Over the past few years, the 'Paranormal Activity' series has established itself as one of the most inexpensive and reliable horror franchises around. Produced for (non-literal) pennies, they've consistently opened strong at the box office, ensuring a fast and efficient turnaround. The latest film, 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,' has already accomplished that goal, but it did so without grabbing the number one spot. Sure, people may love found footage demons, but it turns out that they love animated singing princesses more.
In 1977, Marvel Comics published the very first 'Star Wars' comic book. Now, nearly 40 years later, George Lucas' beloved universe is coming home. In an act of unsurprising corporate synergy, Lucasfilm has announced that, beginning in 2015, Marvel will exclusively publish new 'Star Wars' comic books for the fans hoping to experience the saga outside of the main films.
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.
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.
It's a situation that virtually every couple with a healthy, long term relationship has faced. You and your loved one go home to visit the family and find yourself forced to sleep in your childhood room, most likely on the tiny twin bed that was barely tolerable when you were half your current size. Since this is a 'SNL' sketch, this predicament takes the form of music video, where the ladies of the show invite their men for some sexy time on a bed that has no business being the location of an, uh, adult encounter.
Since 2003, the "Barry Gibb Talk Show" sketches on 'SNL' have popped up whenever Justin Timberlake or Jimmy Fallon have appeared on the show, with Fallon playing Bee Gees lead singer Bary Gibb and Timberlake taking on his brother, Robin Gibb. The last time we saw these characters was in 2011 and its return seemed unlikely following the death of Robin Gibb in 2012. However, the sketch made its big return last night and it brought a handful of surprise cameos along for the ride.
Few guest performers seem to get 'SNL' quite like Justin Timberlake, who has a wonderful habit of showing up on the stage and creating classic sketches and characters with seemingly no effort. In most cases, he would easily overshadow the actual guest host, but when that guest host is show alum (and current late night superstar) Jimmy Fallon, there is less overshadowing and more comedic awesomeness.
As far as one-room thrillers go, you don't get much crazier or ambitious than 'Grand Piano,' which sees Elijah Wood spending the bulk of the running time sitting behind the titular instrument. If you're curious how such a thing is possible, the new trailer for the film should fill in some blanks. You see, this isn't just a movie about a disgraced master pianist (Wood) making his grand comeback, this is a movie about a disgraced master pianist making his grand comeback while a sniper (John Cusack) threatens to kill him if he misses a single note.
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.
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