Category: Movies/Film News

Box office: ‘Madea Family Funeral’ overperforms; ‘Green Book’ surges after best picture win

Tyler Perry’s final Madea release was not enough to unseat Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy-ender at the box office this weekend.

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” maintained the top spot after two weekends at the box office, adding $30 million for a cumulative $97.7 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

Lionsgate’s “A Madea Family Funeral” opened at No. 2 with $27 million, above analyst predictions of $18 million to $20 million. It earned a 24% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “Madea,” however, on 1,800 fewer screens, had the higher per-screen average, $11,077, to “Dragon’s” $7,010.

The final movie in the long-running series, “A Madea Family Funeral” is Perry’s biggest opening since 2010’s “Why Did I Get Married Too?” opened with $29 million. The previous year, “Madea Goes to Jail” opened with $41 million, his highest opening.

Perry’s Lionsgate deal kicked off with 2005’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” which grossed $50 million despite having a micro budget. “A Madea Family Funeral” is the 11th theatrical film to feature Perry as Madea over the course of 14 years. The Madea films have grossed more than $500 million to date.

In third place, Fox’s “Alita: Battle Angel” added $7 million in its third weekend for a cumulative $72.2 million.

At No. 4, Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” added $6.6 million in its fourth weekend for a cumulative $91.7 million.

Following three Oscar wins, including best picture, Universal’s “Green Book” crept back into the top five after 16 weekends in theaters, adding 1,388 locations (the largest theater increase a best picture nominee has ever received the weekend following the ceremony) and $4.7 million for a cumulative $75.9 million.

This weekend’s haul is the third biggest weekend gross for the film. Ticket sales were at a high during the film’s initial wide release expansion in late November and again in late January in the wake of its five Oscar nominations.

Other Oscar winners that saw a notable bump this weekend include Sony’s animated feature winner “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which added 1,661 locations (for a total of 2,404) and $2.1 million in its 12th weekend for a cumulative $187.4 million and Warner Bros.’ “A Star Is Born,” which added 490 locations and $1.8 million in its 22nd weekend for a cumulative $213 million.

Also new this week, Focus Features’ “Greta” opened at No. 8 with $4.6 million, just below analyst predictions of a soft $5-million opening.

The dark mystery stars Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz as a pair of New York transplants who bond over a sense of loneliness. It earned a 58% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In a limited IMAX release, Neon released the documentary “Apollo 11” in 120 locations with $1.6 million, a per-screen average of $13,750. The film opens in traditional theaters next week.

A24 released Gasper Noe’s “Climax” in five locations with $121,655, a per-screen average of $24,331.

Next week, Disney debuts the highly anticipated “Captain Marvel,” starring Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, which is expected to give the box office a much-needed jolt. The year-to-date total now trails 2018 by 25.8%.

An Interview With the Stars of If Beale Street Could Talk

Stephan James and KiKi Layne play Fonny and Tish, two young lovers torn apart by Fonny’s false arrest, just as Tish finds out she’s pregnant. The film jumps through narratives, and we watch their love bloom at the same time we watch Tish’s family come together to face the terrible odds of getting Fonny free.

Nothing in If Beale Street Could Talk is new. Black love isn’t new. White cops wielding their power against marginalized populations isn’t new. Finding strength in vulnerability isn’t new. The many injustices of our justice system aren’t new. James Baldwin published If Beale Street Could Talk in 1974, and yet the combination of all these experiences—the love and the pain—manages to feel new in the hands of Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.

This isn’t James’s first time in a film that deals with such powerful themes. At 25, he’s already played icons Jesse Owens and John Lewis. But this is Layne’s first feature film, and next year she’ll be starring in another adaptation of a seminal work, Richard Wright’s Native Son. The two spoke about the beauty and urgency of Baldwin’s work, how Jenkins translated that to film, and how unfortunately timely and rare the film’s message is.

GQ: Before this, what was your relationship to James Baldwin’s work?

Stephan James: I had read The Fire Next Time a long time ago. I think I was more familiar with James as an activist, as a poet, but not necessarily his writing work. After I read the Beale Street screenplay for the first time, I went back and read the novel.

