The Hunger Games: Catching Fire continued to heat up the top of the box office, comfortably holding on to the number one spot. The dystopian blockbuster fell 46%, once previews are removed, to £5.5m and after 11 days in cinemas has an imposing cume of £21.7m. That figure places Catching Fire just £3m behind the first Hunger Games’ £24m final total and it now looks almost certain to reach £30m.
The Hunger Games caught fire this weekend, heating up the top of the box office with the third biggest Friday to Sunday opening weekend of the year. Including Thursday previews, Catching Fire opened with £12.2m (£2.1m of that from previews). That puts it just behind Iron Man 3 (£11.4m) and Man Of Steel (£11.2m) in the biggest Friday to Sunday openings of the year. It’s also over double the opening weekend of The Hunger Games (£4.9m) in March 2012.
Digital Cinema Media’s (DCM) resident Film Specialist, Tom Linay, was lucky enough to attend a preview screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jenifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson.
Since the success of the Twilight films, producers around the world have been scouring their offspring’s bookshelves for young adult fiction novels to adapt into feature films in the hope of starting a new global franchise. Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments and I Am Number Four, amongst others, have all made the transition to the big screen and to date arguably the only unqualified success since Twilight has been The Hunger Games.
The first book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy was brought to the screen by Gary Ross in March 2012 and it proved to be a critical and commercial hit ($691m worldwide, with £24m from the UK alone). The bleak dystopian world where one boy and one girl from the 12 districts of Panem are pitted against each other in a fight to the death, was expertly realised and the film was anchored by a terrific lead performance from seemingly fearless lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence, as Katniss Everdeen. Since the first film Lawrence has won a Best Actress Oscar and the books have attracted even more fans. To say that Catching Fire is highly anticipated is putting it very lightly.
Its arrival has been long awaited and arguably, the event film of the year didn’t disappoint.
Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller Gravity 3D opened with £6.2m, which included £619k from Thursday previews. The Friday to Sunday total of £5.6m is the seventh highest of the year, knocking last weekend’s Thor: The Dark World into eighth.
Thor: The Dark World dealt a hammer blow to all other contenders this weekend, comfortably taking the top spot. The Marvel sequel debuted with a god-like £8.7m, which includes £3.1m from Wednesday and Thursday previews. The £5.6m Friday to Sunday total is the seventh highest of the year, ahead of The Hangover Part III (£4.9m) and behind Star Trek Into Darkness (£6.9m).
The first Thor opened with £5.4m (including £2.3m from previews) in 2011 and finished on £14m, so Thor: The Dark World is already well over half way to overhauling that total. Over 50% of Thor: The Dark World’s gross was from 3D presentations.
Following his review of week one, Digital Cinema Media’s resident film specialist, Tom Linay, sums up the second installment for shots magazine.
The 57th BFI London Film Festival in association with American Express is over for another year and this year’s edition will go down as one of the best ever. Record equaling numbers attended the festival and some of the world’s biggest stars came and supported their films.
The festival started off at an incredibly high standard, with Captain Phillips, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis just three of the highlights from the opening week. There were also UK premieres for All Is Lost starring Robert Redford, Jonathan Glazer’s first film in nine years, Under The Skin and the Palme d’Or winning Blue Is The Warmest Colour. The final five days had a lot to live up to, but miraculously, it did.
Digital Cinema Media’s resident film specialist, Tom Linay, looks back on the BFI London Film Festival with Cue Entertainment readers.
The BFI London Film Festival is over for another year and in its 57th edition once again showcased some of the most exciting upcoming films in the world. The main galas rightly commanded much of the attention and, yes, Gravity, Captain Phillips and 12 Years A Slave are as good as you’ve probably heard, but the programme was incredibly deep and diverse and there were gems to be unearthed throughout.
Director Jonathan Glazer is a man responsible for some of the greatest music videos of all time and his two features to date, Sexy Beast and Birth demonstrate that his formidable talent extends to longer narratives too. With his latest film, Under The Skin, he has undertaken something else entirely. It’s less a narrative and more a sensory experience that contains a host of images that won’t be forgotten any time soon.
What narrative there is follows an alien called Laura, played by Scarlett Johansson with dyed hair and fur coat, who has rather unluckily found herself in Glasgow (of all the places to land). The film documents Laura experiencing the world and interacting with humans for the first time. She drives around in a transit van, visits shopping centres and nightclubs and does scenic coastal and forest walks. For reasons that aren’t explained, or if they were I missed it, she also leads unsuspecting and rather aroused males to their death in a mysterious black liquid that reduces its victims to a chilling husk. There’s also a man on a motorcycle who drives around Scotland interacting with people and locations that Laura has come into contact with. His purpose isn’t clear but it adds to the unsettling and discordant feel of proceedings. From first to last minute, the film successfully conjures, through oppressive sound design and off-kilter visuals an other-worldly and yes, alien atmosphere. I’d say it’s most relatable to the ambience Glazer created in his stunning video for UNKLE’s Rabbit In Your Headlights.
Having played a supporting role in big screen comedies, including Step Brothers, We’re The Millers and Wanderlust, with Afternoon Delight the immensely talented Kathryn Hahn finally gets the chance to show what she can do in a lead role, and she doesn’t disappoint.
Hahn plays Rachel, a housewife and mother who, finding many aspects of her life with her husband Jeff (Josh Radnor) have gone stale, decides to visit a strip club with a group of friends. After a dalliance with lapdancer McKenna (Juno Temple), she engineers a subsequent meeting with her and ends up inviting her to live in the family’s spare room. She wastes little time in inviting McKenna to social engagements and asking her to babysit, whilst trying to lead her away from her life as a stripper and sex worker.