It’s a battle of the science fiction blockbusters this weekend, with Alien: Covenant and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 giving us a photo finish at the box office. The two movies couldn’t be more different in style, tone, and aesthetics, but they equally captured audiences’ attention and shined a light on what the future has in store for both franchises. Here’s the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
Cesar Millan, better known as the Dog Whisperer in most pet circles, has built himself quite a little entertainment empire. Not only have his books and television shows taught countless people how to set boundaries with their pets, he’s also caused a million fights when one person in a couple thinks it’s funny to hiss “tsst!” at their partner during a discussion they find annoying. In other words, he’s been a boon to human-animal relationships and something else entirely to human-human relationships.
Throughout the years, the one constant in the Terminator franchise has been Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even after director James Cameron quit the franchise, Schwarzenegger kept on chugging along, appearing in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine, Terminator Genisys, and even having his likeness pop up in Terminator Salvation while he was still the governor of California. So with the news that James Cameron would be taking the helm of the franchise again after Genisys flopped, fans have been wondering if the actor had one last showing in him as everyone’s favorite compassionate death machine.
On Thursday evening, plenty of executives went to bed with dreams of big opening weekend numbers in their head. Could the movie about a magical king unseat the movie about a talking tree? Or would a mother-daughter comedy with just the right release date unseat a pair of battling sisters? Now that we’ve reached the end of the holiday weekend, we finally have the numbers, and it turns out the answer was no and no, respectively. Here’s this past weekend’s grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
It would seem that there are two stages every iconic musician must got through in the twilight of their career: induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a guest spot in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Such was the case with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who — in a nod to Johnny Depp’s appropriation of elements of his persona — appeared in two films as the father of Jack Sparrow. And now the franchise has pulled in another iconic musician, with Beatles legend Paul McCartney sharing his slightly foppish character.
Despite a reputation that suggests he’d rather walk through glass than slog through another Hollywood junket, Harrison Ford has been surprisingly game when it comes to reprising iconic characters. Not only has Ford starred as Indiana Jones in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he’s also set to return as Rick Deckard in this falls’s Blade Runner 2049. And in each case, it would seem that Ford’s curiosity got the better of him, inspiring him to revisit some of his dynamic action heroes in the twilight of his career.
In the beginning, there was a messed up kid with an inside-out William Shatner mask, and it was good. And then, through countless sequels and reinterpretations and bigger budgets, the Halloween franchise became the story of an unstoppable killing machine. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to like about some of the later Halloween movies, but there’s a reason characters like Michael Myers have become a cliche in the horror genre. When everyone’s anticipating the “shocking” moment where it turns out the killer isn’t dead, how scary can your film really be?
We’ve reached one of my favorite times of the year: the annual announcement by the Social Security Administration of the most popular baby names from the previous year. Why is that such a big deal, you might ask? Because each year we get to shake our heads at the number of parents who jump on the pop culture hype train and name their children after movie and television characters. While this year’s list showed that old-fashioned names such as Liam, Mason, and Olivia are back in style, it also featured a predictable handful of names from popular 2015 franchises. Sorry, kids.
I’m endlessly fascinated by the career of Daniel Radcliffe. Many actors coming off a childhood franchise as ubiquitous as the Harry Potter films would take a few years to reframe themselves as a dramatic actor or, at least, a major Hollywood sex symbol. Not so with Radcliffe. Radcliffe has chosen to fire off a rapid succession of utterly unique choices, from his demonic leading role in Horns to his supporting turns in Victor Frankenstein and Swiss Army Man (aka the farting corpse movie). I guess this is what Harry Potter money looks like; Radcliffe can spend the rest of his career making whatever bizarre choices he wants without anyone ever telling him no.
One of the hot rumors leading up to this past year’s Star Wars Celebration was that Lucasfilm would announce a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi film. With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story surpassing even the most optimistic expectations — and the casting of Han Solo dominating the news cycle for months on end — the continuing adventures of Obi-Wan seemed like a no-brainer for the studio. So fans were a little bummed when neither the announcement nor Ewan McGregor were present that weekend. Had something change since the last time McGregor said he’d be interested in the role?
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