Love, Victor renewed for season 3 at Hulu
August 3, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Hulu is showing some big love for Love, Victor. The streaming service has renewed the beloved series for a third season. The news comes after the second season of the YA teen dramedy aired in June.
Hulu does not release traditional viewership data like other streamers but there is a strong indication that Love, Victor has performed well on the platform. The series, from This Is Us co-showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger who also wrote the screenplay for LOVE, SIMON, has maintained a strong audience reaction. Season two has a 100 percent fresh rating among critics and 92 percent score with viewers on Rotten Tomatoes.
Love, Victor follows the events of the critically acclaimed coming-of-age film Love, Simon. “Love, Victor tells the story of Victor Salazar (Michael Cimino) – a new student at Creekwood High who has just moved with his family from rural Texas to Atlanta. On top of all the usual high school pressures of making friends and fitting in, Victor is still figuring out his sexuality – a tricky subject in his religious family. Reaching out to Simon for advice, Victor slowly but surely learns to be his authentic self and to trust the message from the film – that everyone deserves a great love story.” The series also stars Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Mason Gooding, George Sear, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, James Martinez, and Ana Ortiz.
Love, Simon, directed by Greg Berlanti, was released in 2018 and is based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens” by Becky Albertalli. The film starred Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Logan Miller, and Keiynan Lonsdale. In the film, Simon Spier (Robinson) is a closeted gay high school student who struggles to balance his friends, his family, and the blackmailer threatening to out him to the entire school. As all of this is going on, Simon is attempting to discover the identity of the anonymous classmate with whom he has fallen in love with online. Love, Simon was notable as the first film by a major Hollywood studio to focus on a gay teenage romance and it was a hit with critics and moviegoers. Carrying a $17 million budget, Love, Simon grossed $66.3 million worldwide and the film carries a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Love, Victor exists in the same universe but also makes itself stand out by featuring a primarily LatinX cast.
Are YOU happy to see Love, Victor return?
In The Heights: HBO Max boss defends streaming release & poor box office
July 23, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
The movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s IN THE HEIGHTS came into its opening weekend with some of the best reviews of the year (95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and what seemed like a large fanbase that was ready to embrace the film as the musical event of the summer. Sadly, once the numbers came in, In The Heights massively underperformed with an opening of $11.5 million, well below its box office tracking. The film also launched simultaneously on HBO Max and those numbers were also reportedly subpar but HBO Max boss, Andy Forssell, is defending the box office performance and its dual streaming release.
Forssell spoke to The Wrap after AT&T’s second-quarter earnings call and he not only defended the film’s lackluster box office total (currently $29 million on a $55 million budget) but also its release on HBO Max. Here is what he had to say about its box office total:
“It’s so hard to gauge how much did COVID have to do with it, especially with the COVID situation changing week by week, people’s willingness to go to a theater. I just know ‘In the Heights’ did really well on HBO Max – it did sort of lower end of the range of our expectations at the box office.”
Forssell went on to discuss the assumption that the HBO Max release diminished the film’s box office performance. On this matter, Forssell doesn’t support that assertion but he doesn’t definitively say this could be why the film suffered at the box office:
“We all tend to want to draw these conclusions, but I think it’s very different title by title, and really hard to be confident that you can draw a conclusion.”
There are a few things to unpack here, beginning with its HBO Max performance. After the film’s opening weekend, Samba TV reported that In The Heights had a very muted streaming debut. Granted, Samba TV is a third party and doesn’t show the whole picture but WarnerMedia didn’t come out saying how well the film did on the platform when the narrative seemed to indicate it didn’t. This is why some believe these platforms should be more transparent with their numbers. In The Heights could’ve very well picked up steam at home but, until Forsell’s claims that it did very well for them, there would be no way to know that. It is true that it’s all different title by title. Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, and, just last week, Space Jam: A New Legacy performed well in theaters and on streaming. It really depends on what people are willing to head out for or stay home for.
Next, there’s the COVID issue regarding the box office. It’s true that the COVID situation is changing week to week and everyone isn’t comfortable going back to the movies but there has been a slew of films that opened higher than In The Heights during the pandemic. Even when movie theaters were mostly shuttered, the studio’s very own Tom & Jerry movie opened to $14.1 million. Using COVID as an excuse seems a bit like a cop-out when the real reason is likely that the film didn’t expand enough beyond the musical’s loyal fanbase.
What are YOUR thoughts on HBO Max and their response to the performance of In The Heights?
Space Jam sequel dunks on competition!
The PG-rated Warner Bros. release, which has NBA superstar LeBron James joining Bugs Bunny and friends on a galactic trip for a big game, also simultaneously premiered on the HBO Max streaming platform.
The live-action/animated sequel, packed with Looney Tunes stars and other Warner Bros. cameos and references, also features Don Cheadle and Sonequa Martin-Green. The movie rounded up an additional $23 million from international crowds for a worldwide total of $54.6 million.
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee (UNDERCOVER BROTHER, GIRLS TRIP), the new follow-up to the 1996 fan-favorite SPACE JAM (with Hall of Fame baller Michael Jordan) cost a reported $150 million.
After its debut on top last week, Marvel’s BLACK WIDOW got bumped down to second place with $26.2 million. The glimpse into the history of Scarlett Johansson’s spy life took a dive of 67% from its opening, the biggest drop yet for a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING and ANT-MAN AND THE WASP each lost 62% in their second weekend).
The PG-13 Disney release (which also launched for a Premier Access fee on the Disney+ streaming service) has a ten-day domestic total of $132 million and $264 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $200 million.
Opening in third place was the horror sequel ESCAPE ROOM: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS with $8.8 million for the weekend.
The PG-13 thriller about deadly games comes from the first movie’s director Adam Robitel. The original ESCAPE ROOM was a surprise hit in 2019, trapping $155 million worldwide on a modest $9 million budget.
The new Sony release, which again features Taylor Russell and Logan Miller trying to solve devious lethal puzzles, came with a reported cost of $15 million.
In fourth place was the PG-13 action sequel F9: THE FAST SAGA with $7.6 million. After four weekends on North American screens, the $200 million Universal release has a domestic total of $154.8 million and a worldwide total of $591 million.
The PG-rated animated sequel THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS was in fifth place with $4.7 million on its third weekend. The $82 million Universal release has crawled to a domestic total of $44.6 million.
In sixth place was another Universal release, the R-rated horror-thriller THE FOREVER PURGE with $4.1 million. After three weekends, the fifth movie about the legal-crime holiday has a domestic total of $35.9 million and $48.4 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $18 million.
The PG-13 thriller A QUIET PLACE: PART II was in seventh place with $2.3 million on its eighth weekend sneaking around theaters. Paramount’s $61 million sequel has a domestic total of $155 million and $281 million worldwide.
In eighth place was the new R-rated documentary ROADRUNNER: A FILM ABOUT ANTHONY BOURDAIN with $1.9 million from its release on 927 domestic screens.
Directed by Morgan Neville (WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?), the Focus Features release about the renowned chef and travel show host recently stirred up some controversy for incorporating an A.I.-generated voice of the late celebrity, and for choosing not to interview his last romantic partner Asia Argento.
The Disney prequel CRUELLA was in ninth place with $1.1 million on its eighth weekend in theaters. The PG-13 release (also on Disney+ for extra bucks) has a domestic total of $83.4 million and $224 million worldwide.
Opening in tenth place was the Nicolas Cage truffle-hunting drama PIG with $945,000 from a limited release in 552 domestic theaters.
Who is your favorite Looney Tunes character? VOTE HERE!
Space Jam: A New Legacy
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
F9: The Fast Saga
The Boss Baby: Family Business
The Forever Purge
A Quiet Place Part II
Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain
The Simpsons: Movie sequel talks took place at Disney prior to the pandemic
July 8, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
It has been almost 16 years since THE SIMPSONS MOVIE was released to big box office and solid reviews and some fans of the long-running series have wondered if a sequel would ever be made. As it turns out, Disney was very interested in making a sequel to The Simpsons Movie, and discussions were happening prior to the lockdown caused by the pandemic.
Longtime showrunner Al Jean is currently making the rounds promoting The Good, The Bart, and The Loki, a new Simpsons short released as a tie-in to Loki. During a recent interview with “ComicBook.com,” Jean spoke of the possibility of a sequel and he made it clear talks were happening but the pandemic put things on hold. He also addressed that they don’t want it to be a streaming release if it happens. The point of making a movie is to have a theatrical experience that is different from the show and they want to see how animated movies begin performing at the box office as we get back to normalcy at the movies:
“We were really talking about it a lot before the pandemic. And now I think just as a caution, I want to see how movies and, specifically, animated movies come back, because I wouldn’t want to do it just as a streaming experience. We really want it to be a theatrical movie because that was the point of the first one, it was a thing you couldn’t get anywhere else. I’m going to movies, I’m vaccinated. I’m really rooting for the movie industry, but I want to see what, personally, the landscape is. And then they also have so many great movies, I think they have five Avatar movies, five Star Wars movies in waiting … so they have a lot to roll out and we’re going to go see Black Widow this weekend. I’m going to support the theater, even though I have Disney+.”
