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Now playing in theaters is director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel This Is Where I Leave You. Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast including Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda, Rose Byrne, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Ben Schwartz, Timothy Olyphant, Aaron Lazar, Debra Monk, Abigail Spencer, and Dax Shepard, the story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit Shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed. Loaded with great performances and a very funny script, I definitely recommend seeing the film this weekend. For more on This is Where I Leave You, read Adam’s review or watch the trailer. Last week I landed an extended video interview with author Jonathan Tropper, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie. He talked about the difficulty of bringing his novel to theaters, »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Along with two other new releases, this marks a much-needed box office rebound. The total Top 10 take came to $29 million, almost $8 million higher than the same weekend last year, when "Prisoners" opened to $7 million. Two lower-grossing newbies also boosted the overall take, but neither showed significant strength: "A Walk Among the Tombstones" (Universal), another actioner starring old reliable Liam Neeson, took second place with a modest $4.7 million, much below the initial response to "Non-Stop" and the two "Taken" films. In third place with $3.9 million was the family comedy-drama "This Is Where I Leave You" (Warner Bros.), whose multi-generation ensemble includes Adam Driver, Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda. This might get a Saturday night boost, but it's still soft given that there's little competition for older audiences who have proved reliable all year. Last week's top two performers took steep dives as they »
- Tom Brueggemann
"The Maze Runner" is the third major Ya movie to hit theaters in 2014 and while it didn't shatter any records it got off to a very good start on Friday. Directed by Wes Ball, the adaptation of James Rashner's 2007 novel earned an estimated $11.2 million on its first full day of release. That means it should end up with somewhere between $30-32 million for the weekend. That would put it far ahead of "The Giver's" $12 million debut in August, but significantly lower than "Divergent's" $54.6 million opening this past March. The film, which is top lined by "Teen Wolf" star Dylan O'Brien, also earned an A- Cinemascore grade which means it should have solid word of mouth in the weeks to come. Disappointing in second place was Universal Pictures' "A Walk Among the Tombstones" with just $4.7 million. The Scott Frank directed thriller looks as though it will be lucky to hit $14 million by Eod Sunday. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Maze Runner, a big screen version of James Dashner’s 2007 novel, will not be the latest Ya adaptation to go down in box office flames. Bucking the trend that saw page-to-screen conversions like Vampire Academy and The Giver open to disappointing numbers, The Maze Runner looks like it may actually exceed expectations. The Fox release was originally projected to open to $27 million but, after earning a strong $11.2 million on Friday, the sci-fi thriller is now looking at an opening weekend of $35 million or above. That’s not quite the level that Divergent hit back in March ($54.6 million) but it is well above the $27 million that Ender’s Game claimed last November. Details and Friday’s top five after the jump. While The Maze Runner got off to a sprint, fellow newcomer A Walk Among the Tombstones set a more leisurely pace. The latest R-rated drama to star born-again tough guy Liam Neeson, »
- Nicole Pedersen
Shawn Levy is what happens when someone who has never forgotten what it means to be a boy becomes a dad.
The director of Real Steel, the Night at the Museum movies, and the new bittersweet family comedy This Is Where I Leave You (in theaters now), is an undeniable family guy. The father of four girls, he’s known for making movies about households run amok (2003’s Cheaper By the Dozen) and parents who desperately want an evening away (2010’s Date Night,) as well as fathers who redeem themselves in their kids’ eyes with the help of boxing robots or magical museums. »
- Anthony Breznican
The Maze Runner, the new Ya adaptation that hit theaters Friday, chalked up an estimated $11 million for a first-place finish, proving that this over-saturated genre has life left in it yet. Populated with a slew of handsome young male actors led by Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner, based on the popular best-selling novel by James Dashner, is on track to pull in close to $30 million. (That’s far better than The Giver, which opened in August to $12 million.) And with Twentieth Century Fox already deep into pre-production on the film’s sequel, the early numbers have »
- Nicole Sperling
“The Maze Runner” opened to $11.3 million Stateside on Friday. Fox’s dystopian drama is on track for a higher-than-anticipated $31 million weekend debut – double the expected earnings for the runner-up, “Walk Among the Tombstones.”
Based on the first book in James Dashner’s trilogy of the same name, the $34 million production follows a group of teenage boys (and one girl) who are trapped in a maze. The young cast is led by “Teen Wolf” star Dylan O’Brien, whose character comes up with a strategy to escape their prison.
Fox hopes to appeal to the young-adult audience that turned “The Hunger Games,” “Twilight” and “Divergent” into thriving franchises.
