News & Updates
April 29, 2018
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Crushes Everything in Its Path, but It’s Still Not Quite the Biggest Opening Ever
“Avengers: Infinity War” opened at an estimated $250 million, at least 10 percent ahead of its biggest advance guesses. Even $200 million (just below “Black Panther”) would have been incredible; at this level, it’s historic. Unadjusted, it will beat out “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the reboot that opened to $248 million in December 2015.
Worldwide (which does not include China, yet to open) is another best ever, totaling $630 million and substantially ahead of “The Fate of the Furious” last May, which debuted to $541 million worldwide. “Fate” did better in its foreign bow, but the release patterns make this a difficult comp; “Avengers” overseas did $380 million, but that doesn’t yet include China. (Oddly, for most countries “Avengers” didn’t score as the best opening ever.)
In North America, it is the biggest reported number of all time — but then there’s adjusting for the killjoy reality of ticket prices. In adjusted numbers, “The Force Awakens” is still number one at $261 million. That could suggest “Infinity War” sold fewer tickets, but even that comes with a caveat given the relative percentage of premium versus non-3D or IMAX tickets sold. (Disney reports 62 percent of the gross for “Infinity” came from 2D, while “Force” was a slight majority premium). We’ll never know for sure, but it appears about an equal number of tickets were sold.
The bigger picture is that the domestic total for “Avengers” was $48 million better than the phenomenal “Black Panther.” It is ahead of both earlier “Avengers” titles (adjusted $235 million and $204 million), and it didn’t even have the benefit of holiday or summer dating. That it comes less than three months after “Black Panther” made nearly $700 million shows that “Panther” only created more interest — and likely, more fans — for its world.
Other studios vacated the date ahead of this behemoth and “Infinity” sold about 83 percent of all tickets this weekend, leaving about $51 million worth of business for other films. It also means that 2018 no longer lags behind 2017 year to date and with several strong titles arriving soon and more throughout the summer, the prognosis looks strong. That “Infinity” scored so much better than estimates suggests the franchise machine is what matters most to keeping Hollywood running at full strength.
Its dominance knocked the wind out of nearly all competitors; only one film in the top 10 fell less than 49 percent. That would be “Black Panther,” which fell only 11 percent, jumped from #8 to number #5, and had a per-theater average even better than last weekend’s. All that makes the potential battle between the two Marvel titles for Marvel’s ultimate #1 that much more interesting.
Under the circumstances, “A Quiet Place” held up well. At second place in its fourth weekend, it’s made $148 million. However, #3 title “I Feel Pretty” also fell 49 percent; the Amy Schumer comedy needs a better hold to justify its $32 million budget.
The more male-oriented “Rampage” fell 65 percent and “Ready Player One” was down 67 percent. Dwayne Johnson’s star vehicle will get to $90 million domestic, scoring the far side of $300 million foreig. Spielberg’s film will see over three quarters of its take overseas.
