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As expected the coronavirus pandemic is hitting the box office hard as many are under self-quarantine in an effort to flatten the curve. Some patrons are braving the outbreak, but as seen in preliminary box office numbers, it seems that many theaters are closing or limiting numbers while patrons are opting to stay home which is a good sign to see that people are taking precautions. However, the box office is seeing very low numbers and the specialty space is particularly feeling the impact.
New films being released in theaters are underperforming, landing between a low of 20% to a high of 35% in terms of projected numbers. Holdovers are also seeing a drop — more than usual. We have seen a handful of theater closings in New York, Philadelphia, D.C., Boston and Seattle and this may or may not continue in the upcoming week.Sidney Flanigan in Never Rarely Sometimes Always Courtesy of Focus Features
The award-winning Focus Features film Never Rarely Sometimes Always from Eliza Hittman debuted this weekend, grossing an estimated $18,000 in New York at the Angelika and Landmark 57th and in Los Angeles at the Arclight Hollywood and Landmark. With a per-theater average of $4,601, this is a fairly soft opening for the critically acclaimed drama that sits at a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. The numbers may be low, but the silver lining is that the film claimed the number 1 spot in every theater with the exception of Arclight and had a good showing at the Angelika which featured a Q&A with Hittman. There is hope that this film will rebound when coronavirus concerns lighten up.
The Focus Features period piece Emma. continued to expand this weekend to over 1,700 theaters despite coronavirus concerns and managed to earn over $1.3 million to hit an estimated cume of $10 million domestic in its fourth week out, bringing its worldwide gross $25 million. Overall, things look good for Autumn de Wilde’s take on the Jane Austen classic as it maintains its spot at number 9 in the top 10 for the week, but there is a noticeable drop in its expansion. Emma. grossed $5 million last week with an average of $3,199 compared to this week’s per-theater average of $1,360. The trajectory of this pic was gaining momentum, but the outbreak more than likely presented speed bumps.
Meanwhile, Sally Potter’s The Roads Not Taken starring Javier Bardem and Elle Fanning earned a low $3,853 in three locations with a per-theater average $1,284. Again, the hyperrealistic father-daughter drama could very well be another victim of the outbreak. A film like this from critically acclaimed director starring an Oscar winner and a celebrated young actress is expected to perform better and is catnip for arthouse audiences.
Of all the releases, Greenwich Entertainment could be the...
Featuring a lovable goof named Rory and characters that talk at a breakneck clip about topics ranging from commonly misused idioms to Paul Newman’s sexuality, “Straight Up” is basically a gay “Gilmore Girls” in indie film form. The second feature film from James Sweeney who also stars, the film is as precisely put together as its overthinking protagonist Todd, who uses his weekly therapy sessions to talk himself in circles about his ambivalent feelings about sex. Like any well-heeled neurotic gay man, Todd Sweeney knows a lot about a lot of things — he just doesn’t know himself. As such, “Straight Up” is meticulous in building its hyper-stylized aesthetic, but doesn’t have much to say about the human condition.
As its title suggests, “Straight Up” doesn’t exactly fit into the label of “queer film.” Labels are so over, anyway. Though Todd has been pegged as gay since he was a kid, bodily fluids unnerve him, a rather thin explanation for his lack of sexuality that’s repeated ad nauseum throughout the film. The word “asexual” is never mentioned, but if it had been, “Straight Up” would be a groundbreaking representation of an under-explored identity.
Viewed under that lens, Todd’s journey is actually quite radical. But the film’s reluctance to delve too deeply into Todd’s emotionality ensures the film remains as pristine and empty as the elegant Los Angeles homes he house-sits. Everything’s stunning on the surface, but no one’s home.
That said, there’s plenty to admire about “Straight Up,” from fastidious framing to rapid-fire pacing. The dialogue, while overloaded with literary and film allusions, is quite funny. The characters are all quite endearing in their own way, but it’s not until Rory a charming Katie Findlay shows up that the story really comes alive.
After years of being alone, Todd has finally met his match in the self-deprecating actress who would rather play Bananagrams than get it on. Through her acting class, we learn she has a history of sexual trauma, a rather important detail which Sweeney leaves woefully unexamined. Todd and Rory’s attempt to consummate their budding romance ends with Rory in tears. The next morning, she skirts the issue by chalking their thwarted lovemaking up to Todd’s OCD around bodily fluids. Todd, being a self-involved man in his twenties, doesn’t even think to ask why the person he loves had such a reaction. Rather than have his two highly analytical characters discuss what has happened, Sweeney simply brushes past it, leaving the most potentially fruitful heart of his story largely unexamined....