The Simpsons Movie, despite coming out during a time in The Simpsons’ run when it wasn’t in its “golden age”, was a massive box office hit. Made for $75 million, the film grossed $183.1 million domestically and $536.4 million worldwide. In the process, the movie became the second highest-grossing traditionally animated film behind Disney’s The Lion King and the highest-ever grossing film based on an animated television series. Reviews were also solid, with the film scoring an 87% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I think a lot of the reason the film did so well was that there was some pent-up anticipation to see The Simpsons on the big screen, even though the movie came out so late into The Simpsons’ run. It would be interesting to see how a sequel would perform now as 706 episodes have been broadcast to date and the series will be running at least through its 34th season. The show may not be as pop-culturally relevant but it still has a dedicated fanbase and it’s big internationally thanks to syndication and merchandising.
Do YOU want to see a sequel to The Simpsons Movie?
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Paddington 3: Filming slated to begin in 2022
July 6, 2021 by: Steve Seigh
Grab yourself a marmalade sandwich and get ready for another adventure because Paddington 3 is set to begin shooting in Q2 2022.
Studiocanal announced the sequel Tuesday during the Cannes Film Festival. The feel-good film will have a story by Paddington 1 & 2 triple threat Paul King, Simon Farnaby, and Mark Burton. Burton will then write the screenplay with Jon Foster and James Lamont.
In addition to green lighting Paddington 3, Studiocanal also announced a third season of the TV series The Adventures of Paddington Bear. Heyday Films will be at the front of both projects.
For the longest time, PADDINGTON 2 was the highest-rated film on the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes. Then, in May of this year, Film Authority’s Eddie Harrison stole the delightful sequel’s crown. In Harrison’s review, he claims that Paddington 2 doesn’t have the same spirit as the children’s books on which it’s based, calling the situations Paddington finds himself in “contrived and ridiculous.” He also sets his sights on Paddington himself, calling the movie incarnation of the beloved bear “over-confident, snide and sullen,” even adding that voice-actor Ben Whishaw sounds like “a member of some indie-pop band coming down from an agonizing ketamine high.” Oh, bother. I suppose that some people don’t like joy, eh? To each their own and all that.
I, for one, am thrilled to hear that Paddington is coming back for more misadventures and marmalade-fueled mischief. Paddington was a big part of my childhood reading time, and I can’t wait to see what he gets up to next. Open your heart wide and let this sequel come barreling in, I say.
F9 keeps spinning its wheels on top!
The PG-13 sequel hit the brakes by 66% from last weekend’s opening, giving the tenth movie in the franchise (including spinoff FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW) a ten-day domestic total of $117.1 million, and an expected $126 million with the four-day July 4th holiday factored in.
The Universal release, which features director Justin Lin’s return to the series after a two-movie break, has steered its way to $491 million worldwide on a reported cost of $200 million.
One other notable achievement this weekend, and a sign of recovery for the theatrical business: for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March of 2020, each movie in the Top 10 managed to earn seven figures at the domestic box office.
Universal actually managed to control the top three spots on the chart (the first time a major studio has accomplished this since 2005), with the animated sequel THE BOSS BABY: FAMILY BUSINESS taking second place with an opening weekend of $17.3 million.
The PG-rated DreamWorks movie, with the voices of Alec Baldwin, Amy Sedaris and James Marsden, was also simultaneously released on the Peacock streaming network. The follow-up cost a reported $82 million.
The first BOSS BABY was a surprise success, opening with $50 million in March 2017 before crawling to a domestic total of $175 million and $527 million worldwide.
Another Universal sequel landed in third place as the new R-rated horror-thriller THE FOREVER PURGE opened with $12.7 million for the three-day weekend.
The fifth entry had the lowest opening in the PURGE series, coming in behind the $17.3 million start of THE FIRST PURGE on July 4 weekend in 2018 (although that prequel ended up as the highest-grossing in the franchise with $137 million worldwide). The modest-budgeted Blumhouse-produced series has collected a global total of $475 million.
Originally set for release in July 2020 before the pandemic rescheduling, the latest alternate-reality exploration of a “legal crime” holiday cost a reported $18 million.
Critics weren’t exactly celebrating the violent festivities, giving the movie an average of 45% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 54. Put on your favorite freak mask and check out the JoBlo review HERE.
In fourth place was the R-rated horror-thriller A QUIET PLACE: PART II with $4.2 million on its sixth weekend in theaters. The $61 million Paramount sequel has a domestic total of $144.4 million and $266.9 million worldwide.
The R-rated sequel THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD was in fifth place with $3 million. After three weekends, Lionsgate’s $70 million action-comedy has a domestic total of $31.3 million and $55.6 million worldwide.
Disney’s live-action prequel CRUELLA was in sixth place with $2.5 million over its sixth weekend. The PG-13 Emma Stone villainess origin has a domestic total of $76.5 million and $204.3 million worldwide.
In seventh place was the PG-rated live-aciton/animated sequel PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY with $2.2 million. Sony’s $45 million comedy has a domestic total of $34.4 million and a worldwide total of $126.5 million.
The supernatural thriller THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT was in eighth place with $1.29 million. The R-rated Warner Bros. sequel (which departed their HBO Max streaming platform) has a domestic total of $62.2 million and $173.6 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $39 million.
The PG-13 musical IN THE HEIGHTS was in ninth place with $1.27 million. After four weekends, the $55 million Warner Bros. drama (also still available on HBO Max) has a domestic total of $26.8 million and $35.5 million worldwide.
In tenth place was the new R-rated biographical drama ZOLA with an opening of $1.23 million for the weekend, with a domestic total of $2.02 million since it started on Wednesday.
Based on a Twitter thread and subsequent Rolling Stone article, the $5 million indie from distributor A24 follows a stripper (Taylour Paige) joining a friend (Riley Keough) on a wild road trip.
Next weekend finally has the Marvel Cinematic Universe back on the big screen as Scarlett Johansson’s super-spy reveals some of her past in BLACK WIDOW.
What has been your favorite movie of 2021 so far? VOTE HERE!
F9: The Fast Saga
The Boss Baby: Family Business
The Forever Purge
A Quiet Place Part II
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
The Conjuring 3
In the Heights
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard: What did you think?
June 18, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray
After a good year of delays The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, the sequel to the unexpectedly successful Hitman’s Bodyguard has hit theaters. Suffice to say, I didn’t care for it despite being a major fan of the three leads – Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Salma Hayek. To me, the fact that they changed an exciting action-comedy franchise into an all-out wacky romp that makes the Police Academy series like Training Day was a major misstep. I gave it one of the worst reviews I’ve given to a new movie in a while (what can I say, the new job and the pandemic have mellowed me), and I recommend folks skip it and save their trip to the theaters for Fast 9 next week. Or – just go back and watch A Quiet Place 2 again.
The folks on Rotten Tomatoes seemed to agree with me, giving it a lousy 25%. But, as I say every week, what I think doesn’t really matter. Instead, we’re turning it over our readers! Did you all enjoy The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, or do you agree with me and think it was wildly over the top and kinda dumb. Talkback below!
A Quiet Place 2 returns to first!
The alien avoidance sequel, again directed (and written) by John Krasinski, has collected a domestic total of $108.9 million after three weekends in theaters.
The Paramount sci-fi/horror release starring Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou is currently at a worldwide total of $184.9 million, on a reported cost of $61 million.
Dancing to a debut in second place (and narrowly missing a win for the weekend) was the new musical IN THE HEIGHTS, with an opening of $11.4 million.
Directed by Jon M. Chu (CRAZY RICH ASIANS, G.I.JOE: RETALIATION), the adaptation of HAMILTON mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed Broadway show (which itself has grossed over $100 million) was more muted than its initially projected $20 million opening.
The PG-13 drama, about life in the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights and its residents chasing their dreams, was originally planned to arrive in theaters back in June 2020 before the ubiquitous pandemic delays.
Like the rest of the studio’s 2021 slate, the Warner Bros. release (which cost a reported $55 million) simultaneously premiered on the HBO Max streaming service.
In third place was the new family movie PETER RABBIT 2: THE RUNAWAY with an opening weekend of $10.4 million.
The live-action/animated hybrid was delayed from its originally scheduled release in February 2020. The PG-rated comedy has already been in international theaters and has a worldwide total of $68.3 million, on a reported $45 million cost.
The sequel to Sony’s surprise 2018 success (which made $351 million worldwide on a $50 million budget) again features humans Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne along with digital rabbits voiced by James Corden and Margot Robbie.
Getting spooked down to to fourth place was the horror sequel THE CONJURING: THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT with $10 million for its second weekend in theaters.
The third supernatural investigation by Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) frightened away 58% of business from last weekend’s first place opening, for a ten-day domestic total of $43.7 million.
The R-rated Warner Bros. sequel (also currently streaming on their HBO Max platform) has a worldwide total of $111.7 million, on a reported cost of $39 million.
In fifth place was Disney’s CRUELLA with $6.7 million over its third weekend on screens. The PG-13 prequel with Emma Stone as the 101 DALMATIANS villainess has a domestic total of $55.9 million and $129.2 million worldwide (it’s also available on Disney+ for an extra $30 fee).
The animated DreamWorks movie SPIRIT UNTAMED was in sixth place with $2.5 million as 59% of business went galloping away from its opening last weekend. The PG-rated Universal release has a ten-day domestic total of $10.9 million and $14.5 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $30 million.
Opening in seventh place was the R-rated sequel THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR: MEET THE BLACKS 2 with $1.06 million for the weekend on 420 (heh heh) screens.
Directed by Deon Taylor (FATALE, THE INTRUDER), the new horror-comedy with Mike Epps and Katt Williams cost a reported $3.5 million. The 2016 original (a spoof of THE PURGE) made $9.1 million theatrically on a budget of less than $1 million.
