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"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay" isn't quite keeping the first two films in the series at the box office, but is nonetheless on its way to a massive opening weekend. Powered by Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, "Mockingjay" soared to $55 million on Friday, making it the biggest Friday opening of the year. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" earned $41.9 million on its first Friday. "Mockingjay" will likely earn around $130 million for the weekend, again topping "Age of Extinction's" $100 million weekend debut. However, "Mockingjay" is doing much slower business that last year's "Catching Fire," which opened to a staggering $158.1 million last year, as well as the first "Hunger Games," which bowed to $152 million in 2012. The first film went on to gross a huge $408 million domestically, while "Catching Fire" topped it with $424 million. The threequel -- the first part of the two-part finale -- will have to make up some ground next week »
- Dave Lewis
Over the past decade, Lee Smith has worked alongside Christopher Nolan as the director has climbed to the highest peaks of Hollywood, with "Batman Begins," "The Prestige," "The Dark Knight," "Inception," and "The Dark Knight Rises." I recently had the chance to speak to Smith about his approach to editing, Nolan, their relationship, and their change of pace (both literal and figurative) that is "Interstellar." Coming from an Australian family deeply involved in the film industry, Smith started his career working in sound. In the editing realm, he cut his teeth on genre films like "The Howling III" and "RoboCop 2" and soon began a collaboration with Peter Weir on titles such as "Fearless," "The Truman Show" and "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" (for which he earned his first Oscar nomination). While working in Hollywood on "Master," Smith was first asked if he was interested in meeting Nolan, »
- Gerard Kennedy
Whether you love him or hate him, filmmaker Christopher Nolan has continued to find new ways to challenge his audience, and paradigms of filmmaking as a whole, throughout his remarkable career. His breakout hit Memento shattered audiences' expectations of a traditional narrative story, while The Dark Knight trilogy redefined the superhero genre in ways nobody even knew they wanted, until they saw it with their very eyes. Inception proved that one does not need to induce hallucinogenic drugs to get the head trip of a lifetime, and even his more straight-forward films like Insomnia and The Prestige are exceptionally bold. Regardless of what you might think of his latest offering Interstellar, most will likely agree that Christopher Nolan has outdone himself, offering truly outstanding visuals coupled with a mind-shattering narrative that still has filmgoers talking weeks after opening day.
With all that being said, Interstellar, all 169 minutes of it, isn't »
It’s been a full two weeks since “Interstellar” opened, and so far, Christopher Nolan’s space epic hasn’t quite proven to be the surefire hit many were expecting. It might not be a solid Best Picture contender in this year’s Oscars. It opened second at the box office, underperforming below another new release, “Big Hero 6,” by about $9 million, marking Nolan’s worst opening since “The Prestige” in 2006. And to top it off, reviews have been mixed. Still, say what you will about the film, “Interstellar” is a Nolan production, and that means big — big budget, big action, big collaborations, and big ideas. And when we say big ideas, we mean it. Nolan took a couple very interesting approaches to the film’s score this go-around. First, the director changed things up with how and when he worked with film score king Hans Zimmer. As you can »
- Zach Hollwedel
Amir here, reporting to box office duty. Dumb and Dumber To came out on top this weekend, beating Big Hero 6 to the number one spot. It’s curious that my anticipation for this sequel which had been building up and gradually increasing over two decades completely deflated the minute it was released, but that tends to happen when reviews, commercials and even the film’s stars seem unenthused about their work.
Meanwhile, the weekend’s other wide opening, Beyond the Lights, finished fourth. I want Gugu Mbatha-Raw to be a star so badly, so here’s hoping it sticks around in the top ten for while. And speaking of sticking around, Gone Girl remained the top 5 for the seventh week in a row, a bigger success than most had imagined and now the second biggest success of David Fincher's career (after Se7en) if you adjust for inflation.
- Amir S.
Gavin Logan on what’s next for Christopher Nolan…
Last weekend saw the worldwide release of Christopher Nolan’s latest and perhaps one of his most widely anticipated movies to date Interstellar starring Matthew McConaughey as a former Nasa pilot turned corn farmer who is tasked with helping to save the human race from extinction. Like most Nolan movies it was met with an explicit reaction and critical dissection from critics and fans alike. The one word that kept popping up in various reviews and opinion pieces was “ambitious”, and I can see why. It’s the perfect way to describe Interstellar.
