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For the third weekend in a row, American Sniper is going to easily take the top spot at the box office. Even with the Super Bowl monopolizing attention on Sunday, Sniper should still easily add at least $30 million over the three-day period.Among the weekend's new releases, found footage time travel movie Project Almanac should provide decent counterprogramming for teen moviegoers, while Black or White and The Loft will be lucky to earn a combined $10 million.Through 13 days in wide release, American Sniper has already earned $213.4 million. This weekend, it expands to an additional 180 locations, which brings its total count to 3,885; that's a new record for an R-rated movie, ahead of the record that Sniper set last weekend.On fantastic word-of-mouth, the movie dropped a very light 28 percent last weekend. With tough competition from the Super Bowl on Sunday, a similar drop this weekend is out of the question. Still, »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
The found footage genre is a peculiar one. It rests its laurels on building realism through the urgency and immediacy of the filmed footage. However, quite often, the characters in these films go to such extreme lengths to shoot this footage that one wonders why they are committing to capturing so much extraneous material. Every so often, a genre film will use the recordings in a chilling or original way. However, much of the time, having a character record all of the events on a video camera comes off as a contrived gimmick. The only way a film of this sort can be successful is if the story would not have worked as effectively with a regular, multi-camera staging.
The biggest problem with Project Almanac, a new sci-fi drama aimed at teens, is how rarely its writers convince us that the story should be told through the immediate presence of a video camera. »
- Jordan Adler
This is a reprint of our review from Comic-Con 2014. Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey's appearance in Hall H wasn't the only surprise aspect of Paramount's lengthy San Diego Comic-Con panel yesterday. It was also announced, after a brief clip was shown, that "Project Almanac," the Michael Bay-produced found footage time travel movie, would also screen for select attendees. We were able to attend the screening and, while it doesn't exactly blaze a new trail, the movie is smart and knowingly acknowledges both its place in the time travel subgenre and its formal limitations as a found footage movie. That self-awareness makes it fun and silly and, yes, kind of stupid, but in ways that are mostly enjoyable and forgivable. David Raskin (Jonny Weston) is a high school senior and a scientific genius. When the movie begins, we're watching the application video that David is submitting to MIT. He »
- Drew Taylor
With the Super Bowl kicking off Sunday, it seems somehow appropriate that we’re looking at another “American Sniper” blowout at the box office this weekend.
The NFL’s biggest game has seen more than its share of lopsided contests over the years, and if Las Vegas set odds on the movies, the breakout hit from Warner Bros. would be a 35-point favorite.
- Todd Cunningham
Laine would do anything to get one more chance to talk with Debbie. But her best friend is dead, and it looks like they will never communicate again… until Laine finds the Ouija board in Debbie’s room. From Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Ouija stars Bates Motel’s Olivia Cooke and hits home media on February 3rd, and we’ve been provided with two Blu-ray copies to give away.
“After Debbie (Shelley Hennig, “Teen Wolf”) suddenly dies, her best friend Laine (Olivia Cooke, “Bates Motel,”) attempts to contact her using an antique Ouija board she finds in Debbie’s room. When the curious teen begins asking the board questions and stumbles upon the mystery of her friend’s death, Laine discovers a resident spirit calling itself Dz, and eerie, inexplicable events begin to follow her. The group of friends digs deeper into the history of Debbie’s house and are »
- Derek Anderson
The last time we spoke to Mark Kermode, he'd just launched his book about the state of movie criticism, Hatchet Job. Since then, he's embarked on a nationwide tour with the book, and undertaken dozens of Q&As with audiences about it.
And that, as Hatchet Job continues to thrive in paperback, is where we started...
I spoke to you just as you launched Hatchet Job, and in your words, since then you've "toured the arse off it". You've done Q&As with the people who've read your book, and who you wrote it for.
So what have you learned about what audiences feel regarding film critics, and where they sit in the world?
I think the most important thing was when I started writing it, I was, as you know, »
A group of high-school kids find a prototype time machine in their basement, and use it to tweak events gone by. What could possibly go wrong?
In Hollywood, there’s the myth of the elevator pitch. A writer or producer corners a studio exec in a lift and wallops him with an idea so succinct and so perfect they’ve inked a deal before the doors reopen. I bet Project Almanac sold before they passed the mezzanine. “Well, Mr Paramount Pictures, my idea is: Chronicle meets a time machine. Yes, I’ll take a cheque.”
