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Week in Review rounds up the past week in film news in one easy place. Check back this weekend for round-ups for TV and gaming.
Oh Hai Tommy Wiseau. You’re making something of a comeback, aren’t you? Several months back we reported that you were working on a TV sitcom that you had written, directed, and starred in (naturally) called The Neighbors, but that in the same way that you would start throwing around a football and then completely forget about it a moment later, it seemed like that was just a whim. Sure enough, The Neighbors was picked up on Hulu, and this week you did a Reddit Ama to promote it. Looks like people are finally starting to recognize your genius.
Stepping away from my conversation with Mr. Wiseau for a moment, if you’ve ever actually gotten an opportunity to attend a late night screening »
- Brian Welk
Unfinished Business, the latest gross-out comedy from Vince Vaughn, was not press screened for critics in fear that poor reviews would deter people from going to see it. Well, it looks like that didn’t matter all that much.
The movie only managed to pull in a pathetic $4.8 million domestically, and an even worse $2.6 million overseas. With a budget of around $35 million, this is only disappointing news for 20th Century Fox.
This is now the lowest opening of a Vince Vaughn-led comedy movie and yet another disappointing box office performance from the actor following Delivery Man and The Watch. The Internship, with co-star Owen Wilson, did marginally better with $17.3 million, but its far removed from the likes of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story ($30 million), Wedding Crashers ($33.9 million), Couples Retreat ($34.2 million) and The Break-Up ($39.1 million).
- Luke Owen
Expect to see a lot of premature eulogies for Vince Vaughn's career today, after the disastrous opening of "Unfinished Business," just like you saw a lot of premature obituaries last week for Will Smith's career after the lackluster debut of "Focus."
True, "Business" was an especially spectacular flop, premiering in 10th place with only an estimated $4.8 million, less than half of the already modest $10 million pundits were predicting. That the movie is only the latest in a string of Vaughn flops (including "The Watch," "The Dilemma," "The Internship," and "Delivery Man") seems reason enough for pundits to start measuring the coffin.
Weep not for Vaughn. His hands and feet were immortalized in concrete outside Hollywood's Chinese Theatre just this past Wednesday. Next month, he'll star in the eagerly-anticipated second season on HBO's "True Detective," which, if nothing else, will remind those viewers who think of him only as »
- Gary Susman
Every now and then, an actor that usually makes good choices will pick a less-than-brilliant movie role that, nevertheless, pays handsomely. Unfinished Business seems to be what happens when you get a whole ensemble cast of players who seemingly have no possible incentive to be here other than the money.
It's no surprise to see Vince Vaughn, but we haven't the foggiest as to what Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, James Marsden and Nick Frost are doing here, if they're not in it for the salary. This mirthless, mercenary comedy is beneath all of them, even Vaughn, although this seems to be the kind of vehicle to which he hitches his wagon all too often these days.
2015 has been a banner year so far for Hollywood's movie studios and theater owners. This past weekend, however, is one they would like to forget. Sony Pictures and Mrc's "Chappie" came in at no. 1 with an estimated $13.3 million. That was significantly below pre-release polling which forecast as $20 million plus debut. It was also director Neill Blomkamp's worst performing debut so far and star Hugh Jackman's smallest opening since 2008's "Australia." "Chappie" earned mostly negative reviews with just a 40 rating on Metacritic and a 30% "fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes as well as a below average B grade on Cinemascore. That does not bode well for the long term playability of the $49 million budgeted Sci-Fi thriller. Last weekend's champ, Will Smith and Margot Robbie's "Focus," dropped to second place with another $10 million and $34.5 million in just 10 days. The Warner Bros. release looks like it will end up somewhere around $50 million domestic. »
- Gregory Ellwood
Unfinished Business, 2015.
Directed by Ken Scott.
A hard-working small business owner and his two associates travel to Europe to close the most important deal of their lives. But what began as a routine business trip goes off the rails in every way imaginable – and unimaginable.
