Box office preview: Can ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ save the summer?


Poor Caesar already has a lot on his plate between defending his family and community and helping the humans restore power in San Francisco. Now, he has to step up, squash the Transformers, and save the summer box office as well, which is down nearly 20 percent from last year’s record-smashing season.

t’s a good thing everyone so far seems to really like Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes—the second installment in their rebooted franchise, which picks up in the world of 2011?s Rise 10 years later. As of Thursday afternoon, it had the distinction of being one of the best-reviewed blockbusters of the year with a phenomenal 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. But, while Dawn should do better than the first film, saving the season might be a bit too much to ask of the Apes.

Rentrak’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian put things into perspective a bit, too. “This is a more normal summer. If we weren’t comparing to the record-breaking summer of last year, it would seem like a normal type of summer with some hits and some misses,” he told EW. “But when week after week, we’re compared to the massive results from a year ago that propelled a record summer, then no question we’re going to be lagging behind.” He added: “Fast forward to next year, and this will all be a thing of the past. It’s cyclical.”

As for this weekend, here’s how things might play out:

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — $60 million
Dawn, which cost Twentieth Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment a reported $170 million to produce hits theaters Thursday night starting with 10 p.m. showings and 3,130 of the film’s 3,966 locations will be presenting the epic in 3-D. The sequel, which sees the return of Andy Serkis’s Caesar, could be headed for a $60 million (or higher) opening. The studio is sticking with a more conservative mid-to-high $50 million prediction which would be more in line with the first film’s $54.8 million August debut in 2011. But between the critical love and the holdover goodwill from the first of the rebooted series, it’s likely that it’ll be higher than that. Fandango reports that it’s already outselling Rise and represents more than 70 percent of their weekend ticket sales. EW‘s Chris Nashawaty gave the film a B+, writing that “Matt Reeves’ surprisingly rollicking and resonant” film “easily tops its 2011 predecessor.”

2. Transformers: Age of Extinction — $16 million
T4 fell a hard 63 percent in weekend two and is poised for another drastic fall off as it enters its third weekend in theaters. It has already grossed over $600 million worldwide and has the distinction of being the highest grossing film in China in just 12 days of release, surpassing Avatar, the previous record-holder.

3. Tammy — $11 million
The Melissa McCarthy-led comedy will likely continue to underperform (by McCarthy standards) in weekend twodespite the fact that it has already earned more than its $20 million production budget. Rotten reviews and a C+ Cinema Score indicate that this weekend will see a dropoff in the 50+ percent range.

4. 22 Jump Street —$7 million
Sony’s 22 Jump Street, which has already earned over $163.9 million, is starting to exit theaters as it enters its fifth weekend on the market. It will probably fall in the 35 to 40 percent range.

5. Deliver Us From Evil — $5 million
Sony and Screen Gems’ $30 million horror film failed to attract a significant audience over the Fourth of July weekend and will no doubt see a huge second-week drop. Horror fans might be waiting for The Purge: Anarchy to hit theaters next weekend.

In limited release, The Weinstein Company is rolling Begin Again out to 939 theaters, Sony Classics debuts the retiree road trip pic Land Ho! in New York and Los Angeles, and IFC is releasing Richard Linklater’s Boyhood in five theaters.

Check back in this weekend for estimates and analysis.


Housebound (2014) Movie Trailer

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Jimi: All Is by My Side (2014) Movie Trailer

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Jimi: All Is By My Side Official Trailer #1 for the Jimi Hendrix biopic directed by John Ridley.

Follows the early career of the legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix, when he was first discovered by Linda Keith, then girlfriend of The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, leading up through his breakthrough performance at Monterey.

Release Date: 8 August 2014 (UK)
Director: John Ridley
Cast: Imogen Poots, Hayley Atwell, Burn Gorman, Ashley Charles, Ruth Negga, André Benjamin, Laurence Kinlan, Demetrice Jackson
Genre: Biography
Country: UK


Undressed to thrill! Will Smith shows off his chiselled physique as he goes shirtless aboard a yacht during Spanish vacation


Will Smith 1Work it: Will Smith showed off his sculpted physique in just a pair of white shorts aboard a yacht off the coast of Formentera, Spain on Friday

He’s been vacationing on the beautiful islands off Spain for the last few days.

