The Indies Came Out to Play

Written by Fernando Andrade

In a year with so many great independent films, it was rewarding to see so many different movies get love with this year’s Film Independent Spirit Award nominations. While it seems like bigger studio films will get the push for the Golden Globes and Oscar’s, a lot of these films will be relegated to just these independent awards, but maybe, these nominations will lead to some much-needed momentum come later in the awards season.

Just like last year, A24 dominated with a total of 12 nominations. Bo Burnham’s ‘Eighth Grade’ received nominations for best female lead in Elsie Fisher, best supporting male actor in Josh Hamilton, best first screenplay, and best feature. Surprisingly enough it did not get nominated for best first feature, but maybe that came down to the members wanting to spread the love since Ari Aster’s ‘Hereditary’ gave A24 a nominee in that category, as well as best female lead with Toni Collette. Paul Schrader’s ‘First Reformed’ also helped A24 with nominations in best feature, best director, best male lead, and best screenplay. While Jonah Hill’s directorial debut ‘Mid90’s’ only managed to get a best editing nomination.

Amazon, Netflix, and The Orchard, while nowhere near A24, performed well, with 6 nominations each. The Orchard does get bragging rights over A24 as ‘We the Animals’ picked up the single most nominations for a film with 5. Amazon was lead by Lynne Ramsay’s ‘You were never Really Here’ with 4 nominations, and Suspiria picked up a nomination for best cinematography and was awarded the prestigious Robert Altman Award. Netflix surprised many with its Indie hit ‘Private Life’ getting 3 nominations including best director, best supporting female actor, and best screenplay. They also received two best international film nominations with ‘Roma’ and‘Happy as Lazzaro’ both which were not eligible for other award consideration.

Annapurna also managed to snag an impressive 5 nominees thanks to Barry Jenkins’ ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ and Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’. Jenkins, who’s last film ‘Moonlight’ won best feature in 2016, once again sees his film receive a nomination for best feature along with himself for best director.

Other notable stand outs we want to highlight are Helena Howard and Ashley Connor who received nominations for best female lead and best cinematography respectively for there work on ‘Madelines Madeline’. Benjamin Loeb was nominated for cinematography for his work on Mandy. Daveed Diggs was nominated for his performance in ‘Blindspotting’ as well as John Cho for his performance in ‘Searching’. In a year with exceptional documentaries, two which are loved here at Jumpcut which got nominations are ‘Minding the Gap’ and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’. Jim Cummings film ‘Thunder Road’ also was nominated for the John Cassavetes Award for films budgeted at less than $500,000.

Some of the bigger studios this year seemed to be overshadowed, as Focus Features, Sony Picture Classics, and Fox Searchlight all had trouble breaking into the fold. Focus only managed 3 nominees with ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’, Adam Driver for his supporting role in ‘BlackKklansman’, and best screenplay for ‘Thoroughbreds’. Fox Searchlight only saw 2 nominations for ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ and one wasn’t even Melissa McCarthy, but instead Richard E. Grant and a best screenplay nomination. There third came in the form of Yorgos Lanthimos’ ‘The Favourite’ for best international film. Sony Picture Classics, which last year performed exceptionally well thanks to ‘Call Me By Your Name’ only managed a single nominations this year with Glenn Close for best female lead in ‘The Wife’.

Also, worth noting is the amount of inclusion from this year’s nominees. Whether its three female directors being nominated for best director, to three of the five best male leads being people of color, and a lot more spread throughout the nominations in every category, it is always great seeing diversity.

This year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards will take place on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019.

FULL LIST OF NOMINEES:

Best Feature

EIGHTH GRADE

FIRST REFORMED

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

LEAVE NO TRACE

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Best Director

Debra Granik, LEAVE NO TRACE

Barry Jenkins, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE

Lynne Ramsay, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Paul Schrader, FIRST REFORMED

Best First Feature

HEREDITARY

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU

THE TALE

WE THE ANIMALS

WILDLIFE

Best Male Lead

John Cho, SEARCHING

Daveed Diggs, BLINDSPOTTING

Ethan Hawke, FIRST REFORMED

Christian Malheiros, SÓCRATES

Joaquin Phoenix, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Best Female Lead

