In one weekend, Pitch Perfect 2 has handily outgrossed the entire run of its predecessor, proving that you should never underestimate a sleeper hit that steadily grows an army of dedicated followers through the power of Blu-ray and DVD. Right below it, Mad Max: Fury Road opened to respectable numbers that will look disastrous to anyone who doesn’t pay attention to the details. Let’s dive in.
As expected, Avengers: Age of Ultron dominated the box office for the second weekend in a row, pulling in numbers that would be the envy of most summer blockbusters’ opening three days. And while the only new release of the week faltered, it was a surprisingly strong week overall, with many of the films in the top 10 faring well despite facing one of the biggest movies of the year.
Last night’s generally unremarkable episode of SNL peaked early when it took advantage of its proximity to Mother’s Day to do something kind of remarkable. As part of her opening monologue, guest host Reese Witherspoon declared that the show was going to mark the occasion by bringing each cast member out with his or her mother...and then forcing them to apologize for their childhood transgressions.
It’s not coincidence that Scarlett Johansson guest hosted SNL on the same weekend that Avengers: Age of Ultron opened in theaters, so of course the show had to do a Marvel sketch of some kind. And unlike the previous Avengers sketches cooked up for Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner, this one is actually a pretty effective dig at the Marvel movie machine. More importantly, it’s very funny.
At some point, we’re not sure when, Sesame Street stopped being a low-key educational children’s program and started being an educational children’s program that finds time to create internet-friendly parodies of whatever pop culture event is huge in a given week. So yeah, of course the show has made an Avengers-themed sketch and of course it’s called The Aveggies: Age of Bon Bon and of course it recasts Cookie Monster as the Hulk.
Something has survived ... and it’s been packaged, licensed and sold to an audience of millions! No, we’re not talking about the Jurassic Park franchise or the new Jurassic World trailer, but rather the dinosaurs on display in the film, who are the star attractions in a fully functioning prehistoric theme park where nothing ever goes wrong! Until it does. And when things go wrong at dinosaur theme parks, things go really wrong.
For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
At some point in the SNL writer’s room, everyone must have realized that guest host Taraji P. Henson plays a monstrous character named Cookie on the smash hit Empire and, a few Cookie Monster jokes later, they were scrambling to call the producers of Sesame Street. Yes, SNL put Henson’s Cookie on the world’s most famous children’s program and the results are kind of spectacular.
Prolific character actor James Best, most known for playing the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard, has passed away from complications following a battle with pneumonia. He was 88 years old.
Because there is nothing small children still learning to read love more than ultra-violent fantasy epics, Sesame Street has created a Game of Thrones parody. And we’re not talking about a simple excuse to dress up some Muppets in medieval garb. There are some serious George R.R. Martin deep cuts in this strange little sketch, which marks the first and probably last time that Sesame Street will obliquely reference brutal massacres, beheadings, and regicide.
The early estimates for the opening weekend gross of Furious 7 are all over the place and we probably won’t have a definitive number until tomorrow, when the dust finally settles and everyone gets a chance to breathe. However, this one thing we know for sure: the seventh film in the Fast and Furious series didn’t just shatter in-franchise records, it shattered records for any April release.
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