Welcome to Land of The Nerds, where I, Lisa Laman, use my love of cinema to explore, review and talk about every genre of film imaginable!
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Well, Add Assassin's Creed To The Ever Increasing Pile Of Underwhelming Video Game Movies
Friday, December 30, 2016
The 10 Worst Movies Of 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Sing Needs A Tune-Up
Monday, December 26, 2016
Manchester By The Sea Explores How Human Beings Can Go On Carrying Immense Sorrow
Rogue One And Sing Rule Over Holiday Weekend As Passengers And Assassin's Creed Collapse
In second place was the only newcomer to really leave a mark, Sing. Grossing $36.2 million in its first 3-day weekend, which is the lowest-grossing opening weekend ever for an Illumination Entertainment title. That would normally be a catastrophic debut except Sing, unlike past Illumination titles, opened on a Wednesday and had Christmas Eve diluting its Saturday grosses. Plus, movies in December typically have smaller bows and then stick around for ages due to the holiday break. It's worth mentioning that Sing dethrones the $24.2 million bow of The Princess And The Frog for highest-grossing opening weekend for a fully animated movie in December, outpacin that 2009 Disney film by a whopping 50%.
Sing has now grossed $56.8 million in five days and if it follows the box office trajectory of The Adventures Of Tintin (the last animated movie to open over a December 23-25 weekend), it would end up with a domestic total of $255 million. That would be a solid sum for the motion picture that may be below the likes of Illumination Entertainment titans like the Despicable Me sequels or The Secret Life Of Pets, but would be right on par with the original Despicable Me and a fantastic cume for an original animated movie, especially one that cost only $75 million.
And now for some poorer news, because, woo boy, did some movies just not match expectations this weekend. Passengers, for one, only grossed $14.5 million this weekend. Its five-day cume now stands at $21.8 million. Interestingly, this one looks like it's playing similalry to Sony's 2011 title The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which opened over this exact same weekend five years ago. That David Fincher movie made about 13% less in its opening 3-day weekend and about 4% less in its first five days of release. That film managed to narrowly cross $100 million domestically and that's not out of the question actually for Passengers if it can hold reasonably well over the next two weeks of holiday breaks. But why didn't a Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt sci-fi romantic drama burst out of the gate with more speed? Well, maybe Sony's marketing could do better next time than the dreadful trailers and especially posters they put out for this title?
Next up was Why Him? which grossed $11 million. That's a decent start for the $36 million-budgeted comedy that lacked the family appeal and built-in audience loyalty between its two leads that Daddy's Home (the movie Why Him? was clearly angling to be) had last Christmas and thus it didn't get to the massive grosses that Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg effort had. But this is still a solid result in its own right that could earn a little over $70 million when all is said and done.
Rounding out the five was Assassin's Creed, which became the newest video game movie to falter at the domestic box office, grossing only $10.2 million over the 3-day weekend. In 5 days, the film has only grossed $17.7 million, a very poor showing for the $125 million film. Whoever it was at 20th Century Fox that thought it was a good idea to just launch a fanboy-geared titles like Assassin's Creed just five days into the run of a Star Wars movie should be fired post-haste, ditto for the people behind the marketing that overloaded the trailers with mythology and lore without explaining why anyone should care about the characters. You've got to get the non-geeks to care about these nerdy properties for them to succeed, that's how Marvel, Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings and Star Trek have endured over the years. Assassin's Creed, by contrast, just seemed to be gunning for a small group of gaming geeks and even they didn't show up in droves over the holiday frame.
Fences bowed this weekend, and while it only got a single day (Christmas Day on Sunday) to perform, it turned in solid results, grossing $6.6 million. Not too much to say about this one only because we have only a single day of box office to go on, but that's a great start and it'll be interesting to see how it performs over the week and into New Year's weekend. For what it's worth, it's about 12% below the opening day of War Horse, the last major drama to open on Sunday Christmas Day.
Also expanding on Christmas Day was La La Land, which came in at eighth place and grossed $5.7 million this weekend putting, $3.9 million of which came from yesterday when it expanded into wide release in 734 theaters. La La Land has now grossed $13.6 million domestically and looks to have plenty of cash to still generate in the weeks to come.