Glenn Close, THE WIFE

Toni Collette, HEREDITARY

Elsie Fisher, EIGHTH GRADE

Regina Hall, SUPPORT THE GIRLS

Helena Howard, MADELINE’S MADELINE

Carey Mulligan, WILDLIFE

Best Supporting Female Actor

Kayli Carter, PRIVATE LIFE

Tyne Daly, A BREAD FACTORY

Regina King, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE

J. Smith-Cameron, NANCY

Best Supporting Male Actor

Raúl Castillo, WE THE ANIMALS

Adam Driver, BLACKKKLANSMAN

Richard E. Grant, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Josh Hamilton, EIGHTH GRADE

John David Washington, MONSTERS AND MEN

Best Cinematography

Ashley Connor, MADELINE’S MADELINE

Diego Garcia, WILDLIFE

Benjamin Loeb, MANDY

Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, SUSPIRIA

Zak Mulligan, WE THE ANIMALS

Best Screenplay

Richard Glatzer (Writer/Story By), Rebecca Lenkiewicz & Wash Westmoreland, COLETTE

Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

Tamara Jenkins, PRIVATE LIFE

Boots Riley, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU

Paul Schrader FIRST REFORMED

Best First Screenplay

Bo Burnham, EIGHTH GRADE

Christina Choe, NANCY

Cory Finley, THOROUGHBREDS

Jennifer Fox, THE TALE

Quinn Shephard (Writer/Story By) and Laurie Shephard (Story By), BLAME

Best Editing

Joe Bini, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Keiko Deguchi, Brian A. Kates & Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS

Luke Dunkley, Nick Fenton, Chris Gill & Julian Hart, AMERICAN ANIMALS

Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Levy, THE TALE

Nick Houy, MID90S

Best Documentary

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

MINDING THE GAP

OF FATHERS AND SONS

ON HER SHOULDERS

SHIRKERS

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

Best International Film

BURNING (South Korea)

THE FAVOURITE (United Kingdom)

HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Italy)

ROMA (Mexico)

SHOPLIFTERS (Japan)

The Truer Than Fiction Award

Alexandria Bombach, ON HER SHOULDERS

Bing Liu, MINDING THE GAP

RaMell Ross, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

Producers Award

Jonathan Duffy and Kelly Williams

Gabrielle Nadig

Shrihari Sathe

The Someone to Watch Award

Alex Moratto, SÓCRATES

Ioana Uricaru, LEMONADE

Jeremiah Zagar, WE THE ANIMALS

The Bonnie Award

Debra Granik

Tamara Jenkins

Karyn Kusama

Robert Altman Award

SUSPIRIA

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Casting Directors: Avy Kaufman, Stella Savino

Ensemble Cast: Malgosia Bela, Ingrid Caven, Lutz Ebersdorf, Elena Fokina, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper, Dakota Johnson, Gala Moody, Chloë Grace Moretz, Renée Soutendijk, Tilda Swinton, Sylvie Testud, Angela Winkler

Weekend BO Report: ‘The House With A Clock In Its Walls’ Earns $26m In A Disappointing Weekend For The Rest

Written by Dapo Olowu

Time to sound the alarm! Although ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ over-achieved this Box Office weekend with a $26.6m gross, it’s the disappointing returns from the other three releases that’s the big news. Critically-panned romantic drama ‘Life Itself’, directed by Dan Fogelman and starring Oscar Isaac, didn’t even make the top ten with its $2.1m gross, while edgy black comedy ‘Assassination Nation’ barely made it past $1m.

Not even the great documenter Michael Moore could muster a strong opening, bringing in a paltry $3m from nearly 2,000 cinemas with ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’. It’s a story reflective of this weekend; it’s the smallest Friday-to-Sunday period of 2018 so far with just $91.8m grossed from 100 films.

A massive chunk of that, of course, came from Universal’s fantasy flick ‘The House’ (or ‘THWaCiIW’), which marked the biggest opening of director Eli Roth’s career thus far. Straying away from his usual gory horrors led to a 68% RT score – another career best. It also marks actor Jack Black’s biggest opening of 2018 and 4th biggest live-action opening ever, although doesn’t even sniff the top ten of Hollywood great Cate Blanchett, who stars as Florence Zimmerman, a witch and friend of Black’s character Jonathan Barnavelt, a magical warlock.

