Indie News

‘Eighth Grade’ Graduates to Best Opening Per Theater Average of 2018 at $63K; ’Sorry To Bother You’ Expands Strong: Specialty Box Office

‘Eighth Grade’ Graduates to Best Opening Per Theater Average of 2018 at $63K; ’Sorry To Bother You’ Expands Strong: Specialty Box Office
Bo Burnham's Sundance debut Eighth Grade opened with the best debut weekend per theater average of the year. Released via A24, the feature grossed over $252K in four locations, giving it a robust $63,071 PTA. The figure tops Searchlight's Isle Of Dogs, which now holds the second-highest opening weekend average of 2018 at $60,011. Amazon Studios launched Gus Van Sant's latest, Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far On Foot, starring Joaquin Phoenix, also in four theaters Friday…
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‘Claws’ Breakout Harold Perrineau on Playing a Romantic Exotic Dancer With Autism

‘Claws’ Breakout Harold Perrineau on Playing a Romantic Exotic Dancer With Autism
[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Claws” Season 2, Episode 6, “Double Dutch.”]

The sweet and good-natured character Dean Simms has become of the breakouts on “Claws,” which is no mean feat for a show filled with flamboyant mafia bosses, drug dealers, ex-cons, and ex-prostitutes. But even if he has a stronger moral compass than that others, Dean is anything but boring.

Dean, portrayed by Harold Perrineau, has had perhaps the biggest character evolution on the TNT series so far. First introduced as a budding artist with autism who is completely dependent on his sister Desna (Niecy Nash), he’s become far more than a mere appendage to her life. Dean has created a much richer and more independent existence for himself that involves romancing his girlfriend Virginia (Karrueche Tran), moving in with her, and preparing to become an exotic dancer. But more importantly, he’s also become a man who can finally watch out for his sister
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‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Towers Over ‘Skyscraper’ and ‘Ant-Man & the Wasp’ at the Box Office

‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Towers Over ‘Skyscraper’ and ‘Ant-Man & the Wasp’ at the Box Office
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” was a surprisingly decisive #1 film this weekend with an estimated $44 million. It disappointed anyone who expected a tight, three-way race with “Ant-Man and the Wasp” and “Skyscraper.” While this is great news for Sony, these results present several troubling issues.

Overall, the results are fine. This weekend’s box office is about equal to last year, which saw two films gross more than anything this weekend. Even so, year-to-date grosses remain nearly nine percent above 2017.

Adjusted, the $44 million gross is the smallest in the “Hotel Transylvania” series; this the first released in summer. The first two debuted at the end of September, a position that signaled they were less competitive.

The best animated opening weekend last summer was “Despicable Me 3” at $72 million; at $53 million, “Cars 3” felt a bit disappointing. “Transylvania” is good enough, and set to make money: It cost $80 million, and opened to $54 million overseas.
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There’s Only One Blockbuster Video Left in America, and It’s in Bend, Oregon

As of last year, there were 10 remaining Blockbuster Video stores still open in the country. As of today, there’s just one. Bend, Oregon is home to America’s last surviving branch of the once-ubiquitous chain, which has gone the way of the dodo in the streaming era. Three locations remained until recently, but the closure of two in Alaska — one in Anchorage, the other in Fairbanks — means that official extinction is closer than ever before.

“Every day, even before this, people would drive by and see the ‘Open’ sign and say, ‘Oh my gosh. How are you still here? Why are you still here?'” Sandi Harding, the store’s general manager, tells the Washington Post. People have been showing up to the store in recent days, but not to rent videos — to take pictures.

“These are the last two Blockbuster stores in Alaska that survived and it is
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Marc Maron, Tracy Morgan, Ray Romano & More Ponder Political Correctness In Comedy, #MeToo & More

In the lead-up to the Emmy nominations, announced this past week, The Hollywood Reporter ran many of their award-season roundtables on “Close Up with the Hollywood Reporter.” Catching up with all the videos, today we’re looking at the Comedy Actor. Moderator Lacey Rose sat down with Marc Maron (“Glow”), Tracy Morgan (“The Last O.G.“), Louie Anderson (“Baskets”), Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”), Ray Romano (“Get Shorty”), and Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs.

