‘Prisoners’ Escape with Box Office Crown

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Hugh Jackman proved once again that he can slice his way to box office gold with or without claws.

The “Wolverine” star took the thriller “Prisoners” to the number one spot this weekend with a gross of $21.4 million, according to THR.com. Jackman portrays a Pennyslvania father looking for his kidnapped daughter. Co-star Jake Gyllenhaal is the leader of the police investigation. When Jackman gets frustrated with the investigation, he takes the law into his own claws…uh hands. The Warner Bros. film only cost $30 million to produce, so the film is already being hailed as an early fall hit.

Last week’s top movie ‘Insidious: Chapter 2″ dipped to second place, pulling in $14.5 million in it’s second week. The horror film debuted to over $41 million, surprising critics who panned the sequel. So far, “Insidious 2” has grossed $60.9 million Fans are delighted to know that “Insidious 3” is already on the drawing board.

“The Family” directed by Luc Besson, continues to make a made man out of direcotr Luc Besson. The mob laugher starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert DeNiro as a mob family in witness protection brought in $7 million in it’s second week, which was good enough for the third spot. The Spanish language “Instructions Not Included” was muy bueno at the box office earning $5.7 million to come in at No. 4. Rounding out the top 5 was the disappointing “Battle of the Year.” Neither 3D nor Chris Brown could save the dance flick from bombing with only $5 million in it’s debut. Directed by Benson Lee, the film cost $20 million to make.

 

 

  

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“Despicable Me 2” rides over “The Lone Ranger” to rule the box office

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If there was a silver bullet shot this weekend, it was by the Minions.

Universal’s animated sequel “Despicable Me 2” ruled the box office this week, grossing $82.5 million for the weekend and a whopping $142.1 million for the biggest five-day holiday gross ever. Tonto (Johnny Depp) and his faithful sidekick (Armie Hammer) brought in $29.4 million to come in second, but it only earned it flop status for a film rumored to have cost over $225 million to make.

Coming in at third was the Melissa McCarthy/Sandra Bullock cop comedy “The Heat” with $25 million. Rounding out the top 5 was the animated prequel “Monster’s University with $19.6 million and the Brad Pitt zombie thriller “World War Z” with 18.2 million.

Kevin Hart’s stand-up comedy is having film execs laughing all the way to the bank. Despite being on a mere 876 theaters (compared to 3904 for “The Lone Ranger), the film managed to bring in $17.3 million. With a loyal fanbase and a strong social media presence, Lionsgate may have something of a mini-franchise on it’s hands.

  

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Can “The Lone Ranger” handle a bunch of Minions?

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Don’t be surprised if it’s a Minion filled weekend.

The big budget “The Lone Ranger” hit theaters this weekend, but despite a budget projected to be in the neighborhood of $250 million, it may not be the story of the weekend. Universal’s animated sequel “Despicable Me 2” starring Steve Carell and Kristin Whig is not only getting the buzz, but early box office returns as well.

According to deadline.com, “The Lone Ranger” is running a distant second behind “Despicable Me 2” despite the star power of leads Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. The Western stars Hammer as the legendary Texas Ranger left for dead and his journey to fight bad guys in the Old West. However, this incarnation has trusty indian sidekick Tonto in the lead role. “Despicable Me 2” follows reformed supervillain Gru as he raises his three adoptive daughters while being enlisted to take down another villain. It also features the voices of Benjamin Bratt, Russell Brand, and of course…minions.

If you’re not into animated hijinx or hearing the William Tell Overture, you have other options…

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain – The hottest comedian is back in theaters. Don’t expect CGI, costars, or big budgets. Just laughs.

The Way, Way Back – A coming of age film as a 14-year-old boy faces an unfun summer vacation with his family including his jerk of a potential stepdad in Steve Carell.

The Look of Love – A comedic biopic about the late Paul Raymond, who went on to become Britain’s richest man. Stars Steve Coogan, Imogen Poots, and Anna Friel

  

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Is ‘Man of Steel’ ready to fly over the competition?

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Can you really have summer with a superhero?

If a franchise needed a layup, it’s today’s opening of “Man of Steel”. The darker Superman reboot stars Henry Carvill and opens this weekend against solid holdovers, but only one major opening release. Much is riding on “Man of Steel”. The film has been rumored to cost well over $200 million and will be used as a barometer in deciding the course of future DC Comics superhero films including the upcoming “Justice League”, based on the adventure of Superman, Batman and others.

It remains to be seen if “Truth, Justice, and the American way” can catch on with a broad audience. So far, Warner brothers is encouraged with midnight showings already having raked in $21 million. Don’t worry about finding a seat. It’ll be playing in 4,207 locations with a majority having 3D options.

From superheroic to super funny “This Is The End” opens features a ton of comedians playing themselves…sorta. It’s the apocalypse, but the end of the world is a bit more fun thanks to James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson and Jay Baruchel. Oh, and Rihanna’s in it, too, but we’ll check it out anyway.

If you’re not into guys in capes or a lot of guys in laughs, you still have choices…

20 Feet from Stardom – If you’ve ever wondered about life as a backup singer, here’s your chance. Hear great voices and likely watch a tear or two shed. Starring Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Judith hill.

Fukrey – Bollywood comedy about four college pals who come across wacky characters. Stars Priya Ananad, Ali Fazal, Pulkit Samrat, and Varun Sharma.

The Bling Ring – Directed by Sofia Coppola, the film stars Emma Watson and Leslie Mann as cool kids who decide to rob celebrities like Paris Hilton. Hide your valuables.

Hatchet III – Full disclosure: I haven’t seen the first two, but it’s a horror film, there’s a swamp, massive bloodshed, a voodoo curse…and of course, a hatchet. Knock yourselves out. Stars Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, and Zach Galligan.

In the Fog – In 1942 USSR, there’s German occupation and when railworker Sushenya is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, a German officer lets him go. From there, all heck breaks loose. Stars Vladimir Svirskiy, Vladislav Abashin, and Sergei Kolesov.

  

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Will Universal’s ‘Purge’ Fast and Furious?

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Don’t be surprised if this week a low budget film manages to “Purge” the competition.

Universal’s “The Purge” has not only jumped out in the race to the ever changing top of the box office, but it’s managed to make it’s money back before it’s first full weekend.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film starring Ethan Hawke and Lena Headley (Game of Thrones) has already made it’s $3 million budget. The home invasion thriller about a family under attack from gun and machete wielding citizens has already grossed $3.4 million thanks to midnight and late night showings. It’s late Thursday haul has already outpaced the Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy “The Internship” which has pulled in only $800,000. Whether either can take down the reigning box office leader “Fast & Furious 6” remains to be seen.

If you’re not into home invasions or middle age guys interning at Google, then you have choices ranging from the musical to the factual…

Much Ado About Nothing – Joss Whedon fans need not wait until “Avengers 2” for their Whedon fix. This time, he takes on the classic Shakespeare comedy. It stars Amy Acker (“Person of Interest”) and Alexis Denisof (“How I Met Your Mother”) and Clark Gregg. Yes, Agent Coulson is in the house!

Violet and Daisy – Two teenage female hitmen (uh hitgirls) latest job takes on an unexpected turn. Stars Saoirse Ronan (“Hanna”), Alexis Biedel (“Gilmore Girls”), DannyTtrejo (“Machete”), and James Gandolfini (“Sopranos”). Written by Geoffrey Fletcher (“Precious”).

Dirty Wars – This timely documentary features investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill goes after the truth behind America’s covert wars.

  

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