Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Daily Spider-Man: To review: all this to avoid the TSA asking him to open his shirt

Two Sentence Horror Stories

Saw this on Buzzfeed, original post on Reddit:

Reddit users were asked what the best horror story they could come up in two sentences was.  This is my favorite...

Check out more at either site.

Road Tip! Real "Conjuring" House Besieged By Fans

From darkhorizons, Fans of James Wan's recent hit "The Conjuring" are making life an absolute pain for a Rhode Island couple.
Norma Sutcliffe and her husband have owned a 1730s-era home in the suburb of Harrisville for twenty five years.
It's the home made famous in the movie by the supposed haunting that occurred when another family, the Perrons, lived there in the 1970s.
Sutcliffe says she and her husband haven't slept in days as people with flashlights turn up in their yard in the dead of night. They also frequently receive calls asking "is this 'The Conjuring' house" along with other harassing phone messages.
Sutcliffe adds: "There are already threats on the Internet that 'wouldn’t it be fun to break into that house?'. Our barn is very vulnerable and there is a big story connected to the barn about supposed hangings. Can you see kids breaking in and doing a séance with candles and having it burn down?"
While the so-called "real life incidents" of the film took place there, the production itself was shot far away in North Carolina.
Sutcliffe has seen the film and says "I just laughed at the whole thing. I thought it was so ironically ridiculous. I thought it was an insult to the Perrons."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Explore an old ghost town

From geekology, This is a beautiful quadrocopter tour of Bodie, California. In the late 1800's and early 1900's Bodie was a prosperous gold-mining town. By the 1940's it was a ghost town. Will business ever pick back up? It's unlikely. Will my mom ever remember to pick me back up from school? Also unlikely -- it's been almost 14 years. But if there's one thing made-for-TV movies have taught me, it's never give up hope. Or is it all online-daters are actually serial killers? My point is this: never give up on your dreams. Don't let anybody tell you that you can't accomplish something. If we can put a man on the moon, you can be a famous movie star or something equally batshit impossible. Dare to dream. Dare to double dare. Double dare to physical challenge.

Daily Spider-Man: Do vultures even eat spiders?

John Williams Finally Confirmed for 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

From iwatchstuff John WilliamsJ.J. Abrams, and pretty much everyone else have long assumed the loyal Star Wars composer would be returning to make noises in the upcoming sequels. This weekend at Star Wars Celebration Europe, Europe's most historically-significant event, it was finally confirmed, with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy officially announcing Williams' participation in the seventh episode.
To accompany the announcement, Williams also recorded the below interview, in which he explains how he hopes to re-incorporate some old tracks when and where appropriate. Can't wait to hear if and how he updates favorites like The Imperial MarchLuke and Leia, andHarrison Ford: The Song.

Box Office

From ew, Sometimes even earning the No. 1 spot can be seen as a modest disappointment, or at least that’s what the new narrative around The Wolverine (CinemaScore: A-) would have you believe.
With no competition this weekend, The Wolverine pulled in about $55 million domestically in 3,924 locations — on target with studio estimates, but far below tracking projections, some of which went so far as to predict an $80 million weekend. With the majority of screens showing the Fox tentpole in 3-D, the movie averaged about $14,016 per screen on an estimated budget of $120 million, so this weekend’s performance is really nothing to scoff at. Interestingly, at $55 million, the film is right in line with 2011′s X-Men: First Class which made $55.1 million in its first three days at the box office in early June. But so far The Wolverine is holding steady as the second lowest opening of all of Fox’s six X-Men movies — that title goes to the first in the series which opened at $54.5 million. But X-Men was also released 13 years ago with no 3-D surcharges, so it’s not an entirely fair comparison.
The Wolverine opened internationally this weekend as well to grosses of $86.1 million, playing on 15,152 screens in 101 territories, bringing its worldwide total to about $141.1 million. Fox estimates that audiences were about 58 percet male, and 42 percent under the age of 25.

