There‘s going to be a lot of blood and ink spilled across the internet on the subject of the opening weekend for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.’ Yes, the third film in the series did open significantly lower than its predecessors. Yes, there are definitely people at Lionsgate wringing their hands and trying to figure out why the film opened below expectations. And yet, that opening weekend is still massive. It’s three day total is larger than most movies ever have a chance to make in their entire runs. So, let's have some perspective as we dive into this week’s top 10.
Yes, it’s easy to decry the permeation of film marketing and our obsession with trailers and posters and previews, but let’s just be honest with ourselves here: The ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer is going to an event that rivals the release of most movies. Think back to the good ‘ol days of 1998 (”A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...”) and remember how fans would buy tickets to ‘A Bug’s Life’ and ‘The Siege’ just to watch the teaser trailer for ‘Star Wars: Episode I.’ If you’re one of those people and want to replicate that experience, you’d better pre-order your ticket for ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ pretty soon.
‘Dumb and Dumber To’ arrives two decades after the first film was one of the bigger hits of 1994 and no one knew what to make of it ... until it topped the box office this weekend and made it look easy. Now, the idea of two middle-aged actors returning to two of the most idiotic characters in modern movie history doesn't seem so desperate and crazy. It seems canny.
Although 'Nightcrawler,' the only new wide release of the week, did end up taking the top spot at the box office this weekend, it did so in one of the tightest races we've ever seen. The top six films all came within $3 million of each other and the order could have radically changed by a stiff breeze for all we know. Heck, some titles may get swapped around by tomorrow when the studios release some more official numbers.
The final trailer for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' is here and it's strictly business. At just over a minute long, it's packed full of big emotions and even bigger explosions, never even bothering to pause and fill you in on the plot because it already assumes that you saw the first two movies. Yeah, this movie is going to be huge.
It feels like common sense: of course the horror movie released a week before Halloween is going to win the weekend war at the box office over the action movie. And yet, most horror movies continue to get released as far away from the season of the witch as possible. Can the recent success of 'Annabelle' and this weekend's 'Ouija' change that?
Although original director James Wan has left the franchise to move onto a little movie called 'Fast and Furious 7,' the 'Insidious: Chapter 3' trailer shows that this awesomely bonkers horror franchise is still in good hands. Series screenwriter Leigh Whannell is now in the director's chair and he definitely seems to have picked up a thing or two from his old collaborator.
In news that should delight horror fans, 'The Conjuring 2' has officially secured the return of director James Wan. His involvement with the sequel was up in the air since he left horror behind to direct 'Fast and Furious 7,' but the genre that gave him his start has pulled him back in ... and we're happy to have him back.
Brad Pitt's new World War II drama 'Fury' opened at number at the box office and has officially defined what this October has been about: long, R-rated movies featuring huge movie stars bucking the usual trends and out-grossing their family friendly competition. Between this and 'Gone Girl,' it looks like grown adults are heading to their multiplex more than ever these days.
It's sad news to end the week with: actress Misty Upham, who recently appeared in 'Django Unchained' and 'August: Osage Country,' was found dead at the bottom of a Seattle ravine. Her body was discovered by a search party led by her family, who are now accusing the local police of failing to assist in the situation in any way.
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