Tag Archives: anthony mackie


30 Nov

michael_b_jordan_main 1. The Hunger Games Mockingjay 2      Wknd/$ 51.6     Total/$ 198.3
2. The Good Dinosaur/Disney                Wknd/$ 39.2     Total/$ 55.6
3. Creed/WB                                               Wknd/$ 30.1     Total/$ 42.6
4. Spectre/Sony                                          Wknd/$ 12.8     Total/$ 176.1
5. The Peanuts Movie/Fox                       Wknd/$ 9.2       Total/$ 116.8
6. The Night Before/Sony                         Wknd/$ 8.2      Total/$ 24.1
7. The Secret in Their Eyes/STX            Wknd/$ 4.5        Total/$ 14.0
8. Spotlight/ORF                                       Wknd/$ 4.5        Total/$ 12.3
9. Brooklyn/FoxSearchlight                    Wknd/$ 3.8        Total/$ 7.3
10. The Martian/Fox                                 Wknd/$ 3.3        Total/$ 218.6

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part II: The Cash Grab Everyone Learned From Harry Potter About Splitting Books holds at number one and you think Jennifer Lawrence just joined the club that Daniel Radcliff and Kristen Stewart started called “Not That I’m Ungrateful, But Thank God It’s Over?” And somewhere Rooney Mara is part of a much, much, much larger club called “It Never Even Got Started.”

The Good Dinosaur opens at number two and two original Pixar movies in a row!?! In the same year!?! And both of them good!?! Hell, Christmas may have just been taken care of. This is the story of a boy and his dinosaur. Wait. Scratch that. It’s a dinosaur and his boy who is basically a dog. And in case you didn’t get it from the sniffing, the howling and the life on all fours, his name is “Spot.” Set on a world where the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs misses so prehistoric man actually shares the planet with dinosaurs, but in a decided non-Jurassic Park way. Mankind is not only not the top of the food chain, but are so low they aren’t even considered a primary food source by the T-Rexes that later show up. They’re considered “critters” little more than squirrels and annoying in the way they eat the crop the Apatosaurus clan is trying to grow and store for the winter. Because he’s the smallest and can’t farm like his brother and sister, Arlo has the responsibility of a) feeding the scary prehistoric turkeys (why they’re keeping them if they’re vegetarians is unexplained) and b) trapping and killing the “critter” who’s been eating their stored crops. When Arlo instead frees the small boy, his father insists they track him and finish him which leads to the required Disney “Death of a Parent” in a storm that causes the river to flood. It’s hardly a spoiler as I don’t think you’re allowed to make a film associated with Disney without it. It’s probably half the reason they bought Marvel to begin with. From Spider-Man to Captain America to Iron Man to Thor to…shit all of them have at least one dead parent if not both (and in Spider-Man’s case two dead parents and the death of a father figure). Blaming the little human they were tracking instead of his father’s own stubborn nature, Arlo chases him and gets caught in a storm similar to the one that killed his father and both are washed away miles from Arlo’s home. This is when Arlo finds out Spot—as he names him—has bonded with him because Arlo spared his life and they begin a Journey of Natty Gann type of return to his home, where Arlo of course learns to overcome the fears that have plagued him his entire life. It’s not A+ perfect Pixar like a Finding Nemo or The Incredibles or Up, but it’s a solid A and thankfully not a freaking sequel.

Creed opens at number three and making a seventh film in the Rocky saga sounds like a horrible money-grubbing idea…until you hand it over to an acclaimed indie film director and cut Sylvester Stallone completely out of the creative process. While I thought the last film, Rocky Balboa, was actually a nice little movie with probably the best Stallone performance since the first film (only surpassed by this one), the rest all suffered from Stallone’s total control but limited talents, much in the same way the inspired idea of The Expendables has died so quickly. Stallone’s reach (aka, his ego) continually exceeds his grasp. Ryan Coogler, however, who made the much-acclaimed Fruitvale Station a few years back, is only interested in making a good movie, not feeding his ego and reteamed with his leading man, Michael B. Jordan, that’s exactly what he does. Nothing is new here, but there are no new stories, only how you retell the old ones and the old ones are all retold here very well. Seriously, the main plot is one of a son living in the shadow of his father, topped off with him being a bastard was born after his father died. It doesn’t get more cliché than that…at least until the older mentor develops cancer. Like I said, very few clichés are left unturned. But again, it’s about the execution. The film is over two hours, but it never seems to drag and even the old Rocky theme is dragged out and updated to maximum effect.

