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This week on the #HIGHLYRELEVANT podcast, we talk #TomCruise. At 54, can he still deliver a great action film?:…

Where the Wild Things Are Archives -

Where the Wild Things Are Archives -

Pau Brunet


2009/10/18 at 12:00am

Monday Box Office: ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is #1

10.18.2009 | By |

Monday Box Office: 'Where the Wild Things Are' is #1

After a long and troubled production, Warner Bros.’ Where the Wild Things Are found its supper waiting, and it was hot to the tune of $32.5 million, according to early estimates by Box Office. The movie was easily the best debut for acclaimed director Spike Jonze, whose two previous films, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, ended their domestic runs at $22.9 million and $22.5 million, respectively. All eyes will be watching to see how much Wild Things, with its reported $80 million budget, drops next weekend. The film earned a relatively solid “B+” grade from CinemaScore moviegoers, but some families may be staying away as the movie jumped only 2 percent from Friday to Saturday.

The violent thriller Law Abiding Citizen, starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, attracted an adult audience and captured second place with $21.3 million. Right behind it was the box-office phenomenon of the season, Paranormal Activity, which scared up $20.2 million from a mere 760 theaters. The cult horror film, which Paramount brilliantly marketed by asking internet users to “demand” the movie to come to their town, grossed a spooky $26,530 per screen. That’s all the more impressive considering Paranormal Activity was produced on a budget of $11,000. The movie is expected to reach 1,800 theaters next weekend.

Fourth place went to the Vince Vaughn comedy Couples Retreat, which dropped a respectable 48 percent for a $17.9 million weekend. The thriller The Stepfather, a remake of the 1987 original, debuted in fifth place with $12.3 million. In limited release, Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man expanded to 82 theaters and grossed $860,257 for a hearty $10,491 per-screen average. And New York, I Love You, a collection of short films dedicated to the city, debuted with a decent $372,000 from 119 theaters. One wonders how many Gotham-loving moviegoers skipped the film to watch the Yankees play postseason baseball instead.

Overall, the weekend was up 41 percent from the same frame last year, when Max Payne opened to $17.6 million.

Alex Florez


2009/10/15 at 12:00am

Where the Wild Things Are

10.15.2009 | By |

Where the Wild Things Are

The night that ‘Max put on a wolf suit and started doing one shenanigan after another’ marked the moment in my childhood when I let my imagination run wild. I’m referring to the boy in that fantasy book written by Maurice Sendak, who later finds himself in a forest ‘Where The Wild Things Are.’
When I found out that the filmmaker Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich) had the intention of adapting a classic of children’s literature to the big screen, I was easily excited. However, the great expectations that came along with the making of the film were enough to worry me. How loyal would the film be to the book? And most importantly, how would they stretch out a story of just a few pages so that it would work as a movie?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, the book is about a boy named Max who gets sent to bed early for his bad behavior. But he ends up escaping to a forest where he is accompanied by a family of wild creatures. As is traditional in children’s books, ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ has a moral to its story, but I remember it mostly for it’s surrealist world. Something Jonze’s film also succeeds at, but regrettably as a movie ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ falls short.
Here’s the problem: the film doesn’t have enough plot to push the story forward. Since the book is short, Jonze has no choice but to come up with something to further develop the movie. However, the filmmaker doesn’t risk quite enough to make things interesting. Instead he opts to show us filler – like extended sequences of Max playing with his monsters. And that’s just not filmmaking. Although the costuming, the special effects and the wonderful soundtrack do an amazing job of bringing the book to life, the captivating moments are rare. Simply put, the book would have been better served as an exceptional short-film.
‘Where The Wild Things Are’ is one of the all time classic bedtime stories, but when it also puts you to sleep in the movie theater, that’s not a good sign.


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