Posts Tagged ‘Sean Penn’

“Zero Dark Thirty” Tops the Box Office

January 14, 2013

zero-dark-thirty-releases-a-uk-poster-121641-00-1000-100On a weekend when its star Jessica Chastain won her first and much deserved Golden Globe Award and in its first weekend in national release, the controversial but brilliant thriller Zero Dark Thirty hit the top of the box office chart with $24 million. That brings the film’s total to $29 million with much more to come for this Oscar contender that I gave a “A” grade to…. Zero easily beat the two newcomers as the new horror spoof A Haunted House took in $ 18 million while the star-studded action drama Gangster Squad with Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin opened to an ok $16 million… The Oscar noms gave nice boosts to Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook while Globe winner Les Miserables topped $119 million and became the fifth biggest musical film in history surpassing Hairspray… For more on all the numbers, head to Box Office Mojo here and check out the new top ten below.

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 16 Zero Dark Thirty Sony $24,000,000 +790.2% 2,937 +2,877 $8,172 $29,481,000 $40 4
2 N A Haunted House ORF $18,817,000 – 2,160 – $8,712 $18,817,000 $2.5 1
3 N Gangster Squad WB $16,710,000 – 3,103 – $5,385 $16,710,000 – 1
4 2 Django Unchained Wein. $11,065,000 -44.7% 3,012 +2 $3,674 $125,399,000 $100 3
5 4 Les Miserables (2012) Uni. $10,127,000 -36.8% 2,927 +23 $3,460 $119,206,000 $61 3
6 3 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey WB $9,080,000 -48.2% 3,012 -743 $3,015 $278,124,000 – 5
7 8 Lincoln BV $6,314,000 +16.6% 2,027 +126 $3,115 $152,579,000 $65 10
8 5 Parental Guidance Fox $6,100,000 -37.1% 2,957 -411 $2,063 $60,650,000 $25 3
9 1 Texas Chainsaw 3D LGF $5,150,000 -76.3% 2,659 +5 $1,937 $30,752,000 – 2
10 12 Silver Linings Playbook Wein. $5,000,000 +38.2% 810 +65 $6,173 $41,306,000 $21 9


“The Killing” is still a Killer Show

May 14, 2012

Last week, I had the privilege of going to a special screening of an episode of AMC’s The Killing followed by a Q & A with the cast and creator Veena Sud. It was a wonderful evening held at the Television Academy and the episode screened, “Off the Reservation“, (which aired last night) was incredible. It was another showcase for the show’s star Mireille Enos who grabbed an Emmy nomination last year and should find herself in the running again for this emotional installment as her character was searching for her missing partner Holder (played by the incredibly charismatic Joel Kinnaman). Those two detectives have been going rogue a bit lately in this second season of the fantastic mystery thriller as they try to solve the murder of teen Rosie Larson. There seems to be a conspiracy involving the cops, the mayor and the Indian casino reservation, and those two aren’t sure who to trust. Still in the mix are Larson’s grieving parents, played by the amazing Brent Sexton and Emmy nominated Michelle Forbes, and her aunt Terry (the wonderfully damaged Jamie Anne Allman) who has some secrets of her own. The political connections to the crime continue to weigh heavily as well with Billy Campbell, Kristen Lehman and Eric Ladin all giving incredible performances as well as they deal with Campbell’s character’s recent paralysis and campaign crises. The Killing remains a tense and brilliant thriller week in and week out and I hope it gets more Emmy recognition this year especially for the amazing Enos, who couldn’t be nicer and more lovely by the way. Enos has such wonderful intensity, vulnerability and relatability and can say so much with just a tiny glint of emotion in her eye. Watch for her to be a big movie star soon too in Gangster Squad  with Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling and alongside Brad Pitt in World War Z.  She and most of the cast (Sexton, Allman, Lehman, Kinnaman, and a very funny Campbell) were at the Q&A and gave some great insight into this tremendous program. I highly recommend you catch up with it ASAP before we finally learn who actually killed Rosie at the end of this season. For more on the show, head to AMC here and check out my pictures below. Please enjoy my friend Giana Mucci in the pictures as well. She loves the show as much as me and clearly loved the cast too.
The Killing airs Sunday nights at 10pm on AMC.

