Weekend Box Office: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Stays Well Ahead of New Christmas Offerings

by     Posted 1 year, 114 days ago

hobbit-unexpected-journey-movie-image-martin-freeman-slice-01After coasting on holdovers for weeks, Hollywood studios have unleashed a feast of new features: just in time for Christmas. Even with all the competition, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey had no trouble staying in first place with an estimated $36.7 million. Jack Reacher placed second, but with less than half The Hobbit’s total. And with Les Miserables and Django Unchained on deck for Christmas Day, it looks like more than one new title will have a hard time distinguishing itself from the holiday crowd.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  The Hobbit $36,705,000 $149.8
2.  Jack Reacher $15,600,000 $15.6
3.  This is 40 $12,030,000 $12
4.  Rise of the Guardians $5,900,000 $79.6
5.  Lincoln $5,633,000 $116.7
6.  The Guilt Trip $5,390,000 $7.4
7.  Monsters, Inc. 3D $5,040,000 $6.5
8.  Skyfall $4,700,000 $279.9
9.  Life of Pi $3,800,000 $76.1
10.  Breaking Dawn Part 2 $2,600,000 $281.6

Friday Box Office: THE HOBBIT Continues to Dominate; JACK REACHER Solid in Second; THIS IS 40 in Third

by     Posted 1 year, 115 days ago

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‘Tis the season for lots of movies, fa la la la… oh, you know the rest. Always a crowded period, this holiday season saw Hollywood’s major releases packed into just a seven day span – leaving The Hobbit plenty of room to grow into a blockbuster. Part one of Peter Jackson’s trilogy ended its first week with $113.2 million in the US, and added another $10.1 million (estimated) to that total yesterday. Despite an onslaught of new titles – including Jack Reacher and This is 40 on Friday – An Unexpected Journey is expected to stay on top until Christmas Day, when Les Miserables has a chance to unseat it.

Here’s a look at Friday’s top five:

Title Friday Total
1.  The Hobbit $10,170,000 $123.3
2.  Jack Reacher $5,100,000 $5.1
3.  This is 40 $3,700,000 $3.7
4.  Rise of the Guardians 41,566,000 $75.3
5.  The Guilt Trip $1,493,000 $3.5

WE BOUGHT A ZOO Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 328 days ago

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At this point Cameron Crowe’s films have a feel that is distinctly his – he’s an auteur. Going in, you know the sort of music he’s going to use, and you know the sort of melancholy emotions he’s going to go for. With his latest, We Bought a Zoo, he’s totally in his wheelhouse and that’s going to be enough for people who want that Cameron Crowe feeling. Matt Damon stars as a widower who decides to take his children out of the city, and buys a country home that is also an operating zoo where Scarlett Johansson works. Our review of the Blu-ray of We Bought a Zoo follows after the jump.

Friday Box Office – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL Stays Ahead of Holiday Competition

by     Posted 2 years, 107 days ago

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With three days before Hollywood’s jam-packed holiday season comes to a close, and with no major new studio releases, last week’s holdovers got a chance to stretch their legs on Friday.  After dominating the charts since it went wide ten days ago, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was yesterday’s winner with an estimated $10.7 million. This season’s all-purpose hit passed the $100 million mark on Thursday and is projected to take in another $35 million by the end of the four-day weekend.  Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows also hit $100 million (on Wednesday). Although the WB sequel was pushed into third by Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked on Wednesday and Thursday, Sherlock 2 should finish the holiday frame back in second place with $30 million to Alvin 3’s $25. As expected, each of the top five films saw a significant spike in earnings over last Friday; with the most impressive gain made by Fox’s We Bought a Zoo which rose 40% above its December 23rd debut.  Just missing the top five, War Horse lost some momentum after its strong showing on Christmas Day.  The Disney/Dreamworks pic is projected to post $18 million through Monday – just ahead of director Steven Spielberg’s second holiday release: The Adventures of Tintin.  Check back for details and analysis.

Title Friday Total
1 Mission: Impossible 4 $10,700,000 $113.5
2 Sherlock Holmes 2 $7,650,000 $117.6
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 $7,125,000 $83.4
4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $5,350,000 $46.1
5 We Bought a Zoo $4,900,000 $33.3

 

Holiday Box Office – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL Leads; WAR HORSE Opens Stronger Than Expected

by     Posted 2 years, 112 days ago

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Because of the unique release pattern of this year’s holiday offerings, we are posting the weekend box office numbers one day later than usual.  Yesterday’s estimates for the three-day period did not include War Horse, which needed only one day in theatres to earn almost as much as We Bought a Zoo did in three.  Please note that the chart below includes separate estimates for Friday-Monday that are NOT in the same order.  I just couldn’t come up with a better way to present what has turned out to be a very confusing Christmas at the box office.