Spectre is down to number four and if you need any greater clue to how incompetent this film is, know they wasted Christoph Waltz, which I thought was impossible. First they waste Monica Bellucci in what is little more than a glorified cameo—seriously, Teri Hatcher had a more important role in Tomorrow Never Dies and she gets killed—and then Christoph Waltz as the villain is pissed away which is a horrible mistake as most action films tend to only be as good as their villains.

The Peanuts Movie is down to number five, followed by The Night Before at number six and yes, Thanksgiving does officially open the doors for the Christmas Season, but this still feels too soon. That said, Seth Rogen’s participation basically means an automatic pass for me and there’s precious little to change that opinion. Yeah, I like Lizzy Caplan, but not that much. In fact, the best thing about this for me was seeing the three leads on Lip Sync Battle, where we got to see how flabby Anthony Mackie is currently. Yes, schadenfruede is how I roll. Now and always.

Speaking of movies I give an automatic pass to, The Secret in Their Eyes is down to number seven and this stars Julia Roberts and I’ve been an anti-fan since Pretty Woman. I’ve never understood her popularity much less her success or any indication of talent. She’s a movie star like Tom Cruise is movie star. Neither is an actor. It’s a shame because there are two good actors in this: Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor. They’re actually capable of being other people in films. Roberts, not so much.

Spotlight holds at number eight and this is another for the “Oscar Bait” list, which is getting longer every day. So far it’s Steve Jobs, Bridge of Spies, Trumbo and Room. And hell, since we’re making a list, let’s just throw the number nine entry, Brooklyn, on it. Based on the novel about an Irish immigrant girl in 1950’s Brooklyn it looks freaking gorgeous and has garnered great reviews but I’ve got cartoon and sequels to see. I’ll get to it one day (maybe never).

The Martian holds at number ten and also in this is Kristen Wiig, who needed a hit more than you know. Seriously. It’s been awhile since Bridesmaids and while it’s great she’s been putting herself out there with dramatic indie work (always remember: brave = naked when it comes to female actors) lending her name to get smaller films made, that means about as much as good intentions. She needs to be in something that makes money. Hopefully, next time she’ll be the actual star.

Okay, there are no more new TV shows (until the mid-winter replacement season), but there are at least two more to mention…

Agent X: Seemed like a decent enough concept. The Vice President actually has a freaking job beyond going to funerals and that job is deploy a one man task force (charming and wisecracking of course) to handle threats totally off the books and beyond political affiliations and this has been in place since the founding of the country. Also, the VP is none other than Sharon Stone, rocking pantsuits and knee-high boots in modest skirts. Seemed pleasant enough for light Sunday night viewing. I rag on shit like Quantico, but I get why people like it for the same reason I like Blood & Oil, which airs right before it. Dumb fun. Unfortunately, Agent X lost me when it decided that it was going to have a serialized subplot about a conspiracy within the government. Just…no. I wanted light “one-and-done” episodes along the line of Burn Notice with maybe a reoccurring villain (which the plot set up). This conspiracy was not only a buzzkill, but doubled down it by making Sharon Stone’s late hubby on the show an adulterer and maybe the car crash that killed him wasn’t an accident. Yawn.

