Rumor: ‘Sinister Six’ has been scrapped?

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The future of Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man world is now officially in question. When the latest Amazing Spider-Man film was gearing up for its May release, Sony had announced that they were planning on releasing two more Amazing Spider-Man films and spin-offs of Venom and Sinister Six. Essentially, Sony was gearing up for their own Spider-Man Cinematic Universe since the success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe was so big. Despite only having the rights to 1 superhero, Sony was planning on exploring the villains of Spidey’s world.

However, looking 2 months after the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the box office returns weren’t to Sony’s liking. The film earned only $200 million domestically, the lowest of any of the Spider-Man films. Even the worldwide totals are the lowest of any web-slinger films and that’s despite over $500 million coming internationally. The last film was also met with the lowest reviews of the series with only 54% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Well potentially, it seems that since the announcement that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was moving back to 2017, people speculated that Sinister Six was moving to the 2016 release date. Well potentially we may have our answers to what Sony is planning. Umberto Gonzalez from Latino Review is speculating that Sony is scraping the villain team up film all together.

Before I go into detail about this potential franchise bomb here, Latino Review is a site that speculates a lot of topics that turn out to be completely false. You have to take everything they say with a grain of salt but if this is true, Spider-Man could be on the move. I’ve been saying since the marketing of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that Sony needed to slow it down with this franchise. It’s been over 12 years since the web crawler graced the big screen and audiences are getting fatigued. I gave both Amazing Spider-Man films the same response, inconsistent but still fun movies. Yet with Marvel on a roll with their Universe and DC trying to start their own Universe, Spidey lacks the appeal of new heroes. I don’t know what this means for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 or even Andrew Garfield as Spidey. This could even mean that the Spider-Man era could be over at Sony and Spidey can be swinging over to Marvel Studio. That’s a long shot but I just simply don’t know if it’s just smoke or if Sony has given up on Spider-Man.

Image credit to: Cinemablend.com

Box Office Numbers: ‘Apes’ holds off newcomers

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Apes still on top!

As projected, Caesar ruled the box office for another weekend as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took the top spot. The newcomers were led by horror sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, which earned $28.3 million for the weekend. It’s not nearly the amount that the first Purge film earned its opening but the sequel held up better than the first film in terms of Friday-Saturday drops. The other newcomers, Planes: Fire & Rescue and Sex Tape fell flat, playing to the lower end of the expectations. Also worth mentioning, Transformers: Age of Extinction has earned $886 million worldwide, despite only $227 million coming domestically. It was another bad weekend for a summer that will be the lowest grossing summer in a long time.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes played very well in terms of word of mouth, and it shows with this weekend’s performance. The film fell 50% from last weekend, and earned $36 million. The drop was better than the other major blockbusters this year (Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men, Transformers) but each of those films opened to $90+ million. Caesar’s new film only opened to $72 million, but the Planet of the Apes brand isn’t as popular as those other films. This latest Apes film has earned an estimated $139 million so far, which exceeds Rise of the Planet of the Apes total at the same point ($105 million). Next weekend will be the real test for the Apes which will see competition in the form of Lucy and Hercules. More than likely, expect this latest Apes film to end its domestic run with $225-$230 million.

The Purge: Anarchy

Those damn Apes ruining our right to Purge!

In terms of the newcomers, The Purge: Anarchy was the only film to give the Apes sequel any competition. On Friday, the horror sequel actually won the box office but as most horror films do, fell off on Saturday and Sunday. In comparison to the original film, The Purge fell nearly 38% from Friday-to-Saturday, which is one of the biggest drops in recent memory. The Anarchy sequel held better with a 26% drop. The latest film also earned better reviews than the original as it has 52% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and a B grade from CinemaScore. That’s a big improvement from the first film which earned a 36% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes but a rare C- grade from CinemaScore. This latest film will likely not earn more than its predecessor but it should come close with about $50-$55 million end.

More bad news for the box office as the latest animated film, Planes: Fire & Rescue was underwhelming considering the lack of family films. With only How to Train Your Dragon 2 being its only real competition, it’s a shock that this Planes sequel earned only $18 million. The first Planes film earned $22 million on route to a $90 million total. This latest film will likely not earn that much but should hold well for a while. It’s a shame that there isn’t a Pixar film this summer, yet none of the major animated films can take advantage of that audience.

