Which would you expect to win the Fourth of July weekend: the Disney-produced, Johnny Depp-starring revival of an iconic American hero or the sequel to a French-made, Steve Carell-starring animated movie about a lovable supervillain? Well, it looks like American audiences simply aren't interested in westerns, even the uber-expensive ones starring Captain Jack Sparrow with a bird on his head. 'Despicable Me 2' destroyed 'The Lone Ranger' over the holiday weekend. Like, totally wrecked it. Mercilessly.
What happens when two new releases that look like sure-things smash into the unstoppable wall that is a Pixar movie? Well, you get one second place hit and one severe disappointment. 'The Heat' still looks good next to the continued success of 'Monsters University,' but it made 'White House Down' stumbling at the starting line look all the more horrible.
Zombies may be really hot right now, but there's one thing that is (and probably always will be) a bigger deal: Pixar. Brad Pitt's 'World War Z' performed quite well in its opening weekend, but even the biggest zombie movie of all time couldn't keep pace with 'Monsters University.'
After months of feverish anticipation and a marketing campaign that left everyone at ScreenCrush practically speechless, 'Man of Steel' has arrived (amidst a flurry of mixed reviews) and taken its place at the top of the box office chart. Although the latest Superman film broke June box office records, it's yet to be seen whether or not the film is truly prepared for the long road ahead.
How rare is it for a Will Smith sci-fi blockbuster to not open at number one at the box office? Also, how horrible must it feel for a Will Smith sci-fi blockbuster to not only get beaten by the second week of a long running franchise about fast cars, but by a magician thriller headlined by Jesse Eisenberg?
What looked like one of the big box office showdowns of the summer turned out to not be battle at all. Not only did 'Fast and Furious 6' take the number one spot at the box office, it did it while shattering records, leaving 'The Hangover Part 3' coughing on its exhaust.
When is a $70 million opening not a success? When its predecessor opened to $75 million four years ago. This is the predicament facing 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' which opened at number one at box office while being something of a disappointment.
No one expected 'The Great Gatsby' to take number one at the box office over 'Iron Man 3' this weekend, but it did the next best thing: it opened huge at number two. There is no shame in this silver medal.
Since it's produced so quickly, SNL will never not take advantage of any holiday that arrives near its air date. That meant that last night's episode saw a handful of mom-themed sketches in honor of Mother's Day! The first of them was a great fake commercial for a flower delivery service starring the terrific Kristen Wiig. Check it out below.
Even after all of these years, SNL does fake commercials better than everyone else. However, last night's New Balance commercial parody is the cream of the crop -- it's hard to remember the last time the show made a fake ad that was this funny and spot-on. Check it out below.
Some will call this a slow weekend, but it may be better to think of it as the calm before the storm. Next week, the summer movie season begins and people are saving their pennies for 'Iron Man 3,' so it's not really surprising that this was an uneventful couple of days at the multiplex. At least the folks behind 'Pain and Gain' can be glad that their film led an otherwise quiet weekend.
Tom Cruise and science fiction are a powerful combination. Although the opening weekend of 'Oblivion' didn't break any records big or small, it's a more than solid start for a non-franchise, non-sequel, non-reboot. That's a sad statement on the current state of Hollywood, but that's another topic for another day.
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