Continue reading Marc Maron, Tracy Morgan, Ray Romano & More Ponder Political Correctness In Comedy, #MeToo & More at The Playlist.
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‘Burning Secret’: Stanley Kubrick’s Once-Lost Screenplay Has Been Found 60 Years Later — and Could Be Made Into a Film

‘Burning Secret’: Stanley Kubrick’s Once-Lost Screenplay Has Been Found 60 Years Later — and Could Be Made Into a Film
Nearly 20 years after his death, Stanley Kubrick continues to fascinate and confound. The endlessly influential filmmaker is almost as notable for the films he didn’t make as he is for those he did, and it now appears one of those lost projects may not actually be lost: “Burning Secret.”

Kubrick co-wrote the adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novella of the same name with Calder Willingham in 1956, shortly before making “Paths of Glory.” The script has been found by Nathan Abrams, a film professor at Bangor University, according to the Guardian. “I couldn’t believe it,” the Kubrick scholar said of the discovery. “It’s so exciting. It was believed to have been lost.”

“Kubrick aficionados know he wanted to do it, [but] no one ever thought it was completed. We now have a copy and this proves that he had done a full screenplay,” Abrams added. He describes the project as “the inverse of ‘Lolita,
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Bruce Willis Says ‘Die Hard’ Isn’t a Christmas Movie

Bruce Willis Says ‘Die Hard’ Isn’t a Christmas Movie
If you’ve literally ever seen “Die Hard” referenced online or by a certain kind of movie buff out in the wild, you’re no doubt familiar with the argument that it’s not only a Christmas movie but one of the best of its kind. During his Comedy Central Roast last night, Bruce Willis set the record straight by saying the beloved action flick isn’t a Christmas movie — “it’s a god damn Bruce Willis movie!”

As is tradition, Willis didn’t say much else during the taping; that task was left to the likes of Edward Norton, Lil Rel Howery, host Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and even Willis’ ex-wife Demi Moore. It sounds as though Moore’s surprise appearance got the best reaction, which is unsurprising given lines like this: “I was married to Bruce for the first three ‘Die Hard’ movies, which makes sense because the last two sucked.
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‘Who Is America?’: Sacha Baron Cohen Helps Gop-ers & Lobbyists Teach Toddlers To Shoot Guns [Watch]

It’s been pretty astounding to watch the unintended promotional tour of those who have been pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen on his new Showtime series, “Who Is America?”: a litany of Tea Partiers, alt-right hardliners and gun nuts tripping over themselves trying to get ahead of being seriously owned by the comedian. First, realizing she’d been duped and probably seriously embarrassing what’s left of her tattered reputation, former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin tried to get ahead of the idiotic things she told Cohen.

Continue reading ‘Who Is America?’: Sacha Baron Cohen Helps Gop-ers & Lobbyists Teach Toddlers To Shoot Guns [Watch] at The Playlist.
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‘Doctor Who’ Teaser: Jodie Whittaker Makes Her Grand Entrance — Watch

‘Doctor Who’ Teaser: Jodie Whittaker Makes Her Grand Entrance — Watch
Doctor Who” fans had reason to tune in to the World Cup final between France and Croatia even if they don’t care for soccer: a new teaser for the 11th season of “Doctor Who.” Jodie Whittaker takes over as the 13th Doctor overall and the first woman to take on the role. Watch below.

It begins in a diner before cutting to an apartment and then another eatery, with everyone’s meals (especially pizza) being interrupted by a strange energy that can only mean the arrival of the newest Doctor is imminent. Then she does, because how else would this end?

Whittaker made her official debut as the 13th Doctor during “Twice Upon a Time,” last year’s Christmas special; she’s best known for her appearances in “Broadchurch,” “Attack the Block,” and the “Black Mirror” episode “The Entire History of You.” Her predecessor Peter Capaldi’s tenure began
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‘Eighth Grade’ Scores as ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Breaks Out at Specialty Box Office

‘Eighth Grade’ Scores as ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Breaks Out at Specialty Box Office
Narrative live action has struggled at the 2018 specialty box office; so far the top titles are either animated or documentary. But that has suddenly changed. “Eighth Grade” (A24) had a sensational two-city initial response. And “Sorry to Bother You” (Annapurna) expanded rapidly with continued strong results. Meantime serious drama “Leave No Trace” (Bleecker Street) successfully added more theaters to bring the indie count to three non-documentary hits.

Not that documentaries have peaked. “Three Identical Strangers” (Neon) is also breaking through to a wider public.

Yes, there were several major successes, but this summer lineup offered narrow appeal, leaving out more sophisticated fare. It’s too soon to celebrate. But after a worrisome first half of the year, summer brings upbeat news.

