Tag Archives: Trainwreck

Failed Critics Podcast: A Place Of Learning

D4D_1901.DNGSteve Norman? Here. Owen Hughes? Here. Callum Petch? Here.

Now that the register has been taken, the latest Failed Critics Podcast may commence. Please take your seats, spit your chewing gum in the bin and we’ll start this week’s quiz and hear Owen’s reaction to Steve’s choice of film for winning last week with the sports documentary Next Goal Wins. We also have a triple bill where the team each pick three films set in a place of learning – and that’s all the criteria they were given! It really is as broad as that. Good? Bad? Overrated? Underrated? Obscure? Well known? You’ll have to listen to find out what they pick.

We also have reviews of new releases Trainwreck (reviewed by Brooker on the website), The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (er, also reviewed by Brooker) and Pixels. I say “review” of Pixels, but it was more like an uncontrollable rant by Callum.

Join us next week for the next entry to our Corridor of Praise, the inevitable induction of Danny Dyer! Where we’ll be joined by Paul Field and one or two special guests… Class dismissed.

LISTEN VIA ACAST FOR THE MOST INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

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US Box Office Report: 14/08/15 – 16/08/15

Audiences head straight into Compton, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s cover is blown, Mistress America takes home a Participation Award, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Surprising absolutely nobody who is at least somewhat aware of popular culture, Straight Outta Compton is your new box office number 1.  Having said that, though, I don’t think anybody was prepared for just how much of a success the thing would be.  You see, Straight Outta Compton didn’t just take first place with ease, it did so with $56 million, almost $40 million more than the second place film managed.  That’s an absolute domination, a ridiculous opening for a non-sequel/franchise movie, and an utterly sensational opening for a film in August which is typically a complete dead zone at the box office.  I’d sit here and make terrible N.W.A, “Forgot About Dre”, and “It Was A Good Day” puns but, honestly, I’m too gobsmacked at the ridiculous success to make puns.  That’s just amazing.

Similarly surprising was the complete non-performance of The Man From U.N.C.L.E..  Perhaps due to a combination of an off-putting marketing campaign, that I really liked if nothing else, and tepid reviews, which are mostly wrong as you’ll find out in my own review later in the week, Guy Ritchie’s latest adventure in Hollywoodland face-planted right out of the gate.  Losing the battle for second place to Mission: Impossible quite handily, The Man cried U.N.C.L.E. – eh? Eh? EH?! – and bowed out for the weekend with only $13.5 million.  Nice to see that the Warner Bros. “funding off-beat and often great blockbusters with loads of money only to see bugger-all people turn up to watch” streak is still intact, if nothing else.

Whilst we’re still affixing our eye to the Top 10, let’s briefly check back in with everyone’s favourite complete and total catastrophic failure, Fantastic 4.  After failing to achieve the number 1 slot last week and earning roughly half of what it was projected to, the film continued its magnificent spiral of humiliation with a near 70% drop between this past weekend and opening weekend.  Enjoy looking at this one, folks.  This is the kind of old-school catastrophe that modern Hollywood was supposedly designed to completely avoid.  It’s a beautiful sight, like a unicorn grazing underneath a double rainbow.

In the realm of limited releases, Noah Baumbach’s second film this year, Mistress America, did surprisingly poorly.  I mean, sure, we’re talking very relatively when I say that $94,000 from 4 theatres is poor.  But Baumbach usually has much better openings than this.  Hell, he already had one such opening earlier this year when While We’re Young opened to $227,688 from 4 screens, whilst his last collaboration with Greta Gerwig, 2013’s Frances Ha, opened to $137,398 from 4 screens.  Maybe, just maybe, audiences are getting sick of movies about annoying self-obsessed New Yorkers.  Wouldn’t that be something?  Meanwhile, the Jemaine Clement-starring People Places Things Nouns got off to a poor start on 19 screens with just $31,000 for a per-screen average of $1,632.


straight outta compton

The jury has found this Full List guilty of being a redneck, white bread, chickensh*t motherf*cker.

Box Office Results: Friday 14th August 2015 – Sunday 16th August 2015

1] Straight Outta Compton

$56,100,000 / NEW

Man, I really cannot wait for this!  That’s literally all I’ve got for this one, since I haven’t managed to listen to Dre’s “Compton” yet – that’s a job for tonight, before anyone asks.  I will note, however, that an opening like this is yet another sign that mid-budget stories about non-White protagonists, starring a non-White cast and aimed at predominately-non-White audiences are a lucrative and untapped market.  A sign that, as per usual, will most likely go stringently ignored by Hollywood.

2] Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

$17,000,000 / $138,137,000

Man From U.N.C.L.E. outclasses this movie in every respect.  Just thought I’d let you know that.

