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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

'Marigold Hotel' crosses $100 million at worldwide box office

May 31, 2012 | 11:47 am

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel crossed the 100 million mark at the box office
Moviegoers worldwide continue to check into "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," as the film surpassed $100 million at the global box office Wednesday.

The movie, centered on British retirees who go on a trip to India, had already racked up $70 million abroad before it debuted in the U.S. in early May. Since, the picture's international tally has risen to $81.4 million, while the film has sold nearly $20-million worth of tickets domestically.

Internationally, the movie has performed best in the United Kingdom, grossing over $30 million in the region where many of its stars — including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson — hail from.

In America, meanwhile, the movie has resonated with older moviegoers. On the film's opening weekend, distributor Fox Searchlight said that 90% of the audience was 35 and older, while 60% of the crowd was female.

The movie is now the seventh-highest-grossing title ever for Fox Searchlight, which financed the picture with Participant Media for $12 million.


India is key part of cast for 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

Already a hit overseas, 'Marigold Hotel' has strong U.S. debut

Word of Mouth: Fox Searchlight hopes seniors check into 'Marigold Hotel'

— Amy Kaufman


Photo: Dev Patel stars in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Credit: Fox Searchlight.

Judi Dench in 'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Betsy Sharkey's pick

May 17, 2012 |  1:08 pm

British actress Judi Dench rarely makes a wrong move with any role she's given, a talent duly noted through the years whether she's being handed an Oscar for her turn in “Shakespeare in Love” or being nominated, as she has been five more times, for films as diverse in tone as “Notes on a Scandal” and “Chocolat.”

Still there is irony that one of her most nuanced performances comes now in the small summer surprise of director John Madden's “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It's a lovely postcard to the possibilities of one's later years with a sprawling ensemble overflowing with other accomplished actors — Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy among them.

As a recent widow with staggering debts deciding to chuck Britain's expensive chill for India's sunny warmth and discount prices, Dench creates a new version of the classic coming-of-age arc. The woman she plays is many decades beyond the angst that more typically plagues adolescence.

But as she is wont to do, Dench finds a way to bring that journey to life in such originality and richness that when she's on screen it's impossible to look away, and when the film is over, she's impossible to forget.


'The Lucky One's' rocky road to love

'The Dictator' rules with crudeness and smarts

'The Raven' has Cusack's Poe swinging like a pendulum

— Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times film critic

'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' vs. 'Avengers': A risky Hollywood move

May 1, 2012 |  5:18 pm

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
In Hollywood, it’s counterprogramming. In the real world, it’s borderline suicide.

When the big studios release their most anticipated blockbusters, any number of distributors dare to open their smaller movies on the very same weekend. The idea is to offer moviegoers — usually more upscale, grown-up patrons — a clear alternative to the big popcorn titles, which typically cater to teenagers and young adults. 

This weekend, for example, Fox Searchlight will introduce its $12-million comedy “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” a look at seven British retirees embarking to India, directly opposite Disney and Marvel’s $220-million “The Avengers,” an action-packed spectacle with Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk.

In theory, the counterprogramming idea makes sense and can work for smaller films. In recent history, however, the results have been mixed to terrible — with one exception — especially in the cases of  wide releases pitched against the three biggest weekend premieres of all time.

Last summer, on the same weekend that Warner Bros. unveiled “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2” to a record opening of $169.2 million, Disney tried to grab little kids who cower at the sight of Lord Voldemort with “Winnie the Pooh.” But the animated bear yarn unraveled fast, grossing just $26.7 million in limited release. In limited release that same weekend, Eros International’s Indian film “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” opened to respectable business, ultimately selling $3.1 million in tickets.

On the second biggest opening weekend of all time — Warners Bros.’ debut of “The Dark Knight” in 2008, which took in $158.4 million — Universal scored one of the biggest counterprogramming successes ever. Its ABBA musical “Mamma Mia!” ultimately grossed $144.1 million. “Space Chimps,” an animated release from 20th Century Fox, never took flight, grossing just $30.1 million. In limited release that same weekend, First Look’s “Transsiberian” performed reasonably well, netting $2.2 million.

Earlier this year, opposite Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games,” which grossed a third-best opening of $152.5 million, no movie dared open in wide release. In a limited national release, Samuel Goldwyn’s “October Baby” ultimately grossed $5 million, Sony Pictures Classics' “The Raid: Redemption” grossed $3.9 million and Music Box’s “The Deep Blue Sea” grossed $874,000.

Fox Searchlight, which co-financed “Marigold Hotel” with Participant Media, doesn’t really need the film to cripple “The Avengers” in local theaters. Having opened in Europe several weeks ago, “Marigold Hotel” already has grossed more than $70 million overseas.


India is key part of cast for 'Marigold Hotel'

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— John Horn

Photo: Judi Dench, left, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." Credit: Ishika Mohan/Fox Searchlight.




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