KiKi Layne: I hadn’t read any of his novels prior to this. I had just been familiar with all the different interviews and speeches he’d given. Beale Street was the first novel that I actually read, and I read it in preparation for my chemistry read. Since then I’ve read so much more. I mean, he’s definitely one of those authors you read one thing, and then you read everything.

What drew you to this movie? Was it just Baldwin’s story?

Layne: I just love that [Tish is] so vulnerable, and just all this love that’s around her. I thought that was so beautiful, how much Tish and Fonny love each other. I just felt like I hadn’t seen love like that for black people, where like you see these two young black people who are soul mates. That really drew me in, but then at the same time, because it’s James Baldwin, the way that he writes and speaks about all of these different injustices, and how beautifully all of that is interwoven with this really lovely love story… It’s amazing to me, the ability to speak about these really painful things but then still be so uplifted and invested in their love. I don’t know, I just think it’s so powerful how Baldwin and Barry, bringing it to film, were able to communicate these two stories in a way.

James: It was, for me, the prospect of working with James Baldwin and with Barry Jenkins, you know, that marriage. The both of them remind me of each other in a way, where they have this beautiful way of describing love and having an abundance of love amidst tragedy, and do it in such a poetic way. So the prospect of working with them, of working with Regina [King, who plays Tish’s mother], it was on, and it was something that was so important, something that I felt was so timely. I looked at Fonny and the ordeal he was going through, and right before finding out about this script I had learned about the Kalief Browder story. For me it was this full-circle moment where I thought to myself, “Wow, James Baldwin had written these words in 1974, but they mean so much now. They probably mean even more now.” I took it on almost like a responsibility to be the vessel to tell this type of story.

The story is unfortunately resonant almost 50 years after it was written. Why do you think now was the right time to tell it again?

James: James Baldwin has a way of describing our struggle and what we have always resorted to [in order] to get through those moments. Love is the biggest thing, right? Love and hope is how we’ve made it through the most tumultuous times, specifically for the African-American experience. You look at a system that has been made to protect you but has failed us time and time again. You have young men who are really having their innocence taken away from them before they get to realize who they even are as people. To me, just that timeliness and timelessness of the story struck me as important.

Layne: I think with social media, people are more aware of these injustices and have more stories and personal experiences and images that are related to a lot of the issues that we’re dealing with in the film. I think that helps to make it more powerful in this time, where you’re watching Fonny and you’re not just thinking about Fonny. You have all of these other images and men and stories that you could think about that are similar to what he is experiencing in the film. I think that’s what makes it really powerful this time, because I think it can be a lot more personal for many more audience members.

Exclusive: Watch Sparks Fly Between Omari Hardwick and Tika Sumpter In New Clip From ‘Nobody’s Fool’

Shadow and Act has an exclusive clip from the upcoming film from Tyler Perry, Nobody’s Fool.

The clip features an interaction between Frank (Omari Hardwick) and Danica (Tika Sumpter).

Here’s the film’s official description: Trying to get back on her feet, wild child Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) looks to her buttoned-up, by the book sister Danica (Sumpter) to help her get back on track. As these polar opposites collide — with hilarious and sometimes disastrous results — Tanya discovers that Danica’s picture-perfect life — including her mysterious boyfriend — may not be what it seems. 

Mehcad Brooks and Amber Riley also star.

The film is in theaters November 2.

Watch the clip below:

The Eminem-produced satire Bodied knows every dis you’ll have and gets there first

bodied

Joseph Kahn’s new satirical comedy, Bodied, is the “more of a comment than a question” movie about race, privilege, and verse of 2018. If Blindspotting had too much narrative cohesion and nuance for you, try Bodied, which riddles its audience with dialogue and ideas at such a rapid-fire pace that none of them ever make any direct or purposeful hits. The film follows the intersecting storylines of Behn Grymm (Jackie Long), a champion battle rapper, and Adam (Calum Worthy), a prim, white grad student writing his thesis on Behn’s “bars,” i.e., the combo of language and phrasing of rap-battle verses. As it turns out, Adam’s a quick study on the subject, and soon becomes a natural battle rapper himself. But this threatens his newfound friendship with Behn and his romantic relationship with vegan feminist Maya (Rory Uphold). Think All About Eve, but with men and free-styling.

