We’ve reached the doldrums of August, where studios release the titles not marketable enough for the summer movie season and not quality enough for serious award consideration. That means an odd mixture of horror films, formerly prestigious movies that have lost a little bit of their luster, and absolute junk just looking for a few screens to dominate for a couple of weeks. Oh, and what do you know? That perfectly describes this weekend’s new releases! Gee!
Leonardo DiCaprio has made a career out of playing historical individuals who were too smart for their own good. From Catch Me If You Can to The Aviator to J. Edgar to The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio’s niche is to play fiercely intelligent men whose vision often exceeded their grasp. So who better to play someone as notoriously ahead of his time — and just as notoriously impatient when it came to finishing projects — as Leonardo da Vinci? The world-renowned painter, architect, and inventor will apparently be the subject of an upcoming biography, one that DiCaprio’s production company quickly snapped up before it even hit bookshelves.
With two new releases and a third movie switching from a limited to a wide release, this was a weekend of big changes at the box office. Gone are familiar stalwarts like Wonder Woman and Baby Driver, and in its place are (with respect) the also-rans of summer, a few genre-driven films looking to carve out a name for themselves in a time of year devoid of major blockbuster releases. Here are the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
Be honest with me: did you really want to see a picture of The Emoji Movie at the top of this article? You had to be hoping that Atomic Blonde or Dunkirk would hang strong enough to keep The Emoji Movie from finishing in the top spot of its opening weekend, right? Well, good news for you: it’s not the highest-grossing movie in America this weekend! Has there ever in the history of Hollywood been a box office one-two as disparate as Dunkirk and The Emoji Movie? Actually, don’t answer that, I don’t want to know. Here’s the projected grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
As with any landmark television show, one of the fun parts of revisiting Downton Abbey is seeing the number of careers it launched. Abbey served as a pretty incredible pipeline of talented British actors and actresses, all of whom seem to be landing solidly on their feet in Hollywood. That’s the good news for Abbey fans: the bad news is that with increased success comes increased scheduling difficulty. This wasn’t a series like Firefly where you basically only needed to lock down a handful of actors; to do Downton Abbey right, you’d want to bring in a dozen-plus members of the original cast, and that’s an increasingly tough proposition.
While Colossal may not have broken box office records, it was a welcome reminder that Anne Hathaway deserved better than whatever rom-com hell we’d locked her in for the past few years. In fact, as Lauren Duca recently pointed out on Twitter, now would be a perfect time revisit our opinions of the actress altogether, dating all the way back to her breakout role in The Princess Diaries. I mean, it can’t be a coincidence that now that we’re learning to appreciate Hathaway again, we’re suddenly getting talk of another Princess Diaries movie. These strange things happen all the time.
One of the underrated aspects of Marvel’s cinematic universe is its overabundance of good characters. Take Hayley Atwell’s Agent Carter, for example. Most other major movie franchises would jump at the opportunity to have a character as beloved as Peggy Carter; for Marvel, fairly or unfairly, she’s a character they can afford to leave behind. That is, until it was announced that Captain Marvel would take place sometime in the 1990s, opening the door for Atwell’s Carter to appear once more in the MCU. Would she be interested in coming back to play the character? You’d better believe it.
What did you see this weekend? Was it the dour World War II epic? The raunchy New Orleans sex comedy? Or the movie where Cara Delevingne shoves her head into a telepathic jellyfish’s butt? Truly, with options like this, anyone who complains about the death of cinema has no idea what they’re talking about. Anyways, here’s the box office numbers through Sunday afternoon:
Say what you will about Warner Bros., but they’ve always saved some of their best Justice League footage for Comic-Con. Last year we were treated to our first extended look at the DCEU entry; this year the studio has raised the stakes, giving us some actual footage of the Justice League villain in action. Oh, and this trailer also seems to emphasize the heck out of the world of Wonder Woman - including a scene set entirely in Themyscira - indicating that they know exactly who their most popular superhero is going forward. It’s probably not a coincidence that there’s more Gal Gadot in this trailer than anyone else.
For many people who grew up in the 1990s, Home Alone is a film that ages alongside them. When you’re a child, you feel an immediate kinship with Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin, sharing in his delight at being able to run around the house entirely rule-free. The older you get, though, the more you find yourself goggling at the actions of John Heard and Catherine O’Hara‘s parents. How on earth could they manage to leave their youngest child behind? Was it really that easy to breeze through airport security in the ‘90s? Why do I still feel so sympathetic towards them even after all that?
Who would you rather fight, a million spider-sized ape or one ape-sized spider? It’s a question that’s been haunting my mind since, oh, about an hour ago when I started to look up the box office numbers for this past weekend. And while I might not be any closer to solving my riddle, I can at least say this: when it comes to week-old spiders versus brand new primates, the primates are destined to win. Here’s the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
You know those rare moments when everyone on the internet seems to be talking about the same thing? Sports, politics, entertainment, whatever… those are the moments that make social media both a blessing and a curse. Take, for instance, a talented (if not slightly unknown) actress named Jodie Whittaker. If you were to go to Google Trends right now and look up her name, you’d see a sudden spike in searches, indicating that everyone everywhere is suddenly obsessed with learning more about her career. Why on earth could that be?
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