Sex Tape

Wait a minute, nobody wanted to see me, err I mean us have sex?!

Even worse news for the box office, and particularly Sony because their latest comedy, Sex Tape flopped this weekend. The porno gone wrong movie earned $15 million for the weekend. With the year full of big successes with comedies (The Other WomanNeighbors22 Jump Street), this latest Jason Segel-Cameron Diaz flick came in more like A Million Ways to Die in the West than anything else. The film was marketed as an indirect sequel to Bad Teacher since it reunites the stars of Teacher and director Jake Kasdan. Tape earned horrible reviews as it currently stands at 20% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and has a C+ on CinemaScore, similar to Melissa McCarthy’s Tammy. Luckily for Sony, Sex Tape was made for only $40 million and should end its domestic run with that much.

Despite performing on the lower end of the spectrum domestically, Transformers: Age of Extinction has now earned $886 million worldwide. The film fell to the 5th spot this weekend domestically and has earned $227 million total. Internationally, the Autobot flick is booming with over $659 million already. It’s already the 2nd highest grossing movie in the Transformers series in terms of worldwide gross. It’s unlikely the latest Transformers film will earn over $1 billion worldwide but it’s still a major win for Paramount.

Lucy

No Cap? I got enough for those Apes!

Next weekend will see another collection of movies in the form of Lucy, another Hercules film, an under-the-radar Michael Douglas-Diane Keaton film (And So It Goes), and a stand-up comedy The Fluffy Movie. Out of these new films, expect Lucy to win the box office next weekend as it will try to fight off Caesar and the Apes. Scarlett Johansson has seen her star risen since Iron Man 2 when she took on the role of Black Widow and this Luc Besson film will try to get that Marvel fanboys to see her newest film. Hercules will likely under-perform despite featuring Dwayne Johnson as the titular character. Most people (especially me) are just waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy to get here soon.

Number chart via Box Office Mojo

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count /Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 1 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox $36,000,000 -50.4% 3,969 +2 $9,070 $138,953,000 $170 2
2 N The Purge: Anarchy Uni. $28,369,000 - 2,805 - $10,114 $28,369,000 $9 1
3 N Planes: Fire & Rescue BV $18,000,000 - 3,826 - $4,705 $18,000,000 $50 1
4 N Sex Tape Sony $15,000,000 - 3,062 - $4,899 $15,000,000 $40 1
5 2 Transformers: Age of Extinction Par. $10,000,000 -38.7% 3,224 -689 $3,102 $227,157,000 $210 4
6 3 Tammy WB $7,605,000 -39.4% 3,402 -63 $2,235 $71,253,000 $20 3
7 4 22 Jump Street Sony $4,700,000 -27.7% 2,229 -582 $2,109 $180,509,000 $50 6
8 5 How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox $3,800,000 -37.4% 2,169 -716 $1,752 $160,672,000 $145 6
9 8 Maleficent BV $3,302,000 -21.0% 1,541 -536 $2,143 $228,367,000 $180 8
10 6 Earth to Echo Rela. $3,260,000 -40.6% 2,450 -780 $1,331 $31,979,000 $13 3

Box Office Numbers: ‘Purge’ tops Friday; ‘Apes’ expected to top weekend

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The box office featured some newcomers this weekend yet holdover Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is expected to win the weekend. However, the new horror flick, The Purge: Anarchy took the number 1 spot Friday. The horror film earned $13 million but is only expected to earn $26 million for the weekend. The horror sequel earned less than the original film’s $16 million. The Purge was made for only $3 million and earned over $60 million for the domestic run. The sequel’s budget is only $9 million which will make this new Purge a success already since it earned the budget back already. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned $10 million on Friday but is expected to earn $34-$36 million for the weekend. The latest Apes film has earned $113 million and should earn over $140 million by the end of the weekend. The other two newcomers Planes: Fire & Rescue and Sex Tape both disappointed. The Planes sequel earned $6.2 million which is down from the original’s $8.2 opening day. The Disney film should earn $17 million for the weekend. However that’s nowhere near the disappointment that Sex Tape is. The Cameron Diaz film earned $5.7 million on Friday and is on route to a $13-$16 million weekend. That is not even close to the last Jake Kasdan’s last film Bad Teacher earned on its opening day ($12.2 million). It did earn more than Seth Rogan’s sex comedy, Zack and Miri Make a Porno but that’s not something Sony should be happy for. It will be another disappointing weekend for the summer box office that will likely not feature a $300 million grosser (unless Guardians of the Galaxy or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles exceed expectations).

TD YD Title (Click to View) Studio Daily Gross % +/- YD / LW Theaters / Avg Gross To-Date Day
1 - The Purge: Anarchy Uni. $13,000,000 - - 2,805 $4,635 $13,000,000 1
2 1 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox $10,400,000 +79% -62% 3,969 $2,620 $113,353,000 8
3 - Planes: Fire & Rescue BV $6,291,000 - - 3,826 $1,644 $6,291,000 1
4 - Sex Tape Sony $5,700,000 - - 3,062 $1,862 $5,700,000 1
5 2 Transformers: Age of Extinction Par. $2,725,000 +55% -45% 3,224 $845 $219,882,000 22

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes review

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Since the beginning of the 2014 year, it’s very obvious that Hollywood has finally got the idea that giant summer blockbusters can be smart, entertaining films even with the expensive CGI. The trend really made a mark in the summer of 2008 which is highlighted by comic book films, Iron Man and The Dark Knight. It’s very obvious smart blockbusters were always possible and some were released earlier in the decade. The point here is that despite the garbage that Hollywood churns out every year (i.e. Transformers or rip-offs of those movies, every Adam Sandler comedy, Tyler Perry’s movies, YA adaptions that ripoff Harry Potter or Hunger Games), it’s nice to see a film in a franchise that doesn’t need to be special or try to do something unique, yet goes against it and does something refreshing. That’s how I felt the first time seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes which was surprisingly great considering the turmoil that the Planet of the Apes franchise was feeling. It was surprisingly heartfelt and had the same level of action as a big budget blockbuster should have. This time around, the action is turned up and the film is clearly bigger in scope. However, unlike a lot of sequels (i.e. Amazing Spider-Man 2, Iron Man 2) this Apes sequel doesn’t forget about the story aspect and is ultimately the best summer blockbuster of 2014 so far.

Over 10 years after the events of the first film, the Apes exposed to the Alzheimer’s cure and ran across San Francisco to the woods, have developed a community that resembles Avatar‘s tree society. It’s been about 2 winters since the Apes have seen any sign of human life and are hopeful they’re dead. Fast forward to a group of surviving humans led by Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) where they need to restart a hydroelectric power plant that happens to be near the Apes. They need to restart the plant for the fact that the humans are running out of fuel and are fearful for the idea that they will lose power and hope. Dreyfus wants to go in with a violent approach with the Apes but decides to asks his right hand man Malcolm (Jason Clarke) to use the peaceful option. Malcolm reasons with Dreyfus, asking to instead reason with Caeser (Andy Serkis) and the Apes instead of asking for all out war. Ultimately the Apes reluctantly compromise with the Humans to let them fix the Power Plant. This is meet with some controversy as many of the Apes, most notably Caesar’s right hand man (or Ape?), Koba (Toby Kebbell), were experimented by humans and despise them. The tension rises between the humans and apes and leads to eventually all-out war.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APESThe reason why the film is such a success is that director Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield) realizes why waste the screen time with an uninteresting story about humans when the true star of the film is the Apes. In particular, Caesar who is marvelously portrayed by Andy Serkis. Serkis is well known as a motion-captured star with his performances as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong in well, the 2005 remake King Kong. However his best performance was as Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. His portrayal as Caesar in the sequel is fantastic and deserving of an Oscar. Despite the fact he will never win an Oscar for his motion capture work, he is deserving of one. His emotions captured as Caeser are remarkable considering he is only a CGI creation.

The work done with the Apes are remarkable since they aren’t real but look like actual apes at times. I caught myself saying that I don’t believe those are special effects, that they are real animals. The actors portraying a lot of these Apes are deserving of praise since most of them give off more emotion than some of the real actors in Hollywood today. The film is very aware that the Apes are the reason why people want to see these movies and Reeves gives us that. While the film never reaches the emotional depth of the first film, it still has enough to go along with the action. The first film needed to have a more emotional back story since it was setting up Caesar’s character arc. This time the film can finally get bigger in action and it delivers on that promise. But the film develops Caesar even further and gives us an epic battle that feels cooler since the emotional depth of the story. Ultimately the film is a Shakespearean story that meets a big budget  post-apocalyptic blockbuster. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

While the Apes are the strength of the film, there are some good elements following the humans. Jason Clarke’s Malcolm is essentially replacing James Franco’s role as the good human but Clarke’s Malcolm is no clone of Franco’s character. Clarke gives a good balance for a guy that wants to survive but sees the good in everyone. He is the most developed human in the film and you feel for him. I can’t say the same for Gary Oldman’s Dreyfus who is never fleshed out as much as Malcolm. His hatred for the Apes is never explained compared to Koba’s hatred for the humans. Despite being the biggest name in all the ads, Oldman is hardly in the movie compared to how the film markets him. Oldman is great at what he does (see: Dark Knight series) and does the most he can with his character despite the limited role he’s given. Nevertheless, the humans take a backstory for the Apes and I thank Matt Reeves for it.

With the summer of 2014, we have seen giant sequels (The Amazing Spider-Man 2X-Men: Days of Future PastTransformers: Age of Extinction), remakes (GodzillaMaleficent, the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and comedies (22 Jump StreetNeighbors, A Million Ways to Die in the West) yet only X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Fault in Our Stars22 Jump Street, and Edge of Tomorrow have been the only films that haven’t felt bloated and featured great stories and acting. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is essentially a Godfather: Part II kind of sequel, in that it ultimately improves on the first film and stands on its own. Matt Reeves understands that the film is all about these Apes and never shoves a crappy plot about the humans with the Apes in the background. He knows the story element is important in this kind of blockbuster that never needed to be this good. Take notes Hollywood, we want this kind of blockbuster.

Rating: A

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Box Office Numbers weekend: ‘Apes’ reach franchise high

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The weekend box office numbers show us that audiences are indeed hailing Caeser. The latest installment in this modern day reboot of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes earned an estimated $73 million this weekend. While that isn’t as good as some of the 2014 openings, this film did exceed the modest expectations of Fox of $55-60 million. The film has the biggest opening for the Apes franchise and could possibly stay on top for the rest of July. As for the rest of the box office, Transformers: Age of Extinction was dethroned after two weeks on top and has gone over the $200 million barrier domestically. It’s still on the low end of expectations for Paramount and will end up being the lowest grossing film in the Transformers franchise. Last weekend’s newcomer, Tammy fell to 3rd and declined only 40% for a total gross of $57.3 million.

With only 1 major newcomer, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was expected to be on top but how much the Apes sequel would earn was always in question. Fox had modest expectations with a mid to high $50 million while box office analysts projected the film to earn around $65-$70 million. Even with the FIFA World Cup Final, nothing will stop this latest Apes movie from earning $70 million. A good sign for the film is the universally positive reviews from both critics and audiences. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes currently stands at 91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes while it has an A- from audiences according to CinemaScore. The film also fell only 6% from Friday to Saturday, a sign that Dawn should hold up very well in the next coming weekends.

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Last weekend’s champ Transformers: Age of Extinction fell from the top this weekend to 2nd place. The latest Michael Bay flick earned $16.5 million to a total of $209 million. It’s only $1 million short of its budget yet the film is still expected to earn about $250 million at the end of its run. Despite being the lowest grossing Transformers film domestically, it has earned a total $752.5 million worldwide and is 3rd in terms of Transformers worldwide grosses. As for Melissa McCarthy’s Tammy, the film earned $12.9 million this weekend, which is a 40% drop from last weekend. The comedy has earned $57 million total and will end its run around $75-$80 million with Sony’s Sex Tape opening next weekend.

It’s worth mentioning the opening of the limited released film Boyhood, the critically-acclaimed film. The film played in only 5 theaters but earned $359,000 which would be an average of $71,800 per-theater. That would be the 2nd highest average this year behind Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest HotelBoyhood is a rare film that currently has 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and will expand into more theaters in the coming weeks.