And on Friday, Will Smith took the action to the water, spotted aboard a luxury yacht off the coast
of Formentera.

The 45-year-old actor showed off his sculpted physique in just a pair of white shorts, much to the thrill and approval of onlookers.

The Men In Black star was joined by a large group of fellow yacht passengers, getting their tan on in the sunshine.

They were all pictured gazing curiously at something below the aquatic vessel, with one pal excitedly pointing something out to his friends.

Earlier in the day, Will was seen waving at fans while aboard a much smaller boat, clad in a light blue shirt and the same shorts.

Will Smith 2All aboard! The 45-year-old actor walked up a flight of stairs after having taken a dip in the water

Will Smith 3Party people: The hunky shirtless Men In Black star was joined by a group of fellow yacht passengers, getting their tan on in the sunshine, Captivating: They were all pictured gazing curiously at something below the aquatic vessel

On Thursday, the father-of-three was pictured on the beach in Ibiza, having been living it up in the party hotspot the previous evening.

He apparently caught the eye of a bevy of beauties, who followed him around the beach, eager to get a photo with him – a topless woman among them.

Will is vacationing without wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and their children, Jaden, 16, and Willow, 13. He also has son Trey, 21, from a previous marriage.

Will Smith 4Solo outing: While Will is vacationing in sunyn Spain, wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and their daughter Willow, 13, have been spotted spending time together in New York

Will and Jada were hit with split rumours late last year after pictures surfaced showing him getting cosy in a photo booth with his Focus co-star Margot Robbie.

In the pictures, published in Star magazine, Margot, 24, had lifted up her top to reveal her lacy white bra, as Will pulled up his own shirt to reveal his bare chest.

However, Margot took to Twitter to deny any inappropriate behaviour and insisted the pair were ‘just goofing around’.

Will Smith 5Taking in the sights: The star appeared mesmerised by something his pal pointed out in the water as he spent time in the Spanish islands

Will Smith 6Man in blue: Earlier in the day, Will was seen waving at fans while aboard a much smaller boat, clad in a light blue shirt and the same shorts


TOWIE’s Chloe Sims puts her ample cleavage on display in plunging white mini dress as she steps out for a romantic meal with co-star boyfriend Elliott Wright

Chloe Sims 1Dolled up: Friday night saw TOWIE co-stars Chloe Sims and Elliott Wright head out on for a romantic meal in Essex

They have been seen on a number of dates over the past six weeks.

And Friday night saw TOWIE co-stars Chloe Sims and Elliott Wright head out on for a romantic meal in Essex.

The loved-up couple were spotted making their way into Alec’s restaurant while showcasing their impressive date attire.

Chloe ensured all eyes were on her as she showed off her heaving busom in a figure-hugging wrap dress.

The slender starlet accentuated her deep tan with white mini dress while she added height to the look with gold stiletto heels.

She kept the golden theme going as she accessorised with a metallic gold snakeskin clutch and a statement necklace.

Chloe Sims 2Showcasing her assets: Chloe ensured all eyes were on her as she showed off her heaving busom in a figure-hugging wrap dress

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Sporting a full face of glamorous make-up, the brunette beauty styled her ombre locks into a chic ponytail.

Meanwhile, Elliott looked handsome in a ski-tight top and dark jeans, complete with dark blue suede shoes.

Speaking to OK Magazine about their blossoming romance, the pair admitted that they are in love but are opting to take things slow.

Chloe Sims 3Date night: The loved-up couple were spotted making their way into Alec¿s restaurant while showcasing their impressive date attire

However, Elliott did seem to hint he would already see himself having children with the mother-of-one.

And the pair might even have cause to think about the more long-term aspects of their relationship as Elliott revealed he was helping Chloe look for a new home.

Posting a snap of the pair in Instagram, he wrote: ‘House hunting with @chloe_simsstarship “she needs more space” lol’.

Chloe Sims 4Happy hunting: The pair might have cause to think about the more long-term aspects of their relationship as Elliott revealed he was helping Chloe look for a new home


‘The Amazing Spider-Man 3′ Appears to be Hitting Roadblocks

spider-man-3-rumorsPhoto: Columbia Pictures

Could the franchise be delayed a year?