In eighth place was the R-rated Jason Statham action-thriller WRATH OF MAN with $615,000 for a domestic total of $25.9 million and a worldwide total of $124.6 million.
Opening in ninth place was the elderly romcom QUEEN BEES with $328,000 on 500 screens. The PG-13 movie stars James Caan, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Curtin and Christopher Lloyd.
Closing out the list was the R-rated horror movie SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW, while Disney’s animated fantasy RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON finally checked out after three and a half months in the Top 10. Also departing the chart were GODZILLA VS. KONG, DEMON SLAYER – THE MOVIE: MUGEN TRAIN and DREAM HORSE.
Next week has Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek shooting everything in the R-rated action-comedy sequel THE HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD.
Who is your favorite Disney or Pixar villain? VOTE HERE!
A Quiet Place Part II
In the Heights
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway
The Conjuring 3
The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2
Wrath of Man
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Happy Death Day 3: Director teases news might be coming soon for third film
June 6, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
HAPPY DEATH DAY franchise director Christopher Landon is teasing that there might be news about a third installment happening in the distant future Landon has planned this story as a trilogy but the lower than expected box office returns for the second film stalled any development on a third installment. Now that streaming has become a more attractive option in the last year, the prospects for Happy Death Day 3 have been much more bright.
Landon responded to a fan’s question on Twitter about there being any updates on Happy Death 3 and the director provided a positive tease that the film can still happen. He also said that there might be some news in the distant future but he’s not sure when this potential announcement will come. You can check out the Twitter exchange below!
I might have some news on the distant horizon for you. ????????????????
— christopher landon (@creetureshow) June 3, 2021
Even though Happy Death Day 3 hasn’t officially been announced, Landon has made it clear that he knows where the story is headed. Happy Death Day 2U included a post-credits scene that teased where things will go next and he has also said the third film could take place well after the last two films since it doesn’t continue the hook of taking place on the same day. Blumhouse Pictures head honcho, Jason Blum, has also expressed interest in continuing the franchise.
Released in 2017, Happy Death Day became a surprise success when it grossed $55.6 million at the domestic box office and $125.4 million worldwide, all on a $4.8 million budget. Happy Death Day 2U came in 2019 but it proved to be less successful, pulling in $28.1 million domestically and $64.6 million globally Despite diminishing returns, the sequel still pulled a profit thanks to its mere $9 million budget.
Happy Death Day followed a college student named Tree (Jessica Rothe) who must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers the killer’s identity. On top of being a box office hit, Happy Death Day also scored with critics, landing a 71% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Happy Death Day 2U, which leaned more on its comedic elements with a touch more sci-fi, once again follows Tree who is accidentally transported to another dimension, where she must relive a different version of the same day repeatedly as she tries to return home, while a new killer is on the loose. Even though the film didn’t earn as much at the box office, critics still found the sequel solid with a 70% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Do YOU want a third Happy Death Day?
Wrath of Man: What Did You Think?
May 7, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray
After fifteen years, Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie, the director who discovered him in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels have finally re-teamed for the much-anticipated Wrath of Man! A remake of the french film Cash Truck, Statham stars as a mysterious armored truck employee who seems a little too comfortable foiling robberies and dispatching baddies. While it probably strikes many as a more assembly line effort than expected for Ritchie, don’t be fooled. The film is as ambitious as anything he’s ever made, with a terrific second half that partially deconstructs the genre while also delivering on the max firepower you’d expect.
You can check out my review above. Over on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s scored a respectable 65% – not bad for an action flick. But who cares about us critics anyway – we want to know what you think! Did WRATH OF MAN scratch the action itch, and how did it stack up against Ritchie and Statham’s other collaborations? Talkback below!
The R-rated videogame adaptation performed even better than its anticipated $15 million opening, despite ongoing pandemic precautions and the movie’s simultaneous release on the HBO Max streaming service.
The new live-action update’s opening came close to the $23.2 million start in 1995 for director Paul W.S. Anderson’s PG-13 version, which ultimately collected $122 million worldwide on an $18 million budget. In the time since that first movie’s success, live-action adaptations of the MORTAL KOMBAT franchise have been limited to the much-ridiculed 1997 sequel ANNIHILATION, the 1998 TV series CONQUEST and the more recent web series LEGACY (plus a stage tour back in 1996).
Now on its 11th iteration (plus spinoffs), the popular fighting game series is, of course, notorious for its gruesome battles and preposterous finishing moves. Bringing all that carnage to life on screen reportedly came with a production cost of $55 million this time.
Directed by Simon McQuoid (making his feature debut), the Warner Bros. release has already been in some international theaters for a couple of weeks, and currently has a worldwide total of $50.1 million.
In a close second was the new anime DEMON SLAYER – THE MOVIE: MUGEN TRAIN with an opening of $19.5 million for the weekend.
The R-rated release from Sony’s FUNimation also surpassed domestic box office expectations — it was only forecast to draw around $10 million for the weekend.
The movie (a direct sequel to season one of the popular TV series) has already accumulated more than $450 million worldwide from international release in late 2020.
The supersized slobberknocker GODZILLA VS. KONG grabbed $4.2 million in third place after holding the box office throne for the last three weekends. The PG-13 Warner Bros. creature feature (which leaves HBO Max next weekend) has a domestic total of $86.5 million and $406 million worldwide, on a reported $200 million cost.
The R-rated action-thriller NOBODY was in fourth place with $1.8 million, bringing the $16 million Universal release to a domestic total of $21.6 million and $38 million worldwide after five weeks.
Disney’s animated adventure RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON was in fifth place with $1.6 million on its eighth weekend in theaters. The PG-rated fantasy has a domestic total of $39.8 million and $102 million worldwide.
The PG-13 supernatural thriller THE UNHOLY was in sixth place with $1.4 million over its fourth weekend. Sony’s Sam Raimi-produced horror movie has reached a domestic total of $11.5 million, on a reported $10 million cost.
In seventh place was animated/live-action hybrid TOM & JERRY with $650,000 for its ninth weekend in theaters. The PG-rated Warner Bros. comedy has a domestic total of $43.4 million and $106.2 million on a reported cost of $79 million.
Opening in eighth place was the new comedy TOGETHER TOGETHER with $522,000 for the weekend on 665 screens.
The R-rated movie features Ed Helms as a forty-something bachelor who becomes close with the surrogate (Patti Harrison) he hires to have his child.
Closing out the list for the weekend was the faith-based Mira Sorvino drama THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES and the Benedict Cumberbatch espionage thriller THE COURIER, while the sci-fi drama VOYAGERS and director Ben Wheatley’s horror movie IN THE EARTH departed from the chart. Despite this weekend’s Oscars ceremony, nothing from the group of nominees managed to make the Top 10.
What is your favorite Academy Awards Best Picture winner? VOTE HERE!
Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train
Godzilla vs. Kong
Raya and the Last Dragon
Tom & Jerry
The Girl Who Believes in Miracles
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New Study shows Superman is the most hated superhero franchise with critics
April 6, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
This is going to bring about some strong opinions from fans of comic books and superhero movies but a recent study, which looked at the average critical response to every entry in major franchises, shows that the SUPERMAN movie franchise ranks as the lowest for superhero-inspired films.
The new study looked at the average Rotten Tomatoes scores for various entries in a franchise and Superman comes in with an average rating of 48%. The reason for the low average is that the franchise does have a few entries that were clunkers in terms of critical response with Superman III coming in at 30% and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace coming in at 11%. It should be pointed out that the study does include 2017’s, Justice League, which comes in at 40& but doesn’t take Zack Snyder’s Justice League into account which comes in higher at 71%. Here is the criteria that the study looked into when coming up with their figures:
“For movies, we looked at all films which fall under each franchise, including subseries within a larger franchise (for example the likes of The Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America within the Marvel Cinematic Universe) and reboots of series (for example we took all the Spider-Man movies as one franchise, including those played by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland).”
Superman: The Movie comes in at 94% which makes it one of the best-reviewed superhero films of all time. That is a feat that shouldn’t be ignored as it still stands as a signature film for the genre. As far as other superhero franchises are concerned, Batman came in just behind Superman due in large part to poor reviews for Batman & Robin, despite the high critical praise for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Actually, the DC Extended Universe as a whole took the third spot due to poor reviews for films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. Keeping the DCEU from being a total bomb were films like Wonder Woman and Shazam! Rounding out the top five was a tie from the same Marvel family with Wolverine and X-Men coming in at 67%.
Disney and Pixar’s The Incredibles came out on top for the best list with an average of 96%, although the series benefits from only having two movies under its belt. Deadpool also ranked pretty high with 85% but keep in mind, unlike Superman that had to contend with decades worth of entries that come in at various degrees of quality, Deadpool is also only rocking two movies at this point.
The study is merely looking at Rotten Tomatoes percentages here so this really doesn’t represent what the fans think but it is a good conversation starter to decide which superhero franchise actually does represent the best of the best and the worst of the worst for the genre. Some might also think it’s unfair how this study was even put together. For instance, Supergirl, which comes in at 9%, was counted for Superman’s average, and Catwoman, also at 9%, was factored in for the Batman franchise average. I’m sure some fans will want to demand a recount.
Do YOU agree with the results? You can check out the full top five lists below!
