The Melissa McCarthy comedy The Boss was #1 at the box-office as it took in $23.48 million in its debut weekend. Coming in at second place was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with $23.4 million. With a budget of $250 million, Batman v Superman has amassed a worldwide gross of $783 million and will turn a profit for Warner Bros. Considering the hype surrounding the movie and Warner Bros. intention of injecting a healthy amount of momentum to their upcoming DC projects, however, the film has slightly performed below expectations and has been critically drubbed. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:
1. The Boss - Melissa McCarthy comedy received mixed reviews, but she’s essentially critic proof. $23.48 million
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - $23.4 million
3. Zootopia - The flick’s worldwide gross is over $852 million. $14.3 million
4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 - The comedy turns in a respectable $6.2 million and has made $46.75 million domestically.
5. Hardcore Henry - $5.1 million
6. Miracles From Heaven - With just a $13 million budget, this faith based drama has performed well with $$53.8 million domestically. It made $4.84 million this weekend.
7. God’s Not Dead 2 - $4.3 million
8. The Divergent Series: Allegiant - Its domestic haul of just over $61 million is disappointing. $3.6 million
9. 10 Cloverfield Lane - $3 million
10. Eye In The Sky - Helen Mirren military thriller takes in $2.83 million.
Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier makes his English language debut with Louder Than Bombs, a family drama that centers on grief and the exacting toll it takes to pursue one’s passions. Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert) was a celebrated war photographer whose life’s blood was centered on reporting conflicts around the world no matter what the cost. Though she dearly loved her schoolteacher husband Gene (Gabriel Byrne) and two sons Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) and Conrad (Devin Druid), life in a sleepy New York suburb left her listless and frustrated, and eventually her death from a car accident was eventually ruled as not so “accidental.”
The non-linear narrative mainly takes place three years after Isabelle’s death, as Gene and Jonah are trying to keep her suicide a secret from Conrad, an introspective teenager whose days are spent playing video games (Elder Scrolls Online to be exact) in his bedroom and harboring a crush on a fellow classmate (Ruby Jerins).
Each member of the family has ways of coping with Isabelle’s passing. Gene, who initially had designs on an acting life, sacrificed for the greater good of the family and played house husband while Isabelle went on various assignments, often with a journalist (David Straitharn) who may have been more than just a colleague. With secrets of his own, Gene seeks solace in a relationship with a co-worker (Amy Ryan) who’s also Conrad’s English teacher. Jonah, a sociology professor and a new father, is all grown up, but after returning home to sift through his mother’s photographs, his cool exterior begins to crumble.
Louder Than Bombs‘ true power lies in the gradual uncovering of the complexities of human relationships. No one is exempt from heartbreak and loss, and along the way mistakes and even unwitting deceptions is part of that process. Through the effective use of voiceovers, pinpoint editing (the film effectively balances present day and flashbacks), and performances, Louder Than Bombs brings much needed cinema to a story that could have been easily categorized as a “movie of the week” experience.
Instead, we are immersed in each of these family members’ world, and depending on our own tastes, we may gravitate to one person’s story over the next. While we’ve come to expect solid work from Huppert, Byrne, and Eisenberg, it’s Druid’s raw performance as the emotionally complex and talented Conrad that is the absolute surprise. Saddled with pain and a bit of anger, Conrad makes a spontaneous decision to think outside the box and connect with his high school crush, leading to the story’s most revelatory moment.
Though director Joachim Trier, who penned the script Eskil Vogt, doesn’t dole out quick fix answers on how to deal with life and loss, there is a subtle sense of grace that rests deep within the shadows, waiting for the morning’s light.
Louder Than Bombs is now playing in select theaters.
****To check out our Hollywood Outbreak interview with director Joachim Trier below:
We also discuss Louder Than Bombs on this week’s CinemAddicts (starting at the 31:57 mark). Check out the media bar below to listen to the review:
Trent Harmon is the final winner of American Idol, and for the 25-year-old it’s been quite a run. The powerhouse singer, who’s made ends meet as a waiter in Mississippi, beat out La’Porsha Renae for the crown, and was obviously thankful for the honor.
