1-20 of 60 items from 2016 « Prev | Next »
Hollywood is vexed by the lack of home runs at the box office this summer. But there is a bright spot amidst countless forecasts of trouble for the film industry. Two of the biggest smashes of the season so far, Disney’s “Finding Dory” and Universal Studios’ “The Secret Life of Pets,” are a reminder that animation is the one genre that seems to be unstoppable at the movies.
Beyond their reliance on pixelated performances, “Dory” and “Pets” share another similarity. They are both stories centered on animals that yammer about their personal lives, bicker and act like human beings. Against a questionable year of ticket sales, where even movie stars like Johnny Depp and George Clooney have come up short, audiences seem to prefer their personalities with tails.
These cuddly creatures are serving as an antidote to dark times in the world. Some executives in Hollywood are starting to »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Ever suspected Frozen was more than a simple singalong? Have the false promises of Emerald City ever rung alarm bells? Here are nine family flicks that have been mined for underlying meaning
Thought the current box office smash was just Toy Story with poodles and hamsters? Think again. A prominent political science professor suggests Chris Renaud’s movie is in fact a hamfisted metaphor for racial oppression. With his cri de coeur of “revolution forever, domestication never”, angry rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart) isn’t just moaning about being kicked out of a warm, cosy cage to roam the streets. Look closely and – maybe – you’ll find a raging furnace of fury centred on the mistreatment of African-Americans by mainstream white society.
Continue reading »
- Ben Child
In its first weekend, Secret Life of Pets broke the record for the biggest-ever opening for an animated non-sequel, and it drew those massive audiences with frenetic, gag-filled, Looney Tunes-channeling entertainment. Another animal-led toon Secret Life recalls: Dumbo, specifically, the Pink Elephants on Parade hallucination sequence that unfolds after Dumbo and Timothy inadvertently become intoxicated on champagne. That Dumbo scene was an inspiration for Secret Life’s sausage factory scene. If you don’t want to know plot details of Secret Life of Pets, consider this your spoiler warning. The schlubby stray mutt Duke (voiced by Eric Stonestreet) and the pampered terrier Max (Louis C.K.) have not been getting along, caught in an “alpha dog” struggle after Max’s owner brings Duke home, and then constantly bickering when wild circumstances land both of them lost in the streets of Manhattan. But they finally bond over the discovery of Weiner Kingdom, »
- Emily Rome
“The Secret Life of Pets” dominated the weekend box office, racking up a massive $103.2 million and launching the first new franchise of the summer.
Its success is a feather in the cap for Illumination chief Chris Meledandri, confirming his status among the ranks of animation giants. The family film, which explores what dogs, cats, and other animal companions do while their owners are busy at work, cost an economical $75 million to produce, roughly half of what most studios spend making animated films. Universal is backing the film, which launched across 4,370 locations.
“The Secret Life of Pets” easily supplanted Disney and Pixar’s “Finding Dory” from first place on the box office charts — it has topped rankings for the three prior weeks. The sequel to “Finding Nemo” slid to second place with north of $20 million, having made more than $422 million to become the highest grossing film of the year on a domestic basis, »
- Brent Lang
The Secret Life of Pets, 2016.
A terrier named Max regularly invites his friends to hang out at his place while his owner is gone, but his quiet life is upended when said owner also takes in Duke, a stray mutt whom Max instantly dislikes.
Movie trailers are misleading. It’s just a fact that moviegoers have come to accept. Even more so, we have come to understand that while trailers are not always indicative of what we are about to see, movies must be judged on their own merits. It is a very tough pill to swallow however with The Secret Life of Pets considering that even outside of commercials and TV spots, the »
- Robert Kojder
At the multiplex the past couple weekends, a blue and yellow fish has won over audiences, and so has another the adorable seaside creature: Piper, the fluffy sandpiper starring in the short that screens before the main event, a now-expected treat at the beginnings of Pixar films. With Pixar making its splash this past month, a smaller animated studio is looking to make its mark later this summer. Laika, known best for its adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, will release its fourth stop motion animated feature, Kubo and the Two Strings, in August. One thing you won’t see at the start of Kubo: a short film. Laika, which started off with a focus on both feature films and commercial work, has produced one short, Moon Girl, directed by Henry Selick. Does Laika have plans to get back into short films? “No” was the immediate answer from Laika CEO »
- Emily Rome
Illumination-Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets” is dominating the U.S. box office with a $96 million opening weekend at 4,329 locations, estimates showed Saturday.
The animated comedy took in $38 million on its opening day, five times higher than first day of “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” with about $6.6 million.
“The Secret Life of Pets” will wind up dwarfing the weekend’s second-place finisher — either Disney/Pixar’s fourth weekend of “Finding Dory,” which has won three consecutive weekends, or Warner Bros.’ second weekend of “The Legend of Tarzan.” Both are heading for weekends of around $20 million.
