Tagged: Box Office

My “Cairns on Cinema” 10th Anniversary column is now up!

The Fate of the Furious cleans up: $100 mil domestic! $532.5 mil worldwide!


I have nothing better to do today so I might as well put up the weekend box office results for The Fate of the Furious. 

It opened Friday and as predicted by everyone it is cleaning up with a $100 million domestic weekend and $532.5 million worldwide, including all-time record weekends in 17 markets. (Update: it was China that powered this movie to the record worldwide opening of all time.)

Why did this movie clean up? Easy: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and cars — lots of them. This is the eighth Fast and the Furious movie and this franchise may never end, even without Paul Walker (spoiler alert!). That’s it for today.

TV, I mean movie news: CHIPS is a box office dud! Plus, Baywatch trailer is out. 


If you want to do something different from watching TV, guess what: going to the movies is not going to help! Movie theatres are certainly the “home of the TV retreads” these days. All the shows that used to be on your TV set can now be seen on the big screen in the cinema. Aren’t you excited by this prospect? No?!

Fortunately, fans have sent Hollywood a message and have spurned the awful-looking CHIPS, the retread movie version of the old NBC television show about the California Highway Patrol that had starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox. Neither Dax Shepard nor Michael Pena could save this latest critically-panned turkey, which earned a lousy $2.6 million on Friday night. Its projected weekend haul is an awful $7.3 million! (If you are wondering, it was Beauty and the Beast that cleaned up again this weekend, with Power Rangers second. Power Rangers — that’s another ex-TV show revival.)

I wonder if this abysmal box office showing by CHIPS could be a bad sign for Baywatch, another upcoming revival of yet another remarkably cheesy TV series. Maybe Dwayne Johnson’s involvement will save it. Or maybe guys will want to check out gorgeous Kelly Rohrbach and Priyanka Chopra. Anyway, they released their trailer this week and since I have nothing better to do today, I thought I would share it here.

Beauty and the Beast scores March box office record opening of $174.8 million!

Long-awaited box office news: from all accounts it was going to be a “monster” opening, and that was exactly the case. Disney’s highly-anticipated Beauty and the Beast raked in $174.8 million this weekend, easily winning the weekend and eclipsing the previous $166 million March record set by Batman V. Superman. It’s also the top pre-summer (meaning: May) box office of all time.

Beauty and the Beast is also doing so well overseas that it looks like its entire worldwide haul could ultimately top a billion dollars.

You can do a lot with a billion dollars, folks.

Kong: Skull Island wins weekend battle with $61 million haul!

The story from this weekend at the box office is the battle between Kong: Skull Island and its competition Logan. That latter movie is the last one in the Wolverine role for Hugh Jackman, and also the reigning box office champ from last week. Despite some predictions of a close race, it was King Kong who decisively prevailed with a domestic haul of $61 million, compared to $37.9 million for Logan. Internationally in 65 territories, the haul for the big gorilla topped $81 million. 

I’m happy to hear this news because, to be honest, I have a soft spot for monster movies — the bigger the monster, the better. Plus, I have fond memories of our family’s trip to Universal Studios in 1988, in which our tour carriage was attacked by none other than King Kong. (Sadly, this attraction fell victim to the massive 2008 fire on the lot.) 

But I’m also partial to green lizards. So I wonder, which of these cinematic monsters do I like better? King Kong, or Godzilla? No doubt about it, there ought to be a movie to settle the question. 

King Kong vs. Godzilla. I’d see it.

The Great Wall hits the wall at the President’s Day weekend domestic box office

 

This weekend is utterly boring here, so I will liven up this blog with news of how lousy The Great Wall did at the domestic box office.

The four-day President’s Day weekend haul for this latest Matt Damon-headlined effort is a projected $21 million, way behind estimates for The LEGO Batman Movie ($43 mil), and Fifty Shades Darker ($24 mil). Honestly, I’m not shocked; people have been telling me for a while that this movie looks depressing. But it’s not doing poorly everywhere; I understand it is getting much better business in, surprise surprise, China.

Instead of going to The Great Wall, I might take the opportunity to fire up the old DVD player to watch Rounders, plus maybe a few gift-card movies I purchased from the big HMV closing fire sale going on. It’s either that, or watching the “NFL replacement programming” we’ve all come to expect on sports TV (ie. the NBA All-Star Game). Life in February is dull! That is all.

