Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Netflix Officially Renews “Stranger Things”



From dark horizons, It’s official, Netflix’s smash hit 1980s-set supernatural series “Stranger Things” has been renewed by the streaming service for a second season to air next Summer.

The new season is also going a little longer with a nine-episode order, up from the eight for the first season. The Duffer Brothers are returning to pen and produce the series which will focus on the same characters and be set in the Fall of 1984. However, the pair are being coy about one key player who seemingly died in the finale, saying their fate is “up in the air”.

The nine episodes already have titles too – “Madmax”, “The Boy Who Came Back To Life”, “The Pumpkin Patch”, “The Palace”, “The Storm”, “The Pollywog”, “The Secret Cabin”, “The Brain” and “The Lost Brother”.

The Love Boat Episode We ould Love to See

Avengers: Full House

Monday, August 29, 2016

Box Office


From ew, Continuing 2016’s streak of micro-budgeted horror successes, Screen Gems and Stage 6 Films’ Don’t Breathe took in an estimated $26.1 million, almost tripling its $10 million production costs after a mere three days in wide release.

Debuting on 3,051 screens, Don’t Breathe averages an impressive $8,559 per theater as the distributor’s effective marketing campaign (teasing chills instead of gory spills) pays off. Hitting its target demographic, the film averages an A- score with moviegoers under the age of 35, who’ve proven their appetite for scary movies is insatiable this year as they also carried June’s The Conjuring 2 to $102.4 million, and boosted both The Purge: Election Year and Lights Out to $79 million and $65.5 million, respectively, in July.

Overall audiences weren’t as impressed with the film as critics, however, as the film’s CinemaScore grade drops to a so-so B+ when the survey scope widens to include all ages. Still, with numbers spearheaded by Don’t Breathe, year-to-date box office is up around 5.5 percent from the same frame last year, with nine of the last 10 weekends outperforming their 2015 counterparts thus far.

Falling to No. 2 for the first time since it debuted is Warner Bros.’ DC Comics adaptation Suicide Squad, which sheds 42 percent of its audience for a weekend finish at around $12.1 million. Its domestic total now stands at approximately $282.9 million. The $175 million film, with an ensemble cast that features Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis, has grossed $635 million worldwide.

Animated holdovers Kubo and the Two Strings and Sausage Party finish the weekend at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, with the LAIKA stop-motion title jumping a spot from its fourth-place finish last week.Kubo falls a mere 37 percent across its second Friday-Sunday performance, pulling in an estimated $7.9 million, while Sausage Party dips another 50 percent to add around $7.7 million over its third weekend outing.

Rounding out the top 5 with an estimated $7.5 million is the action sequel Mechanic: Resurrection, as the Jason Statham genre pic averages $3,322 from 2,258 screens. The Lionsgate/Summit flick, a continuation of the 2011 remake, The Mechanic, also stars Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh, and Tommy Lee Jones. While critics weren’t exactly kind to the movie (it stands at 24 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 4/10), audiences were a little nicer, as it tiedDon’t Breathe’s B+ CinemaScore grade.

It’s worth noting that STX Entertainment’s Bad Moms, now in its fifth weekend of release, adds $5.7 million to its ballooning total this weekend, bringing the film’s collective haul to a hair over $95.4 million to date. Featuring an all-female cast (Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith), Bad Moms’ impressive performance (atop long legs) at the box office falls in-line with other female-fronted comedies like Sisters, Spy, Trainwreck, and Bridesmaids, a group of well-received titles hitting big with a relatively-underserved demographic, proving there is an audience willing to pay to see women in the kind of adult-oriented films Hollywood has traditionally reserved for men.

Jason Bourne, while slowly descending the domestic charts, where it finishes with $5.2 million this weekend, debuts to a solid $50 million from theaters in China (it opened there Tuesday), bringing its global total to $347.9 million — the second-best performance for a franchise film, trailing behind The Bourne Ultimatum’s $442.8 million.

Outside the top 10, Roadside Attractions’ Sundance hit Southside with You, the dramatic retelling of Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date, grossed a lukewarm $3 million on 813 screens, averaging $3,764 per-screen. The film should stay afloat thanks to strong critical reviews, however, as it’s one of the best-reviewed titles of the week (93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 7.4/10).

The Weinstein Co.’s boxing drama Hands of Stone, starring Edgar Ramirez, Usher, and Robert De Niro, underperforms, even by platform standards, with a soft estimated $1.7 million on 810 screens. To get a jump start on the traditionally-lucrative Labor Day weekend, Weinstein plans to expand the film to 2,500 locations on Wednesday.

