Tag Archive: Monsters University


With the limited access to computers I’ll be having over this week and next this will be an abbreviated version of the Box office battle.

This week, four films hit theaters. Will any break out?

“Turbo” features the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg and more. And it’s premise about a racing slug has the possibility of attracting the same kind of crowd that Pixar’s “Cars” brought in. But, it’s being released after “Monsters University” and “Despicable Me 2” and with the much more anticipated (ugh) “The Smurfs 2” still to come, one has to wonder if this will be the odd animated film left out. Still, it still should do better than say “Rise of the Guardians” but probably not by much.

Opening weekend: $30-35 million

James Wan is back with “The Conjuring”. The director of “Saw” and “Insidious” has Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga starring in this film, which is gaining a ton of buzz about how scary it is. It’s not opening in as many theaters as the other films, but this one could make a strong play for first place.

Opening weekend: $28-33 million

“RED 2” stars Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung Hun Lee, Brian Cox and Neal McDonough. But the star power won’t help this film. The first film opened to $21 million on its way to $90 million domestically and nearly $200 million worldwide. I doubt it matches those numbers domestically as many view it as an unnecessary sequel to an OK first film, though it should open around the same level.

Opening weekend: $20-25 million

Finally we have “R.I.P.D.” The presence of Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds won’t help this film escape its “Men in Black” knockoff feel and, frankly, it looks like this summer’s “Jonah Hex”. Never a good thing.

Opening weekend: $10-15 million

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

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It’s hard to feel bad for Disney. They own Marvel Studios, with “Iron Man 3” becoming one of the top grossing films of all time. They own Pixar and “Monsters University” earned more than $400 million worldwide so far. Sam Raimi’s “Oz the Great and Powerful” earned nearly $500 million worldwide. And yet for all its success, the last two years it’s now home to two of the biggest bombs in recent memory. Last year, it was of course “John Carter”. From Pixar darling Andrew Stanton and starring Taylor Kitsch, the film lost $200 million. First, the good news for Disney. “The Lone Ranger” starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp, isn’t expected to lose that much. The bad news? It could cost the studio $150 million if current box office projections hold. Makes you wonder if Disney will sever ties with Jerry Bruckheimer. He did bring the studio “Pirates of the Caribbean”, but also “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”.

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

 

Two big movies are hitting theaters tomorrow. One a sure-fire family hit, the other a big budget western blockbuster. How well will they do?

“Monsters University” may have taken the top spot the past two weekends, but this is the first summer in a long while that another studio is going to smash them for the top spot in terms of animated films. Universal’s “Despicable Me 2” sees Steve Carell return to voice Gru and the minions are back in full force. The first film earned more than $250 million. And with no major animated films coming out (sorry “Turbo) this is going to at least exceed that by a little bit. Expect a monstrous first week.

Opening week: $110-120 million.

Armie Hamer and Johnny Depp star in “The Lone Ranger”, the big budget film that reunites Depp with “Pirates of the Caribbean” director Gore Verbinski. Disney’s playing up that angle a lot, but it has a lot going against it. First, the last Western film to open over the July 4 holiday? “Wild Wild West”. And while “True Grit” was very successful, earning $171 million domestically, that was an Oscar contender and had Jeff Bridges. The last summer Western films have been utter failures with “Cowboys and Aliens” and “Jonah Hex”. With a lot of competition for the young male crowd, this film won’t reach the heights Disney was hoping. In fact, it likely won’t earn as much as”True Grit” after it’s all said and done.

Opening week: $70-80 million

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

 

 

 

“Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig has another hit on his hand. “The Heat” starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy opened to $40 million. That’s the biggest opening in Bullock’s career and way ahead of “Bridesmaids”, which opened to just more than $26 million. Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University, however, repeated in first with an estimated $46.2 million. Despite having big star power in director Roland Emmerich and stars Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, “White House Down” opened to $25.7 million, lower than “Olympus Has Fallen”, which had Gerard Butler.

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

It’s rare for a movie studio to listen to fans instead of cash. On the surface, it appears Pixar is doing just that, however. With “Cars 2” and “Monsters University”, both made a lot of cash but were critical disappointments. Look at it this way, between 1995 and 2010, the lowest rotten tomato score for any Pixar film was “Cars” at 74 percent. Films like “Up”, “Toy Story 3”, “Toy Story 2”, “Wall E” and more all earned near 100 percent scores. Since then? The studio’s first “rotten” film and a prequel that everyone thought was OK. Well, here’s what Pixar’s Ed Catmull told Buzzfeed:

“For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year. Every once in a while, we get a film where we want or people want to see something continuing in that world — which is the rationale behind the sequel. They want those characters, which means we were successful with them. But if you keep doing that, then you aren’t doing original films.”