The LEGO Batman Movie beats up Fifty Shades Darker at the weekend box office

It was quite a race this weekend at the domestic box office, and it was The LEGO Batman Movie that prevailed, beating the overhyped Fifty Shades Darker by a final score of $55.6 million to $46.6 million. The action movie John Wick: Chapter 2 starring Keanu Reeves finished third with $30 million.

And quite honestly, I’m surprised Fifty Shades Darker did as well as it did given all the horrific reviews out there for it. Its Rotten Tomatoes score was nine per cent

I guess the female segment of the audience didn’t care about the film critics. The ladies wanted their erotic S&M entertainment violence, no matter what. It sure as heck wasn’t the male segment of the audience who were lining up to see this Christian Grey character. I said it the last time and I will say it again: guys are not responsible for making this lousy Fifty Shades series a hit. We stayed away, in droves!

In fact, I’m sure many more guys were at The LEGO Batman Movie which, based on the trailer, actually looks like lots of fun — certainly much better than the last LEGO movie. And there were definitely more guys at the John Wick sequel; definitely our kind of entertainment. 

I guess guys will never understand females’ tastes in entertainment. Anyway, I’d better shut up now before I get in any more trouble.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story now officially the No.1 domestic release of 2016

I had predicted this would happen in my box office year-in-review column, and after this past weekend it is now official. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the top box office movie release of 2016, passing Finding Dory for over $500 million domestic gross.  

Worldwide, it is closing in on a $1 billion gross.

But it wasn’t the winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. box office weekend. That honor, according to Box Office Mojo, goes to Hidden Figures.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens to $155 mil.! Second best Dec. opening ever!

We all need some cheering up this week, so here is the happy box office news for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Its opening weekend was $155 million for the second best December opening weekend of all time, behind last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie. It’s also the 12th best opening weekend of all time and third-best opening weekend for 2016.

It was also a terrible weekend for the usually box-office-winning Will Smith, whose depressing Collateral Beauty was his worst opening ever, at $7 million. 

Will Smith is definitely in a box office funk. He needs to get himself cast into a Star Wars movie, pronto.

Boxing and football make for a winning movie box office combination

Recently, I read an article on TSN’s BarDown website that talks about Darren Rovell’s list that he posted of the top ten-grossing sports movies of all time — in today’s dollars might I add. As it turns out, the top movies he listed are mainly football or boxing related. 

At the top: Rocky and Rocky III, followed by The Blind Side. Then it is Rocky IV and Rocky II. The Waterboy, The Longest Yard, Talladega Nights, Creed, and Remember the Titans round out the list. So, basically, it’s all Rocky or football movies, and one NASCAR movie. 

We shouldn’t be surprised these are up there. The Rocky franchise starring Sylvester Stallone is one that transcends sports, and football seems to be the one sport that translates the best to the big screen in terms of drama and action. Of course, there have been numerous iconic auto racing movies made. But I guess the surprise for me is that of all the racing movies, the one that landed in the Top 10 was Talladega Nights, the comedy with Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby. Not that it’s a terrible movie, but I’m surprised.

Now, here is my big rant about that BarDown article I just linked to. You can tell it was a Canadian article, because they made a huge deal out of the fact that there was no hockey movies in the top 10. And I’m going, good grief, man, can’t anyone in Canada run a story about the sports movie box office without using hockey as a point of reference?! It’s almost as if they are all offended that hockey did not make the list! As if the sport was being slighted! 

Guys, guess what: the reason no hockey movies made the list is because hardly any hockey movies get made! The only two that anyone has ever really heard of was Slap Shot and The Mighty Ducks, and that’s it!

The folks at the sports nets in Toronto need to realize the world does not revolve around their beloved hockey. Deal with it, Canada.

Frankly, though, the real surprise for me is not that there are no hockey movies on Rovell’s list — it’s the lack of any baseball and basketball movies. 

Think of the multitude of baseball movies ever made (Pride of the Yankees, The Natural, Major League, Moneyball, A League of Their Own etc.) and the number of basketball movies (Hoosiers, Space Jam, White Men Can’t Jump etc.) and it really is amazing neither sport made it into Rovell’s top 10 list. 