EXCLUSIVE: Grace and Frankie may have suspended production on its seventh and final season because of the coronavirus crisis, but the Emmy nominated Netflix comedy is back this week with a special live treat for fans and a spotlight on seniors in need during these troubled times.
The Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin-led series will be having an online table read this Thursday to help Meals On Wheels COVID-19 relief program, I've learned – though you can make donations right now via the link here.
While other shows have taken a similar digital approach in recent weeks, the long running Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris showrun series is adding some originality. The April 9 presentation will feature an episode from the yet unaired seventh season, as well as a live Q&A afterwards moderated by Kauffman.
Along with Oscar winner Fonda and Oscar nominee Tomlin, fellow G&F cast members Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, June Diane Raphael, Brooklyn Decker, Baron Vaughn and Ethan Embry will be participating in the reading of the Kauffman and Morris-penned “The Fallout” episode on Thursday.
Starting at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET, the whole shindig can be seen live and direct on the Netflix is a Joke YouTube page LINK HERE on April 9.
“While we’re sitting here afraid, unsure and isolated, we wanted to come together and do some good,” Kauffman told me of the decision to take the show online in a new form and with a peek into the future.”
“All we’ve got is time on our hands and technology at our fingertips,” the Friends co-creator added as production on Season 7 was temporarily suspended late on March 12 as restrictions on large gatherings tighten in the City of Angels. “So we decided to use both of those assets to raise money for Meals on Wheels, which brings food to food-insecure and isolated seniors. They are among our most vulnerable right now and need our help.”
“Our cast is all in and super excited,” Okay Goodnight founder Kauffman also says of her superstar packed team. “And Netflix and Skydance have been particularly supportive. As far as giving the fans a peek into Season 7, we figured more people would tune in to new content and it would, hopefully, be a draw for fans of Grace and Frankie. The hope is: more eyes, more money raised for Meals on Wheels.”
Produced by Skydance Television, which launched in 2013, Grace And Frankie was one of the first original series for Netflix. Though in a pause period right now, like everyone else in Tinseltown the seventh and final season is still set to premiere next year, which will make the series the longest running comedy in the streamer's history.
As of last night, there are 6360 confirmed case of the coronavirus in L.A. County and 147 deaths....
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?
This week we overcome being an ugly duckling, spend some more time with those with autism, have our third eye melted, look at some hip hop legends, and get exonerated for crimes we didn’t commit.Autism: The Sequel
Director Tricia Regan is bringing hope at just the right time.
Revisiting the subjects of the 2007 Emmy-winning documentary Autism: The Musical, Autism: The Sequel offers a heartwarming inside look into the daily challenges and triumphs of adults on the autism spectrum.
In 2006, HBO debuted the 2007 Emmy®-winning Autism: The Musical, a poignant, heartwarming film that followed five children on the autism spectrum as they wrote and performed their own musical. We revisit the stars of this musical 12 years later in Autism: The Sequel as the original subjects, now in their early 20s, navigate what independence means to them as they manage challenges and triumphs as adults.
If there was a way to excise the uplifting string arrangement towards the end of the trailer, I would do it. It’s not to say this documentary isn’t an uplifting story, but when you consider that these kids, who are now adults, are still struggling to live day-to-day with autism, it seems like a different approach could have been made to reflect their current accomplishments. This is a story that will continue long after this doc is done. This specific story is a celebration, but, also, there is the very real fact that there are more mountains for them to climb. It’s inspiring.The Innocence Files
True crime aficionados, rejoice!
Through the lens of The Evidence, The Witness and The Prosecution, The Innocence Files shines a powerful light on the untold personal stories behind eight cases of wrongful conviction that the nonprofit organization the Innocence Project and organizations within the Innocence Network have uncovered and worked tirelessly to overturn. The Innocence Files is executive produced and directed by Academy Award® nominee Liz Garbus, Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney, Academy Award® winner Roger Ross Williams; with episodes also directed by Academy Award® nominee Jed Rothstein, Emmy Award® winner Andy Grieve and Sarah Dowland.
You have a veritable who’s who of directing talent who have lined up to tell some very real stories. Stories that, without question, cast a deep and long shadow over the criminal justice system. No one deserves to be wrongfully convicted, much less jailed, for an...