Tagged: Movies

Wonder Woman to win the summer box office, now over $400 million!


Here is an update on what has been happening at the box office. I guess I should update people on the latest news about Wonder Woman

News is that Wonder Woman is now on track to win the domestic box office for the summer months, overtaking Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with a haul now estimated at over $400 million. It also is a record haul for a movie with a female director (Patty Jenkins).

In related news, Wonder Woman cleaned up at the Teen Choice Awards yesterday, with Gal Gadot winning  for Choice Action Movie Actress.

In other box office, Annabelle: Creation won the weekend with a haul of $35 million.

And there is some news from the set of Deadpool 2. The movie starring Ryan Reynolds has been shooting in Vancouver and there was a lot of local excitement about it last week, with lots of TV news coverage about it and so on. Unfortunately, the news is all bad today because a stunt woman has been killed in an on-set motorcycle crash.

That’s all for today.

Box office: a little under $20 mil domestic for The Dark Tower

Here is the weekend box office news with word that The Dark Tower finished in first place with a relatively modest $19.5 million domestic haul, edging out two-time defending weekend champ Dunkirk. Meanwhile, Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow continues her trend of making great movies that nevertheless aren’t big box office winners at the movie theatres as Detroit, set in the ’67 riot year, finished with $7.25 million. 

Hey, it’s now August. Nobody should be surprised by these sorts of numbers.

Box office: The Emoji Movie is a pile of ____! $25.6 mil for an 8% Rotten Tomatoes movie!


We are now almost done with July and with “summer blockbuster season”, and you can tell because the lousy movies are now showing up to blight the cinemas now.

This weekend was a box office battle between Dunkirk and The Emoji Movie and it was Dunkirk that ended up first, for the second weekend running, by roughly $28.1 mil to $25.6 mil. 

It’s incredible The Emoji Movie did so well given how appalling the reviews were — so much so that entire articles are being written about why this piece of junk did as much business as it did. By all rights it should have done no better than $10 or $15 million, based on the reaction to it.

In fact, a few days ago this awful flick was running at zero percent at Rotten Tomatoes. But I guess a few idiot movie critics were desperate to get themselves quoted in ads for this movie, so they gave it positive reviews and it’s now up to eight percent

Honestly, this is the type of movie that you could tell would be awful just looking at the trailers. My guess is that the people who made it must have thought “you know what? Hollywood got away with making The Lego Movie, and it even got positive reviews, so we couldn’t do any worse with The Emoji Movie!” Uh, right.

In the meantime, I can’t believe this total pile of ____ actually did better than Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde, which ran fourth with an approx. $18.5 million haul. That is sad, ladies and gentlemen. Not enough North American moviegoers have taste, clearly.

Dunkirk leads the way this weekend, topping $50 million


The summer movie season is showing signs of winding down soon as Dunkirk debuted this weekend to $50.5 million at the domestic office, good for top spot.

This Christopher Nolan effort has been getting rave reviews for the most part, however, and is being touted as even a potential Oscar contender. So I expect it will do good business for a while, especially since there isn’t going to be a ton of major competition over the coming weeks. 

But this movie has not escaped the usual politically-correct controversy: some idiotic, widely-ridiculed review ran in USA Today in which a movie critic said this movie had (a) not enough women, and (b) not enough people of color!

Aaargh! Could someone tell this critic that this was World War II, and that these were Brits who were being evacuated? As well as the French, and the Belgians, and even Canadians, among others? Anyone who has any knowledge at all of World War II knows that during that particular time there were no women in combat roles — lots of them were instead drilling rivets into fighter planes and doing other such jobs — and few people of color. At least, not in that part of the world. This wasn’t the Pacific, this was Europe, for $&@! sakes, man! World War II!

My advice to these uptight Americans is: if you are bent on seeing women or minorities in a war movie, watch something about the Vietnam War or some other conflict more to your liking, because clearly Dunkirk is not for you. Honestly, folks, what a joke. What a farce.

In other box office news, Girls Trip hauled in $30.4 million while director Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan and supermodel Cara Delevingne, crashed to $17 million. 

That’s all.

Movies: Apes reign supreme, Martin Landau dies, and Charlize Theron sexes it up in Atomic Blonde

I have a lot of movie news I want to get to today: 

First, it was a big weekend for cinematic chimpanzees as War for the Planet of the Apes won the domestic weekend box office at $56 million, beating Spider-Man: Homecoming which fell all the way to $45 million. I guess “franchise fatigue” didn’t show up last week for this latest re-booted Spider-Man movie, but it sure did this weekend with a 61 percent drop. Also, while it was a decent showing for the Apes, it was still lower than the $72 mil opening for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

In another astute observation that any chimpanzee can figure out, CNBC reports superheroes are single-handedly saving the box office. (Note: it appears Wonder Woman may win the entire summer box office race now.)

Personally, I don’t think I am all that enthusiastic about the Apes. What I like are the spy movies, and I’m definitely interested in this Atomic Blonde movie starring Charlize Theron, who is being billed in the trailers as the “female James Bond”. (I thought Blake Lively was supposed to be the next “female James Bond“; whatever.)

This Atomic Blonde movie is going to be hot stuff, apparently. Charlize has a big sex scene in the movie in which she makes out with another woman, and Charlize was quoted as saying “I just loved it.

Well, well, well. Atomic Blonde rolls out July 28th.

In other actress news, I read this piece in TMZ about the movie Quentin Tarantino wants to do about the Manson murders, in which the sister of Sharon Tate said she prefers to see Margot Robbie cast in that role instead of Jennifer Lawrence, saying Lawrence isn’t “pretty” enough. 

Well, that statement got the usual uptight people upset, yet again, but the cold hard truth is she’s right! The hard reality is that anyone playing Sharon Tate is going to have a tough act to follow in any event because, let’s face it, the real live Sharon was absolutely, incredibly gorgeous. She really was/is a timeless beauty — and taken way too soon.

Anyway, I think Margot Robbie is about as good as you’re going to get to play Sharon Tate, because she is gorgeous. That’s my vote, and too bad Jennifer Lawrence.

Finally, I don’t know about you but I was quite despondent to hear the news that Martin Landau had died this weekend.

Of course, he had appeared on Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999, but he also saw his career revive years later when he appeared in movies like Ed Wood, playing the legendary Bela Lugosi. That’s probably my favorite Landau role of them all. Later, he was in Entourage playing producer Bob Ryan.

That’s all for the moment.

Spider-Man: Homecoming. Domestic box office: $117 million bucks!


Here are the reports from Deadline: Hollywood about the winning weekend for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the latest “reboot” of the Spider-Man movie series, which opened to a massive $117 million domestic for Sony plus another $140 million internationally

Obviously, “franchise fatigue” is certainly not impacting Marvel in any way, shape or form this summer, based on these latest numbers.

My movie column, about how tired everyone is of all the sequels this summer, is now up!

My “Cairns on Cinema” column about Cars 3 is up!

Franchise fatigue hits Transformers: The Last Knight. Opens at $69 million.


The summer movie box office has not been kind to a lot of familiar franchises and sequels. The two big hits of this summer so far have been Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (now at $380 million domestic) and Wonder Woman ($318 million). Most of the others have ranged from mildly underperforming, to big flops in terms of gross. 

Just now, I read a report in Variety that said Transformers: The Last Knight opened in first place this weekend with a haul of $69 million. Normally, any studio ought to be pleased with a haul like that, but this is the worst domestic opening for this franchise in years, maybe even ever if this number holds up, after opening hauls around $100 million for previous efforts. 

The Variety article was blaming franchise fatigue, yet again, which doesn’t surprise me. Surely, people have got to be tired of this god-awful series by now. Others are blaming poor word of mouth due to bad Rotten Tomatoes scores, which would be the first time in human history that a bad Rotten Tomatoes score made any negative impact at all on ticket sales for any Transformers movie. 

Oh, well, it sounds like the international box office will save this particular effort and give the folks at Paramount enough reason to serve up Transformers 6. 

Cars 3 races to $53.5 million on Father’s Day weekend!


Box office news: Cars 3 has halted Wonder Woman’s two-week reign atop the domestic box office. Lightning McQueen and the rest of the race cars finished with $53.5 million to the DC superheroine’s $40.8 million.

You’d think Disney would be pleased. Unfortunately, this is the worst opening ever for a Cars movie. The first Cars opened to a little over $60 million and then the sequel Cars 2 got $66 million! Maybe people are finally believing the many critics of this series, who have continually showed little enthusiasm for this Pixar line of animated movies compared to others from the studio. Then again, maybe people are simply bored with sequels in general. Or maybe people are bored with all things NASCAR. I dunno what the deal is. 

Anyway, it could’ve been better. That’s all for the moment.

Wonder Woman saves the summer box office to the tune of over $100 million!

Franchise fatigue to blame for latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” crummy numbers


The box office results are coming in for this Memorial Day weekend and it looks as if Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales came in lower than anticipated. Their weekend haul is $62.2 million domestic with a four-day haul of $75 million. 

While the international numbers are quite a bit better, Deadline Hollywood points to this as evidence of franchise fatigue. Also, the new Baywatch movie has completely gone under water coming in at $22 million over four days and $26 mil for five days. 

I notice they are blaming the bad Rotten Tomatoes scores for the lousy numbers for these two movies. Maybe Hollywood should blame “word of mouth” instead, because honestly, that’s what it is. No one particularly wanted these movies made. While I thought there would be an appetite for another Pirates movie, that is clearly not the case. And not even the fans of the TV series wanted this Baywatch piece of junk.

The thing is, every year, people say they want to see something original at the movies. The fans want originality! And yet every summer, Hollywood turns around and churns out the “same old crap”.

Opening later this coming week: Wonder Woman. Maybe this will do better, but I notice right now that some theatres don’t want male paying customers at screenings of this movie. 

That’s it for now; now back to my annual Memorial Day weekend auto racing TV binge-watching.

It’s official: the new Baywatch movie is garbage

I didn’t expect this new Baywatch movie (opening Thursday) to get good reviews, as most film critics are uptight snobs about this sort of fare and the TV series it is based on was absolute cheese. Yet, even by the usual low Baywatch standards the reviews are really awful. It’s running at 20 percent at Rotten Tomatoes! (Update: they’ve dropped to 18 percent as of Friday!)

Word on the street is this is an unfunny, gross-out type of movie that not even Dwayne Johnson can save. I guess no one ought to be surprised.

And this is not the only new movie getting pelted. The film critics are already blasting away at the new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, due to open Friday, which is running currently at 31 percent

Oh, well, maybe this is a good week for moviegoers to stay home and save their money.

Box office — Alien: Covenant beats out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


The weekend box office totals are in for what turned out to be the tightest, closest race of the summer blockbuster season so far. According to the numbers, Alien: Covenant has beaten out Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with a haul of $36 million, a difference of about $700,000.

But this could hardly be called a fabulous showing for the Alien franchise, and my guess is that my prediction that this,would be in the top 10 for the whole summer is already up in smoke. I’m thinking now that Dunkirk gets there instead. Anyway, the analysis and post-mortems for this flick are now on.

A big week of releases is ahead as Baywatch opens Wednesday followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on Friday.

First big flop of the summer season is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword


Every year, it is usually around week two or so of the Summer Blockbuster Season that the first big bomb shows up at the domestic box office. This time, and right on schedule, it is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which only made — what, $14.7 million? And the budget was reported to be $175 million? 

This, my friends, is horrendous. It’s hard to think of any other upcoming release that could possibly be this big a flop for the rest of this summer.

Of course, the director was Guy Ritchie, who I still haven’t forgiven for what he did to The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which was another big fat flop under his watch. But by all accounts U.N.C.L.E. was still a better effort than this, running at only 27 percent at Rotten Tomatoes. 

As for this weekend’s domestic No. 1, it was once again Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, coming in at a cool $63 million.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 kicks off blockbuster season with a $145 mil domestic weekend haul!

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.

Links to columns on the Oscars, fast food joints, etc.


I don’t feel like writing much here today. Instead, here are links to some columns of mine that ran this week:

First, my News Watch column on fast food joints, which recounted a notorious trip to a Carl’s Jr. in Los Angeles years ago that went so badly that it was comical. 

(Pictured above: a typical Carl’s Jr. ad.)

Second, my cinema column The Last Word on the Oscars, recounting an Oscar telecast that went about as well as our trip to Carl’s Jr. did. The end of the show was such a train wreck that it was comical.

Finally, my legislature column John Cairns’ Leg Watch, in which I focus on the first day of the legislature’s return earlier this week. Not quite as comical.

Maybe tomorrow I will get around to talking about the WikiLeaks’ CIA leak and other major news of the week, but not right now.

Sad news for film buffs: TCM host Robert Osborne is dead at 84

What are you most excited about today? Daytona 500, or the Oscars?


As usual, the great American tradition of Oscar Night is colliding the same day as another great American event: NASCAR. Boogity Boogity Boogity

It seems like this happens every year, except this time the Oscars are up against the Great American Race, the Daytona 500! I guess the good news is this year they won’t be going head-to-head: the 500 is in the afternoon while the Academy Awards goes later in the evening. The only way there will be a conflict is if there is a rain delay or a lot of crashes and car-pileups. Right now, though, there is rain in the forecast — in LA.

