Most of the time, the SNL opening monologue is a formality and a tradition, a road bump on the way to the actual good parts of an episode. It feels like something the guest host does because he has to, not because anyone on the writing staff actually had a good idea. And that’s why last night’s monologue was such a joyous surprise: it was not only the best monologue of the season, but the best sketch of the whole night.
Since Star Wars: Episode 7 is probably the most anticipated movie of the past decade or so, Disney and Lucasfilm were wise to turn the premiere of the first trailer into a bonafide event. Fans flocked to theaters early in the morning just to catch a glimpse of the first footage from the film. Some crazy people (including yours truly) went to a special event where it was screened 40 times in a row. So how do you follow that up? By premiering the next trailer at the world’s biggest Star Wars fan convention and then attaching the preview to the second most anticipated movie of the year.
In one of the strongest box office weekends of 2015 so far, both Home and Get Hard opened strong while Insurgent and Cinderella continued to perform well. This was the rare weekend that literally offered something for everyone, with R-rated comedies and animated family fare exceeding expectations.
Man, the rebooted Star Trek movie series really has this whole “casting actors we really like” thing down. The latest report from Star Trek 3 has the great Idris Elba cast as the movie’s villain, whose identity remains, for the moment, a mystery.
The Late Late Show With James Corden made its grand debut last night, with seemingly every celebrity in existence popping up to say hello. But for his first official guest, Corden snagged everyone’s favorite actor: the one and only Tom Hanks. More importantly, he got Tom Hanks to get really silly and there are few things better than Hanks throwing caution to the wind and embracing his inner comedian. In this case, he got the two-time Oscar winner to re-enact all of his movies in less than eight minutes.
What does a movie studio want out of its sequels? Is a sequel a failure if it simply matches its predecessor or does it need to make more money? That’s the big question that’s swirling around Insurgent, which made almost exactly as much as Divergent did one year ago. Seriously: there’s only a $500,000 difference in their opening weekends. So is Insurgent a success or a disappointment?
Suddenly, Disney’s upcoming live action version of Beauty and the Beast is looking like a very wise move. After all, their new take on Cinderella shook the box office out of the doldrums, launching with numbers that feel more at home with the summer than March. Yes, it even took down that might spring movie season titan Liam Neeson.
With Star Wars: Episode 7 less than a year away, Disney and Lucasfilm are facing a conundrum: just how many billions do they want to make from ancillary merchandise? Get ready for Star Wars bedsheets and Star Wars lunch boxes and, of course, countless new Star Wars action figures. You will be able to fight other adults in the toy aisle at Target like never before! However, Star Wars aficionados hoping to celebrate their fandom in a quieter way will also have their fair share of options, namely 20 new books bridging the 30-year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Long before he was an internet meme, Chuck Norris was a genuinely skilled martial artist whose ass-kicking abilities were put on display in dozens of action movies. Running the gamut from massively entertaining (The Delta Force) to totally baffling (The Octagon), Norris’ films all have one thing in common: each one sees him kicking a whole bunch of people. So, in honor of the man’s 75th birthday, let’s all take a moment to enjoy a video supercut of Norris kicking people and things.
With some of the year’s biggest movies only a month or two away, the box office seems to have entered a holding pattern. Some of the new releases are minor hits. Others crash and burn. Right now, Hollywood just seems to be crossing their fingers and hoping for the sweet, sweet summer movie season to come along and save them (or at least the April release of Furious 7). In other words, every new release underperformed this weekend.
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