If someone glanced at this weekend's box office, they could be forgiven for thinking they accidentally stepped into some kind of time portal. After all, films called 'Evil Dead' and 'Jurassic Park' were in the top five.
Like any holiday that sees families congregating together and then desperately seeking activities where they don't have to talk to each other for two hours, this Easter weekend saw a strong bump at the box office thanks to a few new contenders and a handful of holdovers with some surprising staying power.
You can't imagine two films more different than 'The Croods' and 'Olympus Has Fallen,' but right now the two of them sit on top of the box office chart, both temporarily linked by the fact that a bunch of people apparently wanted to see them this weekend. It's the first time in forever that two films have opened to over $30 million at the same time...but it wasn't golden for all of the new releases.
For the second week in a row, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' lived up to its title and dominated the box office. One of the newcomers managed to fare surprisingly well in the face of Sam Raimi's blockbuster...but another simply got crushed.
After a series of increasingly dire weeks at the box office, 'Oz the Great and Powerful' arrived and shook things up in a major way, earning the first truly massive opening weekend of 2013 and setting the table for all kinds of Oz-related content in the near future. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is something that we'll let you judge.
Jon Stewart may be one of the hardest working men on television, but it looks like he's about to take a break from hosting 'The Daily Show' for a few months. But he's not going on a vacation: he's going to direct a movie. 'Rosewater' will not only be Stewart's first time behind the camera, it will be something completely out of his regular wheelhouse.
'Jack the Giant Slayer' may have taken the number one spot at the box office, but no one is celebrating -- it may sit at the top, but it sits at the top of one of the weakest box office weekends since, well, last weekend.
There's been no shortage of controversy following the 2013 Oscars, most of it dealing with host Seth MacFarlane's particular brand of comedy, which is either hilariously crude or mean-spirited and misogynistic, depending on who you ask. But with ratings higher than last year's ceremony (40.3 million people tuned in to watch 'Argo' win Best Picture), you'd wonder if the Academy would decide that further outcry was worth it and ask the 'Family Guy' creator back for a second time. However, MacFarlane himself preemptively answered that question on Twitter.
With Hollywood focused on the Oscars, this was one of the dullest box office weekends in recent memory, with each of the new releases arriving with a shrug, last week's champions plummeting and 'Identity Thief' climbing back to the top of the chart.
Normally, the Best Short Film awards at the Oscars are a great opportunity to go the kitchen to grab a beer. After all, you probably haven't seen these films and don't have much invested in who's winning or losing (unless you're the gambling type). That changed this year when all of the animated short film and live action short film nominees made their way online, letting anyone watch them for free. But then the animated nominees vanished from YouTube this past week. What happened?
'Identity Thief' has been in theaters for less than two weeks and it's already grossed $76 million at the box office, an enormous amount for a modestly budgeted comedy with a known but untested leading lady. Although critics haven't been as kind as audiences, $100 million is a sure thing at this point and we wouldn't rule out $150 million if March is kind to it. So of course Universal has already thought about an 'Identity Thief 2.' They probably thought about it two weeks ago.
In retrospect, it's easy to say "Of course the new 'Die hard' movie was going to open at number one at the box office!" but you can bet Bruce Willis and company were a little worried. After all, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' opened in the wake of the failure of 'The Last Stand,' 'Parker' and 'Bullet to the Head,' three other macho, R-rated movies starring modern action icons. However, the strength of the 'Die Hard' brand seems to have broken that trend: John McClane's fifth outing made $25 million over the weekend.
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