Tag Archives: Tomorrowland

US Box Office Report: 09/10/15 – 11/10/15

Pan cannot fly, audiences do not give The Walk something it can feel, Steve Jobs wins everything, Knock Knock does Trash, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Proving either that audiences are getting smarter at avoiding garbage movies, or that completely phoning in your marketing by near-outright admitting that the film you’re trying to sell sucks isn’t a fool-proof strategy for box office gold, Pan has flopped big time.  For what was supposed to be a big, tent-pole, $150 million, franchise-starting blockbuster, the film was completely dead on arrival, managing an absolutely pathetic $15 million for third place.  Would you like a measure of just how dreadful that is?  2015 has been a year filled with terrible big budget blockbusters (and Jupiter Ascending shut up) bombing domestically, and Pan is still the worst opening of the lot!  Worse than Tomorrowland ($33 million), worse than Terminator: Portable ($27 million), worse than Fantastic 4 ($25 million), and even worse than Jupiter Ascending ($18 million)!  So, err, yeah.  Probably not getting a franchise out of this one.  Thank Christ.

Elsewhere, the bizarre-to-me “release early in IMAX” strategy has claimed yet another victim from studios that fail to understand that this is a TERRIBLE IDEA as Robert Zemeckis’ 3D extravaganza The Walk made the leap from its underperformance in IMAX last week to cinemas where actual people could see the film.  Not that anyone was interested in seeing it, mind, as The Walk completely failed to find an audience, finishing up in seventh with $3.7 million, presumably because The Martian has the whole “crowd-pleasing spectacle” market on lock.  Speaking of, that film is still your Box Office Number One with $37 million, only dropping an excellent 32% between weekends.  It’s almost like we reward Ridley Scott if he actually makes a good movie.  Maybe he should do that more often.

In the land of the Limited Releases, the big winner was Steve Jobs, possibly surprising quite literally no-one.  I mean: it’s a biopic about Steve Jobs, one that’s gone through hell to get made, directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin, starring Michael Fassbender, heavily resembling The Social Network, with excellent reviews, and has first been released in 4 cinemas in New York and Los Angeles.  If this film didn’t make an absolute killing this weekend, I’d have been incredibly surprised.  But a killing it did make, absolutely at that, with a weekend total of $521,522 and a per-screen average of $130,381 – the highest of the whole year, easily blowing past Sicario’s $66,881 from a few weeks back.  Of course, the real test is whether it can be similarly successful when it goes Nationwide in two weeks, since Danny Boyle’s been struggling with wider acceptance since Slumdog Millionaire, but I see no universe where this movie fails.

Feel free to shout that line back at me in two weeks if it does fail.

Steve Jobs was not the only Limited Release this weekend, though.  Lionsgate continued their admirable attempt to distribute films aimed specifically at Latino audiences with heist caper Ladrones.  The film, somewhat unfortunately, did not manage to do particularly well on its 375 screens, closing the weekend in thirteenth place with $1.4 million in ticket sales.  On the bright side, at least it wasn’t Knock Knock, Eli Roth’s latest excuse for a movie with a Keanu Reeves performance seemingly precisely calibrated to make one take back any praise given to him for his work in John Wick.  In accordance with a more enlightened movie-going audience realising that Eli Roth was never a particularly good filmmaker, the film crashed and burned on 22 screens with just $18,623 and an $847 per-screen average.  And as for Trash, a film that came out in the UK in February: $10,230 from 17 screens for a $602 per-screen average.  Ouch.


pan 2015

Here’s the Full List now, ENTERTAIN US!

Box Office Results: Friday 9th October 2015 – Sunday 11th October 2015

1] The Martian

$37,005,266 / $108,715,595

This film is rather sticking with me, for some reason.  I really didn’t expect it to, since I found it way too long and had the distinct sense that it would be one of those films I really like whilst watching but would just sort of forget about in the days following that viewing, but it’s genuinely sticking with me.  I think it’s because the whole thrust of the film – Mark Watney getting through his situation by organisation, bite-size tasks, and logic & reason – is very relatable to me, as somebody who goes about his life much the same way, so it resonates on that deeper level way more than I thought it would.  I like seeing that.