Opening

Eighth Grade (A24) – Metacritic: 90; Festivals include: Sundance, South by Southwest 2018

$252,284 in 4 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $63,071

Top level reviews (at the level of “The Rider” and “First Reformed
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Spike Lee Directed Five Short Films for Uber Because He Just Loves Brooklyn That Damn Much — Watch

Spike Lee Directed Five Short Films for Uber Because He Just Loves Brooklyn That Damn Much — Watch
There are many ways to fight the power, and one of them is directing short films for Uber. Spike Lee has teamed up with the ride-sharing company for “Uber Presents Da Republic of Brooklyn,” a series of five shorts highlighting the men and women behind the wheel in the filmmaker’s favorite borough of New York — and lest you fear that this is another example of Uber not doing right by its employees, the company has specified that all drivers were compensated for their participation in the project.

“I was attracted to this project because I know a lot of people who drive on the Uber platform and it gives them the flexibility they need to pursue their dreams,” Lee says in a statement. “That’s how we do it in Brooklyn – that’s the Brooklyn hustle.” 2018 has proven to be Lee’s best year in quite some time, as
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Disney Will Control 40% of the Box Office If It Buys Fox, Becoming the ‘Walmart of Hollywood’

Disney spent a whopping $71.3 billion to acquire most of 21st Century Fox, and by most accounts the Mouse House getting a lot of bang for its buck: “Avatar,” “Deadpool,” and the “X-Men” franchise are all part of the deal. If the acquisition ultimately goes through, according to CNN’s number-crunchers, Disney will control a full 40 percent of the box office.

That’s good news for fans who want to see Wolverine in a Marvel movie, but not everyone is celebrating.

“They’ll have so much share, that it will seem to give them leverage up and down the supply chain,” Barton Crockett of Fbr Capital Markets tells CNN. “It’s what happens in a world where one studio, mainly Disney, is having outsized success in doubling down on its investments, and most of the other studios seem to be on their heels a bit when it comes to making movies.
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‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Wins The Weekend As ‘Skyscraper’ Crumbles At The Box Office

As this weekend approached, box office analysts predicted that the #1 spot would be a battle between the animated threequel “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” and Dwayne Johnson’s “Die Hard” knock-off, “Skyscraper.” While ‘Hotel Transylvania’ did what was expected, “Skyscraper” ended up burning to the ground, so to speak.

Coming in at #1, surprising no one, is ‘Hotel Transylvania 3,’ with a weekend total of $44.1 million.

Continue reading ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Wins The Weekend As ‘Skyscraper’ Crumbles At The Box Office at The Playlist.
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Studying The Dynamic Characters In The Films Of Bennett Miller

Despite the varying stories that director Bennett Miller tells in his films, there is one element that remains consistent. Miller has brought to the screen profound, enigmatic characters each time. His movies “Capote,” “Money Ball,” and “Foxcatcher” received praise not only for the filmmaker’s direction but the astounding, sometimes surprising, performances of each film’s cast, arguably Channing Tatum and Steve Carell‘s best turns to date, one of Jonah Hill‘s standout dramatic performances and obviously an Oscar for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Continue reading Studying The Dynamic Characters In The Films Of Bennett Miller at The Playlist.
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‘Anne With an E’ Boss Answers Burning Questions About the Queer Soirée, Season 3, and More

‘Anne With an E’ Boss Answers Burning Questions About the Queer Soirée, Season 3, and More
[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for “Anne With an E” Season 2, including the finale “The Growing Good of the World.”]

The character of Great Aunt Josephine Barry in the “Anne of Green Gables” books has always been a fan favorite because she seemed to truly understand and encourage the unique aspects of the orphan that transformed the lives of those in Avonlea. In Netflix’s adaptation “Anne With an E,” it’s revealed that her perception and empathy comes from her own personal struggles: Aunt Josephine (Deborah Grover) is gay.

Series creator Moira Walley-Beckett spoke to IndieWire about adding this extra dimension to the beloved literary character, as well as more realistic touches for Canada in the Edwardian period, and what she’s eyeing for Anne Shirley Cuthbert (Amybeth McNulty) in Season 3.

“Upon reading [the novel] again as an adult, I was wondering about Aunt Jo,” said Walley-Beckett. “In the book, she’s a spinster and she’s
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‘Who Is America?’ Review: Sacha Baron Cohen’s Jokes Are Hit-or-Miss, but His Wild Showtime Series Could Kill Political Careers

‘Who Is America?’ Review: Sacha Baron Cohen’s Jokes Are Hit-or-Miss, but His Wild Showtime Series Could Kill Political Careers
Important is the kind of word that gets tossed around a lot when critiquing TV shows. Along with its many adjectives — relevant, vital, urgent, essential, etc. — the designation boosts scripted series from “The Looming Tower” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” to “Scandal” and “The Oa,” noting their political, cultural, or storytelling significance. Unscripted fare, like “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Born This Way,” snags the same praise. Some warrant theses descriptors more than others, but few comedies have tried as hard to earn them as Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Showtime series, “Who Is America?”

