After years of struggling against the odds and barely surviving in a rapidly changing world, Blockbuster announced that it's officially set to close the remainder of its US stores. For some, this is a day or mourning. For others, a day of celebration. For all of us, it's just a reminder that the way we consume media has changed so drastically and so quickly that the thought of Blockbuster going out of business would have been unthinkable a decade ago.
For the third weekend in a row, 'Gravity' dominated the box office, taking no prisoners in its quest to become one of 2013's most deserving blockbusters. However, its tremendous success has been at the expense of a handful of other films, which have been crushed in Alfonso Cuaron's titanic wake.
What's more powerful than a bunch of giant robots and giant monsters? What's more powerful than Adam Sandler and all his buddies? This weekend gave us a definitive answer: a lovable supervillain voiced by Steve Carell. 'Despicable Me 2' triumphed at the box office for the second week in a row, beating out newcomers like 'Grown Ups 2' and 'Pacific Rim' and making it look easy.
Which would you expect to win the Fourth of July weekend: the Disney-produced, Johnny Depp-starring revival of an iconic American hero or the sequel to a French-made, Steve Carell-starring animated movie about a lovable supervillain? Well, it looks like American audiences simply aren't interested in westerns, even the uber-expensive ones starring Captain Jack Sparrow with a bird on his head. 'Despicable Me 2' destroyed 'The Lone Ranger' over the holiday weekend. Like, totally wrecked it. Mercilessly.
After months of feverish anticipation and a marketing campaign that left everyone at ScreenCrush practically speechless, 'Man of Steel' has arrived (amidst a flurry of mixed reviews) and taken its place at the top of the box office chart. Although the latest Superman film broke June box office records, it's yet to be seen whether or not the film is truly prepared for the long road ahead.
For the second week in a row, a David has taken down a Goliath. Last week, a little magician thriller handily derailed a Will Smith juggernaut and this week, the tiny horror film 'The Purge' took 'The Internship' down a peg or a dozen. We're one month in and this summer movie season has already given us plenty of surprises at the box office.
How rare is it for a Will Smith sci-fi blockbuster to not open at number one at the box office? Also, how horrible must it feel for a Will Smith sci-fi blockbuster to not only get beaten by the second week of a long running franchise about fast cars, but by a magician thriller headlined by Jesse Eisenberg?
When is a $70 million opening not a success? When its predecessor opened to $75 million four years ago. This is the predicament facing 'Star Trek Into Darkness,' which opened at number one at box office while being something of a disappointment.
Look, we all knew that 'Iron Man 3' was going to make a whole bunch of money and open at number one at the box office and kick the summer movie season off in style. The question was never "Is 'Iron Man 3' going to make any money?", the question was always "What absolutely absurd amount is 'Iron Man 3' going to make in its opening weekend?"
Tom Cruise and science fiction are a powerful combination. Although the opening weekend of 'Oblivion' didn't break any records big or small, it's a more than solid start for a non-franchise, non-sequel, non-reboot. That's a sad statement on the current state of Hollywood, but that's another topic for another day.
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