Sometimes, a film can effortlessly open at number one at the box office while still being a pretty huge disaster. This is the case with ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings,’ which rode a wave of terrible reviews and an even more terrible marketing campaign to a hugely disappointing start. With a lot of big movies opening the next two weeks, the new Biblical epic won’t even find time to grow some legs. Chances are strong that it is dead on arrival.
The first 'Into the Woods' trailer was strangely lacking in singing, which was an odd way to sell a movie based on one of the most beloved of all modern musicals. Thankfully, Disney has course corrected with trailer number two, which actually lets us see and hear the ensemble cast performing Stephen Sondhiem's iconic songs. It's an improvement by default.
Honestly, we could have just copied and pasted last weekend’s box office report and gotten away with it. Outside of the shifting numbers, the order of the top 10 is almost identical to what it was a week ago. This is Hollywood in a holding pattern. The weekend after Thanksgiving is a wasteland. That’s probably why ‘The Pyramid’ was dumped this weekend. However, the lone newcomer in the top 10 didn’t just bomb, it bombed spectacularly.
Appropriately, the Thanksgiving holiday box office was all about the leftovers. While two high profile new releases struggled to open, films from the past few weeks continued to do solid business. In fact, this was one of the most varied weekends at the box office in quite some time, with YA adaptations, animated family movies, epic blockbusters, and small independent films all performing better than expected.
‘Dumb and Dumber To’ arrives two decades after the first film was one of the bigger hits of 1994 and no one knew what to make of it ... until it topped the box office this weekend and made it look easy. Now, the idea of two middle-aged actors returning to two of the most idiotic characters in modern movie history doesn't seem so desperate and crazy. It seems canny.
The showdown between 'Interstellar' and 'Big Hero 6' has got to be one of the most interesting things to happen to the box office in 2014. After all, it would be tough to find two movies that are simultaneously so different and so alike. Both are pro-science adventures that are all about using your intelligence to save your friends and family. However, one is an animated, family friendly release from Disney and the other is a three-hour epic from the ever-serious Christopher Nolan. In other words, they represent opposite ends of the blockbuster spectrum.
Although 'Nightcrawler,' the only new wide release of the week, did end up taking the top spot at the box office this weekend, it did so in one of the tightest races we've ever seen. The top six films all came within $3 million of each other and the order could have radically changed by a stiff breeze for all we know. Heck, some titles may get swapped around by tomorrow when the studios release some more official numbers.
Every few months, someone on the internet loudly declares that we're probably nearing the end of the superhero movie as a popular genre. And then, every few months, another trailer arrives that proves that we're going to be watching movies starring people wearing capes and tights for a long time yet. The new trailer for 'Avengers 2' lit the internet on fire, as you'd expect from the sequel to one of the most popular blockbusters in recent years. In fact, if success can be measured in trailer views, then Marvel and Disney can already call this one a big winner.
Although director Colin Trevorrow has done an excellent job of keeping us teased for 'Jurassic Park 4' (officially titled 'Jurassic World'), we're still hungry for more. So hungry, in fact, that we'll endure watching the 'Today Show' footage from their set visit to catch even the tiniest glimpse of something new and cool. If you're a real fan, you'll suck it up and do the same.
The first 'Penguins of Madagascar' trailer doesn't even begin to hint at what an odd project this film really is. First of all, it's a spinoff of the 'Madagascar' movies that follows those four scene-stealing penguins as they encounter secret-agent animals voiced by the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch. However, it's a completely different thing from the Nickelodeon series of the same name. Are we looking at DreamWorks Animation's first movie set in an alternate universe?
Movie theaters tickets have gotten steadily more expensive over the years, but this takes the proverbial cake: a Canadian theater chain has announced a new program where moviegoers will have to pay a surcharge to sit in the middle seats of each row. You'll soon have to pay an additional $2-$3 to sit in the "prime" seats, ensuring that you'll have the (supposed) best view of the screen and that you'll be isolated from all of the riffraff in the cheap seats.
It turns out that 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' didn't need the Sinister Six to bring it down. All that was required was Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and a very funny marketing campaign. 'Neighbors' not only opened at number one at the box office, it derailed its super-powered competition so dramatically that it may be difficult for it to fully recover.
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