|IN THEATERSMS. PURPLERONSTADTREVIEW|
As Hollywood studios push back their major releases and movie theater chains close their locations across the country, it seems like it would be a long time before we can go back to the old American tradition of watching movies on the big screen.
But as the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic spreads, an older American moviegoing tradition may be seeing a surprising resurgence: drive-in movie theaters, baby! But instead of the poodle skirts and leather jackets, the remaining drive-in movie theaters are being populated by families who are itching to get out of the house.
Once a common staple of American suburban life or at least, the ones we’ve seen in movies, drive-in theaters are mostly seen as a novelty experience now. There are only 305 drive-in theaters remaining across the country and until now, they were treated as an “anachronistic diversion,” according to the LA Times. But now, they’ve become a boon for self-quarantined families trying to fight off the cabin fever.
The LA Times reports that drive-in theaters are seeing an unexpected surge in popularity, as traditional movie theaters are forced to close in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Owners of drive-ins in California, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri tell the times that they have seen increases in business in recent days. The outlet reports:
Ticket sales Tuesday at the two-screen Paramount Drive-In were “at least double” what they typically would be, said Beau Bianchi, whose family has owned the facility in Paramount since 1946. In all, the drive-in — which offered a double feature on both of its screens — welcomed 136 cars and sold 320 tickets. The family’s neighboring 11-screen indoor cineplex closed Sunday, but Bianchi said he expects business to continue to grow at the drive-in.
But some operators have temporarily closed their drive-ins to comply with government ordinances or in their own business’ interests. There is uncertainty with whether drive-in theaters would fall under the designation of gatherings of 50 people or more, because of the relative isolation that all the guests enjoy, in the privacy of their own cars. Doug Mercille, owner of the Starlite Drive-In in Cadet, Mo., told the LA Times it’s a “gray area.” Some operators “have taken steps to minimize interaction among people, including shutting down or limiting their concessions,” according to the Times. Operators who spoke to The Times they they remain open, but are mindful of restrictions on large gatherings and would close if required to do so. In addition to the CDC’s recommendation against events including 50-plus people, in situations where high-risk populations are involved, the CDC has been cracking down on gatherings of 10 or more people.
But drive-in theaters could still be hit hard if...
A pair of premieres brought in solid numbers the weekend after the Labor day holiday and amidst the hustle and bustle of the Toronto International Film Festival. Oscilloscope Laboratories latest family drama Ms. Purple from filmmaker Justin Chon managed to bring in solid numbers with its exclusive single theater bow at Los Angeles' the Nuart. The Sundance favorite and follow up to Chon's critically acclaimed Gook netted an estimated weekend debut of $18,650, which is NuArt's best opening in over a year and second-best opening in five years. The film will expand next weekend to the Quad in New York as well as more L.A. Locations.
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice hit a high note with its debut. The docu from Greenwich Entertainment and 1091 which chronicles the life of the iconic singer opened in seven locations across New York, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area at the Film Forum, Landmark 57th, Arclight Hollywood, Landmark LA, The Embarcadero and Cal Berkley and netted an estimated weekend gross of $115,500 and an estimated per-theater-average of $16,500. We hear the Arclight Hollywood was pretty, but everything else ranged from mild to soft. Greenwich was upbeat on the figures juxtaposing it to theirEcho in the Canyon opening weekend numbers, pointing out that the docu's NYC and SF engagements were actually running significantly higher than that film. The docu is set to expand to an additional 150 screens across the country starting September 13 with additional screens on September 20 and 27.
The Nitesh Tiwari's Bollywood pic Chhichhore opened in India as well as the U.S. on 195 screens and raked in $575,000 domestically with an average of $1,294 per screen. Tiwari still holds the record for the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time with the 2016 filmDangal which had aworldwide gross of $302,895,451 and an opening weekend of $3,248,481 in 331 theaters. Chhichhoreisn't anywhere near that debut, but it still is a strong bow.
Also opening this week was Edie from Music Box Films which only bowed on seven screens bringing in a soft $8,467 ad an average of $1,210 oper screen. Abramorama's one-day special event screening on September 5 of K-12 made its way to 81 theaters to bring in $303,230 for the weekend with an average of $3,734 per screen.
