Director/writer Jordan Peele has a hit on his hands, as the horror feature Get Out was the #1 film in the U.S. with a $30.52 million debut. Coming in a distant second was The Lego Batman Movie with $19 million, followed by a $9 million weekend from John Wick: Chapter Two. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:
1. Get Out - Considering it was made for just $4.5 million, this film will be a huge earner for Universal. $30.52 million
2. The Lego Batman Movie - Another strong showing with $19 million. To date, the flick has made over $220 million worldwide.
3. John Wick: Chapter Two - The sequel has already surpassed the original’s box office showing with a $126 million worldwide take. It makes $9 million domestically this weekend.
4. The Great Wall - Matt Damon fighting monsters in China wasn’t a made idea, since it’s already made over $265 internationally. Stateside, it takes in $8.71 million.
5. Fifty Shades Darker - $7.7 million
6. Fist Fight - Ice Cube/Charlie Day comedy is a box office disappointment with just $6.3 million in its second weekend.
7. Hidden Figures - $5.7 million
8. La La Land - $4.6 million
9. Split - Director M. Night’s Shyamalan’s biggest hit in hears makes $4.1 million, and it’s amassed over $221 million worldwide!
10. Lion - $3.87 million
Based on William P. Young’s bestselling novel, The Shack centers on Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington), a family man who’s grieving over his young daughter’s murder. Attempting to understand this senseless tragedy, Mack receives a mysterious letter in his mailbox inviting him to “the shack,” the place where his daughter’s dress was discovered. As he attempts to uncover the mystery behind the message, Mack undergoes a painstaking yet spiritual journey that forever alters his path.
Co-star Tim McGraw, who plays Mack’s supportive neighbor Willie in the narrative, initially was made aware of the story from wife Faith Hill, who had the book on her nightstand. When McGraw received the screenplay adaptation, he was “flooded with tears” while reading the story.
“I grew up going to church every Sunday and singing in church and all of those things” says McGraw. “But, to me, (The Shack has) a big, universal theme of forgiveness, love and hope.Those themes really resonated with me and I thought this story laid it out beautifully. No matter what your belief system is, you can see this film and you can understand this journey and get a perspective on what that journey means to people.”
Mainly known for his acclaimed music career, McGraw talked about how his lifelong love for acting began. Click on the media bar below to hear McGraw elaborate on his early movie work, which includes his role in Friday Night Lights.
The Shack, co-starring Octavia Spencer, opens Friday, March 3.
It would be absolutely impossible to top the 2003 Christmas classic Bad Santa, and maybe that’s why Bad Santa 2 received a lukewarm response when it hit theaters. That being said, watching bumbling crook Willie Soke (Thornton) team up with his consistently angry sidekick Marcus (Tony Cox) for another preposterous caper is definitely worth watching. Brett Kelly, just eight when he played the sandwich loving, golden curled Thurman Murman in the original, returns show Willie that there’s more to life than being on the wrong side of the law.
Kathy Bates joins in on the fun as Sunny, Willie’s horrible mom who teams with her son to rob a Chicago charity that’s organized by a Diane (Christina Hendricks), a woman who may actually have designs on Willie. Mark Waters, whose movies include Mean Girls and Vampire Academy, does a solid enough job with the story. Although the movie doesn’t reach the comedic heights of the original, it’s still an entertaining experience. Fans who want to continue with the adventures of Willie, Marcus, and Thurman will probably love this movie even more.
Special features on the Blu-ray include several featurettes on the making of the movie, an alternate opening, and an alternate ending. The deleted scenes include a funny Santa sequence between Willie and a girl with a special Christmas wish, a failed dinner date with Marcus, and a humorous confrontation between Marcus and Sunny (if you’ve ever wanted to see Kathy Bates in a biker outfit - now’s your chance!).
Written and directed by Jordan Peele (Keanu), Get Out centers on Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African-American man who finally gets to meet his white girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) seemingly nice, suburban parents (Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford). Unfortunately, things are not what they seem in this seemingly innocuous environment, as an undercurrent of racism and violence is brewing under the surface.
According to Williams, Peele spent over five years on his script, and all of that time led to a movie that doesn’t cater to the lowest common denominator. “Part of that is just his attention to detail but also part of it is these things, if done poorly, are not nearly as effective,” says Williams about Peele’s approach to Get Out. “If you’re trying to have an intelligent and interesting conversation about the state of racism in the U.S. and the world, and you kind of fudge it, what a missed opportunity. So I think Jordan knew that it had to be done really carefully and I think he did it successfully.”
Along with being a straight up horror/thriller, Get Out also covers interracial relationships, something that is rarely covered in cinema. Click on the media bar below to hear Daniel Kaluuya talk about the surprisingly “taboo” subject that’s covered in Get Out:
Get Out is now playing nationwide.