And here’s a look at season 2 of The Killing

And here are our photos from the event…

The Holiday Box Office: America loves a good “Hangover”

May 31, 2011

Hollywood finally had some good news as the box office slump officially ended over the long holiday weekend with huge grosses for three big sequels. Leading the way was The Hangover Part 2 which opened to $105 million over the four-day holiday and $137 million since Thursday. It also grabbed the record for the biggest comedy film opening to date. The film should hold up pretty well in the weeks ahead as its core audience is clearly enjoying the film despite poor reviews. (Personally I give the film a “B” grade. It’s pretty much a carbon copy of the original but it’s still pretty damn funny)…. Coming in second was Kung Fu Panda 2 with a good, not great, $62 million which was a tad below the opening for the original. However, it will likely have strong legs as most family films do in the summer. Also making news was Pirates of the Caribbean 4 which took in another $50 million for a two-week take of $163 million and only dropped 44%…. In limited release, Terrence Malick’s long-delayed drama The Tree of Life starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn finally opened taking in a massive $489,000 in only 4 theatres. However, with mixed critical and audience reception, the road ahead could be shaky… One other big auteur got some good news at the turnstiles this weekend as well as Woody Allen’s latest comedy, Midnight in Paris, hit the top ten with $3.5 million on only 58 screens. This one is shaping up to be his biggest hit since 2008’s Vicky Christina Barcelona which also netted Penelope Cruz an Oscar….. For more on the numbers, head to Box Office Mojo here. And check out the new top ten below…

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 N The Hangover Part II WB $105,765,000 – 3,615 – $29,257 $137,375,000 $80 1
2 N Kung Fu Panda 2 P/DW $62,200,000 – 3,925 – $15,847 $68,000,000 $150 1
3 1 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides BV $50,372,000 -44.1% 4,164 +9 $12,097 $163,967,000 $250 2
4 2 Bridesmaids Uni. $20,987,000 +0.5% 2,958 +21 $7,095 $89,594,000 $32.5 3
5 3 Thor Par. $12,030,000 -22.2% 3,296 -628 $3,650 $162,375,000 $150 4
6 4 Fast Five Uni. $8,166,000 -22.8% 2,982 -640 $2,738 $197,576,000 $125 5
7 13 Midnight in Paris SPC $3,520,000 +487.6% 58 +52 $60,690 $3,520,000 $30 2
8 6 Rio Fox $2,400,000 -48.8% 1,672 -921 $1,435 $135,441,000 $90 7
9 7 Jumping the Broom TriS $2,350,000 -36.5% 939 -533 $2,503 $34,631,000 $6.6 4
10 8 Something Borrowed WB $2,320,000 -34.0% 1,440 -1,166 $1,611 $35,234,000 $35 4

Ranking this Decade’s Oscar Winners…

December 30, 2010

The 2010 Oscar race is in full swing and we have some seriously exciting fights going on for Picture (The King’s Speech v. The Social Network), Actress (Annette Bening v. Natalie Portman) and Actor (Colin Firth v. James Franco) to name a few… However, before we get all immersed in a new decade of award worthy films, I thought I’d take a look back at the first decade of this millennium and it’s Oscar winners. So, I have ranked my preference of all of the early 00’s Academy Award winners in the big 6 categories below. Take a look. Who stands the test of time? Who is forgettable? And there’s a few notes on who was robbed too… After you’ve read my lists, give me your picks for the best of the past decades Oscar winners too.

Ranking the Oscar Winners~ 2000 – 2009

Best Picture:
1. Chicago (2002)
2. Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King (2003)
3. The Hurt Locker (2009)
4. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
5. No country for Old Men (2007)
6. Gladiator (2000)
7. The Departed (2006)
8. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
9. Crash (2005)~ over Brokeback Mountain? A travesty!
10. A Beautiful Mind  (2001) ~ this over Moulin Rouge and the first Lord of the Rings? Ridiculous

Best Director:
1. Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
2. Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King (2003)
3. Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker (2009)
4. Stephen Soderbergh, Traffic (2000)
5. Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
6. Roman Polanski, The Pianist (2002)
7. The Coen Brothers, No Country for Old Men (2007)
8. Martin Scorcesse, The Departed (2006)
9. Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby (2004)
10. Ron Howard, A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Best Actor:
1. Sean Penn, Milk (2008)
2. Adrien Brody, The Pianist (2002)
3. Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland (2006)
4. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Capote (2005) ~ even though I would’ve given it to Heath Ledger for Brokeback Mountain
5. Denzel Washington, Training Day (2001)
6. Sean Penn, Mystic River (2003)
7. Jamie Foxx, Ray (2004)
8. Russell Crowe, Gladiator (2000)
9. Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart (2009) ~ should’ve gone to Colin Firth for A Single Man
10. Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood (2007)~ should’ve gone to Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd

Best Actress:
1. Marion Cottillard, La Vie en Rose (2007)
2. Charlize Theron, Monster (2003)
3. Helen Mirren, The Queen (2006)
4. Kate Winslet, The Reader (2008)
5. Nicole Kidman, The Hours (2002)
6. Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich (2000)
7. Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby (2004)
8. Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball (2001)
9. Sandra Bullock, The Blindside (2009)~ love her, but this should not have won over Meryl Streep!
10. Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line (2005)~ love her too, but this should not have won over Meryl Streep either, or anybody else in the category for that matter.


Best Supporting Actor:
1. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (2008)
2. Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds (2009)
3. Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men (2007)
4. Jim Broadbent, Iris (2001)
5. Benecio Del Toro, Traffic (2000)
6. Chris Cooper, Adaptation (2002)
7. George Clooney, Syriana (2005)
8. Tim Robbins, Mystic River (2003)
9. Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
10. Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Best Supporting Actress:
1. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago (2002)
2. Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls (2006)
3. Monique, Precious (2009)
4. Cate Blanchett, The Aviator (2004)
5. Marcia Gay Harden, Pollack (2000)
6. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008)

7. Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton (2007)

8. Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener (2005) ~ I would’ve given it to Michelle Williams for Brokeback though…
9. Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain (2003)
10. Jennifer Connely, A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Megamind leads a Big Box Office Weekend

November 8, 2010

On the first big box office weekend of the fall, three new films all met expectations with good openings that could foreshadow a strong holiday season. Opening on top was the latest 3D cartoon from Paramount/Dreamworks, Megamind, which took in $ 47.6 million (on par with this spring’s brilliant P/DW toon How to Train Your Dragon). Boasting big star power with Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill, this one should be the big family choice for several weeks til Harry Potter comes to town. Opening in second was the new comedy from The Hangover director Todd Phillips, Due Date, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifinakis which netted $33.5 million. While that’s a nice start, it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the coming weeks as word of mouth isn’t so good on this one. Tyler Perry’s latest, For Colored Girls, was next in line grabbing a standard $20 million opening. The film starring a bevy of talented African-American actresses including Oscar nominee Janet Jackson, Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose didn’t cross over to audience outside of Perry’s usual core group. However, the film is hoping to be an awards player (especially for its performances, most notably Kimberly Elise) which could help it reach a bigger audience in the future. Two other big awards contenders opened strongly in limited release as well. Fair Game with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn grabbed $700,000 in only 46 theatres while James Franco’s star turn in 127 Hours grabbed a huge $66,500 per screen average in just four theatres. (That was the second biggest per screen average for a limited release this year following Oscar bait The Kids are Alright). And still showing good legs were Red and Secretariat while last week’s chart topper Saw 3D plummeted the expected 64%. For all your box office needs, head to Box Office Mojo here. And check out the weekend top ten below.

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 N Megamind P/DW $47,650,000 – 3,944 – $12,082 $47,650,000 $130 1
2 N Due Date WB $33,500,000 – 3,355 – $9,985 $33,500,000 $65 1
3 N For Colored Girls LGF $20,100,000 – 2,127 – $9,450 $20,100,000 $21 1
4 3 Red Sum. $8,858,000 -17.4% 3,229 -120 $2,743 $71,871,000 $58 4
5 1 Saw 3D LGF $8,200,000 -63.6% 2,808 – $2,920 $38,801,000 $20 2
6 2 Paranormal Activity 2 Par. $7,298,000 -55.8% 3,168 -71 $2,304 $77,224,000 $3 3
7 4 Jackass 3-D Par. $5,097,000 -40.1% 2,165 -974 $2,354 $110,814,000 $20 4
8 5 Hereafter WB $4,020,000 -37.4% 2,365 -59 $1,700 $28,730,000 $50 4
9 6 Secretariat BV $4,002,000 -20.1% 2,614 -494 $1,531 $50,965,000 $35 5
10 7 The Social Network Sony $3,600,000 -20.3% 1,860 -907 $1,935 $85,047,000 $50 6

