Tag Archives: Pitch Perfect 2

US Box Office Report: 26/06/15 – 28/06/15

People REALLY f*cking love dinosaurs, Ted ends up like Flash Gordon – a thing we all liked as a kid and now want to distance ourselves from, [Insert Tasteless Mean-Spirited Batkid Begins Gag Here], and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

For the third week in a row, somehow, Jurassic World has taken the top spot at the box office, this time with $54 million in ticket sales, pushing its domestic total to over $500 million.  There’s a part of me that’s surprised that Jurassic World is doing this well, but I guess it’s gonna take a while for a film like this to stop posting non-ridiculous numbers when it opened over $200 million.  That, incidentally, is still something I definitely can’t get over.  Meanwhile, Pixar’s Inside Out is probably going to become the first Pixar film to not hit the number one slot, since Jurassic World managed to keep it off of the top even with $52 million in ticket sales.  I guess everyone prefers velociraptors fighting genetically-modified dinosaurs to intimate tales of depression.  In entirely unrelated news, Pixar have just delayed The Good Dinosaur yet again.  Apparently they’ve finally cracked the ending.

“But wait, Callum,” I hear you, imaginary reader calling out to nobody in particular.  “Weren’t there new films out this last weekend?”  Indeed there were, astutely attuned and likely very attractive reader!  Indeed there were!  Specifically, Ted 2 happened and, in the grand tradition of Seth MacFarlane works, was apparently nowhere near as good brought back from its at-the-time great original self.  The film regressed.  Significantly.  Whilst the first Ted managed to break box office records with a $54 million opening, Ted 2 could only manage $33 million for third place.  It’s not as bad as A Million Ways To Die In The West’s $16 million third place opening, but it’s still troubling.  Now, thanks to this, Seth MacFarlane is going to have to make and unleash that Family Guy movie upon the world.  Thanks, you lot.  Thanks a million.

In “Films That Are Guaranteed To Make Me Weep Like A Three Year-Old” news, Max, the family drama about the loyal dog of a deceased soldier that returns home and suffers from PTSD…  sorry, you’ll need to give me a second.  Just typing that sentence is causing my eyes to water.  …OK, I’m good.  Anyways, that film got off to a pretty good start for a low budget and thinly advertised family drama, managing $12 million for fourth place.  Its limited release equivalent, Batkid Begins, which is a documentary about how the city of San Francisco came together to help Make-A-Wish kid Miles Scott’s dream to be Batkid for a day… … …OK, I can keep going.  Anywho, that film didn’t get off to such a good start, only managing $23,000 from 4 screens because YOU ARE ALL HEARTLESS BASTARDS!

Elsewhere in the part of these articles where I kill time before we get to the Full List, The Third Man received a special re-release to celebrate its restoration and managed an alright $24,000 from 3 screens because who wants to watch old movies at the cinema anymore, AMIRIGHT LADS?  A Little Chaos, a movie I fell asleep watching at the cinema for what it’s worth, finally debuted in 83 American theatres and was collectively shrugged out of the room with only $186,000 and a $2,241 per-screen average.  Runoff, a festival darling that’s finally managing to get a theatrical release, was the only real bright spot for limited release films this weekend, managing $10,000 from a single theatre.

Actually, no, wait!  There was another good slice of news in limited release!  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl expanded to 354 locations and couldn’t even manage $1 million!  THE SYSTEM WORKS!


jurassic world

This Full List is nowhere near as good as it was before it got cancelled the first time.

Box Office Results: Friday 26th June 2015 – Sunday 28th June 2015

1] Jurassic World

$54,200,000 / $500,100,000

Highest grossing film of the year domestically.  Add another $737 mil onto that and you have its current worldwide total.  This will beat Frozen in the all-time worldwide totals by the time I finish writing this sentence, and will probably cross Age of Ultron off the list on its journey for world dominance by the end of next week.  This is a literal juggernaut.  A quite literal juggernaut.  How?!  I had a lot of fun with it, and even I am perplexed by the sheer non-stoppery of this thing!  If Terminator: Mega Drive falls to this next week, I will not be surprised, believe me.

2] Inside Out

$52,128,000 / $184,945,000

Accidentally found out that Inside Out is all about a young girl who has to move house and goddammit Pixar why don’t you just stab me in the heart and get it over with!  Seriously, it doesn’t matter if this movie ends up being garbage, I will cry seven hundred times watching it.

3] Ted 2

$33,000,000 / NEW

I honestly just don’t know why Seth MacFarlane hasn’t just made a musical already.  He clearly loves them, he’s already recorded two big-band and swing albums, and his voice would probably be able to carry the musical you just know he’d have a starring role in.  I mean, it would certainly be better if he just admits that he wants to make a musical and does a full-on musical instead of forcing them into everything else he does even though they mostly just kill the pace of the thing he’s shoving them into.

4] Max

$12,210,000 / NEW

You remember what I said about Inside Out?  Multiply that by a thousand for this.  Not joking.  This past weekend, I thought I’d lost my dog, Mac, and spent five minutes running about the house in pure panicked terror because I couldn’t find him and was worried he’d somehow slipped out of the house without my knowing.  Then I opened a closed bedroom door and found him sat there wondering why I was looking so terrified.  Yeah, this film will kill me.

5] Spy

$7,800,000 / $88,351,000

So this is on track to become Paul Feig’s lowest grossing film yet – unless you count his pre-Bridesmaids films, which nobody does because doing so is stupid – despite it being his best by a country mile.  That’s a shame, but hopefully Hollywood won’t hold it against him when it comes time to bankroll his and Melissa McCarthy’s next films.  After all, everybody has been summarily crushed by Jurassic World, it’s not like this is indicative of anything except that all films need dinosaurs.

6] San Andreas

$5,275,000 / $141,871,000

I’m actually completely out of things to say about this, so have a picture of an adorable puppy.

kitty

7] Dope

$2,862,000 / $11,776,000

Sigh… goddammit, people.  You can’t spend forever joining me in campaigning for greater diversity and representation in movies and then not actually pay to see the ones that get a wide release!  This is why Jai Courtney gets to be a thing, people!  That is your goddamn fault!

8] Insidious Chapter 3

$2,025,000 / $49,816,000

A cinema in Middleton, Ohio ended up playing Insidious Chapter 3 for a group of families who had instead turned up to see Inside Out and every single story like this always bewilders me for the following reasons.  1] When you’re programming the projector, do you really pay that little attention to the title of the film you’re setting up that you really will confuse Insidious for Inside Out?  2] Does America not flash up the rating and film title before the film starts like we do in England?  Cos this seems like a weird thing to not do if that’s the case.  3] Why don’t the families scramble for the nearest exit when the studio logos quite clearly indicate that this is not the Pixar film they signed up to see?  4] Why does everybody continue to stay in the cinema long after it’s been made apparent that this is a horror movie and not something the kids should see?  Y’all do know that horror movies don’t start flinging jump scares and loud noises and terrifying images non-stop from frame one, right?  That’s what horror videogames do.

9] Mad Max: Fury Road

$1,735,000 / $147,078,000

Still got nothing to add, so here’s a picture of an adorable kitten.

kitten

10] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$1,643,000 / $452,428,000

Word is starting to come in on Ant-Man from lucky so-and-so American critics, and the consensus is currently at “Hey, that was actually pretty good!”  Called it.  I mean, that’s how the early consensus on all Marvel films initially comes to, but I called it nonetheless.  You people can’t commit to your Marvel backlash!  Not when they’re still putting out films that are at least good or better!  (*acts like a petulant fanboy, loses all credibility, becomes washed-up jaded alcoholic at the age of 20*)

Dropped Out: Pitch Perfect 2, Tomorrowland

Callum Petch was falling in love.  Listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio (site link) and follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

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US Box Office Report: 19/06/15 – 21/06/15

When dinosaurs ruled the box office, Inside Out/Inside Win, people sadly Just Say “Nope” to Dope, Manglehorn gets mangled, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Before we move on, a brief apology and correction.  Last week, we reported that Jurassic World had scored the second-highest opening weekend of all-time at the domestic box office with $204 million.  Well it turns out that we misreported those numbers and I would like to apologise for that.  Jurassic World actually made $208 million and is, therefore, actually the highest grossing opening weekend of all-time domestically.  The Avengers has, in fact, been dethroned.  In my defence, I can only work from the estimates, since the actuals don’t come in until late-afternoon on a Monday and I have sh*t to do then, which is why these get written on a Sunday night.

Hence why I don’t want to make any definitive statements regarding Jurassic World’s box office performance this weekend, record-wise.  Whatever happens, it is finishing in first place, but the box office records are what’s in contention.  Currently, the film is sat on $102 million for its second weekend, which puts it almost exactly $1 million below The Avengers’ record-breaking second weekend, but the numbers are so close that, and since Universal under-estimated last weekend, there is every chance that Jurassic World’s actuals will push it higher than The Avengers after all.  It’s already a pure and total unstoppable juggernaut that will pass $400 million domestic by lunchtime, so it’s not like this is much of a stretch.  Just saying, if it does happen, you can’t say I got it wrong, cos I’m not definitively saying anything!  So there!

What will be indisputable, unless some kind of catastrophic error causes 15 million bucks to mysteriously go missing between now and the actuals coming in, is the success of Inside Out, which now holds the record for the biggest domestic opening weekend ever for a non-sequel non-adaptation, taking the title from Avatar’s $77 million opening weekend back in December of 2009.  I mean, technically one could argue that it does count as a sequel in the sense that it’s a part of the Pixar brand that might as well be a franchise unto itself by this point, but I’m just going to block that out and savour this Avatar-crushing moment.  Aaaaaahhhh… that feels good.

Unfortunately, all this wantonly spent cashola had to skip out on one of the week’s releases, and that poor sod ended up being the Sundance hit Dope, which bravely launched on 2,000 screens but could only manage $6 million for fifth place because, well, it went up against Pixar and dinosaurs.  I applaud the bravery of Open Road Films for putting a black film out there as an option for mainstream audiences, but they were never going to win this one.  Similarly failing to lift off, albeit in limited release, was the new David Gordon Green film, Manglehorn.  Even with Al Pacino apparently deciding to try this whole “acting” thing again to see what that was like, the film couldn’t really get butts in seats, possibly due to mediocre critic reviews, and it only made $13,000 from 3 screens.  But, hey!  This should hopefully not discourage Al Pacino’s decision to start acting again!  Last thing we need is him crawling back to Adam Sandler.

Fun Fact: I have seen all of Jack & Jill but only one Alfred Hitchcock film in the 20 years I have lived.  Why on earth do you people listen to what I have to say?


jurassic world 1

I don’t actually have any witty segway pun for this Full List, since I’m trying to stay dark on Inside Out.  So, here’s the thing, then, I guess.

Box Office Results: Friday 19th June 2015 – Sunday 21st June 2015

1] Jurassic World

$102,019,000 / $398,230,000

I think I am the only one of my Internet friends – cos I don’t have real friends with the exception of Lucy (*cries profusely*) – who actually likes this, which is always a good thing to have happen when you’re constantly paranoid that what you do and feel is wrong and that you’re bad for doing and feeling those things.  It’s especially more so in this case since, well, Jurassic World is actually a pretty terrible film, yet I like it anyway.  I dunno, maybe I’ll someday get lucky and not be so self-conscious.

2] Inside Out

$91,056,000 / NEW

Staying as in-the-dark as possible until it drops here at the end of next month, since this and Minions have basically swapped places on the release calendar for the UK.  I’m hoping that this will be as good as critics are saying… but critics also gave Monsters University a seal of quality and that was a massive disappointment, so Pixar are still on my Warning List for now.

And, yes, I am aware that a trailer has dropped for Kung Fu Panda 3.  Don’t send me it.  If I’m keeping myself in the dark for a film that I’m honestly not that excited for, then why do you think I would want to watch the trailer for a film that I am on tenterhooks for?

3] Spy

$10,500,000 / $74,374,000

So I feel like I’ve been acting a lot like Jason Statham in Spy whenever the subject of The Peanuts Movie is brought up for whatever reason.  Just me constantly and unfairly going “They’re gonna f*ck it up,” over and over and over and over again, totally blind, thanks to my own prejudices, to the idea that Blue Sky Studios may not actually f*ck it up.

Folks, and I say this with no hyperbole and complete sincerity, Blue Sky Studios may not have f*cked this up.

4] San Andreas

$8,240,000 / $132,229,000

This might end up one of the highest grossing films of the year.  It’s up to $414 million worldwide, after all.  I, err, really did not see this one coming.  OK, then.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and an actually good disaster movie will come from this?

5] Dope

$6,018,000 / NEW

Doesn’t come out here until September 5th, despite looking like as much of a Summer movie as they come.  Unless that was actually the plan all along and its UK distributor is taking advantage of the fact that our one nice week of Summer-like weather is going to come in September!  That’s genius, and I also want to know the secret to their psychic and weather-controlling powers!

6] Insidious Chapter 3

$4,110,000 / $45,370,000

Oh, God, It Follows is due on home media next week!  Guess I’m done putting it off and it’ll be time to watch a film that I know I will love but which will undoubtedly cause me to not sleep for at least three weeks afterwards!  I hate being a wuss.

7] Pitch Perfect 2

$3,300,000 / $177,500,000

Pitch Perfect 3 is officially happening.  I personally think that this is really stretching it, and I say that as a huge fan of the second instalment, but we’ll see when the film comes out, I guess.  Besides, if they’re going to use this as an opportunity to correct the race problems that these films do have, then that’s alright by me.

I mean, they probably won’t, they’ll likely just do number 2 again, but I can hope, can’t I?

8] Mad Max: Fury Road

$2,815,000 / $143,602,000

…I’m out of things to say about this movie, by now.  Or, at least, things to say in the tiny space that I get each week.  Needless to say, I still doubt that anything will surpass it for my Film Of The Year, it’s amazing, and that’s that.  So… yeah.

9] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$2,723,000 / $451,039,000

Never did get to see this again, sadly, such is the life of somebody who is just terrible at time-management.  Or, more specifically, realising how long stuff actually takes to do.  Since I’ve written something close to 250 or-so articles of similar excessive length in the past two years, you’d think that I’d know how long it takes for me to write one of the damn things by now.

10] Tomorrowland

$2,009,000 / $87,696,000

Tomorrow!  Tomorrow!  This film might not suck, tomorrow!  But it’s always a day away!

Dropped Out: Entourage (AND STAY THE FUCK OUT), Love & Mercy

Callum Petch took a holiday, seven sweet days in Majorca.  Listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio (site link) and follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

US Box Office Report: 12/06/15 – 14/06/15

People f*cking love dinosaurs, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Jurassic World made $204 million, making it the second biggest domestic opening weekend of all-time.

(*drops mic, leaves*)

(*walks back in*)

So, apparently, I have to write more than that for these things.  But, I mean, I’m slightly at a loss as to what to write.  That figure and those numbers kinda tower over everything else, grabbing the eye and the attention so totally that to talk about anything else feels like trying to hold a conversation at a party that’s about anything but the grizzly act of cannibalism that everyone just saw occur in the parlour room moments ago.  You know how ridiculous that opening is?  I ran the opening of Jurassic Park back in 1993 ($47 million) through an inflation converter, and the result ($77 million) was still nearly three times less than what Jurassic World just made.  I am at a loss to explain this, I really am.  Like, I knew that Jurassic Park was a beloved touchstone for a generation of moviegoers, and that everybody loves dinosaurs, but DAMN!

That said, it was not the only film making waves this past weekend.  For, in the land of the limited releases, it was time to unleash Me and Earl and the Dying Girl upon the world.  This year’s Sundance darling, having premiered to a standing ovation and winning the Grand Jury and Audience Prizes for Drama at the festival, critically beloved by most, and looking absolutely and totally motherf*cking INSUFFERABLY GODAWFUL, was launched in the Little Miss Sunshine slot to a pretty great success – $210,000 from 15 screens with a per-screen average of $14,000.  On any other weekend, that would be a per-screen average to kill for, but this was Jurassic World’s weekend and that film managed a per-screen average of $47,871 FROM 4,274 SCREENS.  So, dinosaurs beat sh*tty-looking try-too-hard indie dramedies in the public sphere!  This is information that makes me happy.

Finally, before we get into the part that matters, there’s the issue of Love & Mercy, the biopic of Brian Wilson that came out last week.  Now, as you may know, I didn’t talk about it last week or, in fact, any of the week’s limited releases as I was far too busy making easy jokes at the expense of Entourage – which, as I discovered about 8 hours after that post went live, was letting that film off was too easily – to report on them or the fact that United Passions only made $607 from 10 screens – side note: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (*continues like so for another 10 minutes).  Besides, I had the feeling that the supposedly great film would make an appearance in the Top 10 eventually, as it was too star-packed, too widely-released, and too critically-slathered to not break in at some point.  Well, it did!  This week, even!  So, there!


jurassic world 2015

This Full List found a way, the clever girl.

Box Office Results: Friday 12th June 2015 – Sunday 14th June 2015

1] Jurassic World

$204,600,000 / NEW

My review is over here, for those of you who are interested.  Ended up digging this one a whole lot, even though it’s got characters that might as well just be breadsticks, dialogue that’s on the level of a five year-old, and themes that are communicated on the same level as that of a first year film studies student with a distrust of the military.  But who cares about any of that when you have dinosaurs fighting each other and Chris Pratt – albeit minus any gratuitous shots of his abs, which is UNACCEPTABLE – both things I’ve wanted since I was 5 years-old?  Not me, that’s for certain!

2] Spy

$16,000,000 / $56,937,000

Very strong 45% hold between weekends, which is very good for an R-rated comedy that is being released in this utterly insane Summer season.  Can I also echo The Playlist’s demand that Melissa McCarthy gets a look-in for the Best Actress race come Oscar season?  She is absolutely phenomenal in this, and I guarantee you that she’ll have put in a better performance than at least half of the people whose names get trotted out in this year’s Battle of Apparently Lowering Standards.

3] San Andreas

$11,010,000 / $119,321,000

…hey, Hollywood.  Can’t help but notice that you haven’t gotten back to me about that goldmine of a film pitch that I gave you last week.  Tell me, do you have a negative disposition towards the act of making money?  Seriously, who doesn’t want to see Chris Pratt and The Rock solving crimes together in a buddy cop movie?  I know that America wants to see The Rock lay the smacketh down on a bunch of candy asses whilst Chris Pratt says something Burt Macklin, FBI-y before The Rock raises his eyebrow inquisitively and humanity collectively creams its pants and explodes in pure glee!

No, seriously, this is pure f*cking gold, Hollywood!  Hit me up about this!  I’ll even convince my actually talented writing friend to sell out his principles to help me write this script, as it is surely guaranteed millions upon MILLIONS of dollars and millions of dollars and millions of dollars!

4] Insidious Chapter 3

$7,300,000 / $37,371,000

Forgot to mention this last week as I was too busy… whatever I was doing last week, but now’s as good a time as any.  If you are writing a box office piece and use the phrase “scares up” when talking about the performance of a horror movie, quit.  Just quit.  Stop writing, resign from your position, and go and do something else with your life.  I am dead serious.  That phrase is so, so old and worn out, that even complete hacks will look at that and go, “Yeah, you absolutely put no effort into this whatsoever.”  I find it a personal insult that professional writers are paid money to be that lazy whilst I slave away trying to find new spins on material and new talking points every week for free.  So if you do use that phrase, quit.  Give your job to people who deserve it.

5] Pitch Perfect 2

$6,000,000 / $170,715,000

This has managed to jump up one place, this week.  People would rather see this again in its fifth week than Entourage in its second week.  Humanity is not totally doomed, folks.

6] Entourage

$4,340,000 / $25,870,000

I saw Entourage last Monday.  If it weren’t for the fact that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is looming on the horizon like a strategically placed solid object aimed directly at one’s junk that you can’t avoid for whatever reason, I would feel very secure calling this the worst film I will see all year.  It is just so totally abysmal.  Brooker is still reviewing it for this site, but my thoughts were graciously housed by both Movieblort and my friend Charlize of HotMales.net.  They’re absolutely worth a read at either location, I genuinely believe it’s one of the best reviews that I have ever written.

7] Mad Max: Fury Road

$4,130,000 / $138,630,000

Goddammit, I’ve been too busy to find the time to see this a third time.  If I get lucky, it might hang around next week and I’ll be able to squeeze it between the new releases (otherwise known as the films I don’t give a sh*t about), but otherwise my chance has been and gone.  Sigh.  I’d say “at least I saw it twice”, but we all know that twice is nowhere near enough cinema-based viewings of Fury Road.

8] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$3,641,000 / $444,743,000

I am excited and optimistic for Ant-Man.  There, I said it.  Revoke my “Film Critic” pass if you want, I don’t give a sh*t.  It’s the truth and it’s how I feel.

9] Tomorrowland

$3,417,000 / $83,607,000

OK, homework for us all: let’s all watch The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Ratatouille prior to meeting back up next week.  We’re not actually going to talk about or do anything with them, it’s just always worth having seen those films.  Great?  Great.

10] Love & Mercy

$1,765,000 / $4,774,000

Here’s a scene from Walk Hard.  Go and watch Walk Hard.  This is not optional.

Dropped Out: Aloha, Poltergeist

Callum Petch only cares about that thing, that thing, that thing.  Listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio (site link) and follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

Barely Lethal

Despite a whirlwind charm offensive from Hailee Steinfeld and some decent moments, Barely Lethal is a wasted opportunity.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

barely lethal 1Pro-Tip for all aspiring teenage/high school comedies: NEVER invoke the names of Mean Girls, The Breakfast Club, 10 Things I Hate About You, et al during the course of your film.  Just don’t.  Ever.  Do not bring them up, either as homages or having characters mention them by name for whatever reason, as all it does is make you look worse off by comparison and leaving the viewer, myself in this case, wondering why they’re not just watching those frequently-much-better films.  The DVD cover of Mean Girls is prominently displayed at one early point in Barely Lethal and I strongly considered turning off the latter to watch the former again, even though I already re-watched Mean Girls exactly one month ago!

That’s actually being rather unnecessarily harsh on Barely Lethal, which isn’t as bad as its godawful title and trailer suggests it will be.  It’s just the kind of film that can’t stop making really obvious, really amateur, and really easy-to-avoid mistakes no matter how hard it tries.  And it keeps making them over and over and over, like a parent who still cannot operate a DVR despite having had the same one for 8 goddamn years.

So, for those not aware, Barely Lethal follows Megan (Hailee Steinfeld) who, orphaned at a young age, has spent her life being raised by a secretive branch of the US government that turns little girls into stone-cold killer assassins, headed by Hardman (Samuel L. Jackson).  She’s top of her class and the first of them to be activated, much to the irritation of her rival Heather (an utterly wasted Sophie Turner), but disagrees with Hardman’s “no attachments” policy and, whilst on various assignments, finds herself drawn to and desiring a normal teenage life.  When a mission to capture evil arms dealer Victoria Knox (Jessica Alba) goes wrong, Megan takes the opportunity to fake her death, relocate to a quiet American town, and attend high school, posing as a foreign exchange student for a nice family.

From there, things proceed exactly as you’re expecting them to, which is the first big shame.  The spy/assassin elements never quite gel with the high school elements, you see, with the former just kinda walking in and out of the film whenever it pleases, leaving the majority of the film basically being another “fish-out-of-water high school” movie but with an unnecessarily complex backstory to that “fish-out-of-water” part.  The tone is also wildly unsatisfying, not committing enough to the dark comedy and more unsavoury implications of the spy/assassin part, but also not committing enough to the high school tone to be sincere and genuine, occupying a middle-ground that leaves everything feeling weak: the spy stuff too toothless, the high school stuff too underdeveloped.

Incidentally, I could tell that this was written by a man even if I hadn’t seen the titles and done my research, such is the utter disdain the film shows for high school and especially for teenage girls.  Even the most utterly blistering takedowns of high school culture, like the aforementioned Mean Girls, have some semblance of caring for its targets, usually out of a desire to want the place and people to be better and much less sh*tty.  Barely Lethal really doesn’t, and so every last cliché in the high school movie book – bitchy girls, arsehole teenagers who are cruel to everybody for no real reason, lecherous and/or painfully uncool teachers, hunky yet vapid and self-centred boy (Toby Sebastian) who our lead is inexplicably all over instead of their equally as attractive yet slightly dorky best friend (Thomas Mann) who acts like a petulant child when she doesn’t crush back on him – gets trotted out and abused with no substance or wit or subversive intent.  It’s basically Baby’s First High School with extra bitter vitriol.