The Top Ten
1. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney) NEW – Cinemascore: A; Metacritic: 68; est. budget: $300 million
$250,000,000 in 4,475 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $55,878,000; Cumulative: $250,000,000
2. A Quiet Place (Paramount) Week 4; Last weekend #1
$10,650,000 (-49%) in 3,565 theaters (-243); PTA: $2,987; Cumulative: $148,173,000
3. I Feel Pretty (STX) Week 2; Last weekend #3
$8,130,000 (-49%) in 3,440 theaters (no change); PTA: $2,363; Cumulative: $29,574,000
4. Rampage (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #2
$7,105,000 (-65%) in 3,508 theaters (-607); PTA: $2,025; Cumulative: $77,931,000
5. Black Panther (Disney) Week 11; Last weekend #8
$4,381,000 (-11%) in 1,650 theaters (-280); PTA: $2,655; Cumulative: $688,009,000
6. Super Troopers 2 (20th Century Fox) Week 2 ; Last weekend #4
$3,600,000 (-76%) in 2,125 theaters (+87); PTA: $1,694; Cumulative: $22,085,000
7. Truth or Dare (Universal) Week 3; Last weekend #5
$3,210,000 (-59%) in 2,420 theaters (-648); PTA: $1,326; Cumulative: $35,317,000
8. Blockers (Universal) Week 4; Last weekend #7
$2,945,000 (-57%) in 2,324 theaters (-810); PTA: $1,267; Cumulative: $53,215,000
9. Ready Player One (Warner Bros.) Week 5; Last weekend #6
$2,435,000 (-67%) in 2,365 theaters (-843); PTA: $1,030; Cumulative: $130,683,000
10. Traffik (Lionsgate) Week 2; Last weekend #9
$1,620,000 (-59%) in 1,046 theaters (no change); PTA: $1,549; Cumulative: $6,752,000
Source: IndieWire film
April 29, 2018
Bill Maher and Roseanne Barr are longtime friends, and so it was with genuine affection that he turned his most recent “New Rules” segment into an open letter to her. Barr, whose recently returned sitcom “Roseanne” has proven to be a ratings juggernaut, is also an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump — something that makes no sense to Maher. “You saw a miracle product on TV and you ordered it,” he said. “You impulse-purchased a Trump.”
“It promised to drain swamps, build walls, and make things great again, but you got it home and it flooded your basement, maxed out your credit cards, and dropped your phone in the toilet,” Maher added.
Barr’s character on “Roseanne” is a member of the working class, making her an avatar for Trump’s base. “Like it or not,” Maher said, “you are now the face of the Trump supporter because you really do speak for a certain kind of American who knows they’re being screwed by someone, they just don’t know who. But here’s what you’re missing about Trump: When he says he’s ‘looking out for ‘the little guy,’ he’s talking about his dick. And as your friend, Roseanne, I must remind you of something very important: You’re a socialist! You’ve been one for 30 years.”
He then pointed toward a number of comments Barr had made to that effect over the years, including suggesting a “maximum wage.”
“I get that you were mad as hell and wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the whole works, and I won’t judge that,” Maher continued. “But if in the next six months you don’t see Trump’s magic starting to work for you, if you’re still trading pills and driving an Uber, wouldn’t the more realistic plot line for season two be your disillusionment with Donald Trump?” Watch the full segment below.
Source: IndieWire film
April 29, 2018
Thanks to two stars named Rachel — Weisz and McAdams — “Disobedience” led a batch of new films from arthouse auteurs this weekend. This story of forbidden love in a London synagogue setting, like director Sebastián Lelio’s Oscar-winning “A Fantastic Woman,” deals with gay characters fighting for their right to love despite societal taboos. It doubles the opening numbers of any film from Bleecker Street.
Claire Denis’ “Let the Sunshine In” (IFC) also opened unexpectedly strong in New York. But “Mustang” director Deniz Gamze Erguven’s English-language debut “Kings,” and “Duck Butter,” Miguel Arteta’s follow-up to “Beatriz at Dinner,” saw much less impact.
Among holdovers, “Isle of Dogs” (Fox Searchlight) is wrapping up its national run as it heads to a decent $30 million total. “Disobedience” shows the need for fresh titles to feed the hungry specialized audience.
Disobedience (Bleecker Street) Metacritic: 73; Festivals include: Toronto 2017, Tribeca 2018
$241,276 in 5 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $48,255
This strong opening for the first English-language film for Chilean director Sebastián Lelio — second to “Isle of Dogs” among limited openers this year — comes shortly after his “A Fantastic Woman” won the Foreign Language Oscar. Made in Britain, this gay romance in a conservative Jewish religious world (similar to well-received “Foxtrot” and “Menashe”) continues his interest in female characters (see “Gloria”). Intensive marketing and Q and As also built interest. Strong interest for the film projects to a much potential ahead.
What comes next: 21 theaters in eight additional markets add to the initial New York/Los Angeles dates this Friday.
