Curtis LaForche lives in a small Ohio town with his wife Samantha and six-year-old daughter Hannah, who is deaf. Curtis makes a modest living as a crew chief for a sand-mining company. Samantha is a stay-at-home mother and part-time seamstress who supplements their income by selling handmade wares at the flea market each weekend. Money is tight, and navigating Hannah's healthcare and special needs education is a constant struggle. Despite that, Curtis and Samantha are very much in love and their family is a happy one.
Then Curtis begins having terrifying dreams about an encroaching, apocalyptic storm. He chooses to keep the disturbance to himself, channeling his anxiety into the obsessive building of a storm shelter in their backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds Samantha, and provokes intolerance among co-workers, friends and neighbors. But the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within the community doesn't compare to Curtis’ private fear of what his dreams may truly signify.
Faced with the proposition that his disturbing visions signal disaster of one kind or another, Curtis confides in Samantha, testing the power of their bond against the highest possible stakes.
||September 30th, 2011 (Limited) by Sony Pictures Classics|
||February 14th, 2012 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
||R for some language.|
(Rating bulletin 2161, 3/2/2011)
||Disaster, Mental Illness, Fired, Hallucinations, Weather, Deaf, Dream Sequence|
|Production Method:||Live Action|
||Grove Hill Productions, Hydraulx Entertainment, REI Capital, Strange Matter Films|
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.
Before Take Shelter opened, there was significant Awards Season buzz surrounding the film. However, it was a much smaller film than a lot of other Oscar bait, so it was mostly lost in the crowd. It did pick up a number of smaller award nominations and earned more than $1 million at the box office, but it wasn't a major player in either regard. Did it deserve to find a more receptive audience in theaters? Did it deserve to win more awards? Or was it lucky to get where it did?
While the Independent Spirit Award unofficially kick off Awards Season with their nominations, they are one of the last to hand out their actual awards, which they did on Saturday. As it has most of the time, The Artist led the way by earning four wins out of the five categories it was nominated it. So which one did it lose? And what were the other winners?
It's a really slow week at the box office with only one first run release, The Rum Diary, and it bombed in theaters. Paranormal Activity 3 is coming out on DVD this week, but it came out on Blu-ray a few weeks ago, so it is not much of a factor in terms of sales this week. In fact, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 will likely lead the sales charts, despite coming out on Saturday. As for the best of the new releases, Take Shelter on DVD or Blu-ray is probably the best, but I'm still waiting for the screener to confirm that.
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.
Like last week, Like Crazy was the only film to reach the $10,000 on the per theater chart. It expanded from four to sixteen theaters, while its per theater average remained strong at $16,657. The only new release that came close to $10,000 was The Other F Word and it was well back with an average of $6,643 in two theaters.
This weekend is turning out almost precisely as predicted in our Friday preview, with Real Steel cruising to a comfortable with with an estimated $27.3 million and Ides of March under-performing a bit with $10.4 million. Both movies seem to have found their intended audiences fairly successfully, but March was clearly hindered by mediocre reviews.
There were only a couple films to topped the $10,000 mark on this week's per theater chart, while many more failed to reach the Mendoza Line. We find Munger Road on the high end with $36,605 in its lone theater. Meanwhile, Take Shelter was the only other film in the $10,000 club with an average of $17,347. Both film should expand, but the latter should have a better shot at earning some mainstream success over the former.
The list of limited releases this week includes a few films that are earning amazing reviews while going after very different target audiences. Take Shelter should please fans of art house dramas and has the best shot at earning some measure of mainstream success. Benda Bilili! is the best bet for fans of documentaries, but its potential to expand is more limited. Meanwhile, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is anything but the typical art house film, but its reviews are so good that it deserves to find an audience, even if it has to wait till the home market to do so.
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