WEST OF MEMPHIS tells the untold story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light: a fight to stop the State of Arkansas from killing an innocent man. Starting with a searing examination of the police investigation into the 1993 murders of three eight-year-old boys in the small town of West Memphis, Arkansas, the film goes on to uncover new evidence surrounding the arrest and conviction of the other three victims of this shocking crime.
Like it usually is during the summer, this week is rather soft on home market. Granted, there is one wide release that did very well at the box office, Oblivion, plus a couple of limited releases that did well to earn a serious measure of mainstream success, The Place Beyond the Pines and Mud. However, there are also some releases in the top twenty that are definitely filler. Usually, once you reach exercise videos, there's nothing worth talking about. Of course, if I used that rule this week, there would be almost nothing on this week's list. Mud is likely the best release and the DVD or Blu-ray is worth picking up, but I'm still waiting for the screener to review and I hate awarding something Pick of the Week if the screener is late. Because of this, I'm going with another late release, Burn Notice: Season Six, as Pick of the Week. It arrived more than a month late, but it was worth the wait.
Surprises seems to be the word of the day, as the WGA nominations included a number of them. Granted, Zero Dark Thirty and a lot of the other films that have earned Awards Season success thus far were here, but there were almost as many surprises as there were obvious choices.
Zero Dark Thirty shot up to the top of the per theater chart with averages of $83,430 during its opening weekend and $63,283 during its sophomore stint. Expanding truly wide is virtually guaranteed. Amour was well back with an average of $20,005 over the past weekend and $22,755 during its opening weekend. The Impossible rose 27% to $12,172 in 15 theaters. This is a great sign and while its reviews are too low to be a major contender during Awards Season, it should still do well enough to expand significantly, but probably not truly wide. The final film in the $10,000 club was Django Unchained, which opened with an average of $10,008.
The end of the year has a few limited releases trying to get a last chance for Oscar glory with Oscar qualifying runs. Promised Land is clearly the biggest film of the week, but its reviews suggest it won't even thrive in limited release.
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