Check out the Aug. 26-28 weekend box office estimates, below:

1. Don’t Breathe - $26.1 million
2. Suicide Squad - $12.1 million
3. Kubo and the Two Strings - $7.9 million
4. Sausage Party - $7.7 million
5. Mechanic: Resurrection - $7.5 million
6. Pete’s Dragon - $7.3 million
7. War Dogs - $7.3 million
8. Bad Moms - $5.8 million
9. Jason Bourne - $5.2 million
10. Ben-Hur - $4.5 million

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Terminally Ill Star Wars Fan Manages To See Rogue One Before Dying


From cinemablend, The campaign to somehow allow terminally ill Star Wars fan Neil Hanvey to see Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story succeeded, and just in time. In a post shared with friends, family members and Star Wars fans around the globe who helped spread the word on Hanvey's condition -- as well as his final request -- Neil's wife Andrea explained that the screening took place, and that Neil died shortly after the screening. She writes:

On behalf of all our family we would like to thank everyone who has passed on their condolences following Neil's death last night. We would also like to thank the tens of thousands of people who supported the #RogueOneWish campaign. All the messages of love during the past week have given us a great deal of comfort during a very difficult time. We would also like to thank everyone at St Michael's Hospice, especially Amy Duncan, without who #RogueOneWish would not have happened. All donations at Neil's funeral will go to the Hospice's Family Support team and will be used to fund work with children and young people. An online donation page will be set-up shortly.

A bit of backstory. Neil Hanvey, his wife Andrea, and the staff at St. Michael's Hospice launched a campaign using the hashtag #RogueOneWish to try and get Disney and Lucasfilm to show Hanvey the upcoming spinoff movie early. Social media jumped on board, and the viral campaign even reached Mark Hamill, who showed his support for making the screening happen. Well, it happened. On Saturday night, according to the following Facebook post, Neil Hanvey was able to screen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Two days later, he was gone.

On behalf of Neil Hanvey, his wife Andrea and all his family, we want to thank everyone who supported the #RogueOneWish...Posted by St Michael's Hospice on Monday, August 22, 2016

This isn't the first time the team behind the rejuvenated Star Wars franchise reached out on behalf of a terminally ill fan to grant a dying wish. You may recall that in the run up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams moved mountains to answer the call of a similar social-media campaign for Star Wars fan Daniel Fleetwood to screen a rough cut of the movie. The hashtag #ForceForDaniel was used to spread the word on that campaign, and the internet responded in overwhelming fashion.

Stories like this show the deep compassion and camaraderie felt in the Star Warscommunity. But they also show how plugged in Kathleen Kennedy and her directors are to the people for which they are making these movies. It's a beautiful and compassionate story about fan respect, and one that I'm thrilled the Star Warsuniverse is able to share. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16, and after hearing stories like this, it makes me want to pay to see it multiple times, just as a way of saying thank you.

'Rings' trailer

Monday, August 22, 2016

Making of Blair Witch


Over the years in this crazy town, I've gotten to work with a lot of super talented people, and Ben Rock is one of them. He directed a couple short films that I wrote, directed me in a bunch of plays that I acted in, and became a buddy. Now he's written a little retrospective about working on the movie that gave him his start, and I thought you horror nerds might be way into it. Read more here!

Box Office


From ew, Kids across the nation aren’t the only ones feeling the back-to-school blues, as this weekend’s three new wide releases failed to drum up much interest at the box office, though year-to-date numbers are up around 5.2 percent from the same frame in 2015.

Warner Bros.’ DC Comics adaptation, Suicide Squad, won the box office crown for the third week in a row, pulling in a soft estimated $20.7 million atop a quiet crop of fresh titles. The action flick drops more than 50 percent across its third frame, a dip in-line with the trajectory of WB’s previous superhero title, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Suicide Squad’s estimated domestic total now outpaces the gross of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, currently the top-grossing film ever to be released in August, which previously held the record for the month’s highest opening weekend ($94.3 million) before Squadblasted onto the scene with a $133.7 million debut. After 17 days in release, Guardians, en route to $333.2 million overall, had only amassed $222.7 million as compared to Squad’s $262.3 million earned over the same period.

Shedding more than 50 percent of its audience for a No. 2 finish, the R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party pulls in an estimated $15.3 million over its sophomore weekend, bringing its already-impressive domestic total to just over $65 million on a $19 million budget after just 10 days in North American theaters.

Warner Bros. scores a second top-three movie this weekend as the Miles Teller/Jonah Hill action-comedy War Dogs opens to an estimated $14.3 million on 3,258 screens for a modest per-theater average of $4,389. Though it holds off fellow newcomers like Kubo and the Two Strings and Ben-Hur, which take aim at very different audiences, Dogs earns an underwhelming B grade on CinemaScore, which means poor word of mouth could see the film take a nosedive next weekend.