Or, to put it another way, this is a real exchange in this movie that caused me to genuinely and involuntarily groan out loud.

“There is an army of highly trained murderous psychopaths out to get me!”

“Hey, you survived high school.”

It’s a really lazy and underdeveloped movie, basically.  How lazy?  It has a montage set to “Bad Reputation” just like EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF HIGH SCHOOL-SET MEDIA IN HUMAN EXISTENCE.  Nothing feels natural, nothing feels paced, it just blazes through everything at 200MPH.  The point when Hardman inevitably tracked down Megan should be where the last third kicks off but I had a sneaking suspicion that the film wasn’t even halfway done, a suspicion that was promptly confirmed when I checked my watch and saw that we were only 40 minutes in.  The pre-high school stuff encompasses the film’s opening 10 minutes.  10.  Out of 105.  With the rest of those minutes instead being dedicated to trotting out every cliché in short order.  Surprising nobody, this means that the cast aren’t so much characters as one-note archetypes/stereotypes that their actors and actresses are supposed to fill in through sheer force of personality.

To her credit, this is something that Hailee Steinfeld manages to pull off.  Megan’s character, on paper, very much reads as a walking “Chloë Grace Moretz said ‘no’”, which is how it could have turned out in lesser hands.  Yet Steinfeld makes it her own in a number of ways.  She carries herself and convinces near-totally as somebody raised to become something they don’t really want to be, and who just wants to be normal; somebody who is genuinely out-of-their-comfort-zone at high school.  She’s also convincing at kicking ass when required, but not to the extent where I sit and wonder why she’s upset over the evil high school clichés instead of tearing through them like a hot knife through butter.  Then there’s her natural goofy charm, which is just so easily endearing and ultimately makes it hard not to like and enjoy time with Megan.  Between this and Pitch Perfect 2, which utilised said goofy charm way better but hey ho, Steinfeld very much seems to be in the part of her career where she’s a one-woman charm offensive, which is something I am not at all complaining about.

Unfortunately, her co-stars’ attempts to do the same are hampered by the simple fact that they don’t get enough screen-time to do so.  Sophie Turner is asked to do absolutely nothing besides be the film’s alpha bitch, not helped by the fact that she just walks in and out of the film at random points, giving no weight to her inevitable final showdown with Megan.  Jessica Alba seems to be trying to turn Knox into a witty and snarky yet legitimately dangerous villain but she gets maybe 10 minutes at best and her entire existence is just for perfunctory finale fireworks, whilst Samuel L. Jackson just kinda Samuel L. Jacksons for a bit, now seemingly at the part of his career where he will appear in quite literally anything that’s willing to provide him with money.  OK, more so than usual.

As for the action sequences…  Well, you know how Spy just proved than an action-comedy can and, in fact, should be just as proficient at the action sequences as the comedy sequences?  Turns out that Kyle Newman, who also directed 2009’s should-have-been-better Fanboys, is not Paul Feig.  The film’s low-budget radiates from how incredibly small scale the very few action sequences are, and all of them are shot abysmally and edited haphazardly.  The stand-out awful action sequence though is undoubtedly Megan and Heather’s big throw-down which, despite needing to be this big payoff, is near-incomprehensible due to excessively gratuitous camera shaking and unnecessarily tight framing.  Rule #1 of fight scenes in movies: the viewer needs to be able to see what’s going on!

And it’s little amateur mistakes like that which sink Barely Lethal.  I wanted to like this movie, and I do like certain parts of it – Hailee Steinfeld is a bona-fide charmer, there are the occasional funny lines, and the eventual bond that Megan makes with her ‘foster sister’ Liz (Dove Cameron) is kinda sweet and I’m a sucker for that sort of thing – but it’s one of those films that seems to believe that openly acknowledging its awareness of high school movie clichés gives it Carte blance to indulge in them anyway.  It wastes its premise on excessively trod ground and, unlike The DUFF, it’s too lazy (and rather vindictive) to come up with good enough material to make up for that fact.

Hailee Steinfeld is clearly destined to become A Star, regardless of whether it’s Serious Actor Steinfeld from works like True Grit or Charming Movie Star Steinfeld from this and Pitch Perfect 2, and she deserves films that are willing to work as hard and be as good as she is.  Barely Lethal is just not that film, and pure charisma alone can’t prop up a boring, disappointing, lazy waste of a movie.

Callum Petch is ready to do the Bus Stop.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

US Box Office Report: 05/06/15 – 07/06/15

America chose… wisely! Spy rules, Entourage drools, Insidious pulls… in crowds, OK, this headline has failed totally, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

I don’t think that I’m exaggerating when I say that this weekend’s box office battle was quite literally between good and evil.  On the side of good: Spy, the best comedy to come along in a year, and one that is quietly yet brilliantly progressive, boasting outstanding performances, and led almost entirely by excellent female comedians who are getting their deserved shots at the limelight.  On the side of evil: Entourage, a piece of pure f*cking garbage, based on pure f*cking garbage, made by and for pure f*cking garbage.  Except for Brooker, he’s alright.  The outcome of this fight would prove seismic, can good movies aimed at a female audience triumph over pure f*cking garbage aimed at dude-bros, humanity’s collective walking pieces of human f*cking garbage?

For once in this miserable cesspool that is humanity, good won out.  Good won out big!  Spy opened in first place with a very respectable $30 million.  Whilst that’s $9 million less than The Heat opened to in 2013, that is a very good number considering that Spy had mediocre to poor trailers and marketing, and had to open against a horror movie and Insidious Chapter 3.  Plus, considering the fact that the comedy landscape is free until Ted 2 at the end of the month, it’s guaranteed decent legs over the coming weeks!  We did it everyone!  We actually did it!  Everything is going to be OK!  It is all going to be O. K!

As for those terrifying journeys into worlds of misery populated by evil spirits who wish to do us all harm, Insidious Chapter 3 ended up the victor in that battle, bringing home a very good $23 million.  That’s admittedly still a very large drop from Chapter 2’s $40 million opening, and it was still very front-loaded, but Chapter 2 wasn’t released in the Summer and had absolutely no competition that weekend.  Besides, a $23 million opening for a horror movie is definitely not something to sniff at.  So I hope you’re all looking forward to being drowned in these apparently-great (?) films for years to come!  I have no idea why I wrote that so sarcastically, I shouldn’t get sniffy at good horror movies doing good business just cos I selfishly want their trailers to stop appearing before films that won’t give me mini-heart attacks due to my major wussiness.

And as for Vinny and the boys?  Well, Entourage blew hot steaming chunks.  And the box office of the film wasn’t so great either.  Over the three day weekend, it could only manage $10 million for a really pathetic $3,000 per-screen average.  “But the film opened on a Wednesday,” I hear you cry!  “Surely those extra two days will have provided an opening worthy of the once proud star of James Cameron’s Aquaman which is apparently a real thing that happens in Entourage at some point?”  Well, keep dreaming, brah, as Entourage’s five-day total stalled out at $17 million, which still left it stuck in fourth place!  The system works!  The terrible disaster movie failed!  Meanwhile, San Andreas took second with a shockingly great 50% drop between weekends.

I can keep making these awful jokes all day, folks.


spy

This Full List wants you to hug it out, bro.

Box Office Results: Friday 5th June 2015 – Sunday 7th June 2015

1] Spy

$30,000,000 / NEW

Saw it again on Friday night with a nice big crowd, which is exactly the way that one should experience a good comedy.  God, this film is so brilliant!  I’m actually tempted to check out Miranda, which has always looked like insufferable tripe to me, thanks to Miranda Hart’s brilliant performance in this.  I’m jealous of Paul Feig’s ability to assemble perfect casts with seemingly little effort, I really am.

2] San Andreas

$26,440,000 / $92,163,000

This is actually going to cross $100 million domestic by next weekend.  Gonna be honest, I did not see that coming at all.  Even after last weekend’s surprisingly great opening, I thought for sure that this would collapse spectacularly after word got out that it was really crap, but I guess Mr. The Rock holds way more sway than even I thought he did.  Of course, next weekend, everyone’s newest crush, Chris Pratt, arrives to take what’s his, so expect San Andreas to take a tumble.

Hang on a minute…  Million dollar idea: buddy-cop movie starring Chris Pratt and Mr. The Rock!  How has this not already been optioned?!  Call me, Hollywood!  I’ll have the script ready for you in a week!

3] Insidious Chapter 3

$23,000,000 / NEW

I will never see these movies.  I don’t hate them or anything like that, I’m just way too much of a wuss for jump-scare horror to ever want to see them.  I prefer my terror to come from constant unsettling wrongness instead of the film equivalent of a song by a bad Pixies imitator.  It’s not for me, and I’m OK with that.  It’s not ruining humanity.

4] Entourage

$10,420,000 / $17,805,000 / NEW

(*buries head in hands and makes strangulated noise of pure disgust*)  I have to see this tonight, and I really am not looking forward to it at all.  I had planned to watch as much of the show as I could have before seeing the film, but I only made it through 4 episodes before tapping out.  I couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t.  They are all terrible people!  The show is so ragingly sexist it makes Love Actually look like f*cking Thelma & Louise!  There are no dramatic stakes, no actual satire, and no reason to care about any of these raging assholes!  WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS?!

God, I have to follow Spy with this.  That’s like chasing down a delicious Ham and Turkey Subway with a Gin and Tonic comprised of vomit and dick cheese.

5] Mad Max: Fury Road

$7,970,000 / $130,804,000

This will collapse next week when Jurassic World comes a-calling, but it has now doubled its budget worldwide, pretty much guaranteeing an overall profit.  We’re all OK, folks.  We’re all OK.

6] Pitch Perfect 2

$7,700,000 / $160,982,000

There’s the big fall!  This will cross $250 million worldwide this week, and should also pass both The Spongebob Movie and Fifty Shades of Grey to become the fifth highest-grossing film of 2015 domestically by the time we reconvene next week, in any case.  I know that we film critics aren’t supposed to be interested in the business side of things, for whatever reason, but it still does my heart good all the same to see quality films rewarded with large stacks of cash!

7] Tomorrowland

$7,022,000 / $76,236,000

As a possible result of this film failing, Disney has cancelled production on Tron 3, like I needed even more reasons to strongly dislike this bad movie.  I mean, I’m not surprised – I am a legitimate and unironic Tron fan, I am used to disappointment by now – but I am still sad all the same.  Tron: Legacy was fun, dammit!  I need another Daft Punk score in my life, dammit!  YOU NEVER FORMALLY CANCELLED THE EXCELLENT TRON: UPRISING, DISNEY!  AT LEAST BRING THAT BACK!

8] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$6,201,000 / $438,015,000

Age of Ultron has just passed the last Harry Potter to become the fifth highest grossing film of all-time worldwide.  Got a feeling the superhero boom isn’t going away for a while yet.  In fact, rather than having everyone moan about that again, can we maybe instead direct our ire at a recent glut of films that are actually even more interchangeable and irritating than superhero films?  I am, of course, referring to Young Adult Adaptations.  Yeah.  Why do I have to sit through seven thousand thinkpieces and complaints about comic book movies, yet the Divergents and Maze Runners of this world get by with nary a shrug of the shoulders?  Y’all do know that The Hunger Games existing doesn’t give this mostly-awful subgenre a pass, right?

9] Aloha

$3,300,000 / $16,342,000

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

10] Poltergeist

$2,850,000 / $44,452,000

(*in creepy horror movie child voice*) They’re leaving.

Dropped Out: Far From The Madding Crowd, Hot Pursuit, Home

Callum Petch wants to ride on a white horse.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

US Box Office Report: 29/05/15 – 31/05/15

San Andreas is no busta, Aloha says Aloha to any semblance of money, Results can barely do one measly pull-up, I can’t even make up a terrible pun for Heaven Knows What cos it looks too miserable, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Prior to this weekend, it seemed very much like the box office was going to be extremely quiet until the release of Jurassic World in a fortnight.  After all, we all knew that Tomorrowland was going to bomb, Spy will do well but isn’t exactly going to light anything on fire, I know of only one human being who is (self-loathingly) excited for the Entourage movie and he works for this very website, and I know of no human beings who are clamouring for another frickin’ Insidious movie.  Post-Pitch Perfect and post-Mad Max, we basically entered a quiet period where little of interest was coming out and nothing was going to do particularly well or make for exciting headlines.

