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The Playlist

The Best Films Of 2011...So Far

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • June 21, 2011 4:05 AM
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  • 54 Comments
Well, today is the first day of summer, more or less the midpoint of the year, and looking back over the the first six months of 2011, it’s definitely been a bit more of a scattershot movie year compared to the arthouse heavy start of 2010. We'll be honest, compiling this list wasn't exactly easy, the year has been uneven so far, but that said, it's certainly not without highlights: Terrence Malick finally delivered his long awaited film, Woody Allen flexed some of the old magic we love him for, and Michael Winterbottom found life and heart from a familiar comic pairing, while Joe Wright moved completely in a new, exciting direction. Over at the multiplex, big summer entertainment has already made that overpriced, greasy bag of popcorn worth the price with J.J. Abrams proving that genre thrills don't have to be empty, while one of the year’s best efforts unfolded beautifully on the small screen.

Weekend Box-Office: Is 'Green Lantern' The End Of The Superhero Gravy Train?

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 19, 2011 5:34 AM
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  • 14 Comments
Perspective is necessary. $53 million is a whole lotta money. $53 million could buy several houses, it could feed many people, it could save lives. $53 million is also a pretty good opening for a somewhat higher-budgeted film, provided advertising isn’t through the roof and there aren’t a massive amount of back-end benefactors involved. But for “Green Lantern,” which cost upwards of $200 million before a massive ad campaign even by superhero standards, this is not a strong opening.

Why Has Everyone From 'Bridesmaids' Landed Big New Gigs Except Its Leading Lady Kristen Wiig?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 16, 2011 9:28 AM
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  • 16 Comments
Did The 'Game-Changing' Comedy Really Change Anything?As we've already discussed at length, "Bridesmaids" is not only one of the best films of the year so far, but also a big, giant hit. Already the third-biggest grosser in the Judd Apatow stable, it's had hugely impressive legs, dropping fractionally week-on-week and is heading to at least a $150 million domestic gross, and possibly even more. And, as is usual with hits, most of those involved have gotten big career boosts: Apatow is back on top after a string of under-performers, breakout star Melissa McCarthy has lined up two "Bridesmaids" reunions, one with writer Annie Mumolo, the other with director Paul Feig and star Jon Hamm, romantic lead Chris O'Dowd bagged a gig in the "Knocked Up" sequel/spin-off, and Ellie Kemper joined the cast of "21 Jump Street."

'Bridesmaids' Director Paul Feig Says He's Rebooting A Comedy Franchise: 4 Possible Contenders

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 16, 2011 3:59 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Plus Helmer Talks Upcoming Jon Hamm/Melissa McCarthy ComedyAlmost everyone involved in "Bridesmaids" has gotten a major boost from its huge success (although, note we said almost everyone: more on this later on), and none more deservingly though than its director, Paul Feig. Since co-creating classic one-season wonder "Freaks and Geeks" with Judd Apatow over a decade ago, Feig has worked consistently on some of the best TV shows around, including "The Office," "Arrested Development" and even "Mad Men," but big-screen success had so far eluded him, with features "I Am David" and "Grounded" landing with a thud.

Weekend Box Office: 'Super 8' Is A Super Performer For Paramount, 'Judy Moody' Has A Bummer Summer

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 12, 2011 6:53 AM
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  • 10 Comments
Call this one a victory for Paramount, and a big one at that. “Super 8,” which opened to $37 million, was advertised with only the slightest of peekaboos, an ad campaign that played less coy and more stubbornly mysterious. While the film was pitched on the name of Steven Spielberg, the filmmaker has his name on a lot of projects annually, and the wealth of offerings has become so consistent that it no longer tilts the needle.

Weekend Box Office: $56 Million 'First Class' Opening Isn't X-actly What Fox Had In Mind

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 5, 2011 5:16 AM
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  • 13 Comments
As the only major opening of the week, it was not a surprise to see “X-Men: First Class” reign with a $56 million total. For those keeping track at home (why are you doing this?), this is the lowest-scoring opening weekend for any of the four films in the “X-Men” series save for the eleven-year old first entry, and not a particularly impressive start for the only new wide release in town. This isn’t even taking into account a summer that has seen the fifth and fourth installments of the “Fast And The Furious” and “Pirates Of The Caribbean” achieve great success.

Weekend Box Office: Despite All Warnings, Everybody Sees 'The Hangover Part II'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 29, 2011 6:58 AM
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  • 39 Comments
In the future, sequels to all our popular films will not require writers, directors, or even new talent. Sure, they might re-hire some of the people responsible for the first film, but by and large, the leading users of Xerox technology will be Hollywood executives. At least, that’s if the mammoth opening for “The Hangover Part II” is any indication, as the film took advantage of the holiday weekend to score an expected $137 million over this five day period. Critics seemed to do everything short of design spreadsheets to illustrate just how Todd Phillips and company were replicating the exact story of the first film (arguably, the marketing campaign did the same), but audiences, who loved the earlier installment enough to make it a massive word-of-mouth hit, were apparently happy enough to indulge the funnymen (not women, though -- sorry, ladies!) behind the picture one more time.

"I Told You It Would Fit In There": Watch 3 Minutes Of NSFW Outtakes From 'Bridesmaids'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 26, 2011 12:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments
After a tough few years, 2011 has turned out pretty well for Universal so far: "Fast Five" is currently the top-grosser of the year, fairly impressive considering its the fifth entry in a franchise, with "Hop" not far behind, and even "Paul" and "The Adjustment Bureau" did better than expectations. On top of all that, there's "Bridesmaids," not only a film that's one of our collective favorites of the year, but also a genuine word-of-mouth hit, taking a minimal drop in its second week, and steaming towards at least $100 million.

Weekend Box Office: 'Pirates 4' Scores Biggest Global Debut Of All-Time Despite Being A Shitty Movie

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 22, 2011 5:37 AM
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  • 17 Comments
This weekend, Disney pooled their resources with Jerry Bruckheimer and produced an insta-blockbuster. Apathy is the name of the game with “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” which scored the biggest bow of 2011 despite being a piece of shit that grossed lower in its opening frame than its two predecessors. “Dead Man’s Chest” and “At Worlds End” both cracked $100 million in their first domestic weekend, but even with the elevated 3D pricing, “Pirates 4” couldn’t cross nine digits.

If The Numbers Keep Going Up A 'Bridesmaids' Sequel Is A Possibility Says Paul Feig

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 19, 2011 12:17 PM
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  • 0 Comments
While this year has seen movies like "The Roommate," "Diary Of Wimpy Kid 2" and "The Rite" top the box office, every now and then, America gets it right and puts quality at the top of the pack. While it didn't beat the mighty "Thor," the Judd Apatow produced, Paul Feig directed ensemble female comedy, kicked some ass over the weekend, surprising everyone with a number two slot and as it headed into this week, overtook the Marvel movie with weekday ticket sales. This is a huge step towards greenlighting female comedies around town (finally) but moreover, proof that if you give audiences quality options, generally, they'll go for it.

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