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Next week will see the debuts of 3 very different films. Universal will try to reverse the 2014 horror trend with the horror sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, Disney will try to get family audiences into theaters with Planes: Fire and Rescue and Sony will try to get the adult audiences with Sex Tape. More than likely, expect Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and The Purge: Anarchy to battle for the top spot with Sex Tape close behind.

Chart and Numbers via Box Office Mojo

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count /Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 N Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox $73,000,000 - 3,967 - $18,402 $73,000,000 $170 1
2 1 Transformers: Age of Extinction Par. $16,500,000 -55.5% 3,913 -320 $4,217 $209,031,000 $210 3
3 2 Tammy WB $12,910,000 -40.2% 3,465 - $3,726 $57,354,000 $20 2
4 3 22 Jump Street Sony $6,700,000 -31.7% 2,811 -513 $2,383 $171,961,000 $50 5
5 5 How to Train Your Dragon 2 Fox $5,865,000 -34.6% 2,885 -412 $2,033 $152,068,000 $145 5
6 6 Earth to Echo Rela. $5,500,000 -34.2% 3,230 - $1,703 $24,597,000 $13 2
7 4 Deliver Us From Evil SGem $4,700,000 -51.7% 3,049 - $1,541 $25,002,000 $30 2
8 7 Maleficent BV $4,169,000 -32.3% 2,077 -312 $2,007 $221,994,000 $180 7
9 15 Begin Again Wein. $2,935,000 +133.6% 939 +764 $3,126 $5,286,000 - 3
10 8 Jersey Boys WB $2,510,000 -51.3% 1,968 -662 $1,275 $41,705,000 $40 4

 

Box Office Numbers: ‘Apes’ take command on opening day

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Friday’s domestic box office numbers have released their estimates and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes easily took the top spot. After last weekend’s slow showing, Apes gave the Box Office a jolt it desperately needed. With almost universal positive feedback from critics and audiences, Dawn earned $27.7 million on Friday and will likely end up with $70 million for the weekend. Depending on how much the FIFA World Cup Final will impact the latest Caeser flick, it could go as high as $75 million for the weekend. This opening is much better than the previous Apes film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes ($19.5 million) and the Planet of the Apes remake ($24.6 million). If the latest Planet of the Apes  film does earn $70 million, it’ll be a franchise high. Also it’s possible that the Apes film could stay on top for the rest of July. As for the rest of the box office, Transformers: Age of Extinction earned $4.8 million to a total of $197.3 million gross. By Sunday, the latest Transformers film will earn $200 million but is still on pace to be the lowest grossing film in the franchise. Melissa McCarthy’s Tammy fell about 37% from last weekend on Friday with $4 million. It’s on pace to earn $13 million for the weekend for  a total $57 million which is solid but unspectacular for McCarthy’s standards.

TD YD Title (Click to View) Studio Daily Gross % +/- YD / LW Theaters / Avg Gross To-Date Day
1 - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox $27,700,000 - - 3,967 $6,983 $27,700,000 1
2 1 Transformers: Age of Extinction Par. $4,832,000 +40% -55% 3,913 $1,235 $197,363,000 15
3 2 Tammy WB $4,040,000 +65% -37% 3,465 $1,166 $48,484,000 10
4 4 22 Jump Street Sony $2,050,000 +55% -19% 2,811 $729 $167,311,000 29
5 5 Earth to Echo Rela. $1,760,000 +40% -34% 3,230 $545 $20,858,000 10
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Paul Apted, Sound Editor on ‘Fault in Our Stars,’ Dies at 47

Originally posted on Variety:

Paul Apted, a sound editor and son of director Michael Apted, died Friday of colon cancer in Los Angeles.  He was 47.

Paul Apted was a native of Manchester, England. His recent credits include “The Fault in Our Stars,” “A Good Day to Die Hard,” “The Wolverine,” “Prisoners” and “The Book Thief.”

He worked with his father on “Nell,” “Extreme Measures” and “Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

Besides Micheal Apted, Paul Apted’s survivors include his wife Gemma; children Thomas and Rose; mother Jo; and siblings Jim, John and Lily.

A memorial has been scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on July 13 at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills. A funeral service will also be held at a later date in the U.K.

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