It turns out, however, that we all forgot one very important thing: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  So although San Andreas on paper looked to be a middling underperformer that would be collectively skipped because, goddamn, did this movie ever look (and was) excruciatingly boring, in practice the film stormed its way to number 1 with $53 million in ticket sales.  There’s also the fact that it’s an expensive-looking disaster movie released on a weekend where there was almost literally nothing else of note coming out against it, but I think we all know that this is entirely down to Dwayne Johnson.  I mean, the guy is just the best, isn’t he?  He’s the best.  I want him as my dad!

The “of note” was added onto that prior paragraph because San Andreas was not the only wide release of this past weekend.  That other one would be Aloha, the first film in almost four years from writer-director Cameron Crowe.  In case you hadn’t heard, the film is apparently utter garbage that even Sony heads hated which, combined with the fact that Cameron Crowe has only ever really broken out of being a cult filmmaker maybe twice (thrice if you want to count We Bought A Zoo) in his entire 25 year career, basically sealed its fate even with Bradley Cooper in the lead role.  It’s kind of a bomb, opening in sixth place with an estimated $10 million – that, for those of you playing along at home, is behind the third weeks of Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road, the second week of Tomorrowland, and the fifth week of Avengers.

In the land of limited releases, Mumblecore architect Andrew Bujalski took a tentative step towards making a mainstream movie with the Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, and Kevin Corrigan-starring rom-com-ish (I haven’t seen it yet so I don’t know how much it sticks to and how much it subverts formula) Results.  The public responded somewhat warmly, with the film finishing up the weekend with $13,000 from 3 screens, which isn’t too bad considering that it’s been on VOD since March 13th.  Meanwhile, pure-unfiltered-misery in the shape of Heaven Knows Whathere’s the trailer which, even with the obnoxious and ill-fitting Harmony Korine-style editing and soundtrack, gives as good an idea as any as to how miserable that film is going to make me – got off to a very good start with $15,000 from 2 screens.  I realise that doesn’t seem like much, but this is a movie about homeless heroin addicts that looks BLEAK AS F*CK.  So, yeah, I’m gonna chalk that up as a win.


san andreas

All this Full List had to do was FOLLOW THE DAMN TRAIN!

Box Office Results: Friday 29th May 2015 – Sunday 31st May 2015

1] San Andreas

$53,215,000 / NEW

Saw this on Saturday and I mostly agree with Steve, it’s not very good.  I think the cast really try and there are a few sequences that are pretty good, but mostly I just found this incredibly, mind-numbingly boring.  Oh, and loud.  Very, very loud.  It has got some fine Paul Giamatti overacting, though, so that’s worth something.

Also, yes, I do find the irony in the fact that Tomorrowland, a film that sermonises about our obsession with turning death and planetary destruction and disaster into harmless entertainment, was unceremoniously dumped from number one by a film that is exactly what the former spends 130 minutes railing against.

2] Pitch Perfect 2

$14,381,000 / $147,540,000

This has a surprisingly strong chance of surpassing Fifty Shades of Grey’s closing total of $166 million.  It’s barely $20 million away from it, already, and with its strong mid-week grosses it could hold onto that trajectory even when Spy drops next week.  Yay to all of this!  And, yes, I still do really like this movie and believe it to be better than the first.  Accept that I’m not budging, and let’s close the book on this issue.

3] Tomorrowland

$13,803,000 / $63,188,000

Yeah…  this…  this isn’t making its money back.  Not even close.  I really hope that the lesson Hollywood takes away from the failures of this and Jupiter Ascending is not that the public doesn’t want expensive original blockbusters.  It’s that we want good expensive original blockbusters.  Actually, that doesn’t quite work since Jupiter Ascending is a good expensive original blockbuster, but the sentiment is still the same.

4] Mad Max: Fury Road

$13,625,000 / $115,915,000

You know what?  I think I’m going to go and see this again this week.  You should too.  I don’t care if you’ve already seen it 5 times in 3 weeks, that’s still not enough times to fully appreciate this magnificent specimen of a film and you damn well know it!

5] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$10,920,000 / $427,070,000

Gee, Box Office Mojo!  It sure would be great if I could find out how Age of Ultron is doing in China, the one market that actually matters for this movie, on a week-to-week basis!  But not knowing anything because you have decided to skip on the details of your detail-oriented website and dropped so hard in overall quality since Ray Subers left is fine too!  Really!  I love having to put in an unnecessarily large amount of work for what should instead be a fun little 75 minute writing exercise each week!  I’m not irritated at all!

6] Aloha

$10,000,000 / NEW

Bummed to hear this one sucks, but I guess I now know why I have to wait until September 1st – The UK’s Dumping Ground – to see it.  On an entirely unrelated note, I need to actually watch a Cameron Crowe film, since he’s one of those filmmakers I’ve heard great things about but never actually seen anything by (otherwise known as: Most Filmmakers).  I guess I’ll start with Pearl Jam 20, since Lucy will not stop going on about Pearl Jam, and go from there.

7] Poltergeist

$7,800,000 / $38,267,000

Told you this would sink like a stone.  At least Insidious: Chapter 3 can’t use this as a scapegoat defence if it underwhelms next weekend.  Side wish: please underwhelm majorly so I never have to be at risk of seeing an Insidious trailer again.

8] Far From The Madding Crowd

$1,420,000 / $8,362,000

Look, instead of watching this garbage, why don’t we all instead go and watch Thomas Vinterberg’s much, much, much better previous film The Hunt?  It’s got Mads Mikkelsen in it!  In fact, why don’t we all also just watch Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV series instead of this tripe?  I think we can all agree that both options are much better usages of our collective time than this walking gasbag.

9] Hot Pursuit

$1,370,000 / $32,351,000

Well, goodbye, Hot PursuitYou couldn’t even make back your $35 million budget, which would be sad if your film wasn’t apparently so excruciatingly terrible.  Don’t let the actually-good Spy knock you on your arse on the way out.  Spy, after all, deserves better than associating with wastes of space like you.

10] Home

$1,150,000 / $170,409,000

Wait, this actually made it to 10 weeks on the chart?!  And is the fourth highest-grossing film of the year domestically at time of writing?  Alright!  High fives and party poppers all round, folks!  Today is a very good day!  Now if Shaun The Sheep: The Movie could be somewhat of a success when it launches in America in August, that would be just peachy!

I know that that is never going to happen, just give me a few more seconds of blissful denial.

Dropped Out: Furious 7, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Callum Petch is just trying to change the world.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

US Box Office Report: 22/05/15 – 24/05/15

Tomorrowland comes today and is really underwhelming, Poltergeist is here and did really mediocre… y’know what?  This whole Memorial Day Weekend was basically a total bust, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

You may not know this, but this past weekend was a Bank Holiday.  No, really.  A second one in the same month, the official “Spring Bank Holiday”.  No, I really don’t know why.  Maybe we have it so that, when America shuts down for Memorial Day Weekend, we don’t have to wonder what those lazy ingrates are celebrating for whilst we have to keep going to our miserable dead-end jobs.  Did anything even actually shut down on Monday for anybody?  All of the shops in my village remained open as if it was any normal Monday, as if even they realised that this bank holiday is utterly pointless…

Hmm…?  Oh, right, movies.  Sorry, I was awake until 3:30am last night essay writing and got barely 5 hours of sleep.  My brain might make some left-turns during this piece, so be prepared.

Anyways, Memorial Day Weekend!  Typically, this is the period in which studios launch their biggest heavy-hitters to guide the 4-day weekend to piles-full of Scrooge McDuck money.  For example, last year, 20th Century Fox dropped X-Men: Days of Future Past, and despite humanity collectively forgetting everything that ever happened in that 2 hour piece of moving wallpaper as soon as they left the cinema – yeah, I said it – the film still opened to a ridiculous $110 million.  Analyst expectations were high, everyone was on the edge of their seat, this is meant to be the first Summer Blockbuster season that crosses $5 billion, after all, so Memorial Day Weekend should be a fever pit of activity, right?

Small problem with that: the two big films that people gave a sh*t about came out last weekend.  Instead we got a bad Brad Bird film, which is a phrase that physically hurts to type, and a crappy pointless horror movie remake.  Surprising nobody, the box office promptly died on its arse.

Tomorrowland is technically the winner, since it ended up in first place over the period, but it could barely scrape together $40 million over all four days which, for a film that cost $190 million to make and has been marketed and advertised to the hilt, is more than a little pathetic and embarrassing.  Hell, it barely beat the second week of Pitch Perfect 2, which was in an almost dead-heat with Tomorrowland for most of the weekend!  Meanwhile, Poltergeist posted exactly the numbers that you are expecting a crappy horror movie remake to post.  It started out strong on Friday with a good $9 million, then proceeded to sink like a stone once every horror fan collectively realised that, yeah, it was a bit sh*t, wasn’t it?  It eventually finished the long weekend with $26 million for fifth place.

In the land of the limited releases… things were rather crap over there, too, actually.  The only thing worth talking about was When Marnie Was There, currently the last planned Studio Ghibli film so, let’s face it, it would have still been the only thing worth talking about even if the limited releases were filled to the brim with films of quality and note.  Well, for the possible swansong of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, animation studios that has ever existed, the public came out in force!  They all collectively joined arms, packed their best tissues, and skipped merrily together down to their local cine…  Sigh.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.  Marnie managed to post a three-day weekend total of $27,388 from 2 screens.  By contrast, Isao Takahata’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya managed $54,915 from 3 screens, whilst Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises scored $313,751 from 21 screens.  So, a bit underwhelming.  It did, though, post the highest per-screen average of the whole miserable weekend, at $13,694, so little victories and all that.


tomorrowland 1

This Full List will only be doing the three-day period of this four-day weekend (but including the fourth day in the total gross so far area) cos that’s the formula.  You know what happens when you mess with formula?  Chaos and anarchy, that’s what!

Box Office Results: Friday 22nd May 2015 – Sunday 24th May 2015

1] Tomorrowland

$32,972,000 / $41,736,000 / NEW

My review, for those of you who enjoy reading my opinions on stuff, for some bizarre reason.  Yeah, really disappointed that this one didn’t work and I lay the blame at Brad Bird’s feet.  I know that a lot of people are going to blame Damon Lindelof, and I do get why, but he’s not mainly to blame, here.  I mean, Lindelof’s various works are a lot of things, but the last thing that they are is preachy and obsessively on-the-nose about their messaging, to the detriment of everything else.  Bird is usually way better than this, but he dropped the ball here for whatever reason.  Damn shame.

2] Pitch Perfect 2

$30,830,000 / $117,305,000

For those of you following along at home, that is a 55% drop between weekends which is a far better hold than I thought this film would have.  It is typical, after all, for female-targeted movies to drop majorly between weekends – last year’s box office smash The Fault In Our Stars collapsed 70% between weekends, whilst Fifty Shades Of Grey plummeted 73% between weekends – so this hold is pretty miraculous.  It’s not tearing it up overseas like I thought it would, but $250 million worldwide still seems like a lock by this point, and combined with the inevitable smash that it will be on DVD…

Give me a moment, I just want to savour all of this cos like sh*t is anybody going to give this the proper credit that it is due.

3] Mad Max: Fury Road

$24,815,000 / $95,540,000

Look, I know that everybody is collectively crapping their pants because Fury Road hasn’t slaughtered every box office record and made off with all the money in the world in its first week.  I get that, I really do, the quick-fix narrative of modern day box office reportage makes any film that doesn’t immediately dominate all-comers a complete failure that will sully impressive track-records and ruin careers.  But look a little closer for a second: Max spent the weekdays trading incredibly close places with Pitch Perfect 2, whilst posting very strong numbers, it’s doing very well overseas, that R-rating was always going to handicap it anyway, $150 million domestic now seems a lock, and it’s only dropped 45% between weekends with nothing else to really challenge it until Jurassic World comes along.

