December 30, 2014 |
YOU CAN'T keep a Hobbit down. Hollywood threw a number of big-name, big-budget Christmas movies at the "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," but the final installment in Peter Jackson 's trilogy marched to the top spot once again with an estimated $41.4 million take across the weekend, according to studio estimates yesterday. Director Angelina Jolie 's World War II epic "Unbroken," took second place with $31.7 million from the weekend, bringing its domestic total to $47.3 million from its first four days.
December 18, 2014 |
None of the Flyers has come down with the mumps, but it's too soon to breathe a sigh of relief. So far, about 20 players on six NHL teams definitely or probably have gotten the viral illness, despite a flurry of vaccinations throughout the league. Among those afflicted is the Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, the league's most valuable player, who tested positive for the disease Dec. 13. The Flyers have played three affected teams - the New York Rangers, Anaheim Ducks, and New Jersey Devils - within the incubation period of 16 to 18 days.
December 13, 2014 |
Twentieth Century Fox cranks out the big blockbusters, but its sister distribution arm, Fox Searchlight Pictures, specializes in indie films and British imports that are more likely to pick up Oscars than hundreds of millions at the box office. Founded in 1994, the company marks its anniversary with a Blu-ray boxed set that makes an ideal holiday gift. The Fox Searchlight Pictures 20th Anniversary Collection features 20 films in high-def, including The Full Monty , Boys Don't Cry , Crazy Heart , The Descendants , Juno , and The Last King of Scotland . ( www.foxconnect.com ; $299.99; not rated)
December 10, 2014 |
It's stick-a-big-package-under-the-tree season, and for those who would like to give the gift of music with something more tangible than an iTunes gift card or Spotify subscription, boxed sets conveniently proliferate. The musical bounty includes hefty single-artist sets from a host of big names. Twentieth-century titans Louis Armstrong and Leonard Bernstein have been boxed. David Bowie and Joni Mitchell are releasing self-curated collections. And Bob Dylan's formidable The Basement Tapes , reviewed earlier in my column, have finally seen the light of day in their entirety.
December 9, 2014 |
"THE HUNGER GAMES: Mockingjay - Part 1" continues to dominate the domestic box office, but awards-season hopefuls "Wild" and "The Imitation Game" proved their might with impressive limited-release showings on this sleepy post-Thanksgiving weekend. In its third weekend in release, "Mockingjay - Part 1" earned an estimated $21.6 million. The penultimate chapter in the massively successful franchise has now earned $257.7 million domestically, according to studio estimates yesterday.
November 10, 2014 |
"INTERSTELLAR" may have been the movie adults were excited about this past weekend, but once again kids rule the box office! The animated "Big Hero 6" debuted in first place with $56.2 million, according to studio estimates yesterday. Director Christopher Nolan 's brainy space saga, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway as very attractive astronauts, took off in second place with $50 million, estimates said. "Interstellar" opened below Nolan's last film, the mind-bending thriller "Inception," which conjured up $62.8 million when it debuted in 2010.
November 6, 2014 |
The two push-button house phones outside the main entrance of the vacant Trump Plaza hotel in Atlantic City remain. A sign outlining access rules concludes with "Trespassers will be prosecuted. " They may as well also take down the "Valet Only" sign. Nobody's allowed in the driveway. There's a big fight next door at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday, Bernard Hopkins against Sergey Kovalev for the light-heavyweight title. There will be a strong crowd. It just won't be quite like the old days, certainly not next door.
October 29, 2014 |
SIGHTINGS of Usher have been flying in fast and furious while he's in Philly rehearsing for his UR Experience Tour, which hits the Wells Fargo Center Nov. 11. While I've let you know where the R&B superstar has been dining, my favorite tip has nothing to do with his culinary choices (such as Parc and Good Stuff Eatery). Outside his rehearsals at Temple's Liacouras Center, Usher opted to get buff(er) at NoLibs' Joe Hand Boxing Gym (543-547 N. 3rd St.), training with Danny Davis , who has worked with the likes of Bernard Hopkins . Turns out, Usher is no wilting flower.
October 22, 2014 |
CHICAGO - Before the puck dropped on the regular season, new Flyers general manager Ron Hextall held a meeting with his team. His message, among others, was simple: "Penalties are killing us," Zac Rinaldo recalled. Hextall pointed out the statistics. The Flyers have finished either last or second-to-last in fewest minor penalties in six of the nine seasons since the game changed after the 2004-05 lockout. He even held a meeting with Rinaldo during the offseason to drive home his point.
October 21, 2014 |
HELL HATH no "Fury" like a "Gone Girl" scorned. Or something like that. War won the box-office battle this weekend as David Ayer's tank drama topped David Fincher's psychodrama. "Gone Girl" had been tops at the box office for two weeks before Brad Pitt and Co. blasted the film to second place. "Fury" captured $23.5 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, according to studio estimates yesterday. "Gone Girl" followed with $17.8 million. Both films are rated R. "The fall movie season is all about making the transition from PG-13 world of summer to the R-rated, edgier world of the fall and awards season," said Paul Dergarabedian , senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak.