Monday Morning Box Office Report: American Sniper Obliterates January Record

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A perfect storm of events came together to allow Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper to earn an astounding $90 million over the weekend. Somehow the star power of Bradley Cooper, the reliability of Clint Eastwood as a director, and the prestige of a handful of Oscar nominations helped put it in the same league as most of last year’s biggest blockbusters. That is easily the biggest January opening ever (Ride Along held the previous record with just $41.5 million) and it very nearly topped The Matrix Reloaded as the biggest R-rated debut ever. In second place, The Wedding Ringer earned $21 million followed by Paddington with $19.29 million. Taken 3 and Selma rounded out the top 5. Sadly, Michael Mann’s Blackhat crashed and burned with just $4 million.

1. American Sniper — $90.21M
2. The Wedding Ringer — $21.00M
3. Paddington — $19.29M
4. Taken 3 — $14.05M
5. Selma — $8.30M
6. The Imitation Game — $7.19M
7. Into the Woods — $6.54M
8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies — $4.86M
9. Unbroken — $4.27M
10. Blackhat — $4.03M

The Boardroom Podcast: Infinity Vortex Episode 3

The Celebrity Apprentice

Teams Infinity and Vortex strip down for a Cosmo magazine spread while Brandi and Kenya get in each other’s faces. Then Trump shuffles the team rosters to give us what we’ve all been waiting for: a Geraldo / Ian Ziering showdown. The latest episode of The Boardroom: Infinity Vortex should be right in your wheelhouse!

The Boardroom: Infinity Vortex Episode 3 by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

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Get Hard Trailer #2

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To coincide with the arrival of The Wedding Ringer in theatres, Warner Brothers has released a new trailer for Get Hard starring Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell. The movie finds Ferrell playing a millionaire who is busted for fraud and turns to the only black man he knows (Hart) for protection in prison. Racial stereotypes are mocked and people accidentally get stabbed… you know the drill. Get Hard co-stars Alison Brie, Craig T. Nelson and Edwina Findley and it hits theatres on March 27th. Check out the new trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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New on Netflix: Frank, Noah, Wetlands

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Tons of popular shows from A&E, Lifetime and The History Channel have been added to Netflix in the U.S. this week, but if you look past the flood of reality TV, you might find a few interesting movies as well. Case in point: the quirky musical comedy Frank starring Michael Fassbender arrives for streaming in the U.S. along with the sci-fi thriller Automata starring Antonio Banderas and the taboo-defying German comedy Wetlands. American subscribers also get season 2 of U.K. crime drama The Fall plus Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and… Johnny English Reborn.

In Canada, the selections are a bit more limited, but the good news is that we are getting Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, P.T. Anderson’s The Master, and Tracks starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver. There are also a handful of DC Animated movies including parts 1 and 2 of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, plus Joe Berlinger’s latest documentary Whitey: U.S.A. v. James J. Bulger and Chain Reaction starring Keanu Reeves and Morgan Freeman. Will you be adding anything to your Netflix queue? Check out the full list of new additions after the jump.

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American Sniper Review

American Sniper
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Written by: Jason Hall
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and Ben Reed

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In the opening scene of American Sniper, we see Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) agonizing over a judgment call he has to make in regards to an Iraqi youth, who may or may not be a military combatant. To shoot or not to shoot? That split second judgment call is indicative of the minute to minute reality for Kyle, a Navy Seal sniper serving in the Iraq war. Charged with protecting his comrades, Kyle doesn’t have the luxury of ruminating over the morality of his actions. He’s trained to react, pure and simple, and he excels at doing so. There’s no time for emotional fallout – that comes later, when he returns stateside after each tour of duty.

Forget the politics – that’s another discussion. At its core American Sniper is a riveting biopic, the subject of which just happens to be the most lethal sniper in the U.S. military history. Some celebrate that legacy, some revile it, but Kyle was doing his job, pure and simple, and Sniper is his story.

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Sam Rockwell Says the Poltergeist Remake is More of a Kids’ Movie

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We’ve been hearing for years now that a remake of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist is on the way, but after several years in development and a couple of delays the reboot will finally be hitting theatres this summer. We hadn’t really heard much about the film up until now, aside from the fact that it is being produced by Sam Raimi and will star Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt and Jared Harris, but this week we finally have some new details to report. While doing some press for his upcoming film Loitering with Intent, Sam Rockwell revealed that the film will be rated PG-13 and probably not quite as intense as the original. But is that necessarily a bad thing? Here’s what he had to say about it:

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Another 28 Days Later Sequel Might Finally Be Happening

