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We’ve reviewed every summer movie season since 1980 to find out which are the best, and which are the worst. Last week we posted our picks for the worst, and here we post our picks for the best.
2015 and 2016 may just be the most overthetop summer movie seasons yet. It seems like nearly every movie slated for a summer 2015 or 2016 release is heavily anticipated. Because of these impending summers of movie awesomeness, we’ve decided to take a look back at summer movie seasons of years past. The idea of the summer movie season is currently in full swing, but it didn’t catch on immediately. Hollywood had to do its fair share of experimenting to determine what types of films would be most successful. As a result, some summer movie seasons have been better than others. We’ve reviewed them all for you and ranked them from worst to best. »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
On September 19th, 20th Century Fox will unveil the highly anticipated The Maze Runner and according to early numbers, director Wes Ball’s movie is on track for a $30 million opening when it bows next weekend.
Based upon the best-selling novel by James Dashner, when Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape.
One of the most popular soundtracks Sony Music has released this year, the original movie score is from American film composer and conductor John Paesano.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Paesano initially studied classical music with composition professor Sally Dow Miller of Conservatoire de Paris. »
- Michelle McCue
Transitioning from the TV industry to running a film studio hasn’t fared well for Rich Ross and Gail Berman, whose stints at the top of Disney and Paramount lasted around two years. Can Turner Broadcasting’s Michael Wright do any better at DreamWorks?
The films he inherits include Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book “The Bfg,” which will hit theaters on July 1, 2016, and a Cold War spy thriller starring Tom Hanks that he also will direct. There’s also “The Light Between Ocean,” which started production this month, an adaptation of “The Ghost in the Shell” that Rupert Saunders will direct and “Las Madres.”
Here’s what Wright tells Variety he’s learned by watching the film industry from the sidelines, and launching hit series like Michael Bay’s “The Last Ship,” “The Closer” spinoff “Major Crimes,” “Legends,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and DreamWorks’ “Falling Skies »
- Marc Graser
One of the more purely entertaining docs at Tiff this year was “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films,” partly because it featured nudity, sex and break-dancing. But among the points it makes is that the shameless cheese factory that was Cannon consistently made movies that were shadows of other movies. Chuck Norris’ “Missing in Action” recalled Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo”; “King Solomon’s Mines” wanted to be “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” “Death Wish II” and III, and IV, were dying to be “Death Wish," etc., etc. The 2014 Tiff documentaries, for all their socially progressive virtues and occasionally virtuosic flourishes, echoed other movies, too – unavoidably, in some instances. There are only so many ways you can go with a certain topic; and if you’re selling ideas, style often gets in the way. While all docs are, with any luck, about ideas, some require a filmmaker to »
- John Anderson
On one of the worst weekends in years, Guardians of the Galaxy easily held on to first place for the third-straight frame. Meanwhile, The Identical*the week's only new nationwide release*bombed with less than $2 million.The Top 12 earned $51.5 million, which makes it the lowest-grossing weekend in six years. In the past decade, the worst weekend was September 5-7, 2008, when the Top 12 grossed $50.3 million.Guardians of the Galaxy eased 39 percent to $10.4 million. This is the movie's fourth weekend in first place; the only other movies to accomplish such a feat in the past decade are The Dark Knight, Avatar and The Hunger Games.On Saturday, Guardians passed last Summer's Man of Steel, which is noteworthy given the discrepancy in pre-existing fanbases for these two superhero movies. With $294.8 million, Guardians is now the highest-grossing movie ever from the month of August (ahead of The Sixth Sense), and it's on track to »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ready for something out of this world?
Syfy, which earlier this year passed on Bryan Fuller’s High Moon pilot, is repackaging the 90-minute opener as a TV movie, and we’ve got an exclusive first look at the heart-stopping first four minutes.
Related Fall Preview 2014: Your Handy Calendar of 99 Premieres
An adaptation of John Christopher’s 1969 young adult sci-fi novel The Lotus Caves, the project — penned by Jim Danger Gray (Pushing Daisies) — is set in a future in which the countries of Earth have established colonies to mine the moon’s resources. However, chaos erupts after a new life form is discovered. »
Have you ever wondered what are the films that inspire the next generation of visionary filmmakers? As part of our monthly Ioncinephile profile (read this September), we ask the filmmaker the incredibly arduous task of identifying their top ten list of favorite films. Craig Johnson (who sees his The Skeleton Twins receive its theatrical release on September 12th) put together this top 10 (as of September 2014).
Carrie - Brian De Palma (1976)
“Freaky, funny, arty, beautiful, … and fucking scary. Sissy Spacek breaks your heart. And that seventies split screen action? Badass. This movie delivers on all levels at all times.”
