Category Archives: movies

It’s a Home run for Dreamworks at the box office

Well, it was a huge weekend at the box office, and not nearly the tight race that we anticipated. As you’ll see by the numbers, families were clearly starved for some fare, at one film delivered above all others. Here’s what went down:

The Dreamworks animated film Home had a stellar opening weekend, bringing in $54 million to claim the top spot at the box office. While reviews have been decidedly down the middle for this one, families didn’t care, as they flocked to theaters. Home should enjoy a nice little run at the box office over the next few weeks until the summer box office season kicks off May 1st.

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The Void: A call to arms…and maybe a leg

The following is an open letter to horror fans everywhere:

Hi there. How ya doin’? Surviving? Got your taxes done? Good.

Boy, sure are an awful lot of projects asking for your support via crowdfuding, aren’t there?

Kickstarter. Indiegogo. Crowdfunder. It can be a challenge finding the ones to donate your money to.
Well, I’m about to point you in the direction of one that is more than worthy of your attention.

Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, two-fifths of the Astron-6 collective, are collaborating on the upcoming horror flick, THE VOID. It’s not a sequel, remake or reboot, but an original horror flick. And they’re reaching out for help in funding the extensive practical FX budget.

You heard me. Practical.
Rubber. Latex. Slime.
Just like Dad used to make (and if that’s true, congrats on having a way-cool dad).

We’ve heard it (and probably said it ourselves) in our little circle.
” I wish they still made monster movies with practical FX. I’m so sick of CGI. Etc, etc.”

To save time (and valuable wordspace) , I’m just going to leave this here for your perusal.

I know, right? Kinda takes the wrinkle outta your shorts, donnit?

You want a return to the glory days of THE THING, AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE FLY?
You want more “body” in your “body horror”?
Well, here it is. And you can help make it happen.

As I type this, THE VOID has 10 days left in the campaign. And they’re close. So close, you can practically smell the latex from here. Take a look at a handful of the perks available for the taking.



Can’t afford the bigger donations? Got a penchant for doodles and prose?

May I present The Book Of The Void.

THE BOOK OF THE VOID is a project to more tangibly involve all of our patrons with the world of the film. Pledge at any perk level (including a new bare-bones $10 entry-level donation) and you’ll receive a blank template upon which you’ll be encouraged to fill up with creepy sketches and disturbing prose. Send the page back to us and we’ll include the page in an on-screen film-prop diary belonging to a member of the mysterious cult that figures in THE VOID”.

You’re probably asking yourself right now, ” Ron, why the hard-sell?”

Because I am a firm believer in the art of cheerleading. I believe (when it comes to art) that it’s more important to support the things you like than to rant about the things you hate. I also believe it’s even more important to support the things you want.

Original horror. Practical FX.
You KNOW you want this. I know I do.

Scrounge up your pocket change, forego that “half-latte, non-caff frappucino” for a couple of days (but don’t skip out on the bills – that’s not doing anybody any good).

Have I stoked the flames of philanthropy yet? If so, head on over HERE and give what you can.

Thanks for your time and consideration, Horror Nation. Together, we can make a better (and slimier) world for future generations.

Ron McKenzie
Writer and monster junkie

Will you Get Hard or go Home this weekend?

A powerhouse couple and a new animated flick are taking over theaters this weekend and looking for your money. Will either of them hit the top spot at the box office? Here are our predictions:

Get Hard is a comedy starring the reigning king of movie laughs, Kevin Hart and the one and only Will Ferrell. In theory, that should be enough to have this movie top all others this weekend, and it likely will do reasonably well, even as it battles middling reviews. Hart’s recent release, The Wedding Ringer, didn’t light up theaters, so it will certainly be interesting to see how Get Hard performs. Look for a first place debut with $33 million.

That is, if it can hold off the new animated feature, Home, starring the voices of Jim Parsons and Rhianna. Now, truth be told, I hadn’t heard too much about this new Dreamworks film until a few nights ago when my daughter and I came across the trailer, which she found absolutely hillarious (and I admit, I thought it was pretty funny as well). Families with younger children haven’t had anything to look forward to for a little while now, so Home could be the answer to parents’ prayers. Look for a second place showing right behing Get Hard with $31 million, with a good chance it could wind up in first place.

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Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd

You know how it goes. We all do it. The barista gets your name wrong, it’s awful. Rogers raises their internet rates again, it’s terrible. Kanye acts like an idiot at an awards show, again again. It’s appalling. But really, these complaints are the frills of cushy Western living. We’re pretty lucky to live in a society where we can freely bitch about these things (just don’t talk about the environment if you’re a Canadian government scientist, but nevermind). And it’s both astounding and so very depressing to see how easily such cherished freedoms can be tossed aside by governments ostensibly founded on those very principles. What’s awful is being persecuted for your beliefs. What’s terrible is being unlawfully imprisoned for years without representation, a trial or even formal charges. What’s appalling is being held prisoner by a nation founded on basic rights, when that nation itself acknowledges your innocence, but then lacks the will to set you free. That truly is absurd, and it’s the unsettling reality that the documentary Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd sets out to reveal.

