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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 09/02/2015 - 09:55

SpongeBob sequel stops Jupiter Ascending and knocks American Sniper off perch

By Rich Matthews

A decade after his first cinematic outing, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water made a somewhat unexpected splash at the box office this weekend, finally knocking American Sniper off its high vantage point at the top spot by grossing $56m. That means you can expect to see even more of the Squarepants franchise in the very near future – and by opening on the same weekend as The Lego Movie last year, it cements February as the launch month for less conventional animated fare.

Internationally, the occupants of Bikini Bottom were outpacing the 10-year-old first movie by a factor of five, taking $26.8 million for an early worldwide tally just past $80m. It easily saw off the weekend's other two big releases, the Wachowskis' bloated sci-fi spectacular Jupiter Ascending ($19m) and fantasy flick Seventh Son ($7.1m), which stars Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges and Narnia's former Prince Caspian, Ben Barnes. Son has already grossed $90.7m worldwide however, continuing the trend for Legendary Pictures movies recent tendency to do much better overseas than him – but it's still another costly dud after Michael Mann's monumental megaflop Black Hat starring Chris Hemsworth. Right now, Warner Bros may well be breathing a sigh of relief that Legendary upped sticks to Universal after all.

Sat firmly at number two, Clint Eastwood's American Sniper racked up a further $24.2m for a whopping home soil tally of $282.3m – which is firmly in star Bradley Cooper's Hangover franchise box office ballpark. In the reverse to Seventh Son, the bulk of the Warner war flick's coin has come from the domestic wallet, with a global gross only $68m ahead at $350.6m.

From five to 10, the rest of the chart was comprised of family hit Paddington ($5.4m, $57.3m US, $208.1m global), Paramount's found footage sci-fier Project Almanac ($5.3m, $15.8m, $17.7m), Benedict Cumberbatch cracking WW2 codes in Oscar bait The Imitation Game ($4.9m, $74.7m, $139.4m), Kevin Hart failing to recapture that Ride Along magic this time with Frozen's Olaf Josh Gad in The Wedding Ringer ($4.9m, $55.1m, $58.3m), Kevin Costner's racial drama passion project Black or White ($4.5m, $13.1m), and Jennifer Lopez chiller The Boy Next Door ($4.1m, $30.9m, $32.4m).
Next weekend, expect to see watered-down S&M adaptation Fifty Shades Of Grey take pole position (even though it is unlikely to stay there), just pipping Bond pastiche Kingsman: The Secret Service.

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Trips of the Week

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 08/02/2015 - 13:12

By Stuart O'Connor

Each week, the Screenjabber inbox gets overloaded with emails containing new film trailers, or clips of films or upcoming Blu-ray/DVD/VoD releases. Here are a few of those trailers and clips (hence trips) that caught our eye this week ...

Poltergeist

Magic Mike XXL

Fast & Furious 7

Marvel's Daredevil

Minions

Mortal Kombat X

Soldiers of the Damned

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Podcast: Wachowskis are strange, but Aardman is ascending

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 07/02/2015 - 16:12

Join Mark Searby, Amon Warmann and host Stuart O'Connor for reviews of the big new releases on offer in UK cinemas this week: Selma, Love Is Strange, Shaun The Sheep Movie, The Interview and Jupiter Ascending.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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Screenjabber Podcast: Five big heroes

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 01/02/2015 - 10:35

Join Mark Searby, Amon Warmann, Tom Mimnagh, David Watson and host Stuart O'Connor for a little bit of movie news – Fantastic Four, Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones – and reviews of the big new releases on offer in UK cinemas this week: Big Hero 6, Inherent Vice, Son Of a Gun, Trash, Tales of the Grim Sleeper and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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Trips of the Week

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sat, 31/01/2015 - 10:35

By Stuart O'Connor

Each week, the Screenjabber inbox gets overloaded with emails containing new film trailers, or clips of films or upcoming Blu-ray/DVD/VoD releases. Here are a few of those trailers and clips (hence trips) that caught our eye this week ...

 

Ted 2

Catch Me Daddy

Jurassic World

Fantastic Four

Selma

Kingsman: The Secret Service

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Wedding Ringer

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Trips of the Week

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 26/01/2015 - 08:01

By Stuart O'Connor

Each week, the Screenjabber inbox gets overloaded with emails containing new film trailers, or clips of films or upcoming Blu-ray/DVD/VoD releases. Here are a few of those trailers and clips (hence trips) that caught our eye this week ...

