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.
Since 2003, the "Barry Gibb Talk Show" sketches on 'SNL' have popped up whenever Justin Timberlake or Jimmy Fallon have appeared on the show, with Fallon playing Bee Gees lead singer Bary Gibb and Timberlake taking on his brother, Robin Gibb. The last time we saw these characters was in 2011 and its return seemed unlikely following the death of Robin Gibb in 2012. However, the sketch made its big return last night and it brought a handful of surprise cameos along for the ride.
Few guest performers seem to get 'SNL' quite like Justin Timberlake, who has a wonderful habit of showing up on the stage and creating classic sketches and characters with seemingly no effort. In most cases, he would easily overshadow the actual guest host, but when that guest host is show alum (and current late night superstar) Jimmy Fallon, there is less overshadowing and more comedic awesomeness.
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.
James Wan has done it again. For the second time this year, a horror film that he's directed has opened to over $40 million, securing his position as the reigning king of mainstream horror cinema. He may be taking a break from the genre to direct 'Fast and Furious 7,' but after the jaw-dropping success of 'The Conjuring' and now 'Insidious Chapter 2,' you just know he'll be back. No one is bringing the audiences in quite like Wan.
Oh, and there were some other movies that made some money, too.
The story of outlaw bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow was made iconic in the film 'Bonnie and Clyde,' but it looks like we'll soon be getting a movie that tells the story from the other side of the law. Development is moving ahead on 'Highwaymen,' the story of the Texas Rangers who shot down the infamous couple, and a pair of true badasses are being sought for the leads.
Whoever first pitched 'Wreck-It Ralph' certainly got a nice big bonus check from Disney today. A cute hook that appeals to adults and kids + positive reviews = one of the biggest openings in weeks. And hey! 'Flight' didn't do too shabby either! Wait...are this good box office numbers? Does this mean the holiday movie season has officially arrived? Yes. Yes it has.
'Taken' was the surprise hit of 2009, a January dump that inexplicably made nearly $150 million in the United States and transformed Liam Neeson into an instant action star. Three years later, 'Taken 2' has arrived in theaters on a primo release date and with an advertising campaign that probably cost more than the entire first movie. Well, it looks like the hype was worth it. The first film may have been a sleeper, but the second adventure of Liam Neeson's kidnap-prone family has opened like a true blockbuster.
How do you define a hit? What's more important: total gross or actual audience enthusiasm? The answer to this question will help us decide who actually won the weekend. Call it the "Battle of the Paul Andersons": Paul WS Anderson's 'Resident Evil: Retribution' and Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' both opened this week and both had completely different results, but they beg to be compared to each other.
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