Born in South East London the same week the Nazis began bombing, Ginger Baker’s first memory was running after a train that carried his father off to death in WWII. From his music to his life, at the expense of family and fortune, Ginger would never be left behind on the tracks again.
Though best known for his work with Eric Clapton in Cream and Blind Faith, the world’s greatest drummer did not hit his stride until years later in 1972 when he drove the first Range Rover ever produced from London to Nigeria in pursuit of the African rhythms and musical icon, Fela Kuti. There he found his Mecca of drumming, introducing the African beat and “world music” to the West, years before any other musicians in the field.
Unfortunately, Ginger’s African glory days were short-lived as he found himself looking down the barrel of a Nigerian officer’s machine gun. Signaling his departure from the continent and the loss of his fortune, Ginger returned to England where a pattern of divorces, self-destruction, and countless groundbreaking musical works continue on to Italy, California, Colorado, and current day South Africa where he lives inside a fortified compound with his 29-year-old internet bride and 39 polo ponies.
There are not a lot of new releases on the home market this week, and there are very few that are prime releases. The best-selling release is Dexter: Season Seven on Blu-ray, which is worth picking up, but the lack of extras prevents it from being the Pick of the Week. For that I'm going with a lesser known title, The Unbelievable Truth, which is coming out on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
Hyde Park on the Hudson opened on top of the per theater chart with an average of $20,341 in four theaters. That is good for a limited release, but bad for a potential Awards Season contender, which is how many people saw the film prior to its release. Additionally, with weak reviews, it has little hope at long legs. Burn was much further back at $13,602, also in four theaters. Rust and Bone saw its theater count double to four, but its per theater average actually grew to $13,015. Its word-of-mouth is outstanding. Beware of Mr. Baker remained in the $10,000 club with $10,349 in one theater.
It was a rather slow week on the per theater chart with only two films topping the $10,000 mark, and none of them were massive hits. Rust and Bone rose to first place with an average of $12,369 in two theaters. It rose to top spot thanks to a miniscule 9% drop-off. The only other member of the $10,000 club was Beware of Mr. Baker, which was right behind with $12,195 in its lone theater.
The weekend after Thanksgiving is not known for its box office prowess, and this year is proving no different. Most films in the top 10 are down around 50% from last weekend, and the new wide releases are both falling short of their respective distributor's hopes. Killing Them Softly is headed for a $7 million debut, according to Weinstein, which is Brad Pitt's worst wide opening since Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas back in 2003, and worst live action wide release since 1994's The Favor. Meanwhile, LD Distribution is projecting $3.4 million for The Collection in 1,403 theaters, which is less of a surprise, but still a disappointment. With those two misfires, the top of the chart is once more populated by Breaking Dawn, Part 2 and Skyfall, which are essentially neck and neck at this point, with Twilight topping $250 million domestically this weekend and Bond set to reach that landmark in the next few days.
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