- Top 5 most hated superhero movie franchises
- 1. Superman: 48 percent
- 2. Batman: 59 percent
- 3. DC Extended Universe: 59 percent
- 4. Wolverine: 67 percent
- 5. X-Men: 67 percent
- Top 5 most loved superhero movie franchises
- 1. The Incredibles: 96 percent
- 2. Guardian of the Galaxy: 89 percent
- 3. Captain America: 87 percent
- 4. Avengers: 86 percent
- 5. Deadpool: 85 percent
The Best SciFi Movies on Netflix Right Now
April 5, 2021 by: Daniel Woburn
These days, it feels like we're living in a sci-fi movie. Between nature itself apparently trying to wipe us out and deadly viruses looking to mop up the rest, it can be a little much sometimes. Thankfully, we have science fiction to distract us from the horrors of the world around us – or maybe its trying to prepare us for whatever dark futures lay ahead. Either way, our favorite corporate cuddle-buddy, Netflix, have plenty of sci-fi movies on offer to provide for either reason; so lock yourself away during whatever lockdown you're currently in and check out the best scifi movies on Netflix right now!
I Am Legend
While the Will Smith-led adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel disappointed some (especially fans of the book by Richard Matheson), it still makes for an engaging and entertaining way to spend an hour and forty-four minutes. 'Last guy on Earth' stories are always fun. The CGI used on the vampire-zombies haunting this particular dystopia is a little on the lame side, but they still make for threatening bad guys. Love or hate the ending (it's better in the director's cut), the whole ride is worth your time. I'll go out on a limb and say I Am Legend is one of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now.
Inception isn't just one of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now, it's one of the best sci-fi movies, period. Only released in 2010, Christopher Nolan's mind-bending has already become an iconic classic of the genre. Following a team of corporate idea-thieves whose heists take place in the unconcious mind when their targets are asleep, Cobb (Leonardo di Caprio) and his crew attempt to 'incept' an idea into Cillian Murphy's brain rather than extract one.
Travelling from one dream into another into another, physics go haywire and the team (which includes Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, like you didn't already know) find themselves fighting to survive and compelte their mission. It's just… it's just great. A shame Nolan couldn't quite match its quality with Tenet, but you can still enjoy one of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now with Inception. Check out Mike Sampson's take on the modern classic here.
I mean, come on – it's Jason Voorhees… in Space. It's by no means a good movie, but it's silly and fun and dared to take an iconic slasher villain into space, fer chrissakes. Don't let its 20% Rotten Tomatoes score fool you, there's enjoyment to be found here – let's just say the tenth Friday the 13th movie just needs to be enjoyed with a little beer, a little whiskey or a little Mary Jane. Or all of the above. It might not be one of the "best" sci-fi movies on Netflix right now, but it's damn sure one of the most dumb f*cking fun.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Probably one of, if not the goofiest sci-fi horror movies to grace our screens, Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a B-movie gem that has rightfully ammassed a cult following since its debut in 1988. It's the kind of movie that your older brother forces you to watch on a shitty old VHS, accompanied by a shitload of booze and junk food – and you walk away having had one of the most enjoyable nights of your movie-lovin' life. No description of the plot necessary, kids – it's Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
In the future, 500 of the world's most dangerous prisoners are kept in cryo on a prison satellite, orbiting the earth. Maggie Grace plays the President's daughter, visiting the prison on a humanitarian mission, and guess what? All the convicts start waking up. Guy Pearce is the wise-cracking agent sent to rescue her, and he hasn't received his due props for his role since the movie was released in 2012. One of the most underrated sci-fi actioners out there, and one of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now!
The Midnight Sky
George Clooney's latest directorial effort The Midnight Sky failed to impress when it recently dropped as a Netflix original, with the film's audience rating being a dysmal 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics were a little kinder, which is a little surprising until you remember that it's Clooney giving a rather poignant performance as a lonely scientist trying to stop a crew of astronaus returning to an Earth burdened by cataclysm. Critics love poignancy. There's stuff to be enjoyed here, even if it's not everyone's cup of tea, including an ending that feels earned. Bumbray enjoyed it, and you can check out his review here.
Movie number 2 with 'midnight' in the title, go figure. From the rock-solid director skills of Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), Midnight Special is the story of a father (Take Shelter lead Michael Shannon) trying to protect his son, who has special powers. Pursued by both the feds and a cult (represented by Adam Driver and the late, great Sam Shepard, respectively), Midnight Special is a moody, atmospheric number with a real sense of heart at its center. Nichols is always great (Mud, Loving) but this is something really special and unique. One of the best sci-fi movies on Netflix right now, check it out if you haven't already.
Another Netflix Original, Project Power is a fun take on the superhero sub-genre, showcasing a world where an experimental new drug gives people one of several random superpowers for a brief period of time. Foxx is a man with a military background looking for his daughter, teaming up with a street-wise kid and a young cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt again) looking to get these power pills off his streets… even if it means using them. Fresh, fun and slick to look at, Project Power is a good time.
Before giving life to a TV spinoff of the same name (also on Netflix), Snowpiercer was merely a sci-fi curiosity. Adapted from a French comic book by Bong Joon Ho and starring Chris Evans as he leads a revolution on a train. There's obviously more to it than that, the movie showing us a dystopian future where the last surviving humans circle the world endlessly on said train, with the rich at the front and the poor on the back. Evans gives one of the best performances of his career, which includes a tearful monologue that'll leave you shattered. One of the best sci-fi movies ever made, and this writer hopes it leads you further down the rabbit hole of the work of Oscar-winner Bong Joon Ho (Parasite, The Host).
Zathura: A Space Adventure
This underrated 2005 Jumanji sequel boasts Jon Favreau behind the camera as well as a young Josh Hutcherson and Kristen Stewart in starring roles. This time, the board game is space-based, and Favreau has lots of fun experimenting with and subverting sci-fi tropes. Dax Shepard is fun as a heroic astronaut, and the whole thing is easily digestible family-friendly stuff. Check out Zathura and these other great sci-fi movies on Netflix today!
Creature feature collects cash!
The clash of colossal creatures has a five-day domestic total of $48.5 million since the combatants first began brawling in North American theaters on Wednesday March 31st.
Unsurprisingly (and appropriately for such gargantuan stars), the new PG-13 “MonsterVerse” release had the strongest opening of the pandemic. It marks the biggest weekend figure since the Pixar fantasy adventure ONWARD started with $40 million in March 2020, just a week before everything in the U.S. closed down.
The oversized icons already started their spectacular feud on international screens last weekend, knocking an extra $236.9 million out of overseas audiences so far to give it a current worldwide total of $285.4 million.
Directed by Adam Wingard (YOU’RE NEXT, THE GUEST) and featuring humans Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall and Brian Tyree Henry, the massive smackdown of famous beasts reportedly cost as much as $200 million.
The Warner Bros. sequel to both GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS and KONG: SKULL ISLAND also simultaneously made its debut on the studio’s HBO Max streaming service last Wednesday.
Just in time for Easter weekend was the new supernatural horror movie THE UNHOLY, opening in second place with $3.2 million.
Produced by Sam Raimi, the thriller (adapted from James Herbert’s novel “Shrine”) involves a hearing-impaired girl who can perform miracles after a supposed visit by the Virgin Mary, but more sinister forces may be at work (as that picture would seem to indicate).
The PG-13 Sony release is the directing debut of screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos (of the 2017 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST remake and the upcoming G.I.JOE: SNAKE EYES) and features Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cary Elwes and William Sadler.
Moving to third place this week was the R-rated action movie NOBODY with $3.07 million, shot down by 55% from its opening on top last weekend.
Universal’s bloody JOHN WICK-style thriller with “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk has a ten-day domestic total of $11.8 million, and a worldwide total of $21 million.
In fourth place was Disney’s animated adventure RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON with $2.05 million on its fifth weekend in theaters (and on Disney+ for an additional fee). The PG-rated fantasy now has a domestic total of $32.1 million and a worldwide total of $94.2 million.
The Warner Bros. half-cartoon comedy TOM & JERRY was in fifth place with $1.4 million. After six weekends, the PG-rated live-action/animated hybrid (no longer available on the HBO Max streaming platform) has a domestic total of $39.5 million and $93.5 million worldwide, on a reported $79 million cost.
In sixth place was the new faith-based Mira Sorvino drama THE GIRL WHO BELIEVES IN MIRACLES with $526,000 in 640 theaters. The Tom Holland/Daisy Ridley sci-fi thriller CHAOS WALKING followed in seventh place with $380,000 on its fifth weekend as it also just became available via premium VOD.
The Benedict Cumberbatch spy thriller THE COURIER was in eighth place, with animated sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE in ninth (over its 19th weekend) and the Michelle Pfeiffer comedy-drama FRENCH EXIT closing up the list.
Next weekend offers the chance to travel into space with the sci-fi thriller VOYAGERS, from LIMITLESS director Neil Burger.
What is your favorite “giant monster” movie? VOTE HERE!
Godzilla vs. Kong
Raya and the Last Dragon
Tom & Jerry
The Girl Who Believes in Miracles
The Croods: A New Age
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Godzilla vs. Kong: What Did You Think?
March 31, 2021 by: Chris Bumbray
Godzilla vs. Kong is the latest big-budget Warner Bros movie to get a hybrid HBO Max/theatrical release, and today’s the day this highly anticipated monster mash-up finally drops. Our own JimmyO really enjoyed the film, giving it an 8/10, calling it “a battle that you’re likely not going to want to miss.” That’s pretty much right in line with how critics have reacted to it overall, with it scoring a very decent 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.