3] The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

$13,535,000 / NEW

Saw this on Friday and the review will be up on my site tomorrow – in the meanwhile, Brooker’s got a good review of it up here.  Short version: probably the best non-Fury Road blockbuster I’ve seen all year.  Lot of fun, lots going on under the hood, and impeccably acted with Alicia Vikander nearly running away with the film from everyone else.  It’s the first time that “Guy Ritchie, Hollywood Director” has made sense to me, and not coincidentally is the first time he was allowed a crack at the script, so it’s a shame that the film’s box office failure sadly guarantees that we’ll be getting “Hired Gun, Guy Ritchie” for the next few years.

4] Fantastic 4

$8,000,000 / $41,961,000

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (*continues like so for another 15 minutes*)

5] The Gift

$6,500,000 / $23,577,000

Don’t even talk to me about the ending of this.  Seriously, it’s been well over a week and I still can’t make up my mind on it.  Or, more specifically, I can’t stop trying to rationalise an objectively disgusting and too-far ending as honestly kind of brilliant.  Jackson noted that I basically already summed it up when I described the whole film as “very Fincher”, but I still can’t let this go.  If nothing else, at least The Gift has stuck with me a week later, unlike the very vast majority of films that have been released so far this year.

6] Ant-Man

$5,517,000 / $157,568,000

Emily Blunt for Carol Danvers, please!  Seriously, it’s perfect casting.  She’s got the acting chops, Edge of Tomorrow proved that she can be a walking badass when required, she’s more than willing to dye her hair blonde if that’s necessary, she was already going to be Black Widow until Fox forced her to do Gulliver’s Travels instead, and she’s English which continues the superhero movie tradition of casting British leads in American hero roles!  Come on, it’s a no-brainer!

I mean, unless the Bond producers do the right thing and cast her as the next Bond.  Either of these two things happening will satisfy me.

7] Vacation

$5,330,000 / $46,852,000

Once I’ve finished my Man From U.N.C.L.E. review after this, I’ll be sitting down to watch the original National Lampoon’s Vacation in preparation for Friday.  Not Tuesday, what’s the point of going to a Cineworld Unlimited Screening for a film that’s out about 48 hours later and looks terrible?  Ugh, Unlimited screenings have been going down the drain recently…

Hmm?  “The next one’s Sicario, two weeks before its UK release”?  Oh, Cineworld!  Have I ever told you how much I love you?

8] Minions

$5,200,000 / $312,969,000

A round of applause for Universal Studios for becoming the fastest studio to break $2 billion domestic in a single year, besting Warner Bros.’ previous record by a good 4 months!  That’s what happens when you release a whole load of good films that people want to see… and are also part of really successful franchises.  OK, I guess we should probably temper that applause slightly, this was basically already predetermined by merely looking at that release schedule.

9] Ricki and the Flash

$4,570,000 / $14,656,000

Oh.  Well, err, bye Ricki, I guess.

10] Trainwreck

$3,800,000 / $97,919,000

Review will be up on my site on Wednesday.  Gonna keep my opinion under-wraps until then, in a failed attempt to build up suspense and intrigue.  I will, though, let slip that I can now happily count the number of good comedies released this year on 3 fingers.  That is also a sentence that looks incredibly depressing typed out like that.  This goddamn year…

Dropped Out: Pixels, Southpaw

Callum Petch is nine exits north of Las Vegas.  He now writes for his own website (callumpetch.com).  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

US Box Office Report: 07/08/15 – 09/08/15

The Fantastic 4 are dead, audiences tentatively accept The Gift, Ricki and the Flash got booed off-stage, motherfuckers didn’t go and see Shaun the Sheep Movie, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

We’re probably never going to get another Fantastic 4 movie again.  Not only is the one that was dropped into theatres this past weekend a complete steaming abomination, so venomously destroyed by critics it makes Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 look like Schindler’s List, and dogged by so many rumours of troubled and failed production that the thing more resembled a turd that is being swarmed by hungry flies – hope you’re enjoying your breakfast this morning – even the public wanted nothing to do with it.  Most stayed away, smelling a stinker, and even those $26 million worth of people who chose to brave the cinema anyway despised it, giving it an atrocious C- Cinemascore.  This franchise is done.  Even if Marvel get their toys back, it’s done.  There is no coming back from a bomb like this, the brand has been tainted irreparably, it is done.

So, whilst 20th Century Fox was dragging Marvel’s original super-team through the mud one more time out of seemingly nothing more than spite, Joel Edgerton was making his directorial debut with the surprisingly great The Gift.  Having been promised a horror/thriller in the vein of producer Jason Blum’s other works – namely: Damn Near Every Single Horror Movie of the Last 3 Years – audiences arrived in a somewhat healthy amount and were instead presented with a drama with thriller elements.  Whether or not they were happy about this is still up to debate, but it led to a strong $12 million opening, one of the few unqualified successes of this miserable weekend, and people actually seeing The Gift, so mission accomplished!