Chronicle, if your memory of recent teen-centric sci-fi fare is rusty, was a 2012 “found footage” movie about three kids who develop superhero powers. It had some added twists, such as good special effects, better-than-expected performances from then-lesser knowns like Dane DeHaan and Michael B Jordan, and the slow realisation it was a supervillain’s origin story. »
- Jordan Hoffman
Jonny Weston is about to become a very familiar face to moviegoers everywhere. The actor can currently be seen in Taken 3, stars in this upcoming weekend's Michael Bay-produced Project Almanac, and will also appear in the Divergent sequel Insurgent when it hits theaters in March. Jonny stopped by our studio recently to talk about how Stephen Hawking influenced the time-travel concepts in Project Almanac, and his character Edgar in Insurgent: a new addition to the film series who never appeared in the books. »
A few days ago we had the opportunity to sit down and talk to the cast of the upcoming thriller "Project Almanac."
The film follows a brilliant high school student David Raskin (Jonny Weston) and his friends (Sofia Black-d’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista) who uncover blueprints for a mysterious device leading to time travel with limitless potential, inadvertently putting lives in danger.
Check out what the cast had to say about their latest project.
"Project Almanac" is in theaters January 30, 2015. »
- Fernando Esquivel
Produced by Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes, “Project Almanac” is an agreeable and entertaining teen time-travel thriller that’s equal parts Ray Bradbury and John Hughes, as our five teen leads unlock the secrets of “temporal relocation” and then trample through the delicate space-time continuum in pursuit of riches, repair and romance. Directed by Dean Israelite in his feature-length debut, the big conceit of the script and story is that what we’re seeing is all footage recorded by the film’s characters throughout their adventures. It’s a stylistic and shooting decision that adds very little and ultimately distracts »
- James Rocchi
Let’s say you discover a time machine in your basement. Would you use it to go back and stop Hitler, or would you instead make tiny jumps to tweak the quality of your own life — like taking your friends to Lollapalooza, or perfecting the all-important kiss you flubbed the first time around? For the teens in the found-footage time-travel movie “Project Almanac,” the chance to rewrite history is wasted trying to perfect their high-school experience, which naturally leads to unforeseen consequences — for them, at least, although the aftermath will be plenty familiar to butterfly-effect believers — in a film that squanders its potential.
Nearly five years after Paramount announced its Insurge initiative — a plan to generate 10 pics in the ballpark of $100,000 a year, conceived in the wake of the 2007 microbudget phenom “Paranormal Activity” — the studio has finally unveiled its first title (not counting 2012’s shoestring pickup “The Devil Inside”). But »
- Peter Debruge
While Michael Bay makes time travel awesome in Project Almanac, we look at one of the worst movie ever made on the subject… A Sound of Thunder (2005) Director: Peter Hyams Stars: Edward Burns, Ben Kingsley, Catherine McCormack Time traveling tourists accidentally alter the past, causing a chain reaction that turns their reality in to horribly rendered CGI environments that… Oh wait; those aren't part of the plot? Fuuuuuu— »
- Jason Adams
If you're anything like us (and you should definitely strive to be like us), then you love to watch simply terrible movies. You probably went and saw The Boy Next Door this past weekend. And you probably loved every ridiculous, campy minute of it. And that means that you probably grew up watching Mystery Science Theater: 3000 so you could watch funny people watching simply terrible movies. Those same guys are still skewering movies, both the respected, classic kind and the awful, Michael Bay kind, with Rifftrax, and the site recently released a list of the worst movies of the 1990's. And everyone knows that the '90s is the best decade, like, ever. According to the people who truly know »
The GoBots are a staple of my childhood. I think I own more GoBots toys than I did Transformers because they were cheaper. With all of the 1980s cartoon and toy properties being developed as feature films, I guess it was only a matter of time before GoBots joined in on the party.
The property never really caught on like Transformers did, so it eventually died off. One thing that GoBots and Transformers had in common, though, was the voice of Peter Cullen, who played both Optimus Prime and Tank. Now, thanks to TFW2005, we've learned that Hasbro recently filed documents to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a new GoBots trademark under "distribution of motion pictures, ongoing television programs" and "Toys, games and playthings, namely, toy vehicles and accessories for use therewith."
