In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
After years of struggling against the odds and barely surviving in a rapidly changing world, Blockbuster announced that it's officially set to close the remainder of its US stores. For some, this is a day or mourning. For others, a day of celebration. For all of us, it's just a reminder that the way we consume media has changed so drastically and so quickly that the thought of Blockbuster going out of business would have been unthinkable a decade ago.
No one expected 'The Great Gatsby' to take number one at the box office over 'Iron Man 3' this weekend, but it did the next best thing: it opened huge at number two. There is no shame in this silver medal.
Well, it looks like we have an answer to the question of whether or not audiences are interested in a historical, racially charged baseball movie. Brian Helgeland's '42' opened at the top of the box office this weekend, instantly breaking the record for biggest opening for a baseball movie. Sure, it's a minor record to break, but a record is a record.
A few weeks ago, director Peter Jackson held an online Q&A and preview for the upcoming 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.' However, if you wanted to watch or take part, you had to have bought 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' on DVD or Blu-ray and followed the proper instructions (you know, typing in codes and such). Although the entire event remains an exclusive, Jackson has posted a six minute excerpt to YouTube, letting everyone get a taste of the what it was like and get a glimpse of the new Middle Earth adventure.
There's no use beating around the bush here -- this was a pretty dull weekend at the box office. There was only one new release, but it was a dump that bombed rather spectacularly and the rest of the line-up is essentially the same as last week, with only a few titles shuffling around. It's the the quiet before the storm...the storm being 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' which opens in a few days.
'Taken' was the surprise hit of 2009, a January dump that inexplicably made nearly $150 million in the United States and transformed Liam Neeson into an instant action star. Three years later, 'Taken 2' has arrived in theaters on a primo release date and with an advertising campaign that probably cost more than the entire first movie. Well, it looks like the hype was worth it. The first film may have been a sleeper, but the second adventure of Liam Neeson's kidnap-prone family has opened like a true blockbuster.
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