Title Weekend 4-Day Total
1 Mission: Impossible 4 $26,535,000 $46.2 $78.6
2 Sherlock Holmes 2 $17,800,000 $31.8 $90.6
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 $13,325,000 $20 $56.9
4 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $13,000,000 $19.4 $27.7
5 Adventures of Tintin $9,125,000 $16.1 $24.1
6 We Bought a Zoo $7,800,000 $15.6 $
7 War Horse $7,500,000 $15 $15
8 New Year’s Eve $3,005,000 $5 $34.2
9 Arthur Christmas $2,600,000 $2.7 $44.1
10 The Darkest Hour $2,500,000 $5.5 $5.5

Friday Box Office – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL Continues To Haunt Top Spot; WE BOUGHT A ZOO Sees Modest Start

by     Posted 2 years, 114 days ago

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Welcome to one of the most crowded (and confusing) holiday box office races you are likely to encounter.  Along with last weekend’s big name holdovers, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, six films will have opened wide or expanded within a five day span… or six days if you count films like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo which opened in some locations on Tuesday night.  Adding to the box office clusterf&c%, only one of the six titles opened on Friday while two will open on Sunday: throwing off the whole ‘three-day weekend’ model that keeps people like me employed.  Fox’s We Bought a Zoo was Friday’s lone new release, opening to an estimated $3 million from 3,117 locations – not quite enough to push it into the daily top five.  At number one since Wednesday, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is on track to win the weekend with around $35 million – higher than was originally expected.  We’ll try to make sense of all of the Christmas-chaos after the dust settles but, until then, why not take in a movie?  I don’t think the excuse “there’s nothing to see” is going to hold up this year.

Title Friday Total
1 M:I – Ghost Protocol $9,700,000 $42.2
2 Sherlock Holmes 2 $6,400,000 $65.5
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 $5,400,000 $42.3
4 Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $4,600,000 $12.9
5 The Adventures of Tintin $3,500,000 $11.5

97 Original Scores Up for Oscar; DRIVE and ATTACK THE BLOCK Ruled Ineligible

by     Posted 2 years, 115 days ago

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As the 84th Academy Awards move closer, we’re starting to get a better sense of how things will pan out. We recently shared the 39 songs that will contend for the Best Original Song category, and now the Academy has announced the 97 original scores eligible for the Best Original Score award. AMPAS is notoriously picky when it comes to eligibility in this category, and as we feared the scores for both Drive and Attack the Block have been deemed ineligible. Also disappointing is the ineligibility of Alexandre Desplat’s mesmerizing score for The Tree of Life.

While it’s upsetting to see some of the year’s best work side-lined, there’s plenty to be happy about. I was a huge fan of Howard Shore’s work in Hugo and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as The Chemical Brothers’ brilliant work in the criminally underseen Hanna. Hit the jump for the full list, as well as who I think will make the cut.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO Review

by     Posted 2 years, 116 days ago

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Director Cameron Crowe hasn’t directed a non-documentary feature since his 2005 flop Elizabethtown.  His new film, We Bought a Zoo, shows not much has changed in the interim.  Crowe is still painfully earnest with his adult characters who give big speeches and wear their hearts on their sleeves.  There comes a point where earnestness can become overbearing, and the movie becomes nothing but soul-bearing conversations with only another terrific Matt Damon performance to reign it in.  Crowe still hasn’t learned how to say more with less, which is a shame since most of the movie is so amiable that he doesn’t have to say much at all.

Director Cameron Crowe Talks WE BOUGHT A ZOO, His Upcoming Documentary THE UNION, His Next Movie, and More

by     Posted 2 years, 117 days ago

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Acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s latest film, We Bought A Zoo, is based on the inspiring true story of Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon), an adventure-seeking journalist and single dad, who is looking to give his family a much-needed fresh start and ends up moving to a home situated in the middle of a zoo. While he and his two children attempt to bring the zoo back to its once glorious state, the Mee family, the eccentric team of zoo employees – including head zookeeper Kelly Foster (Scarlett Johansson) – and dozens of exotic animals, bond in ways they never could have imagined.

During this exclusive phone interview, the undeniably charming and easy to talk to filmmaker explained why he identified with this particular story, what made Matt Damon his perfect leading man, building a zoo from scratch and working with 70 exotic animals, why Jónsi (of the band Sigur Rós) was the right musician to do the score, finding the poetic moments of a story, and the importance of taking great risks, in your own life. He also talked about how strange it is to hear his dialogue often quoted, his upcoming documentary The Union (due out in January 2012), showcasing the musical collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russell, and that his next film will be an as-yet-untitled comedy, that he hopes to start shooting in the Spring. Check out what he had to say after the jump.