2] Hotel Transylvania 2

$20,420,392 / $116,942,033

Review will be along tomorrow, I guarantee it.  I’m also really sorry for not having written it already, I have just been absolutely swamped this past week and I’m behind on everything.  Just bear with me, it is coming.

3] Pan

$15,315,435 / NEW

Oh, boy, I need to find the time to get a written review of this out.  To not review this total trainwreck would be a dereliction of my duties as a Film Critic.  Not kidding, this is… this is really something.  At this rate, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 won’t be in my Bottom 10 of 2015 at all, and that is an utterly miserable thought to have.

4] The Intern

$8,678,187 / $49,592,234

Fun Fact I learned in my inaugural East Asian Cinema lecture this past week: What Women Want received a Chinese remake in 2011.  Why, I have no idea, but it exists for those of you who may be interested in checking that out.

5] Sicario

$7,579,324 / $26,935,340

Seeing this again on Saturday!  Might even be inspired to finish my review, too, because everyone should be singing from the rooftops about this one.  It really is that brilliant.  Very nice to see it doing OK at the Box Office, too.

6] Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

$5,371,941 / $70,765,331

There is not one element of this story that doesn’t make me hate every single one of this film’s cast members.  “And everyone just takes stuff, obviously…”  Obviously.  You just take stuff when told not to.  That’s something everyone just does, obviously, you goddamn f*cking prat.

7] The Walk

$3,719,177 / $6,430,676

Kinda disappointed in this one, even though I did rather enjoy it.  It’s charming, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is fun, and the actual walk itself is brilliantly tense, but it falls down the same way that most recent biopics have fallen down and that’s in the fact that it has absolutely nothing to say about its subject other than “wasn’t this a cool thing that happened?”  It doesn’t want to interrogate Phillippe’s arrogance or the reasons as to why he wants to do the walk, so the film ends up feeling empty.  It almost gets away with it, because Zemeckis is a brilliant popcorn filmmaker, but the film’s ultimately too insubstantial to make it worth watching over Man On Wire.

8] Black Mass

$3,118,427 / $57,557,128

I really don’t have anything to say about this movie until I can see it.  Stupid release window disparities…

9] Everest

$3,073,035 / $38,253,250

I keep forgetting this movie happened, which is especially weird since I rather liked it and even shed a tear at the ending.  Huh.  Probably a good thing I don’t hand out star ratings, otherwise I’d look like a bit of a fool right now.

10] The Visit

$2,523,505 / $61,158,030

Crimson Peak is going to completely bomb, isn’t it?  Like nearly everything else that Guillermo del Toro makes, it’s going to be brilliant and it’s going to bomb hard, isn’t it?  Yet M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie will close having made more than 12x its budget domestically.  Goddammit, World…

Dropped Out: War Room, The Perfect Guy

Callum Petch has got it all wrong.  He now writes for his own website (callumpetch.com).  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

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)!

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)!

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)!

Failed Critics Podcast: San Andreas, Tomorrowland & A Pod Virgin

san andreasDogged this past week by claims of corruption, rigged voting and overweight power mad men running the show… No, it’s not Steve and Owen here at Failed Critics!

No. It’s not even Sepp Blatter at FIFA. It’s actually our guest Tony Black, who is joining us from Black Hole Cinema. After an open and equal voting process, Tony won his opportunity to join us this week completely fairly. Owen’s new sports car and Steve’s new handbag are just mere coincidences.

The quiz this week has a slightly tongue in cheek twist as the team try to defend the FIFA backed film United Passions (don’t forget to let us know which one is your favourite!) As well as this, the team also discuss: the front runners for the role of Spider-Man in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe film; Owen watches Alpha Papa twice in a week; Tony takes a look at the Kickstarter backed short film Kung Fury; and Steve finally gets around to seeing 22 Jump Street.

