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.
It's not every day that an actor of John Goodman's caliber hosts 'SNL,' but whatever the odds, it's not nearly as uncommon as him being joined by Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro for a holiday-themed sketch that sees the three silver screen icons re-imagined as tough-talking guys on the way to visit the baby Jesus. Yep, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...
You don't have to be a foodie to know that Guy Fieri is one of the worst things to happen to televised cooking entertainment (and food in general), so the platinum-haired douche bag of the Food Network is the perfect guy to skewer on 'SNL' and the show doesn't pull its punches. Fieri isn't even the main target: his viewers and everything else they watch get torn to shreds.
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.
Everyone knew that 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' was going to do well this weekend, but the lingering question was always whether or not it was going to do "really, really well" or "stupidly, gobsmackingly well." We should know by now that you always bet on Katniss Everdeen defying the odds, because it was the latter and everyone made it look easy.
'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 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.
If there's one thing that we're reminded of a few times a year here at the Weekend Box Office Report, it's that films targeted at black audiences are always ignored by many mainstream movie websites ... until they open huge at the box office. 'The Best Man Holiday' is the latest film to prove that there's an entire group of moviegoers who aren't being given the films they obviously want to see, and hopefully its success will spur Hollywood into action, allowing for the production of more movies with black casts and filmmakers. Maybe. This is Hollywood, after all.
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.
There was no question of whether or not 'Thor: The Dark World' was going to open at number one this weekend. Of course it was. The big question was whether it would get a post-'Avengers' bump, or if it would do similar business to its 2011 predecessor. Question answered: it got a bump and a pretty good one, too.
How exactly do you bounce back from a critical and financial bomb as big as 'Battleship'? If you're director Peter Berg, you go make 'Lone Survivor,' a war film based on true events that's already started generating extremely positive pre-release buzz. The newest trailer for the film has arrived and we certainly hope the finished film is as intense as it looks here.
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