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Our Oscar Picks and Predictions

Rest assured: this is the only Oscar predictions post you’ll see on Critic Speak all year. While the rest of the Internet film community becomes obsessed with statuettes come November, writing almost exclusively about precursors and frontrunners and “Oscar buzz” for the next four months, we pride ourselves on keeping the focus on real criticism. …

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Weekend Box Office: Sandy no match for “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Flight”

Going into the weekend, there was a general feeling that the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy would depress grosses, especially with about 300 theaters along the Eastern Seaboard closed on Friday. But it did anything but–in fact, one could make a case that the box office actually improved this weekend because there was little else for Northeasterners to do–as …

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Weekend Box Office: “Argo” bests all openers in down frame

In its third weekend of release, Ben Affleck’s period crowd-pleaser “Argo” showed no signs of slowing down at the box office, dropping just 24.9 percent from last weekend for another $12.4m. Even more impressively, “Argo” beat all four new wide releases by  a sizable margin. While the impending Hurricane Sandy undoubtedly had a negative effect …

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Weekend Box Office: “Paranormal Activity 4” tops unremarkable frame

As expected, “Paranormal Activity 4” earned the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend, but it did so without grossing anywhere near as much as the previous couple installments. #4’s $30.2m opening was down 42.5 percent from #3’s $52.6m and down 25.8 percent from #2’s $40.7m. Perhaps people heeded the advice of our …

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Weekend Box Office: “Taken 2” fends off flurry of new competitors

“Taken 2,” the ‘Liam Neeson is still a badass, in case you were wondering’-billed sequel, once again topped the North American box office chart this weekend, adding $22.5 million to the till for an $86.8m domestic cume. The revenge pic should easily surpass $100m by the end of next weekend. It probably won’t hit the …

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Review: “Argo”

Despite the jarring locational shift from the streets of present-day Boston to those of 1980 Tehran, Ben Affleck’s “Argo” is very similar to his previous effort, “The Town.” As he did in that robbery thriller, Affleck here takes a straightforward heist plot and transforms it into a respectable piece of entertainment by distinctly evoking the …

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Box Office Beat: Weekend of October 12

Hello and welcome back to Box Office Beat, the column in which I predict the upcoming weekend’s box office grosses. After “Taken 2” dominated last weekend, with nearly $50 million in domestic sales, it’s unlikely that we’ll see another blockbuster-sized opening this weekend, especially with six wide openers vying for ticket-buyers’ money. However, the wealth …

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