Young adult movies are big business. 'The Maze Runner' took over the box office this weekend, proving that the audience for films were young people in science fiction dystopias are forced into violent and terrible predicaments extends beyond the 'Hunger Games' franchise.
A few weeks ago, this column was skeptical that Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' could reach $300 million. Now, it seems impossible that it won't. Thanks to ecstatic word of mouth, killer marketing and only one genuinely successful box office challenger (that would be 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'), Marvel's oddball space opera has managed to spend three of the past four weekends at the number one spot at the box office, giving it enough momentum to officially become the highest grossing film of 2014.
Marvel Studios and the character of Tony Stark/Iron Man transformed Robert Downey Jr. from a has-been into one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, so it's not surprising that he'll sing their praises outside the context of the movies he stars in. However, he recently took it a big step further, declaring 'Guardians of the Galaxy' to be the best Marvel movie yet. Yep, even the ones that he's not in.
You can tell the summer movie season is coming to an end because the weekend box office has stopped being exciting and has starting becoming sad and weird. The past two weeks have seen several major movies bomb, but nothing could have prepared us for 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.'
We're knee-deep in the summer movie season and the hits just keep on coming. Despite mixed buzz, 'Maleficent' opened very strong, not coming close to the massive numbers of the past few weekends, but certainly holding its own. However, the success of Disney's latest live action effort meant that the weekend's other big release, Seth MacFarlane's 'A Million Ways to Die in the West,' fared less well.
Sometimes, 'SNL' creates a sketch that aims for a very specific demographic and just goes all-out in its attempt to win over that specific audience. We can argue as to whether or not this 'The Little Mermaid' sketch starring guest host Anna Kendrick is successful, but it's the kind of thing that was certainly designed to appeal to viewers who grew up with Disney, have a thing for 'Pitch Perfect,' and can recognize lousy modern pop songs.
Rotten Tomatoes doesn't always provide a perfect look at the world of film criticism, but it does paint a pretty consistent picture of what films are widely loved or widely hated. Any film that reaches 60% positive reviews or higher once they've all been tallied is considered "fresh" and anything under that is "rotten." It's very rare for a movie to reach 100% positive reviews (there's always going to be one hater), but it's just as uncommon for a movie to reach 0% (there's always going to be one stubborn defender).
Luckily, we live in a world were someone goes out of their way to track down and put each of these all-time stinkers on a list for easy referencing.
Snarky movie reviews are nothing new (especially in the cruel world of internet journalism), but few people can deliver bitter sarcasm and loathing quite like Taran Killam in the guise of an 1860s newspaper reporter named Jebediah Atkinson. Inexplicably torn out of his century and thrust onto the 'SNL' stage, Atkinson appeared on the latest Weekend Update to talk about the Oscars and proceeded to tear cinematic history a new one.
With all of its wanton destruction and neck-snapping and general grimness, 'Man of Steel' really isn't the most kid-friendly superhero movie out there. However, it has major one young fan in the 16-month old boy featured in the video above, whose joyful reaction to a key scene in the film should melt even the most cynical of hearts and remind you that as cool as superhero movies can be, they're still at their best when they're instilling wonderment in kids.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic death occurred while he was nearing the end of his work on the two-part 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' movies, and while he only had seven days of filming left, those days included at least one key scene. We initially thought that these final scenes would be rewritten to exclude the character of Plutarch Heavensbee, but according to the NY Post, the filmmakers are planning to recreate the late actor with special effects to keep his presence intact.
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