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"American Sniper" (Warner Bros.) once again outpaced the rest of the Top Ten, as it easily leads for the third straight weekend and heads to close to $250 million by Sunday. Super Bowl weekend traditionally is down (and not just Sunday, as social activity decreases the other two days), and this year looks like no exception. "Sniper" took its first big drop, with its $10 million take down from $18 last Friday. Because of "Sniper," the day showed an uptick from last year ($26.3 million compared to $21.5), but at this point it is mainly a one film-driven increase, not broad-based like last month's holiday boost. The big game on its own makes an off-weekend a self-fulfilling prophecy, as studios usually avoid it as a time to launch new films. Despite that, three were sprung. The best, the low-budget time-travel story "Project Almanac" (Paramount) produced by Michael Bay, placed second for the day with $3.2 million, »
- Tom Brueggemann
“American Sniper” is the real winner this Super Bowl weekend.
Clint Eastwood’s Iraq War drama will top the U.S. box office for the third consecutive weekend, easily overtaking a trio of new releases: “Project Almanac,” “Black or White” and “The Loft.” This is an unpopular weekend for new, big-budget entries as theater attendance is traditionally low on Sunday during the NFL championship game.
“Sniper” earned $10 million on Friday for a projected $30 million in its third weekend of wide release. If estimates hold, the film will be just under the $250 million mark by Sunday.
If the movie comes in above forecasts, as it tends to do, it could become the highest Super Bowl weekend grosser of all time. “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert” earned that record in 2008 when it debuted to $31.1 million.
After a record-breaking wide opening over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Directed by: Ang Lee
Ang Lee has gone in about eight different directions in terms of genre. His resume includes “The Ice Storm,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Hulk,” “Brokeback Mountain,” “Life of Pi,” and this delightful Jane Austen adaptation, starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, and young Kate Winslet. “Sense and Sensibility” took home the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay for the story of the Dashwood family, a mother widowed and left in difficult circumstances after her husband has left his fortune to his first wife, instead of his current one. So Mrs. Dashwood (Gemma Jones) and her daughters Fanny, Marianne, and Elinor (Harriet Walter, Winslet, Thompson) have to find a way to survive in a world ruled by men and the rules that seem to create obstacle after obstacle for them. Unfortunately, given the era, they are viewed as “unmarryable,” since they have no fortune and no prospects. »
- Joshua Gaul
The plot focuses on David Raskin (Jonny Weston), a very bright high school senior intent on getting into MIT. One day, while investigating the basement of his home, he discovers that his dearly departed dad has left behind plans and blueprints for a time machine he had hoped to build. Looking to make good on his father’s wishes, David brings his friends and sister together to construct it. But in the process of trying to undo past mistakes, they come to discover that changing the past may lead to dire consequences for their future.
The press day for Project Almanac was held at the Sls Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, where Weston, along with Sofia Black D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista and Virginia Gardner were all in attendance. »
- Ben Kenber
Any chance that new sci-fi thriller “Project Almanac” has of a strong opening during Super Bowl weekend looks to be in jeopardy.
The Michael Bay-produced film already faced stiff competition with Bradley Cooper‘s “American Sniper,” but now it is garnering mostly mixed reviews from critics, and currently sits at an underwhelming 32 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Also Read: 19 Biggest Box-Office Bombs and Bummers in 2014: From ‘The Giver’ to ‘Winter’s Tale’ (Photos)
The story centers around a group of friends who discover the secret to time travel. However, things quickly spiral out of control when the ripple effects »
- Joe Otterson
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
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