Let the Sunshine In (IFC) Metacritic: 78; Festivals include: Cannes, New York, AFI 2017; also available on Video on Demand
$40,267 in 2 theaters; PTA: $20,133
Veteran director Claire Denis (“Beau Travail”) returns with Juliette Binoche supported by a who’s-who of French actors. This drama of an older woman juggling multiple men opened in two New York theaters to strong results — especially for a subtitled film — and received good reviews and help from some personal appearances. But on its own the film shows that with the right elements a French film can still make an initial splash to urban sophisticates.
What comes next: Along with its limited (iTunes not included) premium price video on demand sites, this opens in Los Angeles this week, with additional cities scheduled, including support from Landmark Theatres.
Kings (The Orchard) Metacritic: 34; Festivals include: Toronto 2017
$173,113 in 218 theaters; PTA: $809
Deniz Gamze Erguven, another acclaimed director with success in the tricky subtitled market (her French-Turkish “Mustang” was a recent Oscar nominee), makes her English language debut with this story of a sprawling South Los Angeles family struggling to survive the 1992 uprising. Despite stars Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, bad reviews after the Toronto premiere doomed this national release. A majority of screens grossed under $1,000.
What comes next: The cast will draw later home viewing interest.
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival
Duck Butter (The Orchard) Metacritic: 60; Festivals include: Tribeca 2018
$3,360 in 2 theaters; PTA: $1,680
Veteran Miguel Arteta (who had some success with “Beatriz at Dinner” last year) returns with this improvisational comedy about a very passionate young couple who hook up. It premiered after its Tribeca Festival premiere in New York and Los Angeles to a small gross.
What comes next: This looks to have limited theatrical chances, but should gain some home viewing attention.
Ghost Stories (IFC) (also available on Video on Demand)
$28,032 in 12 theaters (+11); PTA: $2,336; Cumulative: $45,128
This acclaimed British horror anthology added more cities parallel to its home viewing availability.
Godard Mon Amour (Cohen)
$14,747 in 17 theaters (+13); PTA: $867; Cumulative: $31,912
Fifty years after these events in the career of the great New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard –and just before his latest film debuts in competition at Cannes– this film from “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius expanded to minor response.
After Auschwitz (Passion River)
$14,331 in 11 theaters (+9); PTA: $1,303; Cumulative: $26,000
This documentary, which relates the stories of six female Holocaust survivors and their lives after their unspeakable trauma, added five markets after its New York debut last week to modest results. Los Angeles and San Francisco are among new cities this weekend.
The Devil and Father Armoth (The Orchard) (also available on Video on Demand) 8-11
$2,543 in 6 theaters (+4); PTA: $424; Cumulative: $13,432
Streaming was added this week, where most of the viewing will be for William Friedkin’s documentary return to the world of exorcisms.
Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000)
Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) Week 6
$1,400,000 in 1,001 theaters (-946); Cumulative: $27,021,000
Wes Anderson’s second animated feature has now past the gross of his earlier “Fantastic Mr. Fox” which grossed $25,200,000 (adjusted) in 2009. And it did that without the year end holiday boost “Fox” received.
You Were Never Really Here (Amazon) Week 3
$351,831 in 233 theaters (+50); Cumulative: $1,795,000
Amazon has pushed Lynne Ramsay’s acclaimed drama with Joaquin Phoenix out to theaters nationwide. The tough subject matter looks to be limiting the response with further expansion leading to diminished results.
Beirut (Bleecker Street) Week 3
$257,779 in 237 theaters (-518); Cumulative: $4,502,000
Jon Hamm’s latest leading role in this Mideast hostage rescue drama is fading fast with a mid-level wide release looking to come in around $5 million.
Lean On Pete (A24) Week 4
$240,380 in 167 theaters (+98); Cumulative: $665,110
The first American film from Andrew Haigh (“45 Years”) is getting a nationwide art house release. The response so far has been modest for this coming-of-age story of a teenager who finds purpose when he bonds with a horse.