And then there were the holdovers, which mostly dipped over 40% this frame thanks to Christmas eve diluting Saturday grosses. Moana in seventh place (just one space above La La Land) dropped 42% to add $7.3 million to its domestic gross that now stands at $180.3 million. Office Christmas Party went down 40% to gross another $5 million, bringing its domestic gross to $42 million. Roudning out the top ten was Collateral Beauty, which grossed $4.2 million this weekend, a 40% drop from last weekend. So far, Will Smith's latest motion picture has grossed a disastrous $15.2 million in ten days. Next up was Manchester By The Sea, which had the smallest dip in the top twelve by far, going down only 28% to gross another $3 million, bringing its domestic cume to an outstanding $19.7 million.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, went down 42% to add $2.9 million to its domestic cume that now stands at $214.2 million. Jackie expanded into 348 locations and did decent business, grossing $1.23 million for a per-theater average of $3,549. Arrival lost the majority of its theaters this weekend, which resulted in by far its largest weekend-to-weekend dip, plummeting 64% this weekend to gross $1.08 million;. Interestingly, it's per-theater average of $2,368 was better than the per-theater average posed by fellow Paramount Pictures release Office Christmas Party this weekend. Lion expanded its presence into exactly 500 theaters yesterday, resulting in a weekend gross of $897,000, $722,000 of which came from just yesterday. It has now grossed $1.7 million domestically.
Doctor Strange, like Arrival, lost the majority of its theaters this weekend, resulting in a massive 71% plummet that gave it another $634,000 to bring its domestic cume to $228.2 million.
Well, a gaggle of movies debuted in limited release this weekend, which meant a whopping three movies this weekend managed to have $20,000+ per-theater averages, a notable feat! Highest among these newbie arthouse films was Hidden Figures, which only had got to play for one day (yesterday on Christmas Day) this weekend but managed to top all other limited release titles by grossing $515,499 at 25 locations for a per-theater average of $20,620. That's an outstanding debut, especially given that it's playing in about 20 more theaters than usual limited release debuts and the fact that it only had one day to play this weekend. This could bode well for the title when it goes into wide release on January 6th.
Patriot's Day similarly had a strong showing in limited release, bringing in $161,306 in 7 theaters for a per-theater average of $23,044. Displaying lower overall grosses but better stamina in terms of per-theater average performance was Silence, which grossed $131,000 at 4 locations for a per-theater average of $32,750. Julieta bowed with $91,906 in 6 theaters for a per-theater average of $15,318. Displaying more mixed results was Live By Night, which premiered yesterday to the tune of $33,000
in 4 locations for a per-theater average of $8,250. Finally, A Monster Calls outright bombed in limited release, grossing only $30,910 over the entire weekend (it debuted on Friday) at 4 locations for a per-theater average of only $7,728.
The Top 12 movie this weekend grossed $171 million, a 39% decrease from this same weekend last year when Star Wars: The Force Awakens kept on dominating the box office. It was also down from the same weekend in 2014 and 2013, though improved on the same weekends from 2012 and especially 2011. It's worth noting that, as of yesterday, 2016 had grossed $10.751 billion and it's still up in the air whether or not we'll be able to beat 2015's $11.128 billion cume. These next few days will make all the difference on that front.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Office Christmas Party Is A Big Waste In Every Respect
Posted by Lisa Laman at 2:09 PM No comments:
Labels: Christmas, December 2016, Jamie Chung, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Jillian Bell, Kate McKinnon, Movie Review, Office Christmas Party, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Vanessa Bayer
In The Middle Of History Being Made, There Is A Human Being Like Jackie At The Center Of It
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
A More Polished Look Can't Compensate For The Forest's Massive Lack Of Scares
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
La La Land Explores The Costs Of Reality By Way Of Stylized Musical Numbers
The Hollars Is An Excruciatingly Bad Parody Of Conventional American Indie Movies That...Wait, This Isn't A Parody???
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Rogue One Blasts Off With Massive Debut While Collateral Beauty Crashes And La La Land Sings And Dances In More Theaters
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Collateral Beauty Aims To Be Uplifting And Ends Up Being Only Extremely Disturbing
I have no idea what was running through the minds behind the people in charge of the screenplay and initial concept for Collateral Beauty, but good Lord, but I can only assume they had some disturbing thoughts rattling around in their cranium that could only be worked out by way of writing up a script that dressed up its creepy and disturbing plot in the guise of an inspirational feel-good weepy drama. That's the only reasonable explanation I can concoct for what Collateral Beauty even exists, because if human beings actually thought this was gonna work as a straightforward inspirational drama, well, they're very optimistic, I'll give them that.
