Although you'd think people would spend the holidays in their homes catching up with their families and what-not, they actually tend to go to the movies after opening gifts and having awkward conversations. And Christmas Day moviegoers had a bunch of options this week, with recent releases (and not-so-recent releases) still going strong and a whole bunch of new releases arriving to coincide with the holiday.
2014 looks like it will be a big year for the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise, with a fifth film hitting around Halloween and the intriguing spinoff, 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,' arriving in a week. We don't know much about 'Paranormal Activity 5,' but we do know plenty about the spinoff, which takes this increasingly complicated found-footage saga of demons and possession to a Latino neighborhood. Two new clips have arrived from the film, and if you're looking for more of the same, you'll be very pleased.
The return of Ron Burgundy and his news team has been positioned as a big, huge deal. 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' has been marketed more than any major release this month and everyone just assumed that the film would effortlessly snag massive box office numbers thanks purely to saturation (on top of the fact that the original is quite beloved). So it must sting a little for Paramount to see the film open in second place and it must sting even more once they compare the opening numbers to the opening of the first film from 2004.
If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.
The weekend following a major holiday is always a little slow. The boost from vacationing moviegoers is gone, so everyone tends to take a major dip. Some films end up okay. Some die on the vine. This weekend saw two films weather the storm perfectly fine and one new release collapse on the starting line.
In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
If there's one thing that we're reminded of a few times a year here at the Weekend Box Office Report, it's that films targeted at black audiences are always ignored by many mainstream movie websites ... until they open huge at the box office. 'The Best Man Holiday' is the latest film to prove that there's an entire group of moviegoers who aren't being given the films they obviously want to see, and hopefully its success will spur Hollywood into action, allowing for the production of more movies with black casts and filmmakers. Maybe. This is Hollywood, after all.
'Thor 2' has plenty of surprising twists and turns, but one the biggest occurs in the literal final moments of the film, right before the cut to ending credits. Before you read any further, we're about to completely spoil the ending of the film, so turn back now if you haven't seen it yet. You've been warned!
There was no question of whether or not 'Thor: The Dark World' was going to open at number one this weekend. Of course it was. The big question was whether it would get a post-'Avengers' bump, or if it would do similar business to its 2011 predecessor. Question answered: it got a bump and a pretty good one, too.
'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' picks up almost exactly where the first film ended, with Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) embarking on a victory tour to celebrate their surviving the Hunger Games and to spread government propaganda and fear. This section of the book (and, we imagine, the movie) is fairly action-free, but still pretty harrowing. A new clip from the film shows that a couple of good actors in a room can be just as exciting as an action scene.
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