Yeah, this was one really bad weekend at the box office.  In Wide-ish releases, Jonathan Demme’s return to directing films for a somewhat mainstream audience, Ricki and the Flash, was unceremoniously shrugged to death by audiences, raking in a paltry $7 million for seventh place despite featuring Meryl Streep as an aging rocker.  You’d think that that’d be something that people would be dying to see!  But at least it wasn’t Shaun the Sheep Movie.  Despite being one of the year’s best films, having rave reviews from critics, and me being on your case about seeing it for the last several months, the film didn’t even crack the Top 10 despite opening on well over 2,000 screens.  For fucksake, America!  It’s Aardman!  What do you people have against Aardman, you cretins!?

Things improved slightly in the world of limited releases, though.  Whilst The End of the Tour expanded to 36 locations and flailed about for dear life with only $253,000, The Diary of a Teenage Girl was making a pretty decent $55,000 from 4 screens considering the whole “underage sex” part and everything.  Jon Watts’ sophomore feature, the pretty decent-looking thriller Cop Car, managed a strong $27,000 from 3 screens, whilst Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, an animated adaptation of exactly what it says, managed an excellent $26,000 from two screens because FUCKING LOOK AT HOW GORGEOUS THIS THING IS!

Also worthy of note is Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’.  The film’s been out since Tuesday and has been blowing people away by posting strong numbers during the week – nearly $2 million on the first day and $1.5 million on the second.  Now, I can’t report anything about its weekend for certain, cos FUNimation have been playing weird “now it’s here, now it’s not” games with it, but Dragon Ball is on course to have earned well over $5 million in its first 6 days, whilst remaining in limited release the entire time, never breaking more than 1,000 theatres.  Considering that Anime doesn’t do well in Western cinemas, that is majorly impressive.


MIRN

“It’s Full List time!” is what my older brother used to say before he beat the sh*t out of me.  I’m just kidding, I only have a younger brother.

Box Office Results: Friday 7th August 2015 – Sunday 9th August 2015

1] Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

$29,400,000 / $108,654,000

Forgot to mention this at all last week, but this movie has one of the most blatant examples of Fridging – the art of brutally murdering a character, typically a wife and almost always a woman, for cheap heat/motivation – that I have seen in a Hollywood film in ages.  Like, good lord, even Tak3n was less blatant about it!  But, despite these things usually riling me up to no end, this one did nothing for me.  I just sorta sighed resignedly.  It’s like when a bratty kid tries to microwave the family hamster; you’re not angry, you just sigh because you know they’re just doing it for the attention.

2] Fantastic 4

$26,200,000 / NEW

I’m done.  I’m not going to waste any more words on this.  Here’s my review, go read that.  I’m not going to waste any more column inches on this thing because, as I detailed extensively in my review, this is not a film.  This is 100 minutes of 20th Century Fox mooning Marvel Studios over the fact that they can’t have their toys back.  You could shoot and release bowel movements of mine and they’d be closer to being actual f*cking movies than this piece of sh*t is!  So, no, I’m done.  Let’s move on.

3] The Gift

$12,007,000 / NEW

Review will be up on my site on Tuesday, but I will say that I really enjoyed this one.  I’m even coming around to its ending, which initially rubbed me up the wrong way for a number of reasons but is growing on me as time goes on.  Make sure you give this a shot, even if you’re averse to thrillers since it’s actually mainly a drama.

4] Vacation

$9,145,000 / $37,325,000

Not too bad of a slide, only 37%, but there also wasn’t much to slide from, so let’s maybe not bust out any party poppers or anything, OK?

5] Ant-Man

$7,826,000 / $147,436,000

Oh, man, I really hope that Fantastic 4’s utter abysmalness doesn’t have a knock-on effect to the good comic book movies.  For one, the last thing we need are people believing that the only way to make successful versions of these are to have white male leads, because you know some arsehole pillock studio head is going to correlate the Johnny Storm race-lift to the film’s total box office failure.  Plus, my brother, who is way more down the Marvel rabbit hole than I am, thought that this was a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was therefore planning on seeing this until I corrected him.  Just saying, some people are just going to see the Marvel logo and assume they make all of these movies, even the terrible ones, and that’s the last thing they want.

6] Minions

$7,400,000 / $302,754,000

Despicable Me 2 is now on UK Netflix for those of you who have yet to see it.  I recommend giving it a shot, it’s really crazy and funny but it’s also legitimately sweet…

Look, I’m going to keep working my arse off to ensure you all realise that you don’t hate the Minions because of their films.  You hate them because of advertising oversaturation and appropriation by the kind of evil, heartless, mindless drones who force Facebook memes into existence.  *shudders*

7] Ricki and the Flash

$7,000,000 / NEW

Having watched the trailer for the first time whilst writing this piece, I now understand why this face-planted right out of the gate.  This looks awful, like a Lifetime movie inexplicably granted cinema space.  I’m still optimistic, because it’s Jonathan Demme and Diablo Cody and I know that trailers are oftentimes just dreadful, but I get why nobody really turned up to it.

8] Trainwreck

$6,300,000 / $91,102,000

Four more days!  Oh, thank the Maker for this weekend!  This, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Absolutely Anything back-to-back-to-back!  It’s like the Movie Gods looked down on me and went, “Callum.  Buddy, old pal.  Sorry for the last few weeks, and sorry for pushing Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 out of your Bottom 5 Films of 2015 list.  But you’ve made it through with your love and enthusiasm for this medium still intact, so here’s a week of nothing but good-looking films you’re excited for as a reward!  Good show!”