Plus, as myself and Lucy discovered on Thursday together for the second time, it’s still an utterly mesmeric movie that deserves way more than a ridiculous box office narrative attached to it.  Believe me, it’s going to be fine.

4] Poltergeist

$22,600,000 / $25,509,000 / NEW

Yep, the reason why it finishes fifth on the four-day scale is because it only made $2.9 million on the Monday.  Crappy horror movies, and especially pointless crappy remakes of actually good horror movies, won’t hang around for long.  Nor, in fact, will actually good horror movies.  Really, no horror movies do particularly strongly at the cinema.  Huh.

5] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$21,691,000 / $410,978,000

do we think anything will ever beat Avatar’s $2.7 billion all-time worldwide gross?  Can anything?  I ask because I don’t want Avatar to be remembered as a statistic, mainly because I don’t want Avatar to be remembered at all.  Nobody remembers anything from the movie itself, anyway, so we’re already halfway there!

6] Hot Pursuit

$3,600,000 / $30,300,000

The rest of this chart might be wrong, don’t blame me if it is.  Box Office Mojo has clearly been handed over to a clueless intern for whatever reason, and is thusly impossible to read and trust.  I can’t find anything, several reported grosses are just plain wrong – yeah, sure Pitch Perfect 2 posted a $30 million weekend but only did $900,000 on Friday – and their write-ups are somehow even worse than mine.  What’s going on, folks?  Sort it out!  Where am I going to go otherwise for this stuff?  Deadline?  (*snorts derisively*)

7] Furious 7

$2,232,000 / $347,687,000

So I am actually now cross-checking with Deadline on all of these entries for total accuracy.  Feel I need to explain that that was my attempt at a light-hearted joke and that I harbour no ill will to any potential outlets who are looking for writers and, if they’re gigs of the paying variety, I can be reached at p…  (*author notices Owen eyeballing him, hastily covers up work and moves on*)

8] Far From The Madding Crowd

$2,200,000 / $6,048,000

At least I never have to hear “Come all ye fair and tender girls” ever again.  Hearing it in front of damn near every single film for 3 straight months was absolutely maddening, which is something I should never have to say about Carey Mulligan’s singing.

9] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$1,875,000 / $66,358,000

Kevin James’ next film has just been picked up by Netflix, the company that just won’t stop enabling Happy Madison affiliates despite common goddamn sense.  If this is this trade-off for Orange Is The New Black and Bojack Horseman… well, I can’t really have an opinion in this case as I haven’t watched either show yet.  They are in my cue, though, so I’ll get to them around 2018.  At the earliest.

10] Home

$1,753,000 / $168,763,000

Well, after nine weeks of quietly decent performing, it’s time to say goodbye to Home.  It’s almost certainly not done well enough to justify DreamWorks continuing to spend $135 million on every damn film they release – thank CHRIST, that lesson cannot be hammered into them fast enough – but it’s hopefully done strong enough to keep them afloat for another year.  Yay!  Now I’m just going to go and find myself some Tip merchandise so that I can feel good and happy about DreamWorks taking steps towards better representation in ani…

Just one goddamn doll?  One?!

(*buries head in hands, defeated*)

Dropped Out: The Age of Adaline, Ex Machina

Callum Petch is living on such sweet nothing.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

Failed Critics Podcast: Mad Critics Fury Podcast

mad maxHello and welcome to another episode of the Failed Critics Podcast! Joining hosts Steve Norman and Owen Hughes this week are Andrew Brooker and Jackson Tyler, sharing their opinion on the latest installment of the Pitch Perfect franchise, as well as George Miller’s triumphant return to post-apocalyptic Australia with Mad Max: Fury Road.

Starting off the podcast as ever is our quiz – in its new revamped format! With things teetering on a knife-edge; will Steve lose and be forced to watch Kill Keith yet again; will he win and force Owen to watch Kill Keith again? Or, with a bit of luck, will the cursed video-tape that is Keith Chegwin’s magnum opus finally be passed on to somebody else so we never have to darken our DVD player with it ever again?

We also chat about the 68th Cannes (with an ‘s’) Film Festival, from the end of the McConaissance to institutional sexism. There’s even room for Owen to revisit a film talked about exactly 150 episodes ago; Jackson shares his love for Alexander Payne’s high-school political-satire Election; Steve puts his geo-gea-jolly-ologist expertise to good use when reviewing The Day After Tomorrow; and Brooker delves into the twisted mind of James Cullen Bressack with Pernicious ahead of its UK release next month.

Join us again next week for reviews of the Poltergeist remake (why?), Disney’s Tomorrowland and the latest CGI-laden disaster movie San Andreas.

LISTEN VIA ACAST FOR THE MOST INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE


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US Box Office Report: 15/05/15 – 17/05/15

Pitch Perfect 2 beat Mad Max: Fury Road so I guess society is completely fucked or something, Age of Ultron has only just now passed $1 billion so Marvel are completely fucked I guess, people are still voluntarily giving money to Far From The Madding Crowd, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

This weekend, two female-driven – and, at least according to the fact that the film itself bills Charlize Theron above Tom Hardy, female-fronted – blockbusters/tentpoles made a combined opening weekend of $114 million between them.  If you, for some literally inexplicable reason, still thought prior to this weekend that female-fronted and female-targeted films just can’t make any money, then this should finally piledrive that stupid, moronic, close-minded, and arguably sexist line of thinking straight down to the earth’s core where it will never again return from.  Now watch as Hollywood, instead of doing the correct thing and green-lighting every single female-driven film that crosses their path, sticks dollar bills in their ears, loudly yells “LA LA LA” and continues to try and shove Jai Courtney or Joel Kinnaman down our throats.

So, I’m celebrating!  Two damn great, staunchly feminist movies with a female-focus just made ALL the money!  …oh, no, wait, hang on.  Cancel the celebrations, it turns out that Pitch Perfect 2 beat Mad Max: Fury Road, like we all saw coming from a mile away.  After all, one’s a PG-13 teen comedy sequel to a sleeper hit from 3 years ago that became a sensation on home video, whilst the other is a hard R-rated action sequel to a cult franchise that hadn’t produced any activity in exactly 30 years prior to this.  What did you all think was going to happen?  Pitch Perfect 2 handily trounced Mad Max: Fury Road, $70 million to $44 million, and both posted absolutely ludicrous per-screen averages, $20,242 and $12,004 respectively.

In a perfect world, we would all simply sit here and celebrate the fact that these two films did great and be happy and optimistic about the future of this whole Movies thing.  Unfortunately, our world is crap and so now I, along with those of us who follow Film Twitter even tangentially or who are even slightly involved in Internet Film Circles, have to strap in for the next week of Thinkpiece Hell.  Joy!  What’s on your bingo card?  I am expecting variations on “Damn Millennials, ruining everything for the rest of us!”, “REAL action movies are DEAD!!”, “stupid girls with their cooties!”, and “Why Film Critics Don’t Matter In 2015” among others.  I mean, GOD FORBID we just take this positive victory as is and leave it at that(!)

Also likely to cause Thinkpiece Hell, although it’s already done a fine enough job of that before this weekend, is The Avengers: Age of Ultron.  This weekend, the film finally passed the $1 billion mark worldwide, but only after 24 days, which is foooooreeeeveeeerrr in these days of Furious 7 crossing the mark in 19.  Clearly this means that Marvel Studios are in complete disarray and that, in addition to ruining all blockbusters for everybody forever, they have ruined their once glorious and infallible reputation on a not-completely-incredibly-brilliant film that everybody hates and nobody wants to see again.  Oh, the horror!  Oh, the humanity!

Meanwhile, Far From The Madding Crowd breaks into the Top 10 and nobody’s whipping up their vitriol for that.  I fucking hate Film Internet.


pitch perfect two

What a lovely day for this aca-mazing Full List.

Box Office Results: Friday 15th May 2015 – Sunday 17th May 2015

1] Pitch Perfect 2

$70,300,000 / NEW

I stand by most all of my review.  See, heading back in this past weekend, I was rather nervous, because my good friend Jackson hated the living daylights out of this film for perfectly legitimate reasons – his great review is over here – and he and I are so well-tuned and agree so often with one another that whenever we do end up having differing opinions I end up getting very worried and self-conscious, especially since he’s really good at reading films (better than I am, at any rate).  Did I get it wrong?  How did I miss such glaringly obvious minority-marginalising?  Do I not check my privilege enough despite spending almost every goddamn day fretting over everything I do or say?  Does really liking something problematic make me a terrible person?

Then I saw the film again, had a lot of fun whilst acknowledging certain flaws, and left feeling confident in my opinion, albeit slightly cooler on it than I was the first time.  One of these days I’ll learn not to be so self-conscious, it’s bad form in this critic game.

2] Mad Max: Fury Road

$44,440,000 / NEW

At approximately 5:18PM on Saturday the 16th of May 2015, I am 80% certain that I witnessed perfection, and it was tear-inducing.  The last shot of Fury Road is the textbook definition of perfection, for me, and it so perfectly caps off a film for which there are no descriptors that could be classed as hyperbole when applied to this thing.  I couldn’t think straight for almost the rest of the day, let alone form coherent thoughts on this utter masterpiece of cinema.  It’s… it’s just beautiful.  Utter beauty.  I don’t know why we haven’t been giving George Miller $150 million live-action budgets for the last 20 years, and why we’ve been settling for anything less than this.  I really don’t.  More coherent thoughts can be found here on the site by good old Brooker.

Also, I want to be even a tenth as awesomely and passionately feminist as Imperator Furiosa when I grow up.

3] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$38,837,000 / $372,008,000

Finally going to give this a re-watch on Thursday, when I can finally get a spare few moments break from the Hell that is Essay Season 2015.  Then I’ll more than likely immediately walk back into Mad Max: Fury Road afterwards.  Then I’ll get out of Fury Road and immediately buy a ticket for the next showing, and so on and so on until that film is seared permanently into my retinas.

4] Hot Pursuit

$5,780,000 / $23,504,000

This collapsed 59% between weekends, surprising nobody since Pitch Perfect 2 arrived to remind everybody what a good female-led and female-focussed comedy should look like, and Mad Max: Fury Road arrived to inform everybody of what feminist entertainment should be like.  Therefore, this movie has no reason to exist.  Roll on July 31st when I can be incredibly disappointed myself, then, I guess.

5] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$3,600,000 / $62,939,000

I don’t care that this is only making miniscule money each week and has still only just made half worldwide of what the first one managed worldwide, WHY IS THIS UTTERLY REPREHENSIBLE PIECE OF SLOTH FAECES STILL HANGING AROUND MY CHART?! Get it out of here!  Get it out!  OUT!  GET IT THE FU…

6] Furious 7

$3,600,000 / $343,800,000

This has a higher per-screen average than Blart yet is sat behind it, for some reason.  Why?  Do we really think that the actuals are going to hurt this more than Blart?  Ugh, whatever.  Let’s instead look forward to next February’s Academy Awards where this and Mad Max will duke it out for Best Picture!  …it can totally happen, shut up.

7] The Age of Adaline

$3,200,000 / $37,072,000

I don’t know what the hyper-specific and scientific narration in this movie was all about, but what I do know is that it made me really, really want a resurrected Pushing Daisies.  Hey, Bryan Fuller!  Yeah, I hear that Hannibal is great and all, but could you maybe put it on pause to bring back Pushing Daisies?  Thanks!

8] Home

$2,700,000 / $165,647,000

This just will not die at my local Cineworld.  No, really, it’s still here after more than two full months!  I don’t care anymore about box office grosses, I’m just going to class this as a full-blown success and live in bliss for a while.

9] Ex Machina

$2,103,000 / $19,556,000

Really looking forward to revisiting this when it hits Blu-Ray on June 1st.  Film Crit Hulk’s piece on it this past week has sufficiently stoked those fires and I’m all about revisiting that ending to see if I read it wrong – I saw it as the film sacrificing its fantastic and angry gender themes in favour of returning to the surface-level and far less compelling AI themes – or whether Alex Garland really is just 90% incapable of sticking the goddamn landing.

10] Far From The Madding Crowd

$1,300,000 / $2,631,000

This goddamn movie…  If I get started on this thing, I will be here all day, so just skip to the drop-outs before I spoil a nice day with unrestrained venom.