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It’s been almost 8 years now since 28 Weeks Later hit theatres, the sequel to Danny Boyle’s zombie film 28 Days Later. Although the original film was instrumental in resurrecting the zombie genre as a whole, neither of these films were particularly huge moneymakers… at least not compared to something like the recent blockbuster World War Z. But now that the popularity of zombies continues to be at an all-time high, it would be the perfect time for them to finally complete the trilogy. Could it actually happen? Writer Alex Garland recently revealed that 28 Months Later is once again being discussed. Here’s what he had to say about it:

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Weekly Poll Results: Most Anticipated Movie of 2015

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No surprises here, but it looks like Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the most anticipated movie of the year according to Film Junk readers. With 31% of the votes it ended up head and shoulders above all of the other upcoming 2015 releases… it would seem that people think the franchise is in good hands with J.J. Abrams. In second place, The Avengers: Age of Ultron is poised to continue Marvel’s domination at the box office, followed by Mad Max: Fury Road and The Hateful Eight. After that, there was a serious drop off in the votes as the rest of the films were all essentially on equal footing. Way down at the bottom, both Kingsman: The Secret Service and Terminator: Genisys did not receive a single vote, which does not bode well for the future of the Terminator series. Do you agree with these results?

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens — 31%
2. The Avengers: Age of Ultron — 20%
3. Mad Max: Fury Road — 15%
4. The Hateful Eight — 13%
5. Ant-Man — 4%
6. Jurassic World — 4%
7. Spectre — 3%
8. Knight of Cups — 2%
9. Untitled Spielberg Cold War Thriller — 2%
10. Furious 7 — 1%
11. The Martian — 1%
12. Chappie — 1%
13. Crimson Peak — 1%
13. Mission: Impossible 5 — 1%
15. The Fantastic Four — 0%
16. Tomorrowland — 0%
16. Inside Out — 0%
18. That’s What I’m Talking About — 0%
18. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 — 0%
18. Entourage — 0%
21. Kingsman: The Secret Service — 0%
21. Terminator: Genysis — 0%

New to Theatres This Weekend: Blackhat, Paddington, The Wedding Ringer

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The 2015 movie season is finally in full swing this weekend as we have three new wide releases hitting theatres along with a couple of significant expansions as well. The live-action / CG hybrid Paddington is the most well-reviewed of the bunch, believe it or not, and could make some decent money from family audiences but it seems more likely that Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper will pick off the competition, capitalizing on a handful of Oscar nominations. Other major releases include Michael Mann’s cyberthriller Blackhat starring Chris Hemsworth and the Kevin Hart / Josh Gad comedy The Wedding Ringer. Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher is also expanding this weekend along with the critically acclaimed Still Alice starring Julianne Moore. What will you be watching this weekend?

Unfriended Trailer: Found Footage Horror via Skype

unfriended

The found footage horror genre clearly isn’t going away anytime soon, instead it is continuing to evolve and learn new tricks. While the Paranormal Activity and V/H/S/ films have played around with Skype and Facetime in interesting ways, no one has told a found footage horror movie entirely via video chat (although Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows probably comes close). The upcoming film Unfriended follows six high school friends being stalked online by someone who is seeking revenge for a girl who committed suicide a year earlier.

In other words it is I Know What You Did Last Summer for the digital age, and while the premise and title seem a bit ridiculous (believe it or not, Unfriended is much better than the original title, Cybernatural), the cyberbullying theme has the potential to be relevant and powerful. On the other hand, the movie is produced by Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), which is not necessarily a strong indicator of quality. Unfriended hits theatres on April 17th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Tom Hardy Leaves Suicide Squad, Jake Gyllenhaal Might Replace Him

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Back in December, Warner Brothers announced a pretty impressive cast for their upcoming Suicide Squad movie that included Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. Now this week we are hearing that one of the major players has decided to drop out, just a few months before they were scheduled to start shooting. The movie revolves around a team of DC supervillains who have agreed to carry out black ops missions for the U.S. government in exchange for commuted prison sentences. Tom Hardy had been lined up to play the team leader Rick Flag, but now he has been forced to exit the film. The good news is that they already appear to have a pretty interesting replacement lined up.

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And the 2015 Oscar Nominees Are…

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Grab your morning coffee and let’s take a look at this year’s Academy Award nominations! The Oscars are shaping up to be another showdown between Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel after the latter just won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy on Sunday. Both movies are up for a total of nine awards while The Imitation Game is up for eight. Boyhood and American Sniper both have six apiece.

Some of the major snubs include Selma being passed over for everything except Best Picture and Best Original Song, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken not even getting a Best Picture nod, and The Lego Movie being left off the list for Best Animated Film (although “Everything is Awesome” is up for Original Song). Amy Adams was not nominated for Big Eyes after winning the Golden Globe and Jake Gyllenhaal was overlooked for his performance in Nightcrawler but I guess that was probably inevitable. Everything else seems to be pretty safe and expected. Do you agree with this year’s Academy Award nominations? Check out the full list after the jump.

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