In fact, I’m thinking maybe this list of Rovell’s might not even be accurate, because I can’t believe some of these movies that were left off the top ten (ie Space Jam and A League of Their Own in particular) given the amount of money they made back in the day. I’m thinking maybe these are just the domestic grosses Rovell’s referring to? (If that’s the case, no wonder football movies did so well!) Anyway, I ought to look into it a bit further.

All the talk is about how badly Ben-Hur did at the box office


So the story of this weekend at the box office was about how badly Ben-Hur did. It only grossed a little over $11 million this opening weekend, after being made at a price tag reported at over $100 million. Instead, Suicide Squad won the weekend.

A lot of theories are going around as to why this latest Ben-Hur movie tanked so horribly, but the one I liked the most was posted at Forbes: simply put, no one wanted to see it. 

You know what? Sometimes, it really is as simple as that.

My summer box office update is up; Finding Dory dominates 


My review of the summer box office race, so far, is up. For whatever reason it took a while for this piece to be posted online, because I filed it last week. Anyway, Finding Dory has owned the summer so far, and it’s now up to $477 million domestic and $900 million globally.

I also don’t foresee the overall Top Ten for the summer changing too much, especially with reports about how Ben-Hur is supposed to be a big flop this weekend. Summer movie season is definitely winding down.

Suicide Squad opens to $135 million after getting pelted by Rotten Tomatoes

So the big story from the domestic motion picture box office is that Suicide Squad has opened to $135 million this weekend which is an August record, demolishing the record of Guardians of the Galaxy. 

It is also the best weekend opening ever for Will Smith, which is quite an accomplishment given the large number of hit movies he has been in.

I am not surprised this is a big hit, but the reason I am not surprised is because it’s these crazed multitudes of comic-book fans who are solely responsible for keeping Hollywood in business. It’s not the rest of us, believe me.

Quite honestly, I have absolutely no interest in seeing this flick. Just look at the poster for it! It really does look like a freak show, like some bad mutant version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I don’t care that my latest “favorite actress” Margot Robbie (of Wolf of Wall Street fame, and subject of this excessively-drooling Vanity Fair piece) is in it. She’s totally unrecognizable as Harley Quinn, so I say forget it. 

Much of the world’s movie critics have tried their best to dissuade the public not to go see this, but obviously they have failed humiliatingly yet again. The score at Rotten Tomatoes is a terrible 26 percent. The funniest critical reaction I’ve seen was from Calum Marsh of the National Post, who called this the most miserable moviegoing experience of his life.

At least these critics get well-compensated financially for watching Suicide Squad. Some people actually insist on paying good money to see stuff like this.

Jason Bourne off to a good start at the box office


I have been so preoccupied with other things of late that I forgot to tell you that Jason Bourne won the weekend box office with a domestic haul of just under $60 million

I was able to spend my holiday Monday afternoon at the cinema watching this very flick. It turned out to be quite an experience, but for all the wrong reasons.

I kid you not: I got dizzy watching this movie, so much so that I was staggering out the cinema at the end of it feeling like I needed air. I’m guessing it was the action scenes or something that were making me sick. 

This isn’t the first time this has happened to me at the cinemas. Cloverfield was another flick that made me totally dizzy in the theatre. I know exactly why Cloverfield made me light-headed: it was from its awful shaky-cam filmmaking! Worse yet, I sat near the front of the cinema for that one, so I got a full dose of it.

Jason Bourne didn’t strike me as being the type of movie that would be so vertigo-inducing, but it managed. Either that, or the ventilation in the cinema must have been really bad on Monday.

Box office news: Finding Dory now No. 1 domestic box office of 2016


Just some box office news to tell you about from the weekend: Finding Dory has officially passed Captain America: Civil War to be the number one movie at the domestic box office for 2016. Its overall domestic box office as of this past weekend topped $422 million. Internationally, Captain America is still ahead, though.

As well, it continues to be a big summer for the cartoons at the box office. It was a huge $103 million domestic haul this weekend for The Secret Life of Pets

That’s it, and now back to watching the baseball All-Star Game.

Finding Dory takes third straight weekend win! Overall domestic haul of over $380 million!


The box office results are in for this hotly-competitive July 4 weekend, and for the third weekend running the domestic box office champ is Finding Dory from Disney-PIXAR. The haul this four-day weekend is $50.2 million. As well, the overall haul is $380 million in 18 days and this is also the fastest animated flick to $300 million, achieving that mark in just 12 days. 