Into the Badlands: Now this is what I’m talking about. Set in a dystopic future where a feudal system has evolved and there are no guns so martial arts and swordfights (which is technically a martial art but a lot of people don’t get this) are how people settle their business. So basically, every Sunday I get mucho buttkicking in the best way possible. Of course our hero, Sunny, is the best fighter of them all, but is working for an evil baron who only becomes moreso once he learns a tumor is killing him. Our Sunny’s only hope is a teenaged boy from a mythical city beyond The Badlands. It seems Sunny may have been born there as well, but cannot remember. The boy can lead him to the city, but to do so they must go…INTO THE BADLANDS. Oh, did I mention the boy has some kind of power that manifests itself whenever he bleeds and another evil baron known as “The Widow” is after him for it? Unlike Agent X that addition only makes the show more interesting. It’s probably science but if it’s magic I’m down with that too. The fight scenes are so well done, you’d never know the lead actor isn’t even a martial artist. Can’t say that about every show (I’m looking at you, Arrow). And do I even have to say it? An Asian dude as the lead. Yeah, he’s doing martial arts, but sadly it still means something. Especially when they a) actually give him a love interest and b) she’s not Asian.





13 Apr


1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier     Wknd/$ 41.4      Total/$ 159.0
2. Rio 2/Fox                                                      Wknd/$ 39.0     Total/$ 39.0
3. Oculus/Relativity                                        Wknd/$ 12.0      Total/$ 12.0
4. Draft Day/LG                                               Wknd/$ 9.8        Total/$ 9.8
5. Divergent/LGF                                             Wknd/$ 7.5        Total/$ 124.9
6. Noah/Paramount                                        Wknd/$ 7.5        Total/$ 84.9
7. God’s Not Dead/Free                                  Wknd/$ 5.5        Total/$ 40.7
8. The Grand Budapest Hotel/Fox               Wknd/$ 4.1        Total/$ 39.5
9. Muppets Most Wanted/Disney                Wknd/$ 2.2        Total/$ 45.7
10. Mr. Peabody & Sherman/Fox                 Wknd/$ 1.8        Total/$ 105.2

Hanging on to the number one slot is Captain America: The Winter Soldier and appearing in this one is Captain America’s modern day partner, The Falcon (as opposed to his WWII partner, Bucky), played by Anthony Mackie, who was briefly the “Hot New Thing: Minority Version” a few years back appearing alongside other Hot New Things (Shia LeBeouf, Ryan Gosling, Sam Worthington) in major studio releases, but none of them amounted to much and while his smaller, indie film work was well-received, his biggest success, The Hurt Locker, was the lowest grossing Best Picture winner Oscar history. Needless to say once it was clear he was not going to be the new Denzel or Will Smith, when Marvel came a-knocking he grabbed onto it with both hands, not hesitating to sign up for as many sequels as they wanted. This contrasts with Chris Evans who refused the Captain America role and its initial 12 movie requirement (he got them down to 9 and clearly he’s already tired of it at 3). Mackie on the other hand is trying to get into movies he’s not even supposed be in like the Avengers sequel. In the comics The Falcon is actually an unwilling Avenger, joining only as a favor to Cap because the government demands more minorities. His presence as Cap’s partner was very notable in the 60’s and 70’s for obvious reasons and he even shared the title, but as written by Stan Lee it was more than a bit homoerotic. So basically it was like every male action team in history.

Rio 2 opens at number two and clearly someone pointed out to them that simply having two birds cannot recreate an entire species which was the conceit of the first film, so this one is about them discovering they are not alone and the species is in fact alive and well. Maybe if they’d included them in the first film I might have seen it because that unbelievable bit of genetic stupidity is what put me off the first one. That it was basically about a doomed species was simply too depressing for a kiddie animated film. This is too little, too late…as its box office opening suggests.

Oculus opens at number three and as we all know I DON’T DO THE SCARY! And this looked scary in a real way, not a stupid way like most. And while that PG13 suggests a major cop out, it still wasn’t enough for me. And look to an Oculus 2 because it only cost $5M to make and opened at $12M.

