Ice Cube Talks THE BOOK OF LIFE, Voicing His First Animated Character, the Status of FRIDAY 4, RIDE ALONG 2, and More

by     Posted 6 days ago

 ice-cube-the-book-of-life-ride-along-2-interview

Arriving in theaters this weekend from producer Guillermo del Toro is The Book of Life. The animated feature depicts director Jorge Gutierrez‘s vision of the afterlife where the celebrated and beloved spend eternity in the vibrant Land of the Remembered, while those beyond recall languish in the desolate Land of the Forgotten. In the middle is the Candle Maker, a benevolent keeper of the Book of Life who shepherds the souls of the deceased and ensures balance in the afterlife. As the Candle Maker Ice Cube lends his voice to an animated film for the first time – a surprising fact given that his career, which includes more than thirty film credits to date, began in a recording studio more than three decades ago. The Book of Life also stars Zoe SaldanaDiego LunaChanning TatumRon PerlmanKate del Castillo, and Christina Applegate.

I recently sat down with Ice Cube for an exclusive video interview. He talked about why this was the first animated feature to draw his attention, how he was won over by Gutierrez’s enthusiasm, feeling right at home in the recording studio, why we all need to pen a letter to New Line and make sure Friday 4 happens, and what to expect from Ride Along 2. Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth Get Revenge BY WAY OF HELENA; Olivia Munn in Talks for RIDE ALONG 2; David Harbour in Untitled Whitey Bulger Film

by     Posted 112 days ago

woody-harrelson-liam-hemsworth-by-way-of-helena-olivia-munn-ride-along-2

Here’s a look at today’s latest casting news:

  • Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth will star in the Western revenge pic By Way of Helena for director Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here).
  • Olivia Munn is in talks to join Kevin Hart and Ice Cube in the comedy sequel Ride Along 2.
  • David Harbour has joined Scott Cooper’s untitled Whitey Bulger film, also known as Black Mass.

Hit the jump for more on each picture.

RIDE ALONG Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 143 days ago

ride-along-blu-ray-review

How do you freshen up the buddy cop action comedy genre?  Well, you might want to start by casting veteran multi-hyphenate Ice Cube as the hard-nosed, bad-tempered cop, and current hot ticket Kevin Hart as the over-ambitious and underprepared wannabe.  Next, add a family aspect that adds an extra layer of tension and emotion to their relationship.  Then, let their personalities run wild in a setup that blends intense action alongside laugh-out-loud comedy with just the right amount of heart.  Tim Story’s Ride Along followed this incredibly specific formula to great success, enough to inspire Universal to greenlight a sequel.  If you missed it in the theaters, you’re in luck since it’s now available on home video.  Hit the jump for my Ride Along Blu-ray review.

Ice Cube Talks the Success of RIDE ALONG, RIDE ALONG 2, 22 JUMP STREET, and More; Says STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON Starts Filming in July

by     Posted 189 days ago

ride-along-2-ice-cube

With director Tim Story’s comedy Ride Along hitting DVD/Blu-ray this week, I recently landed an exclusive interview with Ice Cube to help promote the release.  As most of you know, the film stars Kevin Hart as a fast-talking aspiring police officer who must team up with his girlfriend’s (Tika Sumpter) brother, a hot-tempered cop (Cube), to prove that he’s worthy of being her husband.   While Universal was obviously hoping for a hit, I don’t think anyone expected the film to make $150 million at the worldwide box office.  But it definitely explains why the studio is quickly moving forward with a sequel, which is already slated for a January 15, 2016 release.

During the interview, Cube talked about the success of the film, why he wanted to make the project, the sequel, if it’s weird that he’s played so many police officers, what he recommends people do when they visit L.A., Straight Outta Compton (which he says is casting now and will start shooting this July), 22 Jump Street, doing a voice for the Guillermo del Toro-produced The Book of Life, the status of the Friday and xXx franchises, and more.  Hit the jump for our Ice Cube interview.

New to Blu-ray: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, RIDE ALONG, REALITY BITES: 20th Anniversary Edition, and More

by     Posted 189 days ago

walter-mitty-ride-along-reality-bites-blu-ray

This week’s new Blu-ray releases include two directorial projects from Ben Stiller (one from 1994 and one from 2013), a recent Best Picture Oscar nominee, a surprise comedy hit, a directorial effort from Sam Rockwell, and more.  Briefly:

RIDE ALONG 2 Moving Forward with Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, and Director Tim Story Poised to Return

by     Posted 245 days ago

ride-along-2-sequel-ice-cube-kevin-hart-tim-story

Even before Ride Along hit theaters, Universal Pictures made it clear that they were high on the film by putting the wheels in motion for a potential sequel.  The buddy comedy opened last month to an incredibly impressive $41.5 million opening weekend, going on to gross $120 million worldwide against a reported budget of just $25 million.  With that kind of success, it’s no surprise that Deadline reports Ride Along 2 is now firmly moving forward with Tim Story returning as director and deals closing for Ice Cube and Kevin Hart to reprise their roles as an Atlanta detective and his brother-in-law, respectively.  Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi are also returning to pen the screenplay for the follow-up.

