Category Archives: General

“Hidden Figures” Stays at #1; Most New Releases Bomb

As the Martin Luther King Jr. Long Weekend rolls on in the US, the three-day weekend numbers have started coming in, and to be honest, there are some real surprises when it comes to this week’s new releases. Here’s what went down:

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Hidden Figures held on to the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row, bringing in an estimated $19.6 million. The reviews and accolades have certainly helped this film find a wide audience, and it should continue to do well as we head into Oscar season.

Horror film The Bye Bye Man had a surprisingly strong debut, landing in second place with an estimated $14.5 million, an especially stellar showing considering the absolutely horrible reviews the film received.

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“Patriots Day” Looks to Top the Box Office This Weekend

Things should get interesting this weekend, as a bevy of new releases are storming theatres. Will any of them top the box office? Here are our predictions:

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The most high profile new release this weekend is Patriots Day starring Mark Wahlberg in a film about the tragic Boston Marathon terrorist attack. Wahlberg + Boston should equal a strong film and a decent showing, especially at this transitional time in the U.S.. Audiences need heroes to cheer for and Patriots Day should be able to service those needs. Look for a first place showing with $21 million.

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“Rogue One” and “Hidden Figures” battle for the top of the box office

It was a tight race at the box office this weekend, as the reigning champ had to take on a strong showing from a new release. Here’s what went down:

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story appears to be the winner of the weekend with $21.97 million, raising its total to $477 million. BUT, new release Hidden Figures came on very strong this weekend and, as of Sunday night, is currently sitting at $21.8 million. So it’s a tight race, and come Monday and the box office actuals arrive, things could wind up very different.

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‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ Looks to Suck the Life Out Of ‘Rogue One’

It’s a brand new year, and there are some brand new movies looking to get your dollars this weekend at the box office. Will any of them muster up enough force to knock down the current champ? Here’s our predictions:

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Underworld: Blood Wars is the most high profile new release this weekend, the fifth entry in a franchise that’s surprisingly still going strong. Somewhat, anyway, as the previous instalments have only done ‘ok’ in terms of box office returns, though they haven’t crossed that magic $100 million mark in North America. There’s an audience for this latest film, but it may be one that decides to watch it at home rather than in theatres. Look for a third place debut for Underworld: Blood Wars with $15 million.

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“Rogue One” wins the weekend, becomes second biggest film of 2016

The three days estimates are in for this weekend at the box office, and there weren’t too many surprises. Here’s what went down:

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story held on to the top spot for a third weekend, bringing in an estimated $50 million to raise its total to $425 million, making it the second biggest film of 2016, behind only Finding Dory, another Disney film, which ended its run with $486 million. There’s a very likely chance that Rogue One will cross the $500 million mark before it ends its own run in theatres.

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Andy Burns’ 5 Favourite Films of 2016

This is in no way a definitive best of list, since I didn’t see nearly as many films as so many others did in 2016. Instead, I’m running down (in no specific order) the five films that made an impact on me as I watched them. The ones that left me thinking about them when the final credits rolled. I have no doubt many will disagree with at least one of the films on my list…so let’s kick off with it, shall we?

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1) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice The Ultimate Cut – the haters gonna hate hate hate, and there was certainly so much to take issue with when Zack Snyder’s finished cut of the first big screen meeting between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel was released back in March. An incoherent script was the biggest problem, though many had issues with the dark tone of the film as well. While the lalter was a decision that will forever be up for debate, the former is corrected ten-fold with the Ultimate Cut, a three hour version of Batman v Superman that fleshes out character motivations, introduced new characters and gives Henry Cavill so much more to do. Snyder delivers epic filmmaking with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s my superhero film of the year.

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2) Captain America: Civil War – the Russo Brothers directed this third Captain America film that is in so many ways vastly superior to last year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. They manage multiple characters and gleefully introduces Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (not to mention Chadwick Bosman’s Black Panther). While the ending feels somewhat anticlimactic to me, this is still dramatic filmmaking that manages to tell a contained story while still pushing the MCU to its next big event (in this case, the upcoming Infinity War film).

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3) La La Land – you can read my review from last week over here, but I don’t mind repeating myself by telling you what a beautiful film this is. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are brilliant as young lovers in this outstanding musical that feels contemporary while still pulling on nostalgic heartstrings as well. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen.

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4) Hell or High Water – I walked out of this film last summer knowing I’d seen one of my favourites of the year. Chris Pine and Ben Foster are outstanding as brothers determined to pull off a heist and screw over the banks that that had played hard and fast with the 99%. Jeff Bridges is the small town cop who is chasing after them. What I thought going in was a Western wound up being a crime film set in the West, and that’s a very different thing. Here’s hoping Hell or High Water and its leads aren’t forgotten at Oscar time.

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5) Blood Father – amazingly, I watched this Mel Gibson film on December 30th, allowing it to make my list just in time. In Blood Father, Gibson plays an ex-con on parole who is forced back to his old ways when his missing daughter calls for help. Gibson is fantastic in the role, a reminder of what a chameleon-like actor he is. This is a sensible crime film filled with believable characters and some heavy scenes of violence. It’s by far my favourite action movie of 2016.

“Rogue One” to see out 2016 strong

There are no new big releases this weekend at theatres, which is always a rarity, so it will be interesting to see how the final showdown of 2016 holdovers shapes out. Here are our predictions:

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been performing well, and should be able to hold on to the top spot for a third weekend. Look for it to bring in $58 million over the three-day weekend.

Sing has been a hit for Illumination, and should hold steady in second place with $40 million.

Passengers will continue to underperform, and will likely bring in $15 million to land in third place.

The James Franco/Bryan Cranston comedy Why Him? will hit fourth place with $11 million.

Finally, the floundering Assassin’s Creed will close things out in fifth place with $9 million.

So, to recap, here are our predictions:

1) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $58 million
2) Sing – $40 million
3) Passengers – $15 million
4) Why Him? – $11 million
5) Assassin’s Creed – $9 million

Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how the weekend turns out! Happy New Years!

The bell tolls for Civil War II in the Wednesday Run

Today brings the release of what has to be considered one of the most anticlimactic event series in years, as Marvel’s Civil War II comes to its conclusion.

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Civil War II #8
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by: David Marquez
Marvel Comics

There’s no question that Civil War II has had a lot to live up. The first series, crafted by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, is a classic piece of sequential storytelling, and its repercussions were felt for the decade that followed it. Anything that would follow would certainly have to deliver something memorable and groundbreaking.  Read the rest of this entry

Lots Of Love For “La La Land”

This Christmas Day was a little bit different for me. It was the first as an officially separated dad. Last year, while my former Queen and I had already decided to part ways (amicably, by the way – she’s a good lady and we get along great), we were still living in the same house with our little princess, and while we spent the afternoon apart, we still had the morning and evening together. This year, the three of us did morning presents together and then I went on my way, as the two gals had church and the Queen’s family to visit with.

How would I keep busy? This year it seemed important to have a place to be, for at least a few hours, anyway. Last year, in the separate time, I went to visit former BBP writer P-dawg and his family, where we partook in the traditional Jewish Christmas meal – Chinese food. With my buddy off and away, this time out my hangout partner wound up being my mom. The two of us decided to take in a movie, the biggest buzz film of awards season – La La Land.

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“Rogue One” Holds Strong; New Movies Flounder

It was a huge holiday weekend at the box office for one holdover, while three new releases didn’t really resonate with audiences. Here’s what went down:

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story held on to the top spot over the three-day weekend, bringing in an estimated $70 million. By the end of Boxing Day, the film will be sitting well past the $300 million range after just over a week in theaters. While it won’t reach the numbers we saw with The Force Awakens, Rogue One is still on its way to $400+ million gross.

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