Tuesday, May 31, 2016

When In Doubt, Be Like Mike Trout


Music Review: Wolfmother - Victorious



It doesn't seem that long ago that I first read about a band from Australia that was causing a lot of buzz.  That was back in 2005 and by 2006 their debut album was a world-wide hit.  Wolfmother is a band I connected to immediately because I loved that their style was bringing back the 70's classic rock sound.  Wolfmother has had several line-ups over the years, but in the end, the band is lead singer/songwriter Andrew Stockdale's band.  He writes all of their songs and plays multiple instruments on their albums.

Victorious is Wolfmother's fourth album and it is great.  This is the second album in a row that features the current line-up Stockdale has put together and it feels like they really jelled in the studio.  The first album for this line-up was 2014's New Crown and while I enjoyed that album, it felt like a step down for them.  This album is a solid return to form and I think it is because the band is much more fluid than they were for New Crown.

The album is filled with great rock songs like The Simple Life, Eye of the Beholder and the title track.  The album also features a more mellow song called Pretty Peggy that is one of my favorite songs they have ever done.  In fact, if I was Wolfmother's manager, I would release Pretty Peggy as a single immediately, because that song has "hit" written all over it.

On a side note, I have seen Wolfmother live twice and they are great live.  I highly recommend checking them out and getting this album.




GRADE:  A-

Friday, May 27, 2016

New Movies Friday: Memorial Day Weekend Showdown



Memorial Day weekend is always a huge for the box-office and this year we are getting two major releases to battle for the top spot.  Along with the new releases we have the second weekend of Angry Birds which is on its way to pass the 100 million mark.

Last weekend Angry Birds opened to a slightly lower than expected 38 million, but kids seem to enjoy the flick so the movie should hold up well over the holiday weekend.  Also, there is no new competition for the family audience so that should help as well.  Look for Angry Birds to make 28-30 million over the four day weekend.

The first new release of the weekend is X-Men: Apocalypse which is the eighth film in the X-Men series (not including Deadpool).  In 2014 X-Men: Days of Future Past opened over the Memorial Day weekend pulling in 90 million over three days and 110 million over the four day weekend.  You'd have to expect this movie would pull in similar numbers, but there are a couple reasons to doubt it will.  First, super-hero movie fatigue.  There have been a several super-hero movies that have come out so far this year including Captain America 3 which came out earlier this month.  Second, while Days of Future Past got excellent reviews (91% fresh), Apocalypse is getting bad reviews as it is currently 47% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.  Look for the movie to win the weekend, but to fall short of the previous film in the series.  I expect X-Men: Apocalypse to pull in 90-95 million over the four day weekend.

The second new release of the weekend is Alice Through the Looking Glass which is a sequel to 2010's smash hit, Alice in Wonderland.  The first movie opened to a huge 116 million and ended its domestic run with 334 million.  Of course, that movie came out at the peak of the 3D movie craze; so an opening that high isn't going to happen again for Alice.  Another reason the movie won't open as well is because Tim Burton didn't direct it.  Finally, the movie is getting a very poor 27% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  Look for the new Alice to pull in around 55 million over the four day weekend.

Happy Memorial Day.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Corey Feldman's New Song Featuring Snoop Dogg




So, I was reading an article that Corey Feldman did with The Hollywood reporter that discussed the problem of pedophilia in Hollywood.  This is not a new topix for Feldman as he has talked about the sexual abuse both he and Corey Haim had to deal with in the 80's as child stars for years now.  Feldman has always been pretty open and honest about this subject and with the recent comments by Elijah Wood on this topic, it sad to know that this is an ongoing problem in the industry.

At the end of the article they ask Feldman what he is currently up to and he talks about his new single from his upcoming album.  He says the new song is being called the "song of the summer" and "the greatest thing ever heard".  Being a music nut, immediately listening to the greatest song of all time was a must, so I was off to find it.  Sadly, I had to find the song on YouTube because this ultimate jam is getting zero radio play anywhere in the country.  After listening to this modern day classic, I have to wonder what Snoop Dogg was thinking.  I realize it isn't 1994 anymore, but is Snoop really this desperate for weed money?  Have a little respect for yourself Snoop.  As for Feldman, he does his best Michael Jackson impression during the verses without, you know, any talent.  For those of you who are super excited for Feldman's new album, you'll have to order the album from CDBaby because Feldman couldn't find a real record label to release the album.  It is hard to believe that the greatest album of all time couldn't find a label, but that is the record business today.  My advice to all of you is to starting listening to this song now so that you can have it memorized before it dominates the charts all summer long.