Draft Day opens at number four and the only real surprise is that it opened this high as the only people who give a crap about draft day for real are too fat and lazy to get up out of their easy chairs to go and see it. I know Kevin Costner is on a mild comeback run right now, but he should have stuck with what works for him: baseball. His bland cornfed appeal suits that sport perfectly, but you know the only thing more boring than a football draft? A baseball draft. Actually a baseball anything.

Divergent is down to number five and also in this catching a free ride on the backs of the kids is Kate Winslet. Hey, she’s earned it. Maybe she’ll become to young female leads what Jon Voight and Dennis Hopper were to young male leads: a strong, older antagonist whose presence automatically elevates the film…and who makes a buttload of money for only being onscreen for 20 minutes tops.

Noah is down to number six and also in this are Emma Watson and Logan Lerman and if you think they were cast to try and get the kids in to see a movie about the Bible give yourself a star. Give yourself two if you’re over 30 and even know who the hell they are. But no kids not forced by their churches are going to see God’s Not Dead at number seven, so they didn’t waste their time trying to Zac Efron.

The Grand Budapest hotel is down to number eight, followed by Muppets Most Wanted at number nine and Mr. Peabody & Sherman closing out the top ten at number ten.


5 May


1. Iron Man 3/Paramount                             Wknd/$175.3            Total/$ 175.3

 2. Pain and Gain/Paramount                       Wknd/$   7.6            Total/$  33.9

 3. 42/ Warners                                                Wknd/$   6.2            Total/$  78.3

 4. Oblivion/Universal                                    Wknd/$   5.8            Total/$  76.0

 5. The Croods/Fox                                          Wknd/$   4.2            Total/$ 168.7

 6. The Big Wedding/LGF                              Wknd/$   3.9            Total/$  14.2

 7. Mud/                                                             Wknd/$   2.2            Total/$    5.2

 8. Oz The Great & Powerful/Disney           Wknd/$   1.8             Total/$ 228.6

 9. Scary Movie 5/Dimension                        Wknd/$   1.4             Total/$  29.6

10. The Place Beyond the Pines/Focus        Wknd/$   1.3             Total/$   18.7



Iron Man 3 opens at number one and saying this is better than Iron Man 2 is like saying daylight is brighter than moonlight.  The second suffered from the worst conceits of “sequelitis” and Robert Downey Jr. has all but apologized for it in subsequent interviews. And he should have. It was so bad I can’t even use it as background noise when it runs on cable. You know how awful you have to that to happen!?!  For me!?! I’ve got Sahara on right now! Unlike the second film this has a genuine villain, someone who wants to do bad things for fun and profit, not just someone with a grudge against Tony Stark. The Mandarin is apparently terrorizing the US with random bombings while sending taunting messages to the president.  War Machine is assigned to track him down, but when Happy Hogan is injured by one of these bombings, Iron Man gets involved and apparently bites off more than he can chew. In the comics The Mandarin is THE Iron Man villain. The Lex Luthor to his Superman, the Joker to his Batman, so his appearance is here is due and while they take a potentially sensitive issue (stereotypical Fu Manchu style evil Asian villain) and provide a nice, funny twist, you can still smell the stench of fear of offending the increasingly important audience in mainland China (as well as Chinese debt holders). But he’s not the only threat to Iron Man. In a nice touch we see a superhero suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from dealing with the incredible events of his life, in this case the events of The Avengers movie. He probably should have been suffering from PSTD in the first film due to the abduction (which is mentioned), but better late than never. This actually touches on the core of what has always made the Marvel heroes so appealing: their human feet of clay.  I loves me some Superman more than any other character but I can understand why others find him so difficult to relate to. He’s all-powerful, always right and never has doubts or fails.  Tony Stark might actually have more flaws than virtues, which is what makes him so appealing to so many people. He continually rises above his basic selfish nature to do what’s right and now he has to fighting his own anxieties and fears which are a result of doing just that which makes him a much more interesting character, especially when events land in him Tennessee with a 10-year-old boy as his sidekick.  Their chemistry is easily the best part of this film and I would have sacrificed any number of CGI fight scenes for more of it.  Actually, I would sacrificed most of the overlong climactic fight scene in this near two-hour film, because by the time we get to it the film has just about overstayed its welcome and the plethora of different Iron Man suits, while fun to see just stinks of toy merchandising.



Pain and Gain is down to number two and also in this is Anthony Mackie who a few years back was heralded as the “Hot New Thing – Black Male Version” (not to be confused with “Hot New Thing Male” “Hot New Thing Female” “Hot New Thing Latino Male” “Hot New Thing Latino Female” and “Hot New Thing Asian Female” because there is no “Hot New Thing Asian Male.”) only to fizzle out and fail to ascend and take the place of Denzel Washington, still “the” Black Male leading man in Hollywood, Denzel Washington despite his age.  Unfortunately, likes so man others Mackie has simply wound up basically becoming the first choice in Black sidekicks for the White lead, which he will cement by becoming nothing less than a Super Black Sidekick as Captain America’s partner, The Falcon, in the upcoming Captain America sequel.  Clearly the last few years have taught him that it’s better to serve in heaven than reign in hell and it doesn’t get closer to heaven than being part of a billion dollar movie franchise.  It’s gonna pay for a lot of indie films where he can be the actual lead…or so he (and his agent) keeps telling himself.



42 holds at number three, followed by Oblivion at number four and also in this is Olga Kurylenko, best known as the female lead in the second Daniel Craig film that no one seemed to like, but honestly was better than Skyfall. Not that it was all that great, but better than Skyfall.  As always, you can chart the ascension of a leading woman by the age of her leading men. As she rises, and works on bigger films, they will get older.  Kurylenko is 34 and her last few leading men have been Mark Walberg, Daniel Craig, Ben Affleck and Tom Cruise. Not one of them under forty and in Cruise’s case, quite a bit above it.  The closest she’s come a peer was Centurion where she spent most of the movie trying to kill a Michael Fassbender.  Of course, this was before he became a star and now that he is, she would have to kill someone to be his female lead.



The Croods holds at number five, followed by The Big Wedding at number six and also in this is Katherine Heigl, one of the few people in this film under 60 whose name can actually go above the title, though she’s stumbled in her last few choices of Killers with Ashton Kutcher, Life As We Know It with Josh Duhamel and One For The Money with some other pretty boys. Noticing a trend?  Did I mention she and her mother are also producing these lackluster works? Now, as much as I respect the emphasis on the pretty, because god knows that’s what men do to women, if they’d paid as much attention to directors and scripts as they clearly do to the cheekbones of her leading men, they might be able to keep her name above the title. You don’t have to choose one or the other, Kathy. You can have pretty boys and a good script. Just sayin’…



Mud jumps into the top ten at number seven proving there’s no such thing as bad publicity as the female lead in this is none other than law enforcement provoker and that girl you don’t want to get drunk with, Reese Witherspoon. Unlike most, I wasn’t surprised because I knew she wasn’t simply a debutante but a freaking southern debutante.  The real wonder is that one of these types of incidents hasn’t happened before.  The unexpected success of this is also another step on Matthew McConughey’s comeback tour after Killer Joe and Magic Mike (I still say he was cheated out of an Oscar nomination).  What’s he coming back from? Being a shirtless exercise fiend and naked bongo playing punchline rather than actual actor.  And again this is from someone who has Sahara on right now.



An unwelcome return to the top ten is Oz The Great and Powerful to number at number eight, followed by Scary Movie 5 still hanging around at number nine and The Place Beyond the Pines closing out the top ten at number ten.


