Weekend Box Office: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Holds, THE HEAT Sparks and WHITE HOUSE DOWN Stalls

by     Posted 1 year, 117 days ago

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With an estimated $46.1 million, Monsters University had no trouble holding on to first place in its sophomore frame. With Pixar’s track record, that was never really in doubt. Of more interest were the debuts of The Heat and White House Down. Would the summer box office make room for two strong openings, as it did for Monsters U and World War Z last weekend?  Not this time.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Monsters University $46,180,000 $171
2.  The Heat $40,000,000 $40
3.  World War Z $29,800,000 $123.7
4.  White House Down $25,700,000 $25.7
5.  Man of Steel $20,820,000 $248.6
6.  This Is The End $8,700,000 $74.6
7.  Now You See Me $5,500,000 $104.6
8.  Fast & Furious 6 $2,410,000 $233.3
9.  Star Trek Into Darkness $2,040,000 $220.5
10.  The Internship $1,425,000 $41.7

Friday Box Office: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Stays on Top; THE HEAT Beats WHITE HOUSE DOWN on First Day

by     Posted 1 year, 118 days ago

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Following its impressive debut last weekend, Monsters University held on to first place on Friday with an estimated $14.2 million. As expected, the Pixar prequel edged out newcomers The Heat and White House Down and will now enjoy its second weekend on top with at least $45 million.

In the battle of the new releases, The Heat clearly burned the brightest. The R-rated comedy earned an estimated $13.6 million from 3,181 locations on Friday, including $1 million from Thursday pm previews. That puts the Fox feature on track for over $35 million through Sunday – topping its $30 million studio projection. A few weeks back, Sony’s White House Down was also expected to open in the $30-$35 million range. But after realizing just $9 million from 3,222 locations on Friday, the action-thriller will be lucky to reach $25 million by Sunday. In case you’re keeping score, Olympus Has Fallen earned $30.3 million for its debut last March – and with half the reported budget of White House Down. We’ll have complete details on this weekend’s box office tomorrow.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Monsters University $14,280,000 $139.1
2.  The Heat $13,600,000 $13.6
3.  White House Down $9,000,000 $9
4.  World War Z $8,940,000 $102.8
5.  Man of Steel $6,020,000 $233.8

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Easter Eggs Revealed

by     Posted 1 year, 120 days ago

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Looking for Easter Eggs in Pixar films has now become a yearly pastime.  The animation studio hides plenty of regular in-jokes in its most recent films, and it’s also tradition to include a tease for the studio’s next film as well.  Monsters University is no different, and now Pixar is fessing up to the film’s Easter Eggs by providing images for some of them.  The only one I spotted during the film was the Pizza Planet truck, but as you’ll see after the jump the film also includes references to the Luxo Jr. ball and the number A113—a nod to the CalArts classroom where Pixar’s original animators got their start.

Bob Peterson, director of next year’s Pixar film The Good Dinosaur, has confirmed that Monsters University does indeed include a reference to his film, but it is sadly not included in this batch of official images.  For the Easter Egg hunters out there, Peterson hinted on Twitter to “follow the toys.”  Hit the jump to take a look at the images of Monsters University’s Easter Eggs.

Weekend Box Office: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY and WORLD WAR Z Top Giant June Weekend

by     Posted 1 year, 124 days ago

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Among this weekend’s major players, everyone is a winner this morning. In first place with an estimated $82 million, Monsters University scored the second highest debut ever for a Pixar title and the fifth-highest June debut of all time. World War Z, which shocked many by NOT bombing, came in a very strong second with $66 million. And Man of Steel, though down 64% in its sophomore frame, topped $200 million in ten days and saw its worldwide total soar above $345 million.