Kubo, the latest stop-motion title from LAIKA, lands at No. 4 with approximately $12.6 million, the lowest opening gross of any of the animation house’s wide releases. Still, Kubo earned the best reviews of any LAIKA title in history on Friday, besting both the Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores of films like The Boxtrolls,ParaNorman, and Coraline by a wide margin. The $60 million film also earned a rare A grade on CinemaScore, indicating the film could travel atop long legs toward a domestic finish in the $50-$60 million range.

Rounding out the top five is Paramount’s epic flop, Ben-Hur, an adaptation of Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (which was previously adapted as a 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston). The $100 million picture, which Paramount reportedly marketed heavily toward Christian audiences, opens to an estimated $11.4 million in the U.S. and Canada, while a further $10.7 million comes from foreign territories for a global premiere of $22 million. Ben-Hur’s less-than-impressive weekend total places the film in the same boat as films likePompeii and Exodus: Gods and Kings, both expensive historical epics that failed to catch on with North American audiences.

Expanding to 472 locations, the Jeff Bridges crime thriller Hell or High Water adds $2.7 million to its growing total, averaging a decent $5,614 per screen. On the specialty front, Natalie Portman’s feature directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, averages $18,000 per theater for the week’s highest location average, while Kingslave: Final Fantasy: XV earns a modest $114,000 from 24 theaters across its opening weekend.

Check out the Aug. 19-21 weekend box office estimates below.

1. Suicide Squad - $20.7 million
2. Sausage Party - $15.3 million
3. War Dogs - $14.3 million
4. Kubo and the Two Strings - $12.6 million
5. Ben-Hur - $11.4 million
6. Pete’s Dragon - $11.3 million
7. Bad Moms - $8.1 million
8. Jason Bourne - $8 million
9. The Secret Life of Pets - $5.8 million
10. Florence Foster Jenkins - $4.3 million

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Happy Birthday, JPX!


Yeah that's right!  Throw down some birthday props!

Had a great time toy hunting with this foo last month.  One of my favorite things to do ever.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Adam West is back as Batman



(CNN)  Here's a perfect one for a Throwback Thursday: Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar are reprising their famous "Batman" roles in the new animated film "Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders."

The trio starred in the 1960s television story with West starring as Batman, Ward as Robin, and Newmar as the villainous Catwoman.

West celebrated by retweeting Warner Bros. Home Entertainment's tweet about the trailer and adding "I'm back!"

I'm back! https://t.co/wGZKhgVtDX— Adam West (@therealadamwest) August 17, 2016
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is owned by CNN's parent company.
"Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders" will be released for Digital HD on October 11 and Blu-Ray on November 1.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

“Twin Peaks” Audiobook Features Kyle MacLachlan, Original Cast Members




David Lynch’s classic TV series “Twin Peaks” returns in 2017, and before it returns, co-creator Mark Frost is releasing a book that tells the story of what has happened in Twin Peaks following the show’s final episode in 1991. The new book The Secret History of Twin Peaks is out October 18 via Flatiron Books. It’s now been revealed that the audiobook edition will feature the voices of several original “Twin Peaks” cast members, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn, Michael Horse, Chris Mulkey, and David Patrick Kelly will all appear in the book’s audio edition, which is also out October 18. The audiobook also features Amy Shiels, James Morrison, and Robert Knepper, who will star in the upcoming 2017 season (alongside Trent Reznor, Sky Ferreira, Sharon Van Etten, Eddie Vedder, and others).

A reissue of the “Twin Peaks” soundtrack is out September 9. [via pitchfork]

Monday, August 15, 2016

John Williams to score 'Episode VIII'


From slashfilm, In news that is simultaneously not surprising in the slightest but also a complete and total relief, John Williams has revealed that he will return to compose the score for Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars: Episode 8. This will be the eight Star Wars film scored by the legendary composer, whose iconic and instantly recognizable melodies and themes are as important to this universe as any character on the screen.

The news comes to us via Masslive, who reviewed a recent concert that saw Williams and the Boston Pops perform music from across his lengthy career. During a brief pause between tracks, Williams revealed the big news the audience:

Williams told the crowd he would begin work in a few weeks on the much-anticipated “Star Wars: Episode VIII” after seeing an early cut. (Sorry fanboys, Williams said he does not yet know who Rey’s parents are.)

He said he accepted the invitation from Lucasfilm producer Kathleen Kennedy mainly because he was enchanted by actress Daisy Ridley’s portrayal of Rey and does not want another composer scoring her scenes.

'Under the Shadow' trailer "tensest movie of the year"

Sniff - R2D2 died


From newyorktimes, Kenny Baker, the British actor best known for playing the robot R2-D2 in six “Star Wars” films, died on Saturday at his home in northwest England. He was 81.


His death was confirmed by a spokeswoman for Lucasfilm, the company that created and produces the enormously popular “Star Wars” franchise. The Associated Press reported that a nephew, Drew Myerscough, said he found Mr. Baker dead at his home in the town of Preston.


