On what would've been Tupac Shakur's 46th birthday, Lionsgate-Codeblack released the long-gestating biopic “All Eyez on Me" pulling an estimated $27.1 million in its debut weekend. Though only a third-place finish, it far surpassed analyst expectations of $17 million to $20 million, an unsurprising feat considering the industry's historical inability to properly track films targeting black audiences.
“All Eyez on Me” follows the rise of Tupac, the Harlem-born hip-hop hit maker who, in just 25 years of life, came to define a generation through his music, acting and poetry before that fateful 1996 drive-by shooting. Starring first-time actor Demetrius Shipp Jr., a doppelganger for the “California Love” rapper, the film is titled after Tupac’s final album released before his death. It also stars Danai Gurira as his mother and former Black Panther Afeni Shakur, Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett (Smith) and Annie Ilonzeh as Kidada Jones.
A film that according to producer L.T. Hutton finally got made because of the massive success of 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton” — despite countless biopics about black musicians doing well at the box office before the film charting N.W.A’s rise — “All Eyez” is an audience favorite. Moviegoers (53% male; 62% 25 and older) gave the picture an A-minus CinemaScore. Just about every critic review however is negative, leaving the film, directed by Benny Boom and shepherded through a 20-year gestation period by former Death Row Record producer and Pac confidant Hutton, at a 24% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
It’s been noted that the director who gave us two of the most cherished underdog sagas in American movies remained, to the end, something of an underdog himself. John G. Avildsen may have secured his place in the Hollywood firmament with “Rocky” (1976) and “The Karate Kid” (1984), both fitting tributes to the importance of working hard, staying tough and keeping your eyes on the prize. But those soaring career highs stood out in a career that also encompassed high-profile duds, ill-advised sequels, Troma sexploitation flicks and a trio of Razzie nominations. It was not, to be sure, your typical Academy Award winner’s résumé.
But so what? Avildsen, who died on Friday at 81, was more uneven journeyman than exacting artist, the kind of director who gamely tried his hand at any number of genres, misfired often and seemed to stumble onto his successes almost by accident. But that lack of pretension — another word for it might be subtlety — made sense for a filmmaker who was, at his best, a master of the sturdy and the sentimental, who excelled at telling scrappy, emotionally generous stories about improbable winners, perpetual losers and everyone in between.
That so many of these characters spring so vividly to mind is a reminder that Avildsen, while not always inspired in his choice of material, had an often sure-handed touch with actors. Sylvester Stallone’s original appearance as Rocky Balboa, for all its endlessly imitable meathead toughness, seems all the more striking today for its delicacy. The performances given by Peter Falk in “Happy New Year” (1987), Molly Ringwald in “For Keeps?” (1988) and Morgan Freeman in “Lean on Me” (1989) rank among their personal bests.
Donald Trump has only been president for five months, but he’s already got a presidential library. Sort of.
This weekend in New York, “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” is presenting a pop-up museum, the Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, an ambitious piece of interactive political satire chronicling his social media misadventures.
“Say what you want about Donald Trump. He may not be good at presidenting or reading or geopolitics, but he is a damn fine Twitterer, probably the best that ever lived," said Noah on Thursday at an unveiling of the temporary installation, which is open through Sunday at 3 W. 57th St. in Manhattan, about 150 paces from Trump Tower.
A Pennsylvania judge declared a mistrial Saturday in the case against Bill Cosby after a jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision, an inconclusive finale to one of the most high-profile sexual assault cases in years.
Cosby was charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault in an incident involving former Temple University basketball staffer Andrea Constand at his home in suburban Philadelphia in 2004.
Over the past 10 days, jurors heard the entertainer's defense that the encounter was consensual, while Constand, taking the stand and facing Cosby for the first time, testified that Cosby drugged her and robbed her of the ability to consent.
Back in March, the Discovery Channel teased that Olympic gold-medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps would participate in its Shark Week. But the outlet didn't make clear what he would do.
A news release from the Discovery Channel this week makes it sound like he'll be swimming with — or against — a shark. The episode is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. on July 23 and is posted on Discovery's listings that night as:
Katy Perry just broke another Twitter record: The "Bon Appetit" singer is the first person on the site to hit 100 million followers.
The 32-year-old's KatyCats following has been going strong since she joined Twitter in 2009. She's tweeted more than 8,500 times, debuting music and videos and making major announcements. To mark the occasions, the site launched a custom emoji Friday, triggered by the #LoveKaty hashtag.
According to site, the singer was the most discussed when she performed during the February 2015 Super Bowl halftime show and launched a thousand memes with the #LeftShark phenomenon. Other Perry-related hashtags include #roar, #KatyCats, #Prism, #ChainedToTheRhythm and #Rise.
On what would have been rap legend Tupac Shakur's 46th birthday, childhood friend Jada Pinkett Smith is setting the record straight on her relationship with the late artist, particularly as depicted in new biopic "All Eyez on Me."
"Forgive me," Pinkett Smith wrote on Twitter, "My relationship to Pac is too precious to me for the scenes in 'All Eyez On Me' to stand as truth."
In a series of eight tweets on the social media platform, Pinkett Smith disputed several scenes featuring the relationship in the film about Shakur's meteoric rise.
Forgive me... my relationship to Pac is too precious to me for the scenes in All Eyez On Me to stand as truth.
In November 2012, Leonardo DiCaprio — at the time, three months into filming "Wolf of Wall Street," which would later further his legacy of almost-Oscars for a fourth time — received Marlon Brando's best actor statuette for 1954's "On the Waterfront" as a 38th birthday gift.
The gift-givers were DiCaprio's business associates (and friends) at Red Granite Pictures, the production house behind "Wolf of Wall Street." Now the 42-year-old actor has voluntarily handed over Brando's Academy Award (in addition to several other pricey souvenirs from the Red Granite team) to the U.S. government as part of an ongoing investigation into a $3.5-billion Malaysian money-laundering scheme.
Authorities from the U.S. Department of Justice suspect that Red Granite co-founder Riza Aziz may have helped his stepfather, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, embezzle $4.5 billion from a political development scheme in that part of the world. A portion of those misappropriated funds were used to bankroll the production company and subsequently back "The Wolf of Wall Street."
With "Wonder Woman," Patty Jenkins became the first female director to helm a major superhero film, and the significance of that distinction has not been lost on her.
Jenkins talked Thursday on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" about recognizing the history she was making without letting it get in the way. She had, after all, been on the cusp of barrier-breaking once before, when she nearly directed a different superhero flick.
"I knew, I understood when I was hired," Jenkins said. "But I had almost done the sequel to 'Thor,' and so it had already happened to me where I was like, 'Oh, I'm going to be the first woman to ... oh, not that one, but this one.'"