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  • Shadow and Act
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    Weekend Box Office (Aug 26-28). Hurricane Irene Takes Its Toll

    As reported yesterday, Hurricane Irene, which turned out to be something of an underperformer as far as hurricanes go, still was a major factor in bringing down box office totals this weekend. Still Colombiana did well enough to come in at No.2 with $10.3 million. I'm guessimating that the film could have made another $2 - 4 million if it weren't for Irene.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Hurricane Irene Wipes Out Weekend Box Office: The Help Provides Shelter

    Hurricane Irene Wipes Out Weekend Box Office: The Help Provides Shelter

    As Hurricane Irene pummeled the East Coast, causing some 1000 theaters to close their doors, The Help continued its box office surge. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.It's easy to blame Hurricane Irene for sub-standard late summer product and depressed weekend box office results. Certainly the weather did have an impact, as surviving cinemas charted close to the lowest weekend of 2011 with an estimated $88.4 million, coming in slightly ahead of Super Bowl's $87.3 million bottom-dwelling frame. This weekend was also 23% behind the same period a year ago and a huge 29% down from last weekend. When exhibitor-distributor gross collector Rentrak issues its own weather advisory that Saturday and Sunday ticket sales will be impacted by 1,000 theater closures, you know it's serious. Theater chains such as Clearview Cinemas, Regal and AMC closed across the eastern seaboard stretching from Washington D.C. to New York. Even though the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it hit New York, a number of Manhattan cinemas shuttered today as the city contends with the overflow of the Hudson River and lack of transportation.

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  • The Playlist
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    Weekend Box Office: 'The Help' Defeats Tepid Newcomers And Hurricane Season For Another Week At #1

    Usually, studios will look for any possible reason to blame the weather for a film’s poor box office showing. Heat waves only mean audiences will seek the air conditioning of a theater, at least when something exciting is playing. And people will withstand non-apocalyptic snowstorms simply to get away from the cold while enjoying the blockbuster of their choice. But there aren’t a whole lot of options when almost half of a movie’s proposed locations are under siege by a vicious hurricane. Many large chains didn’t even bother to stay open during Irene’s reign, meaning that these quiet end-of-August releases could find no traction heading into the typically-comatose Labor Day weekend.

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  • Press Play
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    STEVEN BOONE: Blind Fury: Notes on Chaos Cinema

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This is yet another view concerning the Chaos Cinema debate. This time it's from writer-critic Steven Boone, who published this piece on his blog Big Media Vandalism. He warns the reader if you haven't watched both chapters of Matthias Stork's video essay Chaos Cinema: The Decline and Fall of Action Movies, don't bother to read what follows.

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  • The Playlist
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    Review: Not A Racing Fan? 'Senna' May Not Convert But Still An Absorbing Account Of A Great Athlete

    Engaging, well-paced and an absorbing behind-the-scenes account of a world many are unfamiliar with, the race-car documentary "Senna" by director Asif Kapadia, is not unlike a sports doc you'd see on ESPN (think the excellent and compelling "30 For 30" series), but thanks to Universal, it is being targeted directly at the art-house crowd.

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    More: Review, Senna
  • Hope for Film
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    Come To Warsaw This October For The Killer/Hope Celebration!

    What? You claim you can't make it to my "mogul" talk at TIFF. So, what are you doing this October? Among other things, I am going to the 27th Warsaw Film Festival. The very same international film fest where my wife's production THE IMPERIALISTS ARE STILL ALIVE! last year won the 1-2 Competition. This year though I am headed for a very special event.

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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Strike Back Episode 3, Kill Zone: Recap and Review

    Action series Strike Back goes to Africa, and David Chute likes it.South Africa plays itself, rather than standing in for India or Afghanistan, in the third episode of the excellent Strike Back. This dense and propulsive counter-terrorism action series (based on a novel by former SAS officer Chris Ryan), a Sky/Cinemax cross-pond co-production based in Johannesburg, location-jumps from inner city shanty towns that could be in Kingston or Mumbai, to red-earth desert landscapes that echo the Spanish scrub of the Sergio Leone westerns, but with a richer color palette. It makes a perfect, picturesque backdrop for the activities of covert operatives who have replaced the quaint old gentlemanly concept of a license to kill with the much more through and goal-oriented notion of the kill zone.

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  • Shadow and Act
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    Director Steve Mcqueen Releases 'Statement' for "Shame"; Screening at Telluride Next Month

    You should be very familiar with this film by now. Steve McQueen's sex-addiction drama Shame stars Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and Nicole Beharie. After premiering in Venice Film Festival at the end of this month, Shame will screen at the Telluride Film Festival (September 2-5th), Toronto International Film Festival and the BFI-American Express London Film Festival.

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  • The Playlist
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    Watch: 10 Clips From 'Contagion' Reveals Cameo From Dr. Sanjay Gupta

    As the east coast braces for Hurricane Irene (our thoughts are with you folks) there is an eerie similarity between the mobilization of the authorities along the seaboard as the storm nears and what unfolds in this generous helping of 10 clips from Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion."

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  • The Playlist
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    Romain Duris Joins Michel Gondry's French Language Film With Audrey Tautou

    Film Is An Adaptation Of 'L'Ecume des jours'; Filming Starts In March 2012While he may not yet be known on this side of the ocean, French actor Romain Duris has been earning praise and breaking hearts in his native France. You might best know the three-time César award nominee from Jacques Audiard's "The Beat That My Heart Skipped" or last year's arthouse comedy hit "Heartbreaker," but the actor is set to reteam with a very familiar face for a film that could serve as his biggest exposure to a worldwide audience yet.

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