CinemaNerdz Wed, 28 Jan 2015 15:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Box Office Weekend: American Sniper Still Busting Box Office Sun, 25 Jan 2015 23:28:44 +0000 There seems to be no stopping American Sniper. With an estimated $64.4 million, it not only handily took the weekend box office by storm, it surpassed $200.1 million in revenue. It stood head and shoulders above even second-place finisher The Boy Next Door, which brought in only an estimated $15 million in comparison, but budgeted at only $4 million, it managed to be a wild success on its own merits. Paddington, with an estimated $12.4 million, refuses to say whether it is a success (which it may be if counting worldwide revenue), but considering its critical acclaim, its $40.1 million in domestic revenue is on the low side, especially considering it is one of only three family friendly films at the box office this weekend.

American SniperThe Wedding Ringer and its estimated $11.6 million is proving the film will likely be a modest success for Kevin Hart (especially compared to his hits from last year); coincidentally, Taken 3 with its estimated $7.6 million will be so as well, especially compared to the two previous entries. The Imitation Game remained in exactly the same place with almost the same revenue with an estimated $7.1 million, but along with Paddington, the Weinstein Company is not releasing any news about its budget, thus leaving it up in the air how successful it has been.

Things are not looking up for two other releases, however; Strange Magic, the newest from the now-Disney-owned Lucasfilm, debuted at an estimated $5.5 million and looks likely to be a bust despite a lack of budget numbers. And right behind Selma (doing modestly well with an estimated $5.5 million), Johnny Depp and his latest, Mortdecai, flails for attention and got the worst kind, garnering bad reviews and an estimated $4.1 million against a $60 million budget. Even in tenth place, Into the Woods and its estimated $3.9 million looks much better in comparison, with $121.5 million in the bank.

In a side note, despite its lack of placement in the top ten this week, it should be noted that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 managed this week to surpass Guardians of the Galaxy as the top-earning domestic release of 2014.

Weekend Box Office (January 23rd – January 25th)

  1. American Sniper…$64.4 million
  2. The Boy Next Door…$15 million
  3. Paddington…$12.4 million
  4. The Wedding Ringer…$11.6 million
  5. Taken 3…$7.6 million
  6. The Imitation Game…$7.1 million
  7. Strange Magic…$5.5
  8. Selma…$5.5 million
  9. Mortdecai…$4.1 million
  10. Into the Woods…$3.9 million
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Trailer Trashin’: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are Back in Avengers: Age of Ultron Fri, 23 Jan 2015 21:02:04 +0000 It’s an embarrassment of riches for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), dear readers. Hot on the heels of last week’s examination of the Ant-Man teaser trailer, this week’s Trailer Trashin’ looks at what will probably be the biggest movie of summer 2015, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Premise: With S.H.I.E.L.D. destroyed and the Avengers needing a hiatus from stopping threats, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) attempts to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program with Ultron (James Spader), a self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence. But the plan backfires when Ultron decides that humans are the real enemy and sets out to eradicate them from the Earth, and it is up to Iron Man, Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Bruce Banner/The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), along with support from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), to stop him from carrying out his plans. Along the way, the Avengers encounter the powerful twins Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), as well as the android Vision (Paul Bettany).

Avengers: Age of UltronMy take: Back around Halloween last year, we got our first look at one of the most anticipated films of 2015, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. The trailer combined apocalyptic imagery with a slow, ominous cover of “I’ve Got No Strings” from Disney’s Pinocchio (1940), and showed that there were dark times ahead for our beloved team of superheroes. With less than five months to go until the film’s release, we’ve finally gotten another look at what’s coming. This is the second trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, and it’s only added to my excitement for the film.

All the main heroes from the first The Avengers are back for Age of Ultron – Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Nick Fury. We know them, we love them, and I won’t spend more time on them, except to say I’m glad to see them all back. The more I see and hear of James Spader as Ultron, the more impressed I am. The voice Spader is using is wonderfully creepy, and perfectly complements the various forms of the robot super-villain. We also see a bit more of the Maximoff twins – Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. I’ve been looking forward to these two for quite a while, and I can’t wait to see what they can do with their powers.

