Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/23 Antichrist, Motherh

SS calls the shot on the potential PTA hits.

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Surfer's Limited Release - Weekend 10/23 Antichrist, Motherh

Post by silversurfer19 »

Salutations, and welcome again to your weekly (well, supposedly, I managed to miss last week’s column due to too much drinking, not enough internet connection…[although you would have benefited from missing both new releases as they bombed unceremoniously due to mid size releases]) congregation of all things indie. Hopefully I’ve been providing some welcome information and guidance for your slates, I’ve been a bit and miss so far. I think I have been close to the mark with likes of A Serious Man (which, still failing an expansion is performing with sterling results), More Than A Game, Bronson, The Damned United and Good Hair, while doing not so well with Capitalism (expanded too early) and An Education (never underestimate Nick Hornby). Hopefully I’ll hit the good end of the stick this weekend, and hopefully in doing so I can provide some help in deciding on which limited release movie to either hinge your slate on, avoid like the plague, or merely fill a gap if need be.

Following a severe lack of wide releases recently, many smaller movies which may not normally score as many PTA points have been able to do so (heck, An Education made it two top placings in a row, and with only 12000 PTA last weekend). However, this weekend will not be following that trend, what with four new wide releases this weekend (summarised so expertly by our resident Bard). This hasn’t stifled the number of independent releases, though, with another four on the slate this weekend. How will they fair against such stiff opposition such as the Saw franchise, Amelia and Astro Boy?

First up is Antichrist, the latest movie from probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive director to emerge from Denmark. Taking inspiration from Lynch, Tarkovsky and even Orson Welles, Von Trier became acclaimed for his earlier efforts such as Dancer in The Dark and Breaking The Waves, before making the big time with the likes of Dogville and Manderlay. His movies may sometimes confuse or agitate the viewer (I myself cannot bear to watch Dogville) but he always serves to offer something away from the conventional and his movies are executed so beautifully, it’s hard not to admire him. And for this he has never had too many problems with attracting the cream of Hollywood’s talent. And this is still the case with horror movie Antichrist, which stars Willem De Foe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a couple whose marriage is put to the test following the accidental death of their son. Despite opening very limited in New York, L.A and San Francisco this weekend, I only expect Von Trier’s latest movie to bring in close to $7000 PTA due to IFC also making the movie available On Demand from Wednesday, which will undoubtedly affect its BO. This will likely bring it into a battle with previous PTA giants An Education and A Serious Man, and I expect them to beat Von Trier again. I don’t see more than 2-3 PTA points for the movie, which would make it an adequate if not essential PTA movie for your slate. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, it’s not even worth the $1 in BO.

Next we have Motherhood, Katherine Dieckmann’s latest effort following 2006’s Diggers. Dieckmann is perhaps best known for her work with REM in the early 90s (she helmed Stand and Shiny Happy People), and I imagine she has used this acclaim to draw in Hollywood stars Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver and Anthony Edwards for this drama of a 40 something NYC mother going through a mid life crisis. Distributed by Freestyle in 35 theatres, this is going nowhere. I have absolutely zero interest in the movie, Uma Thurman seems to be box office poison at the moment, and Freestyle have hardly had a successful year to say the least. This will bring you a big fat zero. Despite costing just $3 in Ultimate and $2 in BO, just don’t even go there.

Also released this weekend we have (Untitled), Jonathan Parker’s comedy starring Adam Goldberg. Parker is probably most recognisable as the director of Bartleby, the comedy starring Crispin Glover, while Adam Goldberg is a marvellously versatile actor who I rank very highly. He was brilliant in the recent 2 Days In Paris alongside Julie Delpy, and has for a long time played the support roles extremely well. The story sounds promising too, that of an unconventional composer who is constantly competing with his successful painter brother (Eoin Bailey) which eventually leads to a head when he beds his brother’s girlfriend (Marley Shelton). I like the cast, I think the story sounds interesting and I have a lot of hope for this movie (especially given it 9.0 rating on imdb as of yet). However, the distribution is being handled by Samuel Goldwyn Films, noted for their releases of Management, American Violet, Goya’s Ghosts and Elegy. Beyond Elegy, every movie they have released has struggled to garner more than $3000 PTA at any time during their runs, and I see this performing similarly at best, considering each of those movies had much bigger stars than Goldberg. It’s a shame, I don’t see anything for (Untitled) beyond a decent user rating, and if that is the only thing you need, then it will probably be a decent $3 spent. But otherwise, you’d be better spending your money on other things (The Young Victoria is only $4 and I’d expect a lot more from that in only two weekends.)

Last up this week is Ong Bak 2, the sequel (aren’t you fast, SS…) to Magnolia’s breakthrough hit of early 2005 (although originally released in 2003 outside the US). If you haven’t seen the original yet, the Prachya Pinkaew movie follows the story of a young man in his quest to reclaim a stolen Buddha statue called Ong Bak, using all manor of martial arts to achieve it. The original movie gained quite a following from it’s dvd release, having fared only modestly in the box office ($4.5m domestic take). The sequel, or rather prequel, as it has been subtitled Ong Bak 2: The Beginning follows it’s star in his initial training and how he takes revenge on his murdered parents. Directed and starring Tony Jaa this time, I expect the movie to showcase Jaa’s martial arts talents once again, and that should satisfy it’s audience (let’s face it, the story was never anything special), but don’t go expecting too much from this. Again Magnolia are releasing this, but the sequel has already suffered a steep drop in revenue in the rest of the world ($15.5m down to $7m) and I expect this to follow suit. Don’t go expecting much more than $2m total from this, and with no knowledge of a release platform as of yet, it may fare even worse. It will also unlikely bring in more than $3000 PTA opening weekend, which will not be enough to even get close to a PTA point, while its IMDB rating currently sits in the mid 6s. So, not much going for it. But I could be wrong….

My predictions for this week’s PTA chart:

1. Saw VI
2. An Education
3. A Serious Man
4. Amelia
5. Antichrist

Okay, that’s me for this week, I’ll be back next weekend with a little concert movie about some singer from the 80s, the latest Jared Hess movie starring Conchord man Jermaine Clement (up the Kiwis!!), the sequel to the highly successful dvd Boondock Saints (that’ll get a few of you on here excited), The House Of The Devil and supposedly Endgame (though I have no word it is actually being released)…

See you then.