For a film budgeted somewhere between $200-300 million and carrying $1 billion worldwide box office aspirations, the $704 million The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has brought in so far is a massive disappointment for Sony, which already had plans to release The Amazing Spider-Man 3 in June 2016 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 in May 2018 along with The Sinister Six and Venom, building a complete Spider-Man universe. While I fully expect all of those films to get made, the timeline may have shifted.

Speaking with IGN, Amazing Spider-Man 2 screenwriter Roberto Orci tells the site he’s no longer officially involved in Spider-Man 3. This isn’t a huge surprise considering Orci has been named writer and director on Star Trek 3, but there is something so definitive when he says, “I’m not officially involved in it,” that it raises a few eyebrows.

As for the future of the franchise he adds, “I don’t know what their plans are… I don’t ever want to say never, but we have to figure out what their scheduling is in terms of when they want each movie. I’ve read probably as much as anyone else. There’s a love for ‘The Sinister Six,’ the idea of ‘Venom’ — there’s an idea of Spider-Man’s going to be one of these characters that’s part of our business. He’s such a popular character. Spider-Man’s not going to go away any time soon. When it all happens and how and all that has yet to be determined. I don’t want to say anything about what they should do. I don’t want them to think I’m spilling the beans about something.”

About a month ago rumors began swirling that Spider-Man 3 could be pushed all the way to 2017. Is that any big surprise considering the summer 2016 superhero slate includes Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America 3, X-Men: Apocalypse, an unnamed Marvel movie, Planet of the Apes 3 and much more.

Then again, with upwards of 22 superhero movies in the next four years there may never be a “perfect” time to try and tweak the formula when it comes to Spider-Man. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.



Box office news: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ climbs to the top of the box office

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apesImage Credit: WETA

You maniacs! You made Dawn of the Planet of the Apes the most popular movie in America! Ah, damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!

Actually, director Matt Reeves’ apocalyptic sequel — which banked an estimated $27.7 million on opening day — is one of the season’s most deserved chart-toppers, at least according to its A- Cinema Score and slew of positive reviews. EW’s Chris Nashawaty, for example, hailed Andy Serkis’ performance as Caesar as “his most soulful motion-capture creation yet” and claimed Reeves’ film “easily tops” its predecessor, 2011?s James Franco-starring Rise of the Planet of the Apes. That film grossed $54.8m over its own opening weekend — check back tomorrow for a clearer idea as to whether Dawn… will top that.

After the monkeys come the machines — and the Melissa McCarthy. Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction took in $4.83 million on Friday while the McCarthy-starring Tammy earned $4.04 million. Another comedy, 22 Jump Street, came fourth with $2.05 million while Earth to Echo was fifth with $1.76 million closely followed by How to Train Your Dragon 2 ($1.75 million).

Here’s the top five:

1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes $27.7 million Friday ($27.7 million domestic)
2. Transformers: Age of Extinction – $4.83 million Friday ($197.36 million domestic total)
3. Tammy $4.04 million Friday ($48.48 million domestic total)
4. 22 Jump Street– $2.05 million Friday ($167.31 million domestic total)
5.  Earth to Echo — $1.76 million Friday ($20.85 million domestic total)


Boyhood (2014) Movie Review


Limited Release: Jul 11, 2014; Rated: R; Length: 160 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke; Distributor: IFC Films

Richard Linklater’s astonishing new film, Boyhood, was shot over a dozen years beginning in 2002. The movie’s magic trick is that every 12 months or so Linklater gathered the same actors for a few days to check in on their characters’ lives, ultimately weaving an intimate and affecting coming-of-age tapestry of a young Texas kid named Mason (Ellar Coltrane). Like Michael Apted in his Seven Up! documentary series, Linklater makes you feel as if you’re watching a photograph as it develops in the darkroom. It’s only at the end that you realize you’ve just seen a child slowly come into focus as a young man.

