As expected, Avengers: Age of Ultron dominated the box office for the second weekend in a row, pulling in numbers that would be the envy of most summer blockbusters’ opening three days. And while the only new release of the week faltered, it was a surprisingly strong week overall, with many of the films in the top 10 faring well despite facing one of the biggest movies of the year.
Last night’s generally unremarkable episode of SNL peaked early when it took advantage of its proximity to Mother’s Day to do something kind of remarkable. As part of her opening monologue, guest host Reese Witherspoon declared that the show was going to mark the occasion by bringing each cast member out with his or her mother...and then forcing them to apologize for their childhood transgressions.
There’s a bizarre narrative floating around the internet: Avengers: Age of Ultron is already a disappointment because it didn’t open higher than The Avengers in its first weekend. This seems to be ignoring the fact that The Avengers had the biggest opening of all time and Avengers: Age of Ultron now has the second biggest opening of all time, which is nothing to scoff at. Sure, the sequel may not match the numbers of the first movie in the end, but it’s already well on the way to becoming one of the biggest movies of the year. And of all time.
It’s not coincidence that Scarlett Johansson guest hosted SNL on the same weekend that Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in theaters, so of course the show had to do a Marvel sketch of some kind. And unlike the previous Avengers sketches cooked up for Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner, this one is actually a pretty effective dig at the Marvel movie machine. More importantly, it’s very funny.
When the SNL writers decided to craft a sketch mocking the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, they had no idea that the “fight of the century” would turn out to be a huge bust that would leave sports fans enraged. This adds a level of meta-humor to an already funny sketch. In many ways, SNL’s very silly take on this fight is significantly more interesting than the real thing.
For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
Without a great adversary, what good is a superhero? Without someone to punch in the face, Batman would just be some rich schmuck driving around in a weird-looking tank. Without someone on the receiving end of his shield, Captain America would just hang out at the V.F.W. all day. So let’s celebrate the villains. Let’s bring on the bad guys and give them their moment in the sun. With Avengers: Age of Ultron introducing another memorable baddie in the form of James Spader’s titular metallic menace, let’s take some time to run down the 10 greatest superhero movie villains of all time.
Vanessa Bayer’s Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy has been a regular character on SNL’s Weekend Update for quite some time now, so it was about time for us meet the family of everyone’s favorite awkward, overly prepared Jewish kid. Coinciding with the end of Passover, the show brought the great Billy Crystal onto the show as Jacob’s equally awkward father.
SNL is always so good at creating eerily realistic fake advertisements for products that will never, ever exist unless humanity truly goes insane, and the show’s Depend Legends sketch is no exception. There is no way anyone is every going to want to own adult diapers that have images of famous figures from history and popular culture printed on them, but this ad makes that reality feel a little too real.
In the cutthroat world of HBO’s Game of Thrones, life is hard and even the most innocent people find themselves victimized by the powers that be. So of course SNL would make the comparison between living in Westeros and living on the means streets of Los Angeles. Yes, it’s time to visit the eighth kingdom of this wildly popular fantasy series: South Centros.
Mike O’Brien is one of SNL’s greatest secret weapons, a writer and performer whose truly unique voice shines through the show’s usual template. When he’s given total control of a digital short, it’s a genuine cause for celebration. His work feels less like just another sketch or parody, but more like an actual, full-fledged short film escaped into the show’s line-up.
Since The Walking Dead just ended its fifth season and it’s still one of the biggest shows in the history of television, it makes sense that SNL would pause to talk about it. After all, what good is the “Weekend Update” segment if the anchors don’t occasionally stop to talk about what’s big in popular culture? And what good is SNL if it can’t get one of the most popular actors from The Walking Dead to stop by for a minute-long cameo?
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