22nd Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) Award Nominations Announced

The Favourite, Roma, and If Beale Street Could Talk top the nominations list for the 2018 Online Film Critics Society Awards (OFCS). The winners will be revealed 2nd January 2019. 


BEST PICTURE
Annihilation
BlacKkKlansman
Eighth Grade
The Favourite
First Reformed
Hereditary
If Beale Street Could Talk
Roma
A Star Is Born
Suspiria
You Were Never Really Here

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here

BEST LEAD ACTOR

Christian Bale – Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman

BEST LEAD ACTRESS
Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
Toni Collette – Hereditary
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Regina Hall – Support the Girls
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther
Steven Yeun – Burning

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Elizabeth Debicki – Widows
Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Thomasin McKenzie – Leave No Trace
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Eighth Grade
The Favourite
First Reformed
Roma
Sorry to Bother You

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BlacKkKlansman
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
Leave No Trace
Widows

BEST EDITING
The Favourite
First Man
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Roma
Widows

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Cold War
The Favourite
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Roma

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Black Panther
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Suspiria

BEST DEBUT FEATURE

Ari Aster – Hereditary
Bo Burnham – Eighth Grade
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Carlos López Estrada – Blindspotting
Boots Riley – Sorry to Bother You

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Burning
Cold War
Roma
Shoplifters
Zama

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Free Solo
Minding the Gap
Shirkers
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

 

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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 Equalizer 2’ Guns Down The Competition In A Tight Finish

Written by Dapo Olowu

It’s weekends like these that remind me why I love the Box Office. Just when you thought ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!’ would dance away with the number one spot, it was Antoine Fuqua’s ‘The Equalizer 2’ that had the last laugh — earning $36m in its opening weekend, just $1m above ‘Mamma Mia 2’s $35m. ‘E2’, Denzel Washington’s first ever sequel, went into Saturday $1m below MM2’ but had the benefit of not being as front-loaded, with Friday making up just 37% of its weekend gross (compared to ‘MM2’s 41%). This may be down to ‘MM2’s skewed opening audience (83% women) but nevertheless, it’s a solid start for both.

The opening of ‘E2’ marks Denzel Washington’s 3rd biggest ever, behind 2007s ‘American Gangster’ ($43.6m) and 2012s ‘Safe House’ ($40.2m); it’s also Antoine Fuqua’s biggest, beating another Denzel-collab, 2016s ‘The Magnificent Seven’ ($34.7m). Meanwhile, ‘MM2’s officially the third biggest musical opening of all time, just ahead of ‘Enchanted’ ($34.4m), and although the film probably won’t reach a 5.19x opening weekend multiplier like ‘MM’ did in 2008, a strong finish is still expected. The musical also opened to $42.4m overseas, including $13m from the U.K.

On a studio level, this marks a second consecutive weekend at the top for Sony, whose last double triumph was back in January, when ‘Jumanji 2’ brought in the new year at number one for three straight weeks. Looking forward to next weekend, Sony would be lucky to remain in the top 3, with the introduction of Tom Cruise’s ‘MI6: Fallout’ and DC animation, ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’.

On the topic of Sony, ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ had the biggest 2nd week drop in the franchise, falling nearly 50% to post a $23.8m gross. It’s already made $208.1m worldwide since its release, marking a very prosperous few weeks for the company who’ve had a mixed year so far. In fourth place was ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ earning a solid $16.5m to leave it $15m shy (in just its 3rd weekend) of equalling the $180.2m domestic total made by ‘Ant-Man’ 3 years ago.

With the smallest drop of the weekend, ‘Incredibles 2’s $11.9m gross (a fall of just 27%) leaves it under $50m away from being the 3rd film of the year to reach $600m in the U.S., and just $60m away from making $1bn worldwide. The Rock’s ‘Skyscraper’ only just made it past ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, making $11.4m compared to ‘JW2’s $11.3m. Although the former was able to open in China to $47m (during the Chinese cinema’s Hollywood blackout period, too), this still won’t be enough to save it from being a flop.

