Recapping Last Weekend
Lone Survivor, the Navy SEAL movie starring Mark Wahlberg based on Marcus Luttrell’s 2007 book, ran away with the top spot at the box office lastweekend. A robust marketing campaign and rave reviews led to an estimated weekend box office take of $37.8 million. It’s the largest January opening since Cloverfield brought in $40 million in 2008. Frozen finished second with another $14.7 million to push its domestic take to $320 million. 55% of its worldwide $714 million worldwide take has come from foreign markets. The Legend of Hercules opened in third with $8.87 million and The Wolf of Wall Street picked up $8.84 million to take the fourth spot. American Hustle rounded out the top 5 with $8.3 million.
Opening This Weekend
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Chris Pine makes his debut as Tom Clancy’s signature character. He becomes the fourth man to play the role over five movies. Alec Baldwin originally played Ryan in 1990’s The Hunt for Red October. Harrison Ford took over in Patriot Games (1992) and 1994’s Clear and Present Danger before Ben Affleck in the 2002 film The Sum of All Fears. The Jack Ryan character was first introduced by Clancy in the 1984 novel, The Hunt For Red October and has been in eight books since. The literary Jack Ryan goes from stockbroker to CIA analyst to CIA Director to Vice President to President of the United States.
Unfortunately, Shadow Recruit only uses the Jack Ryan name. It borrows from Clancy’s character’s biography but otherwise is made up by screenwriter Hossein Amini. I realize that great books don’t translate directly into great movies but it really pisses me off the Hollywood bigwigs apparently royally suck at taking these characters from paper to film. The Jack Ryan character is pretty awesome and has a great story. Most reviews say this film is just there. It’s actually gotten decent reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and people want to see it. Odds are if you’ve never heard of Jack Ryan before, you will enjoy this movie. If you’ve read one of the books, this movie will leave you hanging. Shadow Recruit uses the Jack Ryan name to sell a few extra tickets. It could be just be called Shadow Recruit and drop the Jack Ryan name.
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart star in this buddy cop adventure. Forbes called it a “funny comedy but bad movie”. If you’re going to see this movie then you know what to expect and will leave the theater feeling like you got your money’s worth.
It’s a horror film starring Matt Saracen from Friday Night Lights. That’s not the most noteworthy thing about this movie. That would be this marketing campaign. Allison Miller play’s Saracen’s new wife who apparently gets impregnated by the devil or something. If you like horror movies and the whole “found-footage” concept, this movie is for you.
The Nut Job
Already took the kids to see Frozen? Here’s the next film to take them to. It’s apparently a good movie to keep the younger ones occupied while you try to take a nap in the theater. Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl all lend their voices to the characters, but that doesn’t appear to help the screenplay at all.
If you watched the Golden Globes you heard about this movie. It received three nominations, including a Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor. It won Best Screenplay. Her just received and Academy Awards nomination for Best Picture along with American Hustle, and The Wolf of Wall Street among others. Scarlett Johansson is the voice of the home operating system that Phoenix falls in love with. The film deals with the emotional connection made between people and their operating systems, if you can wrap your head around that one. It’s the first screenplay written solely by Spike Jonze. Dude did pretty good for his debut. When you enter the theater, just let go and enjoy this one.
August: Osage County
You likely heard about this one at the Golden Globes too. Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts both got nominations for their roles. Both have also been nominated for an Oscar for her performance as well. Tracy Letts won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with this dark comedy play. The Broadway version was performed 648 times.
Catch It Before It’s Gone
The “land of misfit movies” welcomes a host of award-nominated films this week. Nebraska and Captain Phillips arrive along with Dallas Buyer’s Club. Nebraska follows an elderly father who believes he won a $1 million dollar prize that he has to travel from his home in Montana to Nebraska to collect. His son is along for the ride when he can’t convince him it’s not real. If you can only see one film this weekend, see Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyer’s Club. He’s been nominated for an Oscar for his role. Here he is talking about the role and the movie. The film is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof and McConaughey went so far as to get the late Woodroof’s diary from his family.
Make It A Redbox Night
A host of new choices are available for the magical red boxes this week. Prisoners, The Butler, The Family and the newest Percy Jackson film are all available. You can’t go wrong with any of these films. Also check out Kick-Ass 2. The film made less than $29 million at the box office after Jim Carrey had some “holier-than-thou” moment and decided he never should have been in the film in the first place. That led to this awesome quote from Chloe Grace Moretz, the 16-year-old who plays Kick-Ass:
With all of these movies out at Redbox, it’s the perfect time to sign up for the Redbox Mobile Text Club for free movies.
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