Mockingjay Part 2 Fell Victim to Blockbuster Fatigue, and Anyone Could

23 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Last ‘Hunger Games’ opens to franchise low of $101 million.

The final Hunger Games film, Mockingjay — Part 2, has soared to a 101 million dollar (£66.6 million) opening in its first weekend in US cinemas, according to studio estimates.Katniss Everdeen may have come out on top of the weekend box office with an estimated $101 million in domestic ticket sales, but the new “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” fell short of industry expectations and, unlike the “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” young-adult juggernauts, her “Hunger Games” finale fell far short of other films in the franchise. For most films, the figure would be a coup, but the latest chapter of The Hunger Games collected the lowest opening take among the four movies in the series, Rentrak revealed. The final film in the science-fiction franchise debuted to $101 million, but even that massive figure wasn’t as big a sendoff for Katniss Everdeen and her fellow revolutionaries as some had predicted.

The franchise, starring Jennifer Lawrence, kicked off with a bang in March 2012 with a massive 152.5 million dollar (£100.6 million) weekend — one of the highest openings of all time. The bow ranks as the year’s fifth biggest opening, but it falls short of tracking that projected the picture would top $120 million in its initial weekend in theaters. Investors in Lionsgate, the studio behind the series, reacted negatively to news that “Mockingjay – Part 2″ would miss projections, sending the company’s stock down more than 3% on Friday. The overall franchise has grossed over $2 billion worldwide and counting,” said David Spitz, co-president of theatrical distribution for Lionsgate. “It’s a pretty phenomenal result.” Dergarabedian attributes the showing to a down marketplace.

Just two weekends ago, “Spectre,” which fell to second place this week with $14.6 million, failed to live up to the domestic opening of “Skyfall,” the previous James Bond film. Even though some of those markets were affected by the fallout of terrorist attacks in Paris, Spitz said the film is performing on par compared to the previous films. “We’re having a great weekend,” Spitz said. “It’s nice to be able say we are one of only 34 films to have ever had an opening weekend over $100 million.” About 70 percent of critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a positive rating. With $12.8 million, “The Peanuts Movie” finished behind “Spectre” and ahead of the Seth Rogen holiday comedy “The Night Before,” which earned an expected $10.1 million. Opening early seemed like a really good prelude to the Thanksgiving weekend where it will expand beautifully,” said Rory Bruer, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution. “It’s a good start for us.” The Julia Roberts thriller “The Secret in Their Eyes,” a remake of the Oscar-winning Argentinian film, debuted wide this weekend to $6.6 million from 2,392 locations — slightly under expectations. The movie, which cost an estimated $160 million to make, still is the fifth-highest opening film of the year so far, behind Universal’s “Jurassic World” ($208.8 million), Disney’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” ($191.3 million), Universal’s “Furious 7” ($147.2 million) and Universal’s “Minions” ($115.7 million).

Sony’s new buddy Christmas comedy “The Night Before” with Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie was no match for Katniss – or James Bond or Charlie Brown. Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer noted that there won’t be another mainstream comedy in the marketplace until Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s “Sisters” debuts on Dec. 16. The Weinstein Co.’s “Carol,” the period love story starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in acclaimed lead performances, debuted strongly on only four screens in New York and Los Angeles for a per-screen average topping $62,000 – the highest of the week. “We’re really pleased with it,” said Erik Lomis, the studio’s theatrical distribution president. “The reviews have been pretty spectacular and people really like the film.” “Carol” will expand in limited release through December, Lomis said. Still performing well is “Spotlight,” director Tom McCarthy’s drama about the Boston Globe’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of priest sexual abuse. It cost $19.5 million to produce, and is the latest in a string of films pitched at adult audiences such as “By the Sea” and “Steve Jobs,” to whiff at the box office this fall.

It was the only holdover in the top 10 to post a week-to-week increase – of 166 percent – partly due to its addition of more than 500 screens and building buzz about its awards-season prospects. Next week arrivals at the multiplex include Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” and the Warner Bros. “Rocky” spinoff “Creed” starring Michael B.