Universal’s crime thriller “Walk Among the Tombstones” launched to $4.7 million on its way to a $14 million weekend, which is below forecast. Neeson’s most recent movie, »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Updated, Saturday 7:30 Am: This morning, The Maze Runner is right in line with our estimates last night, given that we think today will be a strong moviegoing time for this Ya offering from Fox. While it looked much softer in matinees yesterday, we held off reporting because we knew that the audience for this picture was going to come out in the evening and late night showings. They did. If this gains tonight by around 10%, Fox will see the weekend end at $30M to $32M (as it looks now). It grossed about $11.3M yesterday. Between a strong Friday, its A- CinemaScore (which should give it a 3.5M multiple) and its international performance, it should give Fox yet another profitable film from the Ya genre. Pretty darn good for a picture whose star is Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf), but props to Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Ki Hong Lee, too. Kudos to The Gotham Group, »
- Anita Busch
In This Is Where I Leave You, amidst a tumultuous time in his own marriage, Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) finds himself surrounded by the family members he both loves and can barely tolerate. For seven days following the burial of Judd’s father, the Altman family — led by the perfectly meddlesome family matriarch, Hillary Altman or “Mommy” (Jane Fonda) — must sit Shiva (participate in a week-long mourning period) together under one roof.
Along with sister Wendy (Tina Fey); brother/family screw-up Phillip (Adam Driver) and his much older new-to-the-family fiance, Tracy (a lovely Connie Britton); brother Paul (Corey Stoll) and his wife, Alice (Kathryn Hahn), Judd must navigate through the muddy waters of his own marriage while apprehensively attempting to restore the kinship between him, his mother, and his siblings.
- Mandi Hall
Fox’s dystopian “The Maze Runner” is leaving rivals in the dust as it heads for an opening weekend of about $24 million in the U.S., early estimates showed.
The young-adult vehicle was dominating moviegoing Friday with a forecast of $9 million to $10 million at 3,604 locations, including $1.1 million from late Thursday screenings.
The futuristic saga had been tracking somewhat higher earlier in the week with Fox indicating it expected a launch weekend in the high $20 million range. Instead, “Maze Runner” looks likely to come in the vicinity of last weekend’s leader, Sony’s “No Good Deed,” which opened at $24.5 million.
Fox had deployed the young cast, led by Dylan O’Brien of “Teen Wolf,” on an active promo campaign for “Maze Runner” to tap into the fickle young-adult audience that turned “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” into successful franchises.
Based on James Dashner’s novel, the $34 million tale of teens »
- Dave McNary
The new family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You" gives us Jason Bateman as a cynical lout, Jane Fonda as a towering matriarch, and Adam Driver as a garrulous wild card. Those characterizations are to be expected, but the surprising actor/role pairing is Tina Fey with her character Wendy Altman, who is more troubled and conflicted than Liz Lemon ever was. Director Shawn Levy, who also helmed the Fey project "Date Night," specifically chose Fey for her role because it would be a stretch for her. In fact, he enjoys pushing Tina Fey away from her comfort zone of wry humor. "I have gotten to know Tina a little bit in real life. A fair bit," Levy told us. "I know she has more colors to her. Different moods to her. I got really excited at the chance of bringing those out and encouraging her to show what »
- Louis Virtel
The story is a reinvention of the 1977 film that revolves around Pete and his best friend Elliot, who happens to be dragon. The first pic was a musical, but sources say this will be a straight narrative.
The pic will be live-action with CGI used to bring the dragon to life.
Jim Whitaker is producing.
See Also: ‘Star Wars’ Provides Disney with a ‘Huge Opportunity’
Laurence will be a newly created character named Natalie, another of Pete’s friends. She received a Tony for her work in Broadway’s “Matilda.”
This news only adds to the good month Fegley is having. He can currently be seen as young Eli Thompson on the final season of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire »
- Justin Kroll
Shawn Levy's adaptation of This Is Where I Leave You touts a ton of stars: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Connie Britton, Kathryn Hahn, Rose Byrne, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk, Abigail Spencer and Ben Schwartz. While some may say that the ensemble dramedy is crowded with too many personalities (as family reunions often are), author and screenwriter Jonathan Tropper still had to leave a slew of chapters on the cutting-room floor, including Judd's (Bateman) eloquent streams of consciousness and his flashbacks to why he and his older, overachieving brother Paul (Stoll) have been
- Ashley Lee
[This is a re-post of my This Is Where I Leave You review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. The film opens in theaters nationwide today.] Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans, or so the saying goes. There are some trite phrases that, while clichéd, kind of ring true, and in the case of This Is Where I Leave You, director Shawn Levy’s adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel of the same name, the Altman family has certainly seen better days. The patriarch’s dying wish was to have his entire family sit shiva for seven days to mourn his death, and when the Altman clan reunites to fulfill his request, old wounds are opened, past relationships are rekindled, and all are reminded that this isn’t exactly how they envisioned their lives turning out. Buoyed by a stellar ensemble and a standout performance from Adam Driver, Levy mostly succeeds in bringing Tropper’s novel to the screen with plenty of humor, heart, and sentiment. While Levy goes overboard with the »
- Adam Chitwood
Fox’s “The Maze Runner” has started solidly with an estimated $1.1 million from 2,200 locations in late-night Thursday shows.
