In between all of the tributes and montages and musical performances, the SNL 40th Anniversary Special actually found time for some original content. Right after a montage celebrating the short films that have been featured on the show over the years, Zach Galifianakis took to the stage to introduce a new digital short from Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler. Unlike most of Samberg’s original shorts, which usually traded in genial silliness, this one looked inward and examined a subject that everyone who has ever been on the show should be familiar with: breaking character.
A lot of people are going to act like they didn’t see the enormous success of ‘American Sniper’ coming, but the signs were all there. On top of the promising limited release numbers, there was the awards buzz. On top of that, there were the names of director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper. On top of that, the subject matter of the film is inherently attractive to the same category of moviegoer that makes Christian-themed films into massive hits. ‘American Sniper’ had one doozy of a weekend, but it’s not that surprising.
You’d be surprised by how many beloved directors earn a little extra cash anonymously directing commercials, but when you hire the great Martin Scorsese to help sell your lavish new casino in Manilla Bay, Philippines, you end up with a full fledged Scorsese Picture. Which means that this is one of the most energetic and stylish advertisements you’ll see this year … and that it stars Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.
As expected, ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ won the weekend, but a quick examination of the actual numbers makes this victory feel just a little hollow. The same goes for ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ and ‘Annie,’ both of which took second and third place without putting forward particularly impressive numbers. Yep, the holiday box office looked just a little rough this weekend.
Yes, it’s easy to decry the permeation of film marketing and our obsession with trailers and posters and previews, but let’s just be honest with ourselves here: The ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer is going to an event that rivals the release of most movies. Think back to the good ‘ol days of 1998 (”A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...”) and remember how fans would buy tickets to ‘A Bug’s Life’ and ‘The Siege’ just to watch the teaser trailer for ‘Star Wars: Episode I.’ If you’re one of those people and want to replicate that experience, you’d better pre-order your ticket for ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ pretty soon.
'Gone Girl' may have barely won its first weekend at the box office over 'Annabelle,' but in its second week of release, it emerged as the real victor. Fighting off tons of new competition, David Fincher's thriller held onto the number one spot and made it look easy.
For awhile there, it looked like 'Star Wars: Episode 7' was in trouble. Harrison Ford had broken his leg in a freak Millennium Falcon accident and there were rumors that the production was going to be shut down for weeks! Months! Forever!!! And then Harrison Ford got better and the only real damage to the schedule was a two-week break where everyone made ice bucket challenge videos and refused to answer questions to prying reporters on red carpets.
And now, 'Star Wars: Episode 7' has officially resumed filming.
You can tell the summer movie season is coming to an end because the weekend box office has stopped being exciting and has starting becoming sad and weird. The past two weeks have seen several major movies bomb, but nothing could have prepared us for 'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.'
A trio of newcomers entered the box office arena this weekend, but two battle-hardened and grizzled champions kept them at bay, holding onto the top two spots and making it look easy. Sorry, newbies: This top 10 still belongs to 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy.'
'Star Wars: Episode 7' is deep into filming, but everything we know can fit into one small box. Everything else is conjecture, speculation and rumor, educated guesses from people in-the-know and nonsense from fans with grand imaginations. We're not sure where this latest news falls yet, so we're just going to leave it here and let you be the judge. Is this the new 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Stormtroopers design?
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