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Specialty B.O.: ‘Magic In The Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man’ Find A Little Magic In Debuts

Specialty B.O.: ‘Magic In The Moonlight,’ ‘A Most Wanted Man’ Find A Little Magic In DebutsBold debuts from two of the weekend’s openers in a crowded specialty box office included yet another Woody Allen film as well as a last starring turn from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight was another solid opener in a string of recent successes for the veteran writer-director, with a good per-screen average. That said, the numbers were less stratospheric than some of his recent summer films when comparing on a straight theater average, though this go-around did bow in substantially more locations.
Magic is Allen’s third consecutive summer release (and seventh if you count the ”shoulder” seasons).  The formula continues to be a lucrative one for Allen and his backers. In its opening weekend, Magic brought in nearly $426K in 17 theaters, for a solid $25K PTA. The film, starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, bowed with 11 more runs than last year’s box-office and award-winning behemoth Blue Jasmine (the best performer of Allen’s very long career), which debuted to a $102K PTA in 6 theaters. That film also had a $612K opening weekend and went on to cume over $33.4M.
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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Magic In The Moonlight’, ‘The Fluffy Movie’, ‘A Most Wanted Man’, ‘The Kill Team’, ‘Happy Christmas’

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 4:27pm PDT

Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Magic In The Moonlight’, ‘The Fluffy Movie’, ‘A Most Wanted Man’, ‘The Kill Team’, ‘Happy Christmas’Looming in the wake of Boyhood‘s hot box office roll out earlier this month, some heavy-hitters will enter the Specialty fray this weekend which should shape up to be rather interesting come Sunday box office time. Woody Allen blitzed theaters last July with a smashing roll out of Blue Jasmine and he’s back, courtesy once again of Sony Classics with his latest Magic In The Moonlight. The distributor, however, is taking a somewhat different release track this time around. Lionsgate/Roadside is opening Philip Seymour Hoffman starrer A Most Wanted Man after delaying the title’s bow in the wake of its star’s death. The film will have a sizable theater count as it heads out to the box office Friday. But the weekend’s biggest Specialty opener in terms of location tally is Open Road’s The Fluffy Movie, which will hit several hundred locations nationwide though the bulk of its marketing has been targeted to a particular audience. On the other end of the scale is Oscilloscope’s Tribeca-winner The Kill Team which will bow at a single exclusive showing in NYC, while Magnolia’s Happy Christmas will have its theatrical launch in several locations after launching via ultra-VOD in late June.

Magic In The MoonlightMagic in the moonlight 3
Director-writer: Woody Allen
Cast: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Antonia Clarke, Natasha Andrews, Valérie Beaulieu, Jackie Weaver, Peter Wollasch
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

SPC has had a winning streak with Woody Allen summer releases and it’s sticking to that formula for the filmmaker’s latest. Last year’s Oscar winner Blue Jasmine launched as a Specialty behemoth July 26 in 6 theaters, with a dazzling $102K average, eventually grossing over $33.4 million domestically. To Rome With Love was a comparatively more “modest” release, with a $72,272 PTA in five theaters in June 2012 ($16.69M cume), while 2011′s Midnight In Paris rocketed a $99,834 launch weekend PTA with six runs — eventually grossing over $56.8 million. “His films really seem to work in summer time,” said SPC co-president Michael Barker whose company has released Allen’s most recent five movies (and others in the past). The only recent exception was 2010′s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger which opened in September of that year ($3.24M gross).” Read More »

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OSCARS: Can Summer’s Awards Curse Be Reversed To Generate ANY Heat For Contenders In 2014 Race?

Pete Hammond

The Cannes Film Festival is getting underway next week and represents the Oscar_badge__140302212232first important stop of the year for what we hope will be Oscar-worthy movies. Of course most of those movies will not open until the fall when the usual glut of contenders descends on Hollywood. So far the 2014 pickings have been slim, but that is usually the case. There could be scattered nominations here and there for the likes of Noah, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie and last weekend’s art house opener Belle among the precious few movies so far in 2014 that have a chance of turning up somewhere on Oscar’s list. Mainly what we have seen so far is just preparation for the race and anticipation. The National Board of Review was the latest group to announce their dates this week and will vote early on December 2nd. The major guilds, Golden Globes and Oscars have already staked out their key dates.

normalheart5But before we get to fall (the earliest 2013 Best Picture nominee, Gravity, didn’t open until early October), we have a long hot summer to get through after the highs (and hopefully not too many lows) of Cannes are over. But Oscar pickings seem even more slim than usual from a survey of the summer months leading up to the fall festival trifecta of Venice, Telluride and Toronto. I remain hopeful, but what can you say about a season where the strongest Best Picture prospect — in terms of gravitas and quality —  is going to debut on HBO?

That pay network’s The Normal Heart from director Ryan Murphy has all the earmarks of a true Oscar player except for one thing: It’s not eligible since it’s not a theatrical release. Small detail, but I have a feeling that if HBO had decided to try for theatres first it could have figured strongly at the Academy Awards. Instead, this story set in the early days of the AIDS crisis and  penned first as a play by Larry Kramer, who wrote this adaptation, promises to sweep the Emmys in August in many categories including for actors Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Matt Bomer (the latter heartbreakingly standing out among a uniformly fine supporting actor cast). Emmy voters have already received the screener of the movie which doesn’t debut on HBO until May 25th. US-OSCARS-PRESS ROOMIt’s no wonder so many A-list actors are flocking to the small screen when a net like HBO offers a home for projects like this that have been so consistently rejected by movie distributors that it takes an iron will just to get them made. You could easily have imagined last season’s Oscar juggernaut, Dallas Buyers Club, going the same TV route as Normal Heart had its producers given up — particularly Robbie Brenner (with Rachel Winter) along with Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey persevering and virtually willing it into theatres leading to that Oscar triumph March 2nd.

Related: Hot TV Trailer: HBO’s ‘The Normal Heart’

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Hot Trailer: Philip Seymour Hoffman In ‘A Most Wanted Man’

By | Saturday April 12, 2014 @ 9:31am PDT

“It takes a minnow to catch a barracuda, a barracuda to catch a shark,” German intelligence agent Gunther Bachmann says. He’s using a young lawyer for a human rights group who is harboring a mysterious client as bait to trap an Islamist terrorist with Chechen connections who has made his way into Germany. So goes A Most Wanted Man, an international thriller based on spy-meister John le Carré’s 2008 novel. It’s the final starring role for Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February. Director Anton Corbijn’s cast also includes Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe and Robin Wright. Andrew Bovell wrote the pic, which debuted at Sundance. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions opens the film July 25. Here’s a look:

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