Fox’s launch of Zac Efron’s “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” will finish fourth with about $18 million, followed by Universal/Blumhouse’s second frame of horror sequel “The Purge: Election Year” with about $11 million at 2,821 sites.
- Dave McNary
“The Secret Life of Pets” looks to dominate the U.S. box office with a $95 million opening weekend, early estimates showed Friday.
“The Secret Life of Pets,” from Illumination/Universal, is heading for a $35 million to $38 million opening day at 4,329 North American theaters. “Pets” could earn up to $99 million by Sunday.
Animated films will take the first two slots as Disney/Pixar’s fourth weekend of “Finding Dory” eyes a second-place finish with about $18 million, lifting its total to about $415 million by the end of the weekend.
Fox’s launch of Zac Efron’s “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” looks likely to finish third with about $16 million at 2,982 locations following an opening day of about $6 million. That should edge Warner Bros.’ second weekend of “The Legend of Tarzan” at about $15 million, with the second weekend of Disney’s “The Bfg” and Universal/Blumhouse’s “The Purge: Election Year” battling »
- Dave McNary
To help sift through the increasing number of new releases (independent or otherwise), the Weekly Film Guide is here! Below you’ll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for all of this week’s fresh offerings.
Starting this month, we’ve also put together a list for the entire month. We’ve included this week’s list below, complete with information on screening locations for films in limited release.
See More: Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for July 2016
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, July 8. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.
Director: Jake Szymanski
Synopsis: Two brothers place an online ad to find dates for a wedding and the ad goes viral.
Director: Chris Renaud, »
- Steve Greene
For many humans and animals alike, there’s no greater or more alluring bond and connection than the one between a loving owner and their devoted pet. No matter how many other friends they have or adventures they go on during the day when they’re separated, often times the most important part of the humans and their pets’ day is when they’re reunited at home. That powerful relationship between the owners and their animals is endearingly and humorously showcased in Illumination Entertainment’s new animated family film, ‘The Secret Life of Pets.’ The comedy reunited directors Yarrow Cheney and Chris Renaud, who previously helmed ‘Despicable Me 2′ and ‘The Lorax’ together. ‘The [ Read More ]
- Karen Benardello
Illumination-Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets” bit into $5.3 million at 3,009 theaters on Thursday night at the U.S. box office.
That’s nearly as much as the $6.2 million Illumination-Universal’s animated blockbuster “Minions” earned in previews last summer on its way to a $115 million opening weekend.
Fox’s R-rated “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” starring Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, launched with $1.6 million from 2,560 locations. The figure nearly matched the $1.7 million taken in by Efron’s “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” in May, when it opened with a $21.8 million weekend.
“Pets” is expected to gross at least $70 million this weekend and dethrone Disney-Pixar’s blockbuster “Finding Dory,” which has won three consecutive frames and dominated at multiplexes, grossing $396 million in 20 days.
Universal is opening “Pets” at 4,329 North American theaters on Friday. The film follows animals after their owners leave for work or school each day. »
- Dave McNary
Chicago – A promising voice cast of comedy greats is effectively neutered in the blasé animated family film “The Secret Life Of Pets.” It doesn’t have the multi-layered story of the best Pixar movies – or even the “Despicable Me” films – to satisfy both kids and grownups. The bigger it tries to be, the more exhausted it seems.
The film might have worked best as a short subject, but it simply doesn’t have enough ideas to sustain a full length animated film. It’s early scenes are the ones most likely to get your tale wagging – where we witness dogs, cats, birds, and other assorted animals in a New York CIty apartment building indulging themselves while their owners are away. They’re either nibbling on leftovers, partying with other dogs, going on walks or chasing squirrels. It’s the kind of thing that will amuse young viewers, and is »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
From the start, The Secret Life of Pets makes no secret that it is a Toy Story clone, and while it’s mostly entertaining, it never truly breaks past these boundaries. Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney‘s latest animation swings for the fences in terms of giving its characters the ability to go full-on crazy, and if anything, it succeeds in this regard. While there’s rarely a story beat that isn’t expected, there’s just enough humor from its all-star comedy voice cast to enjoy the journey.
