Juno

Jason Retiman’s Juno took in an estimated $15.7 million in 998 theaters this past weekend, earning the second biggest Friday night in “indie” film history. Fox Searchlight has decided to expand this little comedy into 2,000 screens starting this Friday.

Juno has drawn comparisons to Little Miss Sunshine (I actually wrote that it was “This year’s Little Miss Sunshine” in my Toronto review, so I might have been the first), but truth is Juno is going to blow Little Miss out of the water. How crazy is that? Who would have thought?

Juno has earned an estimated $31.8 million in its first 28 days of release (only one week wide). Sunshine was at $14.7 million in the same time frame, and $59.8 million domestically by the end of its run. By the same calculation, Juno is heading for $130+ million!! And who knows how long Juno’s legs might be. Sunshine ran in theaters for whole eight months (in limited capacity mind you).

via: cinematical

Juno

Fox Searchlight has a huge hit on their hands with Juno. The film grossed $3.285 million on 998 screens on Friday night (December 28th). I hate to say I told you so, but… well, I told you so. Juno is connecting with mainstream America. The film was given the patented platform release that we’ve grown to expect from Searchlight, becoming the 31st biggest per screen opening of all time. The film has an estimated $18.6 million take, and has yet to expand to over 1,000 screens. The latest step in the platform happened on Tuesday (Christmas), where the film went from 300 to 998 screens. As you can see, Juno has only begun to stretch its legs.

The $3.2 million Friday night number is significant because it might be the second biggest Friday night in independent film history. Here is a look at some of the best Friday’s in recent “Indie” Film History:

Blair Witch Project – around $8.234 million on 1,101 screens
Juno – $3.285 on 998 screens
No Country – $3.1 million on 860 screens
My Big Fat Greek Wedding – $3.044 million on 1764 screens
Pulp fiction – $2.9 million on 338 screens
Crouching Tiger – $2.3 million on 693 screens
Hot Fuzz – $2.118 on 825 screens
Little Miss Sunshine’s – $2.028 million on 1430 screens
Brokeback Mountain – $2.019 million
Sideways – $1.69 million on 1694 screens
Garden State – around $0.9 million on 813 screens
Napoleon Dynamite – $0.7 million on 921 screens

I don’t have access to all the numbers, so maybe our crackjack Box Office reporter Steve Mason will follow up on this, or maybe someone out there has the definitive answer. But as far as I can tell, Juno has pulled the second biggest Friday night box office in “Indie” Film history.

Also note: While The Passion of the Christ is technically an independent film, it opened wide on over 3,000 screens. Technically Star Wars Episode I is also an independent film, possibly the biggest independent film ever made. For this reason, I have not included wide releases of this nature in this discussion.

Juno’s Opening Credit Sequence

Juno Opening

When I first saw Juno at the Toronto Film Festival in September, one of the things I made mention of was the super-cool rotoscoped color-pencil animated opening sequence done by Shadowplay Studios.

Shadowplay has put the sequence online, which can now be watched below. I love this style so much, I wish that the marketing guys at Fox Searchlight had used it more in the marketing materials (ie the theatrical poster). But what do I know?

I just saw the film on the big screen tonight for the third time, and boy does this film play incredibly well in front of an audience. The almost packed theater in a suburb outside-Boston, laughed at every joke, and even clapped for the film when the credits hit.

[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/junointro.flv 470 250]

Director Jason Reitman talks about the opening credit sequence in a blog post from August:

They were created by Shadowplay Studios, the same team who did the bad-ass opening titles for Thank You For Smoking. I met them back in 2000 when we both had short films playing the festival circuit. Their short, “This Guy Is Falling”, was a really impressive have live action/half animation piece they did in college.

When they did Smoking, the titles were rendered on a series of computers in one of their mother’s living rooms. Now they got a fancy place in an art deco building on Wilshire.

The Juno opening titles are out of control. I don’t want to give away too much, but the whole process was really labor intensive. The Shadowplayers would have parties in which friends and family would help construct the whole thing. Can’t wait for you all to see it and then I can explain how it was done…

Juno is now playing on 1,000 screens, and is expected to expand wider across the U.S. in the coming weeks.

AFI’s Top 10 Movies of 2007

AFI Top 10

On Saturday, the American Film Institute picked its Top Ten American Films of 2007. The list is available below in alphabetical order:

  • Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • Into the Wild
  • Juno
  • Knocked Up
  • Michael Clayton
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Ratatouille
  • The Savages
  • There Will Be Blood

I tend to agree with this list more than I agreed with the Golden Globe nominations. I’m not sure if “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” deserves to be up there, and while The Savages is a great movie, I’m not sure if it deserves to be in the top 10. Fox Searchlight’s Once would have been my choice. errr I forgot the AFI list only includes American films. I’m glad to see that AFI included my favorite comedies of the year: Juno and Knocked Up. And why has everyone forgotten about David Fincher’s Zodiac?

Here are AFI’s Top 10 lists from the last six years:

  • 2006: Babel, Borat, The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Half Nelson, Happy Feet, Inside Man, Letters From Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, United 93.
  • 2005: Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Good Night And Good Luck, A History of Violence, King Kong, Munich, The Squid and the Whale, Syriana.
  • 2004: The Aviator, Collateral, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Friday Night Lights, The Incredibles, Kinsey, Maria Full of Grace, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Spider-Man 2
  • 2003: American Splendor, Finding Nemo, The Human Stain, In America, The Last Samurai, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Lost in Translation, Master and Commander, Monster, Mystic River
  • 2002: About a Boy, About Schmidt, Adaptation, Antwone Fisher, Chicago, Frida, Gangs of New York, The Hours, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Quiet American
  • 2001: A Beautiful Mind, Black Hawk Down, In The Bedroom, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Memento, Monster’s Ball, Moulin Rouge, Muholland Drive, Shrek
  • 2000: Almost Famous, Before Night Falls, Best In Show, Erin Brockovich, Gladiator, High Fidelity, Requiem For A Dream, Traffic, Wonder Boys, You Can Count on Me.