The 2013 box office was the biggest winner, however – scoring the best June weekend of all time as it closed the gap with 2012’s earnings.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Monsters University $82,000,000 $82
2.  World War Z $66,000,000 $66
3.  Man of Steel $41,215,000 $210
4.  This Is The End $13,000,000 $57.7
5.  Now You See Me $7,870,000 $94.4
6.  Fast & Furious 6 $4,725,000 $228.4
7.  The Internship $3,425,000 $38.3
8.  The Purge $3,412,000 $59.4
9  Star Trek Into Darkness $3,000,000 $216.6
10.  Iron Man 3 $2,175,000 $403.1

Friday Box Office: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY and WORLD WAR Z Top Giant Day at the US Box Office

by     Posted 1 year, 125 days ago

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In the wake of last week’s giant Man of Steel premiere, the domestic box office is poised for another blockbuster frame, thanks to Monsters University and World War Z. No surprise, Pixar’s fourteenth studio release took top honors Friday: earning an estimated $30.5 million from 4,004 locations (including $2.6 million from Thursday evening shows). That puts the Monsters, Inc. prequel on track for $80 million through Sunday – the second highest Pixar debut, after Toy Story 3.

No disrespect to Sully and Mike, but the bigger story this weekend may be World War Z. The adaptation of Max Brooks’ popular zombie-plague novel was dogged by production problems and bad press on its way to the screen, resulting in modest first-weekend projections of about $40 million. But after earning $25 million from 3,607 locations on Friday (including $3.6 million from Thursday & midnight previews), World War Z  is now expected to over-perform to the tune of $60 million through Sunday. That would mark a career high for producer/star Brad Pitt, whose previous best was 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith. We’ll have more on what should be the biggest June weekend of all time tomorrow, including an update on Man of Steel – off by 71% on day one of its sophomore frame.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Monsters University $30,510,000 $30.5
2.  World War Z $25,000,000 $25
3.  Man of Steel $12,700,000 $181.4
4.  This Is The End $4,100,000 $48.8
5.  Now You See Me $2,450,000 $89

Producer Kori Rae Talks MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, Deciding to Make a Prequel, the Film’s Biggest Challenges, the Terrific Cast and Easter Eggs

by     Posted 1 year, 126 days ago

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As a fan of many of their movies, I’ve been wanting to go to Pixar, for some time now.  And since you have to either work there, know someone who works there, or get an invite to go there, I jumped at the recent opportunity to make the trip to Emeryville, Calif.to do interviews for their latest feature film, Monsters University, and had a great time while I was there.  The film follows Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal), who arrives at the campus with the dream of becoming a Scarer while James “Sulley” Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) feels like he doesn’t have to put in the time or work to succeed because he was born with his talent.  When their journeys both prove to be a bit more complicated than they anticipated, they find help and friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

At the film’s press day, producer Kori Rae (Up, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc.) talked about why they decided to go with a prequel to tell more of Mike and Sulley’s story, the biggest challenge in going backwards, why they chose college, the technological advances in lighting, how they got such a terrific cast of voice actors, that there might be a spin-off short featuring one of the supporting characters, and what sort of Easter eggs can be found in the film.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Pixar by the Numbers – From TOY STORY to MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

by     Posted 1 year, 126 days ago

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This weekend, Monsters University becomes Pixar’s 14th feature film, the latest addition to an exceptional body of work that started nearly 20 years ago with Toy Story.  Pixar is coming off 2 movies that did not quite live up to the impeccable reputation built by the first 11, so it is up for discussion whether the animation studio can ever recapture that magic or must settle into a new phase.  At this fork in the road I present Pixar by the Numbers, a feature that provides a numbers-based snapshot of each Pixar movie and its place in the filmography by looking at the box office, critical reception, and miscellaneous facts.

Hit the jump for a comprehensive review of Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monster’s, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University.

Charlie Day Talks MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, Working with Pixar, PACIFIC RIM, Getting Through Writer’s Block, HORRIBLE BOSSES 2, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 127 days ago

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As a fan of many of their movies, I’ve been wanting to go to Pixar, for some time now. And since you have to either work there, know someone who works there, or get an invite to go there, I jumped at the recent opportunity to make the trip to Emeryville, Calif. to do interviews for their latest feature film, Monsters University, and had a great time while I was there. The film follows Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal), who arrives at the campus with the dream of becoming a Scarer while James “Sulley” Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) feels like he doesn’t have to put in the time or work to succeed because he was born with his talent. When their journeys both prove to be a bit more complicated than they anticipated, they find help and friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

At the film’s press day, actor Charlie Day (who voices Art, Oozma Kappa’s most free-spirited and mysterious monster) spoke to Collider during a roundtable and 1-on-1 interview about how he came to be doing a Pixar animated feature, finding out what his character would look like, how exciting it was to record at Pixar, his character’s backstory, how much he stuck to the script, what he was like in college, and what scared him as a kid.  He also talked about his work in Pacific Rim and what a wild ride the film is, just how much fun he’s had making It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for so many seasons now, his trick to get over writer’s block, his comedic inspirations, doing a cameo for The Lego Movie, and the status of Horrible Bosses 2.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Review

by     Posted 1 year, 127 days ago

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Familiar lessons in family films are “Stay true to yourself!”, “Follow your dreams!”, and “Work hard and you can accomplish anything!”  This isn’t true, but it’s a nice sentiment.  The truth is that there are some things we’re not capable of accomplishing no matter how hard we work at them.  That’s a tougher lesson, but also a more rewarding one.  By embracing a more thoughtful theme but never forgetting their oft-repeated message about the importance of friendship, Pixar has returned to form in a big way with Monsters University, a film that’s not only intelligent, but also incredibly cute and ridiculously funny.

Billy Crystal Talks MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, Getting Back into Character, Playing off John Goodman, His College Experience and His Favorite Character to Play

by     Posted 1 year, 128 days ago

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As a fan of many of their movies, I’ve been wanting to go to Pixar, for some time now.  And since you have to either work there, know someone who works there, or get an invite to go there, I jumped at the recent opportunity to make the trip to Emeryville, Calif.to do interviews for their latest feature film, Monsters University, and had a great time while I was there.  The film follows Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal), who arrives at the campus with the dream of becoming a Scarer while James “Sulley” Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) feels like he doesn’t have to put in the time or work to succeed because he was born with his talent.  When their journeys both prove to be a bit more complicated than they anticipated, they find help and friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

At the film’s press day, actor Billy Crystal talked about how easy it was to get back into the character, how great it is to play off of actor John Goodman during their recording sessions, what kind of student he was in college, why Mike Wazowski is the favorite character he’s played, how much his grandkids love it, why they never made a sequel to the original film, and finding satisfaction in every medium he works in.  Check out what he had to say after the jump. 

Director Dan Scanlon Talks MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, Landing His Directorial Debut, Who He Went to for Advice and the Film’s Technological Advancements

by     Posted 1 year, 129 days ago

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As a fan of many of their movies, I’ve been wanting to go to Pixar, for some time now.  And since you have to either work there, know someone who works there, or get an invite to go there, I jumped at the recent opportunity to make the trip to Emeryville, Calif.to do interviews for their latest feature film, Monsters University, and had a great time while I was there.  The film follows Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal), who arrives at the campus with the dream of becoming a Scarer while James “Sulley” Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) feels like he doesn’t have to put in the time or work to succeed because he was born with his talent.  When their journeys both prove to be a bit more complicated than they anticipated, they find help and friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

At the film’s press day, director Dan Scanlon talked about how this particular story idea came about, how he got the gig directing his first feature, who he went to for advice, the technological advancements made with the film, how close to completion they were still making tweaks and changes, making sure the film never got too scary, how the supporting characters grew bigger than they ever expected, and how they incorporated some of the familiar characters from Monsters, Inc.  Check out what he had to say after the jump. 

