We’ve known for a long time that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would screen in IMAX theaters because director J.J. Abrams filmed one key sequence with IMAX cameras. But now, we’ve learned the full extent of Disney and Lucasfilm’s plans for large format presentation and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a studio that has the most popular movie franchise on the planet and the power to do whatever it wants with it. The new Star Wars movie has booked pretty much every IMAX screen in the world for four weeks. Everyone with the desire to see this movie on the biggest movie screens in the world now has plenty of time to do so.
Straight Outta Compton dominated the box office for the second weekend in a row, ensuring that every other movie in the top 10 that doesn’t feature Tom Cruise trembled in its mighty wake. Anyone with their finger on the cultural pulse foresaw the N.W.A. biopic doing well, but it’s performing above and beyond all expectations.
Every time a movie about and for audiences who aren’t white and male does well, everyone acts like it’s a big surprise. “Black people and women like movies? Who’da thunk it?” It’s actually not surprising at all that Straight Outta Compton had a massive opening, handily defeating its more standard competition. Because all kinds of people like movies and when you make movies for all kinds of people, you end up with huge weekends at the box office.
A few weeks ago, tracking for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was supposedly in the toilet. Early reports suggested that Tom Cruise’s fifth outing as super-spy Ethan Hunt was not getting people excited. This would be the end, the experts said, of a franchise that has kept Cruise’s career surging forward for the past two decades. Well, that was apparently a big load of crap because Rogue Nation opened well and opened in the same ballpark as the rest of the franchise. Even with inflation differences, this series keeps on hitting the same box office sweet spot.
Jurassic World is finally starting to slow down at the box office, but it’s going to bow out as the third highest-grossing film of all time at the domestic box office and international box office. That means that the only director to have made a more financially successful film than Colin Trevorrow is James Cameron of Titanic and Avatar fame. Not bad for a guy who was toiling away in indie obscurity a few years ago. Anyway, Trevorrow found some time in between taking baths in tubs filled with cash to chat about the inevitable sequel, dropping the first hints about what we can expect from the follow-up to Jurassic World.
Paramount really wants you to see Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and they’re nudging you in the ribs using the most effective marketing tactic in the history of marketing tactics...they’re giving you free stuff. Specifically, they’re giving you free digital copies of the first four Mission: Impossible movies, reminding you that this series has been 75% good and that you should start getting excited for the new one.
At the time of this writing, early estimates for the weekend box office have Ant-Man edging out Pixels for the top spot in this week’s top 10. That could change. With less than $1 million separating the films, Pixels may very well slide into first place tomorrow, winning one very close competition. But even if it does claim ultimate victory, it doesn’t change the fact that Pixels’ opening weekend is a massive disappointment and another nail in the coffin of Adam Sandler’s career.
Everyone knows that 2015 is the year that Marty McFly and Doc Brown journey to in Back to the Future Part II. While we may not have hoverboards or Jaws 19, we are getting a new 30th anniversary Blu-ray and DVD release of the Back to the Future trilogy, which isn’t a bad consolation prize. In fact, the slightly more obsessive fans have even more reason to celebrate, as the Back to the Future animated series from the early ‘90s is coming to DVD for the first time.
Universal was already bathing in its Furious 7 and Jurassic World money Scrooge McDuck-style before Minions opened this week. Now the studio is looking at its third truly massive hit of the year, a run that feels nearly unprecedented. Universal already released two of the biggest movies of all time within the past four months, and now it’s looking like it may have three.
As expected, the Fourth of July holiday weekend saw a lot of people heading to the theater. Unfortunately for the new releases, those people gravitated toward films that have already been in theaters for a few weeks. Once again, Jurassic World and Inside Out dominated the top 10, leaving newcomers like Terminator Genisys and Magic Mike XXL out in the cold.
When Universal scheduled Ted 2, they surely had no idea that Seth MacFarlane’s swearing teddy bear sequel would be squaring off against one of the biggest box office juggernauts of all time...a juggernaut that they themselves had created. So it’s not surprising that Jurassic World topped the box office again and it’s not surprising that Pixar’s Inside Out held onto second place. What is a little surprising is how low Ted 2 opened, falling significantly short of its predecessor’s opening weekend.
No one has ever been shy about putting Tom Cruise’s apparent death wish front and center whenever it’s time to promote a new Mission: Impossible movie. Like with previous entries in the series, most of the chatter surrounding Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation has revolved around the myriad of ways the franchise’s leading man put his life on the line for our entertainment. The new trailer puts many of his craziest stunts front and center, including that still-jaw-dropping shot of Cruise clinging to the the side of an airplane as it takes off. The movie’s message is clear: this man almost died for you. Reward him with strong box office receipts.
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