I had expected this movie to do well, given the PIXAR track record for hits, but nothing like this. At the rate Finding Dory is going, it could end up winning the box office for the entire summer and possibly even the year.

Also, I have very little to say about either The Legend of Tarzan or Steven Spielberg’s epic flop, The BFGTo be honest, I was never particularly high on either of them doing well at the box office from day one. So again this summer, the feast or famine cycle shows up at the movie box office.

Box office: this new Independence Day movie is, like Brexit, a financial flop!


Does anyone else find it interesting that Independence Day: Resurgence opened the day after the Brexit referendum? Right after Nigel Farage made his big victory speech declaring June 23 to be “Independence Day”? What great timing, eh?

I’ll say this, this movie has one thing in common with Brexit: it’s a financial flop. This past weekend, this newest Independence Day movie took in an underperforming $41 million domestic haul, which was not even enough to win the weekend box office! 

Instead, it lost by a whopping margin of almost $32 million to the Pixar flick Finding Dory, which has taken the box office for two weekends in a row and is, as of now, about $4 million short of $300 million in domestic gross. 

It’s been really feast or famine at the domestic box office this summer, more so than usual, and this weekend was proof of that again. As for an explanation as to what happened this weekend, here is a link to three reasons why this latest Independence Day landed with a thud. I gotta agree: no Will Smith hurts.

That’s all for now.

Box office update: this weekend’s winner is The Conjuring 2

I know, there are more important things than the domestic box office news right now. Anyway, The Conjuring 2 took the weekend with a $40.4 million haul, while it was a bad weekend for Warcraft — yet another video game turned into a motion picture flop — at $24.4 million. (However, Warcraft proved to be a hit in China.) Now You See Me 2 was third at $23 million. 

Quite honestly, I don’t feel that enthused about any of these movies. When are we going to get some decent flicks again at the cinemas? I’d like something to watch that could possibly get my mind off of all the troubles in the world!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 underwhelms at $35 million. Not surprised.

Another weekend at the movies is down the drain as moviegoers again generally said “meh” to this current crop of sequels and retreads that the Hollywood studios expect audiences to dole out their good money for. 

The latest sequel piece of junk to win the box office weekend was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows, but it only hauled in $35 million. Well below what the original opened to two years ago, which was $65.6 million.

Confirms what I thought might happen, because I was reading a lot of comments from people who were trashing the Turtles and calling them stupid. The reviews look terrible, too. 

To me, it looks like movie fans are finally fed up with all the usual juvenility we have come to expect from summer-season movies, with these stupid animals and stupid superheroes, and stupid fantasy and stupid CGI. The fans are hungry for grown-up entertainment, for a change, but they aren’t getting it from the major studios.

Come on, Hollywood, get with it! Give us a reason to go to the movies! Anyway, that’s that.

X-Men: Apocalypse takes Memorial Day Weekend with four-day haul of $80 million

It just occurred to me that I ought to put up a post about the four-day Memorial Day weekend domestic box office results in North America.

Uh, X-Men: Apocalypse won, with $80 million

Running second was Alice Through the Looking Glass, which was kind of a bust at $34 million. People were talking about how it was expected to do so much better, but I am not surprised with the haul because it simply didn’t seem to be a release that movie fans were enthusiastic about.

(Update:) Ouch! Overall, the box office pundits have panned these Memorial Day box office performances. They are pointing out that the latest X-Men outing’s weekend box office was down $30 million from the Memorial Day weekend of X-Men: Days of Future Past back in 2014.

I notice the Hollywood Reporter had a piece which basically says the studio executives will really be sweating it out in Hollywood this summer. With bright ideas like what we’ve seen so far (retread sequels, etc.) is it any wonder? 

Box office: The Angry Birds Movie rakes in $39 million!


The news from the box office this weekend is that The Angry Birds Movie finished first in the domestic gross with a haul of $39 million. Supposedly this breaks the “curse” that has afflicted video-game movies at the box office, which is news to me because I didn’t think there was such a thing. Anyway, these birds rule the roost, as they say. Captain America: Civil War slips to second at $33 million, ahead of Neighbors 2 and The Nice Guys.

In other box office news from the weekend, X-Men: Apocalypse has opened in 76 international markets this weekend and has hauled in over $101 million overseas! You know why I think this flick opened overseas, before North America? So that the hype from the news of the movie’s big overseas haul will filter back to the USA and build up even more anticipation for the movie, and help it dominate the next week’s Memorial Day weekend! See, they’re smart in Hollywood, they’ve got it all figured out.