Dropped Out: Woman In Gold, Cinderella

Callum Petch got you thinking just too much.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

US Box Office Report: 08/05/15 – 10/05/15

Age of Ultron drops like that one thing from the movie that I can’t specify cos spoilers I guess, Hot Pursuit has lost ‘em, The D Train has been cancelled, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Continuing to very much embody and experience the effects of the younger sibling of the family – in that it comes along after a successful first effort that everybody loves, has unreasonably high expectations fostered upon it that it unsurprisingly doesn’t live up to, ends up vocally liked a whole lot less than its older sibling, and eventually grows up to be a miserable burnout who never received the love and compassion that could have stoked its drive to succeed and do something great with the world, YOU MONSTERSThe Avengers: Age of Ultron managed a second weekend of only $77 million for first place, $26 million less than The Avengers’ second weekend.  (*takes deep breath*) CINEMA IS DOOOOOOOOOO-

In non-superhero news, because such things do actually exist nowadays believe it or not, Hot Pursuit came out!  You know, that Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara buddy-movie?  Fronted by women, directed by a woman, aimed at women, things that are still unfortunately rare in this damn industry?  The one that looks like (and, by all accounts, is) total garbage?  Yeah, that one!  Well, it’s a dud.  Despite canny counter-programming placement and an apparently decent marketing campaign, it turns out that those toxic reviews caught up with it after all, so its second place finish came from a paltry $13 million.  Maybe everybody was saving their money for Pitch Perfect 2 next weekend instead.

(Side bar: If Pitch Perfect 2 bombs, I am going medieval on everyone’s asses.  Consider yourselves warned.)

Meanwhile, in the land of limited releases…  things were rather miserable here, too, actually.  I’m starting to believe that people actually were saving their money for Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 next weekend.  Doing the worst of the lot and opening on the most screens of the lot was The D Train which built its marketing campaign around Jack Black and a twist that anybody could figure out purely by looking at the goddamn title.  It did horrendously, only managing $469,000 from 1,003 screens for a per-screen average of $465.  That makes it the 17th worst opening weekend for a wide-release film ever and puts it below even Men, Women & Children in terms of per-screen averages.  Poor, poor Jack Black.  I was looking forward to christening his career resurrection “Back In Jack Black” but I guess everybody figured that would happen and decided to snuff out the whole concept to be safe.

Speaking of actors pushing themselves out of their comfort zone only to be slapped down violently by an uncaring public who just want the monkeys to dance for their amusement, dammit, Arnold Schwarzenegger tried acting in a moody zombie drama called Maggie this past weekend where, by all accounts, he actually acted instead of just chewing scenery!  This, however, is not the kind of sh*t the public pay to see Arnie do, dammit, and so the film could only manage $131,000 from 79 screens for a sub-$2,000 per-screen average.  Not even “pleasant” movies were saved from general public apathy as the Morgan Freeman/Diane Keaton comedy 5 Flights Up found out the hard way, only mustering up $234,000 from 87 screens for a $2,690 per-screen average.  The only success from this weekend was I Am Big Bird which managed a $10,000 per-screen average… from its singular screen.


maggie

We’ll head off this Full List at the pass, boys!

Box Office Results: Friday 8th May 2015 – Sunday 10th May 2015

1] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$77,203,000 / $312,589,000

This will pass a billion next week.  Three words my friends: Chinese opening weekend.  Mad Max doesn’t have a release date over there yet, and Tomorrowland doesn’t drop until the very end of May.  Consider this Open Season for The Avengers on the Chinese box office.  I really need to find the time to see this again in cinemas before the utter mayhem that is Summer Movie Season 2015 boots this to home media.

2] Hot Pursuit

$13,300,000 / NEW

Disappointed but not at all surprised to hear that this is garbage.  I watched that trailer, too, and it was around about the time jokes were made about how Reese Witherspoon is short (ha!) and Sofia Vergara is over-40-and-therefore-ancient (HA!) that I realised, despite all my best hopes, that this would be pure garbage.  Sigh.  Hurry along, Pitch Perfect 2.  Show the rest of cinema how to do this sh*t right.

3] The Age of Adaline

$5,600,000 / $31,529,000

Saw this this past weekend and I was so close to liking it for what it is – a film that wastes its thematically rich premise on a bog-standard love story with an infinitely better melodramatic subplot at the halfway point – but it loses points for having a lead male protagonist who only gets the girl because he keeps forcefully inserting himself into her life despite her objections, wearing her down until she finally goes on a date and realises how dreamy he is.  Serious question: how goddamn hard is it to get a romance story that’s actually friggin’ romantic, huh?!  Surprisingly great Harrison Ford performance, though.

4] Furious 7

$5,272,000 / $338,420,000

When actuals came in last weekend, this did beat Adaline after all.  Might even happen again!  Who knows?  Not I, for I am neither psychic nor particularly bothered.

5] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$5,190,000 / $58,075,000

Oh, just fuck off already.

6] Ex Machina

$3,470,000 / $15,722,000

This expanded to another 725 theatres this past weekend, putting it up to 2,004 total, hence why it’s made a fair bit more money than last weekend.  I mean, its per-screen average isn’t particularly great but, again, this is a hard sci-fi that’s expanding purely on word-of-mouth and with little advertising behind it.  I think we can agree that this is doing fine.

7] Home

$3,000,000 / $162,116,000

Up to $330 million worldwide which makes it currently the 18th highest grossing DreamWorks film worldwide.  It will pass Over The Hedge this week but Shark Tale seems more than a little out-of-reach, and it’s still made less worldwide than notorious flop Penguins of Madagascar.  No, I won’t stop worrying about DreamWorks Animation.  I feel like a parent with a kid at Secondary School – the kid is more than likely fine and capable of taking care of themselves, but I’m going to keep worrying regardless.

8] Woman In Gold

$1,652,000 / $26,978,000

The Voices is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from all good retailers on July 27th.

9] Cinderella

$1,574,000 / $196,116,000

OK, I am completely out of things to say for most of this list.  Can the rest of May hurry up please so that I get some fresh material?  Not too quickly, mind, I still have 5 uni essays to do in the next 8 or so days, but, y’know, soon.

10] Unfriended

$1,412,000 / $30,943,000

Lucy was sufficiently impressed with this when she reviewed it for Screen 1 – if you missed the episode, you can listen back here – which, coupled with the generally positive responses I have heard from other people, has led me to believe that this isn’t a total waste of time.  I’ll find out for myself on DVD then, I guess. [Owen: Also, we covered this on our recent podcast and apparently have a very different opinion to Callum’s colleague]

Dropped Out: The Longest Ride

Callum Petch will do this one himself.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

US Box Office Report: 01/05/15 – 03/05/15

Age of Ultron makes all of the money but not ALL of the money so cinema is officially doomed, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Heading into this weekend, Disney and Marvel Studios were probably preparing the Scrooge McDuck money bin for the inbound GDP of multiple small countries that would make up the opening weekend total of Age of Ultron.  After all, it’s not like they’ve been quiet about the fact that the film was inbound – I’m waiting for somebody to piece together the movie from the endless promo clips that Marvel released for this thing, like what happened with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – it’s The Avengers, and it’s not like there was anything else out this weekend.  Or the weekend before that.  Or the weekend before that.  What was everybody going to do, watch Furious 7 again?  They probably felt like Shane McMahon; “here comes the mon-ay!

Well, the mon-ay came, but not in the Earth-shattering quantity that we all unreasonably expected it to.  Age of Ultron opened in first, and accounted for 85% of the weekend’s domestic box office, but it didn’t beat The Avengers’ $207 million opening weekend.  In fact, it didn’t even come close, finishing with $187 million.  I mean, it’s understandable, the first Avengers was an EVENT MOVIE of epic proportions, the first time that we could see all of these guys (and girl) together on screen in the same movie.  By simple fact of it happening again, Age of Ultron is only an Event Movie, and no amount of excess marketing saturation can change that.

Then there’s also the fact that everybody seems very much more divided on this instalment than the first one.  I mean, not so much audience-wise – it got an “A” on the shaky silly CinemaScore metric – but critically, definitely.  I mean, I’m probably going to be on the minority side of things with regards to my critic friends by liking it, and this divide will likely bleed over into the general public, too.  Plus, some sh*tty boxing thing happened this weekend or something, and there’s only one thing that captures the American public’s slovenly attention quicker than movies…  It’s sports, I’m talking about sports.  Besides, this is still, by a considerable margin, the second best opening weekend in America ever, and the film is already up to $436 million overseas with China still to go.

However, Age of Ultron did not beat The Avengers in its opening weekend and May is incredibly crowded with regards to films – basically guaranteeing that Ultron won’t match The Avengers’ total – so cinema is now doomed forever.  The superhero bubble has burst, folks!  Marvel Studios are over the hill!  Their films aren’t as good as they used to be, they can’t beat opening weekend records anymore, and they only made all of the money instead of ALL of the money!  They’re finished, the genre is finished, this whole goddamn medium is finished!  If even Marvel can’t make ALL of the money, anymore, then what hope is there for the rest of us?!  WHAT, I TELLS YA?!

Oh, yeah, and Far From The Madding Crowd opened in limited release this weekend.  $172,000 from 10 theatres.  Snooze.


age of ultron

There are no strings on this Full List.

Box Office Results: Friday 1st May 2015 – Sunday 3rd May 2015

1] The Avengers: Age of Ultron

$187,656,000 / NEW

Yes, even with a per-screen average of $44,000, Age of Ultron is still a failure!  …yeah, OK, I’m gonna stop that now.  I am serious though when I say that I don’t think Ultron is going to match The Avengers’ total, at least domestically.  The first film had nothing serious to challenge it for three weeks, and even then I don’t think we all expected Men In Black III to perform that well, but Ultron has the combined onslaught of Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 in 11 days, with Tomorrowland the week after.  Even if one of those bombs – hint: it’s going to be Tomorrowland, get the disappointment out of your system now – that’s still two films taking a chunk out of its box office.  We’ll see, I guess.  Man, this Summer is stacked!

2] The Age of Adeline

$6,250,000 / $23,424,000

Wait, this actually beat Furious 7?!  I mean, I sort of saw this coming since this has only been out for two weeks and Furious 7 has been out for over a month, but still.  Huh.

3] Furious 7

$6,114,000 / $330,539,000

Up to $1.4 billion worldwide, now the 4th highest grossing film worldwide of all-time, has successfully made $1 billion purely from foreign markets, and is closing fast on The Avengers’ $1.5 billion.  It might actually get there, but this going to go right down to the wire.  I still can’t get over the fact that all of this originally came from a silly mid-budget Point Break riff from 2001.

4] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$5,500,000 / $51,186,000

So, last Thursday, I was given the opportunity by my university to go down to London, attend a press-only screening of Pitch Perfect 2, and have a 20 minute roundtable interview with the film’s director (and movie star in her own right), Elizabeth Banks, afterwards.  I have been wanting to shout about that day and that whole experience since I found out about it that Tuesday, so finally getting to spill today has been incredibly cathartic.  At the risk of sounding unprofessional, the day was incomparable – mainly because it proved that I could do this for a living if the opportunity were presented to me – and you can read all about it and the interview here.  The full interview transcript will be posted over at The Hullfire soon enough, but there’s a Pitch Perfect 2 review for you to read in the meantime!

Yes, I am talking about something that makes me happy instead of Paul Blart.  Why wouldn’t I?

5] Home

$3,300,000 / $158,132,000

Home finally opened in China last week, where DreamWorks films have often done well recently… and only made $8 million.  It is now up to $326 million worldwide, though.  Still, MAKE MORE MONEY FASTER, DAMMIT!

6] Cinderella

$2,357,000 / $193,651,000

Wait, seriously?  This re-entered the chart?  From the no. 12 slot?  Man, this was a bad week to be a non-Avengers film.

7] Ex Machina

$2,231,000 / $10,868,000

Surprising no-one, not even art house patrons could resist the allure of Ultron, since all art house patrons must be able to butt into conversations about blockbusters and explain in great detail why they suck horribly.  In any case, Ex Machina was never going to be a film that made a giant expansion in audience moneybills, anyway, so the fact that it’s doing $10 million worth of business already is good enough, I feel.  Yay for Alex Garland!