The Death of Stalin (IFC) Week 8
$210,478 in 150 theaters (-60); Cumulative: $7,203,000
Political/historical satire, particularly for events over 60 years ago in a foreign setting, is not an easy sell. That makes the total for this imagining of how the Soviet tyrant’s demise went down even more impressive. This didn’t achieve (nor was expected to) the crossover appeal of some recent specialized successes, but has more than doubled the result of “Veep” director Armando Iannucci’s earlier contemporary American-set “In the Loop.”
The Rider (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 3
$188,338 in 37 theaters (+28); Cumulative: $357,672
Chloe Zhao’s heartland portrait is gaining traction as it widens. Though its average theater is grossing around a quarter of “The Death of Stalin” at around the same number of venues, it saw a healthy Saturday increase and some signs that word of mouth will sustain this as it expands further to a decent result.
Courtesy of Roadside Attractions
Finding Your Feet (Roadside Attractions) Week 5
$123,790 in 102 theaters (-89); Cumulative: $1,158,000
This middle-age English romantic comedy looks to be on its last legs.
The Leisure Seeker (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 17
$104,759 in 117 theaters (-6); Cumulative: $2,890,000
Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland’s RV road trip, now entering its fifth months, keeps rolling along as it approaches $3 million.
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami (Kino Lorber) – $41,059 in theaters; Cumulative: $182,432
Final Portrait (Sony Pictures Classics) – $37,620 in 69 theaters; Cumulative: $374,721
Izthak (Greenwich) – $34,620 in 30 theaters; Cumulative: $383,105
1945 (Menemsha) – $32,295 in 15 theaters; Cumulative: $604,160
Back to Burgundy (Music Box) – $13,760 in 10 theaters; Cumulative: $186,116
Source: IndieWire film
April 29, 2018
Ashley Judd shared a letter with sexual-assault survivors during a Time’s Up panel at the Tribeca Film Festival yesterday, declaring that “healing is our birthright” and “We can heal. That has been my experience.” Her discussion was with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.
“We may not know, admittedly, how to or even from what we need to heal. It may be the event itself or vivid or dull memories of it, and it is entirely plausible that we don’t even remember the event,” Judd says. She was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment last fall.
“Healing is our birthright,” she continued. “It was not our birthright to be sexually harassed or assaulted or raped based on social constructs of gender, biology, sex, identity, orientation, ethnicity, race, ability, or any intersection thereof. It is our birthright to know in our bones that it wasn’t our fault. We humans hurt each other and sometimes we hurt ourselves, but we can make decisions and take actions that free us.”
“This is not fair. Let’s be plain,” Judd said. “It isn’t right or fair that one out of four girls and one out of six boys will be sexually assaulted, by conservative estimates, by the age of 18 — amongst other catastrophic statistics. But, and this is everything, my friends, when we become aware of our pain and have some education about it, we become responsible for addressing our pain in effective and healthy ways.”
“You are not alone. I believe you, and it wasn’t your fault,” she said at the end of her letter. “The facts do remain the facts, but we know our preciousness and our fierceness. Healing, damn it, is our birthright.”
Source: IndieWire film
April 29, 2018
Which traits do successful editors possess that help them craft dynamic visual stories?
Editing is an art form that dwells in both the technological side and creative side of filmmaking, which means its craftspeople have to be just as tech savvy as they are artistic. With so many skills and attributes that benefit the craft in different ways, what are some of the more crucial ones that young editors can learn to hone early on? In this short video, editor Roy Schneider gives a basic explanation of what an editor is, but in doing so, provides a pretty solid argument as to why storytelling, instinct, and versatility are some of the most important characteristics in successful editors.
Great editors are a lot of things: they are hardworking, adaptable, and able to nurture a director’s vision while still employing their own expertise in the editing room. However, Schneider touches on three traits in particular that form the foundation of every great editor.
April 29, 2018
Time’s Up Celebrates a Culture Changing Through ‘Dialogues, Not Monologues’ at First New York City Event — Tribeca
Time’s Up didn’t waste a minute during its inaugural New York City event, presenting a full day’s worth of events on Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival. The organization, started earlier this year in the wake of allegations against multiple powerful men in the entertainment industry and formed with the hope to finally eradicate sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond, took over the festival’s downtown hub on the penultimate day of the annual New York fest with a packed slate of conversations and panels involving women from all walks of life.