Box office: Massive weekend haul for Captain America: Civil War


It was another massive kickoff to the summer blockbuster movie season for the folks over at Marvel. 

Captain America: Civil War has opened to a domestic haul of $181 million, or $179 million, depending on which information you are reading at any given moment. (I believe some studio higher-ups might have been doing some fibbing about that initial $181 million number.) 

This is the fifth biggest domestic box office opening of all time. Of the top six biggest domestic openings of all time, the movies ranked third-through-sixth in the list are all from the same series of movies featuring Marvel Avengers characters of one kind or another (in particular Iron Man). These weekend numbers also set a record for the Disney studio: fastest to $1 billion (domestic) in just 128 days.

Its entire global haul is $678 million, after a little over a week of worldwide release.

Most importantly in the superhero wars, Captain America and Iron Man have now decisively beaten Superman and Batman at the box office, as these iconic DC heroes only opened to a domestic $166 million earlier this year. In the pop-culture wars between Marvel and DC, Marvel wins again.

This has me thinking. Does anyone else think we might one day see a “Marvel vs. DC” movie? No doubt, Disney and Warner Bros. will seek to one day come together for such a sure-fire joint-venture blockbuster money train. This is surely where this is all leading to, if the folks in Hollywood are smart.

My Cairns on Cinema 2016 Summer box office preview is now up

My annual predictions for the 2016 summer blockbuster movie season have gone up

I should note I filed these predictions last week, but for whatever reason they didn’t show up online until Sunday. Also, it is obvious to readers that I am just mailing it in when it come to these predictions. I am simply too busy covering all this other news nonsense to be able to concentrate on writing about the movies as much as I would like to. Then again, people might say this latest batch of Hollywood blockbusters aren’t worth writing about anyway (ha ha).

Anyway, my movie predictions are up now. Also, I will have more to say about this weekend’s performance of the just-released Captain America: Civil War later on.

Batman v. Superman has a $170 mil Easter weekend!

  
Well, so much for the movie critics. Despite 30 percent at Rotten TomatoesBatman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice raked it in for $170.1 million this Easter weekend, setting an all-time March opening record and an all-time DC opening record. 

And if you went to this movie this weekend and ended up not liking it, remember, they tried to warn you…

Update: apparently the figure is now reported as $166 million.

Batman v. Superman is here and it is a mess! Literally. The critics aren’t impressed.

I dunno about you, but the best thing about Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was those Super Bowl commercials from Turkish Airlines about their flights to Gotham and Metropolis.

But the movie is a different story. The movie critics have weighed in and Rotten Tomatoes has it at an abysmal 30 percent. Leonard Maltin wrote his review and said “I’m about to give away the biggest spoiler imaginable regarding this multimillion dollar movie: it sucks.” 

Apparently, it is even questionable whether this movie will make a profit – I read that just to break even it will need to gross $800 million bucks. Anyway, it made $27.7 million in Thursday previews and should still be the biggest March opening weekend of all time, in spite of the reviews. 

Heck, all those horrid reviews did nothing to stop the Transformers franchise, so I don’t see how it will stop Batman v. Superman.

Congrats to Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Highest domestic box office of all time. 

  

And so it is all done. 

On Wednesday Star Wars: The Force Awakens officially toppled Avatar’s record for the highest box office gross of all time in the domestic market (aka the North American Movie Territory: USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and Guam to be exact). It took only 20 days for this major, major record to fall. As it now stands, Box Office Mojo has the movie at $764 million and it should hit $800 million this weekend.

What else is there for this movie to conquer? Oh, that’s right: China. Release date there is Jan. 9.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens passes Titanic, now set to break Avatar’s domestic box office record! 

  

Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to be almost unstoppable in their third week at the box office — so much so, in fact, that the domestic all-time record will likely be theirs by Tuesday night. 

This weekend, it hauled in another ridiculous total of $88.3 million to bring its total haul to $740.2 million, passing Titanic’s haul of $658 million to become the number two domestic record box office overall. All it needs now is another $21 million and it will have topped Avatar’s record as well. 

It took several weeks for both Titanic and Avatar to get to their previous record breaking heights so for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to shatter the domestic record so swiftly, after a little over two weeks, is really astonishing. 

