All summer movie seasons end with a whimper and 2015 was no different. The final weekend of August was a pretty sad display across the board, with Straight Outta Compton nabbing the number one spot by default while just about every new release faltered. You know it’s a slow weekend when a movie promoted exclusively to faith-based audiences nabs the number two spot.
We’ve known for a long time that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would screen in IMAX theaters because director J.J. Abrams filmed one key sequence with IMAX cameras. But now, we’ve learned the full extent of Disney and Lucasfilm’s plans for large format presentation and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a studio that has the most popular movie franchise on the planet and the power to do whatever it wants with it. The new Star Wars movie has booked pretty much every IMAX screen in the world for four weeks. Everyone with the desire to see this movie on the biggest movie screens in the world now has plenty of time to do so.
Yesterday, photos of Bruce Willis filming director Woody Allen’s latest (and currently untitled) movie surfaced online and the everything seemed fine. Just another late-era Allen production that inexplicably features a killer line-up of movie stars! Move along, nothing to see here! However, something seems to have gone horribly wrong between yesterday and today because Willis has abruptly dropped out of the film. That’s the news. What follows is gossip, albeit interesting gossip.
The original The Karate Kid is one of those seemingly untouchable slices of ‘80s nostalgia. Everyone above a certain age has a soft spot for it. It has effortlessly merged with general pop culture, with characters like Mr. Miyagi and lines like “Wax on, wax off” existing outside of the film that created them. It’s a touchstone … but what if it’s a touchstone that we have been misunderstanding for the past 31 years? What if Ralph Macchio’s Daniel isn’t the hero of the film, but actually – dun dun DUN – the real bad guy?
Straight Outta Compton dominated the box office for the second weekend in a row, ensuring that every other movie in the top 10 that doesn’t feature Tom Cruise trembled in its mighty wake. Anyone with their finger on the cultural pulse foresaw the N.W.A. biopic doing well, but it’s performing above and beyond all expectations.
Every time a movie about and for audiences who aren’t white and male does well, everyone acts like it’s a big surprise. “Black people and women like movies? Who’da thunk it?” It’s actually not surprising at all that Straight Outta Compton had a massive opening, handily defeating its more standard competition. Because all kinds of people like movies and when you make movies for all kinds of people, you end up with huge weekends at the box office.
Hey, did you know there was going to be an Inside Out sequel short included in the film’s Blu-ray and DVD release? We didn’t either! But there’s going to one and the first clip from the short, titled “Riley’s First Date,” is online and everything.
Ride Along was one of the surprise hits of 2014, making a massive pile of cash in the traditionally slow month of January. A sequel was inevitable. Like clockwork, Ride Along 2 is set to arrive almost exactly two years to the day after the first film. Which means the second outing of Ice Cube and Kevin Hart’s mismatched buddy cops was written, shot, edited and will be released in the space of 728 days.
All of Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth movies have pushed the boundaries of the PG-13 rating, but it looks like the extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies may be the Halfling that breaks the Oliphaunt’s back. It seems that the longer version of the trilogy capper, which is returning to theaters this October, has been slapped with an R-rating by the MPAA.
Jurassic World is finally starting to slow down at the box office, but it’s going to bow out as the third highest-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office and international box office. That means that the only director to have made a more financially successful film than Colin Trevorrow is James Cameron of Titanic and Avatar fame. Not bad for a guy who was toiling away in indie obscurity a few years ago. Anyway, Trevorrow found some time in between taking baths in tubs filled with cash to chat about the inevitable sequel, dropping the first hints about what we can expect from the follow-up to Jurassic World.
A few weeks ago, tracking for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was supposedly in the toilet. Early reports suggested that Tom Cruise’s fifth outing as super-spy Ethan Hunt was not getting people excited. This would be the end, the experts said, of a franchise that has kept Cruise’s career surging forward for the past two decades. Well, that was apparently a big load of crap because Rogue Nation opened well and opened in the same ballpark as the rest of the franchise. Even with inflation differences, this series keeps on hitting the same box office sweet spot.
The new Black Mass trailer pulls the focus back from Johnny Depp’s performance as the notorious gangster Whitey Bulger, showcasing an ensemble of actors that has to be seen to be believed. And like any movie set in Boston, each and every actor wield their accents like bricks. This isn’t a Boston movie – it’s a Baahstin movie and everyone in the cast is seemingly trying to one-up the others when it comes to dropping their R’s.
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