Despite a few new releases, this weekend was all about last week's champion. 'Gravity' held on to the number one spot with all of its might, showing that Alfonso Cuaron's space thriller may have some of the strongest legs of any major 2013 release.
There's nothing like a family-friendly animated movie to help shake off the September doldrums and 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' performed as expected. Although Sony's big release effortlessly took the number one spot, this weekend had a few other bright spots, namely a handful of independent films doing quite well in more limited release.
September may traditionally be a wasteland of half-baked films unfit to open in a proper month, but the lack of competition can actually be a good thing. Could 'Prisoners,' a film made specifically for an adult audience, have opened as well as it did if it was released in a busier month? Probably not.
James Wan has done it again. For the second time this year, a horror film that he's directed has opened to over $40 million, securing his position as the reigning king of mainstream horror cinema. He may be taking a break from the genre to direct 'Fast and Furious 7,' but after the jaw-dropping success of 'The Conjuring' and now 'Insidious Chapter 2,' you just know he'll be back. No one is bringing the audiences in quite like Wan.
Oh, and there were some other movies that made some money, too.
Could the adaptation of the long-running racing series 'Need For Speed' be the first great movie based on a video game? We're not going to make any wild and crazy guesses, but for the sake of star Aaron Paul, we certainly hope so. The 'Breaking Bad' star is headlining the film alongside Dominic Cooper and now we have our first look at the two of them in character.
The last time director Roland Emmerich talked about 'Independence Day 2,' original franchise star Will Smith was not going to be involved. At all. He was "too expensive," a "marquee name" who would be "too much." But a few months (and some time to think about the bomb that was 'After Earth') can make all the difference in the world -- it looks like Smith may end up joining the highly anticipated sequel after all.
One of the things 'Riddick' has going for it is that it didn't cost too much. So while its opening weekend may be a little less than impressive, it doesn't have that far to go to make a profit. It's little victories like this that make this, one of the slowest most stagnant movie weekends of the year, more palatable.
The biggest appeal of the 'Expendables' franchise has always been seeing all your favorite aging action stars on the screen at same time, even when they have no reason to be in the same movie. However, nothing has come close to the pure, unfiltered weirdness of seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger on the same set as Harrison Ford. The former Terminator/Governor shared an image of them on the set of 'The Expendables 3' and it's just plain strange. While they've always existed on the same world, they feel like two people from different dimensions.
A few weeks ago, we reported that Denzel Washington had turned down a role in the upcoming 'Fast and Furious 7.' Now, Variety is reporting that the great Kurt Russell is in talks to step into the part instead. Goodbye, Mr. Washington. We love you, but this is a case where you will not be missed.
There's something thematically appropriate about a movie telling the story of a butler who quietly influenced the United States taking the number one spot at the box office over its flashy, bigger rivals. Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' took multiplexes by storm this weekend, taking down last week's competition as well as a handful of seemingly strong newcomers.
In a weekend with four new major releases but no definitive frontrunners, the Matt Damon sci-fi action flick 'Elysium' snagged the top spot over some seemingly powerful competition. Director Neill Blomkamp's film continues this summer's trend of R-rated fare opening big ('The Purge,' 'The Conjuring,' '2 Guns') and proves that there's plenty of box office success to be had in the typically slow final weeks of the season.
UPDATE: Additional speculation suggests that 'Breaking Bad' star Bryan Cranston may also be up for the role. Between these two actors, which would you rather see get the part?
As eagle-eyed fans the world over will tell you, 'Man of Steel' contained numerous references to LexCorp, the company run by iconic Superman villain Lex Luthor. Naturally, tongues started wagging and everyone immediately assumed that the bald baddie would play a major role in the inevitable sequel. And then the fantasy casting began.
And now, Mark Strong has hinted that the role may be his.
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