Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a dramatic thriller based on real events, “The Fifth Estate” reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society—and what are the costs of exposing them?"
The month long slump 2013 has been on is finally over, thanks in part to Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. However, the overall box office still wasn't that good, as it was down slightly from last weekend to $102 million. Granted, "slightly" in this case means a fraction of 1%, so it isn't troubling. On the other hand, it was 10% higher than the same weekend last year. Unfortunately, year-to-date, 2013's lead over 2012 has shrunk to just $50 million or 0.6% at $8.49 billion to $8.44 billion. In fact, 2013 has not sold less tickets than 2012 had at this point in its run. That's not good and it is unlikely things will turn around in the coming few weeks.
As expected, Gravity remained on top of the weekend box office chart for the third weekend it a row. It became the first film released in 2013 to earn the hat trick, and very likely the last. Unfortunately, two of the three wide releases missed expectations, which hurt the overall box office numbers. Compared to last week, the overall box office was down by 11% to $103 million. Compared to last year, the box office was down 35%. Ouch. 2013 is still ahead of 2012's pace, but by less than 1% at $8.36 billion to $8.29 billion.
There are two wide releases this week, Carrie and Escape Plan. However, neither film is earning critical praise and neither film is expected to be a breakout hit. There is a third film opening semi-wide, The Fifth Estate, but despite being clearly made for Oscars, its reviews are worse than the two more mainstream releases. It looks like Gravity will have no trouble earning the hat trick at the box office. It should also earn more than last year's winner, Paranormal Activity 4. Unfortunately, last year had much better depth than this year will have, so 2013 will likely lose yet again in the year-over-year comparison.
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