Weekend @ the Box Office

Comedy sequels generally don’t fare as well critically as their predecessors, but the box office more than makes up for it. Dumb and Dumber To brought Harry and Lloyd $38,053,000 on opening weekend. Just edged out of the number one spot is Big Hero 6 pulling in $36,100,000 which continues to grab audiences from the superhero and family crowds. I doubt it’ll make Frozen money, but we can expect it to roll into an extra hundred million or so before it opens in more markets. The divisive Christopher Nolan movie Interstellar had 38% drop this week with $29,190,000. I haven’t yet seen the film but I’ll be damned if I don’t get to see this one in theaters. Every once in a while we get a movie that I’ve never heard of in the top 5 at the box office. This week we have Beyond the Lights which is definitely a movie with actors in it. BtL opened to $6.5 million. Gone Girl proves David Fincher can appeal to people beyond cinephiles as it brings in $4,625,000 in its 7th week of release.

Movie News

Daniel Bruhl made all of us swoon with his charming approach to a Nazi soldier in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. Then we remembered he was a Nazi and that’s generally a bad thing so we cheered when Shoshanna shot him. Then Bruhl starred in Ron Howard’s Rush in 2013 and didn’t get much credit for his role there. Marvel decided Bruhl had been unappreciated for too long so they decided to cast him as Baron Someone Or Other.

Variety reported Bruhl would join the film as one of the villains (there will be multiple) known as Baron Mordo, before becoming the main villain in Doctor Strange. That’s… odd. Baron Mordo is a magicky type of villain, with his specialty being in the mystic arts and demonic imagery. Doesn’t quite fit the aesthetic of a Captain America movie, let alone one titled Civil War.

Over at BadassDigest, there is speculation that there is a simple mixup of Baron’s and that Bruhl is actually playing Baron Zemo. For comic book geeks, we have no lives so it’s easy for us to keep track of all the Baron’s in this comic universe. Baron Von Strucker made his appearance in The Winter Soldier post-credit scene and will play a small part in Age of Ultron. Von Strucker is a classic villain, sporting a monocle and everything, but Baron Zemo is even more comic book. He wears a purple mask over his face (it got stuck to his face because comics) and then went comic book crazy (also because comics).

Next to the Red Skull (who some presume Bruhl could also be playing, replacing Hugo Weaving in the role) Baron Zemo is the most important Captain America villain and a pretty important Marvel villain in general. Zemo creates the Masters of Evil which are the quintessential team of evil villains. The character has longevity. Of course this could all be bullshit and he really is playing Baron Mordo and Marvel will continue to blow our minds with what they’re capable of.

If you were worried about Cristoph Waltz winning easy Oscars with roles in Quentin Tarantino movies, fear not!  He will instead take the daunting task of following up Javier Bardem’s Silva from Skyfall as the next Bond villain. There were talks of Chiwetel Ejiofor going toe to toe with Daniel Craig’s Bond in Bond 24 but those talks never went anywhere. There was also rumors of Waltz taking up a villain role in Pirates 5 opposite Johnny Depp. I assume he realized that was a horrible idea and didn’t want to go down with that sunk franchise.

Director Park Chan-Wook is one hell of a director. He made the leap to English language films with a severely underrated Stoker. That under appreciation won’t stop Director Park from tackling another English language film, this time, a science fiction thriller called Second Born. According to Variety, Second Born is a “futuristic world in which neural microchip implants are used to store one’s consciousness, leading to black market body-swapping” so we can expect the same Park Chan-Wook weirdness. Others have compared the script to Blade Runner which is all kinds of YES from me. Don’t quote me on this, but we’ll probably be unsettled by the end of this movie. I can’t wait.

Universal pictures sure enjoys money but they don’t really know how to attract audiences to give it to them beyond the Fast and Furious franchise. That’s why Universal is courting Justin Lin to return for a Fast and Furious two-part finale (I really want Infinity Cars to be the subtitle). On top of that, at a roundtable by the Hollywood Reporter, Universal chairman Donna Langley claims to have at least three more entries in the car superhero franchise.

“We think there’s at least three more. Paul is, and always will be, an integral part of the story. But there are many other great characters, and it’s also an opportunity to introduce new characters. I think it’s still a growing franchise. We’ll see what happens with Furious 7, obviously, but our box office has grown over the past three or four films and internationally, in particular. So we think that there’s more to mine there. But we’re of course very mindful about fatigue.”

That sounds pretty rad but then Donna Langley also mentions the plans for a Universal Monsters franchise:

“We don’t have any capes [in our film library]. But what we do have is an incredible legacy and history with the monster characters. We’ve tried over the years to make monster movies — unsuccessfully, actually. So, we took a good, hard look at it, and we settled upon an idea, which is to take it out of the horror genre, put it more in the action-adventure genre and make it present day, bringing these incredibly rich and complex characters into present day and reimagine them and reintroduce them to a contemporary audience.”

That’s worrisome because Dracula Untold was really not good. Van Helsing was an action-adventure approach to the horror genre and, while I actually enjoy it as a guilty pleasure, I’m fully aware of how shitty it is. Dracula Untold barely made a dent in the box office, and now it’s going to be leading headfirst into a shared Avengers-style monster universe. Looks like Sony will no longer be responsible for the worst superhero franchise.

I recommend watching the hour-long THR interview as it’s fun to watch the chairmen of the biggest movie companies discuss – in the most politically correct way possible – how they go about making movies.

Trailer of the Week

It was slim pickings this week in terms of trailer talk but we have to talk about this. I don’t remember if I watched Divergent. Given my general “What the hell am I watching?” reaction to the whole Insurgent teaser, I’m inclined to say “no” but another part of me thinks this teaser is just really weird. Shailene Woodley has short hair and she sees her mom. Her mom gets stuck in a flying box that catches on fire. Short haired Shailene turns into Neo from The Matrix and slides all around the box trying to save her mom before the fire box crashes into a building or something. On the one hand, this teaser does a good job of not letting me know too much about the movie. But then the trailer also leaves me confused as hell. It looks terrible but I kind of want to see how terrible it will be. I’m so confused. Please help.

Tweets of the Week



Feature Image: Marvel Studios