Unless you had a personal stake in a film being released this weekend, movies were far from the most important thing happening to you these past couple of days. You can blame the weekend's mostly anemic box office on one thing: the Super Bowl. Everyone spent their money buying snacks and preparing their parties and not going to see 'That Awkward Moment' and 'Labor Day,' both of which opened soft.
There is no comedy we're looking forward to more in 2014 than the reunion of Schmidt and Jenko, and there's nothing the newly released '22 Jump Street' poster can do to change our minds. The one-sheet could be completely blank and we'd still be excited because '21 Jump Street' remains one of the funniest movies of the past few years, and with everyone back for the sequel our expectations are hight.
Before he went on to direct four entries in the lovably ludicrous 'Fast and Furious' series, Justin Lin was known for his small, personal film, 'Better Luck Tomorrow' (and, uh, 'Annapolis'). The latest project on his plate looks like it could be a return to the smaller, more character-driven films of his early work: producing a feature adaptation of the acclaimed documentary 'The Battered Bastards of Baseball.'
In the first truly busy weekend for new releases in 2014, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart took the competition, bent them over the knee and gave them a good spanking. Okay, you probably didn't want the image of those two spanking animated squirrels, demonic babies or Chris Pine in your head, but how else are we going to talk about the opening weekend for 'Ride Along'?
Every year presents a new apocalypse for the film industry and every year sees movies and theaters evolving to match the increasingly strange age that we live in. However, Hollywood's evolution may not be happening fast enough to win back certain audiences. A new Harris Poll asked Americans about their moviegoing habits and the results are a fascinating combination of the surprising and the not-so-surprising.
We think that talking or texting during a movie is the epitome of rudeness and shouldn't be tolerated in any way. While we fully support hushing and zero-tolerance policies that eject talkers from theaters, we draw the line at physical violence and we imagine that even the most ardent movie fans would agree.
Over the past few years, the 'Paranormal Activity' series has established itself as one of the most inexpensive and reliable horror franchises around. Produced for (non-literal) pennies, they've consistently opened strong at the box office, ensuring a fast and efficient turnaround. The latest film, 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,' has already accomplished that goal, but it did so without grabbing the number one spot. Sure, people may love found footage demons, but it turns out that they love animated singing princesses more.
Although you'd think people would spend the holidays in their homes catching up with their families and what-not, they actually tend to go to the movies after opening gifts and having awkward conversations. And Christmas Day moviegoers had a bunch of options this week, with recent releases (and not-so-recent releases) still going strong and a whole bunch of new releases arriving to coincide with the holiday.
If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.
In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
When director Marc Webb took control of the 'Spider-Man' franchise with 'The Amazing Spider-Man,' he must have faced a huge decision: should he stick with a costume similar to the one worn by Tobey Maguire or go in a completely different direction. The final design, while different in the details, was definitely in line with the character's traditional red and blue outfit. However, other options were weighed and some concept art from the film's development has made its way online, giving us a very different look at what could have been.
If there's one thing that we're reminded of a few times a year here at the Weekend Box Office Report, it's that films targeted at black audiences are always ignored by many mainstream movie websites ... until they open huge at the box office. 'The Best Man Holiday' is the latest film to prove that there's an entire group of moviegoers who aren't being given the films they obviously want to see, and hopefully its success will spur Hollywood into action, allowing for the production of more movies with black casts and filmmakers. Maybe. This is Hollywood, after all.
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