Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News


POSTED: Sunday, August 10, 2014, 4:03 PM
Filed Under: Movies
The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” racked up an estimated $65 million in their first three days to conquer the U.S. box office. (via Youtube)

( - The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are back on top after two decades, and the heroes on the half-shell returned in style, racking up an estimated $65 million in their first three days to conquer the U.S. box office.

That knocked Marvel's superhero space romp “Guardians of the Galaxy” from the top spot after just a week. Peter Quill, Groot and Rocket Raccoon held well in their second week and brought in $41.5 million for Disney, but the weekend belonged to everyone's favorite wise-cracking mutant reptiles, Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo.

With producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebsman giving the gang a muscular special-effects update, “Ninja Turtles” blew past the expectations of analysts, who had the turtle tale opening at around $45 million.

POSTED: Sunday, August 10, 2014, 3:49 PM
Filed Under: Movies
Director James Cameron and Suzy Amis arrive at the "Deepsea Challenge 3D" New York Premiere at the American Museum of Natural History on August 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky (Getty Images)

( - James Cameron may be “King of the World” when it comes to the box office, but that plainly doesn't hold true when it comes to documentaries.

“James Cameron‘s Deepsea Challenge 3D” opened in 304 theaters to a soggy $147,000 this weekend. That's a puny $485 per-screen average for the chronicle of the mini-sub journey to the ocean's deepest depths by Cameron, the man behind the two highest-grossing movies of all time, “Avatar” and “Titanic.”

No one expected the documentary from indie distributor DisruptiveLA to match the numbers those films put up of course, but the “Deepsea Challenge” showing is still disappointing, given Cameron's name and the considerable preopening publicity it received.

POSTED: Saturday, August 9, 2014, 11:01 AM
Filed Under: Movies
WWE Superstar Sheamus performs during the 10th anniversary of WWE Tribute to the Troops at Norfolk Scope Arena on December 9, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Kris Connor/Getty Images for WWE)

A flame-haired Irish wrestler has hinted he'll be the man behind DARTH VADER's mask in the new Star Wars films.

WWE champion Sheamus has been linked to the role British actor Dave Prowse played in the first three Star Wars movies, and he has fueled the speculation on Twitter.

The fighter, real name Stephen Farrelly, has been spotted close to where filming is taking place on Skellig Michael Island in Ireland, and he recently tweeted a photo of himself wielding a toy lightsaber.

POSTED: Monday, August 4, 2014, 5:36 PM
Filed Under: Movies
There have been dozens of epic feuds in rap's long and contentious history: this might be the weirdest.

Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J recently collaborated on a rap song - "Shellshocked" - for the upcoming Michael Bay-produced "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie, but '90s hit rapper Vanilla Ice is unimpressed.

"With respect to all of the artists, the song doesn't really do it for me. It feels a little artificial - what I mean by that is that it sounds like a bunch of executives in the corporate world put it together." Ice told GQ.

POSTED: Sunday, August 3, 2014, 11:29 AM
Filed Under: Movies
(L-R) Actors Lee Pace, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel attend The Cinema Society with Men's Fitness and FIJI Water special screening of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" at Crosby Street Hotel on July 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

( - “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Disney and Marvel's raucous superhero space romp, opened to an electrifying $94 million to win the weekend and put a charge into the slumping summer box office.

The opening by “Guardians” is nearly $20 million ahead of analysts projections and shatters the record for an August debut, ahead of the $69.2 million of “The Bourne Ultimatum” in 2007. It's also better than the $85 million that “Thor: The Dark World” opened to last November and just behind the $95 million that “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” did in April.

With “Guardians leading the way, the top ten films delivered roughly $170 million. That's well ahead of the $118 million that the same weekend totaled last summer. It doesn't save the summer — this season is running roughly 20 percent behind last year's record-breaking total — but it reverses the momentum after a nearly two-month run of down weekends.

POSTED: Saturday, August 2, 2014, 1:55 PM
Filed Under: Movies
Actor Bill Murray departs the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Aug 02 ( - Bill Murray has joined the cast of Disney's “The Jungle Book,” directed by Jon Favreau.

Murray will voice Baloo, the jolly bear who befriends the human orphan Mowgli, to be played by newcomer Neel Sethi.

Murray joins a voice cast that also incluldes Lupita Nyong'o as Raksha, the wolf mother who adopts Mowgli as one of her own, Christopher Walken as King Louie the orangutan, Giancarlo Esposito as Akela the grey wolf and Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, a jaguar.

POSTED: Sunday, July 6, 2014, 12:07 PM
Filed Under: Movies
Actress Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone arrive at the Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Tammy" at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 30, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

Jul 06 ( - Even in its second week, “Transformers: Age of Extinction” was way too much for Melissa McCarthy‘s comedy “Tammy” and two other wide openers at a feeble July 4 weekend box office. 

Michael Bay's rampaging toy-bots became the first summer movie to hold onto the No. 1 spot at the box office, bringing in an estimated $53 million over the five days. “Tammy” took in a lackluster $32.9 million over the five days.

The overall holiday weekend was a major dud, down roughly 45 percent from last year when “Despicable Me 2” led the way with $143 million over the five days. With Independence Day falling on a Friday, fireworks stole potential moviegoers’ attention. And the lack of a tentpole movie opening hurt, too. The winning three-day total of $36.4 million for “Age of Extinction” was the lowest on a July 4 weekend since 1998, when Bay's “Armageddon” copped the top spot with $36 million.

POSTED: Saturday, June 28, 2014, 12:46 PM
Filed Under: Movies
This photo released by Paramount Pictures shows Optimus Prime in a scene from the the film, "Transformers: Age of Extinction." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, ILM)
“Transformers: Age of Extinction” exploded for $41.6 million in its first day at the domestic box office Friday, giving director Michael Bay's morphing robots epic a good shot at becoming the year's first $100 million opener.

Saturday and Sunday will provide an indicator of how review-proof, or not, the fourth entry in the $2.7 billion franchise will be. Critics have reviled Paramount's “Age of Extinction,” and it has an abysmal 18 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the PG-13 sci-fi action extravaganza received an “A-” CinemaScore from first-night audiences at its 4,233 theaters.

The “Transformers 4” audience skewed male (64 percent) and surprisingly older, with 58 percent over the age of 25.

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Consider our Movies blog your essential guide to new movies and classics, interviews with filmmakers and stars, news and views on the latest screen trends, reviews and the occasional rant.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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