Also, needless to say, The Force also passed Jurassic World‘s $652 million total to win the entire box office race for 2015.

After this week, the one major all-time record left to target will be Avatar’s $2.78 billion international worldwide record box office, and The Force still has a ways to go yet. However, keep this in mind — this movie has yet to open in China. 

That happens Jan. 9, and when it does, wow, expect even more big numbers.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens continues to roll, now up to $1 billion worldwide

 

Just a brief update about Star Wars: The Force Awakens which is now into its second week of demolishing the records at the movie box office. 

Here are a couple of marks set this weekend: it finished this weekend at $153.5 million for an overall domestic haul of $544.5 million, which sets the record for the largest ten-day domestic gross in history.

Worldwide, it crossed the $1 billion mark, and it is the fastest movie to that mark in history.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens also holds the Christmas Day record ($49.3 million) and recently set the Monday and Tuesday records. And I am sure there are others I haven’t mentioned.

Expect more records to fall as this movie now sets its sights on Avatar’s record for highest domestic gross of all time ($760.5 million).

No mistake about who won the box office. Star Wars: The Force Awakens tears up the record books!

  

I had been all set to talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens and about its total domination at the box office this weekend, but then all this Miss Universe nonsense in Las Vegas got in the way. 

Suffice it to say that this latest Star Wars movie was so dominating, so thoroughly convincing in its record-smashing box office victory that there was absolutely no doubt about it. Not even Steve Harvey could screw it up.

And the records fell one after another all weekend long and they are still falling. Here is a rundown of some records that have fallen, according to the figures listed at the box office website Box Office Mojo:

Biggest Worldwide Opening Weekend in History: $529 million, beating the $524 million record of Jurassic World set earlier this year.

Biggest Domestic Opening Weekend in History: $247.9 million, shattering the $208.8 million record set earlier this year by Jurassic World.

Biggest December Opening Weekend in History, beating the $84.62 million of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Biggest Domestic Opening Day, and Biggest Friday, in History: $119.1 million, beating Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II at $91 million.

Biggest Sunday in History: $60.5 million, beating Jurassic World’s record.

Largest Thursday Previews: $57 Million
Fastest Movie to $100 Million: one day

Highest Per Theater Average for a Wide Opening: $59,982

Top Opening Weekend for a PG-13 Film: $247.9 million

Top Holiday Opening Weekend: $247.9 million

Best December Single Day: $119.1 million

Domestic IMAX Opening Record: $30.1 million

Global IMAX Opening Record: $48 million

More records are in jeopardy, including the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday records. As well, Avatar’s overall record for biggest domestic haul of all time, at $760.5 million, could be within reach.

As for this past weekend, the domestic box office runner-up, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, hauled in a little under $14.3 million, which means Star Wars: The Force Awakens won the weekend domestic box office race by the largest margin of victory ever recorded at the domestic box office, over $233.6 million. This is a landslide victory of epic proportions. Keep in mind, the previous weekend record haul was $208.8 million! The margin of victory this weekend alone was better than the previous record haul! Think about that one for a moment. 

And yes, I saw the phenomenon of Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming a mile away — but admittedly, nothing like this. This is just the most awe-inspiring, stupendous start I have seen since I started writing about movie box offices. 

And to think this is just one weekend. Clearly, more is yet to come.

The box office has awakened for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!! #records #blockbuster

  

Well, here we are: Dec. 18, like the poster says. A date circled on the calendar for months by science fiction fans everywhere. And as I write this, cinemas all over North America are being absolutely flooded with die-hard Star Wars fans, all there for the phenomenon that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

For a long time I have been predicting this would be a massive opening and likely the box office champion for all of 2015, based simply on all the Star Wars merchandise I was seeing at Walmart weeks and weeks ago. The force is with this movie in a big way.

Last night, the movie turned up in pre-release and made $57 million on Thursday night alone. Tonight and this weekend, it could set all kinds of box-office records, including biggest single day in history, possibly biggest opening weekend in history, you name it. Certainly, this will be the biggest Star Wars movie of all time and absolutely cement the entire Star Wars franchise, going back to 1977, as the highest grossing and most successful in the history of motion pictures. 

Vanity Fair has a running tally of the records as they fall this weekend. Deadline Hollywood has updates as they happen as well.

The international box office records are also poised to fall by the wayside. A single day record has already been shattered in the UK. The global haul is already at $130 million. And we are just getting started! 

I’ll have a further update later this weekend on the progress of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on what I fully expect to be a mammoth weekend for the box office in North America, the world, and for that matter, the universe as well.

Thanksgiving box office: Mockingjay Part 2 leads, but generally very busy

 
So here are some links to box office news.

First, my column from a few days ago updating the fall box office race as it stood before this past weekend. 

Then, this piece on last weekend’s box office which saw The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 2 rake in a $101 million weekend, which some consider a disappointing haul, believe it or not.

And finally, this piece about the five-day Thanksgiving box office, which saw Mockingjay 2 still ahead but lots of good business for The Good Dinosaur and Creed.

Now, back to football. 

North American haul of $73 million this weekend for Spectre

  
Well, there was finally some relief for long-suffering cinema owners this weekend in North America as James Bond returned in Spectre. 

But as Deadline Hollywood reports, the domestic haul is lower than anticipated, with Sony reporting $73 million. It’s not a Bond record, as Skyfall did about $15 million better when it opened.

The Peanuts Movie ran a strong second at $45 million. 

As for the foreign box office, the haul for Spectre was $117 million in 78 markets on the weekend including a haul of almost $60 million in China. Not a bad start to November at the cinemas.

Some good box office news, for a change: big UK opening for Bond, James Bond in Spectre 

  
Some good box office news to tell you about, now, instead of all the usual doom and gloom. 

It won’t be released in North America until Friday, but already the first week of release for James Bond in overseas markets has been huge. Spectre has opened to box office records with a first week haul of $80.4 million. 

This includes a haul of £41 million in the UK which is a record for movies released on a Monday there, which is more than double what Skyfall made. And according to the story from the BBC, it has also set records in Norway, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark.

I’ll say this for the Europeans, they have taste in movies. 

Another bad box office: Sandra Bullock goes down with the Our Brand is Crisis ship

  

It was another losing weekend at the box office. People are acting all surprised, but this is actually normal. September and October are never known for huge business at the cinemas. 

Still, many people thought Sandra Bullock’s latest, Our Brand is Crisis, would do much better than eighth place and $3.4 million this weekend. The Oct. 30 haul of $1.1 million was Bullock’s worst Friday haul ever. Another new release, Burnt, finished fifth at a little over $5 million. 

I am not surprised Our Brand is Crisis flopped. It was another one of these “political” movies, set in Bolivia, with Bullock playing a political consultant. 

Quite honestly, everyone is sick of politics and politicians. Want proof? Here’s proof. According to the polls, the two people currently leading the GOP field for President are (a) Ben Carson and (b) Donald Trump! 

Some will rant that Americans are sick of the liberals in Hollywood, but I think it runs deeper than that. In general, Americans are fed up with politics, and politicians, and political correctness, and with liberals and conservatives, and with Democrats and Republicans. And right now they are being inundated with it — from CNN, from Fox News, even from CNBC. Quite honestly, I think the public has reached its limit and have no desire to see any of this political nonsense at the cinemas, too. So that is why Our Brand is Crisis tanked. My opinion.

In the end, Box Office Mojo has reported this is the worst weekend of 2015, as a haul of only $11.4 million was enough for The Martian to finish first yet again. 

This run in first place is sure to end, though, as Spectre and The Peanuts Movie open this Friday. This coming weekend is sure to be huge. And if you ask me, this is one reason why these other movies have been tanking lately. 

People are saving their money and waiting for the big movies, the blockbuster pictures, to arrive in November. That’s what I have been doing, and too bad for Sandra Bullock.

Steve Jobs just one of many flops on a very bad weekend for the box office

  
It was not a good weekend for new releases at the domestic movie box office, at all.

One of the new releases was Steve Jobs, about the Apple co-founder, and if you believed the hype, this was supposed to be “highly anticipated”. This movie was getting great reviews and even some Oscar buzz. Rotten Tomatoes had it at 85 percent. So it’s a certifiably “fresh” movie.

Problem is nobody went to it this weekend. Steve Jobs wiped out in wide release this weekend, finishing seventh at $7.3 million

My word, that is terrible. Even The Man from U.N.C.L.E. did better than that during its opening, and that was considered a major flop. Even Entourage did better, and people were just slamming that movie left and right. $7.3 million for Steve Jobs is just a horrendous showing, folks. A major bomb.

