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Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes ‘50/50’ more than disease movie-of-the-week

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Jason Wallis

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011 8:12 am | Updated: 9:18 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

I often write about the importance of remaining optimistic regarding the state of mainstream Hollywood filmmaking, but sometimes I find it difficult to follow my own advice. Case in point: As of press time, “Drive” — the intoxicating, trail-blazing Hollywood debut of Danish wunderkind Nicolas Winding-Refn that may very well stand as the best film of 2011 — has plummeted to No. 11 on the box office chart after less than three weeks in general release, bringing its domestic total to roughly $27 million.

This would be less disheartening had the film not premiered in the No. 2 spot, suggesting that good word-of-mouth could have easily turned it into a $80 million smash (its production budget was around $15 million). This, as “A Dolphin Tale” rules the box office and the implicitly racist “The Help” (spare me the letters) continues to stick around, passing $160 million in domestic receipts.

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