The film is matching 2016s fantasy ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Perculiar Children’, which opened to $28.9m at the end of September and finished on a respectable $87.2m, although it’s $110m is almost triple that of ‘The House’s impressive $42m production cost. A similar run through the Halloween period for ‘The House’ will do it nicely, and it’s likely this will be the case, as both boast pretty similar scores on the Tomatometer and on Cinemascore (B+).

Conjurverse’ horror ‘The Nun’ became the 4th film of the franchise to reach the coveted $100m mark domestically, grossing $10m in its 3rd weekend, while last weekend’s winner, ‘The Predator’, fell harshly, barely putting up a fight with $9.2m. Now just $600k over 2010s ‘Predators’ at the same time in its run (which ended with a domestic total of just $52m), the latest film in the Fox franchise is a certified flop.

The same can’t be said for Jon Chu’s ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, which continued to astound by officially breaking the $200m worldwide barrier this weekend. Its $6.3m gross left it ahead of ‘White Boy Rick’ ($4.9m), and marks a 27% drop from last weekend.

Michael Moore can only dream of his latest offering, ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’, living up to those lofty standards. The political documentary, sequel to the biggest documentary of all time in ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’, opened in 1,719 cinemas to just $3m – a whole $20m short of the opening of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ 14 years ago. It marks Moore’s worst wide opening ever, although it’s still his 4th best opening out of the 10 films he’s released since 1989. It’s also the best reviewed of the weekend, as its A on Cinemascore stands tall amongst the B+’s of ‘The House’ and ‘Life Itself’. Silver linings, I guess.

Talking about ‘Life Itself’, the drama, released by Amazon Studios, endured a torrid start to life in U.S. cinemas with just $2.1m, but still bested its R-rated rival ‘Assassination Nation’s $1.1m. Reaching number 11 and 15 respectively, the two films can easily be classified as D.O.A, with the two even managing the unwanted label of earning a per-cinema average of under $1k in their opening weekend.

Although it was a disappointing weekend for many, Universal’s ‘The House’ managed to open alongside both ‘Miss Peregrine’ and ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’, even though it cost a fraction of their budgets. How well do you see this film doing? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘The Predator’ Falls Prey To Bad Press With A $24m Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

One of the likely headaches facing Disney in their upcoming acquisition of 20th Century Fox revolves around the decisions to be made about the future of a few Fox franchises. While some, like ‘Kingsman’, ‘X-Men’, and the ‘Fantastic Four’ are nailed on certainties for continued usage and redevelopment, others, such as the ‘Independence Day’ franchise, are potential casualties in Disney’s pursuit of market domination.

Which brings us to ‘The Predator’.

Made on an eye-watering $88m budget (before another $120m was splashed on promo), Shane Black’s latest directing foray succumbed to its poor critical reception and casting controversy by opening to a measly $24.6m – the 3rd worst opening ever for a film released in over 4,000 cinemas. To put this into context, it’s $12m behind ‘Alien: Covenant’s opening, and even $7m behind last summer’s disappointment ‘The Mummy’.

With its Box Office fight lost before it really even begun, ‘The Predator’ series now falls prey to a potential culling by Disney.

The opening mirrors its 2010 prequel ‘Predators’, which made $24.8m in its opening 3 days, on its way to an so-so $52m domestic finish. While that performance benefited from its $40m budget, a similar domestic finish for ‘The Predator’ puts heavy emphasis on its international gross (which has seen a similarly poor start at just $30.1m).

The performance shouldn’t really be a surprise. Its C+ on Cinemascore and ever-dropping Rotten Tomatoes rating (currently 33%) only compounds the misery of the surrounding negative press, which resulted in the film earning just $6m more than second-place ‘The Nun’, which dropped an expected 66% to earn $18.2m. The horror’s current worldwide total of $229.9m leaves it on track to become the biggest ‘Conjurverse’ film to-date.

Our forecast for ‘A Simple Favor’ may have been optimistic, but its $16m opening from a $20m budget is nonetheless a solid start for the mystery-thriller. With 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, currently sits on $19.5m worldwide, and hopes to leg it out in a similar vein to ‘Gone Girl’.

