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Why hasn't Le Week-End been a success?


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Old 18-10-2013, 11:04
Inkblot
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After only one week (and reaching no 7 at the UK box office) it's been relegated to one, inconvenient showing a day, and at the smallest screens (48 seats in our "flagship" Vue). What's the problem? It had good-to-excellent reviews, and has a great cast, writer and director.

Is it simply not what the British public wants to see, or is it simply not what the distributors want us to see?
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Old 18-10-2013, 11:11
theonlyweeman
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1) It's a limited appeal film, non-juvenile adult comedies generally don't do that well
2) It's a 15, limiting it's audience.
3) Apart from Jeff Goldblum and Jim Broadbent nobody in or that made the film is well known
4) It's being distributed by Artificial Eye, who don't have a massive reach anyway
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Old 18-10-2013, 11:26
Inkblot
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1) It's a limited appeal film, non-juvenile adult comedies generally don't do that well
2) It's a 15, limiting it's audience.
3) Apart from Jeff Goldblum and Jim Broadbent nobody in or that made the film is well known
4) It's being distributed by Artificial Eye, who don't have a massive reach anyway
Well, their attempt to increase their reach by showing it in multiplexes seems to have backfired, because there's no way most adults will be able to get to a 5.50 screening. Plus those tiny 48-seater screens are the kiss of death as there's no atmosphere and no one wants to laugh out loud. Maybe it would have been better to stick to the first-run arthouses where it would have been shown in decent-sized cinemas at more convenient times.

However, the obvious comparison would be Blue Jasmine, which is not a juvenile film and is no 3 in the UK after three weeks. When I went the cinema was packed and people were laughing a lot, even though it's not really a comedy.
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Old 18-10-2013, 12:13
ironjade
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Not enough giant robots.
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Old 18-10-2013, 14:47
theonlyweeman
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However, the obvious comparison would be Blue Jasmine, which is not a juvenile film and is no 3 in the UK after three weeks. When I went the cinema was packed and people were laughing a lot, even though it's not really a comedy.
Blue Jasmine is packed with big names, and being distributed by Warner Bros. UK, who have a slightly bigger reach than AE...
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Old 18-10-2013, 15:27
Trsvis_Bickle
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Firstly, it's great to see someone other than me starting a thread on a quality indie film. There's far too much time devoted to Hollywood garbage on here.

It's a fantastic film that reminded me just how underrated an actress Lindsay Duncan is. She and Jim Broadbent are simply marvellous in Le Week-end and the film is by turns funny, moving and thought-provoking. What, on the face of it, looks like a 'dramedy' of a disintegrating marriage is actually much more complex without being ponderous or earnest. Jeff Goldblum almost steals the show with his brilliant performance.

I saw it at one of the smaller screens at The Watershed in Bristol and the smaller venue didn't seem to inhibit the audience at all. There was plenty of laughter and everyone seemed to have a good time.

As to why it's not being properly distributed, it's a film made by grown-ups for grown-ups and goes against the current Hollywood infantilisation of cinema. Shame, really.

Great film - go and see it if you can.
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Old 23-10-2013, 11:01
Inkblot
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Finally got to see it. 4.30 screening, so not suitable for the average filmgoer, and probably fewer than 30 in the cinema. The acting is flawless, and the director did well to keep a tight rein on the film's potential to descend into voyeurism or farce. But I'm not so sure about the screenplay.

Meg is an interesting character, probably the better-written of the two. She has reached a point where she is unwilling or unable to make compromises, and reacts with fierce honesty to anything that threatens her emotional integrity. Nick on the other hand is a rather less attractive type: a Marxist/anarchist throwback who's simultaneously an intellectual elitist and a borderline racist. Broadbent does a great job of making him flawed rather than outright unpleasant, but I can't help suspecting that Kureishi's intention is more malevolent. Maybe he's saying that people like Nick shouldn't be teaching our kids. But then maybe he's right.

Now before this post gets uncontrollably pretentious, I'll just say that Le Week-End is funny and affecting, and well worth seeing. But it's more like an old-school TV drama than a modern film.
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Old 26-10-2013, 10:22
Trsvis_Bickle
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Finally got to see it. 4.30 screening, so not suitable for the average filmgoer, and probably fewer than 30 in the cinema. The acting is flawless, and the director did well to keep a tight rein on the film's potential to descend into voyeurism or farce. But I'm not so sure about the screenplay.