The futuristic saga of a group of teenagers who must outrace monsters has been expected to win the weekend with forecasts ranging from the high $20 million into the mid-$30 million range when it expands to 3,604 screens.
The cast, led by Dylan O’Brien of “Teen Wolf,” has been actively campaigning for “Maze Runner” in recent weeks across major social media as Fox aims to tap into the young-adult audience that turned “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” into successful franchises.
- Dave McNary
Fox’s The Maze Runner grabbed $1.1M in late-night showings at 2,200 locations starting at 10 Pm. The best comparison is probably the sci-fi actioner Ender’s Game, which launched with $1.4 million in November 2013 and went on to have an opening weekend gross of $27M (on the other hand, it cost three times more than Maze Runner). So, perhaps Fox is more on the money with a lower estimate for this weekend.
Another comparison title is this year’s other Ya sci-fi actioner — Divergent (Summit/Lgf). It grabbed $4.9M in late nights that started at 8 Pm and went on to gross $54.6M in its first weekend out. Of course, that one was driven by the young female demo. The Maze Runner is tapping in with the young male audience better, so we will have to see how that translates tonight — which will probably be front-loaded with Ya fans. Fan reviews for the film are pretty good. »
- Anita Busch
Where to begin with This Is Where I Leave You? Directed by Shawn Levy, the movie's all-star cast includes Jason Bateman, Connie Britton, Rose Byrne, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Kathryn Hahn, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard and Corey Stoll. Based upon Jonathan Tropper's 2009 novel of the same name, it tells the story of four siblings who return to their childhood home after their dad dies. To their surprise, they must honor their father's wishes and remain at home together for seven days while sitting Shiva, the Jewish mourning custom. The Warner Bros. movie is in theaters today. Here's what the critics are saying: • The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern writes, "This »
This Is Where I Leave You, out Friday, adapts Jonathan Tropper's beloved novel for the big screen and brings Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Connie Britton, Kathryn Hahn and Jane Fonda (plus her boobs) into the same house to sit shiva. The Warner Bros. ensemble dramedy — directed by Shawn Levy and also featuring Rose Byrne, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk, Abigail Spencer and Ben Schwartz — is predicted to open in the low to mid teens. Read what top critics are saying about This Is Where I Leave You: The Hollywood Reporter's chief film critic Todd McCarthy calls it
- Ashley Lee
The awkwardly titled This Is Where I Leave You is a homecoming funeral comedy in which grown half-Jewish siblings spend more time quarreling and cracking wise than mourning the deceased, and all the characters have diarrhea of the mouth. Broadly directed by Shawn Levy from a script by Jonathan Tropper (based on his novel), it’s in your face and then some. But the actors expelling the wisecracks are ones you’ll probably enjoy spending time with, and the movie has some honest laughs if you can ignore the mixture of sentimentality and gross insensitivity.A bearded Jason Bateman plays the more or less straight man, Judd Altman, a radio producer who walks in on his wife, Quinn (Abigail Spencer), boning his boss. When he travels home to visit his dying father, he doesn’t want to tell anyone that he and Quinn have parted ways, so he goofily lies about her absence. »
- David Edelstein
After a few quiet weeks, business should pick up substantially this weekend. Three major new releases hit theaters, and young-adult adaptation The Maze Runner will likely finish at the front of the pack.Opening at 3,604 theaters, The Maze Runner is the latest attempt to cash in on the young-adult craze that's led to successful franchises like Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent.For every hit, though, there's at least two misses: in the past two years, the young-adult graveyard includes Beautiful Creatures, The Host, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Vampire Academy.Ahead of the weekend, it's pretty clear that The Maze Runner is going to avoid falling in to the latter category. While the existing fanbase is more-or-less on par with other would-be franchises*and much lower than The Hunger Games or Divergent*20th Century Fox has done a good job campaigning to non-readers.Marketing has nicely established the movie's mysterious premise, »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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