Like the megalomaniacal android for which it's named, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" embarked on a bid for world domination over the weekend. Opening in 44 international markets, Marvel's latest superhero team-up grossed a staggering $200.2 million and became the No. 1 movie in all the territories in which it appeared.
Disney, Marvel's corporate parent, said the international opening numbers were up about 44% from the original "Avengers" movie in 2012 when comparing the same territories at today's exchange rates. "The Avengers" ranks as the third-highest-grossing film of all time.
The biggest "Ultron" market was South Korea, where the film took in $28.2 million — up from a $10.8-million opening weekend for the first "Avengers," according to Box Office Mojo. Perhaps not coincidentally, some key scenes in the sequel were shot in and around Seoul, and director Joss Whedon and actors Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Claudia Kim stopped by on the recent international press tour.
It might seem like the world had moved on this weekend, but while you were busy getting caught up in Bruce Jenner or wondering why everyone else was getting caught up in Bruce Jenner, something unusual was happening at the multiplex. “Furious 7,” that film you heard about what seemed like so many weeks ago, was still veritably ripping things up at the box office.
The film won the weekend handily over new opener “The Age of Adaline" and holdovers “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” and “Unfriended.” In doing so, “Furious” entered a rare class: it’s now won the box office crown four straight weeks. How rare? Well, the feat has been achieved only one other time in the previous five years, with a small release called “The Hunger Games” in early 2012. The last movie to pull off the trick before that was “Avatar.” Woman, I am the cavalry.
Modern studio hits break down, broadly, into two categories. There are movies that have a long life, like “Frozen,” rarely conquering the weekend but racking up hugely...Read more
“Ex Machina,” which writer-director Alex Garland recently referred to as "a sci-fi psychological thriller," has undoubtedly been one of the bright spots of the spring movie season.
Having received largely positive reviews -- Times critic Kenneth Turan called it “a spooky piece of speculative fiction that's completely plausible, capable of both thinking big thoughts and providing pulp thrills” -- the film earned the best limited opening so far this year two weeks ago and opens nationally this weekend.
Last weekend, Garland appeared in a Los Angeles theater for a pair of post-screening Q&As. Moderating one was Graham Moore, Oscar-winning screenwriter of “The Imitation Game,” while the other was moderated by Rian Johnson, writer-director of “Looper” and an upcoming episode of the revitalized “Star Wars” saga.
“This is an ideas movie,” Garland said, while speaking to Moore. “It’s an old-fashioned sci-fi movie in that respect. It proposes questions. Some of the questions it offers an answer,...Read more
Adam Sandler and Netflix's satirical western "The Ridiculous Six" has come under fire for its portrayal of Native Americans.
On Wednesday, a group of about a dozen American Indian actors walked off the set of the film over complaints that it contained stereotypical and offensive material, according to Indian Country Today. A cultural adviser also quit the movie, the outlet reported.
Actor Loren Anthony told ICT that the script featured insulting names for Native American characters, such as Beaver's Breath and No Bra. He also said some scenes were disrespectul and inaccurate in their portrayals of American Indian culture, including one with an Apache woman squatting and urinating while smoking a peace pipe.
Anthony said filmmakers "treated us as if we should just be on the side. When we did speak with the main director, he was trying to say the disrespect was not intentional and this was a comedy."
Starring, produced and co-written by Sandler and directed by his frequent collaborator Frank...Read more
The Weinstein Co. and the screenwriter John Fusco had a fruitful collaboration with “Marco Polo,” the period epic set during the 13th-century reign of Kublai Khan that Netflix debuted in December.
Now the pair could be taking things back a few generations.
Weinstein executives and Fusco ("Young Guns") have begun early talks on a similarly scoped project about Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire who was Kublai Khan’s grandfather, according to a person familiar with the project who declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of discussions.
The person said there’s no official deal yet, but Weinstein executives are said to be keen on the project. The idea would be to look at the more complex elements of a leader often thought of as a simple barbarian, including how religious tolerance and other freedoms flourished under his rule.
Known as the world's most famous conqueror, Genghis Khan has been wrapped in a thick legend--so thick that even his tomb site is unknown...Read more
New romantic fantasy "The Age of Adaline" stars Blake Lively as a 29-year-old woman who suffers a freak accident in the 1930s and never ages past that point, cursing her with everlasting beauty but emotional solitude.
According to most movie critics, the Lee Toland Krieger-directed drama is rather like Adaline's own life: gorgeous on the outside but not particularly fulfilling.
In a relatively positive review, The Times' Betsy Sharkey says "Adaline" is "a sweeping romance beautifully wrapped in classy couture and slightly suspect in the way it uses metaphysics to manipulate matters of the heart. Not 'An Affair to Remember,' mind you, but a welcome change from the Nicholas Sparks brand of mush that has overtaken the hearts-and-flowers corner of movieland."
One of the film's greatest assets, Sharkey says, is the look: "Clothes do much to make the movie," thanks to costume designer Angus Strathie. Also receiving kudos are the production design, hair and makeup, and cinematography. Sharkey...Read more