Ah, a week at the box office where the new release flies completely under the radar and everything else feels like it's just hanging out because there's nothing else to push it off the charts. Welcome to January. Welcome to the home of movies like 'I Frankenstein,' which was dead on arrival this weekend and will vanish into dollar theaters within the next week or so.
In the first truly busy weekend for new releases in 2014, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart took the competition, bent them over the knee and gave them a good spanking. Okay, you probably didn't want the image of those two spanking animated squirrels, demonic babies or Chris Pine in your head, but how else are we going to talk about the opening weekend for 'Ride Along'?
The "Golden Raspberry" Razzie awards set out to do the opposite work of the Academy Awards and "honor" the year's worst films, and every year, they have plenty of material to work with. While 2013 may have been one of the best years for movies in recent memory, it was also home to enough deplorable junk to make this a fairly interesting (if not at all surprising) year for Razzies.
Every year presents a new apocalypse for the film industry and every year sees movies and theaters evolving to match the increasingly strange age that we live in. However, Hollywood's evolution may not be happening fast enough to win back certain audiences. A new Harris Poll asked Americans about their moviegoing habits and the results are a fascinating combination of the surprising and the not-so-surprising.
New releases have a habit of floundering in January, which tends to be one of Hollywood's biggest dumping grounds. Even this year's big January horror release, which is commonly a sure thing, floundered. What does tend to do well are the prestige pictures that opened late in the previous year (often in limited release) and finally expand in the new year, riding awards momentum to solid box office.
Of course, this is just a roundabout way of saying that Peter Berg's 'Lone Survivor' emerged from limited release this week to kick everyone's ass at the box office.
Over the past few years, the 'Paranormal Activity' series has established itself as one of the most inexpensive and reliable horror franchises around. Produced for (non-literal) pennies, they've consistently opened strong at the box office, ensuring a fast and efficient turnaround. The latest film, 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,' has already accomplished that goal, but it did so without grabbing the number one spot. Sure, people may love found footage demons, but it turns out that they love animated singing princesses more.
Although you'd think people would spend the holidays in their homes catching up with their families and what-not, they actually tend to go to the movies after opening gifts and having awkward conversations. And Christmas Day moviegoers had a bunch of options this week, with recent releases (and not-so-recent releases) still going strong and a whole bunch of new releases arriving to coincide with the holiday.
It's a situation that virtually every couple with a healthy, long term relationship has faced. You and your loved one go home to visit the family and find yourself forced to sleep in your childhood room, most likely on the tiny twin bed that was barely tolerable when you were half your current size. Since this is a 'SNL' sketch, this predicament takes the form of music video, where the ladies of the show invite their men for some sexy time on a bed that has no business being the location of an, uh, adult encounter.
If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.
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