I like to think that I have a pretty high tolerance for crude and crass comedy, or at least much higher than the average critic. With that said, even I couldn’t believe the amount of graphic content that Unfinished Business repeatedly hurls your way; the only problem is that most of the time the antics reek of desperation to get a juvenile laugh out of the audience because the rest of the film is so unfocused that, I’m assuming the writers just said “F*** it, let’s just »
- Robert Kojder
20th Century Fox released their new comedy film, "Unfinished Business," into theaters this weekend, and all the reviews have been submitted from the top, major movie critics in the biz. It turns out that they weren't too fond of this one, giving it only an overall 32 score out of a possible 100 at the Metacritic.com site. The film stars: James Marsden, Tom Wilkinson, Sienna Miller, Nick Frost, Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco. We've posted blurbs from a few of the critics,below. Michael O'Sullivan at the Washington Post, gave it a 63 grade, stating: "While by no means a masterpiece, the comedy, by Canadian director Ken Scott, is a careful calibration of crass gags and genuine sentiment that succeeds more often than it fails." Dana Rosa Falcone from Entertainment Weekly, gave it a 50 score. She stated: " The movie struggles to find its comedic footing by trying to bring out the family »
- Andre Braddox
Neill Blomkamp's "Chappie" got a polarizing reaction from critics and moviegoers appear unsure of the final product as well. The Sci-Fi flick opened to just $4.5 million on Friday for what could be a $13-14 million weekend. That was enough for it to take the top spot at the box office, but considering initial pre-release polling had the film debuting over $20 million that has to be a major disappointment for distributor Sony Pictures. "Chappie" is on track to be Hugh Jackman's worst opening since "Australia" in 2008 and Blomkamp's worst ever after "District 9" debuted to $37 million and "Elysium" found $29.8 million in its first frame. Last weekend's top film, "Focus," dropped to no. 2 with another $2.8 million and $27.4 million to date. The Will Smith and Margot Robbie hustle looks like it will eventually tap out around $50 million. Debuting at no. 3 in just 1,573 screens (under half of the number for "Chappie »
- Gregory Ellwood
The U.S. box office is as glum this weekend as the dystopian future depicted in one of the new releases.
Although off to a soft start, Neill Blomkamp’s robot thriller “Chappie” is No. 1 at the box office, aiming for a lower-than-expected $13 million to $13.5 million this weekend, while the comedy “Unfinished Business” is giving star Vince Vaughn the worst opening weekend of his career.
Sony’s “Chappie” launched to $4.5 million on Friday in the U.S. Blomkamp’s third film is far behind his previous two (dystopian thrillers as well): “District 9,” which opened to $37.4 million in 2009, and “Elysium,” which launched to $29.8 million in 2013.
Made on a modest $49 million budget (financed partly by Mrc and LStar Capital) and shot in South Africa, much like the low-budget hit “District 9,” the Johannesburg-set film could do better business overseas as it opens simultaneously in 53 markets, including the U.K., Germany, »
- Maane Khatchatourian
Vaughn’s R-rated comedy “Unfinished Business,” distributed by 20th Century Fox, is projected to see a dismal $5 million opening from 2,777 locations. The actor’s previous career-low was earned by 2013’s “Delivery Man,” which opened to $7 million domestically.
In the No. 1 position, “Chappie” will finish the weekend with an estimated $15 million, ahead of Fox Searchlight’s “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and Warner Bros.’ second weekend of Will Smith’s “Focus,” which will battle for second with about $10 million each.
The two-week slump in the U.S. box office came after a 10% surge in moviegoing this year, with the industry hoping that Disney’s “Cinderella” can reignite business next weekend.
- Dave McNary
Chicago – Have you ever seen a film where they throw everything against a wall to see what sticks? The appropriately titled “Unfinished Business” is a throwing machine, taking the flimsy premise of a business trip and using it as an excuse for a splattering of jokes that mostly don’t work.
Vince Vaughn takes his hipster/flummoxed movie persona and becomes a Daddy figure, with the wifey at home, and two rug rats for use as punchlines. Yep, Vincent has gone domestic. Joining him is the requisite dopey assistant and old horny guy, which is reliable as a basis for jokes-that-don’t-score. This is a by the book mainstream comedy, with no originality and a foregone conclusion. When Vince Vaughn is portraying an underdog sales representative – yes, I said sales rep – and it doesn’t look like he’ll close the big deal, what do think will happen? It »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Sometimes, business just needs to be shuttered. The new Vince Vaughn R-rated comedy “Unfinished Business” is taking a beating from critics across the country ahead of its opening weekend. In the film, Vaughn stars alongside Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco as three business associates who travel to Europe together to close a major deal, only for everything to go unimaginably wrong. Also Read: Harrison Ford and 9 Other Notable Hollywood Pilots (Photos) TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde wrote in his review of the film, “It’s not impossible to mix sentimentality, raunch, corporate gamesmanship and the G-8 Summit in a comedy, but this one doesn’t pull. »
- Joe Otterson
Does digital data offer indicators that can be used to monitor marketing effectiveness and predict box office success even before awareness turns into intent? Moviepilot – which studies social data and box office trends – analyzes this weekend’s new movies across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google (the methodology behind the numbers is laid out in the appendix below) over the seven days leading up to their release, when marketing campaigns should be at their peak.
Moviepilot Prediction: $14 million
“Chappie” is “District 9” director Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to “Elysium,” featuring Sharlto Copley from his band of frequent collaborators, South African rap duo Die Antwoord and Hugh Jackman. The sci-fi genre has been difficult to predict of late, with misses for big-budget titles like “Jupiter Ascending” mixed in with surprise smashes like last summer’s “Lucy.”
