All summer movie seasons end with a whimper and 2015 was no different. The final weekend of August was a pretty sad display across the board, with Straight Outta Compton nabbing the number one spot by default while just about every new release faltered. You know it’s a slow weekend when a movie promoted exclusively to faith-based audiences nabs the number two spot.
Every time a movie about and for audiences who aren’t white and male does well, everyone acts like it’s a big surprise. “Black people and women like movies? Who’da thunk it?” It’s actually not surprising at all that Straight Outta Compton had a massive opening, handily defeating its more standard competition. Because all kinds of people like movies and when you make movies for all kinds of people, you end up with huge weekends at the box office.
You don't have to be a sports fan to know that the NFL has come under fire in recent weeks for how it has handled (or failed to handle) its players committing all kinds of heinous crimes. Although this is a very serious matter that has football fans deeply troubled and concerned about the future of their favorite sport, it's certainly not above satire, which is where 'SNL' comes in.
There actually was a new film released this week. It's called 'The Identical' and it's a Christian-themed fable about what would have happened if Elvis Presley's stillborn twin brother had survived. Well, for reasons that should be obvious after reading that sentence, 'Guardians of the Galaxy' held onto the number one spot this weekend while 'The Identical' opened outside of the top 10, never to be heard from again.
A few weeks ago, this column was skeptical that Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' could reach $300 million. Now, it seems impossible that it won't. Thanks to ecstatic word of mouth, killer marketing and only one genuinely successful box office challenger (that would be 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'), Marvel's oddball space opera has managed to spend three of the past four weekends at the number one spot at the box office, giving it enough momentum to officially become the highest grossing film of 2014.
You can tell the summer movie season is coming to an end because the weekend box office has stopped being exciting and has starting becoming sad and weird. The past two weeks have seen several major movies bomb, but nothing could have prepared us for 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.'
The Memorial Day weekend brought with it the third Marvel superhero movie of 2014 and like 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' and 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2,' 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' opened to over $90 million at the box office. Sure, people online keep on wondering if audiences are getting tired of comic book films, but the box office keeps on saying otherwise.
Everyone expected 'Godzilla' to take the number one spot at the box office this weekend, but few people saw it doing business that rivals 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' and 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2.' 'Godzilla' didn't just win the box office this weekend, it conquered it, proving that after all of these years, the king of the monsters is still a massive draw.
Say what you want about the franchise as a whole, but the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies really do have a knack for casting. Incredible actors (and serviceable movie stars) have filled virtually every role in the series' large ensemble, so it's no surprise that the upcoming fifth film is looking to cast a beloved thespian. Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is reportedly in negotiations to join 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' as the latest villain to cross swords with Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.
There are few aging action stars as downright weird and lovable as Jean-Claude Van Damme, but he's gone and done something that transcends not only his career, but every major accomplishment in the history of the human race. Mr. Van Damme, known for his incredible physicality, but has topped it all. He's gone and pulled off "the most epic of splits." This you absolutely need to see to believe.
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