Music Review: Same Means - 10 Songs



So who is Sam Means you ask?  Sam was a member of the band The Format who wrote the vast the music for the band.  The Format's album, Dog Problems, is one of my Top 20 favorite albums of all time.  After The Format broke up in 2008, the lead singer Nate Ruess went on to form the multi-platinum band Fun while Sam decided to spend time starting a family.  Over the years Means has released a couple EP's here and there and he did a music score to an indie movie, but he's kept us waiting for that full length album.

10 Songs feels like a natural progression for Means as the album follows the same pop majesty of his Format days while fitting his vocal abilities.  With The Format, the songs had much louder choruses due to Ruess's vocal ability which Means doesn't have; so Means writes these songs a bit more mellow which works for vocals perfectly.  As for the songs themselves, overall, they are very good.  While the album is a bit more mellow than I would have preferred, the songs are well crafted pop songs.  Means brought in the producer of Dog Problems to produce this album and I really enjoyed the way this album sounds and feels.  In a time where the latest Beyonce album has over 60 different writers, it is nice to know there are artists like Means who write all their songs themselves.  I also like that Means decided to stay indie and put this album out himself.  It just fits with his vibe.  Speaking of sticking with his vibe, check out the music video he and his six year old did for my favorite song on the album, Other Side of You:  


GRADE:  B

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rolling Stone Calls Butch Walker: A 200-Pound Tornado of Rock & Roll Destruction




Anybody who knows me knows that Butch Walker is my favorite singer/songwriter.  He is also my favorite live performer.  Last night Walker performed at Dylan Fest which is a tribute concert for Bob Dylan.  Personally, I've never liked Dylan, but it is always fun to watch artists pay tribute to their favorite artists.  Anyways, Rolling Stone did a write up about Butch's performance and here is what they said:

Let's be honest: After a few hours, it's necessary to take a break from the rambling, intricately detailed sermons that make up Bob Dylan's irreplaceable repertoire, if only to re-energize for the next round. Enter Butch Walker, a 200-pound tornado of rock & roll destruction who took the Ryman stage like a pro wrestler and would have body-slammed everyone in the audience if given a chance. His epic freak-out on the fiendish love song "From a Buick 6" was like nothing else on the second night's set list, a chaotic whirlwind of flying hair and 'roid-raging awesomeness that turned a polite bunch of musical academics into a rowdy mass of fist-pumping trailer folk. Walker only fed off the chaos, swinging his guitar and seeming willing to destroy anything that he came into contact with, only letting a few smiles sneak out to let the crowd know the fix was already in. The climax: Walker hurling his guitar toward a crew member off stage — who was absolutely not ready for the flying elbow of hardwood and steel. A cameraman walked right into its path, oblivious to the doom heading toward him as the roadie pushed through just in time, safely catching the projectile. The crowd went nuts and Walker raised his fist in triumph. Someone get this man a championship belt.

I have been saying for years that Butch should be one of the biggest stars in the world and it is great to see him get the press he so deserves.  Check out the full article at Rolling Stone to read about the other performances they liked at Dylan Fest.

My Favorite New Band: The Virginmarys





I'm not ready to review their new album Divides yet, but I just had to do a post about The Virginmarys as they are my favorite new band.  When it comes to rock music, there are a ton a newer bands putting out great music.  Rival Sons, The Struts and The Strypes are just a few examples of this.  As strong as those bands are, none of them compare to the The Virginmarys in my opinion.  Their 2013 debut, King of Conflict, is one of my favorite debut albums I have ever heard and the follow-up album is excellent (more on that in another post).  My point is, I couldn't recommend another newer band more than these guys.  I have also seen them live twice and they are excellent live.

Here are two music videos from their new album to check out:











Tuesday, May 24, 2016

John Carpenter To Produce the New Halloween Movie!!!


Photo Courtesy of Dread Central


Anybody who knows me knows that I love horror films.  It is my favorite genre.  My second favorite horror movie of all time is Halloween and it the horror film I relate to the most.  For the last several years fans have been teased news of a new Halloween movie, but nada has happened.  The last Halloween movie was the horrible Halloween II which came out in 2009 and was directed by Rob Zombie.  Since then we have had numerous rumors of a 10th film in the franchise, but nothing has come of it.  Yesterday, one of my favorite horror websites, Dread Central, was at the Blumhouse offices where they got the surprise of a horror fans lifetime; John Carpenter will produce and most likely score the next Halloween film.  Please read their article about this news here

There is no way around it, this is exciting news for horror fans and fans of the Halloween franchise.  Dread Central talks about how John Carpenter stated this Halloween movie will get back to the basics of the series, which means it should be more suspense driven than violence driven.  Don't get me wrong, I love me some gore, but that was never what the Halloween movies were about.  The best Halloween sequels are Halloween II and Halloween IV because they followed the suspense first aspect of the original film.  It will be nice to get back to that again.  The new Halloween movie will come out in 2017 so we have some time to wait, but at least we know it will be in good hands.

Music Review: Monster Truck - Sittin' Heavy



I discovered Monster Truck back in January just in time for their sophomore release Sittin' Heavy.  I came across some of their songs from their debut album and I really liked what I heard.  With their southern style of rock, I was shocked to find out that this band is from Canada.  Sittin' Heavy came out this past February and I have been listening to it pretty often since.

The band has already found success in their native Canada as this album debuted in the Top 10 on the album charts and they have already had two Top 10 hits on the Canadian rock charts.  Sadly, this success hasn't really reached the US and that is a shame because this album is a badass rock album.  The album is filled with some wicked songs like Why Are You Not Rocking?, Don't Tell Me How To Live and Things Get Better.  These are anthem style rock songs with a southern touch that work on every level.  What I'm really enjoying about the album are the vocals and guitar work.  The guitar work includes some fun solos and hooks that work really well with the lead vocals.  Lead vocalist Jon Harvey has a strong voice that is messy enough to add attitude to the songs while still sounding really good.

Over the last several years there has been a resurgence of the southern hard rock style with bands likes Black Stone Cherry and The Cadillac Three and I feel that Monster Truck deserves to be mentioned with them.  I will say the first half of the album is better than the second half, but it still feels like a complete album.  If you dig southern hard rock, this album is for you.



GRADE:  A-

Monday, May 23, 2016

Cobra: The 80's Guilty Pleasure Classic is 30 Years Old



I've said it before and I'll say it again, Sylvester Stallone has been my favorite actor since I was 8 years old.  Back in 1986, his film Cobra came out and critics hated it.  Despite that, the movie was the 15th biggest hit of the year and was the 7th biggest R-rated movie of the year.  What the critics didn't get that the fans understood was this movie represented everything action film fans loved about the genre in the 80's.  Now the movie is a cult classic and is celebrated by millions.  

Here is a great article about the movie that you should really check out:
http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/cobra/255613/cobra-a-30th-anniversary-celebration

Friday, May 20, 2016

New Movie's Friday: 5-20-16



Captain America: Civil War will be attempt to be the number one movie at the box-office for a third weekend in a row, but it won't be easy.  Mr. America has been following the same drop percentages that Avengers 2 had, so expect a 50% drop this weekend and a total of around 36 million.

Three new movies open this weekend and the biggest of these movies is Angry Birds.  In part one of my summer movie preview, I noted that I thought Angry Birds would follow the pattern of a couple of the Ice Age movies, so I expect a 42-44 million open for the pissed off birds.  Reviews for the movie are not Pixar level, but good reviews were not expected for a kids movie like this one.  The movie has a not so good 45% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, but this is a movie strictly for kids and not critics so that won't matter.  Nothing should keep these irate birds from winning the weekend.

The second new release is Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising which is a sequel to the 2014 surprise hit, Neighbors.  The first movie opened to 49 million, but this movie is not tracking as well as the first one did.  A check at Rotten Tomatoes shows the movie is getting a pretty good 66% fresh rating, but due to its average tracking, I expect the movie to open around 35 million.

The final new release is the best reviewed of the three new movies with a 91% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes.  The tracking for The Nice Guys has been all over the place this week.  The numbers I've seen have it anywhere between 10-20 million, so I'm going with right in the middle of that.  I expect a 15 million opening which would equal what Money Monster did last week, but the movie should do better overall due to better word-of-mouth.



Saturday, May 14, 2016

TV Shows That Have Been Cancelled & I'm Pissed



This week all the major networks announced their line-up changes and this included the cancellation of three shows I really enjoyed and I'm pissed about it.  All three of these shows were only given one season to grow their audience and in my opinion, that is bullshit.  This is the problem with networks today,;they need immediate numbers or they just give up on a show.  Did you know it took Seinfeld three seasons to become the hit show it became?  If Seinfeld came out today, it wouldn't make it past one season and that is one of the biggest shows of all time.  The major networks are not allowing shows to grow their audience anymore and it is annoying.  Here are the three that were cancelled that deserved a second season:



The Grinder was on Fox and it was hilarious.  The show starred Rob Lowe and Fred Savage and they were excellent in it.  In fact, Rob Lowe was nominated for Golden Globe Award for his performance.  In the show, Lowe plays an actor who was the star of his own legal show.  He leaves the world of acting to move in with his brother who actually is a lawyer.  Lowe's character believes that his experience as a TV lawyer would be valuable at his brother's law firm and hilarity ensues.  There are a lot of different aspects to this show, but that is the gist of it.  While Lowe's performance is the one who got the most raves, I thought Savage stole the show.


The second show that deserved a second season was Grandfathered which was also on Fox.  John Stamos was hilarious on this show.  In the show, Stamos plays a character who is rich, successful, handsome and single.  He is 51 years old with nothing to hold him down.  His world is changed by finding out that he not only has an adult son, but a granddaughter.  Soon this new world takes over the world he had and he starts to change for the better without even knowing it.  What made this show so great was it was funny and had heart.



I've saved the one I'm most upset about for last.  ABC pulled the plug on the new The Muppets show after one season which is seriously disappointing.  Not only was the show hilarious, but it simply makes no sense to cancel it.  Disney owns ABC.  Disney owns the Muppets franchise.  How expensive could this show really have been for Disney to keep it on the air?  My guess is it is a lot cheaper than many of the shows on TV that have to pay a ton of money to the actors who star on it.  Not to mention all the great specials you can have with the muppet characters, theatrical releases, DVDs and toys.  Why would you give up on a show that can give you so much?  It is just ridiculous for ABC to not give this show a second season. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

New Movies Friday: 5-13-16



This weekend is really all about how well Captain America: Civil War holds as rival studios have decided not to release anything major in its second weekend.  Last weekend the Captain opened to a huge 179 million which is the fifth biggest opening of all time.  The most comparable films to Civil War are Iron Man 3 and Avengers 2 which both dropped 58%-59% in their second weekends.  I would think that Captain America 3 should fall about the same which would bring its total to around 75 million.

The first new release worth mentioning is Money Monster which stars George Clooney, Julia Roberts and was directed by Jodie Foster.  This movies release really demonstrates how far Julia Roberts and George Clooney have fallen in regards to putting butts in the seats.  Neither one of these two former box-office draws have opened a movie to big numbers in a long time.  A check over at Rotten Tomatoes shows the movie is getting average reviews with a 59% fresh rating.  Look for the movie to open around 10-12 million this weekend.

The second new release worth mentioning is the horror film, The Darkness.  I guess this movie really isn't worth mentioning due to the fact it is currently at 0% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes.  Has that ever happened before for a wide release?  I have no idea.  I even checked out horror websites like Bloody-Disgusting and even they hate this movie.  If you can't even get good reviews for a horror movie from horror movie fans, you are in big trouble.  Look for the movie to pull in 4-6 million.  

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Movie Review: Pee Wee's Big Holiday



If you were a kid in the 80's, one of the things you loved was Pee-Wee Herman.  In 1985 Pee-Wee starred in his own movie - the 80's classic Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.  This was a near perfect comedy with Herman making you laugh scene after scene.  In 1988 Pee-Wee returned to the big screen with Big Top Pee-Wee which had some laughs here and there, but overall, it was a disappointment.

As the Herman story goes, actor Paul Reubens fell out of the public eye after getting caught playing with his pee-wee in an adult theater and it wasn't until 2010 that Pee-Wee came back in a big way.  Appearances on TV led to his own Broadway show which led to a HBO special and an entire new generation of kids being introduced to Pee-Wee.  Also helping was that Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was on Netflix for some people to watch for the first time and others to rediscover.  I guess this is why it only makes sense for Netflix to release Herman's new movie, Pee-Wee's Big Holiday.

In my opinion, for a Pee-Wee movie to work you need to have characters who are not realistic, Pee-Wee falling into situations that are over-the-top and a ton of silly jokes.  Big Holiday achieves in all three of these categories.  Now, this isn't Big Adventure good, but it is still pretty dang good.  Paul Reubens is just amazing as Pee-Wee.  It blows my mind that Reubens is 63 years old and still looks as young as he does.  It is crazy to think about, but Pee-Wee barely looks like he aged since the last movie.  He is still the innocent man child we all remember and love.

The plot is pretty simple.  Pee-Wee leaves his hometown for the first time in his life to go to Joe Manganiello's birthday party in New York and he has one adventure after another on the way there.  Each situation Pee-Wee finds himself in is predictable, but still so enjoyable to watch.  Manganiello is great in this movie.  He is playing himself in a way that is hilarious and you really end up enjoying the friendship that develops between him and Herman.

When it is all said and done, is the movie silly and ridiculous?  Yes, and I wouldn't want it any other way.  The movie came out in March on Netflix and it can still be watched that way; so go watch it so we can get another Pee-Wee movie!!!

GRADE:  B

Monday, May 9, 2016

Summer Movies - Breakdown & Predictions Part One



The summer movie season is my favorite of the year.  I love it because it is the most competitive season at the box-office and that is a lot of fun for a box-office watcher like me.  Yes, the movies are mostly popcorn flicks and there are ton of crap releases, but it’s still really fun to watch how people spend their money at theaters.  This will be done in two parts.  Part one will cover May/June and part two will cover July/August.  So here is part one of my summer movie breakdown with domestic box-office predictions.


Captain America: Civil War (5.6.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/dKrVegVI0Us


Except for the Jedi, there is nothing bigger at the box-office than superheroes.  The first two Captain America movies have been big, but they haven’t been as big as The Avengers films, the Iron Man series or Batman movies.  That should change with the third film in the Captain America series as Mr. America is joined by Iron Man and other friends.  The first Captain America pulled in 176 million and Captain America 2 pulled in 259 million.  While early trending had Captain America 3 opening at 200+ million, it ended up opening at 179 million which puts it between Iron Man 3’s 174 million and Avengers 2’s 191 million.  Look for Civil War to end its theatrical run somewhere between the final gross of those two films.

Prediction:  410-430 million


Money Monster (5.13.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/qr_nGAbFkmk


There was once a time when a movie starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts would have been a huge hit, but that isn’t really the case anymore.  That is a shame because this Jodie Foster directed film looks like it has a solid story and a relevant message.  I have a feeling that this movie would have been better suited for a November/December release.  It will find an audience though and that audience are people who don’t care for superhero movies.

Prediction:  45-65 million


The Darkness (5.13.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/FDhoqY1grJY


Normally when I write about The Darkness on this website, it is to talk about the great band of the same name from England.  This time I’m talking about the latest film from producer Jason Blum.  Blum produces up to 10 horror movies a year that are low budgeted so they always make a profit, even if they don’t pull in huge numbers.  I expect this movie to follow that pattern.  The one thing about this movie that I am excited about is that it is directed by Australian director Greg McLean who did both Wolf Creek movies.  It is also nice to see Kevin Bacon in a horror movie again.

Prediction:  20-40 million


The Angry Birds Movie (5.20.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/fpw37HP1e1U


The Angry Birds Empire has already conquered the game and toy market and now it will try to conquer the big screen.  This is a difficult movie to predict because the Angry Birds brand has a built in audience, but this movie is coming out at about a year after the brand peaked and it is hard to imagine a movie based on this type of game will set the world on fire.  At best, I think this movie will fall in line with The Ice Age movies.

Prediction:  145-165 million


Neighbors 2:  Sorority Rising (5.20.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/X2i9Zz_AqTg


In 2014, Neighbors was a surprise hit and pulled in 150 million.  Universal is hoping to recreate that box-office magic with Neighbors 2, but in my opinion, the trailer just doesn’t look like it will be as funny as the first film.  I expect the movie to open well, maybe around 40-50 million, but I think it will drop like a rock after that.

Prediction:  100-115 million


The Nice Guys (5.20.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/GQR5zsLHbYw


While Neighbors 2 will be the bigger hit the weekend of May 20th, I think this will be the funnier film.  Ryan Goslin and Russell Crowe look hilarious in the trailer the story appeals to me.  I think this is a movie that won’t do much in theaters, but will end up doing well on BluRay/DVD.

Prediction:  30-40 million


Alice Through the Looking Glass (5.27.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/x3IWwnNe5mc


The surprise hit of 2010 was Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland which pulled in 334 million and was the second biggest hit of the year.  Alice through the Looking Glass features the return of all the stars from the first film, but the movie does not have Tim Burton behind the camera.  Instead Buena Vista decided to have James Bobin direct the sequel; which is obviously the cheap choice as the only movie of note this guy directed was The Muppets.  I have little doubt that Alice 2 will not live up to the original.  First, not having Burton directing will hurt the movie.  Second, it has been six years since the first movie.  Have people really been waiting for this?  I never hear anyone talking about it.  Finally, it opens the same weekend as X-Men: Apocalypse and I think X-Men will rule the weekend and take away some of Alice 2’s audience.  Of course, opening Memorial Day Weekend won’t hurt.  It’ll be big, but a huge drop from the original.

Prediction:  160-180 million


X-Men: Apocalypse (5.27.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/COvnHv42T-A


X-Men: Apocalypse is the second superhero movie of not only the summer, but of the month of May.  The X-Men series has been very successful since 2000 and the previous film in the series was the most successful one yet.  There is no doubt Apocalypse will match its predecessor, but I don’t think it will do much better than it did because competition is just too fierce.  Here are my reasons:  First, Captain America 3 comes out just 21 days before this movie and that film will most likely be the biggest hit of the summer.  Second, this movie opens against Alice 2 which will be a big hit itself.  Finally, the very next weekend has another superhero film with the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.  X-Men: Days of Future Past pulled in 233 million and I think this movie will settle around there as well.

Prediction:  230-250 million


TMNT: Out of the Shadows (6.3.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/VAbRg7xUtVU


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles returned to the big screen in 2014 for a new generation of fans and pulled in a strong 191 million domestically.  The movie did pretty dang well for a film that had such horrible reviews which shows the power of the TMNT fan base.  It only makes sense to come out with a second one, but the studio has made two mistakes.  First, the 2014 film came out in August which is the least competitive month of the summer season and this helped its performance at the box-office.  This time, they are putting the movie out in June which is a much more competitive time of the summer.  Second, they are putting it out a week after X-Men: Apocalypse which is a more popular film series that shares much of the same fan base.  These two mistakes should prevent the movie from equally the original.

Prediction:  150-170 million


Me Before You (6.3.16)
In a summer filled with action films, there is a hole to fill for those who love chick flicks.  Me Before You is there to take advantage of that.  Enjoy this juicy turd.

Prediction:  30-40 million


Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (6.3.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/Qnj9Dvl2fQE


If Adam Sandler had an idiot little brother, that idiot little brother would be Andy Samberg.  This movie looks like crap and if you want to see it, you suck.

Prediction:  10-20 million


The Conjuring 2 (6.10.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/VFsmuRPClr4


The Conjuring shocked the industry in 2013 by opening to 42 million, getting great reviews and ending its theatrical run with 137 million.  I have no doubt The Conjuring 2 opens to around 45 million; the question is its legs.  If the movie has the same word-of-mouth they original did, I see a similar ending.  If the word-of-mouth is not as good, it will fall short of the original.  I going with the movie not quite having the same positive word-of-mouth the first one had.