“Every moment of this movie rings true. Painfully funny, painfully smart and so perfectly constructed. My sister and I quote it whenever we see each other. Might be a perfect film.”
“The look on Mrs. Robinson’s face when Benjamin leaves her in the hallway. »
- Eric Lavallee
With faith-based flick The Identical bombing, Guardians of the Galaxy easily held on to first place at the box office on a very slow Friday.The Top 10 earned just $13.2 million yesterday. On the worst weekend of the past decade (Sept. 5-7), the Top 10 took in $14 million. Translation: this will likely be the lowest-grossing weekend in over a decade.Guardians of the Galaxy eased 30 percent to an estimated $2.71 million. The Marvel movie has so far earned $287.1 million, and is on track to reach $300 million next weekend. For the three-day frame, Guardians will take first place with just under $10 million. This will be its fourth weekend in the top spot: The Dark Knight, Avatar and The Hunger Games are the only other movies to accomplish such a feat in the past decade.If I Stay took second place with $1.61 million (off 39 percent). The young-adult romance has grossed $35.5 million so far.Let's Be Cops »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Scream Factory recently gifted us genre fans a double dose of creature feature terrors with their Blu-ray releases of the killer rat flick Deadly Eyes and George P. Cosmatos’ hugely underrated deep sea horror film Leviathan. While both films aren’t necessarily well-known amongst more casual fans, it’s great to see Scream put such great effort into their presentations for each of these cult classics.
For those who haven’t seen it before, Deadly Eyes (or Rats)is a rather ridiculous (but wonderfully so) early ‘80s nature-run-amok story that plays up the concerns and dangers of modern urban society by way of roided-out killer rat infestations that have a penchant for human flesh. The film takes its premise very seriously, but it’s the use of Daschunds in rat costumes that has given Deadly Eyes something of an unintentional comedic spin, making for a rather uneven horror film.
- Heather Wixson
A recent Forbes list named Sandra Bullock as the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, but when it comes to shaping the films coming out of the industry pipeline, you have to look behind the camera for the biggest movers and shakers.
Digital Spy takes a look at 9 of Hollywood's most influential women below...
When George Lucas handed over the keys to his Lucasfilm kingdom he turned to Kathleen Kennedy, who began her Hollywood career as Steven Spielberg's secretary and swiftly rose through the ranks to produce hits such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and The Sixth Sense.
Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm signaled an aggressive intent to relaunch Star Wars for a new generation – following on from Episode VII, we'll get to see big-screen sequels and spinoffs, an animated TV show, fresh Star Wars comics, novels and video games in a huge cross-media tapestry weaving together George Lucas's universe. »
The weekend after Labor Day is notoriously one of the slowest of the year, which led the major studios to completely avoid the date this year. As a result, the only new nationwide release is The Identical, a faith-based movie from indie distributor Freestyle Releasing.Eli Roth's The Green Inferno was also supposed to open nationwide this weekend, but was pulled from the calendar last month due to a dispute between the financier and the distributor (Open Road Films). A new release date hasn't been set yet.Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy should wind up take first place on what will almost certainly be the lowest-grossing weekend of the year at the box office. The lowest-grossing weekend of the past decade occurred at this same time in 2008, when the Top 12 earned a combined $50.3 million; it's possible that this weekend's crop of movies fails to match that number.Opening at 1,956 theaters, »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While the #CinephilePhoto trend on Twitter is highlighting a lot of favorite shots from filmmakers and fans alike, CineFix has decided to collect what they they are the 100 Most Iconic Shots of All-Time. They start all the way in the past with some of the earliest motion pictures, moving through iconic silent films very quickly until things move very quickly beginning with Citizen Kane. Now this isn't entirely meant to be definitive, though it strives for some objectivity by including well-regarded films of history like North by Northwest and The Wizard of Oz as well as pop culture icons like Raiders of the Lost Ark and more. Here's CineFix's picks for the 100 Most Iconic Shots of All-Time (via Movies.com): While I'm not sure I entirely agree with inclusions like Pretty Woman, The Notebook or Some Like It Hot, despite the timeless nature of the latter comedy in cinema's history, »
- Ethan Anderton
Women presidents at AMPAS: Cheryl Boone Isaacs follows Bette Davis, Fay Kanin (photo: Angelina Jolie, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Brad Pitt) (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars Non-Winners: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich.") Wrapping up this four-part "Honorary Oscars Bypass Women" article, let it be noted that in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 85-year history only two of its presidents have been women: two-time Oscar-winning actress Bette Davis (for two months in 1941, before the Dangerous and Jezebel star was forced to resign) and screenwriter Fay Kanin (1979-1983), whose best-known screen credit is the 1958 Doris Day-Clark Gable comedy Teacher’s Pet. Additionally, following some top-level restructuring in April 2011, the Academy created the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer; the former is currently held by a woman, former Film Independent executive director and sometime actress Dawn Hudson, »
- Andre Soares
Steven Zeitchik recently recognized Guardians of the Galaxy as the most recent in a string of modern blockbusters that are essentially plot-free films. Citing a respect for witty banter over storytelling, he also offered the criticism that several studio movies had motivations that were murky and details that were intentionally blurry. I love Zeitchik’s work, but this assessment is confusing for two reasons. One, his argument is a misunderstanding (or at least a misappropriation) of what “plot” — the cause and effect-based sequence of events — actually is. It would be difficult to make a movie without a plot that isn’t raw abstract experimentation. On the other hand, “post-plot” is a catchy, succinct phrase, so I get it. Two, within his argument, Zeitchik remarks offhandedly that, “[t]here is a strange, perhaps super-meta irony in [Guardians] making frequent reference to cinematic classics like The Maltese Falcon, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars, all »
- Scott Beggs
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
Those Guardians of the Galaxy continued to rule the box office this Labor Day weekend. So where did that leave the horror offering As Above/So Below and the 30th anniversary re-release of arguably the most influential horror comedy of a generation?