Dear God, What Hath The Ice Age Series Become With Its Newest Movie, Collision Course?
Friday, December 16, 2016
Rogue One May Carry A Darker Tone Than Past Star Wars Movies But It's Got The Same Rousing Spirit As The Best Of Its Predeccesors
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Grappling With A Fatally Sick Family Member Isn't Just Something That Happens To Other People
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Sing Street Is A Euphoric Ode To The Power Of Music
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Jeff Nichols Small-Scale Sensibility Works Like A Charm For Loving
Monday, December 12, 2016
Miss Sloane Is All About Immoral Means For Moral Ends
There....Is....A...Brotherhood! Of Maaaaaaaannn (Down)!
Surviving Christmas Will Make You Lose Faith In Christmas, Comedy And Humanity
Sunday, December 11, 2016
At Least London Has Fallen Is Better Than Its Predecessor?
Moana Wins The Box Office For The Third Weekend In A Row While Office Christmas Party Gets Started And La La Land Dances To Massive Numbers
Not far behind in second place was a solid performance from Office Christmas Party, which grossed $17.5 million in its opening weekend, the eighth biggest opening weekend for a Jason Bateman movie, the eleventh biggest debut for a Jennifer Aniston movie and the fourteenth biggest opening weekend for a Christmas movie ever. While not a massive bow, this is a solid debut for the film that can be chalked up to a marketing campaign that emphasized raunchy yuletide hijinks and a large-scale ensemble cast that mixed well-known stars (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston) with various noteworthy talents from well-received 2016 projects (Courtney B. Vance, Kate McKinnon and T.J. Miller). Christmas themed films tend to hold quite well, so expect this one to finish its domestic run in the range of $60-65 million, a decent sum though one that'll need foreign grosses to fully recoup its $45 million budget.
In its fourth weekend, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them grossed another $10.7 million, a 40% dip from last weekend, about on par with the fourth weekend dip of the last Hunger Games at the same weekend last year. Fantastic Beasts has now grossed $199.3 million and looks to be headed towards a final domestic gross between $225-230 million domestically. Arrival had yet another great dip in its surprisingly strong box office run, going down only 23% to gross another $5.6 million and bringing its domestic cume to $81.4 million. If this movie can just not get uttely decimated by the new releases over the next two weeks, it looks like Arrival could crack $100 million domestically, an insane feat for the motion picture. Doctor Strange grossed another $4.6 million this weekend had a solid 30% dip, which is slightly larger than the 26% dip experienced by Spectre in its sixth weekend though much smaller than the 41% drop seen by Thor: The Dark World in its sixth weekend of release. Doctor Strange has now grossed a strong $222.3 million domestically. Allied actually had the largest weekend-to-weekend drop in the top ten, going down 43% to gross another $4 million, bringing its domestic cume to $35.6 million in 19 days of domestic release.
Nocturnal Animals went into its first weekend of wide release grossing an alright $3.1 million at 1,262 theaters for a per-theater-average of $2,500. It's managed to gross $6.2 million after 24 days of release (only 3 of those days have been in wide release) and should be able to surpass the $9.1 million domestic cume of director Tom Ford's last movie, A Single Man, though it'll be tough for this one to stick around at the domestic box office considering the onslaught of new releases that are on the way.
Finally cracking the top ten this weekend was Manchester By The Sea, which grossed a strong $3.1 million at 368 locations for a per-theater average of $8,500. The film will be going into wide release this Friday and looks to be set to do solid business there. Manchester By The Sea has now grossed $8.3 million, making it already the eighth biggest movie ever for Roadside Attractions (who are distributing this one theatrically on behalf of Amazon Studios) before it even goes into wide release. Still out there and kicking is Trolls, which grossed another $3.1 million this weekend, a 34% dip from last weekend which is a notably bigger sixth weekend decline than the likes of The Peanuts Movie (which lost 25% in its sixth weekend). Trolls has now grossed $145.4 million and will cross the $150 million mark sometime over the Christmas holidays. Rounding out the top ten was Hacksaw Ridge, which continues to perform splendidly, adding another $2.3 million to its domestic cume that now stands at a strong $60.8 million domestically.
