Monday, May 7, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be - 5/7

Adam Yauch, a founding member of the Beastie Boys, died this weekend after a battle with cancer. Better known as MCA, Adam was, to put it simply, a musical genius and as Amos Barshad points out, the leader of the band. I love the Beastie Boys and I love how they have progressed over the years from the brash party rappers that took form on License to Ill to the socially conscious MCs they've become and both "Paul Revere" and "Sabotage" remain mainstays of my favorite 25 songs of all-time. Yauch was also an advocate for independent film and his company, Oscilloscope, helped bring numerous films to market over the last few years. There are much better tributes to Yauch out there compared to anything I could write here but for my part, let me say that Yauch was just a cool, seriously talented dude who will be missed. Rest in peace, MCA.

Joss Whedon spoke with GQ recently and discussed his vision for a Batman film that never got off the ground. Now the question is, will Whedon EVER deliver a pitch that doesn't get picked up immediately?

Joseph Gordon Levitt is developing a new take on Little Shop of Horrors with an eye toward playing the lead. The 1986 version of this film is one of the few musicals I truly appreciate, would be interesting to see what JGL could do with it.

Fresh off the success of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Brad Bird has signed on to direct Damon Lindelof's sci-fi flick 1952. No idea what this one will be about at this point but I'm in nonetheless.

Weekend Box Office Results
Remember when we all ooed and awed a few weeks ago when The Hunger Games brought in a whopping $152 million on opening weekend? Well, now Joss Whedon can pat little Katniss on the head and compliment her on her cute box office number. We all knew The Avengers would pull in a ton of cash this weekend but I’m not sure anyone quite expected THIS. On Friday, Avengers had “only” brought in the second box money on opening day ever, which led me to believe it would finish somewhere slightly below the all-time record ($169 million) set by the final Harry Potter film last year. Low and behold, it blew that number out of the water, becoming the first movie EVER to break the $200 million mark on its opening weekend. To top that off, Avengers has now brought in over $640 million worldwide.

I’m probably going to write a column on the phenomenon that is The Avengers (which serves as a fantastic illustration of how to make a blockbuster film) at some point in the near future but one more interesting item worth noting: Many would-be prognosticators (including myself) had this movie pegged as the third-biggest of the year behind The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit. But now? I’m not sure there’s any way either of them can keep up. As noted on Twitter (otherwise I’d provide a link) by Peter Sciretta of /Film, Dark Knight Rises will be significantly longer than Avengers (meaning there can’t be as many showtimes) and will not be shown in 3D, a feature that definitely helped propel Avengers to that staggering total. And with the excellent word of mouth making the rounds concerning this film, it’s not completely inconceivable to think that it would grab another $90 or even $100 million domestically this week. You have to wonder where it will end for Avengers and if the rest of this year’s films can keep up.

1. The Avengers - $207.1M
2. Think Like a Man - $8M ($73.02M)
3. The Hunger Games - $5.7M ($380.72M)
4. The Lucky One - $5.5M ($47.91M)
5. The Pirates! Band of Misfits - $5.4M ($18.56M)
6. The Five-Year Engagement - $5.1M ($19.2M)
7. The Raven - $2.5M ($12.04M)
8. Safe - $2.47M ($12.87M)
9. Chimpanzee - $2.39M ($23.01M)
10. The Three Stooges - $1.8M ($39.63M)

New to DVD
What I’ll Probably Watch at Some Point I Guess
Underworld: Awakening – Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy
I don’t know why I keep watching these movies, dear reader(s). They’re not good and I really don’t even like them and yet for some reason, I keep watching them. It’s the same with the Resident Evil series; I just can’t stop myself. It’s almost like an out of body experience. One day I’m walking through the aisles of my local video store and suddenly I’m watching myself watch these horrible movies and screaming, “No no no!” in vain. I may have some sort of sickness. It may be months before I actually succumb to this installment but someday, it will find its way onto my television.

What I’m Looking Forward to Catching Up On
Chuck: Season 5 – Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez
For me, Chuck is the perfect summer show. It’s fun and entertaining, provides solid if absurd plot points that keep me generally interested, and the characters are good enough to keep me coming back for more. The problem is NBC has continued to push it as a Fall/Spring show and I don’t have time for it in my viewing schedule during the year. So every summer, I buy/rent the previous season and play catch up. It really is the best way to watch this show and I’m excited to continue my tradition with the show’s final season.

Also New
The Vow – Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum
Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie – Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
The Big C: Season 2 – Laura Linney, Oliver Platt

New to Blu
Underworld: The Legacy Collection (2003-2012) – Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman (All four films FINALLY on Blu-Ray!)
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) – Kyle Galligan, Phoebe Cates

Coming to a Theater Near You
Not only did The Avengers shatter virtually every box office record it had a shot at, it also made me look smart, coming in at a 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, right on pace with my 92% prediction. That’s on par with the ratings of both The Dark Knight and Iron Man. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel also did its best to make me look smart, grabbing a 78% critic’s approval rating (73% predicted).

This week brings us only one mainstream offering and I confess, I have no idea what to expect from it.

Dark Shadows – Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter
Two centuries after he is imprisoned, a vampire (Depp) wakes up to find himself in the 1970s amidst a set of dysfunctional descendants. By my count, there have been at least three versions of the TV show on which this film is based. I have never seen any of them. The concept intrigues me, though, and I see some real potential here. Plus, I mean, haven’t we all been waiting for Johnny Depp and Tim Burton to FINALLY work together?! There’s a good chance this gets panned by fans of the various TV versions but I’d like to think it has a shot at being half-way decent. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Fresh, 61%

Also New: Chloe Grace Moretz becomes a teenage degenerate in Hick…Eva Mendes struggles with the issues of single motherhood in Girl in Progress…A dying man and a 16 year old team up to rid the country of bad guys in God Bless America, directed by Bobcat Goldthwait (yes, that Bobcat)…and a group of Lebanese women go to extremes to relieve religious tensions within their community in Where Do We Go From Here.


  1. Man, how awesome for The Avengers, huh?! Woohoo.

    I'm not a HP, pardon me as I celebrate the fact that HP is no longer the holder of the biggest opening weekend earnings! :)

  2. No love for the wizards, huh? Ha! I'm a big Potter fan but bear no ill will to The Avengers which was so stinking good. And hey, as long as we can keep the Twilight films away from that record, it's a win for everyone, right?


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