And as if all of that wasn’t enough, there’s even time to squeeze in reviews of Brad Bird’s somewhat underwhelming fantasy story Tomorrowland, AND even The Rock’s new film, San Andreas, the “best disaster film since Volcano” (interpret that how you will!) makes it onto the pod.

Join us again next week as we rebuild [cue: American flag] and discuss Jason Statham’s new comedy film Spy.

LISTEN VIA ACAST FOR THE MOST INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINK

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)!

Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland just doesn’t work.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

tomorrowlandDespite how I may come off on here and on my Twitter from time to time, I am actually rather much an optimist.  Oh sure, I have cynical and realist tendencies – I write for the Internet, for god’s sake, they’re kind of a pre-requisite – but deep down, I am very much an optimist.  I like to believe the best in people, I like to believe that bad people can change over time, that our planet is still salvageable, that one day we may end up living in some kind of wonderful progressive future of sunny optimism.  We might not get jetpacks, but things may be more or less sustainable.  And given the choice between excessively bleak and cynical verging-on-nihilist stories, or idealistic heart-warming tales of happiness and friendship, I will pick the latter almost every time.  In some ways, this makes me childishly naive and unprepared for reality, but what is our day-to-day existence without some semblance of hope?

I tell you all of this not because I enjoy over-sharing about myself on the Internet, but because I want you to know that I agree with almost everything that Tomorrowland is preaching.  That the future does not have to be set towards total annihilation through global warming or thermonuclear war or some kind of natural disaster, that optimism can triumph over cynicism, that those best qualified to save us from such catastrophes should be given free rein to set about doing so, that our obsession with violent destructive media that treats the apocalypse as nothing more than destruction porn is worrying and possibly sets back our willingness to take environmental threats seriously, that cancelling the Space program but keeping a nuclear weapons program going is inexplicable…  I agree with pretty much all of that!

It’s also why I am incredibly disappointed to have to tell you that Tomorrowland just straight up doesn’t work.

I’m not going to mince words or delay the reveal, folks, the reason why Tomorrowland just doesn’t work is because it’s not really a story.  Oh sure, the two problems that you were probably expecting to hear when the time inevitably came for the sentence “Brad Bird has made a bad movie” to be printed are also here.  The last third is a total mess of prior foreshadowing that gets no payoff, that sidelines our supposed lead character, Casey (Britt Robertson), almost totally, and contains random robot violence and explosions that feel almost completely at odds with the “positive thinking can change the future” message that the film had spent 90-odd minutes preaching beforehand – all things that reek of executive meddling wondering why a $180 million Summer blockbuster doesn’t have any action to sell people on and forcing substantial rewrites.  Meanwhile, co-writer Damon Lindelof’s grubby fingerprints are all over the abysmal pacing, structure, and plotting – no 2 hour movie should spend upwards of 70 minutes setting up its story – that kill almost any semblance of emotional depth and resonance.

Those are problems, but even if you stripped them out, this film would still not work.  See, the messages that Tomorrowland wishes to impart are great messages… it’s just that Brad Bird, who directed and co-wrote the story and screenplay, forgot to fashion them onto an actual, y’know, story.  This is the kind of film where characters will shout the film’s ideology back and forth at one another instead of actually performing actions that communicate them without incredibly clunky dialogue.  There are multiple instances where the film will stop, physically stop in its tracks, whilst a character stares just slightly off to the side of the camera and monologues about the righteous indignity that Brad Bird has against our collective cynical apathy.

That second paragraph in this review?  That is quite literally a 3 minute monologue that our nominal villain gives just before the really-quite-terrible whizz-bang action finale kicks off.  I half-expected Bird to just at one point walk on-screen, tell everyone to take 5, and finish the rest of it himself.  The cynical and optimist push-pull protagonist dynamic is the sole thing that Frank (George Clooney) and Casey’s relationship is built on, instead of it being only a part of two fully-rounded characters.  There are no real characters, no emotional stakes, just endless sermonising, that I agree with which is something I find incredibly annoying, about how awful cynicism is and how things need to change.