Horror, ‘The First Purge’, produced no shocks, earning in-line with our expectations ($5.1m), while BH Tilt’s ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ grossed just $3.7m from 1,546 cinemas. Finally, Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ added nearly 250 cinemas to its roster, but couldn’t improve its total from last week, finishing with just $2.9m.

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Weekend BO Predictions: Two New Releases Go Head-to-Head For Top Spot, But Only Will Be Crowned The $30m Dancing Queen

Written by Dapo Olowu

Three new sequels aim to please U.S. audiences this weekend, with star-studded ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!’, Denzel Washington’s ‘Equalizer 2’, and Blumhouse’s ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’ dropping into thousands of cinemas each. ‘Mamma Mia 2’, the successor of the 2008 bombshell that hit a high note of $615.7m worldwide (4th biggest musical ever), is set exactly 10 years on from the first and sees the return of (but not limited to) Donna (Streep) and Sophie (Amanda), and the introduction of Andy Garcia and Lily James.

Hoping to better ‘Mamma Mia’s unspectacular $27.8m opening, ‘MM2’ will also be aware that any opening above $30m would ensure it’s one of the 5 biggest Musical openings ever – and with a warm reception (80% on the Tomatometer), this may just happen. We’re expecting a gross around $36m, to sit comfortably between 2007s ‘Enchanted’ ($34.4m) and 2008s ‘High School Musical 3’ ($42m), but a far cry from 2017s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in number one ($174.8m).

It’s not the size of the opening that matters here, however, as musicals generally have strong Box Office lungs (‘The Greatest Showman’ is still in U.S. cinemas 8 months on). The previous film in 2008 achieved a phenomenal 5.19x opening weekend multiplier, for a domestic finish of $144.1m. ‘MM2’ is destined to be more front-loaded, but a domestic finish over $100m is almost ensured, and a huge worldwide gross to offset its $70m production cost is a guarantee, leaving many wondering, why didn’t this film come sooner?

Two Sony films battle for second place in ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ and ‘Equalizer 2’, and it’s looking like a close fight between the pair. While ‘HT3’ is looking to check in ahead of its prequels at just over $26m, Denzel Washington’s first ever sequel ‘E2’ is failing to hit ‘The Equaliser’s target of $34.1m – a target that then reached $101.5m in the States and $192.3m worldwide. ‘E2’s underwhelming RT score pales in comparison (41% vs. 60%), and is looking at a drop similar to ‘London Has Fallen’, which opened at 29% under director Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ back in 2016. A similar-ish drop gives both Fuqua and Denzel (in their 4th film together) a $25.5m opening, a long-shot away from original tracking of over $30m.

The shoot-em-up sees Denzel back as Robert McCall, the retired CIA Blacks Ops operative, avenging the death of an old friend. It stars Pedro Pascal and Ashton Sanders, as well as Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo. It’s cast, like ‘MM2’ is stacked with talent, but unlike ‘MM2’, which is opening in 41 markets worldwide, news on ‘E2’s international release is limited, and with ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ opening next weekend, ‘E2’ may find itself outgunned very quickly.

This weekend also sees ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ in its 3rd weekend, and this looks to stabilise after a heavy 2nd weekend fall with $14.8m. The disappointment of ‘Skyscraper’ looks to continue, as it’ll earn just over $10m, just above ‘Incredibles 2’ as the latter continues its impressive run. Universal’s ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ will aim to earn close to $9.7m, and ‘The First Purge’ and ‘Sorry to Bother You’ will gross $5.1m and $4m each.

Rounding off this weekend is Blumhouse Tilt’s ‘Unfriended: Dark Web’, the $1m-budgeted horror looking to cause a scare In the top ten. Opening in just 1,500 cinemas (like most of BH Tilt’s releases), the film acts as a stand-alone sequel to 2014s ‘Unfriended’, with a completely different cast, including ‘Get Out’s Betty Gabriel, and Colin Woodell. Opening in over 1,000 cinemas less than ‘Unfriended’ means any chances of ‘U2’ opening close to the former’s $15.8m is near impossible, and should earn around $4m, in-line with BH Tilt’s other releases.