They are obviously interested in resurrecting the GoBots, but who knows if anything will actually happen with it. »
- Joey Paur
In "Project Almanac," a twisty time travel thriller produced by "Transformers" overlord Michael Bay that opens this Friday, a group of teens stumble across a time machine, although it may as well be Aladdin's lamp, the way that they devise new and increasingly clever ways of utilizing folds in the space-time continuum for their own personal gain. In a way, it is one of the more believable time travel stories out there, because if teens were to gain access to this technology, chances are they'd use it to win the lottery or go to Lollapalooza and not, say, kill Hilter or prematurely end Vietnam.
In our exclusive clip, you get to see the kids really playing around with their newfound powers in a way that only kids would.
This clip shows the group getting back on some bullies that dump a giant soda on Christina (Virginia Gardner), since apparently this »
- Drew Taylor
2Nd Update, Tuesday 4 Am Pt: Actuals are in for the international weekend with no major discrepancies save for a big drop on Taken 3. After Sunday’s report of a $57.2M total in non-Fox markets, the confirmed total came in at $39.8M. The difference was down to an incorrect cume provided to Fox by EuropaCorp for those territories. The overseas total is now a corrected $134M. In new pics, both JLo-starrer The Boy Next Door and Johnny Depp’s Mortdecai saw small bumps (up a respective $23K and $70K). American Sniper reloaded to $18M from a previously projected $17.6M.
Updated below are final numbers on those films along with: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies, Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, Penguins Of Madagascar, The Theory Of Everything, Unbroken, Seventh Son, Exodus: Gods And Kings, Into The Woods, Ouija, The Imitation Game, Birdman, Ex Machina, »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Every big franchise director has that moment where, after a movie seems like it cannot possibly be topped but everyone knows the franchise is going to keep going, they say they're not going to direct the next movie. Michael Bay is perhaps the worst at this. He's played a "Nah, not doing another Transformers" for three sequels now, even though he inevitably comes back each time. Well, now Joss Whedon has confirmed speculation that he is not going to direct Avengers: Infinity War, which will be broken up into two parts. But don't take this as him playing the "Will I? Won't I?" game in the press; his reasoning here is actually very understandable. From Empire Magazine, via ComicBookMovie: "I couldn't imagine doing this...
- Peter Hall
After the massive success that has been had thanks to Michael Bay's Transformers movies, Hasbro is looking to bring a brand new set of robots to the big-screen - this time in the shape of the Go-Bots. According to TFW2005.com, which is a Transformers fan page, Hasbro is hoping to compliment the huge success of Michael Bay.s hugely divisive franchise with these Go-Bots movies. The aforementioned publication has learned that on January 21st and January 24th, Hasbro applied for a new Go-Bots trademark that suggests they are looking to expand that franchise to cinemas. This new trademark would allow them to make money from the "distribution of motion pictures, on-going television programs" as well as "toys, games and playthings, namely toy vehicles and accessories for use therewith." But who exactly are the Go-Bots? Well, they are a bit of a cult commodity nowadays. Between 1984 and 1985, there were »
Last week we posted Dylan Browne’s video which counts the lens flares in Jj Abrams‘ Star Trek films. This week we return with another one of Browne’s videos, this one counting exactly how many explosions are in Michael Bay‘s Transformers. So how many Transformers explosions happen in Bay’s original 2007 film? Do you think its over […]
- Peter Sciretta
Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" remained at the top of the domestic box office this weekend, grossing another $64 million to bring its worldwide total to almost $250 million. Domestically, "American Sniper" earned $200 million, which is more than other other war movies, except for one. The film recently surpassed Michael Bay's "Pearl Harbor" ($198.5 million) and will soon overtake Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" ($216.5 million). Taking second place at the box office was Jennifer Lopez's "The Boy Next Door" thriller. The $4 million film opened to $15 million, but has a lousy 13% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes. Landing in seventh place was George Lucas' animated "Strange Magic" movie, which grossed just $5.5 million, one of the worst openings ever for a film released in over 3,000 locations. The new movie has a terrible 11% fresh rating. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp has another flop on his hands after "The Lone Ranger" and "Transcendence." Landing in ninth place is Depp's "Mortdecai" comedy, »
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