Every year presents a new apocalypse for the film industry and every year sees movies and theaters evolving to match the increasingly strange age that we live in. However, Hollywood's evolution may not be happening fast enough to win back certain audiences. A new Harris Poll asked Americans about their moviegoing habits and the results are a fascinating combination of the surprising and the not-so-surprising.
Although you'd think people would spend the holidays in their homes catching up with their families and what-not, they actually tend to go to the movies after opening gifts and having awkward conversations. And Christmas Day moviegoers had a bunch of options this week, with recent releases (and not-so-recent releases) still going strong and a whole bunch of new releases arriving to coincide with the holiday.
If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.
The weekend following a major holiday is always a little slow. The boost from vacationing moviegoers is gone, so everyone tends to take a major dip. Some films end up okay. Some die on the vine. This weekend saw two films weather the storm perfectly fine and one new release collapse on the starting line.
When someone guest hosts 'SNL,' it's usually because they have something to promote. Even the great Paul Rudd doesn't host the show for no reason. The man has 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' coming out soon and he's got to keep the promotional train a'moving. Call this week's opening monologue a commercial if you want, but man, it's one heck of a commercial. Anything that lets us see Ron Burgundy's news team reunite to perform "Afternoon Delight" is worth the effort. Oh, and there's also that band One Direction because the kids like 'em.
Here's the weird thing about recurring 'SNL' characters and sketches: you may get tired or annoyed by them at the time, but ten years later, you'll just be longing for them. We didn't know how much we were missing the "Bill Brasky" sketches until last night, when the show brought the character back one more time. After all, when you have Will Ferrell in the house, you've got to revisit some of his classics.
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.
'SNL' digital shorts are often at their best when they simply throw any and all realism to the wind and embrace complete and total absurdism. Last night's episode featured one of the show's strangest sketches ever, a bit that felt radically different than just about everything else in the episode.
When Blockbuster announced that it was officially closing its doors, it was hard to hear for any real movie fans who truly cared. After all, this is the company that helped kill nearly every small video rental chain and relished in carrying a limited selection. So it's not surprising that 'SNL' made a video commemorating the closing of the controversial (at least among cinephiles) company, and it's less surprising that it's as weird and mocking as the show can get.
When life has you down and the only thing that will help brighten your mood is over the counter pharmaceuticals, the average American has plenty of options for anti-depressants. But if you're the President of the United States, you need something different. You need something special. You need Paxil. Thanks to 'SNL,' we now know exactly how President Barack Obama is able to deal with every crisis and scandal that comes his way.
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.
After months of boycott talk and constant controversy, the long in the works adaptation of Orson Scott Card's 'Ender's Game' opened at number one at the box office with decent but not spectacular numbers. It's a long road to profitability, but hey, this is a start.
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