15 items from 2015
Coming off a very surprising opening, American Sniper reinforced its status as a box office heavyweight by scoring one of the biggest second weekends ever.With over $200 million in the bank already, Sniper is now on track to be the highest-grossing movie from 2014 (it opened in New York and Los Angeles on Christmas Day). Among the new releases, Jennifer Lopez's The Boy Next Door got off to a decent start, while Mortdecai and Strange Magic were dead on arrival.Expanding to 3,705 locations*the widest release ever for an R-rated movie*American Sniper added $64.6 million this weekend. That ranks eighth all-time among second weekends, ahead of movies like The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games and The Passion of the Christ.That $64.6 million tally is off just 28 percent from the movie's opening frame, which is the best second weekend hold ever for a movie that opened above $80 million.With fantastic »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
The romantic comedy centers on three single friends who vow to find Mr. Right within a year, after attending their best friend’s wedding without dates. It co-stars Grammy Award winners Jill Scott (“Get on Up” ), rapper-turned-actress Eve Jeffers Cooper (“Whip It”), Brooklyn Sudano »
- Anita Bennett
6th Update, Tuesday, 3 Pm: Rentrak Theatrical filed the weekend’s actuals with Warner Bros.’ American Sniper counting a four-week cume through yesterday of $110.4M. Talk about the spoils of war: American Sniper propelled the 2015 box office, in its first 19 days, 3.6% percent over the same frame last year with $667M. It stands to reason that this would be the highest-grossing four-day Mlk weekend of all-time with $248.5M after American Sniper broke a slew of records, read Eastwood’s career-high bow, best three-day opening ever during January and February. Previous Mlk record was 2009 with $231.5M when Sony comedy Paul Blart: Mall Cop zoomed up a four-day bow of $39.2M. American Sniper had the biggest theater average of the four-day weekend with $30,100, followed by Sony Classic’s Still Alice, which chalked up $20,685 PTA or $248K in 12 venues.
The consensus is that American Sniper is going to hold for another two weekends. Wide releases »
- Anthony D'Alessandro
That detonated the previous holiday record holder, “Ride Along,” which kicked off with $48.6 million. The largest January box office weekend belonged to “Avatar” and its $68.5 million haul from 2010. Clint Eastwood’s biopic about Navy Seal Chris Kyle doubled projections, which pegged a weekend in the $42 million to $50 million range.
Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow produced the Oscar nominated drama for roughly $60 million. It premiered in a handful of theaters on Christmas and has slowly built up word-of-mouth in the ensuing weeks, before launching on 3,555 screens. It’s also inspired lively debate about its accuracy. Any controversy around the film isn’t hurting its commercial prospects. “American Sniper” now has the largest weekend for an R-rated drama, topping “The Passion of the Christ,” and »
- Brent Lang
“American Sniper” hit the bullseye, earning an astonishing $90.2 million in its debut weekend in wide release.
It is now on pace to upend records for the Martin Luther King holiday and for the month of January, pulling in roughly $105 million over the four-day period. It’s also a new high-water mark for director Clint Eastwood, whose previous weekend record was the $29.5 million wide release opening for 2008’s “Gran Torino.” At 84, he’s still got it.
- Brent Lang
After three excellent weeks in limited release, American Sniper expanded nationwide on Friday and earned a stunning $30.5 million.This the largest single day ever in January; the previous record belonged to Avatar, which took in $25.8 million on January 2nd, 2010. It's also 77 percent higher than the previous opening day record, which belonged to Cloverfield ($17.2 million). Finally, American Sniper's opening was over twice as big as last year's Lone Survivor and Ride Along (both at $14.4 million).With great word-of-mouth ("A+" CinemaScore), Sniper should play well through the rest of the weekend. Even if it takes a big drop against tough competition from the NFL conference championship games on Sunday, it should still wind up over $80 million for the three-day weekend. If it plays like past Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend releases Contraband and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, it will reach $100 million on Monday.In a distant second place, The Wedding Ringer »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
“American Sniper” is proving to be a lethal box office force.
Clint Eastwood’s Iraq War drama grossed a spectacular $30.5 million on Friday — the biggest single-day take in January. It looks to haul a record-breaking $80 million-plus this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, easily overtaking last year’s “Ride Along,” which launched to $41.5 million, as the highest-grossing January debut of all time.
The pic, which is expected to make more than $68 million by Sunday, is also obliterating Eastwood’s previous opening record of $29.5 million for 2008’s “Gran Torino.”
The new projection is nearly double recent forecasts that were as low as $42 million for the four-day weekend. Warner Bros. is downplaying estimates and shooting for $65 million this holiday weekend.
That would also mark one of the largest openings of all time for a film of its size. The drama was co-produced and co-financed by Village Roadshow for less than $60 million.
- Maane Khatchatourian
“American Sniper” is hitting the target with U.S. moviegoers, with early estimates showing that Clint Eastwood’s Iraq War drama could reach as high as $60 million in the Friday-Monday holiday weekend, easily eclipsing the director’s previous opening record of $29.5 million for 2008’s “Gran Torino.” “Sniper” also looks to score the biggest January debut in box office history, topping the $41.5 million set by last year’s “Ride Along.”
