As is often the case, the weirdest sketch from last night's 'SNL' season premiere was easily the funniest in the entire show. The latest in Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney's series of truly strange sketches and shorts, the scene is an exacting parody of lousy '90s television that sidesteps all obvious jokes in favor of making fun of a very specific kind of TV show.
You don't have to be a sports fan to know that the NFL has come under fire in recent weeks for how it has handled (or failed to handle) its players committing all kinds of heinous crimes. Although this is a very serious matter that has football fans deeply troubled and concerned about the future of their favorite sport, it's certainly not above satire, which is where 'SNL' comes in.
When you have 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star Chris Pratt guest hosting your season premiere of 'SNL,' you find time for a Marvel sketch. Much like how the show poked fun at 'The Avengers' when Jeremy Renner hosted, this episode found a very game Pratt participating in an amusing fake movie trailer that not only made fun of his space opera blockbuster, but Marvel Studios in general.
Young adult movies are big business. 'The Maze Runner' took over the box office this weekend, proving that the audience for films were young people in science fiction dystopias are forced into violent and terrible predicaments extends beyond the 'Hunger Games' franchise.
There actually was a new film released this week. It's called 'The Identical' and it's a Christian-themed fable about what would have happened if Elvis Presley's stillborn twin brother had survived. Well, for reasons that should be obvious after reading that sentence, 'Guardians of the Galaxy' held onto the number one spot this weekend while 'The Identical' opened outside of the top 10, never to be heard from again.
A few weeks ago, this column was skeptical that Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' could reach $300 million. Now, it seems impossible that it won't. Thanks to ecstatic word of mouth, killer marketing and only one genuinely successful box office challenger (that would be 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'), Marvel's oddball space opera has managed to spend three of the past four weekends at the number one spot at the box office, giving it enough momentum to officially become the highest grossing film of 2014.
Just when you think you have a handle on all of the rumors and spoilers for 'The Avengers 2,' a new and intriguing concept rears its head. Yes, it's once again time to play the "Marvel Cinematic Universe Rumor and/or Spoiler" game and this time, it's all about future iterations of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Spoilers ahead, obviously.
A trio of newcomers entered the box office arena this weekend, but two battle-hardened and grizzled champions kept them at bay, holding onto the top two spots and making it look easy. Sorry, newbies: This top 10 still belongs to 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy.'
Up until the day it opened, 'Guardians of the Galaxy' was a big question mark at the box office. Could Marvel Studios continue its winning streak with a movie based on a practically unknown comic series that only has light connections to the rest of the films in their cinematic universe? Early estimates had the film grossing $60 million over the weekend and that would have been perfectly okay. But then it went and eclipsed that estimate
This weekend saw two movies named after their lead characters go head-to-head. In one corner, you have 'Lucy.' In the other, 'Hercules.' If you asked the average person who would win in a battle between Dwayne Johnson and Scarlett Johansson, most would probably side with the guy whose nickname is "The Rock." But the box office this weekend went in a completely different direction.
Despite three very different new challengers, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' continued to rule over the box office this weekend. This doesn't spell disaster for the newcomers, but it does spell further success for the sequel to 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes,' which is riding extremely positive word of mouth to a big box office tally.
Riding a huge wave of strong reviews and even stronger buzz, 'Dawn of the Planet Apes' opened big for a non-superhero, non-Transformers movie, leading a top 10 that's full of just as many hits as misses. How about we just start at the top and work our way through?
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