Miss Sloane went into wide release this weekend and became yet another box office dud for EuropaCorp, who are just not having a good 2016. Grossing only $1.9 million, the political drama failed to catch on thanks to a poor marketing campaign and a massive amount of competing dramas in the marketplace. Look for this one to fade quickly from theaters in the coming weeks as a number of new releases open up, meaning this one will likely miss the $5 million mark domestically.
Bad Santa 2 is just limping to the finish line in its domestic release, grossing $1.2 million this weekend, which is a massive 62% drop from last weekend. Bad Santa 2 has only grossed $16.8 million in 19 days. Incarnate, meanwhile, grossed $1.09 million in its second weekend, a 57% drop from last weekend that takes its domestic total to just $4.2 million.
La La Land got off to a massive start in limited release, grossing $855,000 at just 5 locations for an outstanding per-theater average of $171,000, the tenth biggest opening weekend per-theater average of all-time and the third biggest for a non-Disney animated title (only The Grand Budapest Hotel and Red State were bigger in that category). La La Land will be expanding into more theaters on both December 16th (that's when it finally comes to a theater super close to me!) and December 25th, and if these massive box office figures are any indication, La La Land could be set up for a super impressive run at the domestic box office.
Expanding into 572 theaters this weekend was Loving, which grossed $623,380 for an underwhelming per-theater average of $1,090, taking its domestic total to $6.5 million. Jackie grossed $495,000 this weekend as it expanded into 26 theaters for a per-theater average of $19,038, a solid sum that takes its 10-day domestic cume to $859,000. Not quite faring so well in a theater expansion was Lion, which went into 15 theaters and grossed $171,000 for a so-so per-theater-average of $11,461. It's starting to look like this one won't flourish much in a wider release if these are the kind of numbers it's putting up in a super limited release. Lion has now grossed $493,190 in 17 days of release. Finally, it's worth noting that, after 157 days of release, The Secret Life Of Pets surpassed Despicable Me 2 this weekend to become the biggest Illumination Entertainment movie ever.
The Top 12 movies this weekend grossed $76.4 million, very much on the low end for this time of year though it was up from the same weekend in 2014 and 2015.
Saturday, December 10, 2016
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Is Agreeable Christmastime Fare
Spectral Gets Flanked By Its Generic Nature
Krisha Is A Small-Scale Examination Of The Difficulties Of Escaping One's Past
Friday, December 9, 2016
Incarnate's Gonzo Premise Doesn't Result In Much Scares Or Fun
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The Grinch Is The Nadir Of Christmas Movies
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Scrooged Gives Charles Dickens A Bill Murray Twist
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Moana Sea's Second Weekend Victory At The Box Office In Post-Thanksgiving Weekend
Rules Don't Apply Is A Tepid Look Into The Late Years Of The Life Of Howard Hughes
Friday, December 2, 2016
Holiday 2016 Box Office Predictions (PART TWO)
December 21-25 Sing
Maybe my boldest box office prediction in this two-part column is that I'm not forecasting Sing to be another massive smash hit for Illumination Entertainment on par with their past movies like The Secret Life Of Pets and Despicable Me. Now, will it make money? Oh yeah, especially since the movie only costs $75 million, there's no way they're not doing at least five times their budget on this one. But the marketing for Sing has been a bit more lackluster compared to pass Illumination features. Oh it's been as omnipresent as ever, but compared to the "This is what your pets do when they're not looking!" angle of the ads for The Secret Life Of Pets and the "What if a supervillain did normal Dad things?" for the ads of Despicable Me that managed to incorporate relatable aspects of potential viewers lives into their marketing, there's been a more scattered approach for the Sing trailers and ads, likely as a way to showcase all of the members of its ensemble cast.
A less concentrated marketing scheme aside, Sing still has a long Christmas holiday at its disposal at the box office, so it should still make some coin, even if its box office total is more on the order of Hotel Transylvania 2 (which hails from Sony Pictures Animation) rather than The Secret Life Of Pets. While its opening weekend will be muted by Christmas Eve falling on a Saturday, Sing should still make a decent sum in its debut and stick around as a prime family moviegoing choice for the rest of the holidays.
Opening Weekend: $28 million
Total Gross: $165 million
A movie starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence should be a guaranteed box office slam-dunk, but three weeks out from its release, Passengers seems to be having some trouble in its marketing campaign that could keep it from really clicking. Sony's recent trouble with marketing large-scale blockbusters seems to have seeped over into Passengers with a marketing campaign that got a late start (just three months prior to its release), one of the blandest posters of the year that doesn't even indicate what genre the movie its promoting takes place in and further promotional materials that were tonally erratic at best.