Meanwhile, crime-drama ‘White Boy Rick’s $8.9m puts it just ahead of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ ($8.7m) and ‘Peppermint’ ($6m) as expected, but those over at Sony may be cursing their decision to greenlight its $29m budget.

The Meg’, a joint American-Chinese production, finally broke the $500m worldwide mark this weekend, and earned $3.9m domestically, ahead of ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’s $2.3m. The action-thriller recently became the biggest domestic hit of the franchise, and currently sits on $216.1m, just ahead of ‘MI:II’s $215.4m. Its weekend earnings scraped ahead of Christian biopic ‘Unbroken: Path to Redemption’, directed by Harold Cronk. Cronk’s second release in consecutive week continued the trend of disappointed openings, as ‘Unbroken’ only got in at number 10 with just $2.2m.

‘The Predator’s poor opening leaves the future of its franchise in a perilous position – is it worth saving? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE

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Weekend BO Predictions: With Just $30m, ‘The Predator’ Can’t Stomach The Controversy

Written by Dapo Olowu

There’s a new film this weekend for (nearly) everyone, with U.S. cinemagoers spoilt for choice between murdering monsters, missing mates, pre-pubescent peddlers, and religious re-awakenings.

If the alliteration doesn’t impress, then perhaps the fact that all four new entries aim to finish in the top ten – a feat that hasn’t been achieved since March – will. Clawing its way to the top of this pile is one of the more controversial films of the year, 20th Century Fox’s ‘The Predator’, which struggles to remain in the spotlight for the right reasons.

The continuation of the ‘Predator’ franchise, which first burst onto screens in 1987 and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger (as well as director Shane Black), hopes to better the series’ best opening of $38.3m, when $60m-budgeted ‘Aliens Vs. Predator’ opened in 2004. This time around, the action flick costs a pricey $88m before marketing, and its 35% Rotten Tomatoes rating isn’t exactly alluring.

However, it’s not even the critical reception that’s the main talking point – people aren’t necessarily expecting a cinematic masterpiece. Shane Black’s decision to cast a registered sex offender has left cast-members (especially Olivia Munn, who shared a scene with the man) and the general public enraged, especially in the midst of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood.

The result? ‘The Predator’s original forecasts of a $35m+ opening continue to drop by the day in the midst of poor PR. The film, originally was meant to star Benicio del Toro, 50 Cent, and even Arnie himself, still brags a star lineup, with the aforementioned Munn joined by Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Keegan-Michael Key, and Sterling K. Brown. It follows the attack of a new group of predators, and the attempts to stop them.

Other sci-fi action films, or monster movies in a similar vein leave the film opening in the $35m+ region, and we at JUMPCUT think a $30m opening is bang on the money, leaving it well clear of last weekend’s winner ‘The Nun’, but well below even that of 2017s ‘Alien: Covenant’ ($36.2m).

A Simple Favor’, Paul Feig’s adaptation of last year’s book of the same name, looks to target an entirely different crowd than ‘The Predator’s, and aims to kick off with a $20m start. Starring Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Henry Golding, it involves a blogger’s search for her missing best friend.

As recent female-centric book adaptations go, ‘Gone Girl’s $37.5m opening and ‘A Girl on the Train’s $24.5m makes for good reading. Coupled with Paul Feig’s excellent recent track record this decade (his films have all opened to at least $26m), there’s no reason why ‘ASF’ couldn’t open higher – although the R-rated competition already prevalent in newbies ‘The Predator’ and ‘White Boy Rick’ hinders potential growth.

The latter, which holds possibly the best film title of the year so far, opens in just 2,500 cinemas, compared to ‘The Predator’s 4,037 and ‘A Simple Favor’s 3,102. It’s a remarkable story, about the youngest FBI informant in history, 14-year-old Richard Wershe Jr. Starring Richie Merritt as Rick, and Matthew McConaughey as his father, the crime drama should open close to last month’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’, with around $9.6m, just ahead of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ at $8.2m, and ‘Peppermint’ at $6m.