8] Unfriended

$1,988,000 / $28,531,000

I don’t think Lucy’s seen this yet, so I’m going to withhold having an opinion until I’ve heard from her.   What?

9] The Longest Ride

$1,700,000 / $33,240,000

Should probably clarify that I don’t think Age of Ultron is perfect – god, no, it’s a mess – and that having reasonable complaints about it is fine.  I just don’t understand why people who hate a certain genre or series, know that they will hate the latest instalment, and spend all of their time prior to seeing the thing complaining about doing so, would voluntarily… (*author remembers that this is what he does on an astoundingly frequent basis*)

I’ll be quiet now.

10] Woman In Gold

$1,681,000 / $24,588,000

The Voices is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from all good video shops on July 27th.

Dropped Out: Get Hard, Monkey Kingdom

Callum Petch didn’t mean to make you cry.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

The Elizabeth Banks Interview

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

pitch perfect 2 elizabeth banksI am unbearably nervous.  My heart is racing, my breathing is barely controlled, and the pen of mine that I am currently fiddling with is basically a blur.  This is not nervousness brought on by excitement and being star-struck – although that may have been a barely noticeable part of it – this was nervousness brought on by anxiety and fear.

About 48 hours earlier, I received a message from the editor of The Hullfire, my university’s student newspaper.  It told me that there had been some actual progress with regards to an interview opportunity that he had teased a few months back and to which I more or less replied at the time, “Get me in there, do whatever it takes!”  The interview was going ahead, it was set for Thursday, and if I wanted it, then the session was mine.  I then didn’t hear anything more until 7pm the next day, where I was finally let in on the details of the thing: the interview was at 3:40PM the following day, I had to attend a 12PM screening before it, and it was down in London.

Against most people’s common sense, and even my own, I spent the next 4 hours making the travel arrangements and nailing down locations and such.  Cos when you have been writing critically about films for five years, seemingly no closer to making it or even being paid for your efforts, and someone metaphorically calls you up to say “Hi, we’d like for you to attend a press event first thing tomorrow in London and you’re going to have to figure out how to get down there on your own”, you damn well make it work.

This was my first journey around London by myself, going to places I didn’t know, to the type of event I had never experienced before.  Hence the anxiety and fear; going on unfamiliar experiences by myself doesn’t usually sit well with me.  Not helping matters was the general surreality of the whole experience – the NBC Universal offices, where the screening took place, are two floors in a building filled with corporate offices that’s incredibly sparsely designed and has TVs that play NBC Universal related trailers on muted loop, like something out of a film, whilst Claridge’s, where the interview took place, is a living parody of what you and I think the incredibly rich live like – and the fact that the other critics/journalists at the event, despite also being university students, seemed very experienced and all seemed to know each other.  As the fresh-faced newbie that nobody knew and didn’t acknowledge the existence of, this caused me to feel exactly as you’d expect.

That’s why I was sat in a waiting room at Claridge’s at 3:35PM, 5 minutes before the roundtable interview was supposed to start, terrified beyond belief.  I mean, I was about to share a room with the director of Pitch Perfect 2, which I had to sign an embargo agreement on before I could go into the screening, and a movie star in her own right.  Why wouldn’t I be terrified?  What if I said something incredibly stupid?  What if I flubbed my questions?  What if my recording didn’t work properly?  What if I fainted, or was incredibly unprofessional, what if she just plain didn’t turn up?  Knowing my luck, any one of those things could have happened and I wouldn’t have been in the least bit surprised.

We are escorted at 3:40PM into the hotel room next door with a roundtable all set up, take our seats, and wait in incredibly awkward silence.  There are 8 of us, each with our own Dictaphones, lists of questions, degrees of experience, and our own personal relationships with one another – some knew certain people, others knew others, but none of us, least of all I, knew everyone at the table.  So we waited, as the minutes ticked by.  Sometimes someone would make a quiet murmured comment intended to make things less tense but would only cause things to feel even more awkwardly, anxiously terrifying.

Then Elizabeth Banks walks through the door and the room’s energy drastically changes.  Dressed casually, grinning from ear to ear, and not seeming in the slightest bit tired, phased or sick of having to spend yet another 20 minutes fielding questions, she projects this aura of calming control that seemingly affects every one of us.  “You’re all so young,” she observes as she sits down and that combined with her loud emphatic request for questions – simply delivered as “What d’ya wanna know?” – flushes out any trace of fear in the room with genuine laughter.  Somebody uses the age comment as a jumping off point to ask for her thoughts on what about university and college-aged protagonists appeals to audiences, and we are off.

“I think it’s a transitional age.  When you’re younger than 20, you’re aspiring to be 20, and when you’re my age, you go, ‘Oh, it was so nice when I was 20.’”  She answers most every question like that, with that kind of insight and self-awareness and examination, into both herself and the Pitch Perfect series that, as its producer, she has helped shepherd into existence, but in a casual way that keeps the mood from feeling too pressurising, too constricting.   Somebody follows up my question on female empowerment and friendships in the series by asking about the importance of a studio comedy fronted and driven by an almost entirely female cast, which leads into Banks, who proudly admits to being a feminist, noting that, while she didn’t set out to make a feminist movie, “because we made a movie about a group of women, and nobody else makes those movies, we are a feminist statement.”

Pitch Perfect 2 is a very much a film of expansion, from the cast to the sets to the scale to the commitment to and exaggeration of the A Capella world it takes place in, which also bleeds over into Banks’ role within the film.  Whilst she still returns on-screen as co-A Capella commentator and podcaster Gail, Banks found herself in the director’s seat for the first time in a feature film, a surprising rarity with the Hollywood studio system’s frustrating reluctance to hire female directors.  “I was actively looking for a movie to direct, and the stars basically just happened to align,” she admits, noting that due to her production work, her hiring of Jason Moore [the first film’s director], and the studio trusting her, “it was like, ‘yeah, of course I should do it.’”

That kind of determination and desire to try new things likely surprises no-one if they’ve been paying attention to her filmography.  This year alone, in addition to Pitch Perfect 2, she’s co-headlining the crime drama Every Secret Thing, appearing in Magic Mike XXL, co-starring in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy, and wrapping up her work in The Hunger Games series with Mockingjay, Part 2.  I ask her if this comes from a desire to push herself, which she mostly refutes but instead simply states: “I don’t want to be bored.  I want stories that interest me.”  That might explain why, when the subject of comedy sequels and a possible third Pitch Perfect comes up, she notes that she and Kay Cannon (the series’ screenwriter) “really strove to do something organic and authentic” with PP2 instead of just repeating themselves and why she’s hesitant to commit the series to a third instalment just yet.  “I don’t know what the journey would be in the next one, we don’t have a plan yet.”

Each of us interviewing Elizabeth take turns in no specific order, mostly managing to link our own questions from questions prior, never accidentally talking over one another, like we’re all linked in together and acting as one cohesive unit despite that lack of familiarity.  It really helps keep me calm during the session, as the fear of failure melts away and worries about being judged fade into the back of my mind.  Banks very much seems to exude that kind of kind, understanding calm, the sense that you could ask her how her day’s been and you won’t get an answer too dissimilar to asking one about the belief that the public are scared of musicals – “The people that write the cheques are scared,” she corrects.  I ask a slightly bumbling question about the film’s frank and honest handling of bisexuality and sexual desires and her response is both funny, sincere and intelligent – “College is a liberal time.  You’re supposed to experiment.”

Eventually, one of her PR guys intrudes to let us know that our time is up.  She says her goodbyes and leaves, we all hit stop on our Dictaphones and start filing out of the room.  The calm from her time in the room is still within me and it doesn’t dissipate until I get halfway to the stairs and decide to check my phone to make sure the audio actually recorded.  Mild panic ensues as I fumble around with my headphones and I skip past the dead air, my mind continually worried that I’ll step out of the shower any second now and find out that the entire experience was actually like Season 9 of Dallas.

But then I hear her voice.  The recording worked and, more importantly to myself at that moment, I had physical evidence that the whole thing had actually happened.  I really did just see Pitch Perfect 2 at an actual critic screening, and I really did just spend 20 minutes in a room with Elizabeth Banks asking her questions like a professional film critic/journalist.  I keep my elation contained until I make it back through the front entrance of Claridge’s, at which point I proceed to cackle like lunatic and swear triumphantly to both myself and the heavens.  The feeling was incomparable.  Not so much because of the experience, but more because of the knowledge that I could, in fact, do this.  I could do this for a living, for real, instead of failing miserably like I was always terrified of happening.

I then head off to meet a friend of mine who lived nearby for a bit before catching a train home.  That feeling does not leave for the rest of the day.

Callum Petch has gotta get out to get compensation.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

Pitch Perfect 2

Funnier, more heart-felt, and just plain better, Pitch Perfect 2 gets to join that exclusive club of comedy sequels that are markedly better than the original.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Full Disclosure: The reviewer saw this film at an early press screening provided by the distributor, Universal Pictures, that also included a 20 minute roundtable interview with Elizabeth Banks afterwards.

pitch perfect 2Who was actually surprised by the fact that Pitch Perfect became a sleeper hit in cinemas and a massive success on home media?  No, seriously, who actually didn’t see this coming?  The narrative that surrounds the first Pitch Perfect is very much that of a film that, despite being shunted out in mid-October and made for pittance ($17 million), succeeded against all odds and expectations, becoming a beloved and surprising cult hit.  Yet, and trying not to diverge into ‘I told you so’ territory here, I saw this coming from a mile and a half away.  It’s a basically a girl friendship movie, aimed at young women – a market Hollywood still doesn’t tap into near-enough – with a great sense of humour and good songs.  You know, it’s like everybody forgets that Mean Girls, Bring It On, Clueless, et al exist.

Well, Pitch Perfect did extremely well, so now here comes Pitch Perfect 2, as is the Hollywood way.  Now, regular followers of my work, my Twitter, my radio show, or who just happened to be in the general vicinity of me these past few months, will more than likely know that this, out of everything else, was my most anticipated film of the year going in.  What keeps getting lost in this whole thing is that I think the original Pitch Perfect is barely great.  I do really like it, think it’s really funny, know that its heart is in the right place, and it pulls off the girl friendship thread with aplomb, but I don’t love it.  It relies too much on gross-out vomit-based comedy for my liking, the actual one-liners and such are way more hit or miss than I expect from Kay Cannon – the film’s writer and an ex-30 Rock alumni – and the Beca (Anna Kendrick)/Jesse (Skylar Astin) romance at best distracts from the true core of the film, The Bellas, and at worst is kinda gross.

So, that’s the base that Pitch Perfect 2 has to work from, although it also has to deal with the handicap of losing original director Jason Moore and being a comedy sequel which, barring very rare exceptions, are at best decent time-wasters and little more.  At best.  So, with all those factors working against it – along with pre-release plot info and casting announcements, pretty much everybody is back and there are a bunch of new cast members too, suggesting that this would be every bit the pointless comedy sequel – the fact that Pitch Perfect 2 is damn good is a legitimate surprise.  The fact that Pitch Perfect 2 is great is a miracle.  The fact that Pitch Perfect 2 is, in many respects, better than the first film is nothing short of witchcraft.

See, Pitch Perfect 2 is the kind of sequel that doubles down on what works but doesn’t simply repeat the first film.  Although the set-up of the film involves busting The Barden Bellas back down to underdog status – Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) accidentally ends up flashing the President during a benefit concert, which leads to the Bellas being suspended from the National A Capella Association unless they can win the World Championships, something that no American team has ever done – the film is actually only interested in that aspect as a means to filter its main focus through.  Instead of being another underdog movie, this is primarily a film about friendship and the fear of moving on, as the film doubles down on the relationship between the girls and minimises the romance elements in service of that.

To wit, the Bellas just aren’t in sync like they used to be because the fast-approaching milestone of graduation is affecting them in different ways.  Beca is secretly interning for a hot-shot music producer (Keegan-Michael Key) and very worried that she might not be able to make it in the industry, Chloe (Brittany Snow) is preparing to fail her chosen major for the seventh year in a row to make sure she doesn’t have to leave the Bellas, Barden freshman Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is the daughter of a Bella legacy and whose sole life goal is to join the group but doesn’t fit in as well as she thought she would, and the rest of the team are thrown off of their game by the European champions, Das Sound Machine.  There’s also the return of Benji (Ben Platt) who falls for Emily at first sight, Bumper (Adam DeVine) is in a no strings attached relationship with Fat Amy but may be developing actual feelings for her, and the world of the original Pitch Perfect is blown wide open and expanded with even more characters and little incidental details.

