13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Norm of the North and Ride Along 2 in movie theaters around St. Louis this weekend. Concussion and In The Heart of the Sea open at Keller 8, while Ted 2, Hotel Transylvannia 2, Fantastic 4, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension are among the movies now available to rent at Redbox.
Ride Along 2 premieres at MX Movies in downtown St. Louis this weekend. The Hateful Eight and The Revenant are also playing.
Don’t pay regular price for a ticket to see one of these new releases in the theater. Sign up now for MoviePass at MoviePass.com.
Recapping Last Weekend
Star Wars: The Force Awakens stayed strong in its fourth weekend of release. The seventh film in the franchise took the weekend box office crown with $42.35 million in ticket sales. The Revenant was close behind in its debut, coming in second with $39.8 million. Daddy’s Home took third place with $15 million in its third weekend. The Forest debuted in fourth place with $12.7 million, eclipsing its $10 million budget. Sisters rounded out the top five with $7.2 million in its fourth weekend.
While Sisters has been overshadowed by recent releases, it has done quite well with $75 million in receipts thus far against its budget of $30 million. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, released at the same time, has somehow earned about $1 million more during its theater run, but cost about about $90 million to make.
Opening This Weekend
Ride Along 2
The “Brothers-in-Law”, Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, are back in this sequel to their 2014 hit, Ride Along. The original was made for $25 million and opened with $41.5 million in box office receipts on its way to $135 million at the domestic box office. Many feel Ride Along 2 will end weekend box office crown streak of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Benjamin Bratt steps in to play the main villain in the sequel. He told Cinema Blend that he drew inspiration for his character from the Dos Equis spokesperson and The Most Interesting Man In The World marketing campaign.
Olivia Munn plays detective Maya Cruz, who teams up with Hart and Ice Cube on the film’s case.
Kevin Hart and Ice Cube have seemingly been all over promoting this movie, including helping Conan O’ Brien teach one of his staffers how to drive. Kevin Hart and Olivia Munn will also do battle tonight on Lip Sync Battle. The pair even showed up in St. Louis where they appeared at a then-St. Louis Rams game and tried some St. Louis food.
Slyvester Stallone received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Creed, but the film was largely shut out.
Todd M. Thatcher predicts a $45.5 million opening weekend for Ride Along 2.
Ride Along 2 trailer
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, directed by Michael Bay is the story of the September 11, 2012 attack terrorist attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The movie is based on 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchel Zuckoff and the Annex Security Team. The Annex Security Team was comprised of American military contractors tasked with protecting the Annex CIA station in Benghazi. The attack, which left four Americans dead, has become the a main political issue as Hillary Clinton, then the U.S. Secretary of State, runs for the U.S. presidency.
Kris “Tanto” Paronto, one of members of the CIA-hired team of Americans hired to protect the compound that has publicly come forward, has said Bay’s movie stick close to the book that he and his fellow time members helped write. In the many government investigations into Benghazi, government reports have been at issue with the events transcribed in the book. Events in the movie also refute some claims media outlets like Fox News have made about the events.
Reviews for 13 Hours have been generally positive thus far. The film premiered at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Reports have been floating around the internet that “thousands” of people left the premiere. That number can’t be substantiated and the people that did leave appear to have left because of sound and seating issues at the stadium. After all, they were seeing the movie in a football stadium, not a movie theater.
USA Today gave the movie 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. EW, on the other side, gave it a C+. When seeing this film, keep in mind it is based on the accounts of people who were actually in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.
Todd M. Thatcher predicts a $29.3 million opening weekend for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi trailer
Norm of the North
Norm of the North becomes the newest animated children’s flick on the board with its opening this weekend. Rob Schneider, Heather Graham and Ken Jeong are among those that lend their voices to the characters. Ken Jeong is also in Ride Along 2 this weekend.
Jen Chaney writes in The Washington Post that Norm of the North “goes south, fast”. I’m assuming that Jen Chaney is older than ten years old, so I wouldn’t trust her review all that month. Films like this are targeted at a certain demographic. The trailer below has some laughs and some cute moments, so I’ll probably see it myself thanks to Movie Pass.
Todd M. Thatcher predicts a $9.3 million opening weekend for Norm of the North.
Norm of the North trailer
Catch It Before It’s Gone
Keller 8 Cinema in South County welcomes Concussion and In The Heart of the Sea this week.If you plan on seeing Concussion, remember it is poor form to throw things at the screen. So, no matter how much it makes you hate the NFL even more, don’t do that.
Make It A Redbox Night
Redbox welcomes a host of new movies to their magical red machines this week. Among those are Ted 2, Hotel Transylvannia 2, Fantastic 4, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension.
Ted 2 Red Band trailer
2016 Oscar Nominees Announced
The 2016 Academy Awards nominees were announced earlier today. Leonardo DiCaprio and The Revenant picked up multiple nominations such as Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hardy), Best Directing (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Best Film Editing and more. The Big Short, The Martian and Mad Max: Fury Road also picked up multiple nominations.
The list of nominees was criticized shortly after the announcement for being “too white” with #OscarsSoWhite becoming a popular hashtag on Twitter. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy, said she was disappointed in the lack of diversity among nominees.
The Oscar award winners will be announced on Sunday, February 28 on ABC.
Alan Rickman Dies At 69
Actor Alan Rickman has passed away from cancer at the age of 69. Rickman played the iconic Hans Gruber in the first Die Hard movie. He also played Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series of films. Rickman has 68 film credits to his name. He also won a Golden Globe and a Primetime Emmy for his 1996 role in Rasputin.
Miranda Sings Gets Netflix Deal
Netflix is giving Miranda Sings and eight-episode comedy series. Colleen Ballinger-Evans created the Miranda Sings character on YouTube and made the announcement of the deal in character in a video titled “I’m Pregnant”. The comedy series will be titled Haters Back Off.
Miranda Sings Netflix announcement
Friends Cast Reuniting, Just Not For A New Show
You probably saw news of the Friends cast reuniting spread around social media. The cast of the hit series is reuniting, just not for a new show. Ross, Joey, Chandler, Monica and Phoebe are expected to all be involved in a 75th birthday tribute to James Burrows, who directed 15 episodes of Friends, as well as many other television episodes.
It was announced today that Chandler (Matthew Perry) will not be part of this reunion. A representative for Perry said that he will be in London preparing for his role in a new play and NBC was well aware of that when they made the original announcement.
René Angélil, Celine Dion’s Husband, Dies At 73
René Angélil, the former manager and current husband of Celine Dion, passed away earlier today at the age of 73 after battling throat cancer. Angélil first met Dion when she was just 12 back in 1980. Before succumbing to this throat cancer, he battled cancer two other times in the past. The couple had already planned his death and funeral arrangements back in August when Dion spoke to USA Today. It was in that interview that Celine revealed that her husband wanted to die in the arms.
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