Mr. Baker was a little person whose adult height was widely reported to be 3 feet 8 inches. He referred to his short stature as “my height difficulties” in an autobiographical sketch on his official website, but it would have been impossible for a taller man to play the role that made him famous.


“They said, ‘You’ve got to do it; we can’t find anybody else. You’re small enough to get into it and you’re strong enough to be able to move it,’” he said of R2-D2’s cylindrical metal costume in a video interview in Stockholm that he shared on his site. “I was a godsend to them, really.”

Mr. Baker was born on Aug. 24, 1934, in Birmingham, England. He began his entertainment career in 1950 as part of a traveling troupe in Britain called Burton Lester’s Midgets.


He soon left that act and toured the country for many years, performing in theaters, nightclubs and holiday resorts in a variety of roles: circus clown, performer in an ice-skating show and, later, part of a musical comedy and variety act alongside the performer Jack Purvis. (Mr. Purvis, who died in 1997, was also in “Star Wars,” as the cloaked Chief Jawa, who shoots R2-D2,and played roles in the second and third “Star Wars” films as well.)

The traveling act brought Mr. Baker financial security and a measure of fame in Britain, but it was an entertainment ecosystem that was wiped out by the invention of television. Then came R2-D2.


That role began with the first “Star Wars” movie, released in 1977 — and now officially known as “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” — but it was a part he almost did not take.


“This film came along and I turned it down,” Mr. Baker said in the Stockholm interview. “I said, ‘I don’t want to be stuck in a robot, what for, for goodness sake.’”


He ultimately relented and, he said, agreed to take the job as a favor to George Lucas. The role had no lines — the character’s signature beeps and boops were not voiced by Mr. Baker — and, seated inside the robot, he never showed his face. But R2-D2 so changed his career that in later years he told an interviewer that if he could go back in time, he would do it again without pay.


“Had I known I would have done it for nothing because he was broke at the beginning, he didn’t have a penny, George,” Mr. Baker said.


But he might have asked for a share of the film’s profits, he added, referring to the celebrated British actor who played Obi-Wan Kenobi. “I’d be a millionaire like Alec Guinness was!”


Mr. Lucas said in a statement on Saturday that Mr. Baker was “an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances.”


“A talented vaudevillian who could always make everybody laugh, Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2 and will be missed by all his fans and everyone who knew him,” he added.

Mr. Baker played R2-D2 in six “Star Wars” films: the original, its two sequels, and the prequels released in 1999, 2002 and 2005. He also appeared in a number of other high-profile movies, including “Mona Lisa,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Time Bandits” and “Amadeus.”

No information about his survivors was immediately available. His niece Abigail Shield first reported his death to the British newspaper The Guardian.

Box office report


From ew, Suicide Squad, which broke August records with a $133.7 million opening last weekend, takes the box office crown for the second weekend in a row despite taking a steep dive across its sophomore frame, pulling in an estimated $43.8 million for an overall haul of around $222.9 million.

A tumble this large (67 percent) is in the film’s DNA, of course, as Warner Bros. consistently produces critically condemned DC Comics adaptations that open huge (Batman v Superman, Man of Steel) but ultimately shed a significant portion of their audience across their second weekend.

Though studio projections pegged Sausage Party for a debut in the $20-25 million range, the comedy overperforms with adults this weekend, serving up an impressive estimated $33.6 million debut on 3,103 screens. The film’s underwhelming B grade on CinemaScore indicates audiences aren’t as impressed with the film as critics (it currently holds a 67 rating on Metacritic), but they still showed up in numbers large enough to give Suicide Squad a run for its money (Sausage Party out-paced Suicide Squad on Friday).

History shows R-rated films featuring animated characters typically open in the $10-$13 million range (South Park, Team America, Paul), though live-action comedies featuring Sausage Party’s voice talent (Pineapple Express, This Is the End) tend to debut higher and run on longer legs. While Seth Rogen and co. have undoubtedly built a bankable familiarity with audiences, Sausage Party’s simple concept — it revolves around personified food items fighting back against the humans who want to savagely eat them — is inherently funny enough to appeal to a wide range of people in the over-18 demo.

STX’s Bad Moms, another R-rated comedy, continues to impress after its third weekend in release with a slight 18.2 percent drop to No. 5 after pulling in an estimated $11.5 million from Friday to Sunday. The inexpensive, female-driven adult laugher carries a budget of $20 million, meaning the film is already a smashing success as its U.S. grosses alone top the $71 million mark after 15 days in wide release.

Comedies perform better between May and August (Spy, Trainwreck, The Heat, Bad Teacher), though R-rated titles featuring women typically have longer legs year-round (last December’s Sistersamassed nearly $90 million domestically), given they’re a relative rarity within a market that typically caters to men.

