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As expected, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire attracted nearly unprecedented crowds to movie theaters this weekend. The highly-anticipated sequel opened to $158.1 million, which is the best opening ever in the month of November. It's also the sixth-biggest opening on record, and ranks third all-time among 2D-only movies.Catching Fire's $158.1 million opening is a bit above the original Hunger Games, which surprised many when it opened over $152 million last March. It's also ahead of the three Twilight sequels that opened at the same time in November*all three wound up between $138.1 million and $142.8 million. Catching Fire's debut ranks behind The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, all of which had the added benefit of 3D ticket pricing. On Sunday, Lionsgate's estimate for the movie was $161.1 million, which would have set a new 2D-only record. When actuals were tallied, though, Catching Fire fell a »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The girl on fire is still burning bright! Lionsgate’s hotly anticipated sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire trounced the competition over its first weekend at the box office, pulling in an estimated $161.1 million. That gross handily beats the $152.5 million opening of The Hunger Games, which opened in March 2012, and it stands as the best November debut of all time ahead of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which bowed with $142.9 million in 2009.
Only three films have ever opened higher than Catching Fire: The Avengers ($207.4 million), Iron Man 3 ($174.1 million), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($169.2 million). Many prognosticators »
- Grady Smith
Chicago – Has Vince Vaughn peaked?
Since hit films like “Swingers” and “Wedding Crashers,” critical flops like “Couples Retreat” and “The Dilemma” have shown he’s fighting an uphill battle to find redemption. While “Delivery Man” isn’t his re-breakout role, it does show you a lesser-seen side: his drama instead of his comedy.
The problem is “Delivery Man” is supposed to be funny. Inspired by the 2011 Canadian hit comedy “Starbuck” – in which Patrick Huard plays David Wozniak in the French version of this film – “Delivery Man” fails as a comedy where “Starbuck” succeeds. While you’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting another “Swingers”-like comedy from Vince Vaughn, you’ll be surprised to see his softer, paternal and caregiver side instead of his trademark party manboy.
Read Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Delivery Man”.
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Friday Update: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opened to a massive $70.5 million on Friday, which is a bit ahead of the first movie's $67.3 million opening day. Overall, it ranks seventh all-time. For the weekend, it's now guaranteed to earn at least $145 million, and could make it as high as $160 million.Forecast: This weekend, Katniss Everdeen steps back in to the box office arena with Catching Fire, the sequel to 2012 sensation The Hunger Games. With a more aggressive marketing campaign and an expanded fanbase, it's practically a foregone conclusion at this point that Catching Fire will top the original's $152 million opening*though it's unclear if it's even possible to go much higher.Ahead of the release of the first movie, it already seemed like Suzanne Collins' young-adult book franchise was on track to become as big as Twilight or Harry Potter. Still, The Hunger Games exceeded sky-high expectations when it opened to $152.5 million, »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to a Hollywood truism, you’re only as good as your last project. So the awards buzz for this year’s directors is doubly gratifying: Prizes are nice, but for some of these helmers, the 2013 films are a way to rebound — or to remind the biz that they never lost it.
It’s hard for a bad director to make a good film, but a good director can make a film that’s … well, not great. So it’s nice to see a slew of directors back at the top of their game: Lee Daniels (with “The Butler,” after “The Paperboy”), Stephen Frears (“Philomena,” following “Lay the Favorite”), Paul Greengrass (“Captain Phillips,” after “The Green Zone”) Ron Howard (“Rush,” after “The Dilemma”). In a digital world where everything is under intense and often negative scrutiny, most of the helmers’ previous films were noisily lamented, with occasional speculation that the filmmaker had lost it. »
- Tim Gray
Whatever happened to Vince Vaughn? He hasn’t been physically absent from the movies by any means, but the fast-talking hustler of “Swingers” has become, over the years, a lazy and uninspired leading man, emptily vamping his way through forgettable vehicles like “The Watch” and “The Internship” and “The Dilemma” and “Four Christmases” and “Fred Claus,” to name just a few. Granted, Vaughn probably couldn’t single-handedly rescue his latest, “Delivery Man,” but he’s certainly not helping. A remake of the Canadian comedy “Starbuck” (released in the U.S. earlier this year), “Delivery Man” offers comedy and sentimentality in equal doses and, »
- Alonso Duralde
An all-star cast unites in one of the most charming romantic comedy dramas of the year as Stuck In Love comes to digital platforms from 14th October and to Blu-ray and DVD from 18th November 2013, courtesy of Koch Media.