“Chappie” will be looking to get males into theaters, with digital efforts particularly targeting younger moviegoers. »
- Tobias Bauckhage
Flickering Myth chats with Vince Vaughn…
Frustrated with in fighting and office politics, Dan Trunkman quits his secure job to launch his own company with just two associates – the naïve, inexperienced Mike (Dave Franco) and the world weary Tim (Tom Wilkinson) who is nearing retirement. But the new venture is struggling to survive in a harsh economic climate and Dan and his colleagues need to win a lucrative deal with a large, European owned corporation to keep afloat.At first Dan is convinced that the deal is done and heads to Portland, Oregon, confident that it’s in the bag. But once there, he discovers that his old employers, represented by his former boss, Chuck Fortnoy (Sienna Miller »
- Luke Owen
Flickering Myth caught up with Dave Franco…
Franco plays Mike Pancake, a young, naïve recruit to Dan Trunkman’s struggling company (Vaughn) who, along with the third member of the team, Tim (Wilkinson), set off on a business trip to try and secure a crucial deal that will shore up their futures. But the trio find themselves up against ruthless opposition, what starts out as a short trip to Portland, Oregon ends up in vibrant, bohemian Berlin where Dan, Mike and Tim have a series of hilarious setbacks as they chase their dream. With a G8 summit in town – and a sex fetish event drawing even more exotic characters into Berlin – they mingle with the exotic inhabitants and each, in his own way, will change forever.
“I think it’s great, »
- Luke Owen
Does Vince Vaughn do actual comedies anymore? Once the poster child for bros-behaving-badly fare, Vaughn has recently begun engaging in an interesting, occasionally perplexing bait-and-switch: Lure us with the promise of wild antics (the posters for Unfinished Business depict Vaughn and co-stars Tom Wilkinson and Dave Franco in various states of bacchanalia), then deliver something more somber and sensitive instead. Looking back over my review of Delivery Man, the 2013 sperm-donor comedy-drama Vaughn made with his Unfinished Business director Ken Scott, I see that I basically said the same thing then, too. So maybe I should stop being so perplexed.But still. For its first half, Unfinished Business is surprisingly acerbic and serious, more Up in the Air than Office Space. It opens mid-conversation, as we see St. Louis mineral salesman Dan Trunkman (Vaughn) bickering with his ruthless boss Chuck (Sienna Miller — yes, you read that right) over a 5 percent pay cut. »
- Bilge Ebiri
Also on tap this weekend? Unfinished Business.
It may sound like drama about ghosts and the humans who continue pining after them – Ghost 2, anyone? – but no, that’s not at all what this weekend’s Vince Vaughn film is all about.
In the non-paranormal workplace comedy, Vaughn trades in his regular comedy collaborators, Owen Wilson andBen Stiller, for new blood: 21 Jump Street’s Dave Franco and… Tom Wilkinson? From Michael Clayton? Wait, what?
A hard-working small business owner and his two associates travel »
- Cineplex Entertainment
The British actor, best known for his trilogy of films with co-star Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz," and "The World's End"), has appeared as a comic-strip character in "The Adventures of Tin Tin," one of the seven dwarves in "Snow White and the Huntsman," and as a strung-out doper in cult sci-fi comedy "Attack the Block." But, in "Unfinished Business," the new comedy starring Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, and Dave Franco, Frost plays a buttoned-up businessman who has a rather outrageous personal life.
This means that, for most of the movie, he's outfitted in a snug leather ensemble and, at one point... well, I'm not going to spoil it for you. But, like I said, even for fans of the comedian, this is a whole new side of Nick Frost. »
- Drew Taylor
Apparently made by snickering 12-year-olds who like naked boobies and have heard rumors about the phenomenon known as “the business trip.” I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): the trailer was embarrassing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Unfinished Business is the kind of movie in which a mentally retarded character — whose impairment is offered as a constant source of “hilarity” — is required to recite a line of dialogue such as “The penis touched my face” in a way that, this pathetic excuse for entertainment hopes, will make you laugh. Because the penis did indeed touch his face, and you are, it is presumed, consumed with “American prudishness,” hence you will snicker, just like, in another scene, the retarded character snickers when he sees naked boobies. In a fit of something that the movie deems clever, the naked-boobies scene directly addresses the matter »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Once again Hollywood reaches for that elusive golden ring that is the big box office “R” rated comedy smash. After all, there’s been a Hangover trilogy, and double dips in the Hot Tub Time Machine and those Horrible Bosses. So when did this cycle of raunchy, crude laugh fests begin? Many point to that unexpected Bo champ from nearly ten years ago, Wedding Crashers. And, oddly enough, one half of that “bromance” headlines this new release. That 2015 hit was a high point in the roller coaster movie career of Vince Vaughn, a ride that really began with his breakout role nearly twenty years ago in Swingers. But of recent years the coaster car has been on a downward trek with misfires like The Watch and The Internship. Perhaps with two new comic cohorts and the director of one of his few recent bright spots (Delivery Man), he can put »
- Jim Batts
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