Pete’s Dragon, the most prominent family-oriented release of the week, earns a soft estimated $21.5 million on a modest (for Disney standards) budget of $65 million. While its domestic numbers might not be anything to write home about, family films often stretch lower openings longer than films in other genres. Combined with international totals, Pete’s Dragon’s North American cumulative should ride the wave of nostalgia (it’s based on the beloved 1977 film of the same name) up and over its production costs by the end of its run.

On the international front, with both The Secret Life of Pets ($40 million from 47 territories) and Jason Bourne ($18.6 million from 59 countries) feeding the beast, Universal Pictures International crosses the $1 billion mark for the 10th consecutive year. Bourne also lands at No. 4 on the domestic chart, falling 39 percent to around $13.6 million during its third weekend, bringing its U.S. total to just under $127 million.

Hitting the adult demographic in typical fashion, Meryl Streep’sFlorence Foster Jenkins lands at No. 8, earning an estimated $6.6 million from 1,528 locations. The film’s $4,306 per-screen average and solid critical reviews line up with Streep’s last August outing, 2015’s Ricki and the Flash, which grossed $6.6 million on 1,603 screens. Though the numbers are small in comparison to the film’s wide release brethren, Streep’s consistency with the mature crowd (97 percent of Florence’s opening weekend audience was over 25) can’t be denied, and her latest outing should perform well in the coming weeks, finishing somewhere in the $28-$35 million range with strong critical reviews (86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and a decent A- grade from audiences on CinemaScore.

In limited release, CBS and Lionsgate’s crime thriller Hell or High Water averages a healthy $18,500 from 32 theaters, making its mark on specialty audiences as it lands as the week’s best-reviewed new title (99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 8.5/10). The Film Arcade’s Don’t Think Twice also continues to perform well, adding 13 theaters this weekend for a three-day gross of $367,500, a mere 2 percent dip from its $373,556 total last weekend. The Mike Birbiglia-directed film, which boasts some of the strongest reviews of the year thus far, has now made around $1.2 million since debuting in July.

Check out the Aug. 12-14 box office estimates below:

1. Suicide Squad - $43.8 million
2. Sausage Party - $33.6 million
3. Pete’s Dragon - $21.5 million
4. Jason Bourne - $13.6 million
5. Bad Moms - $11.5 million
6. The Secret Life of Pets - $8.9 million
7. Star Trek Beyond - $6.8 million
8. Florence Foster Jenkins - $6.6 million
9. Nine Lives - $3.5 million
10. Lights Out - $3.2 million

Friday, August 12, 2016

'Twin Peaks' update

From darkhorizons, Though Showtime had numerous TV shows to promote and talk about at their Television Critics 

Association panel, the one that everyone was asking network President and CEO David Nevins about was David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” revival.

No footage from the new episodes were screened but it has been confirmed that filming has wrapped with Lynch currently in the midst of editing the show ahead of a premiere in the first half of 2017.

One of the big questions is episode – how many have been done? Turns out even the network doesn’t know. Nevins says: “We don’t even know for sure how many episodes there will be.”

President of Programming Gary Levine adds: “It is a fluid process. David Lynch who is doing it all, he co-wrote with Mark [Frost], he directed every episode, he’s editing every episode, scoring every episode. It’s a process of seeing how it evolved. That organism continues to evolve. Until he’s figured that out and shows it to us, we actually won’t know.”

They also confirm episodes won’t have to conclude within a 60 minute timeframe either, but one thing they won’t do is release the entire season at once – it will be a weekly show.

Incredible new "Rogue One" trailer debuts during the Olympics!

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

The Muppets' Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem Outside Lands 2016

'Suicide Squad' Shoots Down August Record with $135 Million Opening


From boxofficemojo, For the third time this year a superhero movie has broken an opening weekend record and with it a continuing trend that finds the previous week's box office champion suffering a hefty second weekend drop. This time around it's Warner Bros' Suicide Squad decimating the previous August opening weekend record by more than $40 million while Universal's Jason Bourne experiences a 62% drop in its sophomore session. That said, with the top twelve totaling a massive $223.9 million, this weekend's top twelve was up a whopping 87% compared to the same weekend last year. In fact, this is the first time this calendar weekend has ever grossed over $190 million, let alone cracked the $200 million mark.

Finishing in first place with an estimated $135.1 million, Warner Bros. and DC Comics' Suicide Squad now holds the largest August opening weekend, topping Guardians of the Galaxy's $94.3 million from 2014. The film also had the largest August opening day with $65.2 million, which included the largest August Thursday preview total of $20.5 million. Combined with a $132 million international opening from 57 territories, the film's global opening haulranks 24th all-time with $267.1 million, topping Deadpool's worldwide opening of $264.7 million earlier this year, which opened in 63 international markets.

Budgeted at $175 million, the film's theatrical longevity now comes into question as it holds a mere 26% rating onRottenTomatoes and could be looking at a steep, 65+% drop next weekend. Earlier this year, fellow DC Extended Universe release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened with a record-breaking $166 million only to end up dropping 69.1% in its second weekend and ultimately only delivering $330.3 million domestically, a 1.99 multiplier, the worst multiplier for a film opening over $100 million ever.

Suicide Squad did score a "B+" CinemaScore, which is slightly higher than Batman v Superman's "B", but that's hardly enough to make much of a difference. It's current 7.1 rating on IMDb is, however, lower than the 7.5Batman v Superman had at the same point in its release cycle as audiences seem to be having a similar reaction to the film as they did its DC predecessor. From an audience perspective, the audience was 54% male vs. 46% female with women rating the film an "A-" on the CinemaScore scale versus a "B+" from the men. Interestingly enough, IMDb's user voting currently shows a similar trend with females scoring the film 7.3 vs. males scoring it with a 6.9. Additionally, 54% of the audience was under the age of 25 and 76% of the audience was under the age of 35.

Of the film's opening weekend haul, $11 million came from 382 IMAX screens, $13 million from Premium Large Format (PLF) screens and another $3.2 million from Extreme Digital (XD) theaters.

Looking ahead, in all likelihood it seems safe to expect a drop around 67% or more next weekend with a strong possibility Suicide Squad may finish with a multiplier right around 2.22, pushing hard for a $300 million domestic run, perhaps coming up a bit short.

GET MORE: Compare 2016's Superhero Movies Side-by-Side!

Finishing in second place, and dropping 61.6% after taking the top spot at last weekend's box office, Universal'sJason Bourne finished second with an estimated $22.7 million. While the latest installment in the Bournefranchise had a strong opening, including an "A-" CinemaScore, it was obviously affected by the release of Suicide Squad.

There just doesn't seem to be enough room on the release schedule as Bourne may have been better off had it waited until the last weekend of August. In fact, had Bourne waited a few weeks to release it may have also helped Star Trek Beyond, which dropped another 59% this weekend after dropping 58% in its second weekend when it faced Bourne's debut. The final month of Summer 2016 has certainly had its share of strong openers and anticipated features, but by sharing a large portion of the audience they are cannibalizing each other.

One holdover from last weekend that wasn't relying heavily on the male demographic was Bad Moms and it certainly helped the film its second weekend as it dropped only 40.4% for an estimated $14.2 million. The cume for the $20 million feature has now climbed to $51 million domestically.

The weekend's other new wide release was EuropaCorp's Nine Lives, which featured Kevin Spacey as a talking cat. The family feature delivered an estimated $6.5 million from 2,264 theaters and may struggle next weekend as Pete's Dragon is likely to steal the majority of any remaining audience next weekend. The film scored a "B+" CinemaScore and currently sports a dismal 4% rating on RottenTomatoes.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Warner Bros. and New Line's Lights Out has now crossed $54.7 million domestically and $85.7 million worldwide on a budget right around $5 million. Additionally, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures' The Secret Life of Pets took in another $11.5 million for a fourth place finish domestically and added another $68.6 million internationally as the film's global cume has now topped $500 million and stands at an impressive $502.2 million.

Speaking of animated films, while this past week saw the end of the domestic run for Disney's Zootopia with $341.3 million, the studio still has Finidng Dory in worldwide release and, with a global cume of $870 million, it is about to pass Batman v Superman and become the fourth highest grossing release of 2016 at the worldwide box office. With $473.8 million, Dory currently ranks as the eighth highest grossing domestic release of all-time and will be passing Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in the next couple of days for the seventh slot.

Next weekend sees the release of Disney's Pete's Dragon in 3,400 theaters, Sony will release the R-rated animated feature Sausage Party into 2,800+ theaters and Paramount will release the Meryl Streep-ledFlorence Foster Jenkins into 1,500 theaters.

One final note, there will not be a weekend preview this coming Thursday, but we will be back next Sunday with a full recap of the weekend.

For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Christopher Guest’s First Comedy in Nearly a Decade Is About the Competitive World of Sports Mascots



Christopher Guest, the Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show director, is releasing his first film in nearly a decade, and it sounds perfectly Christopher Guest–ian. The comedy Mascots will arrive on Netflix on Oct. 13 and stars numerous Guest regulars, including Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, Fred Willard, Ed Begley Jr., and many more.


Mascots is set the cutthroat world of sports mascots competitions, a somewhat absurd premise that seems right up the alley of a director who has previously explored the competitive worlds of dog shows and small-town community theater. The teaser doesn’t reveal any actual footage from the film—instead, it shows off the “Gold Fluffy,” the most prestigious award a mascot could hope to achieve.

'Suicide Squad' apparently sucks


Vanity Fair:


“Suicide Squad” is bad. Not fun bad. Not redeemable bad. Not the kind of bad that is the unfortunate result of artists honorably striving for something ambitious and falling short. “Suicide Squad” is just bad. It’s ugly and boring, a toxic combination that means the film’s highly fetishized violence doesn’t even have the exciting tingle of the wicked or the taboo. (Oh, how the movie wants to be both of those things.) It’s simply a dull chore steeped in flaccid machismo, a shapeless, poorly edited trudge that adds some mildly appalling sexism and even a soupçon of racism to its abundant, hideously timed gun worship. But, perhaps worst of all, “Suicide Squad” is ultimately too shoddy and forgettable to even register as revolting. At least revolting would have been something.

BuzzFeed:


Harley Quinn is an embodiment of all the conflicting things this frankly disastrous new movie, choppily written and directed [by] David Ayer, is attempting to do. She’s meant to be fun in her I’m so cra-azy way, but she’s also a woman in an abusive relationship the movie has no idea how to handle. She’s supposed to be strong, and in the literal sense, she does bash things with a baseball bat. But she’s also a psychological prisoner who has surrendered her sense of self. She’s a goth icon who talks like a 1930s gangster moll and who owns a gun reading ‘love’ and ‘hate’ on the barrel, but in her deepest heart, all she wants is to be a housewife in curlers, looking after the kids while her green-haired hubby heads off to work. She’s anarchic, but not really, and a good time, but not really, and she’s fucked up, but not really — or at least, not really in a way the movie’s ready to take time to explore. Sure, Harley is a tricky character, but she’s been shaped into an intensely sexualized mascot for a film that yearns for edginess, but can’t get over the rounded curves of its female lead.

The New York Times:


A series of tactical skirmishes with faceless minions — semi-zombies that can be slaughtered en masse, without a second thought — leads to a big final showdown. Spoiler alert: It’s essentially the final showdown from ‘Ghostbusters’ and at least a half-dozen other recent blockbusters, with a few differences of what I guess we should call nuance. You can safely duck out of the theater and spend a good 20 minutes on the claw machine or Instagram, slipping back in to catch the final song and the sequel-teasing extra scene during the end credits.

Vulture:


How early will the fanboys who flock to see “Suicide Squad” — smug in the knowledge that they’ve won the day, that Hollywood is now desperate to cater to their tastes above all others’ — admit that they’re watching the year’s most muddled piece of storytelling? Will they say, “Enough!”? Or will they vent over the damage to their favorite characters and promptly move on to debating who should direct the next stupid, overblown “Suicide Squad” movie?

ScreenCrush:


After one of the crummiest summer movie seasons in recent memory, asking one film to redeem four months of tepid blockbusters might have been a suicide mission in and of itself. But “Suicide Squad” doesn’t even come close. From the first scene to the last, it’s an absolute mess, one whose harried pacing, jumbled narrative, and blaring soundtrack of radio hits suggests a desperate post-production attempt to reconfigure what Ayer got on set into something palatable and poppy. The movie opens with a shot of the logo for Belle Reve Prison, which serves as the Suicide Squad’s home base; the facility’s slogan is “’Til Death Do Us Part.” The direness of this movie, along with the staggering number of films yet to come in the DC cinematic universe, makes these words feel like the ultimate threat.

The San Francisco Chronicle:


If you know someone you really can’t stand — not someone you dislike, not someone who rubs you the wrong way, but someone you really loathe and detest — send that person a ticket for “Suicide Squad.” It’s the kind of torment you can wish on your worst enemy without feeling too guilty, not something to inflict permanent damage, just two hours of soul-sickening confusion and sensory torment.

Time Magazine:


Harley Quinn’s entrance is the best moment in “Suicide Squad.” After that, you can leave. Robbie is a criminally appealing actress, likable in just about every way, but that intro aside, “Suicide Squad” doesn’t serve her well. It serves no one well, least of all its audience ... Now and then there’s a dash of color, especially when Leto’s Joker appears, with his silvery capped teeth and Day-Glo hair. Leto seems to be channeling, consciously or otherwise, Richard Widmark in the 1947 noir “Kiss of Death”—that’s the one where Widmark’s truly creepy-evil character pushes an old lady in a wheelchair down the stairs. But Leto is so textbook twitchy that he barely comes off as menacing. And his scenes with Robbie have no spark, no lunatic ardor. If you can’t strike a spark with Robbie, something’s terribly wrong.