9] Pixels

$5,430,000 / $57,645,000

Oh, yeah, that spoiler piece on Pixels that I was supposed to write.  I haven’t forgotten, I’ve just been busy.  And my interest in doing it has gone.  Heh.  OK, here’s the deal, if it’s not up on my site by Thursday, it ain’t coming and y’all will just have to deal with it.  Sound good to everyone?  Bully for you if it doesn’t.

10] Southpaw

$4,764,000 / $40,726,000

You people watched this again instead of Shaun the Sheep?  You’re all a disgrace to humanity.

Dropped Out: Paper Towns, Inside Out, Jurassic World

Callum Petch weathered the storm.  He now writes for his own website (callumpetch.com).  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

US Box Office Report: 31/07/15 – 02/08/15

Mission: Impossible doesn’t self-destruct, nobody wanted to go on Vacation cos they’d reached The End of the Tour, you should all Listen To Me Marlon, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Good morning, readers.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out all of the latest Box Office happenings as relayed to you by a tired British hack who has spent way too much time staring at open Word and WordPress documents these past few weeks.  The mission will be perilous, as he makes hacky jokes and the occasional generalisation about films that he hasn’t seen, and he may be acting on false information, since the actuals don’t come in until this afternoon, but if there is anyone who can survive this task it is you, and if there was anybody more qualified to run one simple gag into the ground in an attempt to disguise the fact that he has next-to-no material this week then they’d be doing this instead of me.  I mean, him.  I, err… This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds.

OK, with that nonsense out of the way, let’s do this properly.  Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, the latest in the series that I’ve never quite gotten and whose sequel naming is officially the enemy of the English language, managed to continue the series rise back from the brink of failure with an easy number one opening of $56 million, the second-biggest opening of the entire series barring Mission: Impossible II’s $57.8 million.  I’d say that the film “Cruise-d” its way to victory, but I’m full enough of self-loathing so let’s pretend that never happened and move on.

Not that it had much of a challenge.  The only other wide-release of the weekend came from somebody at Warner Bros.’ New Line Cinema division insisting that we needed a Vacation sequel/reboot/thing – probably the same person who greenlit the Hot Pursuit shooting script – and so one was dumped into our laps even though we already had plans, full of people we didn’t want to spend time with (with apologies to Christina Applegate), and we didn’t want it.  Much like a real family vacation.  Unlike a real family vacation, however, attending Vacation wasn’t compulsory, so most Americans opted out and the film finished the weekend in a distant second with just under $15 million.

In limited release news, The End of the Tour, the controversial semi-biopic about David Foster Wallace directed by the criminally underrated James Ponsoldt, was the roaring success managing to nab $126,000 from 4 screens for a fantastic per-screen average of $31,500 and me sat here wondering in a very irritated fashion as to why it doesn’t have a UK distributor, dammit!  Less successful, but also doing pretty decently, was the Marlon Brando documentary Listen To Me Marlon which picked up $29,000 from 2 screens for a per-screen average of you do the math.  Falling flat on its face, by comparison, was the glorified informercial A LEGO Brickumentary which could only sucker in $92,000 worth of people from 93 screens for a per-screen average of $452.  I guess the dulcet tones of Jason Bateman are nothing compared to those of Marlon Brando when he’s talking about himself.  Although, in fairness, that could also be said about most things.


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This Full List is running running and running running and running running.  That was both a Mission: Impossible gag and a Black Eyed Peas reference because this is that joke that is my life.

Box Office Results: Friday 31st July 2015 – Sunday 2nd August 2015

1] Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

$56,000,000 / NEW

Saw this Saturday, but there won’t be a review because it would just consist of something close to 2,000 words of me trying and failing to identify the reason(s) why this series does nothing for me besides “these are technically strong action movies”.  Seriously, this fact bugs the hell out of me.  The Mission: Impossible series presses so many of my personal Things I Love buttons – practical effects action sequences, spy stuff, writing characters into tight impossible situations and seeing how they get out, gambits in spades – but the films themselves just leave me somewhat cold.  Answers on a postcard, please.

2] Vacation

$14,850,000 / NEW

This reminds me, I need to actually watch the old Vacation movies before I get subjected to this in two weeks.  Yeah, the trailer did nothing to me except make my eyes glaze over.  In fairness, I could say that about nearly any comedy trailer, but we are in a f*cking nadir for feature-length comedies with this year’s offerings, and I really doubt that this is going to be the thing that pulls us out.

3] Ant-Man

$12,619,000 / $132,148,000

Oi, you!  Have you watched Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp yet?  If not, go do that!  Actually, wait.  Have you watched Wet Hot American Summer first?  If no, go and do that and then go watch First Day of Camp.  Seriously, you’ll thank me later.  I basically spent my Friday doing nothing but watch First Day of Camp and it was SO WORTH IT!

4] Minions

$12,200,000 / $287,391,000

This appeared at no. 10 on Mark Kermode’s Mid-Term Best Of list this week, which was a surprise.  A pleasant one, because Minions is great, but a surprise nonetheless.  Relatedly, I have only seen 3 of the films on his list and would put none of them on mine because I am a tasteless heathen.

5] Pixels

$10,400,000 / $45,611,000

So, last week, somebody on Twitter, not gonna name any names and they’re not in trouble don’t worry, made the perfectly reasonable statement that we shouldn’t lambast films that we haven’t seen yet.  I actually agree with him, both in the article itself (with my worry about dogpiling) and here, which is why I keep my slams based on what I’ve managed to see and have heard about the film, saving any proper slams and such for when I have actually seen the film.  Open mind, and all that!

I tell you this because it turns out that I should never have given this utterly reprehensible piece of turd shit any benefits of any doubts.  God, I hate this movie.

6] Trainwreck

$9,700,000 / $79,709,000

So, I was in a screening of Hot Pursuit on Saturday and an advert for Trainwreck comes on.  It’s funny, everybody laughs, and then Amy Schumer on screen says “Make sure to come back and see my new movie when it hits theatres on August 14th.”  To which I overhear this old lady, who just seconds earlier had been audibly laughing at the advert, say in a voice that is loud enough for other people to hear whilst still in theory only talking to her friend, “I don’t think so!”

This woman also found Hot Pursuit utterly hysterical so I don’t know what to believe.

7] Southpaw

$7,519,000 / $31,577,000

Wake me up when Creed comes out, OK?

8] Paper Towns

$4,600,000 / $23,816,000

Saw this on Saturday at a nice early screening.  Review will be along on my site on Tuesday, but I really enjoyed this one.  It’s definitely not perfect, but it’s sweet heart-warming viewing for myself.  Man, I might actually be a John Green fan, which is especially weird since the edited Q&A highlights I was forced to sit through prior to the start of the film didn’t make him look like a particularly tolerable guy.  Still, at least he wasn’t Dan & Phil who I’m still not convinced aren’t just the mannequins from the first series of new Doctor Who attempting to pass themselves off as regular human beings.

9] Inside Out

$4,517,000 / $329,594,000

Gonna go see this again this weekend, will probably cry profusely again.  As I’ve said before, I can’t separate myself emotionally from this movie, not enough to offer up a proper objective critical review.  It hits too close to home and is way too personal to me for me to be able to do that.  On the bright side, I guess we now know what a film that is Fury Road’s equal/possible better for me looks like!

10] Jurassic World

$3,800,000 / $631,500,000

IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Shaun The Sheep Movie is finally getting a nationwide cinema release in your country next week.  Go and see it.  That is an order.  Go and see it.  Go and see it multiple times over, it’s one of the best animated features released in the last few years.  Go and see it instead of Fantastic 4, please.  Don’t let me down, folks!  I wanna be reporting strong numbers this time next week!

Dropped Out: Mr. Holmes, Terminator: Amiga

Callum Petch’s red hat gets a rap from the critics.  He now writes for his own website (callumpetch.com)!  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

US Box Office Report: 24/07/15 – 26/07/15

Pixels has insufficient quarters, Southpaw goes down in the fifth, Paper Towns exposes the flimsy construction of the John Green empire, nobody wanted to see what The Vatican Tapes didn’t want us to see, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

Folks, you did it.  You kept Pixels from the number 1 slot.  And you kept it from making any decent amount of money, as it closed the weekend in second place with just $24 million.  You did it, gang!  You really did it!  You proved that you are over Adam Sandler.  His scurrying away to the darkest bowels of Netflix with the rest of Happy Madison is like when the exploited villagers of a cynical, money-grubbing dicksh*t finally rise up against him and drive him out of town with pitchforks and torches!  You did it, folks!  Admittedly, it was a close call, since Ant-Man is currently only sitting pretty at the top by $750,000, but you did it anyway!  And that’s what counts!

In fact, it was a rather miserable and underwhelming week all around, to be honest.  Antoine Fuqua’s boxing drama Southpaw, for example, was released this weekend.  Remember how excited we all were for that movie?  When we saw Jake Gyllenhaal all scary-jacked up, and how amazing Rocky was, and how this was going to be this big awards season contender that one time and that finally Jake Gyllenhaal would have to be recognised in all Best Actor races after being bewilderingly shut out last year?  You know, until that trailer came out and… yeah, there’s a reason this one was dumped mid-Summer.  Audiences agreed, and so the film opened in fifth place with $16.5 million.  On the bright side, I got to make a Snatch reference in the headline, so this whole thing wasn’t a total waste!