I got to see it myself the other day and overall, I thought it was a total blast. Is it amazing? I woulnd’t go that far, and in fact I actually kind of preferred Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but director Adam Wingard put together a fun, 2-hour thrill ride I’m sure monster-verse fans will eat up. But what did YOU think? We’re curious to hear from fans whether or not they thought this epic match up did the iconic monsters justice. Also – how did you see it? At home or in theaters? Talkback below!
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This dragon ain’t draggin’!
Thanks in part to a boost from theaters in Los Angeles reopening last week, Disney’s PG-rated release came close to last weekend’s $5.5 million box office figure (although the movie is still not screening in Cinemark and some other theater chains due to disagreements over exhibition terms).
The Asian-inspired adventure, about a warrior (Kelly Marie Tran) and a dragon (Awkwafina) trying to save the realm of Kumandra, has a domestic total of $23.4 million and a worldwide total of $71.2 million. The movie can also be viewed on the Disney+ streaming service, for subscribers willing to fork over an extra 30 bucks.
The Warner Bros. half-toon comedy TOM & JERRY was in second place with $3.8 million on its fourth weekend. The PG-rated animated/live-action hybrid starring the classic Hanna/Barbera characters now has a domestic total of $33.6 million and $77.1 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $79 million.
In third place was the new Cold War spy thriller THE COURIER with an opening weekend of $2.01 million.
The fact-based espionage tale follows a businessman (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited by MI6 and the CIA in the 1960s. The PG-13 Roadside Attractions release premiered at Sundance in January 2020 (with the title IRONBARK) and was originally planned for theaters last August before shifting due to the pandemic.
The PG-13 sci-fi thriller CHAOS WALKING was in fourth place with $1.92 million. After three weekends, director Doug Liman’s adventure with Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley has a domestic total of $9.6 million and $13.8 million worldwide, on reported $100 million cost.
In fifth place was the PG-rated animated sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE with $620,000, a slight uptick from last weekend. The $65 million Universal release is the rare pandemic success story, gathering a domestic total of $55.2 million and $160 million worldwide after 17 weeks on screens.
In sixth place was R-rated basketball drama BOOGIE for a $3.2 million domestic total after three weekends, followed by the Liam Neeson action-thriller THE MARKSMAN, now at $14.2 million on its tenth weekend.
The superhero sequel WONDER WOMAN 1984 was in eighth place over its thirteenth weekend on screens, with the Olivia Coleman/Anthony Hopkins Oscar hopeful THE FATHER and the Denzel Washington/Jared Leto/Rami Malek crime-thriller THE LITTLE THINGS wrapping things up for the weekend.
Outside the chart was another Academy Award contender, as the acclaimed Steven Yeun drama MINARI added another 500 screens, taking in $306,000 to give it a domestic total of $1.4 million from its limited run over the last few weeks.
Also finally seeing release on 500 screens was the Johnny Depp crime drama CITY OF LIES, quietly collecting $275,000. Directed by Brad Furman (THE LINCOLN LAWYER), the R-rated movie about the homicide investigations of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur was originally planned for release way back in 2018 before getting yanked from the schedule. You can investigate the JoBlo review HERE.
And although it only made it to home theaters (via Warner Bros.’ streaming platform HBO Max), Zack Snyder’s super-sized director’s cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE finally arrived after much fan insistence and anticipation.
Even with its intimidating four-hour runtime, critics considered the costumed epic to be a major improvement over the original 2017 Joss Whedon version, giving it an average of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 55 score on Metacritic. Fly on over to the JoBlo review HERE.
While there’s still no concrete announcement for the updated DC Comics superhero saga to hit theaters (particularly the IMAX screens it was formatted for), a Blu-ray release is planned for some parts of the world in May, and a black-and-white alternate version (called ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE: JUSTICE IS GREY) will be released on HBO Max.
Next weekend offers “Better Call Saul” Bob Odenkirk getting his hands bloody in the action-thriller NOBODY, followed on March 31 by the creature-feature GODZILLA VS. KONG (which stomps onto HBO Max the same day).
What is your favorite Benedict Cumberbatch performance? VOTE HERE!
Raya and the Last Dragon
Tom & Jerry
The Croods: A New Age
Wonder Woman 1984
The Little Things
Jack Reacher: Alan Ritchson says Amazon series will adapt one book a season
March 17, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
JACK REACHER will soon be returning to our screens via a new Amazon series and the star of the show, Alan Ritchson, is revealing the approach the streamer is taking to adapt the beloved book series from author Lee Child.
During a talk with “Collider“, Ritchson couldn’t say much about the details of the show but, he did reveal that Amazon will adapt one book every season to tell its story:
” I don’t know how much I can say. I’ll say that we’re gonna be doing a book a season, so the first season will be the first book. I think that’s such a great way to do this. I can see why it’d be exciting as a film, but the slow burn is what I love so much about the books. The way that he goes down the checklist and picks apart these cases, you need time. It’s okay to enjoy that. I think spending a season on each book is gonna be really enjoyable for audiences.”
The concept of doing one book a season is probably a much more full approach than the feature film adaptation was able to accomplish. It gives the series enough time to unveil each story and present some complex plotting and narratives without rushing to its conclusion. This will also allow Ritchson to grow the character organically which is another benefit of developing this project as a TV series. The first book of the Jack Reacher series is 1997’s “Killing Floor”, and it looks like that’s where we’ll be starting when the Amazon show launches.
I haven’t read any of the Jack Reacher books but I know a big bone of contention with fans of the book series and the two films that starred Tom Cruise was that Cruise didn’t match the character’s physical attributes as described in the books. Based purely on what Ritchson looks like and how the character is described, he seems like a much better match for the part, at least physically. Even though he’s closer to what fans may have envisioned for Jack Reacher, Richtson goes on to explain that he initially did not win the part during the casting process.
“It’s funny, I actually didn’t get the role at first. I’m not exactly six foot five and I’m not exactly 250, and I had heard that they were being very specific with their physical demands. After working with Tom Cruise and a lot of fans being upset that he didn’t really have the physicality, as great as he was in the role, they really wanted to get that right. I was like, ‘Well, they wanna read me, but I know they’re gonna find someone like Dwayne Johnson, who’s a huge dude.’ I auditioned for the part and it was good, it was just that my take on it was a little different than what they had in mind, at the time.
Ritchson goes on to explain that a shake-up behind-the-scenes led to his tape being revisited and the end result was him finally landing the role:
“There was a shake-up with who was casting, so they started again from scratch, and I’d already been passed on, as had everybody who did an audition. But when they came back around, they picked a few tapes that they’d seen already, and I was one of them, so they wanted me to come back and try again, and it worked out. The closer I got to that, the more familiar I became with the Reacher stuff. I’ve really fallen in love. I’ve read the books now and Reacher has some big shoes to fill, metaphorically speaking. I’m just so thrilled to be a part of it. It’s my favorite character that I’ve played yet.”
The Jack Reacher book series follows the title character, who is a former major in the United States Army Military Police Corps, as he roams the United States taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations. To date, there are 25 books in the series so Ritchson could possibly be gainfully employed for quite a while if Amazon wants to keep the show going.
Jack Reacher was first adapted for the big screen in 2012 starring Tom Cruise. The film, written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, was based on Lee Child’s 2005 novel “One Shot” and was met with decent box office but a mixed critical response. Costing $60 million to make, the film ultimately grossed $80.1 million at the domestic box office and $218.3 million worldwide. The film received a 64% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Cruise’s performance was lauded as “smoothly charismatic” but fans of the books, as mentioned before, complained about Cruise’s lack of resemblance to the character as described in the book. A sequel followed in 2016 called Jack Reacher: Never Go Back but the box office and critical response were much more muted. The film grossed $58.7 million domestically and $162.1 million globally on a $96 million budget and critics graced the film with a dismal 37% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes.
A television series was likely the best approach for an adaptation like this and it definitely has me interested in seeing what Amazon does with it. Will YOU be watching the Jack Reacher Amazon series?
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Jennifer Garner wishes Elektra got to be a part of Kevin Feige’s MCU
March 12, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Before Jennifer Garner got into the routine of playing the likable mom in most of her recent efforts, she was once on the path of being a legit action star. Garner got her big break on J.J. Abrams’ action spy series Alias and that put her in the sights of 20th Century Fox and Marvel when they were casting 2003’s Daredevil. The actress landed the role of ELEKTRA Natchios and ended up being one of the good things about a rather mediocre movie. Wanting to turn that good thing into something successful, Garner was given her own spinoff film and the result was 2005’s Elektra, widely considered one of the worst comic book films of all-time. The actress is making the rounds promoting her new Netflix film Yes Day and, during an interview with “The Hollywood Reporter“, she’s admitting that she’s sad she missed out on being a part of Kevin Feige’s MCU. She credits the producer for elevating the comic book movie genre which was something that wasn’t in place during her time playing the Marvel assassin.
“It’s such a shame, honestly, because once Kevin took over everything there was elevated: the writing, the direction, the comedy inside of the stories they were telling. And I did not have that experience.”
Daredevil received mixed reviews upon release but it was moderately successful at the box office, grossing $179.2 million worldwide against a budget of $78 million. Garner’s turn as Elektra, while not the most definitive, was well-received by most critics and fans who felt that she demonstrated a lot of potential in the role. This is largely the reason that 20th Century Fox went with a standalone film for the character with 2005’s Elektra but the end result was something that fell flat on its face. Garner once again receive positive notices but many critics thought the film was too self-serious and it ultimately registered a dismal 11% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes. The box office also failed to deliver, grossing $24.4 million at the domestic box office and $56.6 million globally against a reported budget that ranged from $43-65 million.
