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The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: 'Fast Five' Starts Off Summer With $83 Million Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 1, 2011 5:21 AM
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  • 27 Comments
Hooray for Hollywood, or something. The 2011 box office finally snapped out of its doldrums with more reheated crap, “Fast Five” opening to a spectacular-for-Universal $83 million. The car blockbuster’s weekend surpasses “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” as the biggest opening weekend in Universal history, and with spectacular overseas results, the film is poised to do upwards of $400-$500 million globally, topping the $353 worldwide take of “Fast And Furious,” the last film in the series.

Weekend Box Office: 'Rio' Defeats 'Madea' Before The Summer Onslaught Begins

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 24, 2011 4:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Hollywood doesn’t really recognize the seasons as clearly as you. Which is why even though you’re in school, summer begins in May, and even though you still have a full month of spring, that period usually closes in Hollywood around this time every year. In 2011, “summer” is beginning even earlier with next week’s release of “Fast Five,” sure to be the year’s biggest opener, which means that “Rio” effectively gets its licks in before the hot season begins, scoring a second straight weekend at #1 with a $26 million take.

Box Office: 'Rio' First 2011 Release To Crack $40 Million Opening Weekend; 'Scream' Goes Quiet

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 17, 2011 6:18 AM
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  • 9 Comments
There’s no way to sugarcoat this: it’s been a dismal year at the box office. Studios have their fingers crossed in regards to a tepid-looking summer schedule, but many were hoping the season could be kick(punch)-started early with a strong April, as two new films were tracking well over $40 million this weekend. And it looks like those hopes are for naught, as the number one movie for this period looks to be Fox and Blue Sky’s animated “Rio,” clocking in juuuust about at $40 million for the three day weekend. Yes, Hollywood, it's taken more than four months to register year's first $40 million opening weekend.

Weekend Box Office: 'Hop' Defeats Four Newcomers; 'Your Highness' Flops Loudly And Rudely

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 10, 2011 4:48 AM
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  • 12 Comments
Earlier in the year, the tepid box office returns were something to be ignored, as 2011 was competing with the previous year, with both “Avatar” and then the anomaly of “Alice In Wonderland” each raking in a cool billion. Well, it’s April, and it’s time for Hollywood to panic. There have been no genuine out-of-the-box hits so far this year and lots of flops, and the two (barely) $100 million grossers considered underperformers (“Rango” and “Just Go With It”). Let’s face it, part of it is a failure of marketing, but the blame must be laid on inadequate product. Even when it comes to the early year doldrums, this has been a banner year for garbage.

Weekend Box Office: Kids Come Out For 'Hop,' 'Sucker' Thoroughly 'Punch'ed

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 3, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
While Universal’s animated division remains behind Disney and Dreamworks, “Hop” became their second straight surprisingly big opening this weekend, collecting $39 million. Most called the heavily-promoted film in the high 20’s, low 30’s, but like “Despicable Me” before it, the film definitely connected with family audiences in its first frame. While “Despicable Me” eventually collected $544 million globally with a much bigger opening, “Hop” isn’t expected to bust the doors down. But due to the seasonal and family appeal, expect this thing to have legs, and while they initially weren’t counting on $100 domestic, that should be easily surmountable from here, with $150 million being a solid preliminary target. Fanciful returns for the studio, who have kept the budgets for the partly-animated “Hop” and the fully animated “Despicable Me” well under the industry-standard $100 million.

In Theaters: 'Hop' Will Try To Deprogram 'Source Code' & Scare Away 'Insidious'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • April 1, 2011 5:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments
TGIF! With a crop of new releases we are finally, FINALLY released from our bonds requiring us to flagellate poor "Sucker Punch" to death. Why were you a failure, "Sucker Punch"? Was it the marketing/storytelling/CGI/demographics/Zack Snyder?! Do we have to worry about "Superman"/girls/original source material??? We may never know. Moving on! We've got a new futuristic sci-fi, based-on-an-original-script, helmed-by-a-hot-new-piece-of-director-ass film to fret over! That's right, it's "Source Code" from Duncan Jones! In the other corner, we've got the ace-in-the-hole, aimed squarely at the kid demographic, "Hop," and quivering outside the wide release ring is horror thriller "Insidious" from "Saw"-originator James Wan. It's gonna be an interesting box office report this week!

Review: 'Hop' Is Like Opening An Easter Egg And Finding Nothing Inside

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 1, 2011 2:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment
"Hop," the new animation/live action hybrid from the folks that brought us this past summer's surprise smash "Despicable Me," comes with a premise so ingeniously prepackaged that you'll wonder why nobody had come up with it before. A canny hodgepodge of "The Santa Clause," "Elf," and a handful of other holiday classics (or would-be classics), it hopes to do for Easter what these films did for Christmas, complete with zippy visual effects and a chewy moral center about the nature of family and togetherness.

Watch: Russell Brand Poops Jelly Beans And Impresses David Hasselhoff In Trailer For 'Hop'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • February 9, 2011 7:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Geez, James Marsden, has it really come to this? Starring in a movie that requires nothing more than a steady supply of reaction shots from an animated rabbit? Guess you have to keep the lights on however you can.

The Escapist & Potentially Entertaining Films Of 2011 - Part 2

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 7, 2011 11:09 AM
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  • 5 Comments
We won't lie. This is a mish-mash of leftover films. Not least anticipated, not fervently most anticipated. They are The Escapist (and umm, other films) that didn't quite fit in our other previous lists. They're a mix of indies that we're hoping to have quality performances in them and more traditional action-y, popcorn flicks that could be quality because of the directors or talent involved. You'll just have to read a little deeper to see how we feel about each. In case you missed it, here's part one.“The Cold Light of Day" - Summit - dir. Mabrouk El MechriSynopsis: A cocky young Wall Street trader is thrust into a government conspiracy when his family is kidnapped on vacation in Spain.What You Need To Know: With a script by Scott Wipter ("The Wire") and John Petro, the film will mark the American debut of French-Tunisian helmer Mabrouk El Mechri, who has the interesting and entertaining Jean Claude Van Damme crime-comedy “JCVD” on his resume (a film that both Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino both loved). This latest film has a solid leading trio of stars in Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver, but more interestingly, will see Weaver play a villainess (originally written for a male actor) who takes on the father-son duo of Cavill and Willis.Release Date: TBD

You Know, For Kids: Trailers For 'Mars Needs Moms' & 'Hop'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 24, 2010 4:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments
We have to admit, if it isn't Pixar (or maybe DreamWorks), we sort of don't pay attention to animated films, but in the past couple of days trailers have landed for "Mars Needs Moms" and "Hop" which might be of interest for parents looking to entertain their kids next spring.

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