There's nothing like a family-friendly animated movie to help shake off the September doldrums and 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' performed as expected. Although Sony's big release effortlessly took the number one spot, this weekend had a few other bright spots, namely a handful of independent films doing quite well in more limited release.
The latest '+1' trailer may initially make the film look like a fairly normal "teens go partying and learn life lessons" movie, but there's a lot more going on. After all, a movie about a party is just another teen flick, but a movie about a party where a freak supernatural occurrence causes a group of friends to go back in time and relive the party with their past selves is something else altogether.
The 'Toy Story' gang may have had a memorable cinematic farewell with the wonderful 'Toy Story 3,' but we're not done with Bonnie's (formerly Andy's) toys quite yet! The Woody, Buzz and the rest of the group are going to make their television debut with 'Toy Story of Terror,' a made-for-TV Halloween special that will attempt to bring some of that Pixar magic to the small screen. The first two promos for the special have arrived and ... it looks like more 'Toy Story.' That's a good thing, right?
Dangerous car chases through heavily populated urban environments has always been a cornerstone of the wonderfully ludicrous 'Fast and Furious' series and the latest film is certainly not going to be an exception. Filming is currently underway on 'Fast and Furious 7' and the production is looking for some fans to fill out some key scenes.
James Wan has done it again. For the second time this year, a horror film that he's directed has opened to over $40 million, securing his position as the reigning king of mainstream horror cinema. He may be taking a break from the genre to direct 'Fast and Furious 7,' but after the jaw-dropping success of 'The Conjuring' and now 'Insidious Chapter 2,' you just know he'll be back. No one is bringing the audiences in quite like Wan.
Oh, and there were some other movies that made some money, too.
The last time director Roland Emmerich talked about 'Independence Day 2,' original franchise star Will Smith was not going to be involved. At all. He was "too expensive," a "marquee name" who would be "too much." But a few months (and some time to think about the bomb that was 'After Earth') can make all the difference in the world -- it looks like Smith may end up joining the highly anticipated sequel after all.
'Transformers 4' has been filming for a few months now, but other than the occasional set photo or video of something blowing up, things have been pretty quiet. Little questions like "What's the movie even about?" continue to go unanswered. And to be perfectly honest, those questions will continue to go unanswered for the time being ... but at least we now know that the film will somehow involve robots that can transform into dinosaurs.
The summer is over and September is upon us. The result? One of the most boring weekend box office reports in months. Months! The month or so following the end of the summer movie season is traditionally one of the worst of the year, the time when Hollywood unleashes all of the films that they have little faith in, a buffer between the blockbuster months and the award season months. In other words, it's the exact kind of climate where a movie like 'One Direction: This is Us' can thrive.
The biggest appeal of the 'Expendables' franchise has always been seeing all your favorite aging action stars on the screen at same time, even when they have no reason to be in the same movie. However, nothing has come close to the pure, unfiltered weirdness of seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger on the same set as Harrison Ford. The former Terminator/Governor shared an image of them on the set of 'The Expendables 3' and it's just plain strange. While they've always existed on the same world, they feel like two people from different dimensions.
Despite a bunch of new releases with all kinds of wide and varied appeal, this weekend's box office top 10 looks suspiciously like last week's. Apparently, none of the newcomers could match Lee Daniels' 'The Butler,' which effortlessly claimed the top spot once more.
When it was released in 2000, Ang Lee's 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' became an instant critical darling and surprise box office smash, winning fistfuls of Oscars and opening the door for countless other Asian films to open internationally. It only took 13 years, but the sequel will begin shooting in early 2014. Titled 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Destiny,' the long-awaited film will feature the return of several original cast members, including Ziyi Zhang, who is in talks to reprise the role of Jen.
'The Expendables 3' began filming in Bulgaria today, and Lionsgate marked the occasion by sending out a press release that not only confirms most of the crazy ensemble cast but teases a plot that sounds just nutty enough to earn back our attention after the mediocre second film. If you aren't on board the 'Expendables' bandwagon (and we totally wouldn't blame you if you're not), just know that Mel Gibson is playing a character named Conrad Stonebanks. Conrad Stonebanks.
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