39 Songs Contend for Best Original Song Oscar; Nominees Include THE MUPPETS and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

by     Posted 2 years, 119 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced today that 39 eligible songs will contend for the Best Original Song Oscar this year. Important to note is that a relatively recent rule change states that songs must be judged in the capacity that they appear in each film. In early January the voting body will get together and watch clips from each eligible movie in which the 39 songs are featured, after which they will determine the nominees. The list of eligible songs include three tracks from The Muppets, Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi’s song “Gathering Stories” (which director Cameron Crowe co-wrote) from We Bought a Zoo, and composer/songwriter/eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken’s “Star Spangled Man” from Captain America: The First Avenger. I’m partial to Jonsi’s work or “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, but we’ll see how the Academy’s taste stacks up towards the end of January.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of eligible songs. The 84th Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 24th.

Additional Preview Screenings of Cameron Crowe’s WE BOUGHT A ZOO Set for This Saturday

by     Posted 2 years, 129 days ago

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Over Thanksgiving weekend, 20th Century Fox held preview screenings of director Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo. While the film doesn’t open until late December, the studio has decided to host another round of preview screenings this coming Saturday. I saw the movie over Thanksgiving and as I’ve said before, I was caught off guard by just how much I ended up loving it. What looks to be a sappy, quirky pic about a ragtag group of individuals fixin’ up a zoo is actually an incredibly emotional, character-centric drama that will have you smiling and crying in equal measure. The Almost Famous director has crafted an endlessly charming and undeniably “Cameron Crowe” flick, and I highly recommend you check it out this weekend if you have the chance. If you do, you’ll also hear one of the best scores of the year by Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi.

The pic stars Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Elle Fanning, and Thomas Haden Church. We Bought a Zoo opens nationwide on Decmber 23rd.

7 Clips from Cameron Crowe’s WE BOUGHT A ZOO

by     Posted 2 years, 135 days ago

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Fox has provided us with 7 clips for We Bought a Zoo, the latest movie from writer/director Cameron CroweMatt Damon stars as “a single dad who decides his family needs a fresh start, so he and his two children move to the most unlikely of places: a zoo.”  I missed the local Thanksgiving sneak preview, but based on the word of mouth from those who made it, We Bought a Zoo is a return to form for Crowe after the disappointing Elizabethtown.

Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning, and John Michael Higgins also star.  We Bought a Zoo opens on December 23.  Hit the jump to watch the clips.

New Clip from Cameron Crowe’s WE BOUGHT A ZOO

by     Posted 2 years, 139 days ago

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Fox has released a new clip from writer-director Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo. I caught the film at the preview screening last weekend and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I loved it. I’m an avid Crowe fan, but the marketing materials had me worried Zoo was nothing more than a sappy family popcorn movie. What Crowe has crafted is an incredibly poignant character piece that packs a walloping emotional punch. It comes close to being “gooey” in parts, but rarely crosses over into the saccharine. Matt Damon is great, Scarlett Johansson is charming, and the score by Sigur Ros’ Jonsi is the perfect compliment to Crowe’s delightful script that’s rife with more than a couple signature “Cameron Crowe” moments. If you’re looking for a movie to enjoy with the whole family over the holidays that won’t have you counting down the seconds until it’s over, We Bought a Zoo is a fine choice.

This clip features Thomas Haden Church as Damon’s brother, trying to persuade him from wasting his entire savings on fixing up the dilapidated zoo. Hit the jump to check it out. We Bought a Zoo opens December 23rd.

The Red Pill Viral Update: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE MUPPETS, Tout and SUPER 8 Blu-ray

by     Posted 2 years, 143 days ago

There was a time not too long ago when all a movie studio had to do to generate interest in a film was to slap a trailer together and buy a few TV commercial spots. With ticket prices climbing and a variety of in-home services able to provide entertainment on demand, studios must now look for creative ways to get your attention (and your dollars). Lucky for them, social media tools like Facebook and Twitter provide widespread (and free) access to consumers. “The Red Pill” is our weekly update on some of the more interesting ongoing viral ad campaigns. Updates this week include The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Muppets, Super 8’s release on Blu-ray and examples from Tout, a video-posting version of Twitter. Hit the jump to check them out.

New Images from SHAME, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, and Many More

by     Posted 2 years, 152 days ago

With the holiday movie season upon us, a few new images from some of the upcoming Oscar contenders have been unveiled. We’ve got a new look at Michael Fassbender in the extremely well-received drama Shame. Fassbender plays a sex-addict opposite Carey Mulligan, and our own Matt Goldberg loved the flick. There’s also a new image of Rooney Mara from David Fincher’s highly anticipated adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, another look at Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, and an ominous image of Gary Oldman from the spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Additionally, we’ve got another look at Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, and an image of Sandra Bullock and Thomas Horn in the adaptation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

But that’s not all! We’ve also got new images from We Bought a Zoo, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Haywire, Underworld: Awakening, In the Land of Blood and Honey, New Year’s Eve, and One for the Money. Hit the jump to check them out.

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