Garner’s time as the character ended after the failure of Elektra and both of the Marvel films she appeared in were released during a time before Marvel and Disney made making successful comic book movies look completely effortless. Garner deserved a better shot with the character because she definitely had potential and I can’t blame her for wishing her Marvel movies were overseen by someone like Feige who has cranked out films under a more consistently solid umbrella.
Do YOU think Jennifer Garner deserved a better shot during her time as Elektra?
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The Last Dragon takes first place!
Set in the fictional realm of Kumandra, the PG-rated movie was also simultaneously made available through the company’s Disney+ streaming platform, but at an additional “Premier Access” cost.
Disney’s original fable couldn’t overcome the $14.1 million actual weekend debut of last week’s animated/live-action TOM & JERRY, although it also did not have the benefit of familiar characters that have been around for 80 years. While it debuted on 2000 screens, RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON was also turned away from Cinemark theaters and other chains due to disagreements over exhibition terms.
The new fantasy (featuring the voices of Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Daniel Dae Kim, Gemma Chan and Benedict Wong) collected a worldwide total of $26.2 million over its first weekend.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for animated features now, the movie (which has four credited directors, however that works) reportedly cost more than $100 million to produce.
Critics embraced the Disney formula and impressive animated spectacle, giving the movie a 95% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 75 on Metacritic. Dance across raindrops to the JoBlo review HERE.
The neverending animated hostilities of Hanna/Barbera ‘toons TOM & JERRY continued in second place with $6.6 million, chasing away 53% of business from last weekend’s opening.
Warner Bros.’ PG-rated release (also viewable on their HBO Max streaming service) has a ten-day domestic total of $22.9 million and $57.2 million worldwide, on a reported cost of $79 million.
After perpetual delays, the Tom Holland/Daisy Ridley sci-fi movie CHAOS WALKING finally walked into theaters during the ongoing coronavirus chaos and landed in third place with an opening of $3.8 million.
Adapted from Patrick Ness’ young-adult novels and directed by Doug Liman (EDGE OF TOMORROW), the movie originally filmed in 2017 but underwent significant reshoots (reportedly handled by EVIL DEAD remake director Fede Alvarez), ultimately finishing with a production cost of $100 million.
The PG-13 adventure, also featuring Demian Bichir, Mads Mikkelsen and Cynthia Erivo, gathered an additional $2.6 million from other territories for a $6.8 million worldwide total.
In fourth place was the new basketball drama BOOGIE with an opening weekend of $1.2 million. The R-rated coming-of-age story from writer/director Eddie Huang didn’t exactly win the big game with critics, who gave the movie a 46% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 54.
The PG-rated animated sequel THE CROODS: A NEW AGE was in fifth place with $780,000 over its 15th weekend in theaters. The $65 million DreamWorks movie (distributed by Universal) now has a domestic total of $53.6 million and $157.6 million worldwide.
The R-rated crime-thriller THE LITTLE THINGS was in sixth place with $550,000. After six weekends on screens, the Warner Bros. release (no longer on their HBO Max platform) has a domestic total of $13.6 million and $25.1 million worldwide, on a reported $30 million cost.
In seventh place was Warner Bros.’ superhero sequel WONDER WOMAN 1984 with $511,000, followed by the Liam Neeson action-thriller THE MARKSMAN with $500,000 on its eighth weekend. Wrapping up the list for the week was the R-rated biopic JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH and the videogame adaptation MONSTER HUNTER.
The weekend’s other big debut happened on streaming, as the Eddie Murphy comedy sequel COMING 2 AMERICA was released through Amazon Prime.
Directed by Craig Brewer (DOLEMITE IS MY NAME), the PG-13 follow-up to the R-rated 1988 classic was originally set for an August 2020 theatrical release before Paramount elected to sell the rights to Amazon for $125 million (the movie itself actually cost a reported $60 million).
The exercise in nostalgia, which also brings back Arsenio Hall (along with most of the original cast) and adds Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones and Jermaine Fowler, was a mixed bag for critics with a 52% Rotten Tomatoes average and a 52 Metacritic score (the JoBlo review is HERE).
The next big theatrical releases will be the monster mash GODZILLA VS. KONG pounding onto screens (and on HBO Max) on March 31, while “Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk gets violent in the action-thriller NOBODY on the 26th.
What is your favorite Eddie Murphy movie? VOTE HERE!
Raya and the Last Dragon
Tom & Jerry
The Croods: A New Age
The Little Things
Wonder Woman 1984
Judas and the Black Messiah
Coming 2 America: Eddie Murphy almost included a cameo from The Klumps
March 3, 2021 by: Gaius Bolling
Eddie Murphy is known for playing multiple characters in many of his films and it’s something that was established in 1988’s Coming To America. In the years since the film’s release, Murphy has engaged in this schtick with varying degrees of success and it can be argued that the film that comes closes to seeing Murphy shine in multiple roles is 1996’s, The Nutty Professor. The actor played Sherman Klump, the entire Klump family, Buddy Love, and a fitness instructor in the film and while speaking on “Jake’s Takes” YouTube channel, he reveals that he toyed with the idea of adding some of those characters to the Coming To America sequel.
Murphy has been making the rounds promoting COMING 2 AMERICA, which hits Amazon Prime Video this Friday, and he says that the Klumps almost made an appearance in the film in a sort of universe crossover. There were to appear in a circumcision scene but Murphy stated the scene turned out to be too strange a bit “too expensive” due to the extensive effects needed for him to become all of the characters:
“There was a scene in this Coming 2 America we just did. There was a scene where the Klumps, remember the circumcision scene? Originally, the Klumps kind of popped up in that scene. In the long run, it was too hard a left, and it would have been too expensive to do. So yeah, they were in this thing.”
The Nutty Professor was released in 1996 and was a remake of the 1963 film of the same name starring Jerry Lewis. In the film, Murphy portrays a university professor named Sherman Klump, a kind-hearted and intelligent man who is morbidly obese. Klump eventually develops a miraculous, but experimental, weight-loss pharmaceutical, and hoping to win the affection of the girl of his dreams, tests it on himself. The end result is Sherman becoming Buddy Love, a vigorous, charismatic but evil alter ego. Murphy played seven characters in the film and after a string of films that underperformed, proved to be a big hit with critics and audiences for the actor. The film is 64% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and went on to gross $128.8 million at the domestic box office and $273.9 million worldwide on a $54 million budget.
Realizing the popularity of the Klump family, who only appear in three scenes in the first film, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps puts more focus on the family and they become a substantial part of the narrative. Unlike the first film, the sequel was met with distaste from critics, scoring a rotten score of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes but the film was still financially successful. By the end of its run, the movie grossed $123.3 million at the domestic box office and $166.3 million worldwide on an $84 million budget.
Coming 2 America already seems like a crowded endeavor so a cameo from the Klump family may have been a little much. Directed by Craig Brewer, Coming 2 America finds Akeem (Murphy) learning that he has a long-lost son in the United States and now he must return to America to meet the unlikely heir to the throne of Zamunda. Penned by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, and David Sheffield, with a story by Blaustein, David Sheffield, and Justin Kanew, the film also stars Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones, Shari Headley, Louie Anderson, John Amos, Wesley Snipes, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Jermaine Fowler, Bella Murphy, Rotimi, KiKi Layne, Nomzamo Mbatha and Teyana Taylor.
Do YOU think Eddie Murphy should’ve kept the Klump family cameo in Coming 2 America?
Jake’s Takes YouTube Channel
Knock Knock: Keanu Reeves & Ana de Armas film finds new life on Netflix
November 10, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
With more time being spent at home, many people are finding films on streaming services that they may have missed when they were first released. In the case of 2015’s KNOCK KNOCK Keanu Reeves and Ana de Armas star in this straight-to-video release that is finding a brand new life on the platform.
KNOCK KNOCK jumped into the Netflix top 10 over the weekend (as of this writing it is sitting at number three). This information is made available now that Netflix has unveiled its new “Top 10” feature which gives you a daily look at the “Top 10” movies and shows on the platform. This is a bit surprising since the film is five years old and wasn’t really embraced by critics but its resurgence could be due to the fact that its stars Keanu Reeves and Ana de Armas, who was largely unknown outside of Spain, have surged in popularity since the film was initially released. Reeves took off once again with the JOHN WICK franchise while de Armas would go on to land a role in BLADE RUNNER 2049 before really breaking out as a part of 2019’s ensemble murder mystery comedy, KNIVES OUT. The actress will also have a featured role in next year’s latest Bond film, NO TIME TO DIE.
KNOCK KNOCK, which is directed by Eli Roth, is a remake of the 1977 film DEATH GAME. In the film, Reeves plays a devoted father and husband who, while on his own for the weekend, gives shelter to two young women who may or may not have ulterior motives. The film currently sits with a 36% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes and it didn’t make much of a blip when it was first released but it’s certainly gaining some traction now. I saw the film a couple of years ago and while I thought it was a bit over the top, it was a fun distraction that was worth my time in the long run.
Have YOU seen KNOCK KNOCK? Did YOU recently discover the film on Netflix?
Liam Neeson steals first place!