The Conjuring held its ground in second place with $22.1 million, gaining momentum throughout the weekend. It fell only 47.1 percent from its opening last week. The R-rated $20 million horror movie has made about $83.9 million so far, making it director James Wan’s biggest film to date, surpassing even the adjusted grosses for 2004′s Saw, which clocked in at $72.5 million.
In third place, Despicable Me 2 continues to rack in the profits, earning $16 million despite losing nearly 344 theaters. But the big story is that Universal’s $76 million sequel has passed the $300 million mark after 26 days in theaters, and can now boast a domestic profit of about $306.4 million and a worldwide total of $660.9 million. Currently, it’s the second-highest-grossing movie of the past year, trailing behind Iron Man 3 by about $100 million.
Turbo fell about 37.5 percent from its opening weekend and earned an estimated $13.3 million to take fourth place. Despite a respectable second-week drop, the animated, radioactive snail story still floundered out of the gates. With an estimated budget of $135 million, the Ryan Reynolds-voiced family movie has only made about $55.8 million so far, and things aren’t going to get easier as the weeks go by. The little blue guys are coming, after all. Smurfs 2 opens wide on Wednesday and could be the death knell for poor Turbo.
Rounding out the top five is Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups 2 with $11.5 million, edging the domestic grosses for the raunchy, star-studded comedy past the $100 million mark. Amazingly, it’s still only Sandler’s 15th-highest-grossing moving, but it has been in theaters for just three weeks, so there’s room to grow.
Fruitvale Station and The Way, Way Back, both Sundance movies, expanded their theater counts this weekend. Playing in 1,064 theaters, The Weinstein Company’s Fruitvale Station made the top 10 with weekend grosses of about $4.7 million, and an overall domestic total of $6.3 million. Ryan Coogler’s independent drama chronicling the true story of Bay Area resident Oscar Grant’s last day won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The themes and events are also quite resonant with current events, and could perhaps be another factor as to why the film is performing so well. Meanwhile, The Way, Way Back, from the writing, directing, and acting team of Jim Rash and Nat Faxon (who won an Oscar for their adapted screenplay for The Descendants), expanded to 886 theaters and took the 11th spot with $918K.
The To-Do List, Aubrey Plaza’s first major starring role, opened in 591 theaters and earned an estimated $1.5 million — right on track with estimates from CBS Films. With a production budget of $1.5 million as well, the R-rated sex comedy also stars Bill Hader and Rachel Bilson.
Finally, Woody Allen’s latest, Blue Jasmine, opened in six theaters in New York and Los Angeles and brought in $613K, with a stunning $102K per-theater average. Starring Cate Blanchett as a fallen 1 percenter, Allen’s well-reviewed elegant ode to wealth, mental illness, and happiness is one of the first films of the year to elicit earnest Oscar buzz. Despite its PG-13 rating, it’s also one of the few serious adult films in theaters at the moment.

Disney reveals new television show 'Star Wars Rebels'

From slashfilm, The ongoing Star Wars Celebration Europe II gathering in Messe Essen, Germany, has yielded some new details about Star Wars Episode VII, including the confirmation that John Williams would return to provide the score. But wasn’t the only new project discussed at the event.
Animator Dave Filoni took the stage to for a panel about Star Wars Rebels, the animated Disney XD series scheduled to premiere next year. We first got wind of the project back in May. This weekend, Filoni was able to share some new details and imagery from the show, including the new logo and a couple bits of concept art. Hit the jump to check it all out.

As previously reportedStar Wars Rebels takes place during the two-decade period between Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV – A New Hope. The series will center around a teen character, and chronicle the birth of the Rebel Alliance.
The logo, as you’ve probably figured out, can be seen in the header image above. The orange and black color scheme is intended to echo the flight suits worn by the rebel pilots in the original trilogy.
The first piece of concept art below depicts the Ghost, the main character’s ship. Described as a cross between a B-17 and the Millennium Falcon, it’s meant to feel like a “home” on the series.
Filoni cited Ralph McQuarrie as a key influence on the show. After going back and looking at McQuarrie’s original artwork, he found that McQuarrie’s designs often differed slightly from the finished products that made it to the screen. That suited Filoni just fine.
“We wanted to create a look for this part of Star Wars that precedes A New Hope by just a little bit,” Filoni said. “We have created a set of digital brushes that replicate McQuarrie’s style. [...] We’re going for something that’s much more an illustrative look.”

Friday, July 26, 2013

Daily Spider-Man: He stored himself safely in the overhead compartment!

Sylvester Stallone to return as Rocky Balboa in spin-off movie 'Creed'

The spin-off will focus on the grandson of Apollo Creed, Balboa's friend and longtime boxing rival played by Carl Weathers, who was killed in the ring in Rocky VIThe Wire's Michael B Jordan is "in early talks" to star as the grandson, Deadline reports, and Stallone will reprise his role as Balboa, now a retired fighter-turned-trainer. 