27 Jan


1. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters            Wknd/$  19.0            Total/$  19.0

 2. Mama/Universal                                      Wknd/$  12.9            Total/$  48.6

 3. Silver Linings Playbook/Wein               Wknd/$  10.0            Total/$  69.5

 4. Zero Dark Thirty/Sony                            Wknd/$   9.8             Total/$  69.9

 5. Parker/                                                        Wknd/$   7.0             Total/$    7.0

 6. A Haunted House/                                    Wknd/$   8.3             Total/$  30.0

 7. Django Unchained/Weinstein                Wknd/$   5.0             Total/$ 146.3

 8. Gangster Squad/Warners                        Wknd/$   4.2             Total/$  39.6

 9. Broken City/Fox                                         Wknd/$   4.0            Total/$  15.3

10. Les Miserables/Universal                        Wknd/$   3.9            Total/$ 137.2



Wait. Are you kidding me? Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters opened at number one?  I saw it as a goof, but clearly I wasn’t the only one down for some dumb fun this weekend.  Ironically this film was postponed numerous times and clearly dumped in January because they expected it to completely tank (January and August are where studios release films they expect to tank but have to release for contractual reasons).  It’s not great by any stretch of the imagination, but not awful either and the saving grace of this movie is that it knows it’s ridiculous.  From the opening credits where Hansel & Gretel are built by the newspapers at the time into media heroes to the very first shot afterwards where pictures of missing kids are attached to…milk bottles. Get it?  If anything it should have embraced this just a little bit more and taken it fully over the top.  Of course then you’d need a director with a better sense of comic timing and a wittier script, both of which are in short supply here because the director was the writer. Let me put it this way: that milk carton joke?  That’s as smart and as it gets (a truly imaginative director/writer would have filled the climax where literally dozens of evil witches appear with homages to classic witches of the movies).  The rest is filled with rather generic action and gore; entertaining for that moment but instantly forgettable. In fact the only thing I really do remember is that Gemma Areterton takes a beating in her action scenes like I’ve on seen male action heroes take, so…progress?  But of course she still has a male-friendly costume (tight leather pants, corset and a serious push-up bra) and for that little lack of progress I am appreciative.  She was pushed as the “new hot thing” only a year or two back when she was in every other film (Quantum of Silence, Prince of Persia, Clash of the Titans) but since most of them were disappoints Hollywood moved on, but this unexpected big opening may have put her back into the game.



Mama is down to number two and also in this is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, best known from Game of Thrones but I know him from an underrated show called New Amsterdam about a NYPD detective (named Amsterdam of course, but it works since the actor is Danish…or is he Dutch?) who is cursed by immortality until he falls in love.  No, it was not based on the book, Forever, by Pete Hamill about a man who is given immortality so long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan, though I can see how you and Pete Hamill’s lawyers might think that.  On New Amsterdam it was given by a Native American; in Forever it was given by Africans slaves begging the question, if they had this much power why weren’t using it for other things like stopping genocide or fleeing themselves from bondage.  Yeah, when you see the words “immortal cop” you can’t go around asking yourself deeper questions.  Just go with it.  Nikolaj was also in one of my late night cable guilty pleasures: Wimbledon. Seriously. I’ll watch it whenever it’s on.



Silver Linings Playbook holds at number three, followed by Zero Dark Thirty down to number four and Parker opening poorly at number five.  This is based on a character from a series of books one of which was the basis of the movie Payback with Mel Gibson (though in that movie they changed it to Porter).  Sadly, the Mel Gibson movie was better.  When you pay to see a revenge movie with Jason Statham you expect an unholy barrage of retribution via bodycount and broken limbs, not the occasional action scene between a lukewarm, charmless Ocean’s Eleven type heist flick filled with aesthetically challenged actors.  And Jennifer Lopez was doing better genre pictures back in the days of Money Train.  At least then she was a butt-kicker in her own right. Here, she’s just “the girl” all the way down to a gratuitous scene where she has to strip down to her underwear.   It’s great she can still look great doing it at 43, but sad that’s all she’s contributing in a movie at 43.  And whose bright idea was to put them together in a movie and not hook them up? What exactly do they think people are paying for!?!