Neeson’s latest PG-13 crime-drama, about a bank robber trying to leave his felonious past behind, added around 2300 screens to the 170 Canadian locations it premiered on last weekend, giving it a current domestic total of $4.2 million.
Distributed by Open Road (CHEF, NIGHTCRAWLER), the action-thriller with Kate Walsh, Jai Courtney and Jeffrey Donovan has also gathered nearly $1 million overseas for a worldwide total of $5.1 million.
Critics didn’t seem particularly invested in the most recent entry in the “old guy action flick” category, giving the movie an average of 35% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 45. Shoot on over to the JoBlo review HERE.
In third place was Christopher Nolan‘s PG-13 sci-fi thriller TENET with $1.6 million over its eighth weekend on North American screens. The $200 million time-twisty action movie has a domestic total of $51.3 million and $325 million worldwide.
What’s this? What’s this? Disney pulled another one out of the archives this weekend and put the PG-rated dual-holiday movie THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS back on 2200 screens for fourth place with a $1.3 million weekend.
The beloved 1993 stop-motion animated feature from writer Tim Burton and director Henry Selick now has a cumulative domestic total of $76.3 million from its initial debut and various re-releases over the years.
Another Disney reissue was in fifth place as the PG-rated 1993 horror-comedy HOCUS POCUS scared up another $756,000 for a running domestic total of $43.1 million.
The new PG-13 romantic drama 2 HEARTS premiered on 1680 screens over the weekend for sixth place with $565,000, followed by the horror-themed X-MEN spinoff THE NEW MUTANTS with $465,000 and the R-rated Russell Crowe road-rage thriller UNHINGED with $425,000 as it drove over $20 million domestic.
In ninth place was the new action-comedy LOVE AND MONSTERS with $255,000 as it opened on 387 screens at the same time it became available on premium VOD.
Originally titled MONSTER PROBLEMS, Paramount’s PG-13 romance-adventure stars Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick and Michael Rooker as survivors in a creature-filled post-apocalypse. The movie currently has a 90% critical average on Rotten Tomatoes. You can take a bite of the JoBlo review HERE.
The War with Grandpa
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The New Mutants
Love and Monsters
Across The Universe director wants a sequel that focuses on the 70s
October 2, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
Taymor shared her vision for a sequel with the “ReelBlend podcast” and during her appearance, Taymor says she would love to dive into the “edgy, weird times in the 70s, especially due to the similarities between the 70s and events in present-day:
“That’s so great to hear because I’m trying to convince people to make –I don’t want to call it Across The Universe 2 – but the next one. I just got off the phone about that actually. My God, there were 200 Beatles songs. So I only used 33. Plus I’d love to take, Jim Sturgess called me up and he wants to do it and Evan [Rachel Wood]’s game. I’m sure I can get the other people…I’d like to push it into the ‘70s. Really edgy, weird times in the ‘70s that are going to be very similar to what’s going to be happening in our country now, right? I dunno, you gotta find me some very daring people that are ready to do a new musical. That are very, you know, next generation… Everyone I talk to loves Across the Universe. We gotta do the next one.”
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE was released to mixed reviews from critics with a rotten score of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes but the film garnered a bit of a cult following and was more warmly received by moviegoers. The film’s audience score on Rotten Tomatoes comes in at 82% so it’s clear that audiences saw something in the film that critics did not. The 2007 film also went on to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and a nomination for Best Costume Desing at the Academy Awards. I personally think there is an audience that would want to see a sequel and given that The Beatles have such an extensive catalog, there are definitely more songs to form a story around.
In the film, the music of The Beatles and the Vietnam War form the backdrop for the romance between an upper-class American girl and a poor Liverpudlian artist. The film stars Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, T.V. Carpio and features cameos from Bono, Eddie Izzard, Joe Cocker, and Salma Hayek, among others.
Do YOU want to see a sequel to ACROSS THE UNIVERSE?
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Nomadland wins TIFF’s People’s Choice Award
September 21, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
Chloe Zhao’s Venice Golden Lion winner NOMADLAND took home the Toronto International Film Festival’s People Choice Award on Sunday and now the film will be one to watch as the winner of this award is often looked at closely come Oscar season.
Regina King‘s ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI came in second and BEANS placed third in the slimmed-down competition at the festival. TIFF had about a sixth of the number of films in play than usual and this also means far fewer Oscar hopefuls aiming to get this prize. Despite the limited number of films, the selections shined particularly bright this year with many films standing out in the process.
Nomadland is inspired by Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century” and it dramatizes the experiences of a generation affected by the 2008 recession who can no longer afford either to retire or a permanent home. Starring Frances McDormand, the film has earned near-universal praise across the board with a current fresh rating of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film has been steadily moving ahead as a true Oscar contender and this win definitely helps sustain that momentum.
The Toronto award is much sought after in the industry, as it counts a significant number of Oscar best picture awards and nominees among its recent winners, including GREEN BOOK (2018), ROOM (2015), and 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013). NOMADLAND’s director Chloe Zhao is also the first woman to win the award since 2011 when Nadine Labaki’s WHERE DO WE GO NOW? took home the prize.
Regina King’s directorial debut, ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI, about the serendipitous meeting of four significant African American figures – Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and the then-Cassius Clay – after the latter’s 1964 bout with Sonny Liston, also maintains momentum by coming in the runner up position for the award. King has received raves for her first time behind the camera and the film currently sits with a stellar 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s sure to be another film that we’ll be seeing come Oscar season.
Mulan release on Disney+ causes downloads to spike by 68%
September 8, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
The live-action MULAN was finally released after a few delays due to the COVID-19 last Friday and while the film didn’t get its planned theatrical run, the movie did become the first Premier Access film to be released on Disney+. Premier Access essentially meant that in order to view the film you had to pay a fee of $29.99 on top of your monthly subscription for the streamer and while some have complained about the steep price, it looks like Disney+ still saw an increase in downloads due to MULAN.
According to “Yahoo!“, the release of MULAN caused downloads to spike by 68% for the Disney+ app over the weekend. Sensor Tower, which is an app download research firm, was the first to report the increase and they also revealed that consumer spending in the app increased by 193%, most likely due to the film’s price that customers had to pay in order to watch the film. For comparison’s sake, the release of Hamilton! back in July caused a 79% spike in downloads but it’s no surprise that theirs was higher due to the popularity of Hamilton! and the simple fact that customers didn’t have to pay an extra fee to watch it.
MULAN will be available to stream for free with your Disney+ subscription beginning on December 4, 2020. Even though that’s only three months from now, it looks like families did splurge on the price to watch the film over the weekend. Good reviews did help as the live-action take on the 1998 animated film did score a 77% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes but it remains to be seen if people liked that they saw. The film has a 55% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and that could be because there’s no talking dragon and no songs or because of the alleged review bombing the film is receiving due to controversy with the film’s lead and its filming location. Whatever the case, MULAN was very much a part of the conversation and even though we don’t have the exact numbers on well it did from Disney+ just yet, I’m sure it was a top choice for families that wanted to stay at home and watch something new. This marks that second big release that Disney has decided to send to their streaming service instead of a theatrical run after ARTEMIS FOWL, which hit the streamer earlier this summer.
The live-action MULAN tells the story of a young Chinese woman who decides to disguise herself as a man n order to protect her father from serving in a war that could put his life in danger. Because of her choice, she harnesses her true potential and strength in the process. The film, helmed by Niki Caro, stars Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Pei-Pei Cheng, and Xana Tang.
Did YOU watch MULAN over the weekend?
Cobra Kai pulls ahead of Lucifer as Netflix’s most popular TV show
September 1, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
There’s a new champion in the world of Netflix TV shows. The first two seasons of Cobra Kai debuted on the streamer over the weekend after having an initial run on YouTube Red and now the series has pulled ahead of Lucifer to become Netflix’s most popular TV show.
Netflix, which is now proclaiming THE KARATE KID series an original since it will be the home for its third season which debuts next year, is calling it a win for Cobra Kai which quickly became the top show on the streamer in just a weekend. Lucifer was the previous show to take over Netflix’s top ten show but it has now fallen to number 3, thanks to Cobra Kai and The Frozen Ground. Cobra Kai made its debut on Netflix on Friday and by Saturday morning, the show was trending number one. The series was already popular on YouTube Red but it did not receive the kind of viewership exposure that it has already gotten on Netflix.
Netflix has done a great job promoting the arrival of Cobra Kai to their platform. It also helps that Cobra Kai is critically acclaimed with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 100% and old school fans love the nostalgia of reuniting with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka (Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, respectively). Newcomers are said to be enjoying the younger storyline so this is really the perfect mix of the old with new. Cobra Kai episodes are also short and very easy to binge so it’s pretty much a breeze to get through two seasons. Season three couldn’t get here fast enough for the fans and Netflix because it’s likely going to be very huge.
In a short teaser for season 3, which was mostly a recap of the first two seasons, it was hinted that Mr. Miyagi’s secret will be revealed. There were teases of THE KARATE KID 2 with Daniel LaRusso taking on a mystery opponent. The look at the show was only a few minutes long but it was enough to get fans hyped and more than enough to get the uninitiated to binge the first two seasons over the weekend. Cast and crew finished production on season 3 before the pandemic hit so there should be no halt in its arrival but they are currently in the post-production process.
Did YOU binge Cobra Kai over the weekend?
The New Mutants arrive!
Almost three years after it completed filming, the X-MEN spinoff THE NEW MUTANTS finally materialized on cinema screens this weekend and took the top spot with an estimated $7 million.