The good news for Passengers is that it's main plot-related hook (two people wake up on a space station years before they're supposed to) is still coming through the ads and the promise of seeing two beloved actors in a science-fiction setting should still be appealing enough to the masses to keep this one above water. Plus, science-fiction dramas like Gravity, Interstellar and this past months Arrival have been making some serious coin, so don't be surprised if Passengers follows suit.
Opening Weekend: $24 million
Total Gross: $120 million
If the past two movies I've discussed in the second part of this column have had to face some marketing-related hurdles, the Assassin's Creed marketing campaign has been (let's not mince words here) an outright disaster. Both of the trailers for the movie overwhelm audiences unfamiliar with the games with exposition, Michael Fassbender's lead character is given no personality to speak of in the ads that viewers can latch onto and its visual familiarity to video game movie flops like Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time is probably not the kind of film 20th Century Fox wanted their major Christmastime blockbuster to emulate.
Facing that dreadful marketing campaign, as well as some serious competition from the likes of Rogue One and Passengers on its opening weekend, it's pretty unlikely that Assassin's Creed grosses more than $15 million in its opening weekend. This is likely gonna be the most high-profile box office miss of the yuletide season.
Opening Weekend: $11 million
Total Gross: $55 million
It's pretty apparent that the marketing for Why Him? is patterning itself after last year's Christmas comedy smash hit Daddy's Home, but there's two big factors that are gonna prevent Why Him? from coming anywhere close to Daddy's Home's box office. First off, Daddy's Home reunited Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg from the beloved 2010 The Other Guys, whereas Why Him?'s two leading men (James Franco and Bryan Cranston) have no previous beloved movies to draw audience goodwill from. Also, Daddy's Home was PG-13 and had its trailer play on numerous family films, meaning it could work as more of a family-skewed comedy playing during a time of the year where families are together. Daddy;s Home being R-rated means it won't be able to tap into that lucrative family market.
That being said, the lack of big comedies in the marketplace (Office Christmas Party probably won't be big enough to hinder Why Him?) will probably lead to this comedy to at least outgrossing 20th Century Fox's other Christmastime release, the far more expensive Assassin's Creed. Otherwise, this one will probably come and go in a flash at the box office.
Opening Weekend: $11 million
Total Gross: $60 million
Fences appears to be one of the safer box office bets in recent memory. Denzel Washington is one of the more consistently successful actors working today (all but one of his films since January 2010 have exceeded $80 million at the box office) and pairing him up with a well-known actor like Viola Davis should only increase the chances of this one finding success. Four years ago, Denzel Washington starred in the adult drama Flight, which grossed $93.7 million domestically. Being paired up with Violas Davis plus opening over the Christmas holiday and some major Oscar buzz should get it slightly above that movie domestically, especially if it manages to snag some high-profile Oscar nominations that could keep it in theaters well into February.
Opening Weekend: $8 million
Total Gross: $105 million
Thursday, December 1, 2016
God Help Us All, My Prediction Came True; Someone Just Made A Mash-Up Of All-Star And Bee Movie.
Back on Tuesday, I wrote up on a version of All-Star someone on YouTube had made where ever word was now SOME-BODY. It was both beautiful and terrifying. The internet was now toying with the power of Smash Mouth, its obsession with the band being the sort of fixation that can only end in disaster. Ditto for the internet's obsession with Bee Movie, a 2007 DreamWorks Animation film that wasn't very successful at the box office and more noteworthy for proving a one-joke premise and an omnipresent marketing cannot compensate for a lackluster script.
Now, the same YouTube personality behind the version of All-Star with only the words Somebody sung in it has decided to play in God's domain and just merge the two of internet's obsession with a horrifying minute-long gaze into the abyss. Looking over this guys YouTube videos, his obsession with All-Star is staggering. It's as if the internets ongoing Smash Mouth mania is just the various planets spinning around the sun that is this guys various All-Star-centric videos. How he can top himself after his most recent creation, I don't know, but I'm truly scared to find out.
The horrors of 2016 will never cease.
Frosty's Winter Wonderland Is The Oddball Sequel To Frosty The Snowman That Nobody Asked For
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