Set in the near future, Frank, a retired cat burglar, has two grown kids who are concerned he can no longer live alone. They are tempted to place him in a nursing home until Frank's son chooses a different option: against the old man's wishes, he buys Frank a walking, talking humanoid robot programmed to improve his physical and mental health. What follows is an often hilarious and somewhat heartbreaking story about finding friends and family in the most unexpected places.
||August 17th, 2012 (Limited) by Samuel Goldwyn Films, released as Robot and Frank|
||February 12th, 2013 by Universal Home Entertainment|
||PG-13 for some language.|
(Rating bulletin 2221, 5/2/2012)
||Autumn Years, Out of Retirement, Retirement, Robot, Heist|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
|Creative Type:||Science Fiction|
||Park Pictures Features|
It's a busy week, not only in terms of big selling DVDs and Blu-ray, but also in terms of quality. Skyfall will be the best-selling DVD and Blu-ray of the week, plus it is a contender for Pick of the Week. It is not the only contender, as The Perks of Being a Wallflower (DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack); The Sessions (DVD or Blu-ray); Bully (DVD or Blu-ray Combo Pack); Nurse Jackie: Season Four (DVD or Blu-ray) and The Thieves (DVD or Blu-ray) were all contenders. In the end, I went with Skyfall, but it was close.
The Independent Spirit Awards has a special place in the Awards Season. The nominations are the unoffficial start of Awards Season, but the actual awards aren't given out until Oscar weekend, so they are the beginning at the end of Awards Season. They also help out a lot of limited releases that would otherwise not get enough buzz, although they are not so good at predicting Oscar wins. This year, two films tied for most nominations, Moonrise Kingdom and The Silver Linings Playbook, both of which earned five nominations. They weren't the only films to earn multiple nominations though.
Pitch Perfect had an explosive opening in select theaters earning more than $5 million in just over 300 theaters for an average of $15,371. Most limited releases playing in only a handful of theaters would kill for an average like that. The overall number one film, Hotel Transylvania, was in second place on the per theater chart with an average of $12,697. Last week's number one film on the per theater chart, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, remained north of $10,000 on the per theater chart this week, despite expanding into more than 100 theaters. It pulled in $1.10 million in 102 theaters for an average of $10,823. Its running tally is already enough to give it some measure of mainstream success, and this week's performance nearly guarantees further expansion. The Other Dream Team didn't quite make the $10,000 club, but with an average of $9,911 in two theaters, it was close enough to mention above the fold.
There were three new releases that topped $10,000 on the per theater chart. Detropia led the way with $17,414 in one theater. It should expand, but as a documentary, it will likely not expand wide. Hello I Must Be Going earned an average of $11,952 in two theaters, while Keep the Lights On was right behind with an average of $11,115 in five theaters.
Samsara expanded from two to nine theaters, but held on well enough to rise to top spot on the per theater chart with $12,597. Sleepwalk With Me expanded to 29 theaters and was very solid with an average of $11,127.
The Summer box office season will come to an abrupt halt this weekend as returning films dominate the chart thanks to some decidedly lackluster openings. The top holdover, The Expendables 2, will win by default with a decent second weekend of $13.5 million, according to Lionsgate's Sunday morning estimate. That's down a fairly respectable 53% from its debut figure. The standout performer among returning films is political documentary 2016: Obama's America, which is projected to earn $6.2 million from 1,091 theaters -- the best per theater average in the top 10. That film will end up in 8th place, though, after an impressive 4th place on Friday, suggesting that it has a fairly narrow, if enthusiastic, fan base.
Cosmopolis led the way on the per theater chart with an excellent opening of $70,000 in three theaters for an average of $23,446. Given its reviews, I'm not sure it will do well as it expands. Robot and Frank was also strong with an average of $17,770 in two theaters, while Compliance was right behind with $16,427 in one theater. Ek Tha Tiger didn't quite reach the $10,000 club over the weekend with an average of $9,655, but it was a Wednesday release, so had it opened on Friday, it likely would have easily made the cut.
The Expendables 2 will enjoy a comfortable win at the box office this weekend, even though its debut number looks as though it will fall somewhat behind the first film in the franchise. Lionsgate currently has the film pegged at $28.75 million for the weekend, well ahead of The Bourne Legacy's $17 million second weekend. ParaNorman will scare up about $14 million for third place, and a total of seven films will top $10 million this weekend, including the two other debutants, Sparkle (which is set for $12 million, per Sony), and The Odd Life of Timothy Green (shooting for $10.9 million, according to Disney).
Late August is a poor time of year for wide releases, but it is also usually not a good time of year for limited releases. It is too late to take advantage of the summer holidays, but it is also too early for Awards Season. However, there are nine films on this week's list, several of which are earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. Chicken and Plums, Compliance, Robot and Frank, and Side by Side are all earning amazing reviews. There are also several others that are earning good, but not great reviews. There might be too many good films coming out this week and the competition could cause one or two films that truly deserve to earn some measure of mainstream success from reaching their potential.
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