Production on Ride Along 2 is expected to get underway in late June or early July, and the follow-up will reportedly have more action and is being envisioned as more multi-cultural.  Hart is currently gearing up to shoot the comedy Get Hard with Will Ferrell this March, and Cube will be seen this summer in the sequel 22 Jump Street.

Weekend Box Office: Remains on Top For Third Week with $12.2 Million

by     Posted 261 days ago

ride-along-kevin-hart-ice-cube

For the third weekend in a row, Ride Along is the top draw at the domestic box office.  The comedy earned an estimated $12.2 million on Super Bowl weekend, which comes in as the lowest first place total in more than a year.  That Awkward Moment opened in third behind the incredibly long-lived Frozen.  Thanks to Disney’s new sing-a-long version, the musical jumped back up to second place and is now achingly close to topping Despicable Me 2’s final North American gross.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Ride Along $12,214,000 $92.9
2.  Frozen $9,310,000 $360
3.  That Awkward Moment $9,010,000 $9
4.  The Nut Job $7,613,000 $50.2
5.  Lone Survivor $7,161,000 $104.8
6.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit $5,400,000 $38.9
7.  Labor Day $5,300,000 $5.3
8.  American Hustle $4,300,000 $132.1
9.  The Wolf of Wall Street $3,550,000 $104
10.  I, Frankenstein $3,520,000 $14.4

Friday Box Office: RIDE ALONG Keeps Rolling in First; THAT AWKWARD MOMENT a Close Second

by     Posted 262 days ago

ride-along-kevin-hart-ice-cube-slice

This year’s Super Bowl box office will be even more muted than usual, which is good news for a handful of holdovers.  Ride Along took first place on Friday with $4 million and is now poised for a third straight box office victory.  The Universal comedy should bring in about $12 million this weekend, an indication of how soft this year’s Super Bowl weekend looks.

The highest-grossing new release, That Awkward Moment, was a very close second yesterday, and is expected to earn approximately $10 million through Sunday.  That’s positively robust compared to Labor Day, the frame’s second new title.  The Jason Reitman  release earned just $1.93 million on its first day in 2,589 locations and should end the weekend in the $5 million range.  Finally, after an incredible ten weeks in the top five, Frozen is still going strong.  Thanks to a new sing-a-long version of the film, which hit 2,000-plus venues on Friday, Disney’s massive holiday hit should add another $9 million to its domestic total by Sunday.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Ride Along $4,000,000 $84.6
2.  That Awkward Moment $3,940,000 $3.9
3.  Lone Survivor
$2,300,000 $99.9
4.  Frozen
$2,240,000 $352.9
5.  Labor Day
$1,930,000 $1.93

Weekend Box Office: RIDE ALONG Claims Second Win; I, FRANKENSTEIN Struggles

by     Posted 268 days ago

i-frankenstein-slice

As expected, Ride Along easily claimed a second frame on top of the domestic box office.  The Universal comedy took in an estimated $21.1 million this weekend, or more than twice the amount credited to the week’s sole new release: I, Frankenstein.  The Lionsgate release pulled in an estimated $8.2 million in its first three days – falling below the very low bar set by the studio’s last feature, The Legend of Hercules, just two weeks ago.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Ride Along $21,162,000 $75.4
2.  Lone Survivor $12,601,000 $93.6
3.  The Nut Job $12,316,000 $40.2
4.  Frozen $9,035,000 $347.8
5.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit $8,800,000 $30.1
6.  I, Frankenstein $8,275,000 $8.2
7.  American Hustle $7,100,000 $127
8.  August: Osage County $5,041,000 $26.5
9.  The Wolf of Wall Street $5,000,000 $98
10.  Devil’s Due $2,750,000 $12.8

Friday Box Office: RIDE ALONG Remains on Top; I, FRANKENSTEIN Shows Little Life

by     Posted 269 days ago

ride-along-kevin-hart-ice-cube-After it’s record-breaking debut last weekend, Ride Along will have no trouble staying in first place in its sophomore frame.  The Universal comedy earned an estimated $6.3 million from 2,759 locations on Friday and is expected to take in over $20 million through Sunday.  Second place will also belong to Universal, as Lone Survivor continues to over perform entering its third frame.

The fact that two holdovers are on top should clue you in to the fate of the week’s one and only new release: I, Frankenstein.  The latest take on Mary Shelley’s monster is from the producers of Underworld – a series that found a comfortable home in January with its last three features.  From 2,753 venues (almost all of them in higher-priced 3D or IMAX formats), I, Frankenstein earned an estimated $2.8 million on Friday.  That sets the film’s weekend outlook at $8 million or under, or less than half what Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters brought in at this time last year.  We’ll have complete box office details tomorrow.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Ride Along $6,300,000 $60.5
2.  Lone Survivor $3,600,000 $84.6
3.  I, Frankenstein $2,820,000 $2.82
4.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit $2,615,000 $23.9
5.  The Nut Job $2,300,000 $30.2

Weekend Box Office: RIDE ALONG Sets New MLK Record with $41.2 Million Debut

by     Posted 275 days ago

ride-along-poster-slice

Ride Along has established a new record for the three-day MLK Day weekend.  Estimates put the comedy at $41.2 million after three days.  That tops the former record of $40 million, established by Cloverfield back in 2008.  Surpassing even its most optimistic early projections, Ride Along has also secured the best January debut of all time while effectively eclipsing the frame’s other debuts, including Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Ride Along $41,200,000 $41.2
2.  Lone Survivor $23,200,000 $74
3.  The Nut Job $20,550,000 $20.5
4.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit $17,200,000 $17.2
5.  Frozen $11,971,000 $332.6
6.  American Hustle $10,600,000 $116.4
7.  Devil’s Due $8,500,000 $8.5
8.  August: Osage County $7,592,000 $18.1
9.  The Wolf of Wall Street $7,500,000 $90.2
10.  Saving Mr. Banks $4,147,000 $75.3

Friday Box Office: RIDE ALONG Aims for MLK Day Record; JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT Softer Than Expected

by     Posted 276 days ago

ride-along-kevin-hart-ice-cube

On this very crowded MLK Day weekend, Ride Along is by far the strongest new title.  The comedy took first place on Friday with an estimated $14.5 million and is now expected to pull in $39 million through Sunday and $45 million for the four-day holiday.  That’s significantly higher than projected and puts the Universal comedy in the running for both the all-time January and MLK Day opening records.  At the moment, both titles still belong to 2008’s Cloverfield.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit opened in third place on Friday with an estimated $5.43 million.  That’s a disappointing start for Paramount’s latest take on the Tom Clancy hero, which was expected to top $20 million in its first three days.  Instead, look for Shadow Recruit to come in with just under that by the end of the four-day weekend.  Devil’s Due took in an estimated $3.5 million yesterday.  The supernatural horror film was expected to hit $15 million through Monday, but $9 million now seems more likely.  Finally, The Nut Job earned $4.8 million on Friday, towards what looks like $25 million in four days.  Should this critically-savaged animated film come out that far ahead of Jack Ryan, it would mark quite an upset – differing demographics notwithstanding.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Ride Along $14,500,000 $14.5
2.  Lone Survivor $6,700,000 $57.5
3.  Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit $5,430,000 $5.43
4.  The Nut Job $4,800,000 $4.8
5.  Devil’s Due $3,500,000 $3.5

Director Tim Story & Producer Will Packer Talk RIDE ALONG, Test Screenings, Editing Improvised Scenes, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 277 days ago

Tim-Story-Will-Packer-Ride-Along-interview

Opening this weekend is director Tim Story’s comedy Ride Along.  The film stars Kevin Hart as a fast-talking aspiring police officer who must team up with his girlfriend’s (Tika Sumpter) brother, a hot-tempered cop (Ice Cube), to prove that he’s worthy of being her husband.  As you can see in the trailers, what ensues are a series of wild adventures that lead them straight to the most notorious criminal in the city.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with director Tim Story and producer Will Packer.  They talked about how the project came together, how involved the studio was in the project based on their track record, changes as a result of the test screening process, the challenge of editing a talented improviser, future projects, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart Talk RIDE ALONG, How the Project Came Together, What They Learned About One Another, and More

by     Posted 278 days ago

Ice-Cube-Kevin-Hart-Ride-Along-interview

Opening this weekend is director Tim Story’s comedy Ride Along.  The film stars Kevin Hart as a fast-talking aspiring police officer who must team up with his girlfriend’s (Tika Sumpter) brother, a hot-tempered cop (Ice Cube), to prove that he’s worthy of being her husband.  As you can see in the trailers, what ensues are a series of wild adventures that lead them straight to the most notorious criminal in the city.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive video interview with Cube and Hart.  They talked about how the project came together, what they learned about one another while making the film, and Cube talked about how you sometimes have to worry about working with comedians but that wasn’t the case working with Kevin Hart.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Tim Story and Producer Will Packer Talk RIDE ALONG, How Much Improvisation Went into the Film, Doing the Unexpected, the Sequel, and More

by     Posted 280 days ago

ride-along-tim-story-ice-cube-hart-set-photo-slice

The hilarious new buddy comedy Ride Along shows what can happen when a fast-talking guy wants the blessing of his hot-tempered girlfriend’s brother, before asking her to marry him.  Thinking he’s found the perfect solution to get rid of high school security guard Ben Barber (Kevin Hart), Atlanta PD Detective James Payton (Ice Cube) insists that he accompany him on a ride along that he must survive, in order to prove that he’s worthy of Angela (Tika Sumpter), but what ensues are a series of wild adventures that lead them straight to the most notorious criminal in the city.

At the film’s press day, director Tim Story and producer Will Packer spoke during this press conference about what attracts them to a particular story, how much improvising went on, telling a universal story with universal themes, making sure they did the unexpected, working with this cast, and that they are already developing an idea for the sequel.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Click Here