With one of the first weekends ever where 8 sequels making up the top ten is upon us, what do you think will be the biggest surprise? Will ‘Mamma Mia 2’ dance ahead of the pack, or will ‘Equalizer 2’ hunt down the competition? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Report: ‘Skyscraper’ Fails To Hit Predicted Heights

Written by Dapo Olowu

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ coasted to first place in the domestic Box Office this weekend, marking the third time a film in the franchise debuted atop the U.S. charts. Its $44.1m gross, in-line with the $42.5m made by ‘HT1’ and the $48.5m earned by ‘HT2’, came from an audience which gave the animated-comedy an A- on Cinemascore (exactly the same as its predecessors).

Its domestic gross was also complimented by an overseas total of $46.4m across 44 countries (including topping the charts in over 30 territories), making enough to top the international charts too. Made on an $80m budget, the film follows Dracula (Sandler) and his family (Samberg and co) taking time off from running the hotel to get a holiday of their own. They can’t rest too easily, however, as competition, in the form of ‘Teen Titans Go! To The Movies’, hits cinemas in just 2 weeks.  

Earning $15m less than ‘HT3’ was ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, dropping like a fly in its second weekend, to post $29.1. Its 62% fall was reminiscent of MCU-fan favourite ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, which saw a similar drop in its second weekend, after the release of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’. ‘SM:HC’, of course, rebounded for a domestic finish of $334.2m. A similar multiplier for ‘Ant-Man 2’ gives a U.S. total of $216.8m — a healthy return for a film yet to open in China, and for one not expected to truly break-out at all.

If ‘Ant-Man 2’s performance this week was disappointing, then The Rock’s ‘Skyscraper’ was all but a flop. Earning just $24.9m in its first 3 days from a $125m budget, it marks Dwayne Johnson’s worst opening since last May’s ‘Baywatch’. While a year may not seem long for us mere humans, it actually marks a period in which 4 (yes, 4) films starring The Rock have been released. It’s average B+ on Cinemascore, nor its 50% on the Tomatometer, can save ‘Skyscraper’ from being a domestic bomb.

The film only made $40.4m in international markets, as numbers across the globe continue to make for a depressing viewing. The film (co-financed by a Chinese-owned company) now relies heavily on the Chinese market, where it doesn’t open until Friday, to recoup the large amounts of money spent. The hope here is that Dwayne Johnson-fatigue hasn’t set in, unlike in the U.S., where audiences may just be a little too used to his presence on the big screen.

Incredibles 2’ held well against strong competition to gross a remarkable $16.3m in its 5th weekend, for a domestic total of $535.9m. This makes it the 9th biggest domestic film of all time, taking the place of ‘The Dark Knight’ (which started 2018 in 7th place). Its global take of $858.5m is the most impressive figure here, as the film hasn’t yet opened in countries such as Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Italy. The aim now is for ‘I2’ to join the list of only six (‘Frozen’, ‘Minions’, ‘Toy Story 3’, ‘Despicable Me 3’, ‘Finding Dory’ and ‘Zootopia’) animated films to break $1bn.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ continued to perform well this weekend, earning $16.2m in the U.S., as well as a Universal Studio-record $12.7m opening in Japan — making a $364m domestic and $1.14bn global total respectively. Horror, ‘The First Purge’, delivered well against expectations, dropping by just 46% to earn $9.3m. Possibly the biggest surprise this week was Boots Riley’s ‘Sorry to Bother You’ earning $4.2m to reach 7th place, beating our $2.6m predictions by Saturday afternoon. This was more than enough to leapfrog ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ ($3.9m), ‘Uncle Drew’ ($3.2m), and ‘Ocean’s 8’ ($2.9m), who are likely to leave the top ten after this week.