Nathan Fillion Talks MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, the STAR WARS Sequels, MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, PERCY JACKSON, Comic-Con, Twitter, and Much More

by     Posted 1 year, 134 days ago

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Joss Whedon’s contemporary adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is now playing in theaters.  The micro-budget film was completed in just twelve days at his house, and stars Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, Jillian Morgese, Clark Gregg, Tom Lenk, Ashley Johnson, Reed Diamond, Riki Lindhome, Sean Maher, and Nathan FillionFor more on the film, here is Matt’s review and all our previous coverage which includes clips, posters, and images.

During the recent L.A. press day, I landed an extended video interview with Fillion.  He talked about making Much Ado, the complicated dialogue, if he agrees to whatever Joss Whedon asks of him, Twitter, what he geeks out over, his thoughts on the Star Wars sequels, the idea of appearing as Captain Malcolm Reynolds in another movie as a cameo, and more.  In addition, he talks about his voice role for Monsters University and his Pixar fandom, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and his appreciation for star Logan Lerman, Justice Leage: The Flashpoint Paradox, and reveals he’ll be at Comic-Con next month for Nerd Machine.  Hit the jump to watch.

7 Clips and 13 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from MONSTERS UNIVERSITY; Watch the Cast Record Their Lines

by     Posted 1 year, 141 days ago

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Monsters University will be here soon, and I like what I’m seeing.  I like it so much that I’ve seen enough.  Even though we post plenty of trailers, clips, and featurettes on the site, I don’t watch all of them if I’m already interested in the film.  That stuff is for the people who need more convincing.  So if you’re still unsure about Monsters University, we have seven clips and 13 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage featuring the cast from Pixar’s upcoming prequel recording their lines.

Hit the jump to check out the clips and behind-the-scenes footage.  The film features the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, John Krasinski, Nathan Fillion, Bonnie Hunt, Dave Foley, Sean Hayes, Joel Murray, Peter Sohn, Aubrey Plaza, Tyler Labine, Bobby Moynihan, Julie Sweeney, Alfred Molina, Beth Behrs, and of course, John RatzenbergerMonsters University opens in 3D on June 21st.

Atlanta Readers: Win Passes to See Disney/Pixar’s MONSTERS UNIVERSITY

by     Posted 1 year, 144 days ago

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After their last two movies, some wondered whether the Pixar magic had run out.  All streaks had to end, and the animation studio was now coming back down to Earth.  But judging by the positive CinemaCon buzz and the latest trailer for Monsters University, Pixar may be back on top.  Although prequels always carry the question of, “Don’t we know where this is going?” that doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyable, and Monsters Univeristy looks like it has the potential to be loads of fun.

I’m pleased to announce that we’re giving away four admit-two passes to the Atlanta screening of Monsters University.  Hit the jump to find out how you can see the movie early and for free.  The film features the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, John Krasinski, Nathan Fillion, Bonnie Hunt, Dave Foley, Sean Hayes, Joel Murray, Peter Sohn, Aubrey Plaza, Tyler Labine, Bobby Moynihan, Julie Sweeney, Alfred Molina, Beth Behrs, and of course, John RatzenbergerMonsters University opens in 2D, Disney Digital 3D, and RealD 3D on June 21st.

Billy Crystal and John Goodman Talk MONSTERS UNIVERSITY, the Mike/Sulley Friendship, and Creating Younger Versions of the Characters

by     Posted 1 year, 144 days ago

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Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and James P. Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) are inseparable now, but that wasn’t always the case.  In Monsters University, Mike arrives at the campus with the dream of becoming a Scarer while Sulley feels like he won’t have to put in the time or work to succeed because he was born with his talent.  When their journeys both prove to be a bit more complicated than they anticipated, they find help and friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

During a press conference with Billy Crystal and John Goodman, the two talked about what it was like to create younger versions of the characters they first brought to life in Monsters, Inc. in 2001, why the friendship of Mike and Sulley resonates, feeling like misfits themselves, how much things have changed since the last time they worked with Pixar, working with director Dan Scanlon, and what used to scare them.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

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