Barney's Version is the story of the politically incorrect life of Barney Panofsky, who meets the love of his life Miriam at his wedding - and she is not the bride. A candid confessional, told from Barney's point of view, the film spans three decades and two continents, taking us through the different acts of his unusual history. The reason that Barney must tell his story now - or, at least his version of it - is that his sworn enemy has just published a tell-all book that dredges up the more compromising chapters of Barney's past: the many, often murky entrepreneurial schemes that lead to his success; the three marriages, all of them terminated; and, most problematically, the mysterious, as-yet-unsolved disappearance of Barney's best friend, Boogie, a possible murder for which Barney remains the prime suspect. Since his memory sometimes fails him, and because he has the unfortunate habit of getting blind drunk at pivotal moments, Barney leads us on this somewhat unsteady walk down memory lane, not only to explain his life to others, but also to explain it to himself.
||December 17th, 2010 (Oscar Qualifying Run) by Sony Pictures Classics|
January 14th, 2011 (Limited) by Sony Pictures Classics
||June 28th, 2011 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
||R for language and some sexual content.|
(Rating bulletin 2148, 11/24/2010)
||Medical and Hospitals, Faulty Memory, Dysfunctional Family, Relationships Gone Wrong, Non-Chronological|
|Source:||Based on Fiction Book/Short Story|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
||Telefilm Canada, Corus Entertainment, Astral Media, Sodec, Canadian Broadcasting Corp, Harold Greenberg Fund, Ontario Media Development|
It's a bit of a madhouse in terms of DVD and Blu-ray releases this week: Amazon.com has more than 400 listed. That said, a lot of them are catalogue titles that would barely warrant a mention during a slow week. The most intriguing first run release is Sucker Punch on Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy Combo Pack, but while I think it's worth picking up, it's appeal is limited enough that it is not worthy of the Pick of the Week honors. Fortunately, one of the catalogue titles is clearly Pick of the Week material. In fact, Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Extended Edition - Blu-ray is one of the most anticipated releases in the history of Blu-ray.
There were no films that managed a per theater average of $10,000 or more over the weekend, but I Am came the closest with an average of $9,649 in two theaters. Meanwhile the best new release was Of Gods and Men with an average of $9,360 in 33 theaters.
There were a pair of $10,000 films on the per theater chart this week, led by The Last Lions with an average of $13,336 in four theaters. I Am was relatively close behind with $10,500 in one theater.
Strong reviews and an impressive cast helped Cedar Rapids top the per theater chart with an average of $20,198 in 15 theaters. Vidal Sassoon: The Movie was the only other film to reach an average of $10,000 with $13,053 in its lone theater.
There's was only one film able to top $10,000 on the per theater chart and that film was Kaboom, which made $13,714 in one theater.
There's a bit of a controversy on the per theater chart with The Housemaid and Barney's Version in position to claim top spot. The latter made $143,000 in 16 theaters for an average of $8,938, in the United States. Adding it what it made in Canada, and it earned almost $500,000 in 77 theaters for an average of $6,217. That was a great weekend, but only third best on the chart. The winner was The Housemaid with an average of $8,335 in two theaters. This suggests it will be able to find more theaters willing to play it, but it is unlikely that it will expand significantly.
The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, thus ending months of speculation. Along with a (very) few surprises, the list of nominees is mostly a case of Deja Vu. Leading the way, as it has so often this year, was The King's Speech, with 12 nominations, including six in seven of the most prestigious categories (Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and the four acting categories). But it was far from the only multi-nominated film on the list.
A decent $20.3 million estimated opening for No Strings Attached and some surprisingly good holds in the top four wasn't enough to halt 2011's early box office slump.
Overall, the weekend's box office take looks like it will be about $35 million below last year's total, once more uncannily close to the haul of Avatar in the equivalent period.
After an Oscar-qualifying run and a limited release in Canada, Barney's Version, finally started its theatrical run in the United States with an average of $16,310 in four theaters, which was enough to lead the per theater chart. Sort of. It's also playing in Canada, and despite the fact that Canada's considered part of the domestic box office when it comes to wide releases, smaller releases often don't have their box office numbers North of the border reported. This means it is possible that Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune remained on top with $12,377 in its lone theater.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association handed out the hardware tonight, and while there were plenty of winners, one film, The Social Network, stood out by winning four awards, including three of the major ones.
There's a wide selection of limited releases this week, including one that was previously thought to have a chance at opening wide. Unfortunately, as is usually the case at this time of year, there are not many quality releases and the best bet for mainstream success is Barney's Version, which previously had an Oscar-qualifying run.
It's a bit of a mess this week for limited releases, with some that opened yesterday, some that open tomorrow, and even one opening on Christmas. Most of them do have something in common: they are aiming for Awards Season glory. Most are not earning the kind of reviews normally associated with success during award Awards Season, or success in limited release in general, but perhaps we will have a surprise on our hands. There is one film, The Illusionist, that is an unqualified hit with critics, while there are a couple, Barney's Version and Somewhere, that are earning good reviews, but not great ones.
There are only five films on this week's limited release list, three of which were likely aiming for Oscars, of which two have already picked up major nominations. Hopefully this will be enough to escape a crowded limited release field, which includes some films that are expanding wide (in the case of The Fighter) or in the process of expanding wide (in the case of Black Swan).
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their nominations early this morning, and there are some interesting surprises included in the mix. Leading the way was The King's Speech, which has long been seen as one of the major players this Awards Season. Meanwhile, The Fighter and The Social Network were right behind with six each. There were many, many other films nomination, including more than a few shocks. ... Mostly in one category.
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