I really like the story stuff that’s being laid out here. Yes, “the second film of the trilogy is the dark one” is a well-worn trope, but it’s also a good one. It’s clear that Tony Stark, and to a lesser extent Bruce Banner, is responsible for the creation of Ultron, which is sure to cause a rift between him and the rest of the team. Ultron says “I’m gonna tear you apart from the inside,” and with the shots of Thor choking Tony and Iron Man and Hulk fighting, it’s clear that isn’t just an idle threat. And given that Marvel is going to release Captain America: Civil War in May 2016, I think it’s safe to assume that, even if the Avengers do come together again to defeat Ultron, all their issues with each other will not be worked out by the time the credits roll.

As you would expect from the sequel to The Avengers, it looks like the action here is going to be off the chain. We’ve got the Avengers evacuating people after some kind of disaster or attack. We’ve got Hawkeye in a forest with explosions going off around him. We’ve got Ultron’s robot minions flying around, causing havoc, and tangling with Captain America. But of course, the big highlight so far is the clash between Hulk and Iron Man in his “Hulkbuster” armor in the middle of a crowded city. As much as I’m sure it’ll be tough to watch Tony and Bruce go from being best buds to trading blows, its sure going to be exciting when they do throw down.

Avengers: Age of UltronThere’s also some stuff in this trailer that raises some big questions, especially for people who aren’t familiar with the comics. We’ve known for a while that Marvel has big plans for bringing the African superhero Black Panther into the MCU, with the character being introduced in Captain America: Civil War next year and getting his own solo film in 2017. And it’s clear that they’re setting up some elements of the character’s world here. About 33 seconds into the trailer, there’s a shot of what looks like a black woman with a shaved head disrobing in front of a pool inside a cavern. While there are a number of bald women in the Marvel universe, it seems most likely that this woman is a member of the Dora Milaje, Black Panther’s all-female team of bodyguards. At the 54 second mark, we get a good shot of Andy Serkis’ character, who was also shown in the first trailer. While Marvel hasn’t confirmed anything, many believe that Serkis is playing Ulysses Klaw, the brilliant physicist who becomes the arch-enemy of Black Panther. From 38 to 41 seconds, we see a younger-looking Black Widow, who then has an unidentified female hand grab her face and force her down onto a gurney, followed by a gloved hand picking something up from a tray of nasty-looking surgical instruments. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has said that we’ll get some of Black Widow’s back-story in this film, so it’s safe to assume that these shots come from that. And about 1 minute and 3 seconds in, there’s a shot of Thor with electricity or energy coursing over his body. Given the environment he’s in, and the fact that the woman behind him is dressed like something from a Frank Frazetta painting, it looks like Thor gets back up to Asgard at some point in the story.

As you can tell, I am ridiculously excited for this movie. I’ve been in love with the MCU ever since it started back in 2008, and I look forward to its new films every year. The Avengers was a great movie, and it set a very high bar for subsequent Marvel films. But if this sequel lives up to the promise of its trailers, it could very well reach or maybe even surpass that bar. When the beginning of May rolls around, there’s no doubt that I’ll be checking out Avengers: Age of Ultron at my local theater.

ANTICIPATION: I’ve got no strings…to hold my excitement down!

Release Date: May 1st, 2015

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson, Thomas Kretschmann, Claudia Kim, and Andy Serkis
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon, based on The Avengers by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

P.S. This past week, I finally got out to see two of this year’s big Oscar nominees, The Imitation Game and Birdman. They’re both excellent films, and I would recommend them to all of you, dear readers.

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Lucy Blu-ray Giveaway Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:37:15 +0000 CinemaNerdz is proud to offer our readers a chance to win one of two Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo copies of Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman.

Lucy Blu-rayFor your chance to win one of the discs, just look for the “giveaway” box further down on this page.

