Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards                Review Round-Up: "Bodied", "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", and "The Other Side of the Wind"                Rosamund Pike is a force to be reckoned with in "A Private War"        

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters wins weekend box office

This weekend’s lesson is “all the marketing prowess in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t have the movie”. Paramount has been batting 1.000 in terms of launching major fantasy-skewed franchise pictures. From at least summer 2007 with Transformers, they have been the most consistent performers in terms of grabbing those blockbuster debuts, launching not-quite sure things like Iron Man, Star Trek, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Thor to blockbuster numbers while also turning a glorified home movie (Paranormal Activity) into a massive horror franchise in their spare time. They were a little off their game in 2012, with several high profile delays into 2013 (Star Trek Into Darkness, GI Joe: Retaliation) and with the few films Paramount did release in 2012 somewhat under-performing (Jack Reacher, Katy Perry: Part of Me, The Dictator, Rise of the Guardians). But I would argue the fact that Paramount got what looked to be an utter shit-storm like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters to nearly $20 million, or $19 million in this case, is a sign of their sheer marketing will. They hit all the sweet spots (in theater infomercials, an unexpected R-rating, IMAX engagements, an exclusive sneak peak at a future Paramount movie, saturated coverage in various demographics, etc.) but the movie is the movie.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

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