 

The Voices

The Falling

The Wedding Ringer

The Turning

It Follows

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US Box Office Report

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 25/01/2015 - 22:30

American Sniper keeps on rampaging while Depp's Mortdecai misses target

By Rich Matthews

Clint Eastwood's American Sniper is chiming incredibly well with the hearts of middle America. Declining a meagre 28 per cent on last weekend's record-breaking January opening, the Bradley Cooper war drama grossed $64.4m to take its domestic tally up to $200.1m and zeroing on Saving Private Ryan's $216m record as the biggest-ever grossing war film.

Even when Spielberg's 1998 film is inflation adjusted to a $300m total, Sniper has every chance of blowing it away. It isn't doing anywhere near as well overseas – for obvious reasons – but it's global gross of $247.6m is pretty amazing nonetheless given the subject matter and R rating. It's now more than $50m off Eastwood's nearest outing as directing, Gran Torino, and double the likes of Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven. Even his star vehicles are outgrossed, with only Unforgiven ($202.4m), In The Line Of Fire ($201.4m) and the Clyde monkey flicks Any Which Way You Can ($218.1m) and Every Which Way But Loose ($301.2m) above it when adjusted for inflation.

Following it up at number two was Jennifer Lopez's attraction thriller The Boy Next Door with a better-than-expected $15m, even with some pretty mediocre reviews. But either way, this is still quite the coup for J-Lo because the film only cost $4m to make, so is already showing a sizeable return. At three, Paddington grossed $12.4m to swell its US coffers to a pleasing $40.1m and its worldwide total to an industry-confounding $170m. Expect more from the marmalade-eating bear. At four, Kevin Hart hasn't managed to recapture the new year magic of last year's Ride Along, with The Wedding Ringer taking $11.6m for a domestic tally of $39.7m, while Liam Neeson was hot on his heels in Taken 3, grossing $7.6m for a US total of $76.1m and $226m global, which is healthy but off the pace of the previous two films.

The ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch held strong at six in The Imitation Game ($7.1m, $60.6m, a red hot $110.8m), seeing off George Lucas' "quirky" animation (made before the purchase of LucasFilm by Disney, the studio has been quick to add) Strange Magic with a ho-hum $5.5m that was matched by award-bait Martin Luther King drama Selma, taking its tally to $39.2m. Then, nine (yes, nine), Johnny Depp continued his run of box office stinkers with David Koepp's Mortdecai ($4.1m, $9.3m worldwide). Whatever the reviews have been like (and they have stunk), Depp better chivvy Disney along to get the next Pirates Of The Caribbean out sharpish, or his star may truly be on the wane. And Disney itself rounded out the top 10 with Into The Woods ($4.1m, $121.5m, $155.5m).

Internationally, The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies finally opened in China and zoomed to the top of the foreign box office thanks to that $49.5m opening. It's total gross now stands at $866m, $94m behind The Desolation Of Smaug and some way off An Unexpected Journey's $1bn.

Next weekend sees Paramount reveal found footage sci-fi Project Almanac, while Karl Urban, Wentworth Miller and James Marsden can be found in The Loft, and Kevin Costner and Olivia Spencer tackle weighty issues in Black Or White.

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Screenjabber Podcast: A most film-filled year

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Sun, 25/01/2015 - 17:20

Join Andrew Jones, Mark Searby, Amon Warmann and host Stuart O'Connor for the first podcast of the new year. We kick off with Oscar news and a brief look at a few of the films that have come out so far this month – Birdman, Into The Woods, Foxcatcher, Whiplash, The Theory of Everything and American Sniper – plus reviews of the big new releases on offer in UK cinemas this week: Mortdecai, The Gambler, A Most Violent Year and Ex Machina..

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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Mortdecai film premiere

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Fri, 23/01/2015 - 19:51

By Jessy Williams

The premiere of Mortdecai – which stars Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor – landed in London on Monday January 19 and Screenjabber was on the red carpet. Among others, in attendance were the leading man himself Johnny Depp, his partner in crime Paul Bettany and director David Koepp. Here’s what we ascertained from some of the guests...

David Koepp
Was the British comedy element an appeal of yours?

Yeah, absolutely. The combination of the high and low is what really attracted me. The sense of great propriety along with the most absurd things you could possibly imagine. Johnny’s a big fan of that and so am I. We were really happy to get Paul Whitehouse in to the movie which was certainly emblematic of a certain style of British comedy.

How hard is it to direct physical comedy?
Comedy is tricky because you can’t let the sweat show. Making movies is always hard; things break, people get sick and there are arguments. When you get it right and it’s hysterical and everyone laughs, that’s a great feeling.

Was trying to contain the laughter one of the hardest parts?
Oh my god yes, I was actually the worst offender. I would laugh if I saw something funny, but if you’re recording sound that’s a big problem. I had to move my chair out of the room, down the hall and then into another room. But, that’s part of the fun. I was asked to leave more than once and I took it as a good sign.