As Mason’s time-lapse journey begins, he’s an adorable, innocent 6-year-old boy with a mop of sandy brown hair doing what 6-year-old boys do: watching cartoons, gawking at a lingerie catalog, being tortured by his older sister (played by the director’s daughter, Lorelei Linklater). But then we meet his divorced parents (Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, both remarkable), and we catch a glimpse of Mason’s inner sadness. He hears each shouting match, sees each passive-aggressive gesture, and internalizes them. About every 10 minutes, the movie jumps ahead and Mason changes slightly — his hair is longer (or shorter), his voice lower. Linklater has smartly chosen not to make any one chapter too profound or eventful (although one with an abusive, alcoholic stepfather is a doozy). He taps into the rambling naturalism of his Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight films to show how the events that define us are sometimes the most banal, like a father-and-son campfire conversation about Star Wars.

By the end of Boyhood, it’s clear how lucky Linklater was to find Coltrane. And vice versa. There’s an unfakable curiosity and vulnerability behind the young actor’s dreamy, half-mast eyes. He makes you not only care about Mason but ache for him, and pray that everything will turn out okay…even after Linklater’s camera stops rolling.


The Perfect Wave (2014) Movie Review

perfect_waveScott Eastwood, Cheryl Ladd and Rachel Hendrix co-star in Bruce Macdonald’s faith-based surfing drama.

A test of faith set on tropical beaches could make almost anyone a true believer.

Opens: July 11 (GVN Releasing)

Cast: Scott Eastwood, Cheryl Ladd, Patrick Lyster, Rachel Hendrix, Scott Mortensen, Nikolai Mynhardt

Director: Bruce Macdonald

With religiously themed movies finding traction again in Hollywood and beyond, a film that combines the tenets of Christian faith with the global popularity of surfing would seem to have a wide potential audience. Following release earlier this year in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, The Perfect Wave may encounter some resistance stateside, however, from those disinclined to set aside a view of surfing as irredeemably hedonistic and consequently unwilling to follow the film’s arc of gentle persuasion.

Carefree mid-20s New Zealand surfer Ian McCormack (Scott Eastwood) lives for catching the next wave, and why not – even though he’s out of school, his parents aren’t forcing him to get a job or kicking him out of the house. But when he decides to sell his car and pursue an overseas surfing tour in search of the “perfect wave,” his devotedly Christian mother (Cheryl Ladd) tries to dissuade him after one of her frequent premonitions indicates the trip may put Ian in danger.

Since he abandoned his religious upbringing and belief in God long ago, Ian isn’t persuaded by her concerns – “I never felt the presence of God,” he says, “to me, he just didn’t exist.” Ian heads out to Australia with his buddy Greg (Jack Halloran), catching waves from Sydney to Darwin, then hopping over to “Indo” and surfing the beaches of Bali, where he meets the enchanting Anabel (Rachel Hendrix), a free spirit who decides that dating the Kiwi surfer is priority one. After they couple up, the pair travels to a remote Indonesian island, falling deeper in love before moving on to South Africa’s fabled surf, where they reunite with Greg and his new girlfriend Roxy (Rosy Hodge).

Soon after their arrival, Ian and Anabel fall out over her close relationship with her brother-in-law Lachlan (Scott Mortensen). After she disappears in the middle of the night, Lachlan suggests she may be heading for Mauritius, where her family maintains a home. Arriving on the coastal African island, Ian discovers a community of hardcore expat surfers, but no sign of Anabel. One night when he’s free diving for lobsters along the coast, Ian gets repeatedly stung by highly toxic box jellyfish and rushed to a nearby hospital. Although initially declared deceased, that’s not quite the end of the story, as divine intervention offers him a chance at redemption.

Based on the life story of young surfer Ian McCormack, who became a Christian minister following his near-death experience in Africa in the 80s, commercial director Bruce Macdonald’s first feature film feels curiously inert. With the better part of the running time devoted to the characters catching waves at gorgeous surf spots, picking up girls on pristine beaches and living the surfers’ vagabond life, any sort of significant conflict is glaringly absent. So when Ian finally does face the challenge of his life – regaining his faith in God – the impact is tellingly underwhelming.