The latest Bond adventure added $14.6 million to its $153.7 million domestic haul, nabbing second place on the charts. “The Peanuts Movie” finished third, picking up $12.8 million to push its stated total to $98.9 million.

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Finding the ‘Joy’ in Jennifer Lawrence

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Joy’ review: Jennifer Lawrence cleans up in enjoyable biopic.

Writer-director David O. Their latest collaboration — following in the footsteps of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle — is a biographical picture about the life and times of Joy Mangano.Jennifer Lawrence groans when she’s asked about singing the classic Nancy and Frank Sinatra duet Something Stupid with co-star Edgar Ramirez in her new film Joy. “David [O Russell, the movie’s director] texted me last night to ask if he could put it on the soundtrack and this is what I texted him back,” the actor says as she digs around for her mobile phone and reads out her response verbatim. “‘David, no!!!’ and it is three exclamation marks.In a very abbreviated nutshell, that actually happened to Joy Mangano, 59, the fabulously successful Long Island entrepreneur/inventor and HSN pitchwoman whose rags-to-riches journey started with the invention of a mop.

Russell has made three kinds of movies: offbeat romances (“Flirting With Disaster”), surreal comedies (“I Heart Huckabees”) and dramas about dysfunctional yet appealing families (“The Fighter”). In real life, Mangano is the Long Island housewife and inventor who became famous and eventually rich after bouts of near-bankruptcy, by creating and marketing her Miracle Mop. Out Boxing Day in Australia, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence in the fictionalised life story of Joy Mangano, a single mum from Long Island who made her fortune selling a mop. On Christmas Day, “Joy,” a movie inspired by her struggles as a divorced, single mother turned mogul by way of that mop, will open at movie theaters across America.

This was before she hooked up with the giant Home Shopping Network, becoming their most effective pitch person and eventually selling her parent company, Ingenious Designs, to HSN. Gross, I can’t listen to it; I have to go to bed.’ And I said yes, but it’s a groaning, reluctant yes.” It’s the kind of unfiltered moment you come to expect when interviewing Lawrence, who may now be one of the most famous actors on the planet but still blurts out whatever she’s thinking with such self-deprecating charm it’s impossible not to be, well, charmed.

Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Miracle Mop inventor and QVC pitchwoman Joy Mangano glues the movie together, but it threatens to unravel at any time. Lawrence, 25, looks genuinely surprised when complimented about how unchanged she seems from our earlier interviews before the fame and Oscars. “But there would be no reason to change,” she says with a shrug. “I just have a job and I love my job. In the film, Lawrence’s Mangano is a colourful character, a single mom with a unique relationship and friendship with her ex-husband, and an enterprising woman who parlays her creativity into an incredibly successful business.

Mom (Virginia Madsen) stays in her bedroom and watches soap operas, until she falls for a Haitian plumber (Jimmy Jean-Louis) who fixes a hole in her bedroom floor. She landed minor roles on TV shows such as Monk, Cold Case and Medium before her 2010 indie film Winter’s Bone led to her becoming the second youngest best actress Oscar nominee in history. This is true even when the film tilts off its rocker with a bit of Russell-esque madness built into the screenplay, and with the director failing to always keep the energy going. That resulted in not only a string of critically acclaimed films, an Academy Award and another Oscar nomination, but also her very own mega-franchise as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.

Joy’s grandma (endearing Diane Ladd) delivers messages of empowerment and smooths over constant fights, but she’s opposed by the money-grubbing rich woman (Isabella Rossellini) who dates Joy’s dad and sends negative messages about her. Lawrence’s endearing habit of speaking her mind resulted in a controversial essay she penned on Lena Dunham’s website about her discovery during the Sony hacks that she was being paid less “than the lucky people with dicks” on her recent films, including American Hustle. “I completely understand when people say actors shouldn’t talk about politics and things they don’t know about, but this was my gender at stake and it was being threatened with unfairness and I thought, ‘What is the point of having this voice if it’s not to speak out for myself and for everyone else who can’t?’,” she says unapologetically.

