We're knee-deep in the summer movie season and the hits just keep on coming. Despite mixed buzz, 'Maleficent' opened very strong, not coming close to the massive numbers of the past few weekends, but certainly holding its own. However, the success of Disney's latest live action effort meant that the weekend's other big release, Seth MacFarlane's 'A Million Ways to Die in the West,' fared less well.
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.
Movie theaters tickets have gotten steadily more expensive over the years, but this takes the proverbial cake: a Canadian theater chain has announced a new program where moviegoers will have to pay a surcharge to sit in the middle seats of each row. You'll soon have to pay an additional $2-$3 to sit in the "prime" seats, ensuring that you'll have the (supposed) best view of the screen and that you'll be isolated from all of the riffraff in the cheap seats.
This is serious business, so let's get down to brass tacks: 'Batman vs. Superman' director Zack Snyder took to Twitter to tease his film's take on the Batmobile, AKA, Batman's personal vehicle, AKA, one of the most famous vehicles in all of popular culture. Snyder shared the first image of the iconic automobile, mostly covered by a tarp, with a message suggesting that a full reveal could come as soon as tomorrow.
It turns out that 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' didn't need the Sinister Six to bring it down. All that was required was Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and a very funny marketing campaign. 'Neighbors' not only opened at number one at the box office, it derailed its super-powered competition so dramatically that it may be difficult for it to fully recover.
Big names popping by 'SNL' for brief appearances stopped being surprising a long time ago, but there's something really special about Barbara Walters stopping by Weekend Update. Maybe it's because Walters (with her 50 year television career) is a much bigger deal than a flavor-of-the-minute celebrity. Maybe it's because she's obviously a really good sport about how 'SNL' has mocked her over the years. In any case, it's an oddly sweet and weird scene in a season of the celebrated variety program that's pulled out all of the stops when it comes to being sweet and weird.
As expected, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' opened the summer movie season in style, overcoming mixed reviews to dominate the top 10 and cause every other film's weekend gross to tumble. Coming weeks will see if it can do the business of the other films in the franchise, but this is a strong start to what looks to be a jam-packed summer.
This season of 'SNL' hasn't been shy about getting truly weird with its digital shorts, but it may have reached its weird zenith with the fake trailer for a thriller called 'The Beygency.' Both a parody of dystopic thrillers and a commentary on what it's like to not be totally in love with Beyonce's latest album, the video stars Andrew Garfield as a man who makes the tiniest of slights against the work of Mrs. Carter and finds his entire life ruined by a powerful and mysterious group.
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