This isn’t a review (you can read those here and here) so I won’t go into the laborious and intricate details of the movie or why it did or didn’t work for me but one thing is for sure, you can’t go any bigger »
- Gavin Logan
Though there are plenty of people out there who have some discrepancies with Christopher Nolan's sci-fi drama Interstellar, one of the more unanimous points of praise has been for the block robot Tars and his colleague Case, both of which assist Matthew McConaughey on his mission to save the planet. The robots are fitted with incredible artificial intelligence which allows them to have a sense of humor and even a judge of how honest to be (though it's all regulated by the astronauts themselves). Well, Vulture liked the robots so much that they imagined what it might be like if Tars was a movie star, and it's great. Look now! Here are the posters for some of the biggest movies Tars has starred in before Interstellar: See a couple more of these faux movie posters starring Tars over at Vulture right here. Interstellar is directed by British filmmaker Christopher Nolan, »
- Ethan Anderton
If Christopher Nolan is not the most popular, talented, influential or even interesting director working today, then he is certainly the most important.
The release of a Christopher Nolan movie, even one that “underperforms” at the box office like this week’s Interstellar, is by far the most fervently talked about work of art for several news cycles. Even in the face of constant barrages of Taylor Swift headlines, Nolan’s work is intensely debated and scrutinized in a way no other filmmaker receives for even one film, let alone all of them.
In fact, the wild, ranting, nitpick-y plot hole posts that were previously confined to IMDb message boards have this week migrated to real entertainment news sites. This one found 21 things that didn’t make sense about Interstellar, this one made objections to the science and plot on the whole, and this one found only 13. For whatever reason, »
- Brian Welk
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, whose title alone in reference to the director’s name equals cinematic moxie, has the makings of a filmmaker putting his direction, vision and ideas to the test, where a running time of 169 minutes set in milieus that rocket from one plane of existence to the titular other — the interstellar, infinite void — becomes a creative challenge, which every director, who thinks as big as Nolan does, at some point in their careers confront.
Blockbuster directors, all of whom auteurs in one way or another, like the late great pioneer Georges Méliès, the aquatically keen James Cameron, the master of lens flares Michael Bay, the attentively adjusted Riddley Scott, the perfectionist Stanley Kubrick, or the wondrously curious Steven Spielberg have all communed with — or taken the trip to — the cosmological land, all with different results.
Most certainly, it is a place not only of sublimity, but, more importantly, »
- Fiman Jafari
The box office race is largely about managing expectations.
Distributor Paramount Pictures learned that the hard way by putting itself in the embarrassing position of having to revise its estimated $50 million opening weekend for “Interstellar” downward by nearly $3 million when the film actually debuted at $47.5 million.
Final box office results often come in lower or higher than estimates, but being off by several million is a much wider gap than usual and most rival studios had “Interstellar” bowing at closer to $47 million than the $50 million Paramount claimed it would do. The discrepancy may have inspired some of the more negative headlines.
It should be noted, however, “Interstellar” actually did better overseas and on a global basis than initially reported. The picture soared to $82.9 million internationally, »
- Brent Lang
Christopher Nolan recently sat down for a chat with The Daily Beast. In this chat, they explored several topics that spanned everything from his position in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film, his responses to some of the critique of Interstellar, and how producing Man of Steel helped inform his decisions on how to shoot the Americana setting shown in Interstellar.
The man responsible for relaunching Batman after the character had sputtered out with Batman and Robin, and whose vision for the iconic character transformed him into one of the hottest pop culture properties of the last 10 years, was asked about the new "new Batman." While some folks have made themselves willfully blind to the fact that Nolan is no longer intrinsically attached to the franchise- having stepped away from creative duties after Man of Steel- and have claimed that he had some sort of hand in »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Christopher Nolan made Memento, but he also made The Dark Knight Rises. Great filmmakers can make bad movies: This is not a particularly complicated equation. And Nolan's new space melodrama Interstellar is not a particularly complicated movie. The science is elaborate and insane, but the emotional stakes are simple: Father loves daughter, father saves humanity. But Nolan is one of our plottiest filmmakers. (Most films have three acts; Nolan's movies usually have at least six, usually out of order and/or overlapping.) I attempted to explain the plot of Interstellar, but even I ran up against some impenetrable cosmo-logic. Some »
- Darren Franich
While you’d be hard-pressed to find someone not familiar with Christopher Nolan’s work, his brother and frequent collaborator Jonathan Nolan is responsible for helping craft some of Christopher’s most beloved films. He wrote the short story that served as the inspiration for Memento and co-wrote the screenplays for The Prestige, The Dark Knight Rises, and the seminal The Dark Knight with his brother. Most recently, Jonah collaborated on the screenplay for Christopher’s sci-fi epic Interstellar (which he initially wrote for Steven Spielberg to direct), and now he’s continuing on with the sci-fi theme in a TV series adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s book trilogy Foundation. More after the jump. Per The Wrap, Jonah Nolan is developing a Foundation TV series for HBO that he will write and produce. While his brother keeps busy in the feature film world, Jonah has become well versed in the »
