Weekend Box Office: LUCY Shines with $44 Million; HERCULES Takes Second with $29 Million

by     Posted Yesterday

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2014’s summer box office got a rare ray of sunshine this weekend thanks to Lucy.  The sci-fi/action pic easily claimed first place with an estimated $44 million from 3,173 locations – the highest debut for star Scarlett Johansson outside of her Marvel Universe appearances.   Hercules had to settle for a second place, though the action/adventure’s estimated $29 million from 3,595 locations also beat expectations.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Lucy $44,025,000 $44
2.  Hercules $29,000,000 $29
3.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes $16,400,000 $172
4.  The Purge: Anarchy $9,896,000 $51.2
5.  Planes: Fire & Rescue $9,303,000 $35.1
6.  Sex Tape $5,975,000 $26.8
7.  Transformers: Age of Extinction $4,600,000 $236.3
8.  And So It Goes $4,552,000 $4.5
9.  Tammy $3,400,000 $78.1
10.  A Most Wanted Man $2,717,000 $2.7

 

Full story after the jump.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Comic-Con Panel Recap; New Footage “Got No Strings” but Plenty of Action

by     Posted 2 days ago

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This was the one.  There had been good panels on Saturday, but Marvel is always the one that drives people crazy.  They know how to put on a show.  People were hungry for this panel.  It was supposed to start at 5:30pm and when it started getting later, people were chanting, clapping, and at one point even attempted to do the wave (they failed miserably at that last one) as a way to pass the time and keep up energy until the panel.  There was a ridiculous amount of good will in this room, and eagerness for news.  At the very least, they would be getting some sweet, sweet new footage from one of 2015’s biggest films.  And yet that turned out not to be enough as the studio’s Comic-Con marketing backfired.

Hit the jump for the Avengers: Age of Ultron Comic-Con panel recap.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Concept Art Teases Quicksilver, Hawkeye and The Vision at San Diego Comic-Con

by     Posted 3 days ago

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A few days back Marvel revealed their Comic-Con exclusive Ant-Man poster and two new examples of concept art for Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Now we’ve got three additional posters that show off Quicksilver, Hawkeye and The Vision.  When combined with the two previously release posters of Scarlet Witch and Iron Man, they begin to form a more complete poster that is still in the process of being unveiled.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris EvansChris HemsworthMark RuffaloScarlett JohanssonJeremy Renner, James Spader, Paul Bettany, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.  Hit the jump to see the full Comic-Con posters and for more on how you can get your own.  Click here to see the posters for Black Widow and Captain America and also here for Scarlet Witch and Iron Man. Hit the jump to take a look at the new concept art posters for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

LUCY Review

by     Posted 4 days ago

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Luc Besson’s new film Lucy often feels like 10% of a movie, despite its very clear ambitions to be some sort of ultimate experience. Which is weird because it nails so many of its objectives.  It’s gorgeously shot.  It’s incredibly kinetic and, even when it’s not in the middle of an action scene, it’s rarely static.  Scarlett Johansson throws everything she has into the role (or, at least, gives the role everything it requires of her).  And yet I had to do everything I could to keep from falling asleep during the film’s turgid first act.

New AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Posters Pit Black Widow and Captain America Against an Army of Robots

by     Posted 4 days ago

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Yesterday, Marvel revealed two new pieces of concept art from writer/director Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel that gave us a look at Iron Man and Scarlet Witch doing battle against an Ultron army.  It appears that the two pieces are actually part of a larger banner, as today’s new Avengers: Age of Ultron poster shows Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow fighting off some Ultrons as well, with tiny glimpses of Thor’s hammer and Hulk’s big green hand at the edges.  I imagine Marvel will be releasing the rest of these individual posters over the next few days, leading up to the full banner reveal on Saturday in anticipation of the film’s Hall H panel at Comic-Con.

Hit the jump to take a look at today’s new poster, and check back on Saturday for our full panel recap.  Avengers: Age of Ultron also stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Paul Bettany, and Don Cheadle.  The film opens in theaters on May 1, 2015. [Update: We've added a Captain America poster as well.]

More AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Images Reveal Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and a Party in Avengers Tower

by     Posted 12 days ago

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It’s unofficial Avengers: Age of Ultron day, folks.  Fresh off our first look at the villainous robot Ultron and comments from Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige about the Joss Whedon-directed sequel, a batch of new Avengers: Age of Ultron images has arrived.  These photos reveal new Avengers additions Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), the triumphant return of Science Bros (aka Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo), and a little get-together in Avengers Tower with a surprise guest.  With Comic-Con on the horizon we can expect plenty more Avengers 2 goodness in the week to come—or even more later today.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new Avengers: Age of Ultron images.  The film also stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, and Don CheadleAvengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters on May 1, 2015. [Update: We've updated the article with high-resolution versions of the images.]

13 New LUCY Images Featuring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked, and Behind-the-Scenes Shots of Luc Besson

by     Posted 17 days ago

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We’ve got 13 new images from Luc Besson’s latest action-thriller Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule-turned-unstoppable warrior.  We posted a new red-band clip from the film yesterday that highlighted the title character’s newfound abilities.  These new images take a different approach and show off some of Johansson’s supporting cast, including Morgan FreemanAmr Waked, and Min-sik Choi.  There are also a few bonus behind-the-scenes shots of Besson at work scattered throughout.

Lucy opens July 25th.  Hit the jump to check out the new images.

Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill in Talks for HAIL CAESAR!; Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett to Lead TRUTH; John Goodman Joins VALENCIA

by     Posted 19 days ago

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We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon.  Briefly:

  • Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill are in talks to join the cast of the Coen brothers’ next film Hail, Caesar!.
  • Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett will play Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, respectively, in Truth.
  • John Goodman is in talks to star in the low-budget thriller Valencia, from Bad Robot.

Hit the jump for more details on the aforementioned casting.

HER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 45 days ago

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Prior to the release of Spike Jonze’s love story Her last year, the film was essentially the butt of a joke.  A guy falls in love with his phone?  Ridiculous.  How would that even work?  Well the key, apparently, is Spike Jonze.  The filmmaker turned a very simple and potentially laughable premise into one of the most engaging, affecting, and emotional love stories in recent memory.  Her isn’t just about how a guy falls in love with his phone, it’s about how we, humanity, love one another in the modern age.  It’s one of the things that makes us uniquely human, and Jonze explores issues relating to relationships—both romantic and platonic—against a gorgeous and fascinating sci-fi backdrop to phenomenal results, anchored by an incredible, delicate lead performance from Joaquin Phoenix.  Read my full Her Blu-ray review after the jump.

New International Trailer for Luc Besson’s LUCY Starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman

by     Posted 76 days ago

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A new international trailer has gone online for Lucy.  Director Luc Besson‘s (The Fifth Element) upcoming action thriller stars Scarlett Johansson as a reluctant drug mule who is transformed into an incredible fighter capable of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and an ability to disregard pain and emotion when one of the designer drugs enters her system.  While I have to grit my teeth every time I hear the “only use 10% of our brains” line, it’s a premise I’m willing to accept if it means we’ll get the goofy fun that’s on display in this trailer.  The movie looks like someone said “We gave Black Widow superpower.  Enjoy.”

Hit the jump to check out the Lucy international trailer.  The film opens August 8th and also stars Morgan Freeman and Analeigh Tipton.

Scarlett Johansson and Lupita Nyong’o in Talks to Join Jon Favreau’s THE JUNGLE BOOK

by     Posted 96 days ago

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Director Jon Favreau continues to firm up the cast for his live-action/CG hybrid take on The Jungle Book.  We learned last month that Idris Elba will provide the voice of Shere Khan in the Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic, and now Heat Vision reports that Scarlett Johansson and Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave actress Lupita Nyong’o are in negotiations to join the pic as well.  Hit the jump for more on the nature of their roles.

First Trailer for Jon Favreau’s CHEF Starring Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Downey Jr.

by     Posted 112 days ago

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Open Road Films has released the first trailer for writer/director Jon Favreau’s new film Chef.  Favreau plays Carl Casper, a man who starts up a food truck business in the hopes of reestablishing his artistic promise after he loses his job as a chef, all the while trying to reconnect with his estranged family.  The movie looks really good.  I like what it has to say about keeping to one’s artistic integrity instead of pandering, and I not only agree with the blurb about not watching the movie on an empty stomach; I wouldn’t watch this trailer on an empty stomach.  The food looks absolutely delicious.  The story also comes off as charming and funny, so that’s nice too.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, John Leguizamo, Dustin Hoffman, and Robert Downey Jr.  Chef opens May 9th.

TOP 5: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, First Trailer for LUCY, 22 JUMP STREET Set Visit, THE EXPENDABLES 3 Teaser, Our Most Anticipated Movies

by     Posted 114 days ago

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Given the near universal praise it has received, I doubt that one more voice in its corner will persuade you to check out Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend if you weren’t already planning on it (especially when that “one voice” belongs to yours truly). Still yet, that fact won’t prevent me from gushing about it in these next few sentences. The Winter Soldier is fantastic. The action, humor, performances, and storytelling are all on point and work seamlessly together to create what is instantly one of my favorite Marvel movies and, more impressively, a really good film in general. It joins The Avengers on the short list of Marvel movies that I can see myself revisiting outside of canon just to enjoy again as a singular experience. While I believe a healthy dose of skepticism should be retained until you see it for yourself, I feel comfortable in saying that you can believe the hype surrounding The Winter Soldier.

In addition to me continuing to high-five the new Cap film, this week’s Top 5 also features the first trailer for director Luc Besson‘s Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson, our 22 Jump Street set visit coverage, the first teaser trailer for The Expendables 3, and a look at our most anticipated films from April to June. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

UNDER THE SKIN Review

by     Posted 115 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Under the Skin opens today in limited release.]

Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is strange, visually absorbing, cerebral, and rarely compelling. The film attempts to obscure its fairly simple story and subtext in order to imply depth, and while it may take a while to figure out the movie’s motives, that’s due to the lethargic pacing rather than the complexities of the themes. Thankfully, there’s no pretentiousness as Glazer clearly knows what he’s going for, and has made some admittedly clever moves to get there. Unfortunately, there’s nothing particularly fascinating beneath the surface.

First Trailer and New Images for Luc Besson’s LUCY Starring Scarlett Johansson

by     Posted 117 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released the first Lucy trailer.  Director Luc Besson‘s (The Fifth Element) upcoming action thriller stars Scarlett Johansson as a reluctant drug mule who is transformed into an incredible fighter capable of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and an ability to disregard pain and emotion when one of the designer drugs enters her system.  The flick looks fun and interesting.  I like that she gets her powers from a bag of blue goo leaking into her stomach, and when she those gets powers she starts to lose her emotions.  It’s a neat premise, and the action looks good.  Also, the Morgan Freeman narration reminds me of this scene from South Park.

Hit the jump to watch the Lucy trailer and to check out some new images.  The film also stars Analeigh Tipton.  Lucy opens in theaters August 8th.

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