Category Archives: General

Mockingjay Flies High-ish – Biff Bam Pop’s Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up Report

It was a big weekend at the box office, but not quite as big as thought it would be. Here’s what went down.

jennifer-lawrence-the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-1
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
debut in theatres this weekend and, as expected, rocketed to the top, with an impressive $123 million. It’s not a number to sneeze at, but it is actually below the opening gross for both the first Hunger Games, and its follow-up, Catching Fire, which debut with $152 million and $158 million, respectively. I’d chalk this lower number up to the fact that the film finale is still a year away; splitting things in two takes a bit of excitement away, excitement that will surely return next year at this time when Mockingjay Part 2 is released.

As for the rest of the top five, Big Hero 6 was in second place with $20 million. Interstellar grabbed third with $15 million, while Dumb and Dumber To fell to fourth place with $13.8 million. Gone Girl closed things out in fifth with $2.8 million.

So, to recap, here were our predictions:

1) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – $155 million
2) Big Hero 6 – $21 million
3) Interstellar – $19 million
4) Dumb and Dumber To – $17 million
5) Gone Girl – $3 million

And here’s how the weekend went down:

1) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – $123 million
2) Big Hero 6 – $20 million
3) Interstellar – $15 million
4) Dumb and Dumber To – $13.8 million
5) Gone Girl – $2.8 million

Next weekend sees the release of Horrible Bosses 2 and Penguins of Madagascar. Be sure to check back on Friday to see our predictions!

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Don’t Be Weird, It’s Just Toronto’s Raina

Earlier this month, Indie 88 afternoon drive host Raina Douris was voted the best radio broadcaster in Toronto by NOW Magazine readers. For those of us in TO and who have been around the radio biz (which I have for quite a few years now), it’s a pretty awesome accolade. In my mind, it’s well-deserved. If we’re not listening to SiriusXM in our car on the ride home (and hey, we often are, since they pay the bills and satellite radio rules), we’ve got Indie 88 going. Though it’s only been broadcasting for a little over a year, the station is a fresh coat of paint on the alternative terrestrial radio format, and Raina’s a huge part of it. Plus, I like her as a person. We’ve met a handful of times, my favourite being a fun discussion about Talking Heads at a Toronto bar a few years ago. Oh, and did I mention she’s my daughter’s favourite DJ to boot.

Along with her day gig, Raina’s also a visual artist, and currently has a show going on at Fountain in downtown Toronto. I looked at her work at her website, liked what I saw, and sent her a message to see if she wanted to chat about her art, radio and more. She did, we did, and here’s what came out of our email conversation.

Raina-610x406

So, you’re the Queen of Indie Rock broadcasting in Toronto AND a visual artist – how’d that wind up happening?

Oooh! You flatter me! Thank you! Art was my first love. I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to hold a crayon. In grade one, we had to do a project on what we wanted to be when we grew up – I said “an artist.” I drew myself in a beret, holding a paint palette. But when it came time to choose a direction after I graduated from high school, and it came down to illustration vs. radio, I chose radio… partly because I knew that I would never stop making visual art on my own. And I haven’t.

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Blue on Black: Pet Sematary (1989)

Speaking of movies that ruined my childhood, the 1989 film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novel Pet Sematary is right up there.

Pet SemataryThe Creed family – man of the house Louis (Dale Midkiff), his wife Rachel (Denise Crosby), their daughter Ellie (Blaze Berdahl), and their son Gage (Miko Hughes) – move to Ludlow, Maine from Chicago, Illinois in the hopes of enjoying a simpler life. Almost immediately upon arriving at their new home, they meet their neighbour Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne aka Herman Munster) who seems genuinely kind and helpfully knowledgable about their new surroundings. Louis is a respected doctor, his wife loves him, and his kids adore him. Life is damn near perfect for Louis Creed. Except for the fact that everything is about to turn to total shit for the poor guy.

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Leiki Veskimets On…the Fight Club DVD Commentary

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favourite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on…something they love.