Finally, in our last new entry we have Harold Cronk’s second effort in consecutive weekends, with Christian-biopic ‘Unbroken: Path to Redemption’ following ‘God Bless the Broken Road’. The spiritual sequel to Angelina Jolie’s 2014 hit ‘Unbroken’ (without any of the same cast, mind you) has a more religious focus this time around, a feature renowned in Cronk’s previous work (‘God’s Not Dead’, ‘God’s Not Dead 2’, ‘Jerusalem Countdown’). It’ll be right amongst the competition with its $3.5m gross, battling ‘The Meg’ ($3.5m), ‘Searching’ ($2.8m), and ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ ($2.2m).

We’re optimistic this Box Office weekend, predicting 3 films to gross $20m or over. Will ‘A Simple Favor’ hit the mark? Will ‘The Predator’ succumb to the negativity? Let us know what you think on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘The Nun’ Delivers A Heavenly Franchise-Best $54m Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

This weekend saw ‘The Nun’s holy ascent up to first place in the Box Office charts, with Corin Hardy’s supernatural prequel earning a scary $53.8m in its 3-day debut, smashing ‘The Conjuring’ franchise’s (better known as the CCU) opening record. All praise be to ‘The Nun’, it seems, as its now the biggest horror opening of the year, and the 4th biggest of all time in the States.

Not bad for a film with just 27% on the Tomatometer.

It’s especially remarkable once you realise that the CCU wasn’t initially planned as a franchise, but only came to existence due to the popularity of ‘The Conjuring’. The first spinoff, 2014s ‘Annabelle’, was helmed by ‘The Conjuring’ cinematographer John R. Leonetti, and grossed $257m worldwide. Fast-forward 4 years and newest edition ‘The Nun’, should easily topple that gross by the end of its BO run.

Its overseas earnings are just as impressive. Opening in around 60 countries, the horror, starring Taissa Farmiga (sister to ‘The Conjuring’ actress Vera Farmiga) and Demián Bichir, reached number one in 54 of them, including the U.K. with $5.3m. A near-$80m international start gives the film $133.1m after just 3 days, leaving it a highly profitable investment – off of a $22m budget – for Warner Bros.

The studio hoped to be the first in over 25 years to hold the top 2 places on the BO charts for four consecutive weeks, but fell short at the final hurdle, as ‘Crazy Rich Asians$13.1m wasn’t enough to stay ahead of new release ‘Peppermint’s $13.4m, but still saw more than double that of fellow WB-er ‘The Meg’ ($6.1m).

It was a familiar story for the vigilante-action flick ‘Peppermint’, opening on-par to genre-matching ‘Death Wish’ ($13m), and ‘The Foreigner’ ($13.1m). Its B+ on Cinemascore was furthered its similarities with the pair, and now Pierre Morel’s latest offering will likely finish in the $35m region domestically (again, like the two films). Its R rating predictably drew in the older crowd, with 78% of the opening weekend audience above 25 years old – providing perfect counter-viewing for ‘The Nun’, which saw just 44% of its watchers over 25.

This marks a solid year for Jennifer Garner, whose last film ‘Love Simon’ legged out from a $11.8m start to finish on $40.8m domestically and $66.3m worldwide. John Cho-fronted ‘Searching’ hopes for similar luck, and is currently on track for a domestic finish close to $30m, with its $4.6m weekend. The thriller, now at $32.5m worldwide, beat out ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ as predicted ($3.9m), but the latter now stands at a whopping $726.7m globally, now officially Tom Cruise’s biggest film in his career thus far.

New release ‘God Bless the Broken Road’ flattered to deceive, pulling in a wretched $1.4m from 1,300 theatres, for a per-cinema average of just $1.1k. Although many forecasted an opening closer to ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’s weekend ($3.4m) or even ‘Operation Finale’ ($2.9m), it ended up grossing nearly half of ‘BlacKkKlansman’ ($2.6m) and ‘Alpha’ ($2.5m), for an 11th place finish.

With ‘The Nun’ breaking records just as Andy Muschietti’s ‘It’ did exactly a year ago, just how far can this film go in the Box Office? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘The Nun’ Looks To Conjure Up A $40m+ Opening

Written by Dapo Olowu

The summer may be over, but the big Box Office hitters keep stepping up to the plate as Warner Bros’ ‘The Nun’ looks to keep the high-grossing momentum going. 2018s summer, which culminated in a threepeat win for rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, marked a 14% rise from a year ago and shows no signs of slowing down, with Corin Hardy’s horror expecting to gross over $40m from 3,876 cinemas in its first 3 days – a potential franchise record.