Meg is an interesting character, probably the better-written of the two. She has reached a point where she is unwilling or unable to make compromises, and reacts with fierce honesty to anything that threatens her emotional integrity. Nick on the other hand is a rather less attractive type: a Marxist/anarchist throwback who's simultaneously an intellectual elitist and a borderline racist. Broadbent does a great job of making him flawed rather than outright unpleasant, but I can't help suspecting that Kureishi's intention is more malevolent. Maybe he's saying that people like Nick shouldn't be teaching our kids. But then maybe he's right.

Now before this post gets uncontrollably pretentious, I'll just say that Le Week-End is funny and affecting, and well worth seeing. But it's more like an old-school TV drama than a modern film.
Eh? Presumably you're referring to the fact that he's been asked to retire because of what he said to a black student about her spending more time on her hair than on her studies. She then complains that her hair is her 'identity and her culture' and the fact that the university takes her seriously underlines the superficiality of modern education and reinforces Nick's view that the university is devoted to stupidity.

Kureishi is making a valid point about political correctness and its damaging effects. Philip Roth makes a similar point in The Human Stain. I don't know where on earth you get this 'borderline racism' from.
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Old 26-10-2013, 19:03
MARTYM8
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Its for the older intelligent viewer - they tend not to do well.

Fifth estate bombed too - Closed Circuit (about a miscarriage of justice following a terrorist bombing with Eric Bana) out this week is getting limited screenings in the smallest screens. I went to a late screening of the latter yesterday and on its first day of release there were just 4 of us in the cinema!

Blue Jasmine has done well - but it has been well promoted and has Cate Blanchett!
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Old 26-10-2013, 22:23
Takae
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1) It's a limited appeal film, non-juvenile adult comedies generally don't do that well
2) It's a 15, limiting it's audience.
3) Apart from Jeff Goldblum and Jim Broadbent nobody in or that made the film is well known
4) It's being distributed by Artificial Eye, who don't have a massive reach anyway
A) that would be the case if this year was still 2000.

The biggest slice in the UK cinema audience today is the 45+ crowd, with the 35-44 crowd trailing closely behind. The 15+ crowd has been in the decline for some time. I think last year marks the lowest point of the 15+ crowd attendance. About 33% drop since 2000? For the 45+ crowd, it's 29% increase since 2000.

All that can be found in a 2011/2012 FAME (Film Audience Measurement and Evaluation), conducted by the CAA (Cinema Advertising Association/Council). But I don't know if it's available to the public? I can find out if anyone's interested in getting a copy.

B) producers and financiers know the 45+ crowd is on the rise, which is why films like Le Week-End are being made. But the problem is, putting acting aside, Le Week-End looks and feels like a TV drama film. A fatal mistake, imo.

A typical cinema audience, regardless of their age, wants to feel they're getting the money's worth from seeing a film at cinema where tickets aren't cheap. They're not getting the 'worth your money' vibe from the marketing of Le Week-End. At best, they might think "I'd rather wait until it's out on DVD or telly." (Edited: That can be applied to Fifth Estate.)

That's my guess based on a fact that the 45+ crowd enjoyed these films: The Great Gatsby, The Woman in Black, People Like Us, The Exotic Marigold Hotel (probably the biggest success, hence Le Week-End trying to repeat the success of TEMH), Side Effects, Argo, Sunshine on Leith, The Sapphires (but it's finding more success and a bigger audience in home entertainment), Lawless, etc.

I think it'll be tough for many in trying to find the right balance between 'worth your money' and 'the kind you enjoy'.
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Old 27-10-2013, 00:11
Fio Montoya
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I don't know anything about this movie but I'll probably watch it when it comes out on dvd. I'll tell you right now what has already put me off though - the stupid title.
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Old 27-10-2013, 09:45
Trsvis_Bickle
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I don't know anything about this movie but I'll probably watch it when it comes out on dvd. I'll tell you right now what has already put me off though - the stupid title.
Well, it is about a weekend in Paris and the French do indeed refer to 'le weekend' (much to the annoyance of the Academie Francaise) so I'm struggling to see why it's a stupid title.
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Old 29-10-2013, 22:54
Irma Bunt
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If Lindsay Duncan's in it, there's the answer. Kiss of screen death, that one.
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Old 30-10-2013, 20:57
TexAveryWolf
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A) that would be the case if this year was still 2000.