At times it plays heavy on the clichés by twisting them in too obvious of a way — a dapper poodle listens to heavy metal when his owner is away — but at other times it simply makes them work like with Gidget (Jenny Slate), a feisty Pomeranian that makes one care for her story because of her earnestness. Other stand-outs are the »
- Bill Graham
Need to get the kiddos outta’ that oppressive July heat? Public pool’s too crowded? What about the cool, crisp air (with a dash of popcorn aroma) over at the multiplex? Sure Summer’s the time for action blockbusters and raucous comedies, but it’s also the season for all ages entertainment, particularly the animated feature offerings. Those Angry Birds flew out a few weeks ago, heading to the ole’ Redbox very soon. The wee ones have no doubt taken a dip or two with Finding Dory, or they might be amongst the few to encounter The B.F.G. (who knew he’d tank?). Luckily those fine folks at Universal and their animation partners at Illumination Entertainment, the Minions makers, may have just the thing. We’ve seen what toys do when left alone, what about your furry, feathered,and scaley pals? The title may sound like an undercover documentary, »
- Jim Batts
While Illumination Studios has certainly learned many lessons from the success of Pixar, it feels to me like they have also found their own voice in the process. Yes, The Secret Life Of Pets is basically just the first Toy Story with pets instead of toys, but what has become Illumination’s signature is the sheer number of gags per minute they throw at the audience. Far more akin to Looney Tunes than Disney in the grand scheme of things, The Secret Life Of Pets takes that Toy Story template and cranks it up to a dizzying degree, and it is largely successful. The few times the film really tries to land an emotional punch, it is clear just how deeply we all carry our feelings about pets in general, because they don’t have to do much to make it effective. Last week, I made a major life change »
- Drew McWeeny
Illumination shows great maturity with “The Secret Life of Pets” in terms of animation as well as producer Chris Meledandri’s fondness for buddy comedies wrapped around likable misfits. The diversity of animals and idiosyncrasies among breeds is noteworthy, as is the autumnal richness of New York, and the ensemble cast of comedians (including Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart) is funny and appealing.
Neurotic terrier, Max (C.K.), has a tough time adjusting to the arrival of a massive, if likable Newfoundland named Duke (Stonestreet), and his efforts to get rid of him results in crossing paths with “The Flushed Pets,” a group of abandoned animals led by the angry white rabbit Snowball (Hart).
Read More: Jenny Slate Realized The Power Of Her Own Skills By Going Indie
“It has some of the DNA of the ‘Despicable Me’ films, and I’m drawn to that cartoony sensibility, but as I reflected on it, »
- Bill Desowitz
Like a playful game of fetch, The Secret Life Of Pets finds mindless entertainment in repetitive predictability. You won’t get Pixar levels of emotional heft or glistening, hyper-realistic animation, only an Add-paced appreciation of child-pleasing, slapstick animated comedy.
Stacked against The Jungle Book‘s visual artistry and Finding Dory’s heartfelt nature, The Secret Life Of Pets opts for expected (yet always hilarious) rabbit poop jokes – not every student graduates with top honors, you know. Writers Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch, and Cinco Paul draw up a sweet owner/companion dynamic between characters, and even though scripted depth stops at “loyal companionship,” there’s still a pleasantly goofy amount of laughs worth sharing with cackling adolescent audiences. Adorable, easy laughs…but laughs nonetheless.
- Matt Donato
I don’t see nearly enough animation. For someone who sees about 350 movies a year, sometimes I barely seen a half dozen cartoons, and that’s kind of shameful. I usually hit the main Academy Award hopefuls and a few random ones besides that, but I slack when it comes to animated films. Still, I try to hit the big ones (Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, etc), though Illumination and Universal’s Despicable Me and Minions franchise has escaped my eye so far. Their latest outing, the original effort The Secret Life of Pets, however, I have seen (just yesterday, in fact). Furthermore, I’m happy to report that it’s rather adorable as well. It hits theaters this week and should be a huge hit. The film is (obviously) an animated look at what our furry friends do once we leave the house. The protagonist here is dog Max (voice of »
- Joey Magidson
Dog and cat people can both equally rejoice at The Secret Life of Pets, the latest animation project by Chris Renaud and other talent behind the Despicable Me series. Canary, rabbit, and viper lovers get thrown a bone as well. The film, premised on what pets really do behind closed doors when no humans are watching, touches in a heart-warming way on the relationship between humans and animals. It’s also a wacky and sometimes over the top comedy adventure epic with gorgeous animation and a clever soundtrack. While it does not rise to the level of the tear-jerking, moralistic films that have come to define the Pixar pantheon, it at least offers a few laughs along with one or two “aw” inducing situations.
Max (Louis C.K.), a pampered New York dog, does not do much all day other than sit and stare at the door while he waits for »
- J Don Birnam
Pet-loving moviegoers are expected to show strong support for the opening of Illumination-Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets” with more than $70 million this weekend at the U.S. box office.
The animated comedy should dethrone Disney-Pixar’s blockbuster “Finding Dory,” which has won three consecutive weekends and dominated at multiplexes with $381 million in 18 days. Fox is also opening the raunchy comedy “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” starring Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, amid expectations in the $15 million range.
“The Secret Life of Pets” has grossed $31 million in six international markets and is already the second-highest animated grosser this year in the U.K.
Universal will open “Pets” at approximately 4,300 North American theaters on Friday. The film is based on the simple premise of the lives led by pets after their owners leave for work or school each day.
Expectations have been elevated by strong »
- Dave McNary
1-20 of 60 items from 2016 « Prev | Next »
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners