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Awards 2014: If The Oscar Nominations Were Today, Who Would The Academy Vote For?

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 2, 2014 1:18 PM
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  • 18 Comments
Oscars, If They Were Held Now
Recently we ran our Fall Festival 50, a wishlist and prediction piece about the films we expect to see popping up in the fall. Many of them will be on their way to an Oscar campaign, because, as the accepted wisdom goes, if you want your film to have a fighting chance at Academy Awards glory, you secure in a nice cosy October/November/December release date, maybe on the back of a festival premiere, and bombard the trades with For Your Consideration ads. This indeed has been the route taken by five of the six most recent Best Picture winners ("12 Years a Slave," "Argo," "The Artist," "The King's Speech," "Slumdog Millionaire") with only Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” proving that it’s possible to play in summer and still pick up the big one.

The Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of 2014 So Far

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • July 1, 2014 2:52 PM
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  • 52 Comments
Worst/Disappointing So Far... 2014
We’ve said it before, notably as a lead-in to our recent Best Films Of The Year So Far feature, but 2014 is looking to be a pretty good year for the movies, with a lot more to celebrate than commiserate being unveiled this past six months. And if we can say that the week that “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is the big release, you know we must really mean it. However, as the song goes, along with all the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain sometimes, and how would we even know how great some of our high points were if we didn’t periodically experience the lows? Even in the best years, there’ll be a few films that stick in our various craws, and so in our bi-annual attempt to exorcize those demons, here’s a rundown of the films our staff members most disliked this year, thus far.

Box-Office: Kevin Hart’s ‘Think Like A Man Too’ Is #1, 'Jersey Boys' Can't Hit Any Strong Notes

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 22, 2014 12:29 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Think Like A Man Too
Every trade will tell you the success of “Think Like A Man Too” is because of social media buzz. I just thought it was a little guy named Kevin Hart and an audience that is constantly underserved. I’m going to go with the latter. Hart is one of the biggest African-American stars in the world right now (minus mega-star Will Smith) and the urban audience has a movie squarely aimed at them maybe every two months at best, so they usually turn out for comedy starring one of their own. And so as expected “Think Like A Man Too” took the number one spot at the box-office this weekend, but not by a lot.

Box-Office: Angelina Jolie Has The Biggest Opening Weekend Of Her Career With ‘Maleficent’

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • June 1, 2014 12:11 PM
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  • 10 Comments
Maleficent
Angelina Jolie is one of those curious global superstars. To this day, the highest grossing live-action film she’s ever been in was $186 million for 2005’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” And her top five all-time domestic grosses include three animated movies that she never physically appeared in (two of them being “Kung-Fu Panda” films). This phenomenon— worldwide A-lister actor with disproportionate box-office signal to noise ratio— isn’t uncommon. Before the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film (which did finally throw him into the realm of true global superstar), Johnny Depp was still on the cover of People Magazine , US Weekly, etc., but his highest grossing domestic release was 1999’s $101-million-grossing “Sleepy Hollow.” Jolie’s partner Brad Pitt has the same deal.

Box-Office: 'X-Men Days Of Future Past' Soars To $90 Million Memorial Day Weekend Opening

  • By The Playlist
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  • May 25, 2014 2:08 PM
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  • 10 Comments
X-Men: Days Of Future Past
In order to convey that the X-Men are smaller, less-known characters in the Marvel Universe compared to The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man, director Bryan Singer has been given to describe the “X-Men” of late as the “bastard stepchild of the comic-book universe.” And while the X-Men are far from underground or on the fringes, perhaps Singer’s comments do have a tiny bit of merit. While his latest X-picture, “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” did open to $90.7 million this weekend, that’s far below the forecasted $100+ million the soaring reviews helped project; the film did fall below the opening weekend gross of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Godzilla,” and even the poorly reviewed “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” So yes, ‘Days Of Future Past’ had the 2nd best opening weekend of an X-men movie ever (after "X-Men: The Last Stand"), but relatively, it’s the lowest opening weekend gross of all the summer blockbusters thus far.

Gareth Edwards Addresses Minor Female Roles in ‘Godzilla’, Says Early Draft Featured Prominent Heroine

  • By Charlie Schmidlin
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  • May 22, 2014 3:30 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Godzilla
With the mystery dissolved and a sequel to “Godzilla” officially in the works after last weekend’s $93 million haul, we can officially start to look at Gareth Edwards’ take on the monster as a jumping off point for new opponents and storylines hinted at already. However, as we discussed in our Best and Worst analysis of the film, strong characters—women especially—weren’t exactly its strongest aspect, but recently Edwards revealed that early iterations proved quite a different approach.

Watch: Gareth Edwards Explains The Halo Jump In Anatomy Of A Scene From 'Godzilla'

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • May 20, 2014 10:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Godzilla
After his film “Godzilla” raked in $93 million at the box office this past weekend, you can bet director Gareth Edwards is having a good week. The film’s not only a financial success thus far, but it’s received approval from the majority of critics as well. And as part of New York Times’s regular feature, Anatomy of a Scene, the director recently got a chance to speak in great detail about a sequence from “Godzilla” that he appears to be particularly proud of.

Breaking Down The Monster: The Best & Worst Of 'Godzilla'

  • By The Playlist Staff
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  • May 19, 2014 3:03 PM
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  • 31 Comments
Godzilla
Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla” (our review) did so well this weekend (almost $200 million worldwide) that by Sunday they had already announced a sequel was in the works. And of course, with a massive opening like that, it’s to be expected. The monster movie is a triumph, at the very least, for director Gareth Edwards. His directorial career started with “Monsters," a super lo-fi, low-budget monster movie about an unlikely pair of strangers trying to travel from Central America to the United States, in a world (and particularly the border of Mexico), now infested with gigantic creatures, that resembles a police state.

Legendary & Warner Bros. Announce Plans To Move Forward With 'Godzilla' Sequel

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 18, 2014 4:11 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Godzilla
Coming out the gate today with $93 million in its opening weekend, the 2nd highest debut of the year, Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. are feeling mighty good about “Godzilla.” In fact, in today’s box-office piece we said this mighty opening essentially guarantees a sequel. And yep, that’s the case. Legendary & WB looked at the receipts, plus the international ones that added a $103 million for almost a $200 million worldwide opening weekend and said to each other, “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Duh, of course they are (btw, it’s international debut is the biggest of 2014).

Box-Office: ‘Godzilla’ Stomps To No. 1 With The 2nd Highest Opening Of The Year & $93 Million

  • By The Playlist
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  • May 18, 2014 12:26 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Godzilla
Up from the depths, 30 stories tall, “Godzilla” absolutely crushed it this weekend, almost grabbing the highest North American opening weekend of the year. The film was poised to do so with an estimated $98 million weekend, $3 million higher than “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and its $95 million opening in April, but those estimates were evidently slightly too high. Nonetheless, the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures movie took the top slot with a whopping $93.2 million.

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