By shooting so high, the unflinching performer behind Da Ali G and Borat hits a few big marks, and misses some, as well. Members of Congress should be removed from office because of the things they say and do with Cohen’s characters, but the vaudevillian master of disguise also puts his elaborate
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‘Harlots’ Review: Liv Tyler Joins the Cast for a Heartbreaking Season 2 Filled With Horrifying Machinations

“The Handmaid’s Tale” may have just ended its latest season, but the commentary on female oppression continues on Hulu with the return of “Harlots.” Now in its sophomore season, the drama about warring brothels digs deeper into the underlying issues that have created the enmity, along with the gender inequality that has forced the women into such cutthroat circumstances in 18th-century Georgian London.

The series picks up with in-demand harlot Charlotte Wells (Jessica Brown Findlay) having abandoned her mother Margaret’s (Samantha Morton) brothel on Greek Street for Golden Square, the high-end house of rival bawd Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville). This seeming betrayal, however, is part of her revenge scheme to take down Quigley, who is responsible for having forced her mother into whoring as a child, which in turn forced her subsequent children into the life.

One of the problematic narrative issues with “Harlots” is its focus on women tearing down other women,
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Chris Hardwick Replaced on ‘Talking Dead’ by Yvette Nicole Brown Amid Sexual Abuse Accusations

Chris Hardwick Replaced on ‘Talking Dead’ by Yvette Nicole Brown Amid Sexual Abuse Accusations
As it continues its “assessment” of Chris Hardwick, who was accused of sexual abuse by ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, AMC has announced that Yvette Nicole Brown will now become interim guest host of both “Talking Dead” and a preview special of “The Walking Dead” season nine. Brown has been a regular guest on “Talking Dead” since 2012 and starred on “Community” from 2009–15.

AMC released a brief statement announcing the change:

“Yvette Nicole Brown will step in as an interim guest host of ‘The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special’ on August 5 and ‘Talking Dead’ when it returns following the premiere of ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ on August 12, as we work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick.”

In a Medium essay written last month, Dykstra detailed an abusive, years-long relationship with an unnamed man whom readers quickly deduced was Hardwick. He has since lost several other positions, with AMC taking “Talking With
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‘Suspiria’: Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Will Play Its Iconic Score in Its Entirety on Fall Tour

‘Suspiria’: Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin Will Play Its Iconic Score in Its Entirety on Fall Tour
2018 appears to be the year of “Suspiria.” In addition to “Call Me by Your Name” director Luca Guadagnino’s highly anticipated remake of Dario Argento’s classic giallo, this fall will also see Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin go on tour to perform its iconic score for the original film in its entirety. Each show will feature a screening of the film, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year; to mark that occasion, Goblin reissued said score on vinyl.

Thom Yorke of Radiohead is scoring this new take on the film, which stars Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Grace Moretz, Mia Goth, and Jessica Harper. Though his bandmate Jonny Greenwood has received widespread acclaim for his musical stylings on films like “There Will Be Blood” and “Phantom Thread,” Yorke hasn’t worked on a high-profile film project before.

Here are the dates for Goblin’s tour, which begins just before Halloween
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‘It’s Always Sunny’ Teases Dennis’ Return in Horror-Themed Poster for Season 13

‘It’s Always Sunny’ Teases Dennis’ Return in Horror-Themed Poster for Season 13
It’s been more or less confirmed that we haven’t seen the last of Dennis on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” as Kaitlin Olson recently revealed that Glenn Howerton will return to the irreverent comedy for “some episodes” during its upcoming 13th season. Beyond the fact that he’ll “take on the new role of father in North Dakota,” however, we don’t have many details.

A new horror-themed poster for the show doesn’t exactly change that, but it does serve to remind that the recently departed cast member’s presence continues to loom large (see below). Charlie (Charlie Day), Mac (Rob McElhenney), Frank (Danny Devito), and Dee (Olson) are dressed as the high-school victims in a slasher movie as they flee from an axe-wielding killer standing in front of a cabin; his face is obscured, but the figure can only be the fifth member of the Gang.
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