Django Unchained is down to number six, followed by Movie 43 opening up at number seven and this is seemingly the comedic equivalent of those horrible all-star holiday movies with one difference: people actually go to see those.  I mean, Haunted House opened better.  I’ve got nothing against crude and tasteless humor, but there’s just one add requirement: it has to be funny and the name Farrelly on this pretty much guaranteed that this would be only be crude and tasteless and I have given them their last chance.  Granted, he’s only one of many producers and writer and directors (this was filmed over a period of five years), but his name is a gigantic warning sign.  Not helping matters: Brett Ratner. Now you know not only will it not be funny but it will make other things you thought were funny before now unfunny.  Every time Brett Ratner makes a supposed comedy a real joke somewhere dies.



Gangster Squad is down to number eight and also in this is Anthony Mackie and I’m pretty sure the actual “Hat Squad” of the LAPD in the 50’s was hardly a fan of affirmative action so this is purely “get butts in the seats with multi-ethnic casting”. Like Gemma Arterton, Mackie was also touted as “the next big thing” a few years back, only to be in a bunch of duds and again, Hollywood moved on, but next year he’ll have his second shot at the brass ring as he’s playing The Falcon in new Captain America movie.  In the comics, The Falcon became Captain America’s best friend and partner when he awoke from suspended animation.  This has been your moment of geek knowledge for today.  Now you can embarrass yourself in any bar in America and make people wonder if you’ve even had your first kiss yet.



Broken City is down to number nine and Kyle Chandler is in this too? Honestly, this movie is one “Big 90’s” bit of casting. Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mark Walberg, Barry Pepper, Michael Beach and Jeffery Wright are all people who started off hot in the 90’s.  Granted clearly casting is being done along a certain age requirement but all I’m feeling is a since of nostalgia, like I can hear Nirvana and Blackstreet in the background as I read over that list.  Then again, the director is Allan Hughes of The Hughes Brothers who also blew up in the 90’s with Menace II Society, so maybe he’s casting along to people he always wanted to work with.



Finally, Les Miserables closes out the top ten and with a $313 worldwide box office from a $61M budget this is clearly a hit and honestly one both Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe needed judging by their other two films on this list (Jackman is in Movie 43).


2 Jul

1. Ted/Universal                                                Wknd/$   54.1            Total/$  54.1

 2. Magic Mike/Warner                                    Wknd/$   34.0            Total/$  39.2

 3. Brave/Disney                                                Wknd/$   34.0            Total/$ 131.7

 4. Madea’s Witness Protection/LGF            Wknd/$   26.4            Total/$  26.4

 5. Madagascar 3/Dreamworks                       Wknd/$   11.8            Total/$ 180.0

 6. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter         Wknd/$     6.0            Total/$  29.0

 7. Prometheus/Fox                                           Wknd/$     4.9            Total/$ 118.3

 8. Moonrise Kingdom/Focus                          Wknd/$     4.9            Total/$   18.4

 9. Snow White & The Huntsman/U              Wknd/$     4.4            Total/$ 145.6

10.People Like Us/Touchstone                       Wknd/$     4.3            Total/$    4.3



I have to give it up to the marketing people at Universal. Opening Ted—a movie made for men with the emotional maturity and sense of humor of a 14-year-old—against Magic Mike was a stroke of sheer genius. Many men were clearly threatened by it and what better place for them to take solace than a comedy from the creator of Family Guy?  The theater must have stunk with the smell of testosterone and fear.  I’ve never been a fan of Family Guy for the reasons everyone from the writers of to South Park to the writers of The Simpsons (who have both mocked Family Guy on their shows) has given: it’s lazy, immature humor. Now the idea that a childhood toy coming to life to still be with you getting drunk and watching 25 years later is actually funny. Funnier still is that no one thinks it’s a big deal any longer because of America’s short attention span.  What isn’t funny is pretty much every joke in the trailer.  Ooh, look! The stuffed bear talks dirty!  Oh, look he’s being dirty again. And again. Oh, and again.  Really, that’s it?  That’s all you can do with this premise?