Warner Bros. cautioned that its early estimates were closer to $55 million. That’s still far above recent forecasts that had been in the $44 million-$48 million range for the four days.
Warner Bros. reported a strong $5.3 million from Thursday night shows in the U.S. on the heels of receiving six Oscar nominations including best picture and actor for Bradley Cooper. Moviegoers were flocking Friday to see the film with an opening day of $20 million-plus.
“American Sniper,” co-produced and co-financed by Village Roadshow, »
- Dave McNary
The pieces are all there with The Wedding Ringer. It stars Kevin Hart, who is currently enjoying a wildly successful standup career, has a popular show on Bet (Real Husbands of Hollywood) and is on a bit of a hot streak at the box office (About Last Night, Think Like a Man, and Ride Along). You'd have to be pretty dense to deny that Kevin Hart is one of the biggest stars working today. The movie also stars Josh Gad, who had a bit of a star turning performance as the comedic snowman Olaf in last year's Frozen. Even the screenwriter (Jeremy Garelick, also directed) has The Break-Up under his belt. So while The Wedding Ringer has at least some of the necessary elements of a good comedy, it doesn't really come together cohesively in any kind of memorable way. The Wedding Ringer has to settle for being a comedy that's intermittently funny, »
- Matthew McKibben
Kevin Hart stars in the new comedy "The Wedding Ringer". In it, he plays Billy Callahan, a man whose business is providing best man services to friendless grooms-to-be who don't have anyone to fill said role. Josh Gad's character Doug Harris is one such person. He's about to marry Gretchen Palmer, played by Kaley Cuoco, a woman way out of his league and one whom he thinks would leave him in a heartbeat if she found out he was a complete loner. He makes up a best man named Bic Mitchum, and Hart has to fit that role and also provide him with a full complement of groomsmen, a feat he has never attempted before. Many comedic complications ensue, and the question is whether Doug and Jimmy can pull off their ruse and get Doug down the aisle, before his fiancee is able to find out what's really going on. »
- Daniel W. Tafoya
Universal’s cyber-terrorist tale “Blackhat” opened modestly by comparison with $179,000 at late shows on Thursday in 1,755 theaters. Starring Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”), “Blackhat” is on pace to do a quiet $10 million from 2,567 theaters over the four-day weekend.
“American Sniper” had already racked up $3.4 million playing just four theaters since Christmas. It goes wide this weekend in 3,555 venues, where it is expected to make $44 million-$48 million over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
- Dave McNary
While “The Wedding Ringer” isn’t the total waste of time that its painful trailer (and January release date) threatens, it’s also a movie whose occasional good ideas are ultimately drowned out by sloppy, contrived screenwriting. On the scale of Kevin Hart vehicles, it’s not up to the standards of “Think Like a Man” and “About Last Night” — but hey, at least it’s better than “Ride Along” or “Think Like a Man Too.”
- Alonso Duralde
At the ripe old age of 84, Clint Eastwood is about to enjoy the biggest box office weekend of his extraordinary career.
The Oscar winner’s “American Sniper” has been on a tear playing just four theaters throughout the holidays, but it goes wide this weekend, rolling out to 3,555 venues, where it is expected to make $44 million-$48 million over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Warner Bros., which backed the $58 million production with Village Roadshow, says it will be happy with anything with a four in front of it.
Expectations are that the film will easily hit its numbers even if “American Sniper” and star Bradley Cooper get snubbed by Academy Awards voters when nominations are unveiled Thursday, and such box office would best by far Eastwood’s previous high-water mark of $29.5 million, set by 2008’s “Gran Torino.”
It’s also a return to form for the former “man »
- Brent Lang
Chicago – One of the specialities of HollywoodChicago.com is the film and personality interview. The majority of these chats came through me, Patrick McDonald, and I couldn’t narrow it down to a top 10 or even a top 20. For 2014, there were 25 top interviews, and it is a diverse range of voices.
It is a privilege to get the opportunity to participate in the promotional tours, awards ceremonies, film festivals, book appearances, phoners and other lucky happenstances that feature the notable among us. To whittle down the list, I mostly thought about what was said in these interviews, whether inspirational or provocative – plus the status of the participants, whether they are up-and-coming or established.
The interview highlights are broken down by “Background and Behind-the-Scenes” and the “Memorable Quote” associated with each subject, and are often accompanied with exclusive photography by Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com. Four notables who just missed the »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
It was all smiles and hugs at the premiere of Screen Gems’ “The Wedding Ringer,” where Kevin Hart and the Sony execs (whose opinions about him were leaked) reunited at the Chinese Theatre, alongside fellow cast and crew, for the comedy that hits theaters January 16.
Sony’s Amy Pascal and Clint Culpepper had a friendly exchange on the red carpet with the comedian, whom Culpepper previously called a “whore” in email exchanges that were made public during the Sony hack. Immediately afterwards, Hart took to Instagram to defend himself, stating that he’d “brush the ignorance off of my shoulder and continue to move forward.”
Now, at the mention of Culpepper’s name before being hurried along the red carpet, Hart reassured, “It’s all good.”
Concerning the leaked emails, the film’s director Jeremy Garelick said, “I haven’t really heard anything about it for a while. My opinion »
- Lisa Schulz
15 items from 2015
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