In simple terms: there is a lot going on in this nearly 2 hour comedy, but credit to Elizabeth Banks, who takes over the reins on the director’s chair, and returning screenwriter Kay Cannon, they never lose sight of the central themes of friendship and moving on.  That heart, that loving relationship that its cast share, never gets completely lost beneath all of the moving parts, and when it finally bursts through totally in the final third the film is on pure unstoppable fire – there’s a specific moment during a campfire scene late in the movie where I am not in the slightest bit ashamed to admit that I teared up like a complete sap.  There’s a believability to everyone’s relationships, the closeness and intimacy that they all share that is subtly and carefully built up so that the last third, which deals with every single plot thread and arc one after the other, is sustained catharsis that leaves those central relationships standing tall throughout.

This is also, despite being nearly 2 hours long and having all of that content to cover, a very tightly paced film that never noticeably dragged.  Despite this being her first feature directing gig, Banks shows a confidence in editing and scene pacing that is rarer than usual in the American comedy feature genre – I didn’t find any scenes that just devolved into leaving the camera running whilst excess improv took place.  She also seems to enjoy indulging her inner-Step Up 2, expanding the scale of the world to comical proportions whilst still keeping a tenuous grip on reality.  Gail (Banks) and John (John Michael Higgins), the commentators, are back and are revealed to be the hosts of an A Capella podcast and the representatives of the National A Capella Association, David Cross turns up as an A Capella enthusiast who hosts underground high stakes Riff-Offs, and musical performances are generally more flamboyant and busy than last time without losing the charm of the lower-key original – which is a good summary of the film overall, quite honestly.

Pitch Perfect 2 is also just plain funnier than the first film, the jokes coming thick and fast and not really letting up until the credits roll.  Hailee Steinfeld’s Emily is especially well-served by the script here with her character’s excessively awkward and geeky enthusiasm being a great source of humour, whilst Keegan-Michael Key nearly runs away with the entire film from everyone else as a hysterically overbearing and egotistical record producer who treats his interns like a schoolteacher who has stopped giving a damn about parental blowback.  There are also frequent jokes that allude to both the sexually voracious nature and strongly hinted bi-sexuality of most of the Bellas in ways that feel genuine and sincere – in comparison to, say, Seth Rogan/James Franco comedies that hit the “these two are totally gay for each other, but they’re not really gay, see, they have sex with women!” button so hard and so frequently that it’s permanently stuck in the machine by this point – and that’s refreshing as hell to see.

All this being said, Pitch Perfect 2 is not perfect.  For one, although that last third is an incredibly satisfying 40 minutes to experience, the messy “throw everything out there at the beginning and we’ll deal with it in turn later” nature of the first third means that it takes the film a little while to get going and feels more than a little awkward.  It also bends over backwards to ensure that everyone is able to return for this movie in ways that are definitely forced, all but lampshaded when Bumper’s introduction to this film occurs when a random cut during a party scene reveals him to be back as a security guard, shouting this fact to no-one in particular.  Whilst I do find Bumper’s story with Fat Amy here to be oddly sweet, and whilst the return of Aubrey is amazing and works totally, it still makes their inclusion here feel somewhat mandatory, like a Pitch Perfect Sequel check-list was being ticked off somewhere (better handled is Jesse who just appears sporadically as Beca’s supportive boyfriend and little more).

More problematic is the film’s frequent detours into lazy racial stereotyping humour.  Although Worlds is barely a factor in the film, their eventual appearance does lead to an extended sequence in which Gail and John make lengthy stereotype-based jokes like the Taiwanese team being made up of “Ladyboys” or how the Korean team’s barbeque is something to avoid.  It’s kind of OK, because Gail and John have already been made out to be terrible, terrible people (John especially and he gets even more hilariously casually awful this time), but it does still skirt that line nonetheless.  A bigger problem is new Bella Flo (Chrissie Fit) whose joke and characteristic is that she is an immigrant who has just had the absolute worst life up to now.  It feels too mean-spirited, especially since most of the jokes play on that immigrant backstory, and, coupled with the commentators and the excessively stereotypically German nature of DSM, leaves this strand of humour feeling lazy in a way that the film otherwise avoids.  It’s disappointing.

Those, however, are still relatively minor flaws and fail to take away from what Pitch Perfect 2 manages to get right.  Prior to seeing the film, the thing I wanted from it was for it to be a girl friendship movie, to commit fully to its premise and promise and centrally be a film about the bonds shared between a collective group of coolly weird women.  Though there is a tonne going on in Pitch Perfect 2, Banks and Cannon never lose sight of that very thing whilst still expanding the world of the film and not simply re-treading ground covered in the original.  This is a funny, heart-felt, heart-warming film that is brilliantly paced, excellently acted – surprising no-one, hence why I didn’t really mention it – fiercely feminist, damn near everything I wanted, and better in almost every single department than the first film.

I now count two comedy sequels in consecutive years that are as good as or better than the films that spawned them.  Can this become a full-on trend, please?

Pitch Perfect 2 is due out on May 15th.

Callum Petch saw the sign.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch), and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!

US Box Office Report: 24/04/15 – 26/04/15

The Age of Adeline is not upon us, Little Boy makes child-sized money… basically, filmgoers opted to not see the crap that came out this week, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

…look, nothing came out this week.  It’s the weekend before The Avengers, or it is the weekend of The Avengers if you live in the specially designated half of the world, and every movie studio worth their salt knows that you release jack in the week before and after that Galactus-sized money-hoover.  After all, what’s the point when The Avengers will just swallow up any and all potential revenue for your film near-immediately?  This does make me question why Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 are opening two weeks after instead of three to make absolutely certain that they can bank a nice amount of cash… but, then, I’m not the guy who has to deal with the utterly ridiculous Summer 2015 release schedule, so what do I know?

In fact, side note: can 2015 just end after the weekend of May 15th?  Like, just stop and move onto 2016?  I’m seeing Mad Max: Fury Road and, more importantly, Pitch Perfect 2 on the same day with the bestest and closest friend I have, who’s also staying for the weekend.  The year’s not going to get any better than that, it may as well just pack up and go home.  Anyways…

So, since nothing came out, audiences decided to take one last ride with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and the whole gang before The Avengers supplants the “surrogate family”-driven film fix that we all so desperately crave.  Furious 7 held onto the top spot for the 4th weekend in a row with $18 million in ticket sales.  Close behind it – OK, about $2.5 million behind it, but that’s still way too close for me – was the excretable Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 which somehow retained 65% of its opening weekend audience and came away with $15.5 million in ticket sales.  It’s still trailing how the first Paul Blart was doing at this time by about $20 million, but that still doesn’t guarantee that we are safe from a sequel just yet.  I mean, we already got one!  I now have to go through my life in constant fear that Kevin James might force another one of these upon me!  I don’t like living in fear, you guys!

In any case, some films did come out this week.  It’s just that, like Paul Blart, they all stank to high heaven.  Widest-releasing, and therefore the one that actually charted, was The Age of Adeline, a film so confident in its construction and qualities that it actually lists one of its two screenwriters twice on its poster.  (EDIT: my good friend Jackson Tyler has informed me that it’s a WGA thing.  Still seems weird and ridiculous, mind.)  It actually beat Furious 7 on Friday, until everybody collectively realised that they could be watching good movies instead, where upon it finished the weekend in third with about $13 million in ticket sales.  Next up was Little Boy, a film that… you know what, how about I just post the Wikipedia synopsis and see how long it takes for you to realise why this film has not exactly won over the critical press…

The story centers on a 7-year-old boy, Pepper Flynt Busbee, who uses magic powers produced by his faith to end World War II and bring his father home.

yeah.  It only managed $2.8 million from 1,045 screens for a pathetic $2,708 per-screen average.  Then we have Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner.  Despite, according to himself, being a much more talented movie director than any other movie director alive today, because he’s been in 41 movies which means he knows more about directing than someone like Ridley Scott, nobody much seemed to care about his movie.  The film managed a meh $1.25 million from 320 screens and a sub-$4,000 per-screen average.  But, hey, at least it wasn’t Child 44!  Poor, poor Child 44.  I’d feel kinda bad for both of these films if they weren’t so uninterestingly rubbish.


furious 7 2

The age of this Full List is none of your business, you rude young man!

Box Office Results: Friday 24th April 2015 – Sunday 26th April 2015

1] Furious 7

$18,259,000 / $320,536,000

This will close having out-grossed 2014’s actual Highest Grossing Film Domestically, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and what is technically its Highest Grossing Film Domestically, American Sniper.  More importantly, this week, and this is even with Age of Ultron coming in hot, it will become the 4th highest grossing film worldwide of all-time and has a good shot of closing extremely close to The Avengers’ $1.5 billion.  Once again, if I see ANY “The Box Office Is DYING!” think-pieces this year… words have not yet been invented that can convey the strength of my response.

2] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

$15,500,000 / $43,950,000

Now, I realise that I didn’t provide an actual professional or traditional review of this film when I subjected myself to it a few weeks back.  Some of you may wish for a second review, one that actually discusses the movie and properly conveys its various qualities and failings.  Well, you are in luck, cos I’ve got one right here for you!  Are you ready?

(*hits head on desk repeatedly for about 5 minutes*)

That’s your professional review of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.

3] The Age of Adeline

$13,375,000 / NEW

Age of Ultron has already banked $201 million at the countries it managed to roll out to this past weekend.  Think it has any chance of breaking $2 billion?  Think it has any chance of breaking the $200 million opening weekend the first Avengers had in America?  All of this, I feel, depends on whether everybody agrees with Owen – who really doesn’t like it and is wrong – or myself – who finds it great but doesn’t love it like he did the first one, and is right.  Time will tell soon enough, folks.  Time will tell.

4] Home

$8,300,000 / $153,784,000

Despite being a legitimate success, Home has only just now been able to double its production budget worldwide.  Goddamn, even when they have a success, DreamWorks are still constantly teetering on the verge of oblivion!  Kung Fu Panda 3 was moved to late-January, recently, and I’m still worried that that’s going to crash and burn!  Do you see what you’re doing to me, DreamWorks?  DO YOU?!  Don’t you dare go dying on me now, ya hear!

5] Unfriended

$6,244,000 / $25,158,000

So this is apparently actually good?  Well, not if you believe the public – this has plummeted 60% between weekends – but the public wouldn’t know a good horror movie if it appeared out of nowhere and inflicted some kind of blender-based violence upon them; they mostly rejected It Follows, after all.  According to critics and horror fans, this is apparently rather good.  Huh, colour me surprised.  I’ll know for certain, in any case, when I subject Lucy to it this coming Friday.

6] Ex Machina

$5,441,000 / $6,920,000

Oh, yeah, this movie!  This actually expanded nationwide after a string of strong reviews and a fantastic pair of limited release weekends, so for a hard sci-fi with next-to-no real advertising behind it and only critical and art-house buzz this is a really good performance!  Yay for Alex Garland!  I don’t love this film like everyone else – mainly because, in typical Alex Garland fashion, he drops the ball on the ending, and there are a few structural choices that undermine its strongest thematic through-line – but I’m happy to see him do well.

7] The Longest Ride

$4,365,000 / $30,398,000

This has now done better than The Best (THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST) of Me, but is still one of the lowest-grossing Nicholas Sparks adaptations ever.  Can we finally put this guy’s brand/schtick out to pasture now?  Please?

8] Get Hard

$3,905,000 / $84,066,000

Because I know that some of you are curious: “Lucy” is Lucy Meer, my co-host of Screen 1, Monday nights at 9PM BST on Hullfire Radio.  The fact that you don’t know that means that you don’t listen, and that fact hurts my feelings.

9] Monkey Kingdom

$3,551,000 / $10,258,000

Monkeys are amazing.  That is all.

10] Woman In Gold

$3,501,000 / $21,635,000

The Voices is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from all good video shops on July 27th.

Dropped Out: Insurgent, Cinderella

Callum Petch can’t read about it, burns the skin from his eyes.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!