Shia LaBeouf in 'The Peanut Butter Falcon' Nigel Bluck
Busting into the top ten this weekend was Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz's Huck Finn-esque adventure The Peanut Butter Falcon its second weekend of wide release out of its current five weekend run with $2.27M in 7th place, -25%. The pic had some respectable numbers in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, DC, Phoenix, Sacramento, Raleigh and is expected to wind up at $15M stateside. Current B.O. is $12.2M.
CNN Films has acquired the documentary feature Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice and set its television premiere for New Year's Day on CNN.
Ronstadt was 21 when she first hit the national charts with the Stone Poneys' “Different Drum,” and her plaintive vocal leapt off the radio from the opening line. By the mid-'70s, she was cranking out smash singles and multiplatinum albums as fast as the public could consume them. Three of her LPs hit No. 1 en route to her becoming the most successful female singer of the decade.
Two-time Oscar winner Rob Epstein and Oscar nominee Jeffrey Friedman directed the docu from Greenwich Entertainment, 1091 and CNN Films and also produce alongside James Keach and Michele Farinola. Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday, January 1.
'Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice' Trailer: Docu On Singer Who Moves To Beat Of A Different Drum
Kino Lorber has acquired and set a November 29 theatrical release date for After Parkland, a feature documentary directed by Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman. Watch the new trailer below.
The film tells the intimate and moving story of families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School navigating their way through grief and searching for new meaning in the immediate days, weeks and months after the Parkland shooting that left 17 dead in February 2018.
The directors traveled to the Florida city with producer Stephanie Wash and began filming with students who endured gunfire and the parents who lost their children in the crosshairs. Filming throughout the spring, summer and fall, the verité documentary chronicles the private journeys of these families as they navigated the unthinkable and rose to challenge the nation to end gun violence.
Here is the new trailer:
SPOILER ALERT: If you are among the few who haven’t actually watched Netflix’s Tiger King docuseries, this review contains a lot of details about what goes down in the sad big cat saga.
With Netflix poised in the coming days to cash in and crank the base up a notch with more Tiger King, it's time to come out and say it: I hate the Red State porn that is the crash and burn of Joe Exotic
The initial seven episodes of this septic and shallow patchwork of trademark infringement, sex, guns, labor exploitation, song, drugs, mullets, betrayal, animal activism, revenge, and a lot of big cats may be much binged over these weeks of coronavirus lockdown, but that doesn't mean it's actually worth watching.
Now, I get it, I sound like I'm just a dour critic who hates anything that isn't prestige premium cable or aspirational. C'mon man, you want to say, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is just so unbelievable, I can't look away.
I respectfully disagree, and in fact, propose Tiger King isn't just bad, but dangerous in a divided America persistently looking to reduce the other side to caricature.
In a presently ailing nation where TV is more voluminous and vital than ever, the truth is the March 20 launched Tiger King is a clawed white trash misery index. Gawking at some clearly fragile and damaged people like would-be reality TV star Exotic and their below the Mason-Dixon line antics, the series subsequently provides a cultural circus for those smug bicoastals under stay at home orders and screaming to rise up in moral superiority.
Essentially, the tale of big cat collector, self-styled Oklahoma zoo proprietor and 2016 Presidential candidate Exotic AKA Joseph Maldonado-Passage and his ultimately unsuccessful attempt to have rival Carole Baskin knocked off by a hitman hired for $3,000, Tiger King is in that context more a zero-sum game, literally and figuratively, than hitting the zeitgeist.
Obviously, Netflix are pretty damn good at gauging and dragging the public mood over the years, as the likes of the then phenomenon of 2015's Making A Murderer or 2018’s Wild Wild Country prove. Yet, for all the attention it has drawn, this unfocused murder for hire exploration of sorts emerges as a bastard child of Cops, a million Dateline segments from the 1990s and Fox’s short-lived Murder in Small Town X reality show from 2001.
Not exactly the prestige product that the home of Roma, The Irishman and American Factory likes to brag about at award shows. Then again, with the knowledge that the Romans sold out the Colosseum every night feeding Christians to the lions, the bottom line based House of Hastings surely loves the subscription sign up that the currently incarcerated Maldonado-Passage and the accompanying motley gaggle of...