The program included dozens of participants hitting the main stage, including activists, filmmakers, storytellers, journalists, lawyers, and actresses. Though still in its early stages, the movement has been vocal in its stance that the organization should be focused on the future and healing wounds, not just rehashing the problems it so vehemently wants to eradicate.
A pair of Time’s Up’s most visible members, actresses Julianne Moore and Jurnee Smollett-Bell, helped kick off the event with a shared speech covering a brief history of the organization’s first few months in existence. As Smollett-Bell explained, the members of Time’s Up are looking forward to continuing to craft “tangible solutions” to the problems the org was created to combat, a concept bolstered by the “collective muscle” that the group has already gathered.
“I believe in dialogues, not monologues,” actress, filmmaker, and Time’s Up member Amber Tamblyn explained during the second half of the day, but it was a theme that had carried throughout the event long before it was spoken.
Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement and an longtime activist, was on hand for a pair of panels, and offered up a sage message of the path to come. “What has to happen now is the work,” she said. “Everybody has a part in this, everybody has a lane, everybody has something they can contribute.”
Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
While the group’s biggest initiative — the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund — has been a key component of the group since its inception, the organization has already spawned a number of related groups to aid women in other industries. Those include Time’s Up Advertising (for the ad industry), Time’s Up Press (for journalists), and Time’s Up Venture (which focuses on women in tech, and has already announced a series of ambitious aims, including doubling the number of female partners in venture technology over the course of the next decade).
Time’s Up is also actively pursuing smaller-scale plans that are decidedly grassroots, including the Plus One Initiative, which was created to connect women in the entertainment industry across all professional levels. Introduced by Desiree Gruber, the founder and CEO of Full Picture, the idea behind Plus One was inspired by, in her words, the simple desire to “get more women in the room where it happens.” The ask behind the plan, known in Time’s Up parlance as +1/x3, is simple: bring one more woman with you to a professional event, then introduce them to three other women she should know.
Women eager to participate in the plan don’t even need be that rigid about it, and Gruber emphasized the importance of practicing its methodology with “quick hits throughout the day,” by simply bringing more women into the professional fold. See a woman who is struggling? Ask them if they need help. Know a woman who would benefit from a quick intro? Do it. Have your own professional questions? Ask another woman.
As Gruber explained, the effects are satisfying and immediate, and can directly result in more women picking up “confidence and a confidant.”
And the Legal Defense Fund hasn’t been slacking. In introducing a panel filled with some of the legal minds behind the fund, Time’s Up member Marisa Tomei announced that the fund, designed to assist survivors of sexual harassment or retaliation across all industries, has already raised $21M in funding and helped more than 2,500 individuals since its inception earlier this year. Not too shabby.
A Changing Culture
Moore and Smollett-Bell’s opening remarks pointed to another recurring theme of the day: how much Time’s Up is focused on inclusion and intersectionality among its membership. Beyond the known star power onstage, Time’s Up Day also included speeches and panels with women pushing for justice in industries outside of Hollywood, including farm workers, restaurant employees, and representatives from the hotel union.
As Moore said, “every woman has a story to tell,” but that doesn’t discount the contributions that people who don’t identify as women can make to pushing towards the kind of equality and safety that the organization is championing. United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka explained in her own rousing speech, “everyone benefits in a gender-equal society.”
Such a push toward equality has also begun to be more recognized in entertainment culture, and the various participating panelists spoke that shift, including a group of actresses assembled to discuss “Reclaiming the Narrative,” including Lupita Nyong’o, Cynthia Erivo, Mira Sorvino, and Tamblyn.
Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
Nyong’o was particularly effusive about how she’s been able to use her rising status in the industry (one Oscar, so far) to flip the script on the stories being told. “Part of changing the narrative is changing the perspective,” she said, a sentiment she continues to put into action through her projects, many of them centered on African stories, including upcoming adaptations of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “Americanah” and Trevor Noah’s memoir “Born a Crime.”
