Tokyo, the late 1960s...Students around the world are uniting to overthrow the establishment and Toru Watanabe's personal life is similarly in tumult. At heart, he is deeply devoted to his first love, Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman.
But their complex bond has been forged by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Watanabe lives with the influence of death everywhere. That is, until Midori, a girl who is everything that Naoko is not - outgoing, vivacious, supremely selfconfident - marches into his life and Watanabe must choose between his past and his future.
It's not a bad week, for this time of year, with three films that are selling well, and two of those earned really good reviews. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for those screeners. Also, after those three big releases, there's a sharp drop-off in sales strength and we quickly find releases that would be overlooked most weeks. As for the best of the best, both Chronicle and The Grey are contenders for Pick of the Week, but like I said, I don't have the screeners to judge the extras. Therefore, I'm giving that title to Being John Malkovich Criterion Collection Blu-ray.
The $10,000 club was again crowded this week and, as expected for this time of year, it was filled almost entirely by holdovers. Iron Lady remained the top film with an average of $35,275 in five theaters and it should start hitting major milestones very soon. Pina's average grew, again, reaching $27,676 in three theaters. Hopefully it will start expanding quickly, before its momentum fades. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close earned an average of $16,521 in six theaters. Its mixed reviews haven't taken too much of a toll, yet. A Separation doubled its theater count, but its per theater average remained relatively steady at $15,440. The overall box office leader, The Devil Inside, was next at $14,763. Finally, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia opened with $10,652 in one theater.
While it is a weak time of year for wide releases, it is a devastating time of year for limited releases. Not only is it too late to qualify for the Oscars, but art house theaters are crowded with films vying for awards. There is one exception to this rule, Foreign Language Films. (They have to be released in their native country during the year in question.) So it should come as no surprise the only film earning Oscar-worthy reviews is one such film, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. However, Norwegian Wood is actually earning a bit more buzz, even if the reviews are not quite as high as I would like.
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