Well, that’s kinda awkward timing. On Thursday of last week, the New York Times published an article titled “Attacked by Rotten Tomatoes,” an in-depth look at the popular review aggregation site and the role it may have played in this summer’s disappointing box office numbers. The article ends with a prolonged examination of the various ways that studios are trying to “battle Rotten Tomatoes on multiple fronts,” seemingly accepting the idea that Rotten Tomatoes has been bad for the movie industry (despite the fact that Rotten Tomatoes is, in fact, owned by said members of the movie industry). The article may have been an interesting read for those unfamiliar with the controversy, but for those in the know, it was old news, part of an ongoing debate that tried to argue that critics were duping poor, easily misled moviegoers.
If you’re not lucky enough to attend the Toronto International Film Festival this year, you can spend it like the rest of us: keeping an ear to to the ground and trying to decide which TIFF releases will be must-see movies of 2017 and 2018. One early standout is I, Tonya, a humorous look at the life of infamous figure skater Tonya Harding. Our own Senior Editor has described it as darkly hilarious film with dynamite performances (review coming soon!), and that seems to be the general consensus: it’s funny, it’s twisted, and, for as much as any of you care, it’s an early contender for all kinds of award season glory.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of encountering Halo Top ice scream, I’ve got some world-changing news for you: no longer will you need to feel bad for eating ice cream by the pint! The California ice cream company, which recently passed Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs to become the highest-selling ice cream in grocery stores, is the current zeitgeist of low-calorie sweets. Sure, maybe the flavor is a little more bland than you’d prefer, and sure, maybe eating ice cream by the pint — regardless of its constitution — is probably not the best idea, but at only 240 calories a pop? You could do a lot worse with your stress-eating.
It isn’t very often that a documentary becomes a hit with mainstream audiences, but that’s exactly what happened with Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me back in 2004. The documentary followed Spurlock on a month-long experiment in unhealthy diets, with the filmmaker eating exclusively at McDonald’s for weeks on end. The result was a smash hit: Super-Size Me grossed $11.9 million dollars — good for 25th all-time among documentaries — and even garnered an Academy Award nomination. More than that, though, is the effect the film had on the fast food industry, with publications like Refinery29 saying years later that Spurlock’s film likely helped companies “increase consumer awareness of size, as well as ingredients and nutrition.”
Oh, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. When are those two crazy kids ever going to get together? There’s is a love story we can all relate to: she, the inexperienced college student and would-be journalist, and he, the millionaire Seattle playboy, willing to teach her in the practice of love. Would their shared appreciation for BDSM be enough to overcome their differences and help them find true love? I don’t know for sure, but based on this first teaser trailer for Fifty Shades Freed, I’m going to venture that the answer to that question is yes.
Have you ever scrolled through Donald Trump’s IMDb page? Owing to his background as a New York City socialite, Trump has appeared as himself in many talk shows and entertainment news segments; at last count, Trump has approximately 266 appearances in movies and televisions shows ranging from Late Night With David Letterman to his many, many appearances on the various iterations of The Howard Stern Show. What’s more interesting, however, are his appearances that fall under the ‘actor’ category. How did Trump continue to pop into shows like Spin City and Sex and the City despite his questionable reputation among New Yorkers?
If the early buzz is to be believed, fans couldn’t get any more excited for the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s It. Not only does the film have one of the most-watched movie trailers of all time, and is also projected to make over $60 million in its opening weekend, it’s also coming into theaters riding a wave of impressive reviews. And somehow, the movie has done all of this without tipping its hand on some of the most impressive scares. All of this for an R-rated horror movie about children being jeopardized. We’ve come a long way since the original miniseries, America.
Welcome to Augusts, where overall weekend grosses can decline for three consecutive weekends — $122, $116, and $95 million, respectively — and a new action-comedy can be the surprise winner of the weekend. Audiences might still be interested in creepy dolls, but it was a hyper-violent buddy film about professional killers that took home the gold. Here’s the box office projections, as of Sunday afternoon:
Today the world of comedy lost one of its brightest stars. Jerry Lewis was no stranger to controversy during his decades-long career, but his impact on both Hollywood and comedy in general cannot be denied. From his early days as Dean Martin’s partner-in-crime to his career-capping turn in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy — and countless box office success in the interim — Lewis’s impact on Hollywood will be a source of much discussion for years to come.
Well, that’s one way to promote your upcoming home video releases! A few months ago, fans who sat all the way through to the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 were treated to more than a handful of bonus scenes: they were also treated to “Guardians Inferno” by The Sneepers, a fictitious disco band that also included a guest appearance by noted German pop star David Hasselhoff. No bonus footage could hold a candle to the infectious disco pop of the song, and plenty of people - myself included - immediately went home and listened to the track on repeat. It’s everything we want the delightfully weird Marvel universe to be.
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