In fact, I take back my complaint about Lindelof’s “mystery box” storytelling.  He was only trying to hide the fact that there isn’t really a story to this movie, so let’s give him points for trying to make this an actual film instead of just an extended lecture from a High School principal about how very naughty we’ve all been.

Not to mention the times when its themes and ideas end up becoming contradictory for one reason or another.  Tomorrowland believes that our best and brightest should be given their own perfect utopian space to work unencumbered by politics and the law and such, where they are free to create anything they want.  Frank, however, was kicked out of Tomorrowland for… inventing something he shouldn’t have.  There’s a setpiece set in a geek and sci-fi nostalgia shop that’s run by a pair of robot villains (a wasted Keegan-Michael Key and Kathryn Hahn) that insinuates that relaxing and regressing too much in nostalgia instead of thinking up bold new exciting futures is bad and a waste of potential.  Tomorrowland itself… is designed almost entirely like how people in the 60s thought our future would look like and shares influences with the area at various Disney parks.  The film keeps saying that positive thinking, non-violence, and forward-thinking will create a brighter future… but the finale boils it down to fighting robots and trying to destroy the one machine that is certainly going to kill the future.

What’s most frustrating about such massive systemic flaws is that I can see the film that Tomorrowland could and should have been poking through every now and again.  Specifically, the film looks outstanding.  I mean, of course it does, it’s Brad Bird!  The man has always been gifted visually, and I honestly would have been offended if the film didn’t look fantastic.  Besides, I’m a sucker for the visual designs of how people in the 50s and 60s thought the future would look.  There’s a lightness and optimism to the film’s visual palette, a sincerity and love that communicates the general messages of the film in a way that feels natural instead of via the tin-eared lecturing provided by the plotting and dialogue.

There’s also Britt Robertson’s fantastic performance as Casey.  Bird and Lindelof’s script doesn’t give Casey much of a character besides relentless and boundless optimism – this is a high schooler who sits through multiple lectures about how the world is doomed, is the only character who wants to ask the question of how we fix it, and leaves her lecturers speechless when she does, in case you want another indication of just how non-existent this film’s subtext is – but, dammit all, Robertson is going to try and imbue Casey with one, anyway!  It’s a relentless charm offensive, full of charisma, wonder, and a quiet insecurity and sadness, the kind of performance that normally leads to deserved stardom and a long and healthy career.  There are even points where she’s acting circles around George Clooney – who is often good, but feels more than a little miscast as the grumpy cynical member of the main cast that’s rounded out by Raffey Cassidy, as a pre-teen android called Athena, whose relationship with Frank is something I am not even going to touch with a ten-foot pole.

In all of Tomorrowland’s 130 minutes, there are precisely 5 of those where it works totally.  Casey sneaks off to a large open field in order to discover the world that appears when she touches the pin without any of the distractions and restrictions of reality.  So she touches the pin and is instantly dropped into the centre of Tomorrowland.  It is an utterly magical place, filled with pristine surfaces, bright cheery colours, beaming sunshine, skylines, jetpacks, flying cars, rocket ships with seats just for you.  Brad Bird demonstrates all of this in one shot, taking his time when following Casey through this utopia, letting that optimism sink in, as Michael Giacchino’s score emphasises the wonder that is adamant in Casey at this wondrous place.  For 5 glorious minutes, Bird stops shouting at the audience and just shows.  He visualises what our future could be like instead of lecturing us on it, and the sheer joy and childlike hope it features swelled my heart and almost moved me to tears.  It is magical.

But then it is cruelly cut short, the utopia fades away and Casey is left back in reality, waist deep in a swamp.  The pin was not a gateway to Tomorrowland, it was an advertisement for it, marketing for a utopia that exists but not in the way that it sold as.  Infected by cynicism, hopelessness, and a leader that would rather sermonise the people he was originally trying to save instead of actively going out of his way to save them.

I can’t think of a better metaphor for Tomorrowland, really.

Callum Petch can give you a kiss in the morning and a sweet apology.  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch) and listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio every Monday at 9PM BST (site link)!