Creed's grandson will apparently be portrayed as a young man who enjoyed a privileged upbringing thanks to his grandfather's boxing winnings. Though he has no financial incentive to follow Apollo into the ring, he is blessed with the natural talent to become a heavyweight champion and turns to Balboa for mentorship. 

Creed will be co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler, whose debut movie Fruitvale Station - which also stars Michael B Jordan - won the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Stallone is said to "love" the premise of the spin-off movie and will serve as a producer as well as appearing on screen.

Stallone last played Balboa in 2006's Rocky Balboa, which revived the iconic franchise after a 16-year break. The actor is currently overseeing the transfer of the Rocky stage musical from Hamburg, Germany, where it debuted last November (2012), to Broadway, where it's due to open early next year (2014).

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Daily Spider-Man: Hmm... "Everyone Loves Spidey" is starting to feel like a dream sequence. I think the passengers knocked him out and are about to throw him off the plane.

In this 'Gravity' trailer Sandra Bullock is screwed

Star Wars home of Anakin Skywalker threatened by dune

Sand dunes migrating over the Tunisian desert are poised to bury a famous Star Wars film set.
The buildings of the fictional city Mos Espa featured in The Phantom Menace, "Episode I" of the Jedi saga.
Sited on the planet Tatooine, this was the home of the young Anakin Skywalker, later to become Darth Vader.
Scientists have used the dwellings as a fixed geographic reference to measure the migration of giant wind-blown crescent-shaped dunes, or barchans.
They have published details in the journal Geomorphology.
Homes are rarely built in dune fields, and this study illustrates why. It shows dune movements on Earth are 10 times faster than barchans on Mars.
Wind-blown sand can build huge mounds in arid deserts, with sand grains pushed up the shallow rear slope before falling down the steep front slope in the lee of the wind. With steady prevailing winds, the dune shape reflects the wind direction and can develop crescent "wings" pointing downwind.
Individual crescent-shaped barchans are seen on other planets as well as on Earth, and have been imaged on the surface of Mars as well as on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.
Barchan dunes in the Noachis crater, MarsCrescent-shaped dunes glide across the face of many planets, from Mars to Tatooine
Ralph Lorenz, from Johns Hopkins University, US, together with Jason Barnes, from the University of Idaho, and Nabil Gasmi, of the University of Sousse, Tunisia, visited the Mos Espa site in 2009, and noted that part of a nearby set used in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope had already been overrun.
Using satellite images of the site, they were able to determine the speed of dune movement, which is approaching the buildings once inhabited by such luminaries as Anakin, his slave owner Watto, and rival podracer Sebulba.
Moving at around 15m a year, the front edge of the barchan appears to have made contact with some of the Mos Espa buildings earlier this year, and is encroaching on Qui-Gon's Alley.
The barchan will probably continue on its journey past the city site, which in due course will re-emerge from the sand, but it is anticipated that it will not remain unscathed.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Flock of Seagulls' van found, but gear's gone

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A Flock of Seagulls' friends and fans are watching Craigslist, eBay and pawn shops for band leader Mike Score's stolen amps and instruments.
While the singer's signature floppy hair was lost years ago, Score's keyboards, guitars, drums, mics and clothing disappeared last weekend when a thief took the band's van from in front of a hotel in Downey, California, Score said.
"The van itself was found, but all the gear was taken. The van was empty," he told CNN Wednesday. Investigators are searching for fingerprints and other clues on the vehicle.
"The word, though, is out and we have lots of other band members scouring eBay and Craigslist for signs of the equipment," Score said. Southern California guitar stores have lists of the stolen gear in case someone tries to fence it there, he said.
While equipment is replaceable, Score is especially anxious about a hard drive that contained songs for his upcoming solo album. The music "was just about ready to go" when it disappeared with the van, he said.
A reconstituted version of the 1980s English New Wave band has been playing gigs with co-founder Score as the only original member. Their biggest hit was "I Ran (So Far Away)" in 1982.

Daily Spider-Man: Whoopee! Let's choke them with our bullet-riddled corpses!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

StudioCanal to release ‘final cut’ of The Wicker Man

Original print of the classic horror film discovered after global hunt.
From screenrant, A worldwide appeal to retrieve missing film material for horror classic The Wicker Man has turned up an original print, that will released by StudioCanal this autumn.
The Wicker Man: The Final Cut will be released in cinemas on September 27, and on DVD/BD October 14 in celebration of the 40th anniversary.
Studiocanal UK and director Robin Hardy made the announcement on Facebook.
Hardy said: “StudioCanal contacted me last year in their search for the original materials that have been missing.
“I’m very pleased to announce that StudioCanal have been able to find an actual print of The Wicker Man, which is based on my original cut working with Abraxas, the American distributors, all those years ago.
“They plan, and this is the exciting bit, to actually release it. This version has never been restored before, has never been shown in UK theatres before, has never been converted to Blu-ray before.
“This version will - optimistically - be known as the Final Cut.”

