Although you'd think people would spend the holidays in their homes catching up with their families and what-not, they actually tend to go to the movies after opening gifts and having awkward conversations. And Christmas Day moviegoers had a bunch of options this week, with recent releases (and not-so-recent releases) still going strong and a whole bunch of new releases arriving to coincide with the holiday.
2014 looks like it will be a big year for the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise, with a fifth film hitting around Halloween and the intriguing spinoff, 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,' arriving in a week. We don't know much about 'Paranormal Activity 5,' but we do know plenty about the spinoff, which takes this increasingly complicated found-footage saga of demons and possession to a Latino neighborhood. Two new clips have arrived from the film, and if you're looking for more of the same, you'll be very pleased.
The return of Ron Burgundy and his news team has been positioned as a big, huge deal. 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' has been marketed more than any major release this month and everyone just assumed that the film would effortlessly snag massive box office numbers thanks purely to saturation (on top of the fact that the original is quite beloved). So it must sting a little for Paramount to see the film open in second place and it must sting even more once they compare the opening numbers to the opening of the first film from 2004.
It's a situation that virtually every couple with a healthy, long term relationship has faced. You and your loved one go home to visit the family and find yourself forced to sleep in your childhood room, most likely on the tiny twin bed that was barely tolerable when you were half your current size. Since this is a 'SNL' sketch, this predicament takes the form of music video, where the ladies of the show invite their men for some sexy time on a bed that has no business being the location of an, uh, adult encounter.
Few guest performers seem to get 'SNL' quite like Justin Timberlake, who has a wonderful habit of showing up on the stage and creating classic sketches and characters with seemingly no effort. In most cases, he would easily overshadow the actual guest host, but when that guest host is show alum (and current late night superstar) Jimmy Fallon, there is less overshadowing and more comedic awesomeness.
On paper, 'The Other Woman' sounds like the set-up for a low key domestic drama: Cameron Diaz plays a woman who realizes that the man in her life is already married. However, the trailer for the film immediately takes this premise in a very different direction, as Diaz and the spurned wife (Leslie Mann) team up to take down the lying man in their lives.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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