It's not every day that an actor of John Goodman's caliber hosts 'SNL,' but whatever the odds, it's not nearly as uncommon as him being joined by Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro for a holiday-themed sketch that sees the three silver screen icons re-imagined as tough-talking guys on the way to visit the baby Jesus. Yep, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...
If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.
NBC's live presentation of 'The Sound of Music' was one of the stranger and, depending on who you talk to, more disastrous television events of 2013, so it's only natural that 'SNL' went after it in last night's cold open. But this wasn't just an excuse to make fun of their parent network's weird programming decisions -- it was an opportunity to bring back one of the show's most beloved performers and characters.
The weekend following a major holiday is always a little slow. The boost from vacationing moviegoers is gone, so everyone tends to take a major dip. Some films end up okay. Some die on the vine. This weekend saw two films weather the storm perfectly fine and one new release collapse on the starting line.
When someone guest hosts 'SNL,' it's usually because they have something to promote. Even the great Paul Rudd doesn't host the show for no reason. The man has 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' coming out soon and he's got to keep the promotional train a'moving. Call this week's opening monologue a commercial if you want, but man, it's one heck of a commercial. Anything that lets us see Ron Burgundy's news team reunite to perform "Afternoon Delight" is worth the effort. Oh, and there's also that band One Direction because the kids like 'em.
You don't have to be a foodie to know that Guy Fieri is one of the worst things to happen to televised cooking entertainment (and food in general), so the platinum-haired douche bag of the Food Network is the perfect guy to skewer on 'SNL' and the show doesn't pull its punches. Fieri isn't even the main target: his viewers and everything else they watch get torn to shreds.
For people who grew up reading in the '80s and '90s, the 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' series will always hold a special place in their nightmares. Over three volumes, writer Alvin Schwartz collected over 100 urban legends and tales of folklore, creating a library of creepy stories that were meant to be, as the title implies, told in the dark. There is still a great deal of well-earned nostalgia surrounding these books, so it should come as no surprise that a movie adaptation is in the works.
Say what you want about the franchise as a whole, but the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies really do have a knack for casting. Incredible actors (and serviceable movie stars) have filled virtually every role in the series' large ensemble, so it's no surprise that the upcoming fifth film is looking to cast a beloved thespian. Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is reportedly in negotiations to join 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' as the latest villain to cross swords with Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.
In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
Everyone knew that 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' was going to do well this weekend, but the lingering question was always whether or not it was going to do "really, really well" or "stupidly, gobsmackingly well." We should know by now that you always bet on Katniss Everdeen defying the odds, because it was the latter and everyone made it look easy.
If there's one thing that we're reminded of a few times a year here at the Weekend Box Office Report, it's that films targeted at black audiences are always ignored by many mainstream movie websites ... until they open huge at the box office. 'The Best Man Holiday' is the latest film to prove that there's an entire group of moviegoers who aren't being given the films they obviously want to see, and hopefully its success will spur Hollywood into action, allowing for the production of more movies with black casts and filmmakers. Maybe. This is Hollywood, after all.
When Blockbuster announced that it was officially closing its doors, it was hard to hear for any real movie fans who truly cared. After all, this is the company that helped kill nearly every small video rental chain and relished in carrying a limited selection. So it's not surprising that 'SNL' made a video commemorating the closing of the controversial (at least among cinephiles) company, and it's less surprising that it's as weird and mocking as the show can get.
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