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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

UK Box Office 27 -31 Aug

This week analysis is thin as I have very little time - here are the final numbers for the extended weekend:

1- TOY STORY 3 (£2,009,826)
2- GROWN UPS (£1,913,148)
3- THE EXPENDABLES (£1,666,139)
5- SALT (£1,243,510)
6- PIRANHA 3D (£1,121,117)
7- INCEPTION (£898,519)
8- MARMADUKE (£750,163)
9- AVATAR 3D (£654,098)
10-DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (£577,433)

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Venice Days 1 &2

I arrived in Venice yesterday for the CICAE Arthouse Cinema Training and was reunited with some of my colleagues from last year: Francesco, Maureen, Julie, Cathleen, Silvia and Sylvie. We spent most of the day organising things for the trainees, who all start arriving tomorrow: Mostra accreditation, and less glamourous things like their meal tickets. When collecting the accreditation earlier we took a tour behind the scenes of the industry offices in the Pallazzo, and even though we are 48 hours away from opening night, it feels like a war zone.

Last night while walking on the Bridge of Sighs, I was telling Sylvie all about the wonderful CINEVILLE network in Amsterdam, and I suddenly heard my name being called out: "Jon?" - it was Niels Bueller, the director of the Dutch network, who is in town for the festival, and who'd overheard the name of his Amsterdam scheme. Tomorrow Niels and 50 other arthouse cinema managers from all over Europe (and South Africa and Lebannon) will be joining us for a welcoming party called "One Nation, One Bottle" where, irresponsibly in my opinion (as a non drinker) we encourage each participant to bring a bottle of liquor from their country. As a multinational myself, I chose to represent England best with a bottle of Pimms....we'll see how it goes down.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Venezia 2010

On Saturday I depart for Venice for the annual CICAE (International Federation of Arthouse Cinemas) traning course. It's a unique event, in that it gathers around fifty arthouse cinema managers from all over Europe, from Lithuania to the UK, and proceeds to work, for ten days, through every aspect of the business of running an arthouse cinema (marketing, programming, management, etc).

Last year I attended as a student, and this year I return as part of the coordinating team, organising workshops, taking notes and 'entertaining' the lecturers. Amongst the group of returnees, we jokingly refer to San Servolo (the island off Venice where the course takes place) as Shutter Island, as it's a former mental institution and is a self-contained rock. It is certainly a magical and mysterious place, and it all runs parallel to the Mostra di Cinema, the Venice Film Festival.

My colleague Robert Beames (co-host of our podcast) will be there reporting for Obsessed with Film and the Picturehouse Blog, and we hope to be recording at least a couple of podcasts talking about the films on show at the festival. Check back here for blogging updates.


Monday, 23 August 2010

UK Box Office 20-22 Aug

This week the macho fest that is the EXPENDABLES opened, providing the testosterone that has been absent from the family-friendly charts. SALT also opened strong, and the TOY STORY 3 juggernaut carries on. INCEPTION is holding up, benefitting from repeat viewings. The real success story is THE ILLUSIONIST, which Warner/Pathe released on just 42 prints, with a nearly £4K screen average. The Dukes average was about twice that!

1- THE EXPENDABLES (£3,877,201) (New)
2- SALT (£2,142,841) (New)
3- TOY STORY 3 (£2,102,831) (5 weeks, Total £63,844,837) - Now the 5th biggest film of all time in the UK!
4- PIRANHA 3D (£1,490,348) (New)
5- INCEPTION (£996,591) (6 weeks, Total £30,056,496)
6- KNIGHT & DAY (£819,914) (3 weeks, Total £7,946,529)
7- MARMADUKE (£628,581)(New )
8- THE LAST AIRBENDER (£618,047) (2 weeks, Total £3,313,496)
9- STEP UP 3 (£510,985) (3 weeks, £6,639,658)
10- SORCERER'S APPRENTICE (£443,807) (2 week, Total £2,374,814)

Friday, 20 August 2010

We Need a Manager!

The Duke of York's Picturehouse is Britain's oldest cinema. Not only a cultural gem in Brighton, but one of the UK's most succesful and acclaimed arthouse cinemas too.

We're looking for a new Duty Manager.

We need a film-obsessed, self-motivated person, who loves to interact with customers.

Our ideal person will be a film buff, with management experience and top-notch customer service skills. You'll need to be full of energy and ideas. A genuine self-starter who can remain calm in a crisis.

On a day-to-day basis, you'll be responsible for running every aspect of the cinema's operations, from projection to stock control, from health & safety to maintenance, all the while delivering award-winning customer service.

Key skills:

- Customer Service experience
- Cinema or venue experience
- Management experience
- Extensive film knowledge

Bonus skills:

- Cafe/bar experience
- Administration/Health and Safety experience
- Projection experience

All CV's, along with a cover letter, should be sent to: by the 8th of September.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Ed Vaizey Vs Dirty Harry

The announcement of the abolition of the UK Film Council has created a lot of heat for the new Culture Minister Ed Vaizey. Perhaps unsurprinsignly, actors, directors and producers on both sides of the Atlantic have written letters to the Governement protesting the move (including Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg), and a wide public campaign against the closure has swept Facebook and other social media platforms.

Ed Vaizey has reprimanded the UKFC for using public funds to lobby against its own closure, writing a letter to Chairman John Woodward. Apparently the UKFC PR machine has been briefing Hollwyood figures about the implications of the closure in terms that endanger future American productions in this country.

Whatever you think of the role of the UKFC, it would seem to this blogger that the UKFC is simply looking out to save its own jobs, and the Government got itself into a fight that it wasn't prepared for. You don't want Dirty Harry saying you've made a mistake.

The real questions should be about public funding, and where is it going? Will the BFI receive the cash once allocated to the UKFC? Will the 20% tax benefit remain in place (the biggest chunk of public funding for film comes from this tax credit)? The debate has gotten lost in the celebrity-driven furore and the clever press manipulation by the UKFC. Show us the money!

Monday, 16 August 2010

UK Box Office 13-15 Aug

Two box office milestones were reached this week: INCEPTION reached $500 million worldwide and TOY STORY became the biggest animated feature of all time in the US and in the UK. For once, critical opinion is in step with popular taste. You'll notice from now on, I shall include the accumulated takings and week on release figures for a fuller perspective on the numbers.

1- TOY STORY 3 (£3,162,471) (4 weeks, Total £45, 758,989)
2- INCEPTION (£1,583,229) (5 weeks, Total £27,852,777)
3- KNIGHT AND DAY (£1,517,676) (2 weeks, Total £5,896,704)
4- THE LAST AIRBENDER (£1,293,472) (New)
5- STEP UP 3 (£1,078,100) (2 weeks, Total £4,946,688)
7- KARATE KID (£736,667) (3 weeks, Total £10,599,042)
8- THE A-TEAM (£761,269) (3 weeks, Total £8,890,552)
10- CATS & DOGS 2 (£269,186) (2 weeks, Total £2,012,626)

Monday, 9 August 2010

UK Box Office 6-8 August

The box office is on fire as school's out and family-friendly films fill the multiplexes. The fight for 3D screens hurt the chances of new entries STEP UP 3 and CATS & DOGS 2 as TOY STORY 3 held on to most of its screens. Tom Cruise still has some pulling power, and if it weren't for the Pixar monster, he'd have had a respectable number one. GAINSBOURG hanging in the Top 10.

1- TOY STORY(£4,641,352)
2- KNIGHT & DAY (£2,388,240)
3- INCEPTION (£2,250,991)
4- STEP UP 3 (£2,000,887)
5- KARATE KID (£1,404,687)
6- THE A-TEAM (£1,370,832)
7- CATS & DOGS 2 (£739,861)
9- TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE (£321,163)
10- GAINSBOURG (£86,253)

Friday, 6 August 2010

London Film Festival - Opening Film

The London Film Festival announced its opening film today. NEVER LET ME GO, directed by Mark Romanek (ONE HOUR PHOTO), based on the bestselling novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. The film stars Keira Knightley and everyone's favorite Brit girl right now Carey Mulligan, and the new Spider-man, Andrew Garfield.

This 54th edition of the Festival should be an interesting one, as its principal funder is the now dead-man-walking UKFC. It's also a strange festival as it has no market, no big prizes, just a lot of movie stars, but strangely none of the glamour associated with their presence, the way you get in Venice or Cannes. Kind of like the BAFTAs, it feels slightly superfluous.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Uk Box Office 30 Jul - 1 Aug

Pixar rules the school holiday slot easily, with another £8 million for TOY STORY 3 in the bank for an astonishing £39.8 million in just two weeks. INCEPTION shows it has lots of legs as it holds on to the number two spot despite fierce competition from KARATE KID and THE A TEAM, which disappoint in their debuts. Yet another French film makes it to the Top 10, as GAINSBOURG manages a decent £2,196 screen average in a crowded marketplace.

1- TOY STORY 3 (£8,039,573)
2- INCEPTION (£3,199,047)
3- KARATE KID (£2,564,547)
4- THE A-TEAM (£2,481,325)
7- THE REBOUND (£177,096)
8- GAINSBOURG (£152,313)
9- PREDATORS (£111,079)