Upon learning that Lawrence would be playing her mom, Miranne says, “I braced myself so I wouldn’t fall on the floor.” As for Mangano, she says Lawrence playing her “made me feel old, number one. Lawrence hangs out with a posse of celebrity girlfriends, including Amy Schumer and singer Adele, but the reason is simple. “The friendship gets expedited a lot when you meet someone you know beyond a shadow of a doubt has no agenda,” she says. Draining her savings and taking out loans, she started off small, selling her mops to local boat owners. “She persuaded QVC to take a thousand, but sales were poor and they tried to send them back,” says Mason. “She suggested letting her demonstrate it herself, and the channel agreed.” Sales skyrocketed and Mangano’s career as a QVC pitch woman was launched. That’s so amazing there aren’t even words.” Mangano and her three children didn’t view “Joy” until the Dec. 13 premiere in Manhattan, though a family outing to see “Trainwreck” included a trailer.

This is, after all, the self-confessed reality-show junkie who confessed in a recent Vogue interview that on the night of her 25th birthday party, friends surprised her with a visit from reality queen Kris Jenner, who presented her with a cake inscribed, ‘Happy Birthday, you piece of shit!’ The only time she seems tongue-tied is when asked about her relationship status, after a four-year stint with X-Men: First Class co-star Nicholas Hoult and a year with Coldplay singer Chris Martin before their breakup earlier this year. “Next!” Lawrence says in a no-nonsense voice, pausing as she decides if she’ll continue that thought. For one thing, Mangano’s childhood is not that interesting for a film, despite some flashbacks to her as a youngster (when she is played by 10-year-old Isabella Cramp, who does actually look like we imagine Lawrence could have at the same age). A satire on the acquisitiveness of the public? (Here, QVC foists unnecessary things on gullible viewers who could better save their money.) Russell doesn’t seem to know. And, of course, the grave ending would be a lie: Mangano is very much alive at the age of 59, still inventing, still pitching products, still a superstar of the American home shopping universe. There’s the Clothes It All luggage system, essentially a rolling suitcase with a removable garment bag, and the Super Chic vacuum, which releases fragrance into the air.

If I even casually say something to a reporter, that quote haunts me for the rest of my life,” she says, “so I am never, ever, ever talking about boys again!” I don’t think any of us brought enough tissues!” A good portion of the film was shot last winter in Boston, and though the always-busy Mangano was twice scheduled to visit the set, snowstorms made travel impossible. He has mixed genres successfully before, as in the anti-war comedy-drama “Three Kings,” but the blender often grinds to a halt in “Joy.” Just as we’re getting used to the realism of Mangano’s fight for respect, Russell photographs Rossellini as if she were a gargoyle.

One of her creations, the thin and velvet-covered Huggable Hanger, remains a bestseller for HSN, at more than 300 million sold, and was endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Yet in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Cooper, De Niro and Russell all supported her with fine work; here they lay back and make the movie a one-ring circus where she has to be acrobat, bareback rider and clown.

He had a presence all of his own.” At one point, Miranne says, “Jennifer grabbed Joy’s hand and said to David, ‘Look at the nails, a French manicure.’ ” (That manicure is a Mangano signature.) Lawrence revealed that in studying for her part as Joy, she watched recordings of the inventor’s early pitches on HSN, including ones for “Huggable Hangers” and found her so compelling that she wanted to buy them on the spot. There is something special when creative people get together.” Mangano’s take on Lawrence? “She’s beyond her years, so brilliant, hysterical and so talented.

Critically, Russell’s sense of wonder and beauty turns elegiac moments — especially when Joy Mangano becomes fully realized as a woman and as a business executive — into scenes of great beauty. Lawrence recently said on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” that the movie was “half Joy Mangano’s story and half [Russell’s] imagination and other powerful, strong women who inspired him.” The director mined much of his Mangano material by phone.

The cast includes Edgar Ramirez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Susan Lucci (in a mock TV soap opera that gives Joy some of its silliness) and even Melissa Rivers as her late mother Joan Rivers. There’s no situation Joy cannot overcome or circumvent.” At a Newsday photo shoot at Mangano’s luxurious but serene 42,000-square-foot mansion on 11 acres in St. As for parting advice for the ambitious? “If this movie inspires even just one more person to believe in themselves and to go after their dreams, then it’s made a very special impact in this world.

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