longestridefeature

Box Office Brasserie:
Movie News For Movie Lovers

The thing about a Nicholas Sparks’ movie adaptations is…it just seems like there’s one every couple months. In actuality, there are only about a dozen of them throughout the course of cinematic history. The latest  is Fox’s “The Longest Ride,” which clocks in at a massive 139 minutes, meaning it really does live up to its title.

Nearly 2 1/2 hours of dramatic romance centering on a bull rider?!? Exactly what kind of ride is this?!? Isn’t this why we have the Hallmark Channel? And ESPN Ocho?

Sparks’ films, to be fair, have for the most part, been moderately successful, although none of them have hit $100M domestically. The closest have been “The Notebook” and “Dear John” which each topped out at just over $80M. This fall’s “The Best of Me” was one of his worst performers, earning just $26M.

Often it comes down to who stars in these kind of films, and with two up-and-comers in Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson, “The Longest Ride” might just go the full 8 seconds. Between you and me, that’s a bit of bull-riding terminology. Hey, you’ve never seen Luke Perry’s “8 Seconds?” You’re missing out, hoss.

In a bit of a scheduling quirk, “The Longest Ride” is the only film in wide release for the second straight week. That doesn’t happen in Hollywood these days. Ever. So it may help this film out as it opens in 3,300+ theaters and looks to ride off with $15M+, possibly a tad more.

That means it’s “Furious 7” for the win again, which is no surprise considering it debuted with $147M stateside (the #9 top opener of all time) and $391M worldwide. None of the recent “Furious” flicks have been able to hold above a -60% drop in their second laps, could this be the first? You better believe it, bucko.

I apologize for the name calling. I suppose I’m working through my feelings about having Clint Eastwood’s son don a cowboy hat. Put this kid in a real western, stat, hombre. Has that “Magnificent Seven” reboot finished casting yet?

If the schmaltzy world of Sparks isn’t for you, check out Relativity’s “Desert Dancer.” The PG-13 film is based on a true story of an underground dance company in Iran, where dance is illegal. The romantic drama slips into 23 theaters this weekend.

Also in limited release A24’s “Ex Machina,” which blurs the line between psychology and sexuality when it comes to man vs. machine.  The R-rated sci-fi flick arrives from Alex Garland, the writer of “Sunshine” and “28 Days Later,” and marks his directorial debut.

In exclusive release in NY/LA/Austin comes Ryan Gosling’s initial directorial effort, “Lost River.” While reviewers may have snickered at in Cannes this past year, it did something a lot of films don’t ever do: make it into Cannes. How many filmmakers can say that? Actually looks quite interesting if you’re into moody coming-of-age stories with cool visuals. It’s also available simultaneously on VOD and will be on DVD in about month.

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WEEKEND ESTIMATES

  1. Furious 7 – $62M
  2. The Longest Ride – $17M
  3. Home – $16M
  4. Get Hard – $7M
  5. Cinderella – $6M

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PRIME CUT OF THE WEEK: Sony’s “Spectre” (Nov. 6, 2015)

The new Bond film has images. Nuff said.  Turtleneck over tux. I like it. Classy yet unrefined.

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CHOICE INDIE CUT OF THE WEEK: Fox Searchlight’s “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”

Why are all great teen romance films saddled with cancer these days? After “Fault in Our Stars” and this, that subplot is about to become cliché, but this Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner is something much, much more tender and fully realized. Looks like the best art house flick of the summer.

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CHOICE CLIP OF THE WEEK: HBO’s “True Detective: Season 2” (June 21, 2015)

More exciting than most of the films in theaters comes HBO’s second season of “True Detective,” starring Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell and Colin Farrell’s mustache.

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CLASSIC CUT OF THE WEEK: New Line’s “8 Seconds” (1994)

This trailer doesn’t do the film justice. Or, uh, maybe it does. Haven’t seen this film for twenty years.

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SURPRISE: WARNER BROS. DROPS BATMAN THIS SUMMER

Double surprise…it’s not Batman, it’s Batkid…”Batkid Begins” to be exact. Remember that story about the 5-year-old with cancer that dressed up like Batman. This is the documentary of that inspiring tale which has been slated June 26th. Warners hardly ever releases documentaries, so this is very rare indeed.

In related news, Julia Roberts has signed on to produce and star in the dramatization of this story, however it’s highly unlikely she’ll play the 5-year-old boy. Although that’s wild speculation on my part.

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Jeff Bock, NewsWhistle’s movie editor, is the senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at Jeff@NewsWhistle.com.

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Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures; Poster Design by Concept Arts