Today the world of comedy lost one of its brightest stars. Jerry Lewis was no stranger to controversy during his decades-long career, but his impact on both Hollywood and comedy in general cannot be denied. From his early days as Dean Martin’s partner-in-crime to his career-capping turn in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy — and countless box office success in the interim — Lewis’s impact on Hollywood will be a source of much discussion for years to come.
In a time of the year usually reserved for gigantic explosions and killer robots, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon‘s The Big Sick was one of the surprise hits of the past few months. Not only did the film clean up on its limited release, it also broke through with mainstream audiences; my own in-laws declared it “hilarious” after I frantically convinced them to abandon their original plans to see The Beguiled. If every year needs a razor-sharp comedy you can put on at holiday gatherings without causing much of a fuss, then The Big Sick is the perfect choice for 2017.
You know those rare moments when everyone on the internet seems to be talking about the same thing? Sports, politics, entertainment, whatever… those are the moments that make social media both a blessing and a curse. Take, for instance, a talented (if not slightly unknown) actress named Jodie Whittaker. If you were to go to Google Trends right now and look up her name, you’d see a sudden spike in searches, indicating that everyone everywhere is suddenly obsessed with learning more about her career. Why on earth could that be?
If we’re lucky, every few years we’re treated to a will-they-or-won’t-they love story that sparks our imagination and warms our hearts. Ross and Rachel from Friends. Jim and Pam from The Office. Daniel and Barbara from Bond 25. Yes, these are classic, iconic love stories, where two people who are destined to be together must nevertheless fight through a series of unfortunate events before going public with their mutual love and affection. Which is all a complicated and jokey way of saying, c’mon, Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli, we know y’all are going to make Bond 25 happen, so just do it already!
Let me make this perfectly clear: I’m less of a Top Gun fan and more of a fan of putting Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in more blockbuster movies, but the end result is pretty much the same: I am ready for a little Top Gun 2 action. The long-rumored film — or perhaps just long-desired film — was finally confirmed by Cruise earlier this year, and now Paramount Pictures is cranking up the movie-making machine to deliver on the promise of more midair dogfights and subtle homoeroticism. With Cruise back, and Kilmer hopefully soon to follow, this could be the perfect throwback to the heydays of studio filmmaking of the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Another weekend, another Weekend Box Office Report! While it won’t surprise you to find out that Michael Bay’s latest episode of Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots won the weekend, the specifics of that win come with enough asterisks to make even Barry Bonds blush. It was a terrible weekend for Transformers: The Last Knight one on continent and a record-breaking opening on another, which just goes to show how confusing this whole box office thing can be at times. Here’s the projected numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
Gather ’round, children, and let me tell you of the time before post-credits sequences. You see, in those days, we didn’t even know that a movie could continue after the words ‘The End’ flashed on the screen. Once a film was done, it was done, no more movie, and we’d have to have to find ways to entertain ourselves. We’d turn to the person next to us and strike up a con-ver-sation about the movie we just finished, or we’d quietly gather our belongings and head to the exit. But you know what we didn’t do? Watch more movie. Yessiree, we made our own fun back in those days. You kids have it soft.
If you only look at the surface numbers, this was a pretty predictable week at the box office. Wonder Woman did well, The Mummy did not, and everything else shook out accordingly. That being said, there’s some pretty interesting narratives emerging in the how and why of this weekend’s box office report. Let’s take a look at the rankings as of Sunday afternoon and dive into some of the specifics:
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Sin City is about to become a television series. Back in 2013, Bob Weinstein of The Weinstein Company made headlines by saying that his company had plans for a television series set in the Sin City universe that would bring back both Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller in some capacity. And while that didn’t exactly pan out the way that the Weinsteins hoped, that project was apparently more asleep than dead, because the news broke today that The Weinstein Company has all their ducks in a row for a Sin City series.
I’ve often wondered if there will come a time when people will heartily defend the Resident Evil franchise. They’re not perfect movies, of course, and they increasingly have very little to do with the video game franchise they’re based on, but there are moments when Paul W.S. Anderson’s direction and Milla Jovovich’s star-power combined to elevate the whole affair into a kind of pulp extravagance that plenty of films cannot match. Given a bit of distance — or at least a bit of separation from a crowded field of VFX-driven action movies — maybe these films could get a critical boost to match their box office numbers.
It’s a battle of the science fiction blockbusters this weekend, with Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 giving us a photo finish at the box office. The two movies couldn’t be more different in style, tone, and aesthetics, but they equally captured audiences’ attention and shined a light on what the future has in store for both franchises. Here’s the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
Many fans of Bryan Singer’s 2000 X-Men movie know that Dougray Scott was originally cast in the role of Wolverine before bowing out due to scheduling conflicts with Mission: Impossible 2. That being said, it’s Russell Crowe’s connection to the film that make for the most interesting bit of Hollywood trivia. As the story goes, Crowe was Singer’s first choice to play Wolverine, but the actor passed, suggesting instead that the filmmaker look at fellow Australian Hugh Jackman. The rest, as they say, is history.
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