I think I know why it didn’t do so great. Quite honestly, people know the Steve Jobs story already. He is old news. Beyond that, the criticism of the movie from Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t help.

And it was a bad weekend for Paranormal Activity 6: The Ghost Dimension, and The Last Witch Hunter starring Vin Diesel. All flops. The openings for Jem and the Holograms and Rock the Kasbah were even worse — so bad, in fact, that they didn’t even make the top 10.

Instead, it was yet another winning weekend on top for The Martian, and it took only a modest haul of $15.9 million to do it. 

That, my friends, says it all about how bad a weekend it was business-wise at the cineplexes — but if you were a customer, it was good for you because you didn’t have to endure any long lineups. 

November should be quite a bit more crowded at the cinemas, though — the Peanuts movie is coming up Nov. 6.

Box office: The Martian rockets to $55 million!

To box office news now: we haven’t done many of these lately as this is normally the dead season at cinemas, and it is still another month before all of us spy-movie fans hear from James Bond.

But we did hear from the man who plays Jason Bourne. Matt Damon’s potential Oscar contender The Martian has rolled out of the gate to a domestic opening of $55 million! 

Not a bad showing at all for this time of the year. It is not quite on the pace of Gravity, which still holds the October record opening by a hair, but it is still a good showing. 

2015 Summer Box Office review column is now up! 

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. flops with a lousy $13.4 million weekend!

  
It was a lousy showing for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. — a lousy $13.4 million weekend haul, way behind the Straight Outta Compton rapper guys. Even Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation finished ahead of it. 

I guess we aren’t going to get a sequel — which is just as well, because it would surely have been called The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.

As for what I thought of this movie itself — well, it wasn’t awful. It certainly looked impressive, for sure. But don’t try to convince me that what I saw is The Man from U.N.C.L.E., because it isn’t. 

For one thing, these two guys were going after a bunch of Nazi sympathizers, which is fine, except on the TV show they were after T.H.R.U.S.H. every week. I don’t think T.H.R.U.S.H. was mentioned even once in this movie! Was it? If it was, I sure missed it.

This is not the TV show, and that is the problem with movies about iconic TV shows — often times you can never live up to the iconic TV show no matter what you do. It reminds me of that Miami Vice movie from a decade ago — a decent enough movie on its own merits, but don’t try and convince Miami Vice TV fans that what they saw was Miami Vice. The TV show was far different, and better. End of statement.

The one time an iconic TV show turned out to be a successful movie franchise was Star Trek, but that was a situation where they brought in the whole cast from the TV show and put them in the movie! William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, the whole lot of them. Plus, the TV show had been a ratings flop anyway, so there was nowhere to go but up. 

I guess Mission: Impossible is another one, but again, don’t try and tell the TV fans that this Tom Cruise ridiculousness is Mission: Impossible. It isn’t. But more people are going to see that flick than U.N.C.L.E.

Anyway, my point is it’s hard to top an iconic TV show. On that note, may I add that I have a few things to say about this proposed Baywatch moviecoming up in my next post.  

This is the weekend of U.N.C.L.E!

  
Yes, indeed, this weekend the revival of The Man from U.N.C.L.Estorms into theaters as The Year of the Spy continues at the cinemas. 

Unfortunately from a box office standpoint, this weekend is in reality shaping up as the Weekend of the Rappers, as Straight Outta Compton seems headed Straight To The Top of the box office — much to U.N.C.L.E. fans’ chagrin. 

Hollywood should give up on The Fantastic Four after this latest Fantastic Flop

 
Here’s the one million dollar question. Why is it that Hollywood cannot make a decent movie out of these iconic Marvel characters the Fantastic Four

Maybe part of it has to do with the fact that this time it was Fox, not Marvel, that made this stinkbomb of a motion picture. Had Marvel Studios had the rights to make it, maybe they would have put a decent effort into it like they’ve done for Iron Man and these other characters. But the previous cinematic efforts involving Fantastic Four have also been subpar. 

Anyway, this latest version of Fantastic Four only grossed a domestic haul this weekend of $26 million, which is about $26 million higher than what it deserved based on the venomous reviews out there (9 percent at Rotten Tomatoes). And it was $3 million behind Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. I have to say this ranks right down there with the Adam Sandler career-ender Pixels as the biggest box office disappointment of this summer. Anyway, I think I have said about enough about this weekend at the movies.