Prediction:  100-120 million


Now You See Me 2 (6.10.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/GU9tzrpvQi4


To be honest, I never saw Now You See Me and I actually had no idea what the movie was by its name alone.  After looking it up I remembered that the movie was surprise hit in 2013 that pulled in 117 million.  This is one of those sequels that I just don’t think anybody was really wanting.  I expect it to do far less than the first movie did.

Prediction:  55-75 million


Warcraft (6.10.16)
Trailer:   https://youtu.be/-vwPitt1XMQ


Some video games should never be made into movies and this is one of them.  Look at that trailer.  It looks like an advertisement for crap on the big screen.  Of course, my disdain for this trailer doesn’t change the fact that the game has a ton of fans and some of them will be interested in this movie.  Still, don’t expect a surprise summer hit with this one.

Prediction: 55-75 million


Central Intelligence (6.17.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/MxEw3elSJ8M


Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are two pretty big movie stars, so putting them together makes a ton of sense.  Hart’s last couple of movies both pulled in around 90 million and last summer Johnson starred in the disaster hit San Andreas which pulled in 155 million.  Together, I think they pull in somewhere between that 90-155 million.

Prediction:  120-140 million


Finding Dory (6.17.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/dLIy1K8kJPo


Finding Nemo was a huge hit back in 2003 pulling in 339 million which would adjust to 483 million in today’s dollars.  The question is, will this Pixar sequel follow the success of the Toy Story sequels or fail to live up to the hype like Cars 2 did.  Back in 2010, Toy Story 3 opened to 110 million and it ended its run at 415 million.  I think Finding Dory will do well, but fall short of Toy Story 3 numbers.  Of course, if the movie sucks like Cars 2 did, expect less.

Prediction:  370-390 million


Independence Day 2: Resurgence (6.24.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/RfJgT89hEME


I remember the summer of 1996 and how Independence Day dominated the box-office and turned Will Smith into a superstar.  The movie opened with 50 million and ended its run with 306 million.  Adjusted to today’s dollars, that would be an opening of 97 million and a domestic total of 594 million.  The movie was huge.  It has always made sense to make a sequel to this blockbuster, but waiting 20 years to do it is a bad idea.  Not having Will Smith in the movie is also a bad idea.  Still, the movie has become a sci-fi classic that has been in regular rotation on basic cable for the last two decades.  The movie won’t rule the summer the way the first one did 20 years ago, but it should still put butts in the seats.  I’m thinking the movie will be a hit on the same level as 2014’s Godzilla.

Prediction:  190-210 million


Free State of Jones (6.24.16)
Trailer:  https://youtu.be/3EMkxEKKSQI


Here is a movie that looks like a film that should be released in November or December when all the award hopefuls are released.  It is written and directed by Gary Ross and it stars Matthew McConaughey.  All the rules of the summer season say that this movie will be overshadowed by all the blockbusters, but could this be a sleeper hit of the summer?  It is tough to say.  My best guess is the movie is moderate hit that people will be talking about when award season comes.  It just has that look to it.

Prediction:  50-70 million

Friday, May 6, 2016

New Movies Friday: 5-6-16



The summer movie season officially starts this weekend with Captain America: Civil War.  There is no doubt that Civil War is going to begin the summer with a bang, but how big of a bang is the real question.  My early thoughts on this weekend's numbers was that the latest Marvel film would come in around 200-205 million.  If the movie pulled in 200+ million, that would make it only the fourth movie to ever crack the 200 million mark its opening weekend.  All tracking information had me confident in a 200+ million opening, but after its Thursday night preview numbers, it looks like 200 million will not be happening.  The Thursday night numbers are in and the movie pulled in a huge 25 million which is awesome, but that is roughly 10% less than what Batman v Superman and Avengers: Age of Ultron pulled in.  BvS opened to 166 million and Avengers 2 opened to 191 million, so expect the Captain to open somewhere between those two.  Mr. America will open more than BvS due to the great reviews (92% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes), but it won't make-up that 10% to catch the second Avengers movie.  Look for Captain America: Civil War to pull in a mighty 180-185 million this weekend which would be the fifth biggest opening of all time.

So what about three weekend champ The Jungle Book?  Obviously the newest Marvel movie will hurt it, but it will still do just fine as it should pull in 25-30 million which would make it the second biggest film of the weekend.

BTW...my summer movie breakdown will be coming very soon.  Most likely in two parts.