Directed by Josh Boone (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), the self-contained introduction of troubled superpowered teens was released onto 2400 screens as North American theaters continue to cautiously attempt a return to business.
Caught up in the merger between Disney and Fox (and then the global pandemic), the endlessly delayed final entry in the X-franchise (until the inevitable Marvel reboot) features Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Henry Zaga, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt and Alice Braga.
The horror-tinted mutant movie cost a reported $67 million, despite its limited scope and lack of star power. Unsurprisingly, given the coronavirus circumstances (and now hurricanes), THE NEW MUTANTS had the lowest domestic opening of any X-MEN movie behind the $32 million start of last summer’s flop DARK PHOENIX.
Loosely adapted from the classic “Demon Bear” story arc from Marvel’s comic book title, the PG-13 release also made it to a few international territories, bringing its worldwide opening to around $10 million. Critics didn’t seem like they thought it was worth the long wait, giving it an average of 32% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 46 on Metacritic (the JoBlo review is HERE).
The Russell Crowe R-rated thriller UNHINGED drove onto 500 more screens this weekend and collected $2.6 million from a total of 2331 locations. The $33 million road rage drama now has a domestic total of $8.8 million.
It might have taken them almost three decades, but the lovable doofus duo of William “Bill” S. Preston, Esq. and Theodore “Ted” Logan made a most(ly) excellent return this weekend with BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC.
The PG-13 sequel with Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter gathered $1.06 million from a thousand locations, but their latest adventure also received a simultaneous on-demand home release, where it topped the major VOD charts for the weekend.
Directed by Dean Parisot (GALAXY QUEST), the time-travel comedy featuring the Wyld Stallyns’ helpful offspring (Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine) and, of course, Death (William Sadler) cost a reported $25 million.
Critics generally embraced the optimistic energy of the sequel, giving the movie an average of 79% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 66. Hop in the phone booth and journey to the JoBlo review right HERE.
The comedy-drama THE PERSONAL LIFE OF DAVID COPPERFIELD was released onto 1360 screens this weekend for $520,000. The PG-rated Charles Dickens adaptation with Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie has a worldwide total of $10.3 million including its release in international territories earlier in the year.
The PG-13 teen romantic drama WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS expanded to 1350 locations this weekend and slightly improved on last week’s opening with $453,000, bringing it to around $1.08 million domestic.
The animated underwater antics of THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN added another $400,000 over the weekend, giving Paramount’s PG-rated adventure a North American total of $2.9 million.
Audiences have been anticipating the secretive sci-fi thriller from Warner Bros., originally intended as one of the summer’s primary blockbusters before the filmmaker and studio reluctantly accepted the precarious global situation and started sliding the release around the schedule.
The fact-based war movie THE EIGHT HUNDRED also continued to attract massive crowds in China as the the IMAX-filmed epic has crossed $250 million since it started on August 21.
What is your favorite Bill & Ted movie? VOTE HERE!
The New Mutants
Bill & Ted Face the Music
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Words on Bathroom Walls
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Russell’s rage gets things rolling!
As a couple thousand North American theaters opened their doors this weekend for the first time since March, Russell Crowe stomped on the accelerator and put UNHINGED on top with an estimated $4 million.
Combined with the past week’s Canadian ticket sales, the R-rated thriller now has a domestic total of $5 million. In his first major appearance since the 2017 reboot of THE MUMMY, Crowe directs his seething road rage at Caren Pistorius (MORTAL ENGINES). The movie is expected to collect around $15 million worldwide by the end of the weekend.
Directed by Derrick Borte and also featuring Jimmi Simpson (HBO’s “Westworld”), the Solstice Studios release cost a reported $33 million. Critics gave the Oscar-winner’s vehicular villainy an average of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 41. Steer on over to the JoBlo review HERE.
Paramount’s PG-rated THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN sponged up another $550,000 from its Canada-only run (it gets a VOD release next year in the US). The animated underwater adventure of the Nickelodeon friends has a total of $2.06 million since it drifted into theaters last week.
Nothing is normal in these coronavirus days, and new options were limited for those in America willing to risk visiting the cinema (or sit in/on/near their cars at drive-in theaters). Released by Roadside Attractions, the teen melodrama WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS still attracted a few eyeballs with $462,000 on 925 screens.
Also finding its way onto 407 screens was the R-rated crime-drama CUT THROAT CITY with $265,000 for the weekend. Directed by Wu-Tang Clan’s The RZA, the movie features an interesting cast that includes Wesley Snipes, Ethan Hawke, Shameik Moore, Eiza Gonzalez and Terrence Howard.
The South Korean zombie movie PENINSULA started lurching onto North American screens for $225,000 over the weekend. The sequel to the intense 2016 action-thriller TRAIN TO BUSAN has snatched up more than $32 million worldwide over the course of its international release.
On other domestic screens, writer-director David Ayer‘s R-rated THE TAX COLLECTOR and the R-rated horror movie THE RENTAL (directed by Dave Franco) are still going, joined this weekend by the re-release of Guy Ritchie‘s crime comedy THE GENTLEMEN and the experimental Ethan Hawke biopic TESLA.
Meanwhile in China, the fact-based war epic THE EIGHT HUNDRED has lured crowds out of quarantine in huge numbers — the IMAX-filmed siege story is a bona fide blockbuster with $82.6 million for the weekend and $116 million total.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Words on Bathroom Walls
Cut Throat City
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula
The Tax Collector
Palm Springs originally had a much darker premise
July 15, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
PALM SPRINGS has become one of the most pleasant surprises of the year with the Hulu comedy scoring great reviews and breaking viewing records for the streamer. Starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, the film features the duo in a GROUNDHOG DAY scenario, reliving the same day over and over again while finding companionship in each other. Writer Andy Siara recently did an interview with “Consequence of Sound” and before Siara decided to make the film a pleasant romantic comedy, the writer reveals the original concept was much darker.
“We just built this story around Nyles. Honestly, the first version of this movie was more like Leaving Las Vegas, where the guy goes out to Palm Springs to essentially kill himself. And then it just evolved over the years for a variety of reasons. I got married, fell in love, and started a family, and a lot of it is kind of about that. And Max went through shit. But it was always, from the beginning, me and Max as kind of acting as each other’s therapists and entertaining each other and trying to make each other laugh.”
In the film, Samberg plays the role of Nyles, a wedding guest who is stuck reliving the same day over and over again after visiting a mysterious cave at the resort in Palm Springs. Things become more complicated when Sarah, played by Milioti, follows Nyles into the cave and gets stuck in the time loop with him. From there, various attempts are made to escape the loop but they also learn unexpected truths about each other and themselves along the way. Siara says that moving the script away from its earlier darker themes of depression and taking one’s life and into a lighter tone about love, allowed him to include his own musings on love based on personal experiences:
“It’s not autobiographical by any means, but there’s an emotional specificity I guess of my own exploration of commitment and marriage. And as Andy said in an interview right around Sundance, take the plunge can be a profound experience. That’s ultimately what it’s about. It’s about taking that plunge – and what that plunge is. It could be anything to anyone else. It could be buying a house. It could be having a kid. It could be moving in with a partner. It could be getting married. It could be so many different things. So, it’s a deep exploration of that idea.”
The change in tone seems to have been a good idea because PALM SPRINGS has really resonated with critics and fans. The film is one of the best-reviewed movies of the year with a solid 92% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it has shattered viewership records on Hulu just days after it dropped on the streamer. I must say I didn’t expect much from the film but came out of my viewing pleasantly surprised by how genuine and endearing the film was. Definitely worth a watch.
Have YOU checked out PALM SPRINGS?
Consequences Of Sound
365 Days is Netflix’s most popular movie despite 0% Rotten Tomatoes score
June 19, 2020 by: Gaius Bolling
Netflix has a lot to offer on its ever-growing roster of television and original films on its platform. You might be wondering what has been dominating on the service throughout most of the month of June and it happens to be a film from Poland with 0 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
365 DNI, or 365 DAYS, has been one of the biggest titles on Netflix throughout the month of June, and it currently ranks as the single most popular movie or show on the platform. It would seem that those stuck in quarantine are flocking to watch the hyper-sexual thriller and bad reviews be damned. Even though only 7 reviews are being counted as of this writing, the film is 0 percent rotten on Rotten Tomatoes which puts it in good company with another recent Netflix original, THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME, which also has the distinction of being loathed by critics. The audience score on the site isn't much better at 29% but maybe there's some hate watching going on.
Critics aren't just casually disliking the movie either. They're really ripping the film apart. From what I can see, the highest rating of the 7 reviews I checked out is 1/4. That being said, it's not surprising that a widely panned movie is popular with watchers. Netflix films have done well on the streamer despite negative reviews (just look into anything Adam Sandler has done for the streamer) and films like FIFTY SHADES OF GREY did immensely well with the target audience despite the poor reviews. 365 DAYS appears to be all about sex and we all know that certainly sells.
Netflix describes 365 DAYS by saying "A woman falls victim to a dominant mafia boss, who imprisons her and gives her one year to fall in love with him." I guess from that synopsis one has to assume some kinky nonsense happens and any look at the poster or promotional images from the film shows that the movie will be all body heat and no substance.
But hey, who am I to know what people like? I haven't checked the film out yet and now I'm curious. Some films are so bad they're good and maybe this is one of them. Have YOU checked out 365 Days? Share YOUR thoughts in the comments below.