Of course with “Finding Dory” coming up, they’re not ditching sequels altogether. But it’s nice to see them take a step toward becoming Pixar again.

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

It was a good weekend for Disney/Pixar and Brad Pitt. “Monsters University”, which features the voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman, topped the box office with $82 million, for the studio’s biggest opening since “Toy Story 3”. Marc Forster’s zombie film “World War Z” starring Brad Pitt shattered expectations, earning $66 million to take second while Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel” tumbled to take $41.2 million in its second weekend.

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

Tow big releases face off against “Man of Steel”. Marc Forster’s and Brad Pitt’s troubled zombie film “World War Z” finally hits theaters while Disney/Pixar goes back to the well again with “Monsters University” featuring John Goodman and Billy Crystal. Which film will come out on top?

The Pixar brand has taken a hit lately. After the masterpiece that was “Toy Story 3” we got “Cars 2” and the disappointing “Brave”. Now comes “Monsters University”, a prequel to “Monsters, Inc.” That movie is considered one of Pixar’s better movies. But prequels are inherently unnecessary .We already know Mike and Sully become best friends. And, as I’ve written before, without Boo, I think you take away the catalyst to the first movie’s charm. Reviews have been OK, but not great and with “Despicable Me 2” looming, one has to wonder if this will fail to reach the heights of other Pixar films. Opening weekend, however, should be strong.

Opening weekend: $75-80 million

“World War Z” has had such a troubled past with various rewrites and reshooting the third act. But reviews have been surprisingly decent and the trailers play up the end of the world aspect instead of the zombies. Brad Pitt is a big star, but “Inglourious Basterds” was the last film he was in that opened to more than $20 million, and he was really part of an ensemble. The film should battle it out with “Man of Steel” for second place.

Opening weekend: $45-50 million

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

I wrote something similar last summer before Pixar’s “Brave” came out. Now with “Monsters University”, that idea seems to be cemented. Pixar is no longer the masterful studio producing classic after classic. We saw such original films like “Wall E” and “Up” that not only made us laugh, but made us cry and made us feel. The only time during its peak years it ever went back to sequels was for “Toy Story 2” and “Toy Story 3”, both masterpieces in their own right. Turns out “Toy Story 3” may go down as the last great film Pixar made in its golden age. Since then we’ve gotten the downright bad “Cars 2”, the OK but startling formulaic “Brave” and now “Monsters University”. Don’t get me wrong. I love “Monsters, Inc.” But, according to the early reviews, even the positive ones say this is just mildly funny children entertainment. It’s a good, not great film. Why is that sad? Because once upon a time Pixar pushed the envelope, brining very adult themes into “kids movies” and making both older and younger audiences alike feel real emotions. Now we get essentially “Revenge of the Nerds” with Pixar characters. Gone is that heart that made so many Pixar films so great. Instead, we’re getting college gags. I suppose it could make for somewhat funny scenes. But you know, think about your favorite Pixar movies. It wasn’t about immature jokes and gags. In fact, for many of the films, the humor was secondary. We came for the heart, for the unique stories and memorable characters. And, if you think about it, the best moments from “Monsters, Inc.” came when Boo was involved. You take away Boo, you take away most of the charm from that movie.

For the first time since I’ve been a huge movie fan, I wasn’t excited for this summer’s Pixar release. In fact, I barely realized it was coming out this weekend. That’s a shame. Because once upon a time Pixar was the master of making great films. Looks like Pixar’s fairy tale is over.

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

Here’s the teaser trailer for Disney Animation’s “Frozen”

They’ve had some success with films like “Tangled” and “Wreck-It Ralph”. This trailer seems to take a page out of the “Ice Age” playbook, however. The film features the voices of Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Idina Menzel. It does seem weird, however, that Disney seems to be coming out with original films while Pixar is going back to what it’s already done (“Monsters University”).

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

Here’s the final trailer for Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University”.

The film features the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Dave Foley, Sean P. Hayes, Joel Murray, Peter Sohn, Charlie Day, Nathan Fillion, Bobby Moynihan, Julia Sweeney, Aubrey Plaza, Tyler Labine, John Krasinski, Bonnie Hunt, Beth Behrs and John Ratzenberger.

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