Rolling Stone:


Who stole the soul of “Suicide Squad”? I’d say it’s Ayer’s willingness to go all limp-dick and compromise his hardcore action bona fides for a PG-13 crowdpleaser that would rather ingratiate than cut deep, or even cut at all. My heart sank during the film’s big battle between the Squad and zombie soldiers. You heard me: zombies! The walking dead aren’t the only clichés that eat away at the potential in this material. Superfreaks become supersweeties and “Suicide Squad: Dawn of Dullness” (my subtitle) does the impossible. Forget “Batman v Superman” — at least it tried. This botch job makes “Fantastic Four” look good.

The Genius Way Kevin Smith Wants To Make His Buckaroo Banzai Show Awesome


From cinemablend, As television gains more and more respect as an artistic medium, it begins to drive more prestigious talent to work within its confines. Kevin Smith recently re-tried his hand at small screen directing on The Flash to great effect, and he will soon have the opportunity to continue in that medium with his 10-episode update of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension for Amazon. However, he has no intention of going it alone, and Smith recently revealed how he plans to makeBuckaroo Banzai a collaborative filmmaking experience, and the big names he's throwing around make this a seriously exciting prospect. He said:


The big fun for me is going to be collecting the team, 'cause I ain't gonna direct it all. I wanna get the people who loved it as much as me, so people like Richard Kelly, Edgar Wright, I'm gonna reach out to Quentin Tarantino, see if they'll direct an episode. 'Here's a chunk of change, a 50-page script, eight days... go make your section.' That'd be fun. It also means I won't take all the heat myself. (laughs) 'Quentin was here, he didn't fuck it up!'

Kevin Smith laid out his plan to make the Buckaroo Banzai something to remember.while speaking to Comingsoon.net at Fantasia Fest. The genre-bending project has several characteristics that perfectly suit it to the capable hands of several different and well-established filmmakers. For the episodes of the series that require more sci-fi chops and a quick-witted, cult sensibility, Smith is wise in wanting to hand the series off to filmmakers like Richard Kelly and Edgar Wright. For the episodes that juxtapose numerous set pieces with heavy dialogue scenes, he'll talk to someone like Quentin Tarantino, who has a proven track record handling that type of workload.

It most likely helps that there's a very specific source material available to keep everyone on track. As Buckaroo Banzai will take ten episodes to follow the overarching narrative of the original 1984 film, Kevin Smith can at the very least use that original source to give general guidelines regarding tonal and visual consistency. Smith claims that all of these filmmakers are similar fans of the 1984 tale of a brilliant hero's quest to save Earth from an alien attack, so he can trust them to direct autonomously.

We have a distinct feeling that Kevin Smith might be onto something with this particular methodology. Although none of the aforementioned filmmakers have done too much in the realm of television in recent years, Smith recently proved that great things can happen when a competent movie director takes the leap to the small screen. (And Edgar Wright's Spaced and Asylum are two of the best TV comedies of all time, so there's his cred.) Smith's work on "The Runaway Dinosaur" episode of The CW's The Flash easily stood out as a top-tier episode of the hit series' second season, and he has shown a clear interest in continuing his work as a TV director. If he can enlist his own dream team of directors to make a similar leap, then we're in no position to complain about anything.

Nothing is set in stone, but this idea has us incredibly excited about where Kevin Smith's Buckaroo Banzai could go from here. We will bring you more information related to the upcoming Amazon series as more details become available to us.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

UPDATE: FANS SUCCESSFULLY RALLY TO BRING BACK THREE 'SESAME STREET' CAST MEMBERS


From metv, Talk about the neighborhood coming together for a good cause. After it was reported last week that three longtime cast members were let go from Sesame Street, the show is now taking steps to bring them back to the neighborhood.

Here's the backstory. Last week, Bob McGrath revealed he was let go from the series after 45 seasons. His fellow cast mates Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman were also give pink slips in an effort to save money after the show switched from PBS to HBO earlier this year. The news didn't go over well with fans. People flooded social media to criticize the decision and beg Sesame Workshop to bring back McGrath, Delgado and Orman. Many also pointed out the show was wrong for retaining younger cast members while discarding the ones who have been there since the beginning.

Now here's the good news. Late last week, Orman told Buzzfeed News the outrage from fans helped Sesame Workshop realize they were an integral part of the show. In particular, the three actors who were let go might come back to the series in the near future.

Here's the full statement:
To all of you who have expressed your appreciation and support for the years of work and service to Sesame Street by me and my colleagues, I thank you!

Due to your overwhelming reaction regarding the status of myself and others on the show, the new producers of Sesame Street have reached out to us with an expressed desire to continue our longstanding relationship, to be initiated with a meeting in September. Hopefully, this will result in the inclusion of veteran cast members in upcoming productions. I look forward to sharing with you at such time, the results of that conversation. Thanks again for your loving support and devotion to Sesame Street and to what it has meant to the children of the world.

It's refreshing to see fans come together to make a difference. Are you excited Bob, Luis and Gordon are possibly coming back to the show?