What were the locations that you filmed in?
Primarily in and around London. We were in Manor House and locations all around the city for about 8 weeks, then 2 weeks in Los Angeles.

Eric Aronson
How did you get involved with the writing of Mortdecai?
I was over at Trafalgar Square 12 years ago and I walked into a bookstore and I found this great set of books on the “staff recommended” shelf, this Mortdecai trilogy. I picked them up and on the back of one of them it said they were like a cross between P.G Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler and I fell in love with it. I went out and I wrote the script, without rights or anything. I sent it around to everybody and everybody said no and then I sent it around again..and everyone said no! Then Johnny read it and said yes and then the film got made. That was 12 years!

Why did you choose to send it to Johnny Depp?
Well he actually read it as a sample of my work. I went it to meet his company and they said, “So what do you have that we can read to get a sense of what it is?” and I gave them Mortdecai and Johnny read it.

Did you think from then that Johnny would be the best person for the lead role?
It just happened! He is the perfect guy. I mean, he's the perfect guy to play any role. I mean, once he inhabits it and owns it, he makes it his. Then you can't imagine it any other way.

Have you thought about writing for either of the other Mortdecai books?
Oh yeah.

Is that going to happen?
I don't know, it isn't up to me. I wish it were up to me! I could write again and again and again. In my head, I've already written the next one. I've mentioned it to few people, so we've planted the seed.

How do you think the film is going to be received? Recent films with Johnny haven't been getting the best reviews from critics...
I think Johnny is the modern day Charlie Chaplin and is totally uncredited for it. Every take, every scene and every moment he is doing something. He's just such an extraordinary actor that I love watching him do whatever he does. I don't know why people love him in some things and don't like him in other things. I think he's great!

How about Paul Bettany, how did he get involved?
Through Johnny. He was the centre pole of everybody. Johnny got David and Paul. Gwyneth doesn't work that much. She does a film once in a while, but once it was Johnny it was like, “Oh yeah, I'm in”. It's pretty easy to get a movie made when Johnny wants to make it.

Paul Bettany
Tell us about Mortdecai, who is he?

Mortdecai is a penniless aristocrat who's an art expert and historian. He's decided that it's the time in his life to grow a moustache, like every other Mortdecai before him and it's become a line in the sand that he will not cross. His wife wants him to shave it off, but he won't. Despite their financial issues, this seems to be the biggest issue in their relationship, which is funny. I play Jock Strapp, his butler, driver, assassin...

What should audiences expect when they see this film?
It's a camp romp. It's like Jeeves and Wooster, but on acid.

Why was Johnny Depp the perfect guy to bring Mortdecai to the screen?
He loves the books, he's a huge fan. He was a really poor kid who came from a poor background and he grew up, for some reason, watching England comedies. He fell in love with English humour. I think it's great, because everyone knows how much he loves England. He is accepted making fun of the British. It's a real sweet spot for him. It's a homage to one of his heroes, who is Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers.

Mark Ronson
How did you get involved with Mortdecai?

I met with David Koepp and he liked some of the music I'd done in the past. He showed me the script and it was hilarious, so I jumped at the chance to do it.

If they were to make more Mortdecai films would you be up for that?
Yeah, for sure. I had a really great experience and it was really nice, because it's so different from writing my own music.

How did the experience compare to writing your own album?
You really get all this inspiration from these colourful characters; it's just two different things.

Did you and David Koepp agree on what the music should sound like?
Luckily, most of the time he did. There were times when he would be hearing something completely different and have a different view, but we'd work it out. I realise that's the nature of film, you have to re-work things out some of the time. I like that part, I don't mind it.

Did you get to go to the set and see the filming?
I was able to go to the set once and I met Johnny Depp. I was nervous, it was a big deal.

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ScreenJabber Wrestling Podcast: Let's get ready to mumble

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 22/01/2015 - 23:09

Join Tom Mimnagh, Harry Harrison, Daniel Akinbola, James Nicolaou and Mike Loukoumis as they discuss all thing wrestling: CM Punk's recent departure, Wrestle Kingdom 9 and Royal Rumble memories. Plus the team's predictions on the 2015 edition of the first stop on the illustrious Road to Wrestlemania.

You can listen to and download the podcast – or subscribe to it on iTunes ... plus you can follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

PubQuest: We're looking to take the Screenjabber Pubcast on the road, and want your input. Know a great pub in London we should visit to record the show? Drop us a line and let us know.

WriterQuest: We're seeking some more writers, particularly those who want to cover video games for us. Please get in touch if you're keen.

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