Time’s Up member and actress Sienna Miller was also on hand to introduce a panel of some of Hollywood’s most unique female filmmakers currently working today, and she noted that such a panel spoke to the desire for more “honest, inclusive, and representative stories” to be told. The group included directors Haifaa Al-Mansour, Kimberly Reed, Jennifer Fox, and producer Lisa Cortes, who all spoke about their newest projects and the rapidly changing nature of the industry at large.
And while the tone of that panel was mostly positive, its participants also acknowledged that change wasn’t going to be easy, and would continue to require many people to ask for more from those in positions of power. As Cortes wryly said of a common excuse when it comes to hiring more diverse talent, “The argument that ‘I don’t know anybody’ is bullshit.”
Mostly, though, the event was set on galvanizing the importance and power of a movement still in its infancy, one that will only continue to work with the active and loud participation of many. Mlambo-Ngucka put it succinctly at the end of her talk, telling a room full of eager participants: “We have to end this and we have to end this together.”
Learn more about Time’s Up at its official website.
Source: IndieWire film
April 29, 2018
Want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your GorillaPod? Here are some positions to bend and twist it into.
JOBY’s GorillaPods are super popular and super useful. You can wrap the arms around a pole or tree branch to shoot from a sweet POV, you can spread the arms a bit to create a tabletop tripod for stable shooting, or you can keep the arms straight (like a boring person) and use it like a big, bubbly selfie stick. Whether you’re thinking about buying one or have had yours for years, there might be some positions in which you’ve never thought to put a GorillaPod, but this video from Tausif Hussain will show you five clever setups that will not only make your rig easier to maneuver but will also help you capture more cinematic camera movements.
Here are the five different positions Hussain demonstrates in the video:
April 29, 2018
LUTs aren’t magic. They only enhance the magic you’ve already created.
LUTs can be powerful tools to use when calibrating a monitor or grading your footage, but many new filmmakers aren’t quite sure what they are or what they’re limitations are. Many beginners I’ve talked to think of LUTs like they do an Instagram filter: they make a boring image awesome by giving it a vintage, vibrant, or dynamic look, but that’s not really the best or most mature way to approach applying these things to your footage.
In this video, colorist Casey Faris goes over some LUT basics, explaining what they are, how they work, and how they can be used properly to enhance your footage. Check it out below:
April 27, 2018
Turn a single car into a fleet, a single soldier into an army, or a single banana into a bunch with this sweet effect.
If duplicating objects in real life were as easy as it is in post-production, we’d all have a 100 chairs like Jacqueline White. But even if centuplicating our single-seat furniture will never be achieved in our narrow human reality, it can be in our films if you know how to do a little masking and rotoscoping. In this tutorial, the team over at Film Riot walks you through the steps of “copying and pasting” an object (any object) that appears in your scene and making it look realistic, natural, and friggin’ amazing. Check it out below:
The entire process is too lengthy and intricate for me to summarize here in words, but if you take the time to set yourself up in After Effects and follow along with the tutorial, you shouldn’t have much trouble, especially if you know your way around masking and rotoscoping.
April 27, 2018
You recorded some audio, huh? You forgot to turn off the AC, didn’t you? Come here, buddy. Let’s clean it up.
It’s the dumbest, most aggravating mistake that I made constantly in my early days of filmmaking: forgetting to turn off fans, AC units, washing machines, and other humming, beeping, annoying electronics. It almost ruined one of my college documentaries, because, like a genius, I decided sitting next to a dishwasher mid-cycle was a good time and place to record audio, and instead of being able to hear this WWII veteran’s emotional account of being stationed near Pearl Harbor during the 1941 attack, all you can hear are friggin’ sprayers blasting dirty dishes.
There are ways to fix this, though, and many post-production apps have very powerful tools that can help you reduce the amount of noise in your audio. In this video, Logan Baker of Shutterstock shows you how to do it in Adobe Audition in just minutes. Check it out below: