Don’t Breathe was the #1 film over the weekend, and its $26.1 million debut should ensure this $9.9 million budgeted film should turn a profit for Sony. Well reviewed and powered by good word of mouth, the flick should do brisk business in the coming weeks. Fellow newcomer Mechanic: Resurrection was dead on arrival, making just $7.5 million for a limp fifth place finish. This weekend’s top 10:
1. Don’t Breathe - $26.1 million
2. Suicide Squad - $12.1 million
3. Kubo and the Two Strings - $7.67 million
4. Sausage Party - $7.7 million
5. Mechanic: Resurrection - Even with Jason Statham leading the way, the flick had a disappointing opening weekend with just $7.5 million.
6. Pete’s Dragon - $7.2 million and it’s a surprise this movie just didn’t catch on with audiences. Domestically, the picture has made a little over $54 million.
7. War Dogs - $7.25 million
8. Bad Moms - $5.7 million and one of this year’s biggest sleepers. Domestically, it’s made over $95 million.
9. Jason Bourne - $5.23 million and to date over $347 million worldwide.
10. Ben-Hur - Even with the chariot race, movie is one of this year’s biggest bombs. This weekend it made $4.5 million.
Available today on Video on Demand, iTunes, and playing in select theaters, Natural Selection is a hard hitting drama about Tyler Evans (Mason Dye), an introspective teenager who’s finding it hard to fit in at his new high school. When charismatic student Indrid Wardin (Ryan Munzert) enters his life, Tyler may have found a temporary way out of his troubled life, which includes dealing with his irresponsible mother Laura (Amy Carlson). Anthony Michael Hall plays a security guard who helps Tyler find his way, with Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments) starring as Paige, a fellow student who also bonds with Tyler.
What initially started as a senior thesis project evolved to a full bodied movie for writer/director Chad L. Scheifele, and he has been working since 2009 to get his feature directing debut off the ground. Though he describes the experience as a valuable learning process, it was a huge advantage to learn on the job with a stellar ensemble cast. “Anthony Michael Hall was fantastic and he responded very well to the script and material and he really liked it and he wanted to be a part of it,” said the filmmaker, who shot the film in Chester County, Pennsylvania. “I think if you have material people want to jump on and do, then that really helps you out. I was very grateful to get such a talented cast with Katherine, Mason, Ryan, Amy and Anthony Michael Hall. It all just fell together very well.”
Natural Selection’s strongest creative aspect lies in the dynamic between Mason Dye and Ryan Munzert. While Dye does a solid job at keeping his character’s emotions close to the vest, Munzert has the showier role, as Indrid’s emotional complexities and impulsive actions drive the narrative. “Mason and Ryan are both fantastic at what they do,” added Scheifele. “Phenomenal actors. Extremely great people. Mason’s character has to hold a lot of his emotions but then he has his time to kind of let it all out in the film and with Ryan, it was a lot to take on but that’s the great thing about both guys. They took the material and they brought more to it. In a sense, I drew the outline for them and they colored it in. They just worked very well on screen and did a fantastic job of taking the material and making it their own.”
Also coming out today are Don’t Breathe and Southside With You. To check out our latest CinemAddicts podcast, click on the media bar below!!
John Krasinski directs and stars in The Hollars, a family drama about John, a New York City graphic novel artist who returns home after his mother (Margo Martindale) is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Though his girlfriend (Anna Kendrick) is pregnant, John’s joy at becoming a father is obviously tempered with his mother’s condition and the prospect of dealing with his dysfunctional family (Richard Jenkins is the partriarch and Sharlto Copley is John’s ne’er-do-well brother). Jim Strouse penned the screenplay.
“I had no intention of being in a family movie or doing anything derivative until I read Jim’s script and realized that’s the way to tell a family story,” said Krasinski, who previously directed the 2009 feature Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. “So I signed on immediately. Four years later, as it often happens with these small movies, the financier at the time couldn’t get it made and asked if I’d buy the script outright and make it myself. That’s a pretty big undertaking but I didn’t hesitate for this one just because the script was so good.”
Since signing onto the project seven years ago, Krasinski has become a father himself and his connection with The Hollars and his own family took on a deeper shape. Click on the media bar below to hear John Krasinski talk about the “existential magic” that exist within families.
The Hollars, co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as John’s ex-girlfriend, opens in select theaters Friday, August 26.
On episode 34 of CinemAddicts, Anderson Cowan and I review the first rate, pulse-pounding thriller Don’t Breathe. The picture, directed by The Evil Dead filmmaker Fede Alvarez, centers on a trio of young thieves (Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto) who break into the home of a blind man (Stephen Lang). Desperate to leave Detroit and strike out on their own, these youths believe this operation should be completed with a hitch. Needless to say, they’re dead wrong! Thanks to pinpoint direction from Alvarez and an engaging ensemble, Don’t Breathe is a must see movie for thriller lovers. Though I really enjoyed the film, Anderson loved it just a bit more, and he prefers Don’t Breathe over the well received thrillers Lights Out and It Follows.
Directed and penned by promising filmmaker Richard Tanne, Southside with You is an engaging drama that centers on Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Robinson’s (Tika Sumpter) first date. Thanks to solid performances from the leads and a well written script, Southside with You absolutely worked for me, and if you’re a fan of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise trilogy Southside with You might be your cup of tea. Though Anderson wanted a bit more likability to Michelle, I loved and appreciated her reserved and seemingly detached nature. We both agreed, however, that Southside with You is a worthwhile film to watch, and it’s great watching Sawyers absolutely embody Barack Obama (most notably in a standout,monologue scene in a Church).
Anderson’s streaming pick of the week is the Alex Winter directed documentary Deep Web and my DVD pick is the standout, modern day set film noir The American Side.
Better Late Than Never features William Shatner, comedian Jeff Dye, former boxer George Foreman, NFL legend and analyst Terry Bradshaw, and Henry Winkler traveling to Asia for a whole set of adventures.
Thanks to an long and illustrious career, Shatner has seen a healthy amount of traveling, and during our interview with the Star Trek (he’s also an Emmy winner for his work on Boston Legal) he gave us a pretty solid advice on how to travel.
“If you can get a good night’s sleep and a decent cup of coffee somewhere, you can travel anywhere,” said Shatner. I travel light. I haven’t checked in a piece of luggage in years.
Click on the media bar below to hear Shatner and Dye explain why, even though they enjoy traveling, they are both homebodies.
Better Late Than Never premieres tonight on NBC (10 pm et/pt).
American Ninja Warrior returns for the second half of its season starting tonight on NBC (8 pm et/pt), and though the show is all about the hardworking and inspiring athletes, the program’s hosts Akbar Gbajabiamila, Matt Iseman, and Kristine Leahy form an engaging trio.
We asked Iseman, whose fever pitch banter with Gbajabiamila is one of the show’s trademarks, about his infectious energy. “I’ve always been an enthusiastic guy,” said Iseman. “I love anything where people push themselves and achieve something they didn’t think they (could). And with our show, we have the best seats for watching these unbelievable athletes and because we get to know them and know their story, it really is easy to cheer for them. I left a career as a doctor and I’m out here now making a living with ninjas and telling their story! I realize how lucky I am.”
Click on the media bar to hear Matt Iseman explain why American Ninja War is a show, though competitive by nature, is all about “camaraderie.”
The good news is Suicide Squad continues its box office dominance with a $20.7 million weekend, proving its naysayers absolutely wrong. Unfortunately, the $100 million epic Ben-Hur was a total misfire, as it debuted at #5 with a lackluster $11.35 million.
The Jonah Hill and Miles Teller feature War Dogs, directed by The Hangover filmmaker Todd Phillips, did decent business with $14.3 million. Considering its budget is estimated at $45 million, the picture should do solid enough business for Warner Bros.
1. Suicide Squad - $20.7 million and domestically the film has already raked in over $262 million.
2. Sausage Party - $15.3 million
3. War Dogs - $14.3 million
4. Kubo and the Two Strings - $12.6 million
5. Ben-Hur - $11.35 million
6. Pete’s Dragon - $11.33 million and though it cost just $65 million, the worldwide box office of $57 million is disappointing.
7. Bad Moms - $8.06 million
8. Jason Bourne - $7.98 million
9. The Secret Life of Pets - $5.77 million and one of this summer’s breakout hits with a worldwide total of over $674 million.
10. Florence Foster Jenkins - $4.33 million
Based on a true story, War Dogs centers on David Packouz (Miles Teller) and Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), two reckless yet resourceful opportunists who land a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm the U.S. allies in Afghanistan with 100 million rounds of AK-47 ammo. Bradley Cooper, who reunites with The Hangover director Todd Phillips for the film, plays an arms dealer who becomes a middleman for the two young men.
“With David, when the movie starts he’s completely unaware of what this business model is, what this formula is or how we even go about doing it,” said Teller. “David kind of acts as the audience in a way so as Efraim is explaining it to David the audience is beginning to understand the infrastructure of what these guys are going to do. So yeah, you start off the movie pretty aimless and directionless and to me that didn’t seem all that long ago (laughs). I was just really interested in the dynamic between Efraim and David and what that friendship was.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Jonah Hill talk about how his War Dogs character is connected to his previous roles in Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street.
War Dogs opens nationwide today.
The highly anticipated musical Hairspray Live! airs on NBC December 7 (8 pm et/pt), and the stellar cast includes Ariana Grande, Kristin Chenoweth, Harvey Fierstein, and Oscar winning actress Jennifer Hudson.
Fierstein reprises his Tony award winning role as Edna Turnblad and Hudson, whose Broadway experience includes a run on The Color Purple, plays Motormouth Maybelle. The project reteams Fierstein with The Wiz Live! director Kenny Leon (Fierstein penned the teleplay).
Hudson will perform “I Know Where I’ve Been,” the musical’s most evocative tune, and Fierstein believes the actress will knock it out of the park. “She’s such an individual artist,” said Fierstein. “It’s like saying, well somebody played that Chopin piece before.’ yeah, but nobody’s every played it like that.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein talk about how they will approach Hairspray Live!
Werner Herzog is that rare director who has achieved success in documentaries (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams) and feature films (Fitzcaraldo, Queen of the Desert). On this week’s CinemAddicts we extol the cinematic virtues of Herzog and discuss his latest documentary Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World.
The project centers how the internet and growing technology has made a profound effect on humanity. Paypal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, former hacker Kevin Mitnick, and Internet protocol inventor Bob Kahn are among the people interviewed in the documentary which, thanks to Herzog’s distinct point of view, is a mesmerizing experience.
The episode also features our reviews of A Tale of Love and Darkness, Natalie Portman’s directing debut and the Italian feature Mia Madre, a drama starring Margherita Buy and John Turturro.
Anderson Cowan’s streaming picks of the week are the thriller Creep, the horror film Baskin and Dark Passage (it’s one of my all-time favorite film noirs). My Blu-ray pick is the Warner Archive release To Have and Have Not which, like Dark Passage, is headlined by Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
To hear our latest episode of CinemAddicts, please click on the media bar below: