If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.
The weekend following a major holiday is always a little slow. The boost from vacationing moviegoers is gone, so everyone tends to take a major dip. Some films end up okay. Some die on the vine. This weekend saw two films weather the storm perfectly fine and one new release collapse on the starting line.
In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
Everyone knew that 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' was going to do well this weekend, but the lingering question was always whether or not it was going to do "really, really well" or "stupidly, gobsmackingly well." We should know by now that you always bet on Katniss Everdeen defying the odds, because it was the latter and everyone made it look easy.
There was no question of whether or not 'Thor: The Dark World' was going to open at number one this weekend. Of course it was. The big question was whether it would get a post-'Avengers' bump, or if it would do similar business to its 2011 predecessor. Question answered: it got a bump and a pretty good one, too.
After months of boycott talk and constant controversy, the long in the works adaptation of Orson Scott Card's 'Ender's Game' opened at number one at the box office with decent but not spectacular numbers. It's a long road to profitability, but hey, this is a start.
On one level, 'SNL' should probably be ashamed of itself for being months late to parodying the infamous "What Does the Fox Say?" music video. After all, countless more timely comedy institutions got their riffs on this one out of the way ages ago. However, if anyone is going to have the final word on this memorable viral sensation, it should be 'SNL,' whose take is certainly more accurate and handsomely made than most of the competition.
For the third weekend in a row, 'Gravity' dominated the box office, taking no prisoners in its quest to become one of 2013's most deserving blockbusters. However, its tremendous success has been at the expense of a handful of other films, which have been crushed in Alfonso Cuaron's titanic wake.
Considering the massive box office success of 'Gravity' over the past two weeks, chances are strong that you've already seen director Alfonso Cuaron's stunning science fiction thriller. If so, the news of a companion short film that sheds light on one of the movie's most memorable scenes should have your attention.
Despite a few new releases, this weekend was all about last week's champion. 'Gravity' held on to the number one spot with all of its might, showing that Alfonso Cuaron's space thriller may have some of the strongest legs of any major 2013 release.
When 'SNL' is on point, there are few live, late night variety shows that skewer American politics so well (but then again, it really does have that category all to itself). There was no way the show was going to miss an opportunity to make fun of the recent government shutdown and there was no way they weren't going to use guest host Miley Cyrus to help do it. The result? A truly bizarre and inspired parody of the music video for Cyrus' "We Don't Stop," which puts Michele Bachmann and John Boehner front and center. Naturally, the new song is called "We Did Stop."
When a movie is sold as being the next incredible cinematic experience that will change the way we watch movies, expectations are huge. Audiences may scoff. It could all backfire. But Alfonso Cuaron's 'Gravity' lived up to the hype and audiences responded in kind, giving it the biggest opening ever for a non-sequel October release.
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