It’s the latest in the highly successful ‘Conjuring Cinematic Universe’, or the CCU (coined by yours truly). The franchise currently houses the 7th, 8th, and 9th biggest horror movies of all time globally in ‘The Conjuring 2’ ($320.4m), ‘The Conjuring’ ($319.5m), and 2017s ‘Annabelle: Creation’ ($306.5m). It’s openings continuously straddle the $40m boundary, with the biggest being ‘The Conjuring’s $41.9m in 2013, and does this regardless of critical reception, meaning that ‘The Nun’s 32% on the Tomatometer (which isn’t the worst in the franchise) remains largely irrelevant.

With American ticket-seller Fandango reporting pre-sales to not only be over that of ‘A Quiet Place’ (that saw a $50m opening in April) but to be greater than the combined sales of the entire CCU, we could even be tempted to push our forecasts closer to $60m, by far a franchise-best. The film stars Taissa Farmiga and Demián Bichir as Sister Irene and Father Burke, who, in 50s Romania, are sent to investigate supernatural happenings in a Monastery.

Although it won’t reach the standards set by horror counter-part ‘It’ exactly 12 months ago, ‘The Nun’ will continue a successful period for Warner Bros after recent hits ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Meg’. It’ll mark the 5th weekend in a row where WB have topped the charts, and last weekend’s winner ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ aims to double the studio’s delight by earning $17m for second place. Nearly a month into its release, it now has a strong chance of equaling ‘Black Panther’s superb feat of remaining in the top 10 for 13 consecutive weekends.

This weekend also sees the release of STXEntertainment’s newest flick ‘Peppermint’, starring Jennifer Garner. Unlike ‘The Nun’, this vigilante-action film isn’t critic-proof, and its less-than-fresh 10% on Rotten Tomatoes will surely hinder any chances of a Box Office breakout. Director Pierre Morel, of ‘Taken’ fame, will hope it performs much like the Liam Neeson blockbuster, but will probably open closer to his next effort, ‘From Paris With Love’ ($8.2m), and likely match the similarly-themed ‘Proud Mary’s $10m.

Thriller ‘Searching’ expands into over 2,000 cinemas this weekend, which will see it leapfrog ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ with a gross around $5.5m, compared to ‘Fallout’s $5m. This won’t be enough to challenge ‘The Meg’ ($6.6m) for fourth place however, but will add some breathing room between it and last week’s newbie ‘Operation Finale’ ($3.6m).

The final new release of the week comes in the form of ‘not-quite-a-Christian-drama’ ‘God Bless The Broken Road’, directed by ‘God’s Not Dead’ helmer Harold Cronk. Based off a song (like March’s $83.5m breakout ‘I Can Only Imagine’) and starring Jordin Sparks, its 1,235 cinema count and 17% Rotten Tomatoes score won’t bless its Box Office numbers this weekend. An opening close to $2m won’t be enough to make the top ten, as it falls behind ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ ($3.5m), ‘Alpha’, and ‘BlacKkKlansman’ (both $2.7m).

All good things come to an end, as ‘The Nun’ seems likely to break ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ stay at the top. Could it really open to over $50m though, or will it fall short like its franchise predecessors? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Results: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Is The Biggest Comedy Of The Year – After Just 20 Days!

Written by Dapo Olowu

After just three weekends in U.S. release, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ once again topped the charts to become the biggest grossing comedy of the year – ‘Deadpool 2’ not included. A $22m gross over the 3-day weekend marks an 11% fall from 7 days ago, allowing Jon Chu’s adaptation of the bestselling 2013 novel of the same name to hit a hattrick of consecutive number ones.

It left both shark-thriller ‘The Meg’, and ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ (which is just $50m away from breaking $700m worldwide) trailing its wake, with $10.5m and $7m respectively. Its Labor Day total brought in $28.6m, just below the 4-day record set by 2007s Halloween ($30.6m).

