Box Office

The Box Office is starting to heat up again thanks to some Young Adult blood. I’m not talking about blood sacrifices. (It’s not Halloween just yet.) I’m talking about The Maze Runner, a surprisingly good adaptation of a book I’ve never heard of, but nonetheless enjoyed enough to recommend. The Maze Runner brought in $32.5 million and won the weekend. It also got the green-light for the sequel The Scorch Trials. At #2, we have the Liam Neeson thriller, A Walk Among The Tombstoneswhich Dave was not so crazy about, at $13.1 million. This Is Where I Leave You opened at $11.9 million since it reminded everyone of the film adaptation of August: Osage County. Idris Elba and critics didn’t scare enough people away from No Good Deed to stop it from coming in at #4 with $10.2 million. And finally, Dolphin Tale 2 crawled to 5th place with $9 million, effectively smashing my dreams for Dolphin Tale: The Final Chapter or the crossover with Halloween franchise, Dolphin Tale: H20: Another 20 Years Later.

News

As usual, superhero movies take up the biggest news stories of the week. This week we got two big Marvel stories:

1) Avengers: Age of Ultron synopsis was released and pretty much confirms everything we already knew:

Marvel Studios presents Avengers: Age of Ultron, the epic follow-up to the biggest superhero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk.  Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision. Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series The Avengers, first published in 1963. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015.

The good news is that the film is far denser than this simple synopsis would have you think. The bad news is that we have to wait until late October or November for a trailer to drop.

2) A Deadpool movie was announced! I’m not a big fan of the character’s recent iterations (minus the Night of the Living Deadpool run), but there’s some serious potential for it. I don’t want crappy superhero movies. Make this one count, guys. Ryan Reynolds played the character in the notoriously bad X-Men Origins: Wolverine and did a pretty good job of it. Sure, every other comic book movie he’s been in has been poison at the box office, but maybe the 311th time is the charm?

I was initially lukewarm on the Hunger Games franchise. The first had some good ideas but never grabbed me due to sloppy direction. Catching Fire made me fall in love with the themes, characters, and universe in a way I haven’t felt since the Harry Potter franchise. There was a teaser trailer released early on and some smaller marketing teasers but this one is what it’s all about. I’ll let you check it out for yourself, but I can’t wait to watch Katniss Everdeen continue to crush the patriarchy.

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