Eastwood, who got his start with small parts in his father Clint’s movies but has since branched out, pulls off Ian’s transformation competently enough, but there’s not much challenge to the role to begin with. As a key influence on Ian, Hendrix’s Anabel deserves more screen time and deeper characterization, but mainly serves as the fulcrum that pivots Ian’s destiny to Africa. Ladd’s turn as a true believer who thinks that she personally converses with God and can influence her son’s destiny through that relationship may seem a far cry from some of her more free-spirited roles, but she never appears to lack conviction.

The overall production package appears polished without trying too hard, making the most of some great location shooting, although the surf photography, while clearly accomplished, doesn’t offer much that hasn’t been showcased to better effect elsewhere.

Opens: July 11 (GVN Releasing)

Production company: Divine Inspiration

Cast: Scott Eastwood, Cheryl Ladd, Patrick Lyster, Rachel Hendrix, Scott Mortensen, Nikolai Mynhardt, Jack Halloran, Rosy Hodge           

Director: Bruce Macdonald
Screenwriters: Billy Wood, Roger Hawkins

Producers: Bruce Macdonald, Bryan Hickox

Executive producer: David Selvan

Director of photography: Trevor Michael Brown

Production designer: M.J. Botha

Costume designer: Dihantus Engelbrecht

Editor: Tim Goodwin

Music: Jeremy Soule

Rated PG, 94 minutes


Road to Paloma (2014) Movie Review

road_to_palomaJason Momoa (“Game of Thrones”) makes his directorial debut in this film in which he plays a Native American being pursued by federal agents.

Moody atmospherics and strong visuals don’t compensate for the storytelling deficiencies of this gloomy road movie

Opens: July 11 (WWE Studios, Anchor Bay Films)

Cast: Jason Momoa, Robert Homer Mollohan, Wes Studi, Lisa Bonet

Director: Jason Momoa

There’s a distinct Easy Rider vibe to Road to Paloma, actor Jason Momoa’s (Conan the Barbarian, Game of Thrones) directorial debut. Starring as Robert Wolf, a Native American on the run after murdering the man who raped and murdered his mother, the strapping, long-haired actor, who also co-scripted, has crafted an elegiac road movie stronger on style than substance.

Riding around the scenic environs of the American West on his motorcycle while being pursued by a pair of federal agents, the taciturn Wolf soon hooks up with Cash (co-scripter Robert Homer Mollohan), a drifter with a knack for getting into trouble. During their travels they engage in a series of picaresque adventures, including a stop at a strip club, engaging in a bare-knuckle brawl to raise some money, thwarting an attempted, and in Wolf’s case bedding a beautiful woman (Momoa’s real-life spouse, Lisa Bonet) whose car he’s repaired.

Wolf also makes contact with his sister (Sarah Shahi) and his Indian reservation cop father (Wes Studi), although the latter is unable to help him out of his predicament.

Despite its melodramatic premise, the film is decidedly low-key in its style, with Wolf seeming less like a man desperately trying to evade capture than simply out on a joy ride. While he has an undeniably charismatic physical presence, the underplaying Momoa is less effective in conveying his character’s existential angst.

Reminiscent of 1969’s Tell Them Willie Boy is Here minus the suspense, the film rambles along from one episode to another without any of them making a strong impression. Although the tyro director displays a flair for atmospheric visuals, aided largely by Brian Mendoza’s gorgeous cinematography which makes particularly fine use of twilight, the mechanics of effective storytelling seem beyond him.

Straining mightily for a mythic quality and reaching a predictably melancholic, violent conclusion, Road to Paloma mainly comes across as a vanity project star vehicle. To more fully appreciate Momoa’s talents, one would be better advised to check out his fine work on the current Sundance series The Red Road.

Production; Pride of Gypsies, Boss Media
Cast: Jason Momoa, Robert Homer Mollohan, Wes Studi, Lisa Bonet, Sarah Shahi, Michael Raymond-James, Chris Browning, Timothy V. Murphy, Steve Reevis
Director: Jason Momoa
Screenwriters: Jason Momoa, Robert Homer Mollohan, Jonathan Hirschbein
Producers: Jason Momoa, Brian Andrew Mendoza
Executive producers: Michael J. Luisi, Jamey Pryde, Sarah Shahi
Director of photography: Brian Mendoza
Editor: Jennifer Tiexiera
Composers: Ohad Benchetrit, Justin Small
Rated R, 91 minutes


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