There's nothing like a family-friendly animated movie to help shake off the September doldrums and 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2' performed as expected. Although Sony's big release effortlessly took the number one spot, this weekend had a few other bright spots, namely a handful of independent films doing quite well in more limited release.
Now that Bill Hader and Stefon have departed the show, we find ourselves treasuring every other recurring 'SNL' character and treating every appearance as if it's their last. That's just a long-winded way of saying "Welcome back, Drunk Uncle!" Bobby Moynihan's rambling, all-too honest (and all-too real) character once again graced the Weekend Update desk with his presence, updating us with his thoughts on current events and introducing us to a member of his extended family.
'SNL' is nothing if not timely. With the Tina Fey-hosted season premiere airing less than a day before the final episode of AMC's 'Breaking Bad,' it was only natural that they'd put together a meth-themed sketch. And since this is the world's most famous comedy and variety show, someone was able to pull the right strings and snag Jesse Pinkman himself -- Aaron Paul -- to make an appearance.
September may traditionally be a wasteland of half-baked films unfit to open in a proper month, but the lack of competition can actually be a good thing. Could 'Prisoners,' a film made specifically for an adult audience, have opened as well as it did if it was released in a busier month? Probably not.
The 'Toy Story' gang may have had a memorable cinematic farewell with the wonderful 'Toy Story 3,' but we're not done with Bonnie's (formerly Andy's) toys quite yet! The Woody, Buzz and the rest of the group are going to make their television debut with 'Toy Story of Terror,' a made-for-TV Halloween special that will attempt to bring some of that Pixar magic to the small screen. The first two promos for the special have arrived and ... it looks like more 'Toy Story.' That's a good thing, right?
James Wan has done it again. For the second time this year, a horror film that he's directed has opened to over $40 million, securing his position as the reigning king of mainstream horror cinema. He may be taking a break from the genre to direct 'Fast and Furious 7,' but after the jaw-dropping success of 'The Conjuring' and now 'Insidious Chapter 2,' you just know he'll be back. No one is bringing the audiences in quite like Wan.
Oh, and there were some other movies that made some money, too.
Could the adaptation of the long-running racing series 'Need For Speed' be the first great movie based on a video game? We're not going to make any wild and crazy guesses, but for the sake of star Aaron Paul, we certainly hope so. The 'Breaking Bad' star is headlining the film alongside Dominic Cooper and now we have our first look at the two of them in character.
One of the things 'Riddick' has going for it is that it didn't cost too much. So while its opening weekend may be a little less than impressive, it doesn't have that far to go to make a profit. It's little victories like this that make this, one of the slowest most stagnant movie weekends of the year, more palatable.
The last time director Roland Emmerich talked about 'Independence Day 2,' original franchise star Will Smith was not going to be involved. At all. He was "too expensive," a "marquee name" who would be "too much." But a few months (and some time to think about the bomb that was 'After Earth') can make all the difference in the world -- it looks like Smith may end up joining the highly anticipated sequel after all.
'Transformers 4' has been filming for a few months now, but other than the occasional set photo or video of something blowing up, things have been pretty quiet. Little questions like "What's the movie even about?" continue to go unanswered. And to be perfectly honest, those questions will continue to go unanswered for the time being ... but at least we now know that the film will somehow involve robots that can transform into dinosaurs.
The summer is over and September is upon us. The result? One of the most boring weekend box office reports in months. Months! The month or so following the end of the summer movie season is traditionally one of the worst of the year, the time when Hollywood unleashes all of the films that they have little faith in, a buffer between the blockbuster months and the award season months. In other words, it's the exact kind of climate where a movie like 'One Direction: This is Us' can thrive.
Remember how, a few years ago, we were all ready to write Matthew McConaughey off? It's hard to believe that we ever thought such a thing. His latest film, 'Dallas Buyers Club,' contains the latest in his string of brave and exciting roles, following up bravura performances in 'Killer Joe,' 'Mud,' 'Bernie' and 'Magic Mike.' The first trailer for the film has arrived and it definitely looks like a film to keep your eye on.
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