As we head deeper into September, two things have become pretty clear about 2017 box office numbers: one, Hollywood desperately needs to bounce back a little bit from the doldrums of August, and two, whoever decided to hedge their studio’s bets with a September release date for a movie about a killer clown is looking like a [profanity] genius right about now. We’ll get to all of that in a moment, but first, here are the box office numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
There are bad weekends, there are bad weekends, and then there are historically terrible weekends the likes of which haven’t been seen in decades. Guess which one applies to this past weekend? With the overall box office dipping more than $30 million from last week, and the overall numbers landing as historically bad, we seem to be ending August on a terrible note. Nevertheless, here are the box office numbers through Sunday afternoon:
How can we use classic films to teach history? It’s a more difficult question than one might think. On the one hand, early Hollywood classics are full of negative and — let’s face it — racist stereotypes that can be difficult for many people to watch. On the other hand, these movies provide a valuable opportunity to view a bygone era through its cultural artifacts and see what narratives were being pushed on the general public through film. An individual film in-and-of itself may not contain much value, but as a point of data on a timeline? It can be a very valuable window into how much things have (or haven’t) changed.
One of the underrated elements of the horror community is how many of them have the opportunity to meet their heroes. When famous actors and filmmakers die, they tend to be remembered at a distance on the quality of their work; when horror icons like George Romero or Wes Craven pass, however, people have first-hand accounts of meeting them at festivals and conventions. So as word spreads today about the death of legendary Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper, you’ll hear more than a few first-hand accounts of what it was like to talk about the genre with Hooper. That’s the power of the horror community.
What if I told you that there was another Star Wars universe very different from the one you know? In this universe, Han Solo doesn’t sound like Harrison Ford and Darth Vader doesn’t sound like James Earl Jones. Here, Princess Leia is played by a Broadway star instead of Carrie Fisher. And Luke Skywalker and C-3PO ... well, actually, those parts are still played by Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels. Some things are just multiversal constants.
Cesar Millan, better known as the Dog Whisperer in most pet circles, has built himself quite a little entertainment empire. Not only have his books and television shows taught countless people how to set boundaries with their pets, he’s also caused a million fights when one person in a couple thinks it’s funny to hiss “tsst!” at their partner during a discussion they find annoying. In other words, he’s been a boon to human-animal relationships and something else entirely to human-human relationships.
Throughout the years, the one constant in the Terminator franchise has been Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even after director James Cameron quit the franchise, Schwarzenegger kept on chugging along, appearing in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine, Terminator Genisys, and even having his likeness pop up in Terminator Salvation while he was still the governor of California. So with the news that James Cameron would be taking the helm of the franchise again after Genisys flopped, fans have been wondering if the actor had one last showing in him as everyone’s favorite compassionate death machine.
While countless football fans — myself included — embark on a stomach and liver-related training regimen for next weekend, there is more to the Super Bowl than just the game on the field. The Super Bowl has always secretly been a big day for cinephiles as well, featuring big trailers for much-anticipated movies and clever commercials from some of the best filmmakers of our generation. Directors such as Doug Liman, Ridley Scott, and Judd Apatow have all directed Superbowl commercials, and now you can add two more big names to the mix: Joel and Ethan Coen.
While the Academy Awards may leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who think artists shouldn’t be forced to compete, there’s no denying that an Oscar nomination is still a powerful piece of validation for a lot of filmmakers, especially those from other countries. Filmmakers like Asghar Farhadi — whose 2016 film The Salesman will be seen by many Americans due to its Best Foreign Language Film nomination — should be able to take this time to engage with audiences about the importance of this work. Instead, Farhadi will have to watch the Academy Awards on television like the rest of us.
Just about six months ago, I wrote my very first ScreenCrush news item about actor Michael Sheen stepping into the director’s chair for Green River Killer, a film about the notorious Washington state serial killer and his decades-long exchanges with local police officers. I never would’ve guessed back then that my career as a news item writer would outlast Sheen’s career as an actor, but today, news broke that the actor would be stepping away from Hollywood indefinitely to shift into political organizing in his hometown of Port Talbot.
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