Well, it looks like we have an answer to the question of whether or not audiences are interested in a historical, racially charged baseball movie. Brian Helgeland's '42' opened at the top of the box office this weekend, instantly breaking the record for biggest opening for a baseball movie. Sure, it's a minor record to break, but a record is a record.
The story of outlaw bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow was made iconic in the film 'Bonnie and Clyde,' but it looks like we'll soon be getting a movie that tells the story from the other side of the law. Development is moving ahead on 'Highwaymen,' the story of the Texas Rangers who shot down the infamous couple, and a pair of true badasses are being sought for the leads.
If someone glanced at this weekend's box office, they could be forgiven for thinking they accidentally stepped into some kind of time portal. After all, films called 'Evil Dead' and 'Jurassic Park' were in the top five.
Like any holiday that sees families congregating together and then desperately seeking activities where they don't have to talk to each other for two hours, this Easter weekend saw a strong bump at the box office thanks to a few new contenders and a handful of holdovers with some surprising staying power.
For the second week in a row, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' lived up to its title and dominated the box office. One of the newcomers managed to fare surprisingly well in the face of Sam Raimi's blockbuster...but another simply got crushed.
The first poster for 'The Hangover Part III' does an excellent job of being exactly what you wouldn't expect. Instead of the Wolf Pack standing around in various states of disarray (as was the case with the last two films), the poster is a pretty spot-on parody of the one-sheet for 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two,' with Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong standing in place of Harry Potter and Voldemort.
'Identity Thief' has been in theaters for less than two weeks and it's already grossed $76 million at the box office, an enormous amount for a modestly budgeted comedy with a known but untested leading lady. Although critics haven't been as kind as audiences, $100 million is a sure thing at this point and we wouldn't rule out $150 million if March is kind to it. So of course Universal has already thought about an 'Identity Thief 2.' They probably thought about it two weeks ago.
There was much fanboy rejoicing when is was learned that Lawrence Kasdan was on board to write a new 'Star Wars' spin-off movie and consult on 'Star Wars Episode 7.' After all, this is the man who wrote 'The Empire Strikes Back,' a movie that isn't just the best 'Star Wars' movie, but one of the best science fiction movies ever made. Although the full details of whatever Kasdan is working on (a Yoda movie? Young Han Solo?) are buried in an underground bunker somewhere, he recently spoke about his involvement in the new films.
Is Melissa McCarthy a movie star yet? The opening weekend of 'Identity Thief' suggests that yes, she is. After all, all of those people weren't flocking to this movie because of Jason Bateman (as delightful as he is). Anyway, all of this pretty much means that McCarthy's asking price just doubled.
Eventually, the popular opinion on zombies is going to shift and people are going to stop watching 'The Walking Dead' and buying zombie-themed video games, but that day is not today. People still love zombies and if the opening weekend is any indication, they love 'Warm Bodies.'
Is Jessica Chastain a movie star? Probably not. At least not yet. However, this weekend proved that she's well on her way to being one. Headlining the top two films at the box office in a single weekend is a great start. The Oscar nomination certainly doesn't hurt either.
There are few actors as hardworking and reliably great as Leonardo DiCaprio and there are fewer with such discerning taste. After all, not every actor out there has managed to work with James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Sam Mendes, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. Filmmakers, audiences and critics alike all seem to love him with equal fervor...which means the news that he's taking a break from acting is enough to make us a little sad.
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