Kahn, who began his career as a music video director, has never abandoned the slick, quick-cutting style that landed him jobs for Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Eminem, the latter serving as producer on this film. As a result of that style, the film becomes, at times, tiresome and annoying, when Kahn constantly whip-pans and zooms into close-ups. Not that these irksome quirks diminish the vibrancy of each individual rap battle Kahn portrays.

The script is penned by Alex Larsen (a.k.a. Kid Twist), a rap battle legend himself, whose own origin story as a self-professed nerdy white Canadian seems to be the inspiration behind Adam. The verses are wildly cerebral and complex but also base, marrying highbrow with the low. Larsen uses them to interrogate the lexicon of rap, trying to offer reasoning for why a smart, thoughtful person might also incorporate slurs against gay, black, Asian, and trans people into their verses, even if they wouldn’t use those words outside of a rap battle. Adam serves as the conduit for these reasonings and justifications, with his character’s inner dialogue in voice-over running through the pros and cons of every word: Is this sexist? Should I make a joke about Asians eating dogs? Is it too racist? Just racist enough? But Adam finds that it’s exactly those exaggerated insults that win crowd satisfaction and therefore the rap battle. And winning the battle becomes everything to Adam.

Much attention will likely be paid to Worthy and his performance as a walking dictionary who develops the bravado of a billionaire tech mogul. He’s quite convincing as a battle rapper, all the right words forming organically on his lips. But don’t forget Long, who’s expressive but grounded as Behn, anchoring this film in the kind of humanity that Adam lacks. It would have been satisfying to see more of this story through Behn’s eyes, but what the script fails to provide the character, Long fills in with his performance.

Larsen’s screenplay fascinatingly insulates itself from criticism, mostly by offering up the criticism first. Want to ask why most of the women in this film are bitches? Larsen’s already on it, by having one female character explain to another one that it’s not about being a woman—it’s about being a battle rapper. Want to point out that using offensive slurs, even in the context of a rap battle, doesn’t negate that they are offensive? Well, the script covers that, too, with Behn explaining that it’s the intent behind your words, the brazenness of crossing a line, that’s what actually hurts. As in the real world, there’s no easy path toward living the ultimate ethical life, and so justifications must be made to cope. Adam becomes a fountain of justifications as he grows ever more maniacal, his brain whirring with comebacks that feel good for him to say. He’s essentially addicted to crafting barbed bars to outwit his opponents. That’s his power.

Kahn and Larsen have a tendency to over-intellectualize their ideas. It’s like watching a self-defense mechanism work in real-time, and at lightning speed. And that in itself is impressive, even if it prevents the filmmakers from reaching any meaningful conclusions because it accurately presents the mental gymnastics a progressive person might engage in to justify their choices or wade through rigid social rules. Simultaneously entertaining, overwhelming, compelling, and grating, Bodied raises its hand and talks until words mean nothing and everything.

Fall Movie Guide: 33 Superhero, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy Movies to Look Out For

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 4.35.31 AMIt’s that time of year. The weather gets cooler, the leaves start to change, and movie releases get just a little more adult. At least, in theory. We’ve rounded up all the movies io9 readers will want to keep an eye out for through the end of the year.

This fall, awards season blends with genre in a bunch of unique ways thanks to filmmakers like Robert Zemeckis, Damien Chazelle, and Luca Guadagnino. Then there are the usual holiday blockbusters as well as lots of small and interesting horror movies, different takes on the superhero genre, unexpected sequels, spin-offs, and more. Here’s all the eclectic sci-fi, horror, and fantasy films coming to theaters (and streaming) in the next few months.

READ MORE: https://io9.gizmodo.com/fall-movie-guide-33-superhero-sci-fi-and-fantasy-mov-1828313859