It was 17 years ago that we first saw Hugh Jackman in the role that would make him famous, X-Men’s Wolverine. Now, after playing the role in eight X-Men movies, Jackman has decided to hang up the claws forever. He’ll be playing the character one last time in Logan, and he was determined to go out on a high note. Based on the early reviews, he’s succeeded. Some are even suggesting this could be the best Marvel movie yet! And that makes Jackman very, very happy.
Logan, also starring Patrick Stewart as Professor X, opens in theaters on March 3.
If you missed Tuesday night’s episode of This Is Us, in which Randall takes his terminally ill biological father on a “bucket list” road trip back to his hometown of Memphis, you missed one of the most moving hours of television this season.
So go ahead, watch it now. We’ll wait, and we don’t want to spoil you.
However, if you have watched the episode already, the “after-show video” is a must-see, as Sterling K. Brown and Ron Cephas Jones talk about their characters’ emotional journey together, revealing some of the stories behind the smiles, the laughs, and the tears. So, if you’re looking for insight into an episode that will certainly be remembered come Emmy time, check out the video here:
And if you’d like to see the moving tweet that show creator Dan Fogleman (who wrote the “Memphis” episode) shared with his followers after the show aired. #ThisIsUs SPOILER ALERT! Here's the note I wrote for cast and crew at end of script for tonight's episode. Here it is for our great fans. pic.twitter.com/HLUxhxrRJq — Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) February 22, 2017
#ThisIsUs SPOILER ALERT!
Here's the note I wrote for cast and crew at end of script for tonight's episode. Here it is for our great fans. pic.twitter.com/HLUxhxrRJq
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) February 22, 2017
This Is Us airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on NBC.
Director James Mangold is receiving great reviews for Logan, and one of his finest moments in filmmaking, 3:10 to Yuma, is being released as a 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack on May 2. The Oscar nominated film, which stars Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, will feature full HD resolution and HDR (high dynamic range) to give viewers a fully immersive experience.
The movie, which is a remake of the 1957 Western with Van Heflin and Glenn Ford, centers on a downtrodden rancher (Bale) who is holding a dangerous prisoner (Crowe) as they await the next train to Yuma. Ben Foster has a scene stealing performance as the prisoner’s right hand man, and Logan Lerman (Fury) co-stars as the rancher’s teenage son. The feature, released in 2007, received two Oscar nominations including Best Score (Marco Beltrami’s the composer).
Special features on the disc include deleted scenes, audio commentary from Mangold, a slew of featurettes, and the Blu-ray exclusive “Historical Timeline of the West.”
America Ferrera is a producer and headliner of NBC’s Superstore, a series which was recently renewed for a third season. During our interview with Ferrera, she talked about how directing an episode of Superstore gave her a deeper appreciation of co-star Ben Feldman and the program’s diverse ensemble.
“Being behind the camera, watching the entire cast work and watching Ben work was such a gift,” said Ferrera. “I didn’t know it was possible to have more gratitude and awe for the level of this cast but I will say specifically watching Ben work - it’s amazing. When you’re in a scene with someone, you’re in it and you’re feeling it. But when you get to watch and be the director and you get to see someone craft a performance - it was really exciting to see Ben at his craft from that point of view.”
Click on the media bar below to hear America Ferrera and Ben Feldman talk about how they and fellow cast members will live tweet during Superstore’s weekly airings.
Superstore airs Thursday nights on NBC (8/7c).
Shooting began this week on another new Star Wars movie: the as-yet untitled film focusing on the exploits of the young Han Solo before he was recruited into the resistance by Luke Skywalker in Episode IV. Alden Ehrenreich gets to fulfill a dream shared by many young boys over the years by starring as Solo, but it wasn’t easy. Before getting the part, he went through a long, rigorous casting process that spanned half a year and culminated with a chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon! (Click on the media bar below to hear Alden Ehrenreich)
The movie opens on a significant date in Star Wars history — the 41st anniversary of the original movie’s release, May 25, 2018.
One video game premise that has us intrigued is Serial Cleaner, a stealth action game that has gamers cleaning up crime evidence to keep the police at bay! Set in the 1970s, the game is set for a summer release on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam (PC, Mac, Linux platforms) from publisher Curve Digital.
“Serial Cleaner was inspired by lose-fast/reload-fast games that demand players retry a level several times to learn how enemies react and figure out which zones of the map are safest,” said Krzysztof Zieber, the designer and writer of the iFun4all developed game. “If caught, the level generates the crime scene with the bodies moved, ensuring that players can’t rely on just muscle memory to get through a stage. The game is tough, but fair, so players need to plan their moves accordingly, or just get in there and improvise: both approaches work.”
The game is currently available as a prototype on Steam Early Access, and hours of additional content will be available come the title’s official launch.
Serial Cleaner’s streamlined, comic book style visuals has us intrigued and we’re already enjoying its morbid sense of humor (one of the buildings is named The Deadly Telegraph). Check out the console trailer below and tell us what you think!