As Above/So Below managed to continue two trends at once. First, the Paris-set Universal/Legendary horror film marks the latest found footage movie promoted in such a way as to hope you didn't know that going in. Just how on the outs is the found footage genre that Hollywood marketers are now going out of their way to downplay the format?
As Above/So Below also continues the trend of wide release horror movies in 2014 not exactly lighting the box office on fire. Falling near the middle of the pack at #5 with an estimated $10.3 million for the Labor Day weekend, according to Box Office Mojo, that's just »
A slow Summer at the domestic box office came to a quiet end this weekend.Guardians of the Galaxy held on to first place, while the two newcomers (As Above/So Below, The November Man fell short of $10 million.Over the three-day weekend, the Top 12 earned $88.2 million, which makes this the second-worst weekend of the year so far. Guardians of the Galaxy added $17.1 million, which ranks eighth all-time among fifth weekends. It was off just one percent from last weekend, which is a great Labor Day hold; that's even better than last year's Lee Daniels' The Butler and We're the Millers (down 10 percent and 3 percent, respectively). Over the long weekend, Guardians earned $22.9 million, which ranks third all-time among Labor Day weekends.Including Labor Day, the 10th movie from Marvel Studios has now earned $281.2 million at the domestic box office. Even with the Summer season coming to a close, Guardians »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Against two weak newcomers, Guardians of the Galaxy held on to first place at the box office on Friday.More importantly, Guardians passed Captain America: The Winter Soldier to become the highest-grossing movie of the year at the domestic box office with $262.1 million.Guardians added $3.8 million on Friday, which is down just 20 percent from last weekend. That puts it on pace for around $16 million for the three-day frame and over $20 million for the four-day holiday weekend. In the long run, Guardians is now guaranteed to earn over $300 million, and could finish as high as $320 million.As Above/So Below took second place on Friday with $3.2 million. That's a bit higher than recent Labor Day horror movies Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D, though that's not saying much. It should earn between $9 and $10 million for the three-day weekend and over $11 million through Monday.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fell 41 percent to $2.7 million, »
- Ray Subers
The Wil Wheaton Project won’t be back for a second season, TVLine has confirmed.
The Syfy series Wheaton described as “Talk Soup for geeks” premiered May 27 and finished its 12-episode first season in mid-August.
Wheaton broke news of the cancellation via a post on WilWheaton.net, in which the Star Trek: The Next Generation alum/Big Bang Theory guest star writes that the network’s executives “just didn’t think we had enough viewers to justify more episodes.”
A Syfy rep confirms to TVLine that the series is cancelled.
Related Cable Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Cancelled? »
Up until now, Legendary Pictures has been a production company exclusively associated with high concept, big budget popcorn fare (they've been responsible for everything from Christopher Nolan's Batman movies to "Pacific Rim"), but with the success of "Paranormal Activity," and similarly low-cost genre material, the studio is branching out by going small. This week's "As Above, So Below," a grainy, archeology-themed found footage movie that uneasily mixes "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with "Flatliners," is the first effort under this new initiative. While the movie certainly has its share of thrills, it's clear that it lacks that zeitgeist-capturing magic that the best low-budget horror films offer. If Legendary is looking for a potential franchise, they might have to dig elsewhere. Even with its ridiculously pretentious title, "As Above, So Below" has the most basic of genre set-ups: a team of archeologists and urban »
- Drew Taylor
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