Here’s something that just occurred to me: does anyone think the Daytona 500 might have influenced the slogan of Donald Trump’s campaign for President?

The Great American Race?” “Make America Great Again?” (Another thing to think about: Trump’s second home is in Florida.)

Of course, these two events are going to have completely different sets of audiences. The Daytona crowd is about God, country, and country music: rabid Republican, rapidly populist, and therefore, rabid Trump. 

The Oscar crowd, though, is totally socially and culturally liberal and international in its outlook. And it couldn’t be less populistic, because it’s rich celebrities and industry people there. They’re also probably pro-Globalization there, too, because Hollywood does its business all over the world. In short, they’re Democrats

This piece in Fox News sums up the cultural divide for these two events. To me it really is a stark elitist-vs.-populist divide, and has been for years. And it kind of makes no sense, either, because lots of NASCAR fans love going to movies, too. But this isn’t about the movies; it’s about the Oscars. There is this general knee-jerk reaction to this awards show in particular, because most of these nominees are just too darned pretentious for the general population.

Anyway, I must be one of the few people interested in both these things. I will admit this: of these events today, I am far more excited about NASCAR being back. I gotta admit it, it’s more my scene than the Oscars with all their fashions and political speeches. Seriously, can’t we give the politics a rest, for a change? You can be darned sure there won’t be political speeches at Daytona, these folks will be too busy racing.

Also, at least with the Daytona 500 it’s guaranteed to be exciting and entertaining — something the Oscars usually are not. Oh, well, maybe with Jimmy Kimmel hosting it will be a livelier show. 

Update: Actually, based on the Twitter reaction from Saskatchewan, most people from around here were interested in the freaking Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling! To heck with that!!

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.

My review of The Founder, starring Michael Keaton, is now up!


I haven’t done this in a while, but I gave in to my inner “Siskel & Ebert” and wrote this review of The Founder, the biopic of Ray Kroc starring Michael Keaton, which I saw earlier this week. 

After the movie ended, I went for dinner at — no, not McDonald’s, but Fuddruckers. Better burgers. 

The headline on the website sort of made it look like I didn’t like the movie, but actually I’d give it about three out of four stars — it just could have been a bit more “meaty”, if you will, when it came to telling us Kroc’s story. Anyway, it was still interesting. If you’re interested in fast food and McDonald’s, and in Fifties and Sixties nostalgia in general, it won’t be a waste of your time.  

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.

Golden Globes are on as we speak! 

Just wanted to let you know that my New Year’s resolution is to have less depressing hard news at this blog. That said, the Golden Globes are on tonight down in LA and updates on what is happening is here. And here.

Just now Ryan Gosling won for musical or comedy actor for La La Land, which is having a good night so far.

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.

#TIFF16 kicks off with red carpet premiere of The Magnificent Seven

Last night marked the start of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. For those of you living in the rest of Canada it can be hard to imagine what kind of impact this festival has on that city over the week and a half it is on. Basically, it takes over the city, with so many fans hitting the various TIFF locations to go star-watching and autograph-hunting. The event most definitely takes over all the local TV newscasts as the stations hit the red carpet to get interviews with all the big stars, and the CTV Toronto news story above is a good example of that. 

(Hey, it’s Zuraidah Alman anchoring! Cool.) 

This is what I really miss about Toronto now that I live way out in the ‘sticks: all that excitement. That, and Major League Baseball. Oh, and in another week Toronto will also be hosting the World Cup of Hockey, but that’s another topic.

Last night, the film festival kicked off with the premiere of The Magnificent Seven, which features stars such as Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke and is directed by Antoine Fuqua. This is being billed as a “contemporary” and “progressive” Western for today’s audiences

This is also a remake of the 1960 movie, which probably is better known today for its theme music, which was used for years in commercials for Marlboro cigarettes! (Of course, you younger folks probably have never seen a cigarette commercial in your entire lives, so seeing one would be a huge shock.) Anyway, the new version hits theatres Sept. 23.

Later tonight is going to be the red carpet for Snowden, the movie about the ex-CIA employee who leaked all those NSA files. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Ed Snowden in the movie, which is directed by Oliver Stone. So it’s probably worth seeing simply because Stone is the director; he usually brings his “A” effort to whatever he does, even if the finished product ends up looking, well, conspiratorial (Nixon, JFK, etc.). (Wasn’t it an SNL skit that dubbed Stone the world’s first “investigative director”?)

That is about it for now; for more festival coverage I notice eTalk and ETCanada are at it again and so is Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

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!