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Quality Is Independent
by Christopher Stone

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Hugh Jackman's RAW STEEL was a Box-Office knockout.

Hugh Jackman's RAW STEEL was a Box-Office knockout.
Strong reviews, knockout publicity, CGI magic, and thousands of multiplex screens

coalesced to send RAW STEEL to the top of the Box-Office heap, across the

weekend of October 7-9. The Hugh Jackman vehicle had a stellar, if not

spectacular, $27.3 million bow. That was enough to make the flick the

biggest-ever opening for a boxing movie. THE IDES OF MARCH, a taut political

thriller, starring pretty boys George Clooney and Ryan Gosling, was a way-

distant second, mining only $10.4 million in Box-Office gold. In its third

frame, DOLPHIN TALE took third place, adding another $9.2 million to its


Match-Flickers, October is in full swings, and the quality releases are at the box-

office in full force. Like it or not, from now, until the clock strikes New Year,s

Weekend, much of what you see at your favorite theatre will probably, in some

way, advance the motion
Pretty boys Clooney and Gosling, beware!

Pretty boys Clooney and Gosling, beware!

pictures' arts and sciences.

TAKE SHELTER (October 7): On the same day that the long-touted THE IDES OF

MARCH debuted on several thousand screens, another class act, TAKE SHELTER,

quietly opened in limited release. From Sony Pictures Classics, TAKE SHELTER is an

Intense drama about a young husband and father, Curtis LiaForche, played by

BOARDWALK EMPIRE's Michael Shannon, who is cursed by visions of an apocalyptic

storm. Does Curtis need to protect his family from the coming storm, or is he the true

menace to his wife and his young, deaf daughter?

This psychological thriller has been receiving extraordinary reviews. The NEW YORK

TIMES calls this quality gem "a perfect allegory for a panicky time.". Of Michael

Shannon's performance, the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS announces: "If a performance

this powerful isn't nominated for an Oscar, the world might really be

upside down."

writer-director, Jeff Nichols, is being touted as a major awards contender for his

brilliant work on this small, but significant, second film.

TOMBOY (November 16): Already a critical and popular success in it's native France,

TOMBOY is coming to America next month, where it has already been lauded by the

Odessa International Film Festival, the San Francisco Frameline Gay and Lesbian Film

Festival, and the Philadelphia QFest Lesbian and Gay Festival.

TOMBOY Lauren, a 10-year-old girl, moves into a new neighborhood, introducing

herself to the new neighbors, as a boy named Mickael. Laure's deception works, even to the point that one of her friends, Lisa, falls in love with Mickael. Laure's true gender

is revealed after she gets into a fight to protect her younger sister.

TOMBOY's Pre-pubescent story concludes with Lauren introducing herself to Lisa as the
Is this young lass a TOMBOY or a gay gal?

Is this young lass a TOMBOY or a gay gal?
girl she truly is.

Match-Flickers disinclined to seek out small. independent gems, have a trio of

retreads awaiting their approval at the box-office this weekend: You be the judge as to whether there is any thing quality about these major studio offerings.

THE THREE MUSKATEERS: The Alexandre Dumas classic is remade for the

umpteenth time. This time around they add a state-of-the-art, 3D update.

THE THING: Was twice quite enough, or are Match-Flickers going to say

that "The third time's the charm!" for this shape-shifting, creepy crawly THING

from another planet?

FOOTLOOSE: A monster hit in 1984 that sent Kevin Bacon's career into

superstar orbit, FOOTLOOSE also spawned a Broadway musical. This retool

has been generating some excellent reviews. But what about you? Will y'all

come to this 21st Century remake, or would you rather stay home and watch

the DVD of the original?

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The Business of Show
Every other Friday

Does advertising, public taste, or overindulged stars determine a movie's box office fate? Christoper Stone explores what's going on behind the box office.

Other Columns
Other columns by Christopher Stone:

The Cautionary Box-Office

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up. Part Two

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up, Part 1

Oh, the Horror!

Summer: The Biggest Winners and the Biggest Losers

All Columns

Christopher Stone
Christopher Stone is the author of the international best seller Re-Creating Your Self. With Mary Sheldon, he co-authored three highly successful hardcover books of guided meditations.

He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Christopher Stone by clicking here.

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