Naomi Watts & Sean Penn vs. Billy Baldwin & Cindy Crawford

August 19, 2010

Oscar nominee Naomi Watts and two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn are about to take on 90’s stud Billy Baldwin and supermodel Cindy Crawford for the ultimate bragging rights to the title Fair Game. You see Baldwin and Crawford, in her cinematic debut, starred in a pretty dreadful 90’s action thriller entitled Fair Game while Penn and Watts’ upcoming new thriller also bears the same name. That’s where the comparisons end though as the 2010 Game has award worthy aspirations as it tackles the true life story of ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame who was exposed publicly after her husband stirred up trouble with the Bush administration when accusing them of bending the truth about weapons of mass destruction. This political drama with action elements is directed by Douglas Liman who previously explored warring husband and wife spies in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. It looks like a strong film that could put these revered actors back in the awards race. As for the other Fair Game, the only awards it was in contention for were The 1995 Razzies where it contended in three races. You can watch that one on dvd and then compare the two when the new film hits theatres on Nov. 5.

Fair Game 2010 trailer

Fair Game 1995 trailer

Whose Irish Eyes make you Smile?

March 17, 2010

Well, happy St. Patty’s Day to you friends!

In honor of all things Irish like Green Beer, Leprechauns, Enya, Shamrock Shakes and McDreamy, I decided to compile a list of some of my favorite Irish  and Irish American actors, singers and entertainers…

Molly Shannon: I had the pleasure of appearing on Molly’s short lived show Kath & Kim and I have to say she was just a dream. Not only is she a hilarious actress, but she’s an incredibly kind and giving person supporting many charitable organizations including Aid for Aids where she served as a judge for the past two years in their annual fundraiser riot, the Best in Drag Show. This SNL vet will soon be seen in a guest spot on Glee.

John C. Reilly: the Oscar nominated star of Chicago, Walk Hard and The Vampire’s Assistant is another class act and humanitarian. (He also judged the Best in Drag show the last few years). He’ll next be seen in Cyrus, the Sundance hit with Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill.

Anne Hathaway: this Oscar nominee and Alice in Wonderland star is a big supporter of LGBT rights and has several films in the can including the awards bait picture Love and Other Drugs.

Colin Farrell: the reformed party boy recently returned to the big screen acting and singing in Crazy Heart, is also a big LGBT supporter (like Anne, he has a gay brother) and will soon be seen in London Boulevard with Kiera Knightly.

Drew Barrymore: she just won a Golden Globe and  a SAG award for her brilliant turn in Grey Gardens. This free spirit recently made her directing debut with Whip It and teams with her current beau Justin Long in this year’s romantic comedy Going the Distance.

Kathy Griffin: This two time Emmy winning comedian, gay rights advocate and reality tv star is the funniest lady out there. She’ll give you the serious dish and she can even tug at your heart strings on her Bravo show. She recently showed her dramatic chops on an episode of Law & Order: SVU. Watch for the new season of Kathy Griffin: Life on the D List this summer.

Alec Baldwin: The Emmy and Golden Globe winning star of 30 Rock and recent Oscar host is just a riot. Despite any of his personal issues, you can’t deny his talent, and hello, have you seen him host SNL? Brills!

Sean Penn: the two time Oscar winner (Mystic River and the brilliant Milk), and soon to be ex-husband of my favorite actress Robin Wright, consistently delivers fantastic performances whether he be a gay civil rights leader or a stoned surfer dude. Up next for Sean is the thriller Fair Game with Naomi Watts.

And here’s a list of several other Irish and Irish Amerian folk who will likely be toasting today: Elijah Wood, Kristen Bell, Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lindsay Lohan, Vince Vaughn, Olivia Wilde, Liam Neeson, Mandy Moore, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Jerry O’Connell, Shannen Doherty, Robert Downey Jr., Billy Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Patrick Dempsey, Bonnie Hunt, Matthew McConaughey, Dylan McDermott, Martin and Charlie Sheen, Maura Tierney, Mark and Donnie Wahlberg and more… Here’s a longer list for your perusal: Click here.

So, which Irish stars do you love? Bono? The Cranberries? Lucky the Leprechaun from Lucky Charms?