When a movie is sold as being the next incredible cinematic experience that will change the way we watch movies, expectations are huge. Audiences may scoff. It could all backfire. But Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity' lived up to the hype and audiences responded in kind, giving it the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel October 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.
Now that Bill Hader and Stefon have departed the show, we find ourselves treasuring every other recurring 'SNL' character and treating every appearance as if it's their last. That's just a long-winded way of saying "Welcome back, Drunk Uncle!" Bobby Moynihan's rambling, all-too honest (and all-too real) character once again graced the Weekend Update desk with his presence, updating us with his thoughts on current events and introducing us to a member of his extended family.
We're not entirely sure when Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong's porn stars turned TV saleswomen become two of our favorite recurring 'SNL' characters, but bless 'em: we're so glad that these bizarre people get to grace our television a couple times a year. Of course, the only way to possibly make it better is to add Tina Fey, and wouldn't you know it, the legendary 'SNL' alum stepped in quite gamely in the 39th season premiere!
'SNL' is nothing if not timely. With the Tina Fey-hosted season premiere airing less than a day before the final episode of AMC's 'Breaking Bad,' it was only natural that they'd put together a meth-themed sketch. And since this is the world's most famous comedy and variety show, someone was able to pull the right strings and snag Jesse Pinkman himself -- Aaron Paul -- to make an appearance.
'SNL' has never been shy about taking on some of the most popular and controversial topics in the modern world, so it's about time it finally got around to making fun of HBO's divisive 'Girls.' In a fake promo for a new season of Lena Dunham's acclaimed show, guest host Tina Fey and the rest of the cast propose some changes to the program's dynamic that we can't help but wish would actually come to pass.
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.
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.
'Transformers 4' has been filming for a few months now, but other than the occasional set photo or video of something blowing up, things have been pretty quiet. Little questions like "What's the movie even about?" continue to go unanswered. And to be perfectly honest, those questions will continue to go unanswered for the time being ... but at least we now know that the film will somehow involve robots that can transform into dinosaurs.
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