There was a time not so long ago when Memorial Day weekend was a big deal for Hollywood, but this weekend felt more like a bunch of under-performers gathering together and learning very little about life. Call it the anti-Breakfast Club, if you will. This certainly isn’t what Hollywood had in mind for most of the franchises, and while Johnny Depp’s latest pirate movie did OK, OK seems to be the operative word of the summer if you’re not a movie about superheroes or literate villagers. Here’s the weekend gross through Sunday afternoon:
Look, I’m a pretty simple guy. I don’t ask for a lot out of life. Life doesn’t ask for a lot out of me. But I do have one very small goal, and that’s to eventually do something well enough that a bunch of colleges around the United States decide to praise me with honorary doctorate degrees. A pretty modest aim, right? One pithy news article about Star Wars rumors, and suddenly, the University of Southern California and UCLA are competing to see who can give me the most pieces of paper with my name on it. In the immortal words of Cannibal! The Musical, that’s all I’m asking for.
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:
While A Christmas Story is about as bold a holiday choice these years as Die Hard — did you know it takes place during Christmas???! — I’ll always carry a candle for Bob Clark’s story of a family growing up in 1940s America. My own extended family would gather for the holidays each year and practically have A Christmas Story on a loop; it was a good day, then, when TBS saved us the trouble of rewinding the VHS tapes and started playing the film 24/7 on our behalf. Cliche or not, A Christmas Story still sets the stage for the holidays in my household.
Turn off your proton packs and fire up your Fleetwood Mac, it’s time for the latest edition of the ScreenCrush Weekend Box Office Report! There were few surprises to be found at the top of the list this weekend, but with a few big films nearing the end of their theatrical run, it’s a good time to take stock and see how things shook out. Here’s the projected grosses as of Sunday afternoon:
You know how culture critics sometimes say you should stop being surprised when diverse films do well at the box office? They may be right, but even the most optimistic pundit probably couldn’t have seen this weekend coming
When Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro aren’t busy trying to figure out ways to digitally de-age the latter in Netflix movies about professional hitmen, they do field offers from other studios. That seems to be the case now with Imperative Entertainment, the production house that recently snapped up the rights for David Grann’s non-fiction novel Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI. After spending a whopping $5 million dollars for the rights, Imperative immediately pivoted into convincing the two Hollywood stars — and their frequent collaborator Leonard DiCaprio — to accept the project on their behalf.
Audiences don’t turn their back on family. That’s the lesson to be learned from this past weekend, anyways, when The Fate of the Furious proved that this is one franchise showing no signs of slowing down. It was never a question of whether The Fate of the Furious would take the top spot this weekend, but even the most optimistic of projections couldn’t have expected the global domination that this movie undertook. Here’s the box office estimates as of Sunday afternoon:
In a parallel universe where Paramount Pictures doesn’t alienate its fanbase, we might be talking about Ghost in the Shell as the big winner of this weekend and the de facto start of a new wave of Japanese Hollywood adaptations. Instead, DreamWorks Animation and The Boss Baby blew up the box office, no doubt delighting a handful of DreamWorks executives who watched the Ghost in the Shell controversy unfold with glasses of champagne in hand. After all, nobody’s going to boycott a movie about a baby who wears a suit.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of CGI actors returned from the dead, you probably had to appreciate the ways that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards tried to bring the events of Star Wars: A New Hope more directly into his film. In several key sequences, Edwards was even able to feature unseen footage from the original 1977 film, causing fans to wonder where that new footage came from (and why they hadn’t seen it before). Are there entire archives of unseen footage that Lucasfilm has been hiding from fans for all these decades?
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