Meanwhile, the John Green Empire took a critical hit in its formative stages thanks to Paper Towns.  Compared to the runaway smash success of The Fault In Our Stars from last year – of a $48 million first place kind – Paper Towns struggled to reach $12.5 million and sixth place.  Is this because teenagers are fickle as f*ck?  Is it because everyone had places to be this weekend?  Or is it just because a subpar adaptation of an author’s inferior-to-his-much-better-work novel wasn’t going to make any money anyway?  It’s probably the last one.  After all, people weren’t exactly tripping over themselves to race to the box office to see that 2013 adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s The Host, were they?  Just goes to show that not every novel by an author is worth adapting just because one of them was good and/or popular.  If somebody could pass that message along for me to the people who keep pumping out insufferable Nicholas Sparks movies, that’d be just swell.

In The Land Of Really Stretching The Term Limited Releases, Mark Neveldine – of Neveldine/Taylor of Crank 2: High Voltage more commonly known as THE GREATEST ACTION MOVIE RELEASED THIS CENTURY – decided that he was going to try and be the Shawn Michaels to Bryan Taylor’s Marty Jannetty and split off to direct the found-footage exorcism flick The Vatican Tapes.  As karma for this act of betrayal/insolence, the film sat on the shelf for a good year and a bit before finally getting dumped in 427 theatres, trashed by critics, and managing a pathetic $850,000 for a sub-$2,000 per-screen average.  Hopefully now he and Taylor – whom I was just reminded was supposed to direct and release a Twisted Metal movie this year, which caused me to laugh for a solid minute – will recognise that they are stronger together and go back to making movies as a cohesive unit!  Daddy needs Crank 3D, dammit.

Also, the best performing film of the weekend was Woody Allen’s Irrational Man, which added 21 screens (for a total of 28), and took home $261,000 for a $9,321 per-screen average.  Once again, you all do know that you don’t have to give him money for everything he does, right?


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A winner is you with this Full List.

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

1] Ant-Man

$24,765,000 / $106,075,000

Again, this is currently real tight, so things may switch when the actuals come in, but everything’s great for now!  Also, allow me to highlight this well-argued piece by Umberto Gonzalez about how he was offended by the character of Luis in Ant-Man.  I personally don’t agree with the piece – as I mention in my review, I feel that the film’s commitment to ensuring that everyone gets enough development to be a character keeps characters like Luis from being just a racist stereotype – and most of the article’s (mostly Latino) commenters don’t seem to agree either, but it’s well-written and I have huge respect for him bringing the issue forward.  Even when it seems like we’re being too sensitive, it’s still important to call out these things and have these discussions.

2] Pixels

$24,000,000 / NEW

Seeing this on Tuesday for an Unlimited Screening and a review will be along the following day, so I’m restraining any sick burns or easy jokes until then.  Hell, I’m even going to flush them out of my mind completely!  With films like Pixels, I worry that we all take a little too much pleasure in dumping on easy targets, that we get a little carried away and just devolve into strings of (often admittedly) hilarious insults because we can be united in attacking a common low-effort target.  That’s why I try really hard to avoid doing that in my reviews of such films – my Paul Blart and Entourage reviews do have the occasional funny lines, but mostly stick to explaining the legitimate genuine faults those movies have instead of going for comedy gold.

What I’m saying is that I like the middle-part of Moviebob’s Pixels review, where he breaks down in detail why the film sucks, but that review blew up for all of the wrong reasons and that makes me sad and/or mad.

3] Minions

$22,100,000 / $261,620,000

Look, you all like to insult the Minions and claim that their kind and their movies are abominations and the downfall of civilisation.  OK, whatever.  But, have the Minions ever made an allegedly videogame-themed theme song for their movie by Waka Flocka Flame (featuring two people from Good Charlotte who I am not 100% convinced aren’t just clones of one another), where the lyrics barely reference videogames, barely rhyme, and are performed on a beat that sounds like Maroon 5 covering a Panic! At The Disco cover of a 2015 Fall Out Boy song?  I rest my case.

4] Trainwreck

$17,300,000 / $61,545,000

I hate to bring the mood down, but let’s all just take a moment to mourn those killed at The Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana this past weekend.  I could use this space to get incredibly angry – at the lax gun control laws, to the fact that the media keeps painting the cause of the shooting as a mystery despite the fact that it took place during a feminist film by a feminist movie star and that the victims were women who were shot by a man with a history of abusive behaviour towards female members of his family – but I’m honestly just kinda numb to all of this by this point.  It’s clear that nothing’s going to change – not gun control laws, and certainly not the toxic sexism that has been ingrained into our society – and I just can’t muster up any emotions about this anymore.  Like, seriously, what is it going to take to get something to change?

OK, sorry for springing that on you folks in what is supposed to be a fun and silly space.  Back to our regularly scheduled programme.

5] Southpaw

$16,500,000 / NEW

Saw this Friday and a review will be along tomorrow – it got held up by the length of time it took for me to write about Inside Out – but I will tell you that this one was incredibly disappointing.  A film that actively steers itself away from anything remotely interesting or new in favour of yet another tale about male masculinity and fatherly redemption, but this time with extra excess melodrama.  It’s fine for what it is, but I’m tired of seeing films like Southpaw.  Tell me something new!