Just how badly will ‘Skyscraper’ do? Was it to be expected? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Checks In At First Place In A Tight Weekend

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Written by Dapo Olowu

Real estate rules the Box Office this weekend, with Genndy Tartakovsky’s ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ looking to tower over ‘Skyscraper’ in the U.S. The Sony-produced ‘HT3’, which stars the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Selena Gomez (among many others), currently hosts 63% on the Tomatometer — by far the best of the franchise and better than ‘Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’, which opened to $41.7m in 2009.

Similarly, ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ grossed $41.3m in its first 3 days, so a $42m gross for ‘HT3’ isn’t unrealistic. This would make it the smallest opening of the trilogy (by just $500k, mind), but a strong start on an $80m budget nonetheless. Being the first summer opening of the franchise, this could see it fair better than the trilogy-best $473.2m global gross, made by ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’.

Falling just short is Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Skyscraper’, with tracking showing it’ll open its doors to a $35m gross, similar to his last film ‘Rampage’ ($35.8m). The $125m-budget action flick reunites The Rock with director Rawson Marshall Thurber, who directed hit comedy ‘Central Intelligence’ (which opened to $35.5m) in the summer of 2016. ‘Skyscraper’ also stars Neve Campbell as Sarah Sawyer, the wife of The Rock’s character, Will, as well as Chin Han and Pablo Schreiber.

‘Skyscraper’ opens across 56 foreign countries this weekend as it looks to take pole position internationally, furthering Dwayne Johnson’s overseas star-power in the process. But, its 51% on Rotten Tomatoes might just hinder its staying power in the U.S.

Ant-Man and the Wasp’ may have its wings clipped this weekend as the 2 major wide releases should gross close to $80m between them. Peyton Reed’s MCU-sequel has seen its dailies almost mirror that of the first ‘Ant-Man’, even though it opened to almost $20m less. A large ‘First Phase’-like drop may be in play, but we at JUMPCUT are an optimistic bunch, and can see ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ buzzing close to $32.6m.

This weekend finally sees ‘Incredibles 2’ leapfrog ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’, even though the former has direct animated competition in ‘HT3’. ‘Incredibles 2’ should open around $18.5m — a similar drop to last weekend’s, while ‘JW:FK’ will pull in around $16m. Blumhouse-produced horror ‘The First Purge’ will endure a front-loaded nightmare, and could see a weekend drop above 60%. A $6.6m gross will see the film close in on a $60m gross worldwide, a number ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ will pass by Saturday, with a weekend gross of $3.8m.

Closing in on ‘Sicario 2’ is sports-comedy ‘Uncle Drew’, playing for a $3.7m gross this weekend, while ‘Ocean’s 8’ looks to sneak in around $2.9m. We also see rapper-turned-director, Boots Riley’s star-studded ‘Sorry to Bother You’ open in wide release by expanding into over 800 cinemas. ‘Sorry to Bother You’, released by Annapurna Pictures, stars ‘Get Out’ and ‘Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield, alongside ‘Creed’ and ‘Thor: Ragnarok’s Tessa Thompson, as well as Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, and Armie Hammer. The independent film looks to open around $2.6m, based on last summer’s comedy ‘The Big Sick’s per-cinema average in wide release.

In a tight race to the top of the Box Office, who do you think will prevail? How well will ‘Sorry to Bother You’ do in its wide release? Let us know your thoughts on Instagram and Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

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Sorry To Bother You

 

Year: 2018
Directed by: Boots Riley
Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermain Fowler, Terry Crews, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwick, Danny Glover

Written by Fiona Underhill

When I heard about the cast of this film towards the end of last year, my excitement levels went through the roof. Lakeith Stanfield was an extremely hot property after ‘Atlanta’ and ‘Get Out’, Tessa Thompson’s star had risen in 2017 with ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (and only increased this year with ‘Annihilation’ and ‘Dirty Computer’) and then there’s Armie Hammer, who was at the height of ‘Call Me By Your Name’ mania when we first heard about ‘Sorry to Bother You’. Debut director and hip-hop star Boots Riley perfectly timed assembling this ultra-cool cast and he came up with an exciting, risk-taking and original idea to complement them. This film has been my most-anticipated of 2018 for six months and it still managed to exceed my expectations. It’s more surprising, crazier, extreme and amazing than you can possibly imagine.

