The 1968 revisionist Spaghetti Western, The Great Silence, directed and co-written by Sergio Corbucci is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a brand new Blu-ray release of sourced from a recent 2K restoration from U.S. label Film Movement.
So, 2012 is long over and as a whole it wasn’t the strongest year for movies in memory (though certainly better than 2011 was). With the 85th Oscars coming up this Sunday, we thought we’d share with you our favorite movies of the year. What follows is a list of 12 movies from last year that Scott Fraser, Chris Tansuche, and I came up with after much debate and slap fighting. These are the films we feel most deserve your viewing time. Now these aren’t the ones we expect to dominate the awards season, but rather the stuff we found to be most enjoyable. As well made as Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln were, repeat viewings in the near future aren’t likely. This is a list of the films that we deem are worth consideration of your hard-earned DVD/BluRay purchasing dollar…
It’s been awhile since I’ve ventured back into the prediction business and after today’s Oscar nominations, I’m pretty fired up now and ready to view some good movies and see the impact it’ll have on the marketplace. That’s right people, the Dartboard Box Office Predictions are back and I’m ready to be embarrassed yet again with some misguided picks.
There are three major releases this weekend, with one of them being a wide expansion. First, we have Gangster Squad, the Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Sean Penn led period flick, then we have A Haunted House from Marlon Wayans, trying to recapture the glory days of Scary Movie, and then Zero Dark Thirty goes wide finally to take advantage of the Oscar nominations announcement. In regards to Gangster Squad, I’ve been trying to think of a good comparison for the movie. It’s not quite a complete A-list filled movie, just actors that are either on the cusp of movie star or rising stars ready to break out. The closest thing might be Looper in my mind with rising stars compared to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt and the backing of an older star like Bruce Willis. With Gangster Squad sporting Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn playing the role as legitimate Hollywood veteran, that’s the best comparison I could think of. Looper came out in almost 3000 screens and grossed almost 21 million with an almost 7k per screen average. I see something similar for Gangster Squad, although the movie might lose a bit of its legs because it’s getting mixed reviews. Gangster Squad opens in 3100 screens and should drum up about 6.5k per screen, so that will give it 20 million to start the weekend off.
Tougher to predict is A Haunted House. With only one Wayans brother trying to duplicate the magic of the Scary Movie franchise, it’s hard to think that this will succeed. But that might also do with the fact that the franchise was complete garbage so my initial prejudice is to completely ask this movie to bomb. However, the people always come out in force for these types of movies. The last spoof movie to come out was Vampires Suck and that grossed 12 million in 3200 theaters, which is shocking because I had no recollection of that even being in theaters to begin with. I’d like to add that I hate 90% of all spoof movies so seeing commercials for this made me want to throw up. With that, it should do something similar to Vampires Suck, which had almost 4k per screen average. A Haunted House opens on 2100 theaters so I predict a 4k per screen average for a 8.5 million opening frame. I will say that this can blow up quickly and I’m wary about under-predicting on this one. With no real competition against it, I have a feeling this will be a movie to watch closely. Despite the fact I have zero desire in seeing it.
Lastly, we have Zero Dark Thirty going wide and this should challenge for the top spot this weekend. Obviously they were relying on challenging Lincoln for the most nominees but surprisingly, they ended up with only 5, not even including a Best Director nod for Kathryn Bigelow. This should still receive a boost in the box office though as it moves to 2900 theaters nationwide. Last year, when The Artist expanded, it drew in a 39.8% increase on box office output, although it only increased by 235 theaters. Last year The Descendants increased their theaters after the nominations came out to 2000 theaters, a 1400 screen increase. That resulted in a 170% increased box office dollar result. I think that might be more in line but still only resulted in a 3k per screen average. Last weekend, in 60 theaters, Zero Dark Thirty averaged almost 45k per screen. Obviously that is way too out of line to be expected this week. So let’s go with a 8k average per screen for a final result of 23 million for the weekend.
As for the holdovers, we expect Lincoln to get a mini-boost, as well as the other Oscar-nominated pictures. Looking at Django Unchained first, that should only decline by 30% despite competition for the R-rated audiences so it’ll result in a 14 million dollar take. Les Miserables will also see a slight decline of 30% as people check out the Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway nominated movie so that will result in an 11 million dollar take. Lincoln should see a big increase probably from the previous week so look for a 9 million dollar weekend for them. Life of Pi will get a slight increase too but only to probably 4 million as the marketplace is flooded and the movie is already two months into its current run. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will continue it’s 50% decline, giving it 9 million for the weekend. Parental Guidance is also proving to be a solid hit and should decline about 40% to reach 6 million, as well as Jack Reacher which also will get about 6 million with new films in the marketplace to take from its demographic. This Is 40 will get about a 40% decline to result in a 5 million dollar frame as well. Texas Chainsaw 3D will probably get a MASSIVE decline of 70% and end with 8 million as horror movies never hold up over the long period of time. The horrific reviews don’t help either. Overall, let’s see how it all shapes out:
[box_dark]1.) Zero Dark Thirty: 23 million
2.) Gangster Squad: 20 million
3.) Django Unchained: 14 million
4.) Les Miserables: 11 million
5.) (tied) Lincoln: 9 million
5.) (tied) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 9 million
7.) A Haunted House: 8.5 million
8.) Texas Chainsaw 3D: 8 million
9.) (tied) Parental Guidance: 6 million
9.) (tied) Jack Reacher: 6 million[/box_dark]
Those are the predictions, so we’ll see. Otherwise, it’s going to be a busy weekend for me. Time to catch up as I fill up some Oscar ballots and win me some Oscar pools!
First and foremost, let me jump in feet first by saying that Django Unchained is an incredible movie. I think it’s one of Tarantino’s best. Of course, the primary controversy surrounding the movie deals with the perceived liberal use of the most offensive word – typically referred to as the “N-word”. Was the word used liberally? Absolutely. Was it out of context? No. It’s two years before the Civil War in the deep South, where slavery was in full swing. Southern slave owners and proponents used the word almost exclusively to describe slaves – and freemen, for that matter. So, with that now in context, check out what happens when an interviewer is put on the spot by none other than Samuel L. Jackson himself when he attempts to ask Jackson about the controversy surrounding the use of the word in the movie. The interviewer’s discomfort is, in a word, epic. The magic begins at the 13:56 mark. PS: there’s a few f-bombs in there too.
Rumor has it that director Quentin Tarantino is planning a loosely related trilogy that includes Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and a yet unknown third title. Tarantino explained to Total Film that:
[quote]“I don’t know, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained bespeak a trilogy…As different as they are, there is a companion piece quality. There might very well be a third one. I just don’t know what it is yet.”[/quote]
It would appear that thus far the link between the films is a version of alternate history that could carry over into a third film – with another alternate history. The Playlist suggests that third part could turn out to be the “1930s gangster picture he’s mentioned in the past? Or the Len Deighton spy adaptations he was also considering?”
Hard to say, at the moment, which might be the case as Tarantino himself admits he doesn’t know what it is yet. Still, it will be interesting to see if the director turns out a third film that ties in with the other two. Only time – and Tarantino – will tell.
What would you like to see as a third film tying in with Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained? Sound off below!