“(American Idol) is a machine that pumps out superstars,” said Harmon. “I’m just blessed to be able to have that opportunity to maybe go be one. Idol is the real deal. You may not like Idol. You may laugh at it, whatever you want to do, it doesn’t matter. There’s a stage full of people today that can put that (notion) to bed.”
American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, who described the finale as “overwhelming,” talked about saying goodbye to one of the most high profile jobs on television. “Even though I’ll be busy and I have to go to work in the morning, nothing will ever be like this,” said Seacrest. “This has been the most amazing launching pad for me personally and for so many of us and for that I’ll always be grateful and it’ll never be replaceable.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Harmon talk about what he thought about seconds before his name was announced as the winner of American Idol:
It’s a great week for movies, and on the latest episode of CinemAddicts we cover two stories that deal with grief and one narrative that is all about the GoPro.
First up is Demolition, which has Jake Gyllenhaal playing an investment banker who goes through an emotional tailspin after his wife’s (Heather Lind) untimely passing. Co-starring Chris Cooper and Naomi Watts, the picture also features a stunning performance from relative newcomer Judah Lewis.
Hardcore Henry is a first-person shooter style, GoPro shot action flick starring Sharlto Copley, Haley Bennett, and Tim Roth. Running at a brisk 96 minutes, this immersive tale should draw an immediate cult following.
If you want to see Jesse Eisenberg as someone other than Lex Luthor this weekend, check out the subtle yet haunting family drama Louder Than Bombs, the first English language speaking film from Joachim Trier. The story centers on how a combat photographer’s (Isabelle Huppert) death continues to effect family (Gabriel Byrne, Devin Druid, Eisenberg) in different ways. This New York shot feature is filled with excellent performances, and Eisenberg turns in a wonderfully measured performance as Jonah, the eldest son who initially serves as the family’s anchor.
Check out the latest episode of CinemAddicts below:
Tonight’s American Idol finale will have a Mississippi feel, as Amory’s Trent Harmon and McComb’s La’Porsha Renae are vying for the AI crown. Though Renae has been favored all season to win it all, Harmon had a standout showing last night thanks to his coronation song “Falling,” a bluesy tune penned by AI judge Keith Urban, Dallas Davidson, and Brett James.
“First of all, I love my friends,” said Harmon. “I love Dalton Rapattoni to death so I was really sad for about three seconds. Then I was like, ‘you know what, this is competition, I’m going to war.’ Not so much against La’Porsha (but) it’s time to get your game face on. I’m a ball player (and) I go in with that mindset of ‘It’s time to go to the mound’ and ‘It’s time to go to work.’
Whether or not he wins the American Idol crown, Trent Harmon aims to continue to stay focused on his career and follow his own voice no matter what the cost. Click on the media bar below to hear Harmon talk about being compared to Kelly Clarkson and life after American Idol:
Check out the American Idol finale tonight on FOX (8 pm et/pt).
Shot amidst the picaresque landscapes of Fishers Island, The Last Treasure Hunt centers on Oliver and Lucy (Casey Nelson, Kate Murdoch), estranged siblings who reconnect after their father’s untimely death. Still reeling over a perceived betrayal from Lucy, Oliver converses with his sister in a condescending manner, and the further she tries to combat his unfriendliness, the deeper their rift grows.
Instead of leaving them a coherent will to help his kids get the estate in order, he has them undertake a treasure hunt as the first step in getting their proverbial house in order. As Oliver and Lucy begrudgingly solve their late father’s many puzzles, the pair deal with their own journey in accepting their respective antipathy towards each other and the grief over their dad’s passing.
Nelson and Murdoch co-wrote the screenplay, and for them it was a put up or shut up moment in their careers. “We were nobodies,” said Murdoch. “We didn’t know anyone. We just wanted to create roles for ourselves. Though it’s very hard it’s definitely a journey, it’s not as monumental and hard as people make it out to be. If Casey and I can do it, absolutely anyone can do it.”
