Seen last month in the first rate suburban nightmare Mom and Dad, Nicolas Cage continues his run of excellent work with Looking Glass. Directed by River’s Edge filmmaker Tim Hunter, the feature centers on Ray and Maggie (Nicolas Cage, Robin Tunney) a dysfunctional couple who buy a motel that’s housed in a mysterious, and possibly dangerous, small town.
The motel has a crawlspace that connects all of the rooms in the motel, and thanks to double sided mirrors Ray is able to explore his voyeuristic tendencies. Ray’s thrills are short-lived after a murder takes place on the property, and a sheriff (Marc Blucas) believes Ray might be the number one suspect!
Cage is at his unhinged best with Looking Glass, and Tunney (just like Blair in Mom and Dad) proves she’s more than up to the task to verbally spar with the actor (their scenes together are electric). Hunter infused Looking Glass with a graphic comic book, B-movie style aesthetic, and that pulpy flavor absolutely works with Looking Glass. Coming out February 16 in theaters, On Demand, and Digital HD, Looking Glass is a must see for Cage fans and, more importantly, devotees to well executed, if not lurid, thrillers.
Other films discussed on CinemAddicts is the Rebecca Hall/Dan Stevens relationship drama Permission and the punk rock feature Bomb City. Both open February 9. Take a listen below to the latest episode of CinemAddicts!
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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi
The James Cameron flick Avatar has nabbed yet another weekend in the top spot earning an additional $45.8 million at the box office. This is the fourth weekend in a row for the sci-fi film bringing the domestic total to $429 mil becoming the seven highest grossing picture in North America. Can we all say, ‘Wow!”
Add the weekend’s foreign gross of $143 million to the tally and that means the worldwide take sits (but not for long) at $1.34 billion. That means Avatar is inching closer to the current record holder, Titanic, (Cameron‘s other blockbuster) with $1.84 billion.
Avatar was followed by Sherlock Holmes in second place with $16.6 mil, while Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel did more than squeak out the number three position with a $16.3 million take.
The debut weekend of Daybreakers pulled in $15 mil and the mature adult romantic-comedy It’s Complicated saw $11 million in additional revenue.
Leap Year came in sixth with $ 9.2 million, seventh position was held by Sandra Bullock’s inspirational drama, The Blind Side with $ 7.8 million, Up in the Air landed the eight position earning $ 7.1 million, the Michael Cera starrer, Youth in Revolt, debuted at number nine, raising $ 7.0 million and Disney’s The Princess and the Frog showed serious staying power with $4.7 million.
BOX OFFICE CROAKS! 'FROG'S' GREEN WINS WEEKEND
This frog’s going to need legs.
Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” opened to $25 million, a relatively soft start that’s in line with the last two releases by its Burbank-based animation studio, “Bolt” and “Meet the Robinsons,” which were financial disappointments.
However, by opening “Princess” in the first half of December, typically a slow time for moviegoing, Disney is aiming to set up its first hand-drawn animated feature in six years to have “legs,” an industry term for slowly declining ticket sales, through the holidays. In that regard, the picture’s average audience grade of A, according to market research firm CinemaScore, is a good sign about word of mouth, which will be crucial to its ultimate performance.
Disney is undoubtedly hoping the movie will play like its early November release, “A Christmas Carol,” which has recovered from a soft opening of $30.1 million to accumulate $124.5 million and counting. This weekend the 3-D holiday tale’s ticket sales declined only 12%.
Warner Bros.’ “Invictus” got off to a similarly unimpressive start, collecting $9 million for the weekend. But the South African historical drama, which stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, is also being positioned to benefit from strong word of mouth in the coming weeks, along with likely awards recognition starting with the Golden Globe nominations Tuesday.
The movie cost Warner and its financing partner Spyglass Entertainment about $60 million to produce.
“The Blind Side” continued its fantastic run on a relatively slow box-office weekend, declining only 23% and coming in second place with $15.5 million. Total domestic sales to date for the inspirational drama, which Alcon Entertainment produced for $35 million, are $150.2 million.
Paramount opened “The Lovely Bones,” directed by Peter Jackson and based on the bestselling book, to $116,000 at three theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Its per-theater average of less than $39,000 is a modest start for a movie in limited release with hopes of generating strong buzz and awards recognition. It was undoubtedly hurt by mostly negative reviews. Paramount paid $65 million to produce the movie, which will be released nationwide in January.
Weinstein Co. didn’t generate big business for its new limited-release drama “A Single Man,” despite much stronger reviews than for “Bones.” It grossed $216,000, with an average of $24,000 per theater.
However, “Up in the Air” continues to play very well as Paramount expanded it from 15 to 72 theaters and collected a solid $2.5 million. Its total box office after two weekends is just over $4 million.
It was a gory weekend at the box office for pretty much every movie except “Paranormal Activity.”
Paramount Pictures’ ultra-low-budget horror film more than doubled its nationwide theater count to 1,945 theaters and continues its winning ways, selling a studio-estimated $22 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada.
Going into the weekend, Hollywood executives with access to pre-release polling had assumed that “Paranormal” would be in a tight race for No. 1 with “Saw VI,” the latest entry in Lionsgate’s bloody annual franchise. But “Saw VI” opened to the lowest number of any film in the series, grossing just $14.8 million. After the first “Saw,” which opened to $18.3 million, the next four sequels all started with more than $30 million.
Most box-office watchers had predicted that “Saw VI” would be hurt a bit by “Paranormal” and open in the range of $20 million to $25 million, but its much weaker launch is a major disappointment for the studio and a sign that interest in the “Saw” series has waned significantly. Lionsgate’s only consolation is that the movie cost a modest $11 million to produce, although its marketing was fairly aggressive.
“Paranormal Activity,” meanwhile, has cost less than $10 million to market thus far, as Paramount has relied primarily on word-of-mouth and low-cost Internet ads. After playing in a small number of cities for its first two weeks and then slowly expanding over the last three, the movie, which cost $15,000 to produce, has grossed an astounding $62.5 million. It will likely end up grossing more than $100 million.
“Saw VI” was one of four new movies to hit theaters this weekend, all of which started poorly.
Universal Studios’ “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” which the studio co-financed with Relativity Media at a cost of $40 million, debuted to a very weak $6.3 million. The movie, based on a popular series of books, was Universal’s attempt to get a bit of the success enjoyed by adaptations like “Harry Potter” and “Twilight.” It’s another flop for the studio in a difficult year that has, in the domestic market, been punctuated only by hits “Fast & Furious” and “Couples Retreat.”
“Astro Boy,” which was produced and financed by Imagi Entertainment and distributed by Summit Entertainment, opened to a similarly dismal $7 million. The first self-financed movie from Hong Kong-based Imagi drew a much smaller family crowd than the company had hoped.
Fox Searchlight’s “Amelia,” which had a number of financiers including the studio and Gateway Inc. co-founder Ted Waitt and cost about $40 million to produce, opened to an anemic $4 million. The true-life tale of the pioneering female aviator, which starred Hillary Swank and was directed by Mira Nair, drew mostly negative reviews, which apparently hurt it with the intended audience of discriminating adults. Though “Amelia” played in fewer theaters than the other new movies, it’s unlikely to gross more than $10 million domestically and will certainly be a money loser for those involved.
As for holdovers, the hopes of Warner Bros. and its co-financiers Village Roadshow Pictures and Legendary Pictures that “Where the Wild Things Are” would hold well after a solid but not spectacular start were dashed as it dropped 56% on its second weekend. That’s a clear sign that “Wild Things” is playing like an adult drama, not a family movie. The $100-million production, which benefited from tax credits that took down its cost to $80 million, collected $14.4 million this weekend, bringing its total after 10 days to a so-so $54 million.
Thriller “Law Abiding Citizen,” which Overture Films distributed for financier the Film Department, had a much better hold, declining a relatively modest 40% on its second weekend to $12.7 million. Its domestic total is now $40.3 million, a healthy performance given its production cost of about $50 million.
Where the Wild Things Are” opened to a solid if not exceptional $32.5 million in the U.S. and Canada, but played very much like an adult-themed movie despite its origins in children’s literature.
The adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s book saw ticket sales rise only 2% from Friday to Saturday. Most movies that play to family audiences experience a significant boost on Saturday as parents with children attend matinees. Many box-office watchers had predicted that “Wild Things,” with its PG rating, would do just that and end up grossing close to $40 million for the weekend after it grossed more than $12 million on Friday.
Nonetheless, $32.5 million is a good start given the movie’s budget of about $100 million, which was brought down to $80 million through foreign tax incentives. If “Wild Things” continues to play well, it could end up a solid performer for distributor Warner Bros., which paid for 25% of the film, and its co-financiers Village Roadshow Entertainment, which paid for half, and Legendary Entertainment.
Movies that play to adults tend to fade faster than family films, however, giving all three companies some cause for concern.
Beyond No. 1, it was a surprisingly robust weekend with no major flops.
The thriller “Law Abiding Citizen,” which Overture Films distributed for the Film Department, grossed a strong $21.3 million. That’s a bit above what pre-release audience polling had indicated and a good launch for a movie that cost $50 million to produce.
“Paranormal Activity” continued to play exceptionally well, nearly landing at No. 2 despite showing at fewer than one-third as many locations as “Citizen.” It grossed $20.2 million, according to Paramount, giving it a phenomenal average of $26,530 at each of its 760 theaters. After four weeks, two of which it played only midnight shows in a few cities, the ultra-low-budget horror flick has collected $33.7 million. This Friday it will expand to over 1,800 locations nationwide.
Despite the competition from “Paranormal,” Sony’s low-budget horror movie “Stepfather” had a decent opening of $12.3 million, above expectations going into the weekend. The film cost a little under $20 million to produce.
Last weekend’s No. 1 film, “Couples Retreat,” dropped 48% to $17.9 million, an average decline for a romantic comedy. Its total gross is a healthy $63.3 million domestically, and it has brought in $10.8 million from five foreign territories.