Category: Movies


A pair of new releases take aim at Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson.

Can either take over the top spot?

The short answer is no. “Beauty and the Beast” fell 48 percent in its second weekend. That mark is a pretty strong hold considering the size of its opening weekend.

A similar drop this weekend will put it in the $45 to 50 million range.

“The Boss Baby” will be the top newcomer in second. The animated film may not live up to past animated hits, including last year’s “Home” or even “The Croods” and may only get to $30 to 35 million.

Opening in third will be “Ghost in the Shell” with Scarlett Johansson. Pre-release tracking had it around the likes of “The Maze Runner” so expect this one to earn around $30 million.

Here is the latest trailer for “Justice League”.

The film brings together Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher).

With “Beauty and the Beast” setting the box office on fire, another Disney classic is getting the live action treatment. “Mulan” is scheduled to hit theaters in 2018 and director Niki Caro (“Whale Rider”) had some news to share.

In an interview with Moviefone, current plans for the film contain no songs. That’s right, “Mulan” may not be a musical. That means it may be making a man out of audiences in a different way than people remember.

 

With news that Warner Bros. wants to revisit “The Matrix” hitting recently, speculation has run wild about what a new film would focus on.

Birth.Movies.Death. is reporting that a new Matrix film would center around a young Morpheus, with Michael B. Jordan starring.

Lawrence Fishburne played Morpheus in the original trilogy.

If true, it looks as though WB wants to tell more stories in the film’s universe instead of a straight reboot.

“Beauty and the Beast” was always going to open big. How much did it make?

Estimates place the remake of the Disney classic earning $170 million. That would be enough to top the $166 million earned by “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” for a new March record and is the seventh-biggest opening weekend ever.

“Beauty and the Beast” stars Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Josh Gad.

“Kong: Skull Island” dropped to second, earning $28.9 million. That’s a decent hold for the monster film, while “Logan” took third with $17.5 million.

“Beauty and the Beast” earned a massive $63.78 million on Friday. That is a notch below “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and the $81.5 million it earned on its opening Friday, but comic book films are almost always more front loaded.

The Disney film starring Emma Watson (“Harry Potter”) should wind up around $160-170 million for the weekend.

 

The tale as old as time returns to theaters. There’s no question “Beauty and the Beast” will open above $100 million. How high will it soar?

Disney has had a lot of success bringing animated classics to live action. “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” and “The Jungle Book” all enjoyed strong box office numbers but “Beauty and the Beast” stands in a class above them.

The animated film was released in 1991, meaning fans of that film are old enough to have nostalgia set in and many may have children of their own to bring. “Beauty and the Beast” stands tall as one of those revered films with music that people still sing today.

All that means anticipation is sky high. The movie earned $16.7 million during preview showings, much higher than other recent family hits like “Finding Dory” ($9.2 million). This film will light the box office on fire. Can it catch “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and its $166 million March record? It’ll be close.

Opening weekend prediction: $160-170 million.

There’s nothing quite like the start of May. Yes, the movie release schedule has become much more varied in recent years, with blockbusters invading all parts of the calendar. But there’s nothing quite like the start of the summer movie season.

The moments before the summer movie season begins are among my most hopeful. The time when all the would-be blockbusters seem like they could surprise, entertain and wow us. When the hype, excitement and hope is at its highest point. When a quick look at the movie schedule over the next four months brings questions on just how am I going to see all these movies? As a movie fan, there are few times that rival the start of May.

What will this summer bring? Let’s take a quick look. Part one will look at Superhero films and animation. Part two will hit this weekend and look at big sequels and potential breakouts.

Superhero showdown

Possibly the biggest film of the summer will also be its first. “Captain America: Civil War” is essentially an Avengers film. And both of those can lay claim to two of the top five opening weekends of all time. The buzz has been high and the reviews have been strong. Add in seeing the appeal of Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Tony Stark) face off, as well as several of the other heroes in the Marvel universe, and this is a slam dunk. Marvel can do no wrong so far and the hype on this one seems higher than even “Age of Ultron”. It won’t be “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”-type numbers, but it may be the highest Marvel opening ever.

Opening weekend: $210 million.

Total: $550 million.

“X-Men: Apocalypse” seems like it should be set to enter the upper echelon of franchises. Yet, “Days of Future Past”, which performed strongly with critics and holds a very strong rating on IMDB, topped out at $233 million, essentially tied with “The Last Stand”. Only one X-Men film has grossed more than $300 million: Deadpool.

Given this track record, it’s hard to see Apocalypse doing significantly better, even if this is a great film.

Opening weekend: $115-120 million (four-day).

Total: $240-250 million.

“Suicide Squad” will be among the most interesting to watch from a box office perspective. It’s being released in August, which normally isn’t a great time (though “Guardians of the Galaxy proved a film can thrive in this timeframe). Will Smith provides a huge name, though everyone remembers “After Earth” don’t we?

The biggest question is how, if at all, does “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” affect this film. It is a connected universe, after all. And that film’s bad reception has caused a very different trailer to come out, one that makes the film look far lighter than all previous trailers. I wonder if that will dent this film’s long-term prospects.

Opening weekend: $85-95 million.

Total: $260-270 million.

Animation overload?

In a somewhat unusual situation, there could be a major animation overload this summer. “Finding Dory” will likely be the cream of the crop. Pixar unleashes a sequel to one of its most beloved films. It should improve significantly on “Finding Nemo” in terms of opening box office. The first film hit theaters with $70.5 million. This one should flirt with $100 million. The overall quality will determine its legs, though. “Toy Story 3” was great. “Monsters University” fell off rather quickly by Pixar standards.

Opening weekend: $90-100 million.

Total: $290-310 million.

I’m still not sure if I’m excited for “The Secret Life of Pets”. But thanks to a stellar marketing campaign, this one could be one of the summer’s breakout hits. The premise seems fun and one that, surprisingly, hasn’t been explored yet.

Opening weekend: $70-80 million.

Total: $230-270 million.

“The Angry Birds Movie” is one of those that could be hard to predict. I don’t know a single person who is excited for this film, but it should do well drawing the millions and millions of kids out to theaters. “The Lego Movie” taught us that films like this can surprise. But my guess is if “Finding Dory” is up to Pixar’s lofty standards, this one may struggle to find its audience.

Opening weekend: $35-45 million.

Total: $130-150 million.

“Ice Age: Collision Course” sees the band getting back together .. again. The series has had diminishing returns in the U.S. And coming hot on the heels of “The Secret Life of Pets”, this one smells bomb to me.

Opening weekend: $30-40 million.

Total: $110-130 million.

We’ve officially hit July, which means the summer movie season is half over! What movies are the best of the best?

Quick note: I haven’t seen every single film to be released and am sorely lacking in the independent films, but oh well.

1. Inside Out: Pixar’s return to form. This is an emotional roller coaster that is every bit as good as the studio’s best efforts. The voice cast, headlined by Amy Poehler, is spot on. And one character not featured in any of the trailers absolutely steals the show. This film is more for adults than it is kids. But it’s absolutely worth seeing and is the best blockbuster film of the summer by far.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road: Maybe the biggest surprise of the summer, Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy help make Mad Max’s return to the big screen an amazing trip. It’s thrilling and beautiful to look at. There’s a shocking amount of narrative heft to it, despite limited dialogue. Director George Miller proves he still knows how to craft a unique and amazingly entertaining action film.

3. Spy: It’s easy to write this Melissa McCarthy vehicle as the same as all the films she’s done. That would be a mistake. This hilarious spy comedy is spot on, with comedy gold performances from Jason Statham and Rose Byrne to boot.

Biggest disappointment: Avengers: Age of Ultron: Look, this film had its entertaining moments. But it was essentially the same as the first Avengers right down to the teaser scene at the end. For maybe the first time since Marvel Studio’s cinematic universe began, this film felt more like a chore to get through than a joy.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

“Interstellar” review

Director Christopher Nolan is back with his first film since “The Dark Knight Rises”. Does “Interstellar” live up to the hype? Or is this 2014’s version of “Prometheus”?

The Good: This film is not for everyone. But when this movie clicks, it absolutely soars. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain, Matt Damon, and everyone in between is absolutely superb with their performances.

Of course, the special effects are truly spectacular. But the real moments are those moments when the film hits a home run with some emotional moments. You can feel what the characters are going through right along side them. And the film takes a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.

The film’s scope is epic and ambitious. And there are ideas at play that are at once recognizable and yet new and thrilling at the same time.

The Bad: I wanted badly to say this was a masterpiece. Alas, it was not. The film gets a little … unique near the end. And more than a few people groaned as this film seems to suffer from “Return of the King” syndrome where there’s about three or four spots where the film could have ended.

I’m also not sure the film’s primary driving human relationship is hitting home with audiences. I’d say more than half of the crowd I saw it with were yawning and growing restless midway through the film.

The film reaches high, but it definitely doesn’t reach those heights all the time. And when it doesn’t, the film can feel overly long and tedious.

The Final Word: This is not the next “2001: A Space Odyssey”. What it is, however, is a beautiful, good film. At times, you catch glimpses of an instant classic. At others, a film that slows to a crawl. Yet, I’d say this is a film worth checking out. Because you if you like it, I think you’ll love it.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.