Look, I’m a pretty simple guy. I don’t ask for a lot out of life. Life doesn’t ask for a lot out of me. But I do have one very small goal, and that’s to eventually do something well enough that a bunch of colleges around the United States decide to praise me with honorary doctorate degrees. A pretty modest aim, right? One pithy news article about Star Wars rumors, and suddenly, the University of Southern California and UCLA are competing to see who can give me the most pieces of paper with my name on it. In the immortal words of Cannibal! The Musical, that’s all I’m asking for.
Cesar Millan, better known as the Dog Whisperer in most pet circles, has built himself quite a little entertainment empire. Not only have his books and television shows taught countless people how to set boundaries with their pets, he’s also caused a million fights when one person in a couple thinks it’s funny to hiss “tsst!” at their partner during a discussion they find annoying. In other words, he’s been a boon to human-animal relationships and something else entirely to human-human relationships.
Throughout the years, the one constant in the Terminator franchise has been Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even after director James Cameron quit the franchise, Schwarzenegger kept on chugging along, appearing in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine, Terminator Genisys, and even having his likeness pop up in Terminator Salvation while he was still the governor of California. So with the news that James Cameron would be taking the helm of the franchise again after Genisys flopped, fans have been wondering if the actor had one last showing in him as everyone’s favorite compassionate death machine.
On Thursday evening, plenty of executives went to bed with dreams of big opening weekend numbers in their head. Could the movie about a magical king unseat the movie about a talking tree? Or would a mother-daughter comedy with just the right release date unseat a pair of battling sisters? Now that we’ve reached the end of the holiday weekend, we finally have the numbers, and it turns out the answer was no and no, respectively. Here’s this past weekend’s grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
While A Christmas Story is about as bold a holiday choice these years as Die Hard — did you know it takes place during Christmas???! — I’ll always carry a candle for Bob Clark’s story of a family growing up in 1940s America. My own extended family would gather for the holidays each year and practically have A Christmas Story on a loop; it was a good day, then, when TBS saved us the trouble of rewinding the VHS tapes and started playing the film 24/7 on our behalf. Cliche or not, A Christmas Story still sets the stage for the holidays in my household.
You know how culture critics sometimes say you should stop being surprised when diverse films do well at the box office? They may be right, but even the most optimistic pundit probably couldn’t have seen this weekend coming
Despite its prime location in the heart of New York City, the Tribeca Film Festival has always been regarded more as a regional film festival than a destination for big world premieres. That being said, Tribeca does have one thing that other festivals lack: unfettered access to Robert De Niro, the festival’s co-founder and cinematic advocate for all things New York. This has made Tribeca a prime destination for anniversary screenings of some of the actor’s biggest films; in 2015, for example, Tribeca hosted a 25th anniversary celebration of Goodfellas with the cast and crew in attendance. And this year, De Niro has topped himself, bringing together the men and women behind The Godfather for a frank discussion about the film.
In a week devoid of any major releases, we still saw some major changes at the box office, with familiar faces like Kong: Skull Island, Power Rangers, and Get Out (RIP) all falling from the Top 10 in favor of new releases or aggressively expanding art films. Of course, not everything was different; if you read these box office reports every weekend, I’ll bet you can name the top three movies (in order) with minimal effort. Here’s the weekend box office projections as of Sunday afternoon:
When Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro aren’t busy trying to figure out ways to digitally de-age the latter in Netflix movies about professional hitmen, they do field offers from other studios. That seems to be the case now with Imperative Entertainment, the production house that recently snapped up the rights for David Grann’s non-fiction novel Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI. After spending a whopping $5 million dollars for the rights, Imperative immediately pivoted into convincing the two Hollywood stars — and their frequent collaborator Leonard DiCaprio — to accept the project on their behalf.
Audiences don’t turn their back on family. That’s the lesson to be learned from this past weekend, anyways, when The Fate of the Furious proved that this is one franchise showing no signs of slowing down. It was never a question of whether The Fate of the Furious would take the top spot this weekend, but even the most optimistic of projections couldn’t have expected the global domination that this movie undertook. Here’s the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
While the words “period action” and “Guy Ritchie” don’t always go over well with critics, there’s no denying that Ritchie’s 2015 film The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a cut above the rest. Led by an all-star cast that included Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, and Alicia Vikander, U.N.C.L.E. runs with its Cold War setting and creates a stylish and — dare I say — sexy story of international intrigue and the dapper spies who saved the world from nuclear annihilation. Unfortunately for its fans, the movie didn’t do particularly well at the box office, only grossing about $110 million worldwide against a $75 million budget. That’s not exactly money that screams sequel, if you know what I mean.
Studio math might be one part proprietary data and one part alchemy, but here’s something I feel pretty confident saying: when your trailer sets the all-time record for most views in a day, you’re about to make some moolah. We all remember that the first teaser trailer for It had 197 million views in its first 24 hours online, shattering the previous (albeit short-lived) record of 139 million set by The Fate of the Furious. Those would be extraordinary numbers for any movie, but for an unapologetic horror film about a demon clown? Not even the most aggressive Warner Bros. projections could have predicted that.
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