As expected, Avengers: Age of Ultron dominated the box office for the second weekend in a row, pulling in numbers that would be the envy of most summer blockbusters’ opening three days. And while the only new release of the week faltered, it was a surprisingly strong week overall, with many of the films in the top 10 faring well despite facing one of the biggest movies of the year.
Last night’s generally unremarkable episode of SNL peaked early when it took advantage of its proximity to Mother’s Day to do something kind of remarkable. As part of her opening monologue, guest host Reese Witherspoon declared that the show was going to mark the occasion by bringing each cast member out with his or her mother...and then forcing them to apologize for their childhood transgressions.
The new Vacation may bear the same name as the old Vacation, but it’s actually a sequel, taking place a few decades after the first ill-fated Griswold family trip to Walley World. The first trailer for this new version has arrived and while it has the same title and premise as its predecessor, it bends over backwards to let you know that Ed Helms is the same Rusty Griswold from 32 years ago, all grown up. Can we call this a rebootquel?
There’s a bizarre narrative floating around the internet: Avengers: Age of Ultron is already a disappointment because it didn’t open higher than The Avengers in its first weekend. This seems to be ignoring the fact that The Avengers had the biggest opening of all time and Avengers: Age of Ultron now has the second biggest opening of all time, which is nothing to scoff at. Sure, the sequel may not match the numbers of the first movie in the end, but it’s already well on the way to becoming one of the biggest movies of the year. And of all time.
It’s not coincidence that Scarlett Johansson guest hosted SNL on the same weekend that Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in theaters, so of course the show had to do a Marvel sketch of some kind. And unlike the previous Avengers sketches cooked up for Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner, this one is actually a pretty effective dig at the Marvel movie machine. More importantly, it’s very funny.
When the SNL writers decided to craft a sketch mocking the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, they had no idea that the “fight of the century” would turn out to be a huge bust that would leave sports fans enraged. This adds a level of meta-humor to an already funny sketch. In many ways, SNL’s very silly take on this fight is significantly more interesting than the real thing.
At some point, we’re not sure when, Sesame Street stopped being a low-key educational children’s program and started being an educational children’s program that finds time to create internet-friendly parodies of whatever pop culture event is huge in a given week. So yeah, of course the show has made an Avengers-themed sketch and of course it’s called The Aveggies: Age of Bon Bon and of course it recasts Cookie Monster as the Hulk.
Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t hit American theaters for another week, but Marvel’s latest superhero epic opens today in many theaters around the world. This means that you need to tread cautiously if you want to avoid spoilers, but it also means that Amazon.co.uk is already offering its users the chance to pre-order the film on Blu-ray and DVD. We know that the window between theatrical and home releases are shrinking, but that’s just ludicrous. However, it’s the details about the disc that should get fans stroking their chins and saying “Hmmm.”
If there were any lingering doubts about the popularity of Star Wars in the year 2015, Star Wars Celebration killed them. Ruthlessly. When the the live-streamed panel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered the second trailer for J.J. Abrams’ wildly anticipated sequel, you could feel the internet quiver and shake underneath the weight of the hype. It was a staggering event that made the next few geek-friendly trailers released in the following days feel like small potatoes in comparison. And yes, this hyperbole is backed up by raw numbers: the second trailer for The Force Awakens shattered the record for most trailer views in 24 hours.
Something has survived ... and it’s been packaged, licensed and sold to an audience of millions! No, we’re not talking about the Jurassic Park franchise or the new Jurassic World trailer, but rather the dinosaurs on display in the film, who are the star attractions in a fully functioning prehistoric theme park where nothing ever goes wrong! Until it does. And when things go wrong at dinosaur theme parks, things go really wrong.
For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
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