By Sunday night, the film had made $110.7m domestically, and currently sits at $117.3m – bigger than the global gross of the previous highest-earning comedy of the year ‘Game Night’, and even above 2017s sensation ‘Girls Trip’. It’s record-breaking $5.3m Australian opening (their biggest for a rom-com) gives the film a $20m overseas cushion, and by the time this sentence is over, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ will be sitting on $140m worldwide.

The biggest new release this weekend was MGM’s ‘Operation Finale’, the historical nazi-drama fronted by Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley. Opening on Wednesday, it earned $7.9m by the end of Monday night, including a $6m Friday to Sunday to put it just behind ‘Searching’s $6.1m. Not the best start for Chris Weitz’s $24m-budgeted flick, which hopes to leg it out post-summer.

The aforementioned ‘Searching’ brought in the weekend’s second best per-cinema average of $5k (after ‘Crazy Rich Asians’), as it played in only 1,200 cinemas but still finished fifth in the rankings. The thriller stars John Cho as David Kim, whose on the hunt for his missing daughter Margot (played by Michelle La). Its $8.1m domestic gross and $15.2m global take makes for a solid start after just 1 weekend in wide release.

In what was a true disappointment this weekend, comedy ‘The Happytime Murders’ capitulated by earning a lowly $4.4m. The gross fell below ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’s $5.3m and ‘Alpha’s $4.5m, and will likely become Melissa McCarthy’s lowest grossing film as a lead. The only solace lies in the fact that it at least outgrossed ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and ‘Mile 22’, whose $4.2m and $3.8m earnings placed them 9th and 10th.

Finally, sci-fi action film ‘Kin’ is a certified flop, after earning just $3m from Friday to Sunday. This gross put it below a Disney expansion for ‘Incredibles 2’, which became the first animated film to ever make $600m domestically, by grossing $3.4m from 2,890 cinemas.

With the end of summer officially upon us, which film has surprised you the most? Can ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ continue its impressive Box Office run? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.  

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Weekend BO Predictions: It’s a Hattrick For ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ On Labor Day

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s holiday-time in the United States, with the 4-day Labor Day weekend promising terrifying lows, dizzying highs, and creamy middles. ‘The Simpsons’ references aside, the next few days will be particularly special for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, which aims to end the summer by becoming the first film since ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ in May to top the Box Office charts for three weekends straight by earning around $24m. That’s just a 3% fall from last weekend and means that not even the three new wide releases – historical drama ‘Operation Finale’, John Cho’s ‘Searching’, and sci-fi ‘Kin’ – can realistically compete with.

By Saturday, Jon Chu’s romantic comedy would’ve passed $100m domestically, and by the end of Monday night, could land itself in the top 20 romantic comedies of all time in the U.S. With a 4-day weekend expected to be around the $29m mark (the extra day usually provides a 20% boost), it’s miles ahead of its nearest competitor ‘The Meg’, which will pull in a brilliant $11.5m from Friday to Sunday in its continued hunt for the $500m global total.

Next is new thriller ‘Searching’, the directorial debut of Aneesh Chaganty, which boasts an impressive 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. Drawing similarities with Blumhouse’s 2014 hit ‘Unfriended’ for its ‘POV-of-computer screens’ style, it boasts the far superior critical reception, but its commercial success will be harmed by the underwhelming 1,200 cinema count.

Released last week in just 9 theatres, it earned a surprising $43k per-cinema average and an A on Cinemascore. Can the film, starring John Cho (‘Star Trek’, ‘Harold and Kumar’), Michelle La, and Debra Messing, defy the odds? Possibly. A 3-day gross around $7m is our optimistic view, and should be in amongst ‘The Happytime Murders’ and ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ for a 3rd place finish.

Looking to open close to ‘Searching’ is ‘Operation Finale’, with $5m. The historical drama, directed by Chris Weitz (‘Twilight: New Moon’, ‘About a Boy) and starring Oscar Isaac, Ben Kingsley, and Melanie Laurent, opened on Wednesday to $1m, and tells the true story of the attempts to capture Nazi Adolf Eichmann in the early 60s. A recent Oscar Isaac period piece ‘The Promise’, bombed in the face of controversy with $12.4m worldwide off of a $90m budget, with its 49% on the Tomatometer only slightly worse than ‘Operation Finale’s 61%.