Magic Mike opens at number two, but it’s already made over 5 times its $7M dollar budget, which makes it as successful as The Avengers in its first week alone. It’s this year’s Sex & The City, meaning the movie you and your girlfriends go to on girl’s night out.  And when I say “girlfriends” I don’t necessarily mean all women either.  The movie was also marketed very well as a girl’s night out event, which ironically helped Ted as it sent an entire group of men in the opposite direction. Good thing too, because I’m pretty sure if all the theaters were like the one I went into in Chelsea with lasers, a DJ and shirtless go-go boys they wouldn’t have lasted very long.  That said, the simple fact it’s about male strippers is about as edgy as it gets.  The story is oddly very old fashioned and if you replaced “stripping” with virtually any other type of entertaining, it’s the same thing.  They could be stand up comedians and the story of the older, but relatively young guy taking a newbie under his wing only to see him let the success go to his head spiral out of control, threatening to take the older guy down with him.  In addition the older guy is falling for the younger guy’s sister.  If you made it in the 50’s they could be rock & roll musicians.  If you made it in the 40’s they could be lounge singers (if they’d made it in the 70’s it would still be strippers, but with it would probably end with a body count to rival Hamlet.).  It’s the same story and the reason they keep using it is because it works, like Pygmalion or Cinderella.  A rise and fall alongside a fall and rise with a little romance thrown in.  It’s a good stock plot on which to justify lots and lots of barely clad men with no bodyfat.  This is the other reason boys fled to Ted.  It reminded them that women also have ideals of physical perfection that they will never, ever meet.  Seriously, some of these guys look like comic book characters they’re so cut and defined. It’s ridiculous.  And intimidating.  So much so I’m doing crunches as I type this. And by “crunches” I mean “eating chocolate caramels.”



Brave is down to number three and this is somewhat sad given how Madgascar 3: We’re Not Even As Good As A Bad Pixar Film held the stop slot for weeks.  But it hasn’t even made budget worldwide which is not good because they’re going to blame it on a female lead, especially right after The Princess & The Frog also disappointed, but the truth is neither film was that good. Now Mulan was successful despite being a musical. Know why? It was good.  See, not that hard.



Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection opens at number four, followed by Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted at number five with Prometheus down to number six and if you needed another reason to hate this movie, know that it’s inspired Tyler Perry to try and make his own science fiction movie because he was so disappointed by it and loves science fiction.  I’m going to assume you love good movies too, Tyler, but it’s never resulted in you making one.  You know who else loves science fiction?  Eddie Murphy. The results?  The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Meet Dave.  Oh, and there’s this guy George Lucas who also couldn’t make a good science fiction movie if his life depended on it, but I’ve no doubt he loves them as well.



Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is down to number seven and also in this is Anthony Mackie as Lincoln’s best friend since childhood who helps him fight the vampires.  His role is actually based on Lincoln’s servant who, when he died Lincoln had buried in Arlington of all places and on his tombstone inscribed “Citizen.”  Hmm. That’s pretty heavy for a butler.  Are we sure this is fiction?



Moonrise Kingdom re-enters the top ten at number eight and while I’m still taking the advice of friends I respect and not seeing this, I did finally catch The Fantastic Mr. Fox on-sale at Best Buy for just $10.  This had the misfortune to be released at the same time as Up, because honestly it’s on par with the best Pixar films and would have deserved the Academy Award just as much.



Snow White & The Huntsman is down to number nine and People Like Us enters the top ten at number ten with Chris Pine as Elizabeth Banks’ unknown half-brother and Michelle Pfeiffer plays his mother.  I always like it when gorgeous movie stars play the parents of other pretty people. It makes more sense than when you have these average-looking people as the parents to these stunning individuals.  It’s also more fun.  And if you’re looking for a reason to be angry at the universe, know that Olivia Munn has two films in the top ten this week. Yeah, her.