Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Toulouse Roundup

Last week I attended the Cine Latino Film Festival in Toulouse, France. It's an annual showcase of the best in Latin American cinema, one of the biggest in the world. I attended as a guest of the CINEMA EN CONSTRUCCION strand, which is a competition for unifinished films looking for post-production money.

The Festival is very relaxed, laid back, and the beer is cheap. The anti-Cannes, if you will. Lots of directors from Latin America fly in and the atmosphere is positively latino. Last year I attended as part of the CINE SIN FRONTERAS (now CINEMALAB) programme, with the CINE ESTELI project.

I saw seven films in two days, including opener from Argentina ROMPECABEZAS, a tired collection of cliches about a woman who obsesses over puzzles (the title of the film). Not a great beginning. This was a finished film which competed the year before for the CONSTRUCCION prize.

Another finished film I saw was LAS MARIMBAS DEL INFIERNO, from Guatemala, which can only be described as Central America's answer to ANVIL, about a poor marimba player who joins a heavy metal band. This is one of the best films I have seen all year: moving, hilarious, beautifully shot. A real original crowd pleaser, and made in the docu-drama style of ALAMAR.

I won't bore you with the collection of unfinished films because it's not really fair to review something which doesn't even have a sound design, but suffice to say, most were done in the 'slow cinema' style that has completely taken over all festivals worldwide, and they bored me to death. Except one: BONSAI, a Chilean film from Cristian Jimenez (pictured), a director from Valdivia (where I was last year), also produced by Bruno Bettati, a friend and director of the Valdivia Festival. BONSAI, as I tweeted, was like 500 DAYS OF SUMMER with a PhD in Proust. As the director himself sais before the screening, it's a film about love, books and plants. It's also gorgeously shot (in Valdivia and Santiago), well acted, cleverly written and genuinely erudite in its use of literary references (a cat is called Gogol). It should be a festival hit and might even be a minor commercial success in selected territories. This film won the Best Film Prize at the Construccion competition, which ensures its post-production and distribution in France (TONY MANERO was a previous winner).

Monday, 28 March 2011

UK Box Office 25-27 March

Replicating its debut in the US, LIMITLESS takes the number one spot with a healthy screen average. Although out of the Top 10, Herzog's CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (distributed by Picturehouse Entertainment, the Dukes' sister company) opened with the second largest screen average (over £3k) of any film out. With only 23 sites, it grossed over £100K. Not a bad beginning to the 3D arthouse revolution.

1- LIMITLESS (£2,078,211)(New)
2- THE EAGLE (£1,036,688)(New)
3- A TURTLE'S TALE (£1,119,577)(New)
4- RANGO (£669,250) (4 weeks, total £5,890,532)
5- UNKNOWN (£476,260)(4 weeks, total £5,358,987)
6 -BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (£427,388)(3 weeks, total £4,270,480)
7- ANUVAHOOD (£391,812)(2 weeks, total £1,207,454)
8- CHALET GIRL (£339,328)(2 weeks total £1,305,404)
9- THE LINCOLN LAWYER (£323,163) (2 weeks, total £1,273,691)
10-HALL PASS (£303,699)(£2,609,822)

Monday, 21 March 2011

UK Box Office 18-20 Mar

The overall box office is significantly down as spring kicks in, scaring the hell out of exhibitors who've had a great first quarter. All the new entries failed to ignite ticket sales, including high profile Matthew 'shirtless' McCougnaghey vehicle THE LINCOLN LAWYER which was outgrossed by CHALET GIRL.

1-RANGO (£1,044,696)(3 WEEKS, TOTAL £5,020,115)
2-BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (£874,199) (2 WEEKS, TOTAL £3,453,441)
3-UNKNOWN (£775,258)(3 WEEKS, TOTAL £4,492,646)
4-CHALET GIRL (£681,405)(NEW)
6-HALL PASS (£554,444)(2 WEEKS TOTAL £1,991,478)
7-ANUVAHOOD (£536,815)(NEW)
8-THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (£532,655)(11 WEEKS, TOTAL £4,094,452)
9-THE KING'S SPEECH (£349,836) (11 WEEKS, TOTAL £44,011,080)
10- A TURTLE'S TALE (£324,545)(NEW)

Monday, 14 March 2011

UK Box Office 11-13 March

New entry WAR OF THE WORLDS-esque BATTLE: LOS ANGELES takes the top spot with a solid if unimpressive 1.7 million. The other two new releases in the top 10, HALL PASS & FAIR GAME fail to attract much of an audience. THE KING'S SPEECH, at its lowest position ever on this chart, clocks another 700K into its mountain of cash.

1- BATTLE: LOS ANGELES (£1,790,894)(NEW)
2- RANGO (£1,536,888)(2 WEEKS, TOTAL £3,612,765)
3- UNKNOWN (£1,037,502) (2 WEEKS, TOTAL £3,157,009)
4- THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (£910,729)(2 WEEKS, TOTAL £3,080,931)
5- HALL PASS (£899,280)(NEW)
6- THE KING'S SPEECH (£689,299)(10 WEEKS, TOTAL £43,256,669)
7- PAUL (£559,411) (4 WEEKS, TOTAL £13,230,514)
8- GNOMEO AND JULIET (£551,802)(4 WEEKS, TOTAL £14,744,764)
9- FAIR GAME (£302,704)(NEW)
10- WEST IS WEST (£248,424)(3 WEEKS, TOTAL £2,091,615)

Monday, 7 March 2011

UK Box Office 4-6 March

PIRATES collaborators Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp took top spot with animated (and 2D) flick RANGO, with solid but not spectacular results. Matt Damon, in one of two films out bearing his name (the other being INSIDE JOB, no. 25 on the chart) hit the second spot with the hard-to-market BUREAU. Incredibly, THE KING'S SPEECH is still within the top 5, and has now a lifetime gross of £42 million. This exceeds Charles Gant's predictions - could it become the no. 2 film of all time at the UK box office?

1- RANGO (£1,629,345) (New)
2- THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (£1,392,625)(New)
3- UNKNOWN (£1,350,247)(New)
4- PAUL (£1,107,407)(3 weeks, total £12,204,690)
5- THE KING'S SPEECH (£1,072,130)(9 weeks, total £41,924,349)
6- GNOMEO & JULIET (£834,888)(4 weeks, total £14,067,243)
7- I AM NUMBER FOUR (£498,352)(2 weeks, total £2,590,583)
8- TRUE GRIT (£461,697)(4 weeks, total £7,472,755)
9- WEST IS WEST (£453,493) (2 weeks, total £1,620,958)
10- YOGI BEAR (£433,748)(4 weeks, total £8,215,536)