- Adam Chitwood
Jonathan Nolan has been tied to his brother Christopher Nolan for the majority of this career, having co-written the screenplays for The Prestige, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and, most recently, Interstellar. He has, however, started branching out on his own a bit having created "Person of Interest" for CBS and he's putting together Westworld for HBO. Now, he's continuing that partnership with HBO as The Wrap reports Nolan is set to write and produce an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" trilogy for the cable network. Here's the book's synopsis: For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. Only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future--a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire--both scientists »
- Brad Brevet
Your Us box office report for 7th – 9th November 2014…
It was rumoured earlier in the week that Disney’s latest animated movie Big Hero 6 would top the Us box office, despite claims to the contrary from fans of Christopher Nolan. But not only did Big Hero 6 win the weekend, it won so defiantly. Based on a Marvel comic, Big Hero 6 took a whopping $56 .2 million over the weekend domestically and an extra $23 million worldwide. But even with this big of a weekend opening, it falls behind live action counterparts Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. »
- Luke Owen
Directed by Christopher Nolan
A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
A quick note before I begin the review:
Regardless of what I or others may think about Interstellar, one thing will remain constant; you need to see the film in 70mm IMAX to truly experience the film as the director wanted it to be seen. The advent of digital screening may be, to some, an improvement over film projected at 24 Fps due to clarity unseen before, but nothing can match the beautiful grain and slight imperfections of watching a film. The detail is so rich, you cannot mistake it for anything else and, if for no other reason, »
- Gary Collinson
Michael C here with your weekend review...
With its plot about humanity taking the next step of evolution into outer space, it was inevitable that Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar would be compared to 2001: A Space Odyssey. But despite surface similarities the comparison is a poor one. Nolan has never shown any inclination towards the kind of mind-expanding abstractions that constitute Kubrick’s version of the infinite. It is no coincidence that Interstellar’s plot centers around Jessica Chastain’s quest to complete an equation. Nolan movies demand answers. Even when his films appear to be ambiguous they pull back to reveal an underlying order. The mysteries of The Prestige are shown to be a complex web of interlocking secrets; the infamous spinning totem from Inception’s ending isn’t an enigma so much as the precise punchline to an elaborate riddle. Even the blazing anarchy of the Joker takes »
- Michael C.
Christopher Nolan may be the man who “rebooted the blockbuster,” according to a recent Guardian feature, but it appears that chinks are starting to appear in what was once seen as an unassailable armor. Despite early projections that saw the film debuting north of $60 million, Paramount’s “Interstellar” could not surpass $50 million in its opening weekend or nab the top slot. Instead, in one of 2014’s most surprising box-office showings, Disney’s animated “Big Hero 6” bested Nolan’s epic space odyssey by a considerable margin. Clearly four quadrant and family friendly, audiences came out in droves to “Big Hero 6” to the tune of $56 million, even without much Marvel help (it’s an adaptation of a Marvel property, but that studio shied away from additional promotion as they felt it really wasn’t one of their babies). "Interstellar" now marks the lowest-grossing Nolan opening since “The Prestige” in 2006. Even "Inception, »
- Rodrigo Perez
Ranking Christopher Nolan's filmography is a daunting task: the conspicuous absence of any genuinely bad movies means that you're grading on a much narrower scale than would be the case with many directors.
But with Interstellar released worldwide today (November 7), a film which sees Nolan with a new cinematographer and a newly emotional focus, the time felt right to look back on all nine of his features to date.
Below is our definitive* ranking of Nolan's movies from worst through to best. (*Not in any way definitive, so much as subjective and based on the opinion of this writer alone.)
9. Insomnia (2002)
It's easy to forget that Nolan directed Insomnia at all, and even easier to forget that it was his third film. It feels like the work of a director still in search of a voice, whereas in fact Nolan had made the spectacularly confident, tonally distinctive indie Memento two years prior, »
Warning: Major 'Interstellar' spoilers lie ahead! Interstellar is the most and least confusing movie that Christopher Nolan has ever made. The most confusing, because the spacefaring odyssey takes the filmmaker's usual Rubik's-cube narrative structure and blends in a hearty dose of upper-level astrophysics. Some of the astrophysics is real; all of it is really confusing. But Interstellar is also the most straightforward story of Nolan's career—more emotionally clear-cut than the story-within-a-story nesting-doll epics The Prestige and Inception, and unencumbered by the globo-metropolitan sociopolitics of his Dark Knight trilogy. Spoilers from here—but if you feel like you »
- Darren Franich
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