News for Week of 17 March 2014


The Grand Budapest Hotel, released earlier this month in the UK,  seems set to surpass all Wes Anderson's previous films at the box office. Fox Searchlight clearly feel they are on to a winner here and will be expanding it stateside, having seemingly captured more than just the core Anderson fan audience. Indiewire have a story on the specialty/indie market receipts stateside:  as of March 16 the film has grossed an estimated $3,640,034 over the weekend, at a $55,152 per-theater-average. That put the film in the top 10 of the overall box office chart, The film's total now stands at a very impressive $4,778,974.

•And on the subject of box-office, the UK Box office picture this week from Launching Films is thus:

Film rank|Title|Studio| Weeks on release|Weekly taking|Life to date B.O

1 - 300: Rise Of An Empire (3D) (15) Warner Bros.     1     £2,761,612     £2,761,612
2-  Lego Movie, The (3D) (U) Warner Bros.     4     £1,633,265     £28,801,707
3 -Grand Budapest Hotel, The (15) 20th Century Fox     1     £1,532,239     £1,532,239
4 -Non-Stop (12A) STUDIOCANAL     2     £1,496,108     £5,364,237
5 -Ride Along (12A) Universal Pictures     2     £823,312     £2,832,887

• New & coming up this week in the UK (from Launching Films):

Tuesday 11 March 2014
Invisible War, The (15)


Wednesday 12 March 2014
Need For Speed (3D) (12A)


Friday 14 March 2014
Under The Skin (15)

Zero Theorem, The (15)

Stag, The (15)

Plot For Peace (12A)

Rocket, The (12A)

Back To The Garden

Suzanne (12A)

Veronica Mars (12A)

Ironclad 2: Battle For Blood (12A)


•March 18th sees the start of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which will run across various London venues until March 28. 

• Also kicking off in March will be the BFI's Flare Festival (formerly the LGBT festival). It runs March 20-30 2014. Festival highlights and tickets can be found here. Venue is BFI Southbank.

flare-2014-home-230x185.jpg

•More trailers can now be seen online for Steven Soderbergh's latest project for the Cinemax channel- The Knick. The drama will look at the professional and personal lives of Dr. John W. Thackery (played by Clive Owen) and an unknown character (played by Steve Garfanti) and the staff at New York's Knickerbocker Hospital during the early twentieth century.

Subscribe to the Cinemax YouTube: http://itsh.bo/10r1tmj The new original series, The Knick, starring Clive Owen, comes to Cinemax this summer.

• It is worth seeing David Lynch's series of haunting and beautiful industrial photographs, taken between 1980-2000 during his trips to London, New York, Lodz and Berlin. At the Photographer's  Gallery until March 30.

• Hollywood voice over legend Hal Douglas passed away, the Guardian here memorialising him appropriately by collecting some of his best V/O trailer work. 

•Paramount have apparently given up trying to court evangelical audiences by recutting Darron Aranofsky's upcoming biblical epic Noah, having tried adding in extras like a religious montage sequence and a Christian rock finale in some versions. These alternate versions apparently went down even worse than Arnofsky's original cut, which had put noses out of joint already. 

•Who the Sam Hill is going to be in the new J.J. Abrams's Star Wars movie? Months away from shooting and still no solid news, not even about the original cast. Now Breaking Bad's Jesse Plemons, Attack the Block's John Boyega, and Downtown Abbey's Ed Speleers are being rumoured to have reached the shortlist.

• Sarah-Violet Bill and Charles Rogers' Fort Tilden, a satirical film about self-obsessed over-privilieged and very middle-class Brooklynites on a day wander, won the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for best film. Indiewire tells you why.

•Shocking though sadly (for this writer) unsurprising news. A new report from the Center for Woman in Film and Television shows that Hollywood still marginalises women on screen to just 30% of speaking roles. And despite lead roles for women in major films like Gravity and The Hunger Games, women remained dramatically under-represented in 2013: iIn the top 100 domestic US grossing films, females comprised 15% of protagonists, 29% of major characters and 30% of speaking characters. Little seems to have changed since the 1940s!

•Lastly, the Guardian has a report about the winds of change that are a'comin. Growing demand for streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify helped the UK home entertainment sector increase its revenues in 2013 for the first time in five years to £5.3bn, according to new figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA). Netflix continues to up its non-US subscription base, reaching 1.6 million in the last quarter of 2013.


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Owen Van Spall

Greetings. I am a Film History MA graduate from Birkbeck University of London and a trained NCTJ qualified journalist. Apart from a long history of film and news writing for this site and various other publications, I am also a trained photographer with my own camera kit. I write mostly every day. Along the way I have picked up work experience at Sight & Sound, The Guardian, The Independent, The FT, The New Statesman, and more. I have written hard news stories, features, arranged and conducted interviews with celebrities, film directors and other major cultural figures, arranged photo shoots, and covered film festivals, conferences and events in the UK and abroad. If you wish to commission me or enquire about full-time opportunities please find my CV and contact details below. A physical portfolio of print only cuttings can also be provided.