis Cinema in London with my friend instead, so I guess it evens out.  (Seriously, if you’re ever in London, go visit the Genesis; it’s lovely!)

3] Sicario 2: Soldado

$19,015,000 / NEW

Didn’t get to go to the cinema this weekend, so this remains unseen by moi at this moment in time.  It’s been a rough week.  Check back here next Monday for the potentially Hot Take you’re likely not dying to see.

4] Uncle Drew

$15,500,000 / NEW

Look, when my feature comedy alternatives involve this living parody of genial British comedies by the director of the goddamn Ab Fab Movie, I will gladly take something like this as a tonic.  It may not be any good, but I’ll hopefully spend the entire time utterly perplexed by it and that’s not nothing!

5] Ocean’s 8

$8,035,000 / $114,707,181

Let’s start fantasy-casting the sequel that Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, if they have any sense, are already in the process of greenlighting!  Obvious candidate: Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  OK, maybe it’s only obvious to me, but she really should be her generation’s Sigourney Weaver already and, though she seems to largely be actively avoiding such features, can exude a magnificent Movie Star charisma when placed in such a role.  Also: Tessa Thompson, but if I had my way every new release film would have a role for Tessa Thompson somewhere.

6] Tag

$5,635,000 / $40,887,808

I’m really looking forward to, in 20 years time, getting a version of this film but for the “Bogies” game from Dick & Dom in da Bungalow.

7] Deadpool 2

$3,450,000 / $310,349,858

Did Josh Brolin take up some kind of challenge to be in every motherfrakkin’ film released in Summer 2018?  Slow down, man; sweet Christmas!

8] Sanju

$2,550,000 / NEW

This biopic about the legendary Indian actor Sanjay Dutt opened surprisingly well here, but in its native India it is currently the biggest film of the year.  I don’t have any snark or further commentary to add, I just thought that was quite neat.

9] Solo: A Star Wars Story

$2,293,000 / $207,279,115

God, if you’re truly up there, please deliver me from any further Last Jedi or Star Wars takes in general.  Please.  A YouTube channel with 1 million subscribers popped up in my feed the other day with TWO videos involving them writing their own Fan Fiction version of Last Jedi and how they would “fix” it.  Please just get everybody to stop talking about Star Wars, it is making me stop loving Star Wars which is something that only finally happened once these new movies STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE!  This is way more important than curing cancer, ending world hunger, and sending a coronary Donald Trump’s way combined!  JUST STOP THE DISCOURSE!

10] Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

$2,290,000 / $7,488,082

Yeah, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was great and all, but did it feature a cat puppet singing a song about Stoke-on-Trent?  Point: Dick & Dom!

Dropped Out: Hereditary, Superfly, Avengers: Infinity War

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