Also, I do kinda have to agree with my friend Matt: making a non-Rocky-related boxing movie over an MMA movie in 2015 is pure wankery.

6] Paper Towns

$12,500,000 / NEW

So, question: who, what, where, why, and how Cara Delevingne?  Seriously, I go to bed one night, and then wake up the next morning to find people incapable of not talking about her and that she’s appearing in the something like 7 films over the next 12 months.  What gives?  I mean no disrespect for her or anything, she might be a fine actress and a perfectly upstanding human being, I’m just naturally cautious about anybody who blows up overnight and is in everything.  Last time this happened, we got The Walking Embodiment of Beige, commonly known as Jai Courtney.  Just saying.

7] Inside Out

$7,356,000 / $320,335,000

Here is my attempt to offer up a straight review, where I only talk about the film and why it’s brilliant and I love it on its own merits.  That took 8 hours to write.  Here is my in-depth, personal, and spoiler-y piece on why Inside Out is so emotionally attached to me in ways that I really can’t separate it from.  That took about 3 hours to write.  Writing, everybody!

8] Jurassic World

$6,900,000 / $623,803,000

Ladies, gentlemen, and others… your third highest grossing film domestically AND worldwide of all-time.  I’ll leave the thinkpieces to you folks, I really don’t care either way about this.

9] Mr. Holmes

$2,849,000 / $6,432,000

Hey!  This actually broke into the chart!  Yay and stuff!

10] Terminator: Game Gear

$2,400,000 / $85,666,000

On the one hand: YIPPEE!  This piece of dog sh*t is bidding us adieu!  We might be spared a sequel after all!  On the other hand: dammit!  I had all of these videogame console name substitutions lined up for usage, and now they’re all going to go to waste!  What good is a once-slightly-clever gag escalation if I don’t get to run it into the ground?!  Life is the worst!

This is a situation with no clear-cut answer, so I’m just going to embed the unquestionably godawful Pixels theme song below and call it for the week.

Dropped Out: Magic Mike XXL, The Gallows, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Ted 2

Callum Petch won’t be around.  He now mainly writes for his own website (callumpetch.com).  Follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!

US Box Office Report: 17/07/15 – 19/07/15

Ant-Man shrinks the standard Marvel opening, Trainwreck is anything but a, Mr. Holmes effortlessly cracks The Mystery of How To Get Into the Top 10, these puns are awful even by my standards, and Other Box Office News.

by Callum Petch (Twitter: @CallumPetch)

So, here’s the deal.  I am really frickin’ tired.  Not gonna lie.  I’ve been really busy these last few days working on something big, and I’m just plain not sleeping well, so Sunday night is currently not the time where my brain is most engaged.  Right now, all I really want to do is lie down in bed and alternate between Phineas & Ferb and Parks & Rec episodes until my brain just collapses into Sleepsville.  However, my “job” involves providing fresh Box Office Reports for your fine self to read first thing on a Monday morning, and if there is one thing that I am committed to it is my “job”!  I spent just over 30 straight weeks pumping out giant DreamWorks Animation essays after all!  So, let’s just try and get through this together, eh?

Keeping those doom-saying think pieces that pretty much every Box Office commenter and Internet writer has had prepped for the last three years in storage just a little while longer, Ant-Man is your new box office number 1, with $58 million in ticket sales!  Of course, those think pieces could still be trotted out if everyone wanted to, as that $58 million opening is the second-worst in Marvel Cinematic Universe history (only besting The Incredible Hulk’s $55 million), but it’s only one film and a number 1 opening is still a number 1 opening however you slice it.  Besides, I don’t think we need to be encouraging these things.  I honestly don’t know which will be worse at this point: the incredibly smug “I told you so” attitude that every single card-carrying member of Film Twitter and Film Internet will sport when these films do start failing, or the whiney defensive attitude that will come from the part of the Internet that keeps painting Marvel as some kind of victim being bullied by Film Snobs.  It’s like Aliens vs. Predator only somehow even worse than that.

In much happier news, Amy Schumer and Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck was a huge success, coming in third with $30.2 million!  No, that wasn’t sarcasm.  See, Trainwreck is Apatow’s second-biggest opening weekend as a director, just behind Knocked Up’s $30.6 million, and the film itself is an R-rated female-focused comedy starring an untested talent in the world of film and being released against the newest instalment in the Marvel juggernaut.  This is genuinely a roaring success!  Woo-hoo!  Go Amy Schumer!  Between this, Spy, and Pitch Perfect 2, this has been quite the year for female-fronted comedies.  Now, if we could get some movies fronted by non-white female comediennes, that would be just peachy…

In “really stretching the definition of ‘limited’ release” news, Bill Condon’s excellent Mr. Holmes – a film that just missed out on my Top 5 of 2015 So Far list – crossed the pond to 363 theatres this past weekend, and managed to crack the Top 10 with $2.48 million in tickets and a respectable $6,800 per screen average.  Almost matching it on 100 less screens, and perhaps another sign that Indian cinema is about to finally break somewhat big in America, was Bajrangi Bhaijaan which took $2.42 million for eleventh place and a per-screen average of $9,400.  These two may even switch places when the actuals come in, but, as you all know, I only work from these final estimates cos I have sh*t to do, thank you kindly.

Meanwhile, in actual limited release news, Woody Allen’s latest “older man falls for much, much, much younger woman” tale, this one going by the name Irrational Man, made $188,000 from 5 screens of die-hard Woody Allen fanatics with nothing better going on in their lives.  Everybody does know that they don’t have to help him film everything he comes up with, right?


This Full List is brought to you by the warm dulcet tones of Ringo Starr.  Because Thomas the Tank Engine is featured in Ant-you know what never mind.

Box Office Results: Friday 17th July 2015 – Sunday 19th July 2015

1] Ant-Man

$58,040,000 / NEW

Saw this on Friday and the review should hopefully be up soon – it’s not yet because I didn’t finish writing it until Saturday afternoon, because my brain currently hates me, and Owen was off enjoying The First-Ever Failed Critics Meet-Up so couldn’t get to posting.  Short version: I really dug this one.  It has problems, but I really, really dug it!  There’s a second article that’s going up later this week that may make it seem like I hate this movie, but I do actually really like it.  That’s the thing about criticism, taking issue with a certain aspect doesn’t mean that the rest of the film can’t win you over!  It’s almost like opinions are these multi-faceted and nuanced things or something.

2] Minions

$50,200,000 / $216,692,000

Steeper-than-expected 56% drop, which looks really bad compared to the second-week drops of the first (42%) and second (47%) Despicable Mes.  But, of course, neither of those opened to $115 million domestic and this $50 million second weekend is about in line with those films’ low $30 million and low $40 million weekends.  Yeah, this is doing more than OK, although that unfortunately means that Illumination now have a green-light to run this franchise into the ground.  I mean, they were probably going to anyway, but now they have an excuse to.

3] Trainwreck

$30,200,000 / NEW

Absolutely cannot wait for this.  Really, truly, cannot wait for this.  I think that Amy Schumer is one of the most important voices in comedy right now and I am dying to see what she can with two hours and the romantic comedy template.  News from America indicating that this is way more traditional and less subversive than I was hoping it would be has tempered my expectations and excitement but only slightly.  Seriously: bring this baby on already!

4] Inside Out

$11,660,000 / $306,363,000

When we next meet, folks, I will have seen Inside Out.  I would like to thank Owen for cordoning off review privileges for this on this site for myself and myself alone.  It’s like he understands that I live to be the sole person reviewing all of the animated films.  He gets me, he really does.

5] Jurassic World

$11,400,000 / $611,174,000

I… I really got nothing for this one anymore, folks.  Enjoy this song from Phineas & Ferb, instead.

6] Terminator: 2600

$5,400,000 / $80,640,000

I’m just going to bury my head in my hands and hope against hope that this one just goes away, if that’s alright with everyone else.  Emilia Clarke deserves better, dammit!

7] Magic Mike XXL

$4,500,000 / $58,636,000

I hope this becomes a Cult Movie Night fixture.  You know the ones: those special screenings full of die-hard fans who know the film front-to-back, love and appreciate every last second of it, get its progressive sexual politics completely, and are completely comfortable in their love for this movie.  They’ll all meet up once every few months and make a night out of seeing this film, the cinema will provide each attendee with a roll of (convincingly) fake dollar bills to rain down upon the screen at the appropriate times, and everyone will just have the most fun and best time together shrieking in pure glee.

I hope this happens, at any rate, cos that’s a film screening experience I want to have!

8] The Gallows

$4,005,000 / $18,007,000

THIS JUST IN: Shitty Horror Movie That Nobody Liked Plummets In Its Second Weekend.  More at 11.

9] Ted 2

$2,700,000 / $77,457,000

So, Ted 2I was promised some Rachael MacFarlane in your movie.  I went to see your movie and I noticed no Rachael MacFarlane.  I feel very much betrayed by this, and you can expect a very strongly worded letter expressing my disappointment to be along in the post shortly!

10] Mr. Holmes

$2,489,000 / NEW

I wanted to write a review of this after I saw it, but I never got around to it due to this whole “being back at home and feeling miserable” lark causing me to have trouble putting words to paper.  In any case, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re sick of Sherlock Holmes adaptations cos it’s not really one.  It’s more a mediation on death, aging, memory, regret, and selfishness that ties back into Sherlock Holmes in specific ways but is mostly a movie that just happens to feature Sherlock Holmes.  I loved this one and cannot recommend it enough to you!

Just don’t be one of those berks who marks it down because “the mystery wasn’t that difficult or compelling” otherwise you and I will be having words.

Dropped Out: Self/Less, Baahubali: The Beginning, Max

Callum Petch is not sleeping, cold wind blowing.  Listen to Screen 1 on Hullfire Radio (site link) and follow him on the Twitters (@CallumPetch)!