Anatomy of a Scene: Juno

Anatomy of a Scene: Juno

Director Jason Reitman and and screenwriter Diablo Cody sit down to watch and discuss a scene from Fox Searchlight’s Juno. It’s kinda like a directors commentary of just one scene, only more promotional. I’m not sure how insightful Reitman’s commentary is here, and Cody doesn’t get many words in, but offers a funny “button” on the segment. Watch Anatomy of a Scene: Juno after the jump.

[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/junoanatomy.flv 470 352]

Juno is now playing in New York and LA. Click here to find out when it’s coming to your neck of the woods.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Find Out When Juno is Coming To A Theater Near You

Juno

Want to see the best film of the year? Jason Reitman’s Juno was released in New York City and Los Angeles last week, and will be expanding across the country in the next few weeks. Fox Searchlight has released a listing, and you can now find out where and when you can see Juno on the big screen, after the jump.

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Cool Stuff: The Best Soundtracks of 2007

Soundtracks: There Will Be Blood and Juno

What is the best movie soundtrack of the year? It’s a tie between Jason Reitman’s Juno which features some really cool indie folk rock from Kimya Dawson, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, which features an experimental original score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. I highly recommend both.

Juno SoundtrackJuno is available now digitally through iTunes, and will be released in stores on January 15th 2008. You can preorder it on Amazon. The soundtrack features:

1. All I Want Is You, Barry Louis Polisar
2. Rollercoaster (instrumental), Kimya Dawson
3. A Well Respected Man, The Kinks
4. Dearest, Buddy Holly
5. Up The Spout, Mateo Messina
6. Tire Swing, Kimya Dawson
7. Piazza, New York Catcher, Belle & Sebastian
8. Loose Lips, Kimya Dawson
9. Superstar, Sonic Youth
10. Sleep (instrumental), Kimya Dawson
11. Expectations, Belle & Sebastian
12. All The Young Dudes, Mott The Hoople
13. So Nice So Smart, Kimya Dawson
14. Sea of Love, Cat Power
15. Tree Hugger, Antsy Pants
16. I’m Sticking With You, Velvet Underground
17. Anyone Else but You, The Moldy Peaches
18. Vampire, Antsy Pants
19. Anyone Else but You, Juno and Bleeker

There Will Be Blood SoundtrackThere Will Be Blood Soundtrack will hit store shelves on December 18, 2007. You can preorder the soundtrack on Amazon. Listen to a few of Jonny Greenwood’s tracks online. Here is the tracklisting:

1. Open Spaces (4:00)
2. Future Markets (2:44)
3. Prospectors Arrive (4:40)
4. Eat Him By His Own Light (3:36)
5. Henry Plainview (4:14)
6. There Will Be Blood (2:08)
7. Oil (3:04)
8. Proven Lands (4:49)
9. HW / Hope of New Fields (2:29)
10. Smear (9:58)

Cool Stuff is a daily feature of slashfilm.com. Know of any geekarific creations or cool products which should be featured on Cool Stuff? E-Mail us at orfilms@gmail.com.

Movie Critic Award Results Round-Up

No Country For Old Men PosterMost major city regions have a society or association of film critics, who each year join together to vote on the best films and performances of the year. This weekend the winners have been announced for the National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO), The Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC), and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA). Here is a round up of the results:

Here is the quick briefing:
The Cohen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men took the Best Film of the year award in three out of the five. Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood took the top award in the remaining. Anderson is leading the Best Director category with two wins. Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood) and George Clooney (Michael Clayton) are tied for Best Actor with two wins each.

Julie Christie took home three best actress wins for her performance in Away From Her, narrowly beating out Marion Cotillard who has two wins for La Vie en Rose. Javier Bardem was awarded three supporting actor wins for No Country for Old Men. Amy Ryan won four out of five for her performance in Gone Baby Gone. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly took home three out of five of the Best Foreign Film Awards. Pixar’s Ratatouille leads with three wins in the Animated category, narrowly beating out Persepolis, which currently has two wins. Diablo Cody is leading with two wins in the Best Original Screenplay section for Juno.

Read the full results after the jump.

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Two New Juno Video Clips

Juno

A couple months ago we posted four video clips from Jason Reitman’s Juno (“Best Movie Of The Year…” “…This year’s Little Miss Sunshine”). We now have two new clips from the film, which hits theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 5th, and the rest of the country in the coming weeks. Watch the videos after the jump.

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Must Watch: Juno International Movie Trailer

Juno

Earlier today I penned an article finally declaring Juno the best movie of the year, defeating Paul Thomas Anderson’s There will Be Blood in a near even fight. As much as I love the movie, I have been less than happy with the film’s marketing thus far. Just look at the poster for a good example of what I’m talking about. It’s not bad, but it just isn’t great either. Fox should have teamed with the company that created the rotoscoped colorpencil-animated opening title sequence.

And while the first movie trailer for Juno got the look, feel and music right, I felt that they didn’t do justice in the area of comedy. Thankfully, Fox Searchlight has released a new international trailer which is quite the polar opposite. It gets the music and look entirely wrong (what’s with the cheesy superimposed text asides? And how could they exclude The Moldy Peaches song?), but it instead nails home the sharp witty pop-culture infused dialogue from Diablo Cody’s script. Check out the new trailer after the jump.
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