In this psychological disaster film about the end of the world, Justine and Michael are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister Claire, and brother-in-law John. Despite Claire's best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco, with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth.
||November 11th, 2011 (Limited) by Magnolia Pictures|
||March 13th, 2012 by Magnolia Home Entertainment|
||R for some graphic nudity, sexual content and language.|
(Rating bulletin 2189, 9/14/2011)
||Wedding Day, Suicide, Non-Chronological, Disaster, Intertitle, End of the World, Depression|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||Zentropa Entertainments, Film i Vast, Memfis Film, Slot Machine, Liberator Productions, DR, ARTE France, SVT, Canal Plus, CNC, Cinecinema, Edition Video, Nordisk Film, TV Fond, Swedish Film Institute, Filmstiftung NRW|
There are two themes this week. The first is Awards Season. There are no fewer than half a dozen Award Season players on this week's list, although one was a late review. Speaking of late reviews, that's the other theme on this week's list, as there are no fewer than eight releases on this week's list where I'm waiting for the screener to arrive. (This includes Wizards which arrived on Monday; however, screeners need to arrive by Friday if I'm to get the review done on time.) Unfortunately, there's a lot of crossover among these two groups and a few Pick of the Week candidates are late. For instance, My Week with Marilyn and Melancholia fit into both groups. Other screeners I'm waiting for that could be Pick of the Week are Wallace & Gromit: World of Invention and the aforementioned Wizards: 35th Anniversary Blu-ray, while The Guild: Season Five was up for that honor as well. However, in the end I went with The Descendants on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
Chico and Rita started its run on top of the per theater chart with $21,400 in one theater. Given its reviews and its Oscar nomination, it should have no trouble expanding at least somewhat. The overall number one film, The Vow, was in second place on the per theater chart with an average of $13,929. Safe House was close behind with $12,880. It's not too common for wide releases to earn more than $10,000 on the per theater chart at this time of year, so to have two of them do so on the same weekend is doubly impressive. The final film in the $10,000 club was Rampart with an average of $12,089. Like Chico and Rita it should expand for similar reasons. (I.E. Strong reviews and major nominations.)
It was a busy week on the per theater chart with several films in the $10,000 club. These were led by Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol with $30,083, but given its unusual opening, it's hard to judge this start. (More on its IMAX run later today.) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy expanded from four to sixteen theaters, but remained potent with an average of $28,549. Some measure of mainstream success is guaranteed, even if it is failing to live up to expectations during Awards Season. On the other hand, The Artist is starting to clean up during Awards Season and this is helping its per theater average remain strong at $16,904. It should have no trouble expanding some more, even if the nature of the film will prevent it from becoming a hit in Megaplexes. Carnage debuted with an average of $15,959 in five theaters, which is disappointing given its pedigree. The overall box office leader, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, was the final film in the $10,000 club earning an average of $10,704.
The top film on the per theater chart was a silent film, The Artist, which was amazing, earning more than $200,000 in just four theaters for an average of $51,220. A Dangerous Method was also very strong on the per theater chart earning an average of $41,988, also in four theaters. Last week's winner, The Descendants, expanded into nearly 400 theaters, but still managed an average of $18,835. Finally, the overall box office leader, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, managed an average of $10,252.
As it does every year, Independent Spirit Award nominations kick off the unofficial start of Awards Season. This year there were two films that topped the list of nominations: The Artist and Take Shelter. Both of those films earned five nominations, but they weren't the only films to be singled out.
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.
Relativity will enjoy a relatively comfortable win at the box office this weekend, based on Sunday estimates. 3D fantasy action movie Immortals is set to earn about $32 million, according to their Sunday estimate, and will comfortably beat fellow-opener Jack and Jill. The Adam Sandler comedy is projected to earn $26 million, which makes it essentially tied with Puss in Boots. The animated adventure will be down just 22% this weekend and has passed $100 million at the box office in its third weekend.
We are getting into Awards Season with a real contender, Melancholia, opening this week. There are a few other releases with incredible reviews, like The Conquest, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within and Into the Abyss. I would love to think all four films will be able to find an audience during their limited release. However, odds are Melancholia will be the only one to do so, as foreign language films and documentaries rarely escape the art house circuit.
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