Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds such as Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Sigmund Freud, namely: who actually created the body of work credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when scandalous political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles lusting for the power of the throne were brought to light in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.
||October 28th, 2011 (Limited) by Sony Pictures|
||February 7th, 2012 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 or some violence and sexual content.|
(Rating bulletin 2187, 8/31/2011)
||Non-Chronological, Performing Arts, Writing and Writers, Prologue, Inspired by a True Story, Based on an UNTRUE Story, Costume Drama, Voiceover/Narration, Conspiracy Theory, Royalty, Political|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Historical Fiction|
||Columbia Pictures, Relativity Media, Centropolis Entertainment, Studio Babelsberg|
The biggest release of the week on the home market is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray ... on Saturday. So you still have a few more days to wait. As for the best release of the week, that's Lady and the Tramp, which is making its Blu-ray and is our Pick of the Week.
Yesterday was one of the biggest days during Awards Season as The Oscar nominations were announced in the morning. It was a two horse race for top spot as far as the big winners are concerned. Hugo earned the most nominations with eleven, while The Artist was right behind with ten. However, one could argue The Artist is the bigger winner, as more of its nominations were in the more prestigious categories.
There were only two films that were able to crack the $10,000 club this weekend, but they were both huge hits. The Descendants opened with more than $1 million in 29 theaters, for an average of $41,038. Add in the film's reviews and its Awards Season buzz and there's little doubt that the film will expand wide. Speaking of wide, the only other film in the $10,000 club was The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1. The overall box office leader took in $138 million in 4,061 theaters, for an average of $34,012.
Melancholia led the way on the per theater chart with an average of $13,535 in 19 theaters. It was playing in more theaters than most limited releases debut in, but for a film with Oscar aspirations, this was a weaker result that I would have liked. It also might hurt the film's Oscar chances; after all, people can't vote for films they haven't seen. The overall box office leader, Immortals, placed second with an average of $10,349, which is about $3,000 more than I was expecting.
Like last week, Like Crazy was the only film to reach the $10,000 on the per theater chart. It expanded from four to sixteen theaters, while its per theater average remained strong at $16,657. The only new release that came close to $10,000 was The Other F Word and it was well back with an average of $6,643 in two theaters.
Like Crazy was the only film to reach the $10,000 mark on the per theater chart, but was stellar with an average of $30,785 in four theaters. Its reviews suggest it will be able to expand somewhat, but it's a little too weak to be an Awards Season player. While it didn't get to the $10,000 mark, Ra. One came relatively close to reaching the top ten with $1.65 million in 189 theaters over the weekend for an average of $8,751. That's amazing for this type of film and it deserves a special mention.
For the second week in a row, there are too many limited releases trying to divide up the limited marketplace. It's not quite as busy as last weekend, but the number of limited releases did hit double-digits, including four opening in dozens of theaters, of two of those for opening in more than 100. Again like last weekend, there are films earning advance buzz, films earning good reviews and films with casts with strong name recognition. However, there are few that have even two of those three. Like Crazy comes the closest to earning all three, while Ra. One could have some crossover success.
There is a little bit of good news going into October, as September did help close the year-to-date deficit, even if it was by a small amount. Unfortunately, we really needed a better result to be optimistic about our chances of closing that gap entirely by the end of the year. Even worse, this month represents the last chance 2011 has to catch up to 2010. I know there are two additional months left in the year, but October of 2010 was a soft month with four of the five weekends showing year-over-year declines. If October 2011 is even weaker, the odds of making up the $300 million deficit will be all but gone. It becomes even more troubling that there are no movies opening in October that are guaranteed to be monster hits. So, while October of 2010 was weak compared to October of 2009, it looks like it will be stronger than October of 2011. Hopefully I'm just being pessimistic. There are a couple films that have a shot at $100 million and I will be surprised if none of them at least come close to that milestone, but the slate of films is weaker than I would like.
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