Good reviews and a phenomenal marketing campaign did their job this weekend. No number of foot-in-mouth moments from Matt Damon could harm the opening weekend of The Martian, which opened in the number one spot at the box office. After a surprisingly robust September, this is another sign that we may very looking at one of the bigger fall movie seasons in quite some time.
Alex Trebek is a cultural institution, a beacon of knowledge and grace under pressure. Everyone loves him. Which is why it’s always amusing to watch the unflappable host of Jeopardy say silly words and phrases in that reliable deadpan of his. A recent episode of the immortal game show saw him forced to say the name “Turd Ferguson,” which should amuse anyone with a passing knowledge of modern comedy.
Acquiring Lucasfilm and Marvel were just two minor steps in Disney’s grand plan to eventually own everything you love and control your life as Entertainment Overlord Supreme of the Planet Earth. But to be fair, they are a benevolent god. A caring god. A god that wants to make its riches available to you, should you want to indulge yourself. So prepare thyself: TV channels based entire on Marvel and Star Wars content may be coming.
Prolific character actor James Best, most known for playing the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard, has passed away from complications following a battle with pneumonia. He was 88 years old.
A lot of people are going to act like they didn’t see the enormous success of ‘American Sniper’ coming, but the signs were all there. On top of the promising limited release numbers, there was the awards buzz. On top of that, there were the names of director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper. On top of that, the subject matter of the film is inherently attractive to the same category of moviegoer that makes Christian-themed films into massive hits. ‘American Sniper’ had one doozy of a weekend, but it’s not that surprising.
The 'Taken' films have been a blessing and a curse for star Liam Neeson. Sure, he's found great success in his newfound career as an aging action hero, but the days of Neeson being a completely respectable presence in prestige films seem to have come to an end. So the 'Taken 3' trailer fills us with mixed feelings. We'd love to see Neeson doing something else, but man, he sure is good at killing people.
‘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.
Brad Pitt's new World War II drama 'Fury' opened at number at the box office and has officially defined what this October has been about: long, R-rated movies featuring huge movie stars bucking the usual trends and out-grossing their family friendly competition. Between this and 'Gone Girl,' it looks like grown adults are heading to their multiplex more than ever these days.
There actually was a new film released this week. It's called 'The Identical' and it's a Christian-themed fable about what would have happened if Elvis Presley's stillborn twin brother had survived. Well, for reasons that should be obvious after reading that sentence, 'Guardians of the Galaxy' held onto the number one spot this weekend while 'The Identical' opened outside of the top 10, never to be heard from again.
A few weeks ago, this column was skeptical that Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' could reach $300 million. Now, it seems impossible that it won't. Thanks to ecstatic word of mouth, killer marketing and only one genuinely successful box office challenger (that would be 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'), Marvel's oddball space opera has managed to spend three of the past four weekends at the number one spot at the box office, giving it enough momentum to officially become the highest grossing film of 2014.
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