At age 60, Liam Neeson has become the most impressive action star in Hollywood. The grizzled actor’s revenge sequel Taken 2 topped the box office in a major way on Friday, earning an estimated $18.6 million; that puts the film on pace for a weekend in the $45-50 million range — far above the original Taken‘s $24.7 million bow. Fox execs should be celebrating that audiences flocked to Taken 2 despite its terrible reviews. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Pitch Perfect (11-19 of 19)
Liam Neeson has a very particular set of skills as a movie star, and one of them is selling tickets at the box office.
The actor’s revenge sequel Taken 2 is expected to easily top the chart over the next three days — and the thriller is hardly the only player this weekend. Tim Burton’s animated effort Frankenweenie will take on the monster hit Hotel Transylvania, which opened in first place last weekend, and the a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect will expand to a whopping 2,770 theaters.
All in all, it’s a diverse weekend that gives moviegoers viable options across an array of genres, and it should yield solid grosses. Here’s how the whole frame might play out:
1. Taken 2 – $44 million
Fox could never have known the instant cult status that the original Taken would garner when it was released in 2009. The revenge thriller revived Liam Neeson’s career, galvanizing him as a sort of grizzly, wizened Chuck Norris. The $20 million film opened to a strong $24.7 million, but thanks to amazing word of mouth and sheer curiosity at the relentless over-the-top badassery, the film chugged all the way to $145 million.
Taken 2 will start off much faster, though with reviews as bad as the ones it has been earning, it may not have the same legs as its predecessor. Still, between Neeson’s gigantic appeal (he helped The Grey earn $51.6 million earlier this year, and that film was sold on nothing but his drawing power) and Taken‘s fondly regarded reputation,Taken 2 is set to muscle its way to number one. A rep at Fox says the studio shelled out $42 million for the sequel and will release it in 3,661 theaters. Fox should earn all of that money back this weekend, as Taken 2 seems headed for a $44 million bow.
2. Hotel Transylvania – $24 million
Last weekend’s chart-topper may drop by about 40 to 45 percent (somewhat high for a family film) due to the direct competition from Frankenweenie. Still, a $24 million weekend would give Hotel a robust $74 million total after ten days.
3. Frankenweenie – $17 million
As evidenced by the Dracula-centered Hotel Transylvania, theaters are playing host to an inordinate number of creepy kiddie flicks of late. ParaNorman entered theaters in August, followed by Hotel last week, and now Frankenweenie, about a young boy’s attempt to resurrect his dearly departed pooch, is entering the fray.
Disney’s $39 million Tim Burton-directed film doesn’t have the same kind of broad appeal as Hotel Transylvania, and its stop-motion animation style turns off many moviegoers (see: The Pirates! Band of Misfits). Yet Frankenweenie‘s proximity to Halloween lifts its prospects, as does Burton’s name appeal. With strong reviews but a creepier style, it seems likely that Frankenweenie will play to more adults than a typical family film, much in the same way that Coraline (which opened to $16.8 million) did in 2009. Disney is releasing the film into a big 3,005 theaters, but it may have to settle for a $17 million weekend.
4. Pitch Perfect – $16.5 million
Universal’s $17 million a cappella comedy broke out last weekend, earning $5.1 million from just 335 theaters. Now, it’s strutting its way into 2,770 locations. Thanks to a full week of buzz — including a straight “A” CinemaScore grade — Pitch Perfect should have another terrific frame, especially with its core demographic of females under 25, who may not be all that interested in seeing Taken 2. Give Pitch Perfect about $16.5 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period.
5. Looper – $13 million
Liam Neeson will take away some of the audience for Looper, but strong reviews and positive word-of-mouth will keep the thriller a contender. A decline just under 40 percent would give the Bruce Willis/Joseph Gordon-Levitt vehicle about $13 million for the weekend and $41 million total.
Check back all weekend for full box office coverage, and follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute box office updates.
Box office report: 'Hotel Transylvania' sets September record with $43 million; 'Looper' strong in second
Right about now, some intern at Sony is probably carting a few crates of champagne into the boardroom. Or at the very least least a couple buckets of Halloween candy.
The studio had a terrific weekend, breaking the September box office slump with the top two hits in the country.
Hotel Transylvania led the way with a tremendous $43 million from 3,349 theaters — the highest September opening weekend of all time ahead of Sweet Home Alabama‘s $35.6 million bow a full decade ago. READ FULL STORY
The September box office slump is finally over!
Sony Pictures Animation’s Adam Sandler-voiced kiddie flick Hotel Transylvania easily topped the chart on Friday with an estimated $11.0 million. The film’s family-friendly appeal should give it a terrific weekend multiplier, and Hotel is likely looking at a $37 million weekend and an easy first place spot.
