And here we are: five weeks into the new year and we already have our first major blockbuster of 2014. Early estimates had 'The LEGO Movie' opening big, but the animated adventure shattered all expectations this weekend, with universally positive reviews and word of mouth sending the film to a massive opening.
Unless you had a personal stake in a film being released this weekend, movies were far from the most important thing happening to you these past couple of days. You can blame the weekend's mostly anemic box office on one thing: the Super Bowl. Everyone spent their money buying snacks and preparing their parties and not going to see 'That Awkward Moment' and 'Labor Day,' both of which opened soft.
Ah, a week at the box office where the new release flies completely under the radar and everything else feels like it's just hanging out because there's nothing else to push it off the charts. Welcome to January. Welcome to the home of movies like 'I Frankenstein,' which was dead on arrival this weekend and will vanish into dollar theaters within the next week or so.
The "Golden Raspberry" Razzie awards set out to do the opposite work of the Academy Awards and "honor" the year's worst films, and every year, they have plenty of material to work with. While 2013 may have been one of the best years for movies in recent memory, it was also home to enough deplorable junk to make this a fairly interesting (if not at all surprising) year for Razzies.
Every year presents a new apocalypse for the film industry and every year sees movies and theaters evolving to match the increasingly strange age that we live in. However, Hollywood's evolution may not be happening fast enough to win back certain audiences. A new Harris Poll asked Americans about their moviegoing habits and the results are a fascinating combination of the surprising and the not-so-surprising.
New releases have a habit of floundering in January, which tends to be one of Hollywood's biggest dumping grounds. Even this year's big January horror release, which is commonly a sure thing, floundered. What does tend to do well are the prestige pictures that opened late in the previous year (often in limited release) and finally expand in the new year, riding awards momentum to solid box office.
Of course, this is just a roundabout way of saying that Peter Berg's 'Lone Survivor' emerged from limited release this week to kick everyone's ass at the box office.
In 1977, Marvel Comics published the very first 'Star Wars' comic book. Now, nearly 40 years later, George Lucas' beloved universe is coming home. In an act of unsurprising corporate synergy, Lucasfilm has announced that, beginning in 2015, Marvel will exclusively publish new 'Star Wars' comic books for the fans hoping to experience the saga outside of the main films.
Earlier today, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson answered questions from fans as part of a free-for-all Twitter Q&A. Although you can check out the rest of the questions and answers by searching for the #RockTalk hashtag, one item should prove particularly interesting to fans of comic book movies. The beloved action star said that he's met with Warner Bros. executives concerning a DC Comics movie of some kind.
If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.
In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
Everyone knew that 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' was going to do well this weekend, but the lingering question was always whether or not it was going to do "really, really well" or "stupidly, gobsmackingly well." We should know by now that you always bet on Katniss Everdeen defying the odds, because it was the latter and everyone made it look easy.
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