With Hollywood focused on the Oscars, this was one of the dullest box office weekends in recent memory, with each of the new releases arriving with a shrug, last week's champions plummeting and 'Identity Thief' climbing back to the top of the chart.
David O. Russell's 'Silver Linings Playbook' was the big winner at this year's Independent Spirit Awards, taking home four awards including Best Feature. Of course, the debate asking why a mainstream, star-studded box office smash beat out the actual indie fare at the Independent Spirit Awards, but that's a conversation for another time. Check out the rest of winners below!
'Identity Thief' has been in theaters for less than two weeks and it's already grossed $76 million at the box office, an enormous amount for a modestly budgeted comedy with a known but untested leading lady. Although critics haven't been as kind as audiences, $100 million is a sure thing at this point and we wouldn't rule out $150 million if March is kind to it. So of course Universal has already thought about an 'Identity Thief 2.' They probably thought about it two weeks ago.
'Star Wars: Episode 7' is still a few years away, but it's all the internet can talk about...even though everyone knows nothing about it. In that way, it's kinda comforting to know that Luke Skywalker himself is just as much in the dark as the rest of us! Although the one and only Mark Hamill can't provide us with any hard data on the upcoming 'Star Wars' adventure, he unleashed his two cents on the entire project into the internet.
Another awards ceremony, another victory lap for Ben Affleck's 'Argo'! If it doesn't scoop up Best Picture at the Oscars next week, there are going to be a lot of very confused bookies. The latest accolade for the critically acclaimed crowd-pleaser comes courtesy of the Writer's Guild of America, who awarded screenwriter Chris Terrio the trophy for Best Adapted Screenplay.
In retrospect, it's easy to say "Of course the new 'Die hard' movie was going to open at number one at the box office!" but you can bet Bruce Willis and company were a little worried. After all, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' opened in the wake of the failure of 'The Last Stand,' 'Parker' and 'Bullet to the Head,' three other macho, R-rated movies starring modern action icons. However, the strength of the 'Die Hard' brand seems to have broken that trend: John McClane's fifth outing made $25 million over the weekend.
While the British Academy of Film and Television may not have the international clout of the Oscars, they're still a big deal and can often drop some useful tidbits for all of the awards prognosticators out there. In this case, the BAFTA awards have only further propelled Ben Affleck's 'Argo' to the front of the pack.
Is Melissa McCarthy a movie star yet? The opening weekend of 'Identity Thief' suggests that yes, she is. After all, all of those people weren't flocking to this movie because of Jason Bateman (as delightful as he is). Anyway, all of this pretty much means that McCarthy's asking price just doubled.
There was much fanboy rejoicing when is was learned that Lawrence Kasdan was on board to write a new 'Star Wars' spin-off movie and consult on 'Star Wars Episode 7.' After all, this is the man who wrote 'The Empire Strikes Back,' a movie that isn't just the best 'Star Wars' movie, but one of the best science fiction movies ever made. Although the full details of whatever Kasdan is working on (a Yoda movie? Young Han Solo?) are buried in an underground bunker somewhere, he recently spoke about his involvement in the new films.
Eventually, the popular opinion on zombies is going to shift and people are going to stop watching 'The Walking Dead' and buying zombie-themed video games, but that day is not today. People still love zombies and if the opening weekend is any indication, they love 'Warm Bodies.'
Okay, this is just getting silly -- another major Hollywood award ceremony, another victory for Ben Affleck and 'Argo,' this time at the Director's Guild of America awards. If this was like any other year, Affleck would look like a shoe-in for the Oscar...except that he's not nominated. Which means that Affleck's repeated victories make this year's Academy Awards the hardest to predict in recent memory.
Make no mistake: this was a slow and bad weekend at the box office, an example of the January doldrums at their absolute worst. However, this was probably the only environment where a film titled 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' could have flourished, so at least someone is happy.
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