There you’ll be directed to a variety of methods by which you can enter the contest. You’ll be asked to provide a valid email address, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, and Tweet the contest. That’s it! That’s all you have to do to enter. We’ll contact you to let you know if you’ve won one of the prizes. But hurry, because the contest ends at 12:00AM on Friday, January 30th!


LUCY: From the visionary director of La Femme Nikita and The Professional and starring Scarlett Johansson and Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman comes an action-thriller about a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors. Altered by a dangerous new drug allowing her to use 100% of her brain capacity, Lucy transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

The LUCY Blu-ray was released on Tuesday, January 20, 2015!

Enter the contest below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Re-Animating the Dead in the Trailer for The Lazarus Effect Wed, 21 Jan 2015 05:01:57 +0000 While I may have originally overlooked the forthcoming horror film The Lazarus Effect as just another retread of an earlier and, in some cases, superior movie (say Pet Semetary or Flatliners), the pedigree of the people involved with The Lazarus Effect and the film’s first trailer makes me think this film can rise above my fanboy concerns.

The Lazarus EffectBefore we get to the trailer, you should be warned that it reveals what looks like the entirety of the movie’s plot (though I’m thinking there’s some big third act reveals that are only hinted at in the trailer). In the film, a group of medical students is trying to perfect a serum that reanimates dead tissue (a la Re-Animator) and have been experimenting on dogs. Then, one day, the process suddenly works and it appears as though they have made a tremendous breakthrough. However, something has gone wrong (as it usually does) and what they brought back is not exactly what they expected. Shortly after that, Zoe (Olivia Wilde) is killed during an experiment and then brought back with the potentially dangerous serum. After being reanimated, she too appears to not be the person she once was and is now perhaps a bit more demonic.

While you could compare The Lazarus Effect to at least a dozen raising the dead and you’ll be sorry films, director David Gelb’s 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi has me intrigued as to what this talented young filmmaker has to offer the horror genre, and exactly how he plans to weave all of these different inspirations together in his film. The cast too seems put together with an eye towards pleasing a larger audience than most genre fair. Sure, Olivia Wilde looks great and is the top draw here, but the presence of actors like Mark Duplass and Donald Glover gives the film an indie vibe that could be something that helps the film to stand out.


THE LAZARUS EFFECT: Brought to you by Blumhouse Productions, THE LAZARUS EFFECT stars Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Donald Glover, Evan Peters, and Sarah Bolger, and follows a group of medical students who discover a way to bring dead patients back to life.

Cast: Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Evan Peters, and Donald Glover
Directed by: David Gelb
Writers: Luke Dawson and Jeremy Slater


THE LAZARUS EFFECT will be released in theaters everywhere on February 27, 2015!

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Win Passes to An Advance Screening of Black or White Tue, 20 Jan 2015 05:01:03 +0000 Enter here for your chance to win passes to an advance screening of Black or White starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer.

Black or WhiteFor your chance to receive two (2) complimentary passes to see an advance screening of Black or White at the MJR Troy Theater in Troy, Michigan on Wednesday, January 28th at 7:00PM, just look for the “giveaway” box further down on this page.

There you’ll be directed to a variety of methods by which you can enter the contest. You’ll be asked to provide a valid email address, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, and Tweet the contest. That’s it. That’s all you have to do to enter. We’ll contact you to let you know if you’ve won one of the pairs of passes that we have. But hurry, because the contest ends at 12:00AM on Tuesday morning, January 27th!


BLACK OR WHITE: BLACK OR WHITE is the story of a grandfather (Academy Award winner Kevin Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter. When the little girl’s paternal grandmother (Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer) seeks custody, a legal battle ensues that forces the families to confront their true feelings on race, forgiveness and understanding. Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds, in which nothing is as simple as black or white. (RELATIVITY MEDIA) This film is rated PG-13.

BLACK OR WHITE opens in select theaters on Friday, January 30th!

Enter the contest below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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