After the box office failure of Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. The Shining, Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick's film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film's release, a considerable cult of Shining devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film's secret messages that address everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher's Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick's still-controversial classic.
If I were to use a single world to describe this week's list of new releases, that world would be Iron Man 3. This film will dominate the DVD and Blu-ray sales chart by such a degree that practically none of the other releases matter. That's not to say there are no other releases that are worth picking up, it's just that they will be crushed on the sales chart. The best release of the week is Modern Family: Season Four, which is a clear contender for Pick of the Week. Unfortunately, I'm still waiting for the screener to arrive. This is also true for a number of new releases this week, but fortunately a late release is able to fill the void. Homeland: Season Two is clearly the best release on this week's list and the Blu-ray is the Pick of the Week.
There was a huge selection of films in the $10,000 club, led by The Place Beyond the Pines, which earned an average of $69,864 in four theaters. This is the second-best per theater average for the year thus far, behind only Spring Breakers. Space Station rose back to the $10,000 club with $15,301 in two theaters. This film has amazing legs, even compared to other IMAX films, and pops into the $10,000 from time to time. Room 237 opened with an average of $14,847 in two theaters. This is a good start, but as a documentary its potential to expand is very limited. The overall box office leader, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, earned an average of $10,891 over the three-day portion of its opening weekend. Renoir was right behind with an average of $10,866 in six theaters. Temptation also managed to earn a spot in the $10,000 club with an average of $10,572.
It's kind of a mixed week when it comes to limited releases. There are quite a few of them, but not many that have good reviews and strong buzz. The best of these is Blancanieves, which I thought opened previously. There are some with good reviews and some with buzz, but not a lot that scream hit. The Place Beyond the Pines probably has the best chance at hitting major milestones.
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