No second best for cross-cultural comedy

02 March, 2015 by Don Groves

While some critics and cinemagoers may rate the sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as less witty and entertaining than the original, others would disagree.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel raked in $4 million last weekend, well ahead of the first edition’s $3.4 million in 2012.


The key question now is whether the second iteration of the adventures of hotelier Sonny (Dev Patel) and senior citizens played by Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy,  Ronald Pickup et al will have the staying power of the predecessor, which wound up with $21.4 million.

Achieving a multiple of more than six times the opening weekend may be a tall order for the Fox Searchlight film directed by John Madden.

Elsewhere, there wasn’t much of a post- Oscars bounce for the key winners as nationwide receipts eased by 5% to $12.1 million, according to Rentrak’s estimates.

Fifty Shades of Grey continues to drop like a stone, tumbling by 51% to $1.9 million in its third weekend, which boosts its takings to $20.5 million.

The Wachowski siblings’ mega-costly sci-fi/adventure Jupiter Ascending plunged by 47% to $1 million, collecting $3.7 million in 11 days and will probably reach $5 million.

After bombing in the US and the UK, teen time-traveller pic Project Almanac predictably struggled in its Oz debut, fetching $701,000 on 206 screens.

The best lead actor Oscar for Eddie Redmayne didn’t add any impetus to The Theory of Everything, which declined by 31% to $331,000 in its fifth outing, scoring $5.4 million thus far.

Birdman’s four trophies including best picture and best director resulted in a small spike on Friday and Saturday but the effect had dissipated by Sunday. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s surreal comedy/drama earned $204,000 in its seventh frame, slipping by 15% after adding 19 screens, and has banked $5.6 million.

The best actress prize for Julianne Moore saw Still Alice ease by just 4% to $186,000 in its fifth chapter, advancing to $1.6 million.

Warm reviews for A Most Violent Year had no discernible effect as the crime drama film written and directed by J. C. Chandor, starring Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain and Alessandro Nivola, opened weakly with $93,000 on 33 screens.

Eastern Boys, French filmmaker Robin Compillo’s gay-themed romance/home invasion drama took less than $8,000 at two screens but after festival screenings has earned a more respectable $25,000.