The biggest slice in the UK cinema audience today is the 45+ crowd, with the 35-44 crowd trailing closely behind. The 15+ crowd has been in the decline for some time. I think last year marks the lowest point of the 15+ crowd attendance. About 33% drop since 2000? For the 45+ crowd, it's 29% increase since 2000.

All that can be found in a 2011/2012 FAME (Film Audience Measurement and Evaluation), conducted by the CAA (Cinema Advertising Association/Council). But I don't know if it's available to the public? I can find out if anyone's interested in getting a copy.

B) producers and financiers know the 45+ crowd is on the rise, which is why films like Le Week-End are being made. But the problem is, putting acting aside, Le Week-End looks and feels like a TV drama film. A fatal mistake, imo.

A typical cinema audience, regardless of their age, wants to feel they're getting the money's worth from seeing a film at cinema where tickets aren't cheap. They're not getting the 'worth your money' vibe from the marketing of Le Week-End. At best, they might think "I'd rather wait until it's out on DVD or telly." (Edited: That can be applied to Fifth Estate.)

That's my guess based on a fact that the 45+ crowd enjoyed these films: The Great Gatsby, The Woman in Black, People Like Us, The Exotic Marigold Hotel (probably the biggest success, hence Le Week-End trying to repeat the success of TEMH), Side Effects, Argo, Sunshine on Leith, The Sapphires (but it's finding more success and a bigger audience in home entertainment), Lawless, etc.

I think it'll be tough for many in trying to find the right balance between 'worth your money' and 'the kind you enjoy'.
This is fascinating, and would love to hear more about research into this demographic, and its effect on movie making.
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Old 31-10-2013, 10:58
Inkblot
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Obviously this isn't a general rule, just anecdotal evidence, but several of my local cinemas have a much older clientele than your average multiplex. One in particular, it doesn't matter what the film is, the audience will always be predominantly fifty-something upwards.

They go every week, they complain in stage whispers if they can't see properly and they don't suffer bad films lightly. I once heard an elderly man say "does the director really expect us to believe this?" during a foreign-language Oscar contender.

They'll probably love Le Week-End when it shows there in a couple of weeks, but they also loved, for example, Searching For Sugarman. Older audiences don't necessarily want cosy films.
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Old 31-10-2013, 12:33
Takae
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This is fascinating, and would love to hear more about research into this demographic, and its effect on movie making.
Sorry, I didn't have any luck of getting the info on FAME available to the public. The others in the office have suggested BFI's Statistical Yearbook, which is open to the public and free of charge. They say the BFI Yearbook has a better depth, more interesting and much more expansive than the usual film monitor reports, because it crunches and summarises data from annual film monitors (including sales/exhibition and home entertainment) from various UK bodies including CAA. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-11-2013, 18:06
Sylvia
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If Lindsay Duncan's in it, there's the answer. Kiss of screen death, that one.
My thoughts exactly. Wasn't she in that dreary Year in Provence series with John Thaw many years ago?
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Old 02-11-2013, 22:03
Irma Bunt
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My thoughts exactly. Wasn't she in that dreary Year in Provence series with John Thaw many years ago?
I've tried to erase that from my memory!
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:54
Trsvis_Bickle
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My thoughts exactly. Wasn't she in that dreary Year in Provence series with John Thaw many years ago?
Dreadful mistake. IIRC it almost killed off John Thaw's career as well. If it hadn't been for the perennially popular Inspector Morse TV work, he'd have been lucky to have found work as the arse-end of a pantomime horse. However, it wasn't the fault of the Thaw and Duncan; the script was an awful pile of unfunny shite from the ghastly Peter Mayle.

Lindsay Duncan is an excellent actress; she was fantastic as Servilia in Rome and is marvellous in Le Week-end. At least one major critic has commented on how under-used she has been in recent years.
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