If there were any lingering doubts about the popularity of Star Wars in the year 2015, Star Wars Celebration killed them. Ruthlessly. When the the live-streamed panel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered the second trailer for J.J. Abrams’ wildly anticipated sequel, you could feel the internet quiver and shake underneath the weight of the hype. It was a staggering event that made the next few geek-friendly trailers released in the following days feel like small potatoes in comparison. And yes, this hyperbole is backed up by raw numbers: the second trailer for The Force Awakens shattered the record for most trailer views in 24 hours.
Something has survived ... and it’s been packaged, licensed and sold to an audience of millions! No, we’re not talking about the Jurassic Park franchise or the new Jurassic World trailer, but rather the dinosaurs on display in the film, who are the star attractions in a fully functioning prehistoric theme park where nothing ever goes wrong! Until it does. And when things go wrong at dinosaur theme parks, things go really wrong.
For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
Without a great adversary, what good is a superhero? Without someone to punch in the face, Batman would just be some rich schmuck driving around in a weird-looking tank. Without someone on the receiving end of his shield, Captain America would just hang out at the V.F.W. all day. So let’s celebrate the villains. Let’s bring on the bad guys and give them their moment in the sun. With Avengers: Age of Ultron introducing another memorable baddie in the form of James Spader’s titular metallic menace, let’s take some time to run down the 10 greatest superhero movie villains of all time.
Furious 7 had one of the biggest box office openings of all time last weekend, earning a jaw-dropping $392 million worldwide. Somehow, Universal’s silly car-racing franchise has officially grown up and has the monetary clout to stand alongside the biggest movies of all time. So yeah, of course everyone wants a Fast and Furious 8, but fans hoping for a quick turnaround need to get comfortable. The next film is stuck at a red light and it’s going to be a little while before it turns green.
Because there is nothing small children still learning to read love more than ultra-violent fantasy epics, Sesame Street has created a Game of Thrones parody. And we’re not talking about a simple excuse to dress up some Muppets in medieval garb. There are some serious George R.R. Martin deep cuts in this strange little sketch, which marks the first and probably last time that Sesame Street will obliquely reference brutal massacres, beheadings, and regicide.
The early estimates for the opening weekend gross of Furious 7 are all over the place and we probably won’t have a definitive number until tomorrow, when the dust finally settles and everyone gets a chance to breathe. However, this one thing we know for sure: the seventh film in the Fast and Furious series didn’t just shatter in-franchise records, it shattered records for any April release.
It was inevitable: Disney is making a live action Winnie the Pooh movie because of course Disney would make a live action Winnie the Pooh movie. The studio’s tactic of bringing their animated properties into the live action realm has already paid off with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella, so why not pay another visit to the Hundred Acre Wood and let a live action Christopher Robin hang out with a CGI Piglet?
With David Letterman departing The Late Show to make way for Stephen Colbert, the entire world waits with bated breath to see what this living legend will do after his final episode airs this May. Thankfully, we have people like Billy Eichner around to accost strangers and collect suggestions for what he should do next.
Vin Diesel, he of the bulging biceps, shiny scalp and low vocal register, has been making the press rounds for Furious 7 over the past few weeks. Considering just how crazy his new movie is, he sure has a lot to talk about. But even the unlimited number of potential conversation topics to mined from the insanity of the seventh film in the Fast and Furious saga couldn’t stop him from teasing the eighth film in the franchise, which may be set in New York City.
In one of the strongest box office weekends of 2015 so far, both Home and Get Hard opened strong while Insurgent and Cinderella continued to perform well. This was the rare weekend that literally offered something for everyone, with R-rated comedies and animated family fare exceeding expectations.
What does a movie studio want out of its sequels? Is a sequel a failure if it simply matches its predecessor or does it need to make more money? That’s the big question that’s swirling around Insurgent, which made almost exactly as much as Divergent did one year ago. Seriously: there’s only a $500,000 difference in their opening weekends. So is Insurgent a success or a disappointment?
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