Marla Fight Club

DVD special features are not widely commented on in the media since DVD releases are not much of a breaking or interesting story.  Nor are the commentaries automatically included, far less so nowadays with movie streaming popularity.  To that end, it often seems like a bit of a gift to the viewer who enjoyed the film or simply wanted to know more about how it was made.  Sadly, those that do exist tend to fall into two categories.  Either they are dry and dull with huge gaps between comments or, those where too many of the cast gets together, open some beers and proceed to giggle, talk over each other, and continuously fall behind the pace of the film.  Neither option is particularly enjoyable.  But a rare few are the gems that are the “Fight Club” DVD commentary, narrated primarily by leads Brad Pitt and Edward Norton along with director David Fincher, with the addition of a few bits (recorded separately) by Helena Bonham Carter.

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The Mockingjay Will Soar – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions

Let’s be quick and to the point – we know The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is going to top the box office with oodles of cash this weekend. How much will it bring is the only question. Here’s our prediction:

newmockingjay_largeBoth of the previous installments in the Jennifer Lawrence staring series of films have done gangbusters their opening weekends and Mockingjay should no doubt do the same. Look for a first place debut with $155 million, for the biggest opening of the year.

As for the rest of the top five, Big Hero 6 will be in second place with $21 million. Interstellar will be close behind with $19 million, with Dumb and Dumber To following in fourth place with $17 million. Gone Girl will close things out in fifth with $3 million.

So, to recap, here are our predictions:

1) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – $155 million
2) Big Hero 6 – $21 million
3) Interstellar – $19 million
4) Dumb and Dumber To – $17 million
5) Gone Girl – $3 million

Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how the weekend turns our!

Dumb And Dumber To To The Top – Biff Bam Pop’s Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up Report

It was an extremely tight race at the the box office this weekend, and things may shift slightly once the final numbers come in on Monday, but as of Sunday afternoon, the big new release managed to hit the top. Here’s what went down:

dumb-and-dumber-2-trailer-photos-2Despite a poor reaction from critics (not that it would matter with a film like this), Dumb and Dumber To had a strong debut, bringing in $38 million to claim the number one spot this weekend. It’s Jim Carrey’s biggest opening in over a decade, and proof that sometimes revisiting an old favourite can turn out financially well. I’m skeptical that the film will have legs, but it should manage to make close to $100 million before it ends its theatrical run.

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Blue On Black: I Hate The Reflecting Skin (1990)

I enjoy words. Adjectives are especially my favourite. I take so much pleasure in reading a sentence about food and being able to know exactly how it smells, how it tastes. Or a paragraph about the beach, and feeling like I’m right there, smelling the ocean, hearing the waves. It’s a special kind of writing. Sometimes less is more, sure, but for the most part, I’m a firm believer in over-describing. Give me the dirty details. Tell me everything. I must know all! The same applies to talking. I’m definitely an over-sharer, it’s just something I’ve come to accept, and (most of) those around me have come to accept it as well. If you ask how my day was, you’ll never get a simple, “Good.” You will get it all – who said what, how they said it, how someone walked (impressions included), and on and on. I’m a storyteller, what do you want from me? Anyway, the point of this pointless ramble is this: Since I first saw The Reflecting Skin, which was probably when I was about 7 or 8, I’ve only ever been able to describe it one way, with one word. If I’m asked about this film or if it comes up in conversation, I am only able to say this about it: It’s gross.

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Andy Burns On…Jodorowsky’s Dune

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favourite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on…something they love.

Have I got the ultimate trip for you. Totally legal. Won’t leave you feeling jittery.

Jodorowsky’s Dune, man. Dig it.

Ok, that’s about all the hipster talk I can handle. But listen when I tell you that the documentary about the failed attempt at adapting Frank Herbert’s epic science fiction tale is one of the most compelling films I’ve ever seen. A movie that’s fingerprints are all over the science fiction of the last 40 years, even though it was never created.

That, my friends, is epic.

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