If you CAN go and see it, then run, don’t walk to your nearest cinema!

Cassius ‘Cash’ Green (Lakeith Stanfield) lives with his artist girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson) in his Uncle Serge’s (Terry Crews) garage. He desperately needs a job, so goes to a telemarketing company to  try and work his way up. There he meets Langston (Danny Glover), who tells him that if he puts on a ‘white voice’, his calls will be more successful and he’ll make more money. He also meets Squeeze (a fantastic Steven Yeun), who along with Cash’s old friend Salvador (Jermaine Fowler) wants to unionize the workers at the company and demand benefits. Cash starts to gain success and begins to make his way towards becoming a coveted ‘Power Caller’; someone who gets to ride the gold elevator with a mysterious unnamed character (Omari Hardwick) to the top floor and make sales calls on a completely different level (selling arms and people – literally). He then finds himself torn between the promise of untold riches (and helping his Uncle save his home) and his friends and girlfriend on the bottom floor, trying to keep things real. This plot summary barely scratches the surface of what actually happens and especially the final third of the film goes in a completely unforseen direction. I urge you to try to remain as spoiler-free as you can, going in, because that will only add to the enjoyment.

The visual inventiveness that Riley has achieved on what was presumably a pretty small budget is insane. There are so many brilliant touches; when Cash is making his calls, you see him actually go into the homes of each of his targets and interact with them. When Cash starts to gain success, his new flashy belongings, like his TV set, grow out of his old worn items. The hair, make-up and costumes (particularly of Detroit) are witty, inventive and clever. The scene where Detroit opens her art show in a gallery, with performance art aspects is amazing. Omari Hardwick’s unnamed character is straight out of a Magritte painting with his bowler hat and apple, this time with the addition of an enormous handle bar moustache/beard. Everything about Armie Hammer’s character Steve Lift is bananas. He wears a kind of kilt/sarong, leather boots, a crop and they’ve even given him the subtle touch of David Bowie’s different coloured eyes, adding to his svengali-like status – you believe he could hypnotise you.

There are multiple themes running through the many layers of ‘Sorry to Bother You’ and a review isn’t really the right place to delve into the depths of them. This film will be analysed and picked apart, as it should be and the best people to do that with this film are people of colour (eg. Angelique Jackson, Soraya McDonald, Robert Daniels). This film has much to say about what black people have to face in white spaces and what they have to do to succeed in white-dominated worlds. The changing of register is just one example of how black people are dehumanised and that theme is taken to the extreme by the end. There is a sub-plot involving white people being used as slave labour which could have whole essays written about it in itself. There are parts of this film that will confront and disrupt the comfort of the viewer and there are parts that are hard to watch and listen to. But maybe that should be the case in a film that is revealing and highlighting what some black people have to live every day.

Yes, this film is hilarious and had the audience in hysterics, but it definitely will leave you with much to think about afterwards.

If there were any justice in the world, Stanfield would be in the running for an Oscar-nomination next February. His lead performance here is astounding and Thompson supports him with her incredible magnetism, commanding the screen whenever she is on it. This is one of the best debut feature films from a first time writer-director I’ve ever seen. Riley has been incredibly bold, inventive and has not compromised his unique voice. It’s an extremely well structured and edited film, with creative visual effects that are clever low-budget solutions, making a more interesting film than higher-budget blockbusters. I cannot recommend ‘Sorry to Bother You’ highly enough and I just hope that the international rights are sorted out, so audiences in the UK and beyond can see this film as soon as possible.

Fiona’s Rating:

5

Watch The Brilliantly Bizarre Trailer For ‘Sorry To Bother You’

“In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe.”

Directed by: Boots Riley

Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Patton Oswalt, Steven Yeun, Terry Crews, David Cross, Danny Glover

Release Date: July 6th, 2018