William Borgens (Greg Kinnear – Little Miss Sunshine, As Good As It Gets) is an acclaimed author who hasn’t written a word since his ex-wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly – He’s Just Not That Into You, The Dilemma) left him three years ago for another man. In between spying on Erica and casual romps with his married neighbour Tricia (Kristen Bell – TV’s Veronica Mars, TV’s House Of Lies), William is dealing with the complexities of raising his teenage children Samantha (Lily Collins – The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, Mirror Mirror) and Rusty (Nat Wolff – Admission). Samantha is publishing her first novel and is determined to avoid love at all costs – after all, »
- Matt Holmes
Warner Bros. has today released the first trailer for screenwriter Akiva Goldsman's (Batman & Robin, A Beautiful Mind) directorial debut, the romantic fantasy Winter's Tale, which stars Colin Farrell (Total Recall), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Russell Crowe (Man of Steel), Jennifer Connelly (The Dilemma), William Hurt (The Host), Kevin Durand (Fruitvale Station) and Eva Marie Saint (North by Northwest). Check it out after the official synopsis....
"Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, Winter’s Tale is a story of miracles, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil."
- Gary Collinson
To mark the release of Stuck In Love on 18th November, we’ve been given 3 copies to give away on Blu-ray.
William Borgens (Greg Kinnear – Little Miss Sunshine, As Good As It Gets) is an acclaimed author who hasn’t written a word since his ex-wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly – He’s Just Not That Into You, The Dilemma) left him three years ago for another man. In between spying on Erica and casual romps with his married neighbour Tricia (Kristen Bell – TV’s Veronica Mars, TV’s House Of Lies), William is dealing with the complexities of raising his teenage children Samantha (Lily Collins – The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, Mirror Mirror) and Rusty (Nat Wolff – Admission). Samantha is publishing her first novel and is determined to avoid love at all costs – after all, she’s seen what it has done to her parents. In between hook ups, she meets »
<< Continued from "Holiday 2013 Forecast"Other ReleasesFree Birds (Nov. 1): The first animated movie from Relativity Media may hold well, though its opening weekend ($15.8 million) was too low to put it in serious consideration for a spot in the Top 12. Ultimately, it should close with around $60 million.Last Vegas (Nov. 1): With its strong appeal among older audiences, Last Vegas will likely have a long run. Still, coming off a $16.3 million opening, that puts it on pace for a final tally of $60 million or so at best.About Time (Nov. 1 limited, Nov. 8 nationwide): This time travel romance is from the director of Love Actually, which is the major selling point of Universal's marketing. Unfortunately, it now looks like this is the type of modest British comedy that will find a much bigger audience on home video and TV than it will in theaters.The Best Man Holiday (Nov. 15): The »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Ranked: Ron Howard Films, From Worst to Best With Made in America's release, we look back at the feel-good director of Apollo-13, Cocoon, and A Beautiful Mind. By Alida Miranda-wolff Ron Howard made his directorial debut in 1977 after years as a working actor on The Andy Griffith show and Happy Days. Ever since, he has vacillated between directing deeply affecting, emotionally charged human dramas and more watered-down mainstream fare. With the premiere of Made in America, the Jay-z concert documentary out this week, we’re evaluating Howard’s entire filmography. 23. The Dilemma (2011) The Dilemma is a classic example of Ron Howard piling too many ideas into one film. Here he attempts to blend slapstick comedy and complex human drama to disastrous effect. Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder, and Channing Tatum earn points for trying to make sense of the alternately darkly heavy and cheaply funny storyline, but unfortunately, their [...] »
- Alida Miranda-Wolff
The 10-90 model (a show shoots ten episodes without a pilot and if it meets a ratings threshold, it instantly gets 90 more), which was introduced with Tyler Perry's House of Payne, became all the rage after Charlie Sheen used it for Anger Management. George Lopez, Roseanne Barr, and the pairing of Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer all have one in development. Up next is Kevin James. James, a multi-camera sitcom veteran, what with King of Queens running for over 200 episodes, hasn't tried his hand at TV since that show's finale in 2007. In the time since, James once appeared on a movie-star trajectory, after Paul Blart: Mall Cop blarted to a $146 million domestic gross. However, after the disappointing The Dilemma, Zookeeper, and Here Comes the Boom, TV is seeming like a better and better option. There's no concept yet, but a zoo cop who learns to wrestle »
- Jesse David Fox
Directed by Ron Howard
Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend about the films of Ron Howard, specifically which one was his best film. The problem in the conversation came when it took a good minute or so to remember which films Ron Howard has actually directed. Now that’s probably a statement that seems a little sad, coming from a guy who has seen a few films in his day, but Howards career ins sort of like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry talks about how his life is even-steven, lose 20 bucks, get 20 bucks back. Howard throughout his 30+ years behind the camera has been consistent, but I don’t think I’ve ever found his films to be anything but consistent. I will say this about him; the guy has never shied away from trying different genres and always with the same consistent tone. »
- Craig Dietz
As if seeing Howard’s comedic role in this year’s re-launch of Arrested Development wasn’t enough, his newest directorial effort, Rush, is a magnificent, fast-paced thrill ride wrapped around an intriguing true story. I’m no Formula 1 enthusiast, with my knowledge not reaching far past the name Mario Andretti, but Howard’s focused vision paired with Peter Morgan’s deliciously interesting screenplay opened a world full of adrenaline junkies and pride validation, also laying strong groundwork for stars Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth. Rush is a fast and furious biopic that exposes two very different approaches to the world of high-speed racing, one that’s both informative and undeniably enjoyable, providing another remarkable highlight on Ron Howard’s resume.
- Matt Donato
Ron Howard is at his best when he’s directing award contenders. “Oscar bait” would be the cynical way to label them, but the sincerity of Howard’s movies makes it difficult to approach them with that type of mindset. As much as I love Night Shift and Parenthood, those movies were sometime ago, and since then, Howard has jumped from making lightweight entertainment to audience-friendly dramas. After the Robert Langdon movies and The Dilemma, I hoped to see him make more movies like A Beautiful Mind. He’s now returned to that territory with Rush. What makes Howard’s take on material like the Formula One rivalry is the amount of fun he brings to potentially heavy drama. He certainly achieved that balance with A Beautiful Mind as well. The movie may deal with mental illness, but the espionage segments of the film are as exciting as a Bond movie, and »
- Jack Giroux
For the past decade, I've approached Ron Howard's films with a mix of trepidation and outright dread. Apollo 13 is an amazing piece of filmmaking, but from there, he's seemed content to play it safe to the point of inertia. A Beautiful Mind may be daring in its direction, but its story is worthy of a TV movie. Considering the horrors of the Robert Langdon movies, the unwatchable Oscar-bait Cinderella Man, and the low-ball The Dilemma, my skepticism towards his latest picture, Rush, was more than warranted. Thankfully, Howard seems to be alive again as he goes full throttle on taking the viewer inside the world of Formula 1 racing. More importantly, he has a worthwhile story at the center. While Howard still feels the need to spoon-feed the themes, the strong performances and intensity of the racing scenes make his latest picture a ride worth taking. The story centers »
- Matt Goldberg
A true story of chalk-and-cheese Formula One drivers – one hot-headed, the other coolly calculating – locked together in a life-and-death rivalry may well seem familiar to UK filmgoers. Yet Asif Kapadia's brilliantly dramatic documentary Senna remains largely unseen by mainstream audiences in America, where it was also scandalously overlooked at the Oscars (here, it won two prestigious Baftas).
To fill that gap, we now have Rush, Ron Howard's multiplex-friendly account of the friction-filled relationship between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, which eerily echoes the tensions teased out between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Kapadia's groundbreaking work. Well oiled, excitingly noisy and machine-tooled for maximum popcorn appeal, Howard's roaring drama depicts men risking life and limb in insanely dangerous circumstances, although the film itself prefers »
- Mark Kermode
A movie about car racing featuring Thor and that guy from one of the 'Bourne' movies, directed by the dude whose last few movies were "The Dilemma," "Angels & Demons" and "Frost/Nixon"? No thanks, right? Well, the good news is that Ron Howard's "Rush," which premiered at Tiff last week (our review), is flat out entertaining. It's a sports biopic that doesn't just deal in clichés, but puts forth two strong, flawed personalities and tells their story. It's one that's worth putting on your watch list in a relatively lean month of movies, and a few clips are here to encourage you to do just that. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, the film tells the tale of James Hunt and Niki Lauda, rival drivers who pushed each other to the limit personally and professionally. The scenes below might be slightly spoiler-y, but they also show the pair's testy »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Ron Howard is kind of an everyman’s director. He isn’t above his audience, knows exactly what they want, and generally gives it to them without pandering. Sometimes the end product doesn’t workout — see The Dilemma or the Robert Langdon movies to learn that the hard way — but when it does, the final film can be quite special, especially if Howard really has something to say. With Rush, he definitely does. It’s easy to see why Howard was attracted to the characters at the center of Rush including competing Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth). The film raises questions every filmmaker must grapple with: What is success? How do you overcome failure? And how can one bring personality and passion to a business? The balance of art and commerce is something Howard’s dramas – Cinderella Man, Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon, and A Beautiful Mind — have achieved in the past »
- Jack Giroux
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
It’s certain that Ron Howard is one of the more frustratingly inconsistent directors working today; every riveting masterpiece (Frost/Nixon) is usually followed by one or two duds (Angels & Demons, The Dilemma) before he returns on stonking form, just as he has with Rush, an exhilarating, white-knuckle thrill-ride that decisively earns the commendation of “sweaty palm movie of the year.”
Rush is based on the riveting rivalry between two Formula 1 racers – care-free, hedonistic British playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and the more studious, serious Austrian Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) – from their humble beginnings in Formula 3, right up to the shocking accident at the 1976 German Grand Prix that nearly claimed Lauda’s life, and then beyond.
- Shaun Munro
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