Daily Spider-Man: Well, I could always use Wilmer as a human shield...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dennis Farina dead at 69

CNN) -- Dennis Farina, the dapper, mustachioed cop-turned-actor best known for his tough-as-nails work in such series as "Law & Order," "Crime Story," "Miami Vice" and the film "Goodfellas," has died. He was 69.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of a great actor and a wonderful man," said his publicist, Lori De Waal, in a statement. "Dennis Farina was always warm-hearted and professional, with a great sense of humor and passion for his profession. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues."
Farina, who had a long career as a policeman in his hometown of Chicago, got into acting through director Michael Mann, who used him as a consultant and cast him in his movie "Thief." That role led to others in such Mann-created shows as "Miami Vice" (in which Farina played a mobster) and "Crime Story" (in which he starred as Lt. Mike Torrello).
Farina also had roles, generally as either cops or gangsters, in a number of movies, including "Midnight Run" (1987), "Get Shorty" (1995), "The Mod Squad" (1999) and "Snatch" (2000).
In 2004, he joined the cast of the long-running "Law & Order" after Jerry Orbach's departure, playing Det. Joe Fontana, a role he reprised on the "L&O" spinoff "Trial by Jury." Fontana was known for flashy clothes and expensive car, a distinct counterpoint to Orbach's rumpled Lenny Briscoe.
Farina was on "L&O" for two years, partnered with Jesse L. Martin's Ed Green. Martin's character became a senior detective after Farina left the show.
In recent years, Farina was one of the stars of "Luck," the ill-fated HBO series about horse racing, and had an occasional role on the Fox series "New Girl."
Throughout his career, he was loyal to his hometown.
"My personality was formed by Chicago," Farina told Cigar Aficionado in 1999. "It's very American, very straightforward. If you can't find it, or make it there, you won't make it anywhere. It's a very honest place."

Daily Spider-Man: Are we there yet?

Box Office

From ew, Animated movies have topped the box office for the past four weekends, but this time around, audiences were ready to embrace something a bit edgier. As such, Warner Bros.’ horror film The Conjuring easily topped a crowded weekend with an eye-popping $41.5 million.
The $20 million James Wan-directed title garnered the best horror debut of the year, trumping The Purge‘s $34.1 million bow in May. It also had the second-best debut ever for an R-rated horror film, trailing only Paranormal Activity 3, which opened with $52.6 million in 2011. The film notched a powerful $14,306 per theater average, and if it receives strong word-of-mouth (which seems likely), it could become a $100 million smash. Audiences, which were 53 percent female and 59 percent above the age of 25, issued The Conjuring an excellent “A-” CinemaScore grade — an especially impressive rating given the fact that the horror genre that has seen its fair share of “D” and “F” grades.
The Conjuring‘s debut marks a career high for Wan, who broke onto the scene in 2004 with his $55.2 million hitSaw, a film so buzzy it steered horror films into the torture direction for years after its release. In 2011, Wan scored a spookier hit with Insidious, which, like The Conjuring, starred Patrick Wilson. Insidious earned $54 million against a $1.5 million budget and now has a sequel hitting theaters on September 13. The Conjuring will easily outgross both of those films, though it’s all but guaranteed that Wan’s next effort, Fast & Furious 7, will be his biggest hit yet.
Despicable Me 2 held strong in second place, dipping 43 percent to $25.1 million in its third weekend. The $76 million sequel from Universal and Illumination Entertainment needed only 17 days to surpass the originalDespicable Me‘s $251.5 million domestic total. Today, the film has earned $276.2 million. Overseas,Despicable Me 2 has already surpassed the $300 million mark, pushing its worldwide total to $584.6 million.
In third place, Turbo started its box office run at a snail’s pace. The $135 million animated comedy, featuring the voice of Ryan Reynolds as a radioactive snail, grossed $21.5 million in its first weekend — the worst debut for a DreamWorks Animation film since 2006′s Flushed Away opened with $18.8 million. Hot on the heels of Monsters University and Despicable Me 2, it’s likely that Turbo suffered because audiences have had their fill of family fare over the past few weeks. Fortunately, the crowds that did see Turbo liked what they saw and gave it an “A” CinemaScore grade, which could help word-of-mouth in the future, though there’s almost no chance the film matches its budget domestically.
Turbo‘s lackluster debut casts some shadow on Fox and DreamWorks Animation’s infant relationship. Earlier this year, Fox distributed The Croods, its first DreamWorks Animation-produced film in a five-year deal between the studios. The caveman comedy grossed $186 million domestically and $582 million worldwide. The fact that Turbo will come nowhere close to those numbers makes its opening all the more disappointing.
Grown Ups 2 fell 52 percent from its first weekend to $20 million in its second frame. Sony’s $80 million Adam Sandler comedy continues to perform well despite its critical savaging, and it has now earned $79.5 million after ten days. Grown Ups 2 is on track to pass the $100 million mark with ease, and it will become Sandler’s 13th live-action comedy to reach that milestone. Whether you love Sandler or hate him, you can’t deny his remarkable box office record.
In fifth place, Red 2 took in $18.5 million, 15 percent less than the original Red‘s $21.8 million opening in 2010. The Summit sequel starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, and John Malkovich, got a big budget-boost from its predecessor, but like The Expendables 2, that didn’t grow the film’s audience at the box office. While Red cost only $58 million and ultimately earned $199 million worldwide, Red 2 cost $85 million, and its weaker American debut suggests it won’t climb nearly as high at the box office. Audiences gave Red 2 a “B+” CinemaScore grade.
1. The Conjuring – $41.5 million
2. Despicable Me 2 – $25 million
3. Turbo – $21.5 million
4. Grown Ups 2 – $20 million
5. Red 2 – $18 million
Further down the chart, R.I.P.D., in which Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges play cops in the afterlife, bombed with $12.8 million in its first three days. The film also stars Mary Louise Parker, which means that both she and Reynolds faced themselves at the box office this weekend — and both fared poorly. In press notes sent to journalists this morning, Universal admits “In this crowded marketplace, R.I.P.D. did not find the size audience it needed and Universal is disappointed in the weekend result.” The studio says the action comedy cost $130 million (though its budget has been reported at $154 million), which makes R.I.P.D. an expensive misfire for the studio that hasn’t suffered a major misstep since Battleship. This year at the box office has been riddled with costly mistakes, and R.I.P.D. joins the ranks of After EarthWhite House DownThe Lone Ranger, and Jack the Giant Slayer – big-budget tentpoles that audiences firmly rejected. Crowds issued R.I.P.D. a negative “C+” CinemaScore.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Daily Spider-Man: Superhero adventure offers escape from tedious realities of life

'Age of Ultron': 'Avengers 2' title revealed

From ew, Prepare yourself for the Age of Ultron.

Joss Whedon surprised the crowd at the end of Marvel’s Comic-Con 2013 panel to reveal this as the title and main character of Avengers 2.

Warner Bros. reveals plans for a Batman/Superman film at Comic-Con

From ew, At the conclusion of the Warner Bros/Legendary panel at Comic-Con, Man of Steel director Zack Snyder walked onstage. He thanked everyone for supporting Man of Steel and announced, rather nonchalantly: “It’s official: We’re making another Superman movie.” He insisted that he couldn’t say anything about the film, but explained that he had “pored through the DC Universe to look for a way to tell this thing.” He said there was a single element of the film he could share.

At that point, he called Harry Lennix — who you’ll recall basically played the Nick Fury character in Man of Steel — for a charismatic dramatic reading. (How charismatic? Lennix was wearing an ascot.) He read a key line from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns:

I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come. In all your most private moments. I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.

That line is, of course, spoken by Batman — and that “Clark” he’s referencing is, of course, Superman. (The quote comes after a lengthy battle between the two heroes.) As Lennix finished speaking, a giant Superman logo appeared on the Hall H screen … and it was superimposed on the Batman logo. So there you go: There is another Superman movie coming, and it will co-star Batman.
No other information about the project was given at the panel, but the announcement is already sending ripples through the geekosphere. Warner Bros. has made it clear that they hope to build a whole connected cinematic universe of films on the foundation of Man of Steel, with loose plans for a Justice League film in the distance. Beginning that process with a Batman/Superman movie — let’s call it World’s Finest for now, shall we? Or maybe Men of Steel? — allows them to unite their two most recognizable character brands into one megamovie. It’s unclear at this point whether Man of Steel producer/Dark Knight director/Superhero-Whisperer Christopher Nolan will be involved, although the film will probably definitively break from the Dark Knight trilogy, with a rebooted Batman origin and a new actor. Who knows? All we have to go on is a logo on top of another logo. Stay tuned for more rumors about The Untitled Batman/Superman Project, appearing several times an hour on the internet for the next two years.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Man Unknowningly Makes (Pretty Crappy Looking) Paper Mache Sculpture Out Of $30,000 In Vintage Comic Books

