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Box Office Hero: Tom Cruise Is Cruising With “MI: Rogue Nation”

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Tom Cruise vehicle Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, burst out of the gate over its opening weekend, clobbering the competition in box off receipts, according to film statistic Web site Rentrak.

The high-speed spy thriller was praised by critics and gobbled up by fans with theaters taking in $56 million in the domestic market and $121 million worldwide from Thursday through Sunday. It was also given a 93 percent positive raring on Rotten Tomatoes and an “A-” rating on CinemaScore.

The list of accolades seemed endless and sometimes ironic. Fans and critics alike praised the opening action sequence, which features the Cruise character Ethan Hunt hanging from a jet plane with his bare hands, an improved script, the simple plot line, the supporting characters played by Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames and a breakout performance by Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Ilsa Faust, a sometimes good, sometimes not so good, friend/foe of Ethan Hunt’s.

mission impossible rogue poster movie spoonFerguson, 31, was praised for keeping up with Cruise, who is 53 and does some of his own stunts. As such, Ferguson also performed some of her stunts. Leggy and seemingly fearless, many articles praising her this week make note of her telling the Daily Beast in an interview that Ilsa Faust was based on Ilsa, the character played by Ingrid Bergman, in the film Casablanca.

It might be more accurate to say that George W. Bush’s performance as president was inspired by Santa Claus, but some media folks took the bait, anyway. After all, Bergman was also Swedish, the characters share first names and parts of MI: Rogue Nation were filmed in Casablanca. Unless I missed the part where Bergman jumps over rooftops in Casablanca, that’s exactly where the similarities end.

MI: Rogue Nation also had weak competition over the weekend, with animation film Minions taking a touch over $12 million and Ant-Man muscling in $12.6 million. Pixels, which critics basically beat to a pulp, raked in $10.4 million in the domestic market. Inside Out dropped down to a 4.5 million take, while the National Lampoon comedy Vacation earned $14.8 million at home.

Meanwhile, media reports are trying stretch a few stories out of the point that Cruise is now 53 and somehow finds the strength and maintain the sex appeal needed to continue with his Mission Impossible franchise. Methinks the critics protest too weirdly. They do understand that films now employ special effects and stuntmen are a dime a dozen, right? A little touch up, a stunt man for the obligatory shirt folding scene and Cruise will likely stop playing Ethan Hunt in 2030 or so.

By then, it will be Rebecca who? But it will long be remembered at Paramount that the first four Mission Impossible films took in an average of $500 million apiece, which means they’ll be an Ethan Hunt Jr. or some variation on that theme entering the picture for Mission Impossible 6, 7, 8 or 9. Predictably, Cruise will age out, but good ideas in Hollywood, as everyone knows, can always be recast.

 

Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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