Its $5m gross will marginally improve upon ‘The Promise’s $4.1m, and its budget (around $20m) gives a little bit more breathing space. Still, this will struggle to make an impact against ‘Disney’s Christopher Robin’ ($6m) and ‘Alpha’ ($5.3m), but should have enough to see off ‘BlacKkKlansman’ ($4.7m) and ‘Kin’.

Kin’s the widest release of the newbies this weekend with over 2,000 cinemas, but will struggle the most to secure a top 10 finish. Not even James Franco and Zoe Kravitz can save this sci-fi action flick, with its 32% on Rotten Tomatoes, from being a flop. We’re seeing similarities between this and ‘The Darkest Minds’, which opened to $5.8m a month ago. The fact that ‘Kin’ doesn’t have the luxury of being based on a popular book, however, brings its estimated opening right down to about $4.6m.

With ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Meg’ proving to be runaway successes, this marks a fruitful period for book adaptations, which raises the question: did you see this coming? Let us know if you did or not on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Searching

Year: 2018
Directed byAneesh Chaganty
StarringJohn Cho, Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Michelle La.

WRITTEN BY LUCY BUGLASS

In this digital age, we’ve seen an emergence of films which puts social media and technology at the centre of their narratives. As an example, Unfriended and Friend Request utilise social as a backdrop for horror due to how easy it is to be anonymous online and post truly awful things about people, with dire consequences. With so many of the population frequently using social platforms, it’s unsurprising that filmmakers are choosing to use this as a way of resonating with the modern audience and offering a fresh take on filmmaking.

Searching, on the other hand, uses social media and modern communication to solve the disappearance of a teenage girl. The film focuses primarily on the girl’s father as he searches her laptop and phone for clues into where she could have gone. I can understand people’s apprehension after hearing this synopsis as it took risks and could’ve been terrible from start to finish. Thankfully for me, I loved every minute of it and it’s a strong contender for one of my top films of the year. It’s unique, it’s ambitious and it’s a fantastic piece of storytelling from start to finish. For those who love thrillers and moments that get you on the edge of your seat, this film is absolutely for you. I haven’t seen a thriller this compelling in such a long time.

The entire film is told through FaceTime conversations, webpages, text messages and other forms of online communication. Throughout the course of the film we never see anyone filmed outside of a computer screen, which really helped to set the scene for me. As an audience member I felt like I was physically looking through someone else’s computer, thus helping contribute to the search for missing teenager, Margot Kim (Michelle La). I loved the attention to detail in this film as you’re constantly searching for clues and looking at email subjects, desktop icons, etc to see if you can crack the case. So much effort went into putting all this together and creating the digital footprints of fictional characters, to the point where they feel so real.

In particular, the opening montage of the film is incredibly poignant and the way they told a story purely through messages, videos, etc is stunning. I was impressed with how well they managed to pull it off. I thought the pacing was excellent and the way it teases the audience by not showing us full messages or making us wait for an answer makes us feel even closer to the investigation. I wished I really had access to all the information so I could click on things myself. I also loved the use of hashtags and comments during the event as it feels like exactly how people would react to widespread news, both positively and negatively. Wherever there’s a serious incident, there’s always a few trolls lurking online to cause drama.

John Cho is excellent in his portrayal of recently widowed father David Kim. He experiences a whirlwind of emotion that is clear through both his video conversations and text messages. The relationship between David and Margot is strained and the script illustrates this perfectly, feeding the audience snippets of information until we’re able to put together the full picture of who they are and how they interact with each other. A few of the scenes made me well up as they were so emotionally charged and it’s hard not to feel the despair that he’s feeling. Equal praise must be given to the supporting actors; Debra Messing’s detective character is three dimensional, compelling and utterly invested in the case. Michelle La’s performance of Margot gives us an insight into the life of a teenage girl, where things aren’t always as they seem. The quality of acting throughout is superb and gripping.

Searching is unlike any modern thriller I’ve seen, and actually knows how to do social media and the online world right, without being gimmicky. It’s an unpredictable film that will grip you from the moment you sit down to watch until the final credits roll. Aneesh Chaganty knows how to write a thoroughly engaging and entertaining script, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

LUCY’S RATING:

5