I've expressed dismay many times here at TFE that what the internet mostly wants is rumors and future film nonsense rather than discussion of actual films that exist and that people can see. (Bet you ANYTHING that the word count on Star Wars "stand-alone" films that don't exist and won't for years is higher than the word count on Ex Machina which does exist and is amazingly worth discussing.) The Daily Beast has a current piece about rumors that seem to have erupted from actual facts (Marvel cancelling some series, toys, and retconning some characters including The Scarlet Witch -- all things that have always happened before billion dollar movies were involved and also within series where no billion dollar movies are involved). The piece suggests that Marvel is sabotaging Fox's efforts on X-Men and Fantastic Four. It's frankly a bizarre claim, even though it is more than obviously true that Marvel would want the rights back to these properties.
Entries in superheroes (204)
Memorial Day Weekend 4 day estimates are in and though it was a week weekend overall - Tomorrowland was soft which is quite scary since its budget was decidedly not -- but the three top holdovers are all bonafide hits with moviegoers.
TOP FIVE WIDE
May 22-25 Weekend
01 Tomorrowland NEW $41.7
02 Pitch Perfect 2 $38.5 (cum. $126) Review
03 Mad Max: Fury Road $32.1 (cum. $95.5) Review & Podcast
04 Avengers: Age of Ultron $27.8 (cum. $410.9) Review & Marathon & Podcast
05 Poltergeist NEWbutOLD $26.5
If you adjust for inflation Avengers: Age of Ultron might end its run as only the seventh highest grossing superhero flick of all time behind (in this order) The Avengers (2012), The Dark Knight (2008), Spider-Man (2002), Batman (1989), Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Superman (1978), though the latter is within reach if it can hold its theaters. Which is not to say that it isn't a massive hit; the sequel shouldn't have any problem topping the 2015 box office unless the final Hunger Games film unexpectedly outgrosses all previous installments or there's an anomaly American Sniper like behemoth somewhere in the next 7 months.
In other notable news, The Age of Adaline and Ex Machina both lost nearly half their screens to new releases but continue to do respectable business. Meanwhile, Far From the Madding Crowd keeps expanding and now has $6 million in the bank domestically. Well done Fox Searchlight for a costume drama without bankable stars and with good but not 'give this all the Oscars!' reviews. (See, other prestige-loving distributors? Not everything needs to be released in December.) I've been meaning to review it. Soon, my darlings... possibly even today. 'Let no man steal your thyme!' And at the arthouses Sony Pictures Classics had a decent weekend. Wild Tales is inching ever closer to $3 million in the US (which is a big deal gross for foreign films these days -sigh) and internationally it's much bigger, the biggest smash from Argentina since the Oscar winning The Secret in Their Eyes (2009). And finally Saint Laurent is currently the number #1 platform release with $210,000 so far and playing at 59 locations.
What did you do for the holiday?
Manuel here asking you turn your brain off and go down the rabbit hole that is superhero-related marketing materials. Summer is almost here and superheroes, whether we like them or not, will be dominating the conversation (look no further than TFE's first podcast of the season!) though we'll do our best at TFE to provide counterprogramming.
But until then, presented with the first thought that came into my head are these three new images for upcoming supes-centered films:
Color: DC's kryptonite.
As expected Marvel's latest evil plot for world domination was a significant success at the box office. The US opening took in an estimated $187.6 but that's just the beginning of its gross and in addition to what it's already earned overseas ($340 million). Even though its launch wasn't as successful as its predecessor, it should still end the year comfortably with crazy big grosses. How high can it fly? Expect a big drop-off domestically next weekend since audiences and critics seem grumpier this time. I personally don't think that's so much about the movie itself as it is about the increasing ubiquity of its genre. It will be harder and harder for these films to wow people as their ranks have grown so swiftly. The special becomes the standard and so forth.
In 'it's about time' news, Furious 7 had a big percentage drop and lost 500 theaters. In far more curious news Cinderella one of the year's leggiest hits somehow rebounded (second run houses?) to return to the top ten despite losing more theaters.
01 Avengers: Age of Ultron $187.6 NEW Review & Marathon
02 Age of Adaline $6.2 (cum. $23.4) Trailer discussion
03 Furious 7 $6.1 (cum. $330.5) Review
04 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $5.5 (cum. $51.1)
05 Home $3.3 (cum. $158.1) the rise and fall of Dreamworks
06 Cinderella $2.3 (cum. $193.6) Review
07 Ex-Machina $2.2 (cum. $10.8) Review
08 Unfriended $1.9 (cum. $28.5)
09 The Longest Ride $1.7 (cum. $33.2)
10 Woman in Gold $1.6 (cum. $24.5)
Limited releases were fairly quiet this week though Far From the Madding Crowd opened with $172,000 at 10 locations and Clouds of Sils Maria got a nice expansion and should soon cross the million dollar mark.
What did you see this weekend?
Before We Get Started...
Here's the only sane reaction to the news that The Lovely Laura Linney (who has barely been on movie screens these past five years) has joined the cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. This comes from Aaron Fullerton on Twitter:
Laura Linney was cast in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and, for her sake, I hope she simply introduces it like an episode of Downton Abbey.
NY Times profiles Tom Hardy on the cusp of even wider stardom with Mad Max: Fury Road
The Guardian looks at five great moments from Shirley Maclaine's career
CHUD Director Josh Trank (Chronicle) has left the as yet untitled Star Wars spinoff film
EW interviews Matthias Schoenaerts about Far From the Madding Crowd, being called "the Belgian Brando" and his favorite movies (he loves David Lynch!)
Coming Soon from Shakespeare to a video game adaptation? The MacBeth team (Fassy, Cotillard, and director Justin Kurzel) are doing Assassin's Creed together.
The Dissolve Helen Hunt reuniting with the director of The Sessions for a road trip movie. Dakota Fanning co-stars
The Dissolve Because A24 is the best one of their next projects will have Cary Fukunaga telling the true story of a father who went on a cross-country walk to work through his grief about his gay son's suicide
Deadline Channing Tatum to star in an adaptation of the old sci-fi novel "The Forever War" from the 70s which is about soldiers fighting an endless war with no clear concept of why they're fighting. Apparently the novel has ideas about the future including the eliminating of heterosexuality (?) and the melting pot creating one homogenous race that are hard to imagine in movie form, given Hollywood's timidity about race and alternative sexuality
MNPP a fun new poster for the horror comedy Cooties
Time Out the first ten Marvel films in 40 gifs -- this would have been so much faster than that Marvel Marathon I attended!
Comics Alliance shares 11 in universe or comics references within the movie
Bryan Singer keeps releasing photos of his new X-Men team from the set including Jean Grey () in acid washed jeans and Jubilee in that familiar yellow jacket
Mark Ruffalo is calling Marvel out on their lack of female action figures
Pajiba collates a list of actors and directors considered for all the Marvel movies - what a difference many of them would have made
Dark Horizons they've narrowed down the new Peter Parker to Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland. Holland is the better actor but immensely less famous so let's hope they realize they don't need pre-movie fame for one of the most globally famous heroes ever created
Showtune to Go!
Remember Robin De Jesús, that awkward drag-loving teenager from Camp (2003)? He recently turned 30 and here he is from his new cabaret show #TheStruggleisReal (May 4th at 54 Below) doing Miley Cyrus ("Wrecking Ball" is totally a standard already) and reminding us that there was more to that movie than Anna Kendrick's breakout.