There‘s going to be a lot of blood and ink spilled across the internet on the subject of the opening weekend for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.’ Yes, the third film in the series did open significantly lower than its predecessors. Yes, there are definitely people at Lionsgate wringing their hands and trying to figure out why the film opened below expectations. And yet, that opening weekend is still massive. It’s three day total is larger than most movies ever have a chance to make in their entire runs. So, let's have some perspective as we dive into this week’s top 10.
It's been three years since ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ was unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace, convincing even the most die hard fans of Disney's lucrative franchise that Captain Jack Sparrow needed to take a break. Maybe forever. And yet, these past years have been filled with rumors and casting and almost-casting for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.’ Like it or not, this film is coming and now it has the young up-and-comer Brenton Thwaites in its drunken, slurred, overlong clutches.
Yes, the internet just shook with squeals of glee (no pun intended): the ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ trailer has arrived and, for better or worse, it looks like a whole lot more of the same. For fans, that's perfectly okay! Why fix something that clearly isn't broken? For the people who just couldn't deal with the first entry, this one promises all kinds of new nightmares and/or migraines.
Yes, it’s easy to decry the permeation of film marketing and our obsession with trailers and posters and previews, but let’s just be honest with ourselves here: The ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer is going to an event that rivals the release of most movies. Think back to the good ‘ol days of 1998 (”A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...”) and remember how fans would buy tickets to ‘A Bug’s Life’ and ‘The Siege’ just to watch the teaser trailer for ‘Star Wars: Episode I.’ If you’re one of those people and want to replicate that experience, you’d better pre-order your ticket for ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ pretty soon.
Marvel's ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was one of the most surprising blockbusters of 2014 for a variety of reasons, but one of the most interesting side effects of its success is that it got people all over the world listening to a bunch of catchy songs from the '60s and ‘70s. Yes, Star-Lord's “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” mix tape took the world by storm, even reaching number one on the billboard charts. Considering how much the soundtrack informed the tone of the film, it's not surprising that the movie ended with the reveal of an “Awesome Mix Vol. 2,” which we‘ll surely get to hear in the sequel.
Now, director James Gunn has revealed the existence of and “Awesome Mix Vol. 0” playlist.
Like so many major films released these days, ‘Interstellar’ has a comic book tie-in. But unlike most comic book tie-ins, this one is actually written by the original film’s director and is premiering online. And yes, you can read the whole thing right now, free of charge. We’re going to jump straight into spoilers right at the end of this sentence, so if you haven’t had a chance to see Christopher Nolan‘s science fiction adventure yet, you may want to consider turning around.
A sequel to 1994’s ‘Dumb and Dumber’ seemed like a silly idea until ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ went and made $36 million in its opening weekend. Now, the sky is the limit for the aging idiots played by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels and the thought of a third film (‘Dumb and Dumberer’ is not official canon) doesn’t seem all that crazy. In fact, the new film is already waaay ahead of you. If you stuck around through the end credits of ‘Dumb and Dumber To,’ you already know that the post-credits scene teases a theoretical third entry in the series.
‘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.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Justin Lin was being courted by Universal to return to the ‘Fast and Furious’ series after taking ‘Furious 7’ off and giving the director's seat to James Wan. It was also reported that his return would be be part of a two film “grand finale” that would send this beloved franchise driving off into the sunset. But that second part is just plain silly. Have you seen the box office receipts for these movies? So it should come as no surprise that the studio has “at least three” more Dominic Toretto and company adventures in the pipeline.
The likes of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man have no business aping the Marvel “shared universe” structure in the first place. They're monsters! Let them monster! Any of our well-intentioned blogging-into-the-wind was too little, too late because the head of Universal has pretty much come and out said that they're taking the horror out of their horror icons.
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.
The final 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' trailer has arrived and, well, it looks like another 'Hobbit' movie. If your faith in director Peter Jackson's vision of Middle-Earth remains unshaken, prepare to get excited. If the previous two films have muted your excitement for the series, prepare to see...more of the same.
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