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Little divergence year to year for Insurgent

Hi gang – the box office wrap is going to be brief. Main reason is, I’m just wiped out. Here at Biff Bam Pop central, it’s been a busy few days. Our own Amanda Blue is in town with her fella, and we’ve been keeping busy eating, visiting and hittin the Toronto ComicCon, along with a wonderful BBP Pub Night with our other Toronto writers on Saturday night. So, I’m pooped, and not feleing too analytical.

Insurgent_posterI will say that our predictions about Insurgent was pretty much on the money, as the film opened in number one with $54 million, just $600,000 less than Divergent did last year. That’s not horrible, but as mentioned on Friday, you want to see franchises increase their opening weekend takes, and that just wasn’t accomplished here.

As for the rest of the top five, Cinderella fell to second place with $34.9 million. Run All Night was in third place with $5.1 million. The Gunman debut in fourth place with a lacklustre $5 million, while Kingsman: The Secret Service closed things out in fifth with $4.6 million.

So, to recap, here were our predictions:

1) Insurgent – $54 million
2) Cinderella – $35 million
3) Run All Night – $9.5 million
4) The Gunman – $9 million
5) Do You Believe? – $7 million

And here’s how the weekend turned out:

1) Insurgent – $54 million
2) Cinderella – $34.9 million
3) Run All Night – $5.1 million
4) The Gunman – $5 million
5) Kingsman – $4.6 million

Next weekend sees the release of Get Strong, Me sure to check on Friday to see our predictions.

Will Insurgent diverge from the success of the first film?

It’s the last weekend of March Break, so theaters should be packed, likely with families catching up on last week’s big release. But there are a few new films looking to score as well. Will they? Here’s our predictions:

The big new release is the second film in the Divergent series, Insurgent. The first film did strong business last year, bringing in $150 million in North America. Those aren’t The Hunger Games numbers, but it’s still enough to hope for a decent showing for Insurgent. Typically, you want to see your numbers go up with a second film, so that’s what Insurgent needs to do. However, I’m just not sure the hype is there. On that note, look for a first place showing with $54 million, the same amount Divergent debut with in 2014.

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Step into Gina Lee Ronhovde’s Boudoir

Last summer, when I was at the Twin Peaks Festival outside of Seattle, Washington, I met a woman named Gina Lee Ronhovde. It was very brief, on a bonus tour that her husband, Twin Peaks expert and filmmaker Josh Eisenstadt, took a few of us on. Through that, I became Facebook friends with them both, where I discovered that Gina herself is a filmmaker. On her page, she was often talking about her short film Boudoir, which stars Dominique Swain, who many of us know from Adrian Lyne’s outstanding mid-90s take on Nabokov’s Lolita. I asked Gina if I could see the film, which she graciously allowed and which, I’m happy to say, I really enjoyed. Boudoir has a cool, mysterious feel; there’s a definite David Lynch vibe throughout it, no surprise considering the filmmaker’s long love of Lynch’s work.

I was impressed with what my friend accomplished, and who she managed to have work on this writing and directorial effort that’s already been winning awards. I thought Gina would have a lot to talk about, and she did, as you can see from this email interview we did about Boudoir.

Andy Burns: When did you decide you wanted to make a short film?

Gina Lee Ronhovde: There wasn’t one moment (see below answers lol). I first learned filmmaking at the Los Angeles Film School and made short films while in school – one of them was a finalist for the Jay Leno show – and my graduating thesis short film Bereft Left went on to festivals and was nominated for awards. After graduation I worked at a variety of studios, management and production companies, and also on set – producing, writing, and script consulting. So, I had that background behind me already when I just suddenly decided to write something down one day.
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Audiences slip the glass slipper on Cinderella at the box office

The early weekend box office numbers are in and, as expected, one movie among all others managed to hit hard. Here’s what went down:


The live action version of Disney’s classic Cinderella had a fantastic opening weekend, debuting in first place with $72 million. This one definitely had an audience desperate for family fare, and with some decent reviews going along with it, Kenneth Branagh’s film certainly scored and scored big time. I don’t think anyone really ever thought of Branagh as a blockbuster film director, but with two big hits with Thor and now Cinderella under his belt, he’s certainly become a go-to for Disney. Could a return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe be next? With this sort of acclaim, I wouldn’t be surprised.

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Will you pick Cinderella or Liam Neeson this weekend?

Any plans on taking in a ball this weekend? Ok, I know. That was weak. Let’s ignore the attempts at movie humour and jump straight into what’s happening at the box office this weekend. There’s a sure fire new number one entering the fray, but just how much will it bring in, as March Break kicks off in North America? Here’s our prediction:


Director Kenneth Branagh teams up with Disney for a live action version of the classic Cinderella. Consider this along the lines of Maleficent, but far more kid friendly, which should make it prime for family viewing. Reviews have been positive and, as the father of a little girl, I feel confident in saying that princess (or would-be ones) always have a built-in audience. Look for a strong debut weekend for Cinderella, with $62 million and a lock on first place.

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Trailer Time – Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer 3

A brand new trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron just dropped and, boy, things don’t look good at all for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Check it out below and let us know what you think!


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