After a healthy amount of speculation as to who would take the part, Jena Malone has been cast in Catching Fire, the sequel to this year's smash hit The Hunger Games, in the role of Johanna Mason. That's a meaty, important part and I think Malone should excel in it.
Channing Tatum has confirmed that there will be a sequel to 21 Jump Street. I can't believe how good that film was nor the fact that I'm actually looking forward to a sequel. I would have lost money on that at the beginning of the year.
In The Hobbit news of the week, Peter Jackson posted a new video on the film's Facebook page on the final day of principal photography and a new poster was released for Comic Con. I'll probably start a daily countdown in the next week or so. Because I am a nerd.
And in The Dark Knight Rises news, Cinema Blend has an an in-depth, behind the scenes interview with Christopher Nolan. Can't wait for this film, either.
Matt at Cinema Slants gives us a 2012 Midyear Report and looks ahead at what to expect in the back half. Check it out.
I don't plan to see Savages anytime soon so if you're looking for a review, check out the one Terrence posted over at The Focused Filmographer.
And Ruth at FlixChatter gives us her monthly column, Five for the Fifth. Awesome questions this time around.
Weekend Box Office Results
Always a huge movie weekend, this year’s Independence Day haul is made more impressive to me given the relative lack of options available to viewers. The Amazing Spider-Man was the only new movie that opened in time for Fourth of July celebrations and last week’s offerings, Ted and Magic Mike, aren’t exactly the sort of films that bring families together on a holiday. Obviously that didn’t stop anyone, however, as Spider-Man pulled in an impressive sum of money (the fact that $140 million seems only okay proves how outstanding this year has been at the box office) while both Ted and Brave held onto a solid percentage of viewers. I gave my money to both Spider-Man, which I liked but didn’t love, and Moonrise Kingdom, which was everything that I could have possibly hoped for. Well done, Mr. Anderson.
The debut of Savages was met with decent reception from audiences but not so much from critics, many of whom panned it as a complete misfire. Someday Oliver Stone will make another great movie. But I guess that day is not today. And finally, The Avengers dropped out of the top ten grossers for the first time in over two months, completing one of the most staggering box office runs in history. Just in time to make way for The Dark Knight Rises to start its own staggering box office run.
1. The Amazing Spider-Man - $140M
2. Ted - $32.59M ($120.24M)
3. Brave - $20.16M ($174.41M)
4. Savages - $16.16M
5. Magic Mike - $15.61M ($72.79M)
6. Tyler Perry’s Worst Movie Ever until the Next One - $10.2M ($45.84M)
7. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted - $7.7M ($196.02M)
8. Katy Perry: Part of Me - $7.15M
9. Moonrise Kingdom - $4.64M ($26.89M)
10. To Rome with Love - $3.5M ($5.62M)
New to DVD
What I’ll Probably End Up Renting at Some Point
Margaret – Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo
Being Flynn – Robert De Niro, Paul Dano, Julianne Moore
To say that the opinions on Margaret, about a girl (Paquin) who witnesses a bus hitting a pedestrian, were mixed would be the understatement of the year. Some critics held this film up as the unquestionable best film of the year while others deemed it an utter disaster. The gulf between those opinions leaves me interested enough to find out on my own. Being Flynn is a different animal altogether in that most of the reviews were negative and yet I can’t keep myself from watching Robert De Niro movies. I should avoid them entirely as they just make me sad, seeing how far the man has fallen, but I keep hoping I’ll catch glimpse of his brilliance again. *sigh*
American Reunion – Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott
Flowers of War – Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Xinyi Zhang
Warehouse 13: Season 3 – Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek
The Glades: Season 2 – Matt Passmore, Kiele Sanchez
Frequency (2000) – Jim Caviezel, Dennis Quaid
Okay, truth be told, it’s been years since I’ve seen Frequency so it may, in fact, be the worst movie ever that does not star John Travolta or Megan Fox. But my memories of it are good and I always thought the concept, a father and son separated by 30 years use short wave radios to stop a crime, was really cool. Check it out if you’ve never seen it before and don’t hold it against me if it doesn’t hold up a decade after my last viewing.
Also New to Blu
Chariots of Fire (1981) – Ben Cross, Ian Charleson
Outland (1981) – Sean Connery, Peter Boyle, Frances Sternhagen
Blade II (2002) – Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman
Brainstorm (1983) – Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood
Senna (2010) – Ayrton Senna
Spawn (1997) – Michael Jai White, John Leguizamo, Martin Sheen
The Astronaut’s Wife (1999) – Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron
Coming to a Theater Near You
I shot 2-for-3 last week, pegging The Amazing Spider-Man (73% actual versus my 78% prediction) and Savages (53% actual versus 57%) pretty closely and missing wildly on Katy Perry: Part of Me (75% actual versus 50%). Who knew every critic loves Katy Perry?
For my money, this week represents the worst of the summer. With Spider-Man dominating the holiday box office and The Dark Knight Rises set to crush the competition beginning next week, most of the studios were (rightly) afraid of putting much of anything on the schedule this time around so we’ve only got one mainstream film headed our way.
After the breakup of Pangaea, Manny (Romano), Diego (Leary), and Sid (Leguizamo) use a roving iceberg to navigate through troubled waters and return to their respective families. I must be honest, dear reader(s): I hate the Ice Age movies. This is probably my least favorite animated film series of the last decade or so and I’ve never grasped the appeal. I didn’t see the third movie but there’s nothing about the first two that impressed me in the slightest. But then again, they’ve made, like, $3 billion worldwide between them so I guess they’re not really hurting without my viewership. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: Rotten, 55%