They met each other years ago at a Vermont running camp as youths (Nelson ran at University of Georgia and Murdoch took her running shoes to Cornell) and Nelson admits having a close collaborator was paramount in getting The Last Treasure Hunt made.”I tell Kate this all the time, but there is no way I could have done this without her,” said Nelson. “There’s no way I could sit down and write a script and get a movie made by myself. I would have just given up, and we were both there to pick each other up if the other one fell down. We just kept moving forward.”
I Saw The Light, now playing in select theaters, is one of Tom Hiddleston’s most inspired and challenging performances, as playing iconic country singer-songwriter Hank Williams was no easy task. Part of Hiddleston’s journey in becoming Williams included working hours on end with musician Rodney Crowell to effectively capture the artist’s most signature tunes. The actor was also aided by the costumes and suits that also captured Williams’ charismatic persona.
“I think I had actually just got back from London and I dyed my hair black and as I walked into the costume fitting there was a whole rail of these really earthy, brown, sort of khaki tones that Hank wore and the most fantastically printed ties,” said Williams. “Big double-breasted suits and pleated trousers. We had a fitting that lasted about two or three hours and I came away . . . when you put the costume on it makes you feel different and it makes you stand in a different way. All of those costumes were instrumental on how I felt on the day.”
Part of the joy of doing I Saw The Light must have also come from receiving support from members of the Williams family. Click on the media bar below to hear Tom Hiddleston talk about receiving a letter from singer-songwriter Holly Williams (Hank Williams’ granddaughter).
I Saw The Light co-stars Elisabeth Olsen as Hank’s strong-willed wife (and fellow country singer) Audrey Williams.
Directed by Jodie Foster, Money Monster centers on Lee Gates (George Clooney), a financial TV host who is held hostage by a frustrated investor (Jack O’Connell) who lost his savings due to what he believes is a financial conspiracy. The film also reunites Clooney with his Ocean’s Eleven co-star Julia Roberts, who plays a TV producer in the film.
“It was incredible,” said Roberts, as she talked about her Money Monster experience last year while promoting Secret In Their Eyes. “And I worship Jodie Foster ten times as much as I did now as I did before I worked for her. She’s really remarkable. Of course you go ‘oh she’s brilliant, she’s Jodie Foster‘ but to see it working, to see it kind of going all the time and to be responsible for so much stuff. She looks effortless.”
Money Monster, co-starring Dominic West and Giancarlo Esposito, opens nationwide May 13.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s numbers may have dropped 68.4% in its second weekend, but it still easily managed a first place finish. Horrible reviews and lukewarm word of mouth has not stopped this film from turning a solid profit for Warner Bros. Coming in second was Zootopia with $20 million, and the film has made over $275 million stateside.
One of this year’s biggest surprises is Miracles From Heaven, which checked in this weekend at #5 ($7.6 million). To date, the $13 million budgeted film has pulled in over $46 million domestically.
Here’s the top 10:
1. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice - $52.4 million
2. Zootopia - $20 million
3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 - $11.2 million
4. God’s Not Dead 2 - $8.1 million
5. Miracles From Heaven - $7.6 million
6. The Divergent Series: Allegiant - $5.73 million
7. 10 Cloverfield Lane - $4.8 million
8. Meet the Blacks - $4.1 million
9. Eye in the Sky - $4.0 million
10. Deadpool - $3.6 million
Even though MacKenzie Bourg was eliminated last night on American Idol, he is not going to sulk in the corner and lick his wounds. Instead, he sees this experience as an important part of his music journey, and he’s ready to forge ahead.
“I’m just kind of ready to go to work and get to the real part of what makes the people that get kicked off successful,” said Bourg, who performed the Leonard Cohen track ‘Halleluhjah’ on the show. “A lot of people spend a lot of time just moping on themselves - I don’t have any interest in doing that. I’m just ready to get the ball rolling and get music out.”
Bourg also adds that he had an instinct that he feels “really good” about his entire American Idol experience and he’ll take those lessons to heart. Click on the media bar below to hear MacKenzie Bourg talk about what he’s learned throughout his run on American Idol.
Catch American Idol on Tuesday, April 5 (FOX, 8 pm et/pt).