From geekology, This is 'Paperboy', a sculpture artist Andrew Vickers made out of chicken wire and the vintage comic books he found in a dumpster. Having found them in a dumpster, Andrew just assumed they weren't worth anything. But he was wrong. Really, really, wrong. Although, to his credit, I consider him less wrong than the person who threw them away in the first place.
On discovering the valuable comics glued to the chicken wire frame, [comic book store owner Steve Eyre] said: "First of all I thought 'Fantastic' as, visually, it is a beautiful thing, but then as I walked round it, certainly on the inside right leg, there was a cover of Avengers number one.

"I've got a copy of that, which was published in 1963, that is worth well over £10,000.
"Then I started looking and there are six comics on this that together would be worth, even in the condition you can see, £20,000.
Laughing off the revelation, Mr Vickers said: "If somebody chucks things out in the skip they don't generally throw things out that are worth anything.
"To be honest I'm shocked but money has not got such a value to me. I think it is funny.
"I really love the idea of me creating something out of such expensive things that's worth less. I think it's brilliant."
Brilliant, huh? I mean it might have been 'brilliant' if you knowingly made the sculpture out of rare comic books. But there is no brilliance in ignorance, Andrew -- only bliss. Also, 'Money has not got such a value for me'? So you don't care about the money, it's all about creating art -- I get it. *eying sculpture* Do you by chance live in a van?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 teaser trailer

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another reason to be embarrassed that you're from Rhode Island

From geekology, This is a short video of totally professional Rhode Island NBC reporter Julie Tremmel demonstrating what to do in the event of a bear encounter. It's, uh, it's hard to take anything she says seriously. As a matter of fact, if you run into a bear I suggest doing the exact opposite of whatever Julie just said. I mean, if you don't want to get mauled to death.

Daily Spider-Man: J. Jonah Jameson praised as prophetic hero after Spidey rips off kid's arm

Box Office

From ew, In a close race that saw each of the top three films swap places between Friday and Sunday, animated smashDespicable Me 2 once again won the weekend at the box office. The $76 million family film from Universal and Illumination Entertainment fell 46 percent from its debut weekend to $44.8 million, pushing its total all the way to $229.2 million after only 12 days.
Despicable Me 2 has easily asserted its dominance over Disney’s Monsters University in the last two weekends. Though Monsters has been in theaters twice as long (it opened June 21), its $237.8 million domestic total is only $8.6 million more than Despicable Me 2. Universal’s minion-filled comedy should easily overtake its rival release sometime this week. Worldwide, Despicable Me is about to surpass Monsters University as well, as the films have earned $472.4 million and $474.2 million, respectively.
In second place, Adam Sandler’s first-ever sequel, Grown Ups 2, opened to a great $42.5 million. The $80 million Sony comedy started off slightly better than its 2010 predecessor, Grown Ups, which debuted with $40.5 million on the way to a $162 million domestic finish. If estimates hold up, Grown Ups 2 will stand as Sandler’s second-best opening ever behind 2005′s The Longest Yard, which debuted to $47.6 million.
Sandler has proven himself to be one of the most consistent box office draws in Hollywood over the last 15 years, during which time he has accrued 12 live-action hits that grossed more than $100 million, as well as the animated winner Hotel Transylvania, which topped out at $148.3 million. But after back-to-back live-action misfires with 2011′s Jack & Jill ($74.2 million) and 2012′s That’s My Boy ($36.9 million), many questioned whether Sandler’s brand of comedy was still viable at the box office. Grown Ups 2‘s impressive debut should mitigate those concerns — and put the comedy on track to become Sandler’s 14th $100 million movie.
According to Sony, audiences for Grown Ups 2 were 53 percent female (this follows White House Down andWorld War Z — two other films with unexpectedly majority-female audiences), and 54 percent below the age of 25. Crowds surveyed by CinemaScore issued the film a ho-hum “B” grade, and critics were largely dismissive.