In second was another Sony (well, technically TriStar) release: Looper, which earned a solid $6.9 million on Friday. The Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Bruce Willis action thriller could take in about $19 million by Sunday’s end. READ FULL STORY
For the past few weeks, it seems like every box office preview has started off with some iteration of the following: “After last weekend’s dismal results, the box office will get a much-needed boost over the next few days.”
And then it doesn’t.
Film after film has underperformed this September. No one bothered to read The Words. Audiences dreaded seeing Dredd. And Trouble with the Curve swung and missed. But, for some misguidedly optimistic reason, I’m holding out hope that this weekend the box office really will get that much-needed boost.
The well-reviewed time-bending thriller Looper hits theaters this weekend and will likely do solid business, but it will almost certainly yield to animated pic Hotel Transylvania, which is set to win the weekend. One other wide release, teaching drama Won’t Back Down, is also entering theaters, but it’s expected to fizzle almost immediately.
Here’s how the box office might shake out over the next three days: READ FULL STORY
Pitch Perfect, which starts hitting theaters this Friday before a wide release on Oct. 5, is the latest in a crop of girls-behaving-badly comedies. Among the ensemble cast is Up in the Air star Anna Kendrick, who plays Beca, a college freshman thrust in to competitive a cappella politics.
This exclusive video reveals how Beca gets involved with an all-girls a cappella group at the fictional Barden University. Kendrick shows off her singing skills, which she previously brought to the big screen in the indie musical Camp. Kendrick, co-star Skylar Astin, and director Jason Moore chime in about the DJ-turned-warbler character. READ FULL STORY
Lately there seems to be no shortage of TV shows that churn out covers of well-loved songs, from Glee to Smash to American Idol to the recently canceled The Sing-Off. Soon joining that group is the movie Pitch Perfect, which rolls into theaters next week.
Pitch Perfect presents an edgier-than-Glee, college-set story of a cappella competition, starring Anna Kendrick as Beca, a freshman at fictional Barden University. After reluctantly joining the school’s all-girls a cappella group, the Bellas, Beca spices up the group’s decidedly old school repertoire with some remixes and mash-ups.
The Bellas’ shift from square to hip — plus the music supplied by fellow a cappella groups, including Barden’s all-boys group, the Treblemakers — gave music supervisors Julianne Jordan and Julia Michels the chance to pack a variety of songs into the film, from The Bangles’ “Eternal Flame” to Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.”
A cappella music was new territory for Jordan and Michels, but they hired some experts very familiar with that world to arrange the film’s music. Among the talents who took instrument-backed pop hits and transformed them into vocals-only arrangements for Pitch Perfect were Ed Boyer, who arranged the music for Glee’s Warblers, and Deke Sharon, considered the father of contemporary a cappella. Both are alums of the popular Tufts University group, the Beelzebubs.
Here EW debuts a song from Pitch Perfect‘s soundtrack, a mash-up of Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” and Nelly’s “Just A Dream.”
The song is performed by Kendrick and the Bellas, arranged by Ali Dee Theodore (whose writing credits include songs by Mary J. Blige and Shakira) and Broadway musical writer Tom Kitt.
Check it out below: READ FULL STORY
Love white girls beatboxing and unaccompanied Top 40 mashups? Then you’ll be excited to know that Universal has decided to release Pitch Perfect one week early. The musical comedy will hit select theaters on Friday, Sept. 28 before expanding to a previously scheduled wide release on Oct. 5.
“The decision to open the film in select theaters early resulted from a number of factors, led by the wildly positive moviegoer feedback for Pitch Perfect from early screenings and indicators of a very engaged core audience avidly anticipating its release,” the studio said in a release. “Universal is promoting Pitch Perfect with the most extensive screening campaign in the studio’s history.” READ FULL STORY
Everyone who has been to college in the last five years knows about a cappella groups — those quirky teams of vocally-gifted students who “ja da da” their way into their university’s zeitgeist with musical pun monikers like the Treblemakers and a repertoire of upbeat chorale arrangements of “Rolling in the Deep.” So as a recent graduate, what’s my favorite part about the trailer for Pitch Perfect, the upcoming Anna Kendrick comedy set in the cut-throat world of competitive collegiate a cappella?
It could be Rebel Wilson, looking to be in top form as self-deprecating singer Fat Amy. Or it’s the refreshingly harsh truths about college life promised by lines like, “Welcome to Barden University! Here’s your official BU rape whistle!” Above all, I have the utmost appreciation for the genre-bending madness, as the movie looks to take the rival cattiness of Bring It On and the vocal euphonies of Glee and throw them together into a glossy Step Up crock pot.
Watch the sonic showdown below: READ FULL STORY
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