Archive for the ‘Leonardo Dicaprio’ Category

Weekend Preview: Moviegoers Will Get Lost On Shutter Island

February 19, 2010

TBOJ is back in full force today, and it should stay that way for a while!  The video may be late, but I’m all done playing catch up.  This week, we only have one new film coming out, and that’s the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese picture Shutter Island, which should nab the top spot at the box office pretty easily.  To see my prediction for Shutter Island, as well as the rest of the Top 5, check out the video above.  Then, click below to see my full box office predictions for this weekend!

Box Office Predictions for February 19-21, 2010
Rank Movie Theaters Predicted Gross
1 Shutter Island 2,991 $31 million
2 Valentine’s Day 3,665 $24 million
3 Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief 3,396 $20 million
4 Avatar 2,581 $18 million
5 The Wolfman 3,223 $15 million
6 Dear John 3,062 $8 million
7 Tooth Fairy 2,523 $4.4 million
8 Crazy Heart 1,089 $4.3 million
9 From Paris With Love 2,311 $3.8 million
10 Edge Of Darkness 2,118 $3.3 million

Ridley Scott And Leonardo DiCaprio To Show Us A "Brave New World"

August 6, 2009

The official announcement for an adaption of Aldous Huxley’s classic novel Brave New World came out today, a year after the project was first brought up. Ridley Scott, who we recently discovered would be returning to the Alien franchise, is set to direct and it seems highly likely that Leonardo Dicaprio will be involved somehow, probably as the lead character…

Brave New World
is one of my favorite novels, and I consider it one of the most important books for people to read in their lifetime. So if you are currently reading Twilight, or even something worthwhile like Harry Potter, it would probably be more beneficial to yourself and society to read Brave New World, if you haven’t already.

It’s a fascinating read, a harrowing tale about the horrifying Utopian future that might befall humanity. It shows a world where science has reached it’s peak, obliterating the need for things like ‘religion’ or ‘sexual reproduction.’ The former is replaced by drug binges with hallucinogens used to evoke euphoric feelings, as meaningless chants and hymns are sung, all culminating in a group orgy. The latter is done in science labs and test tubes, where one egg can be used to creat up to 96 new beings grown in bottles. During incubation, the young fetuses are treated to be born into one of five different castes, which will designate what they will do in life. The Alpha cast do the more intelligent work, the Epsilons do the most basic. There is no jealousy between castes; they all receive the same amount of food, housing, and soma (the hallucinogen used to keep the populace in control).

Consumerism is king, and it’s not only consumerism of objects. Sex is rampant and undisclosed, though only for recreation. As stated, a desire for reproduction or a family are what is considered ‘pornographic.’ People have many sexual partners, and even go to movies called ‘feelies,’ which are essentially porn films that give the audience the sensations involved (much like the ‘talkies’ gave the audience the sensation of hearing at the time this book was written).

Alexis du Tocqueville wrote of ‘Soft Despotism’ in his famous treatise Democracy in America, and I see a lot of it in Brave New World, and early signs of it in modern society. This book, and hopefully it’s corresponding film, will make you think about the world we live in, what is important, and what sort of existence is ideal.

I’m Intrigued: Shutter Island Preview

June 12, 2009

This film looks pretty awesome. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m definitely interested. My personal prediction is that Leo is the 67th prisoner and that he’s insane, or that he becomes the 67th. Either way he’s shi-tout-a-luck. Director Martin Scorsese(who has mastered the dark film) teams up once more with Leonardo Dicaprio, so I expect this to be a thoughtful and exciting flick. It will be released October 2nd.

Oscar Bait Roundup: Slumdog Millionaire Is Not In The Slums Anymore

December 30, 2008

I’m not sure if you are aware, but I’m not a fan of the Academy Awards. They’re pretentious and self-important, and they often award films that are truly depressing and pessimistic. This would all be forgivable if the actual awards show were at least entertaining, but no- The Oscars Awards is the single most boring, drawn-out telecast on TV each year (and that includes American Idol results shows). By the time they finally arrive, at the very end of Awards Season, you can already predict each and every winner, and I think the fact that everybody fawns over them so much makes me dislike them a little bit, as well. That’s not to say that many of the films that are rewarded are not good, I just find The Academy to be an extremely overrated entity.

But oh well, I’m a box office blogger, and I’m committed to serving you with analysis about how much money movies are making, and whether or not I care, The Oscars (and other awards shows) definitely mater when it comes to how much money a movie makes. If you need an example, look to 2004’s Million Dollar Baby or 2007’s Juno, two films that never could have broken the $100 million barrier without the awards boost. It works the other way around too. Oscar voters can’t vote on movies that they haven’t seen, so earning more at the box office can definitely contribute to a movie’s chances at a nomination and win. Because of these factors, I thought it might be useful to delve into the performance of the current releases that have been labeled as front-runners in the Oscar race. All of these films, with the very notable exception of Benjamin Button, are either in limited release or in the process of expanding.

Among Oscar bait, the most impressive performance may look like David Fincher’s The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, which certainly had a great opening weekend, but that film came with Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, and a ton of promotion. To me, when I look at this weekend’s numbers, I am without a doubt most impressed by Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. Even after expanding into a release of 614 theaters, it was still able to to earn a fantastic per theater average of $7,006. When you consider the fact that Slumdog Millionaire has been playing for seven weeks, that number is even more amazing. Meanwhile, films like The Reader, Milk, and Frost/Nixon are newer and have lower theater counts, but still have smaller per theater averages. Now, these films aren’t doing poorly, they just aren’t having the kind of Cinderella run that Slumdog Millionaire is having. To be clear, audiences are in love with this movie, its reviews are amazing, and it’s chugging along at the box office. I attribute a lot of its success to the fact that it has a happy ending. People love seeing an awards-caliber film that leaves them feeling hopeful and happy, and Fox Searchlight (who was distributing Juno this time last year) understands that. I wish it all the success in the world.

On the complete other end of the spectrum is Revolutionary Road, a movie about miserable people being miserable. The reunion of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio is attractive, and enough for a great opening gross from just three theaters, but the story will limit its potential tremendously, both awards-wise (not even Oscar-voters are that depressed, but I expect some acting nods) and financially. Meanwhile, there’s The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky’s critically beloved film starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei. This movie falls somewhere between Slumdog Millionaire and Revolutionary Road in terms of tone and box office potential. Even with incredible reviews, I think the story may be a bit too sad for this to truly break out, but the ultimately heroic spirit of Mickey Rourke’s super-buzzy performance will keep earning this one earning money at a slow burn for some time. It’s started off very strongly. Finally, Clint Eastwood’s drama Gran Torino has started off very strongly, but its reviews have not been as good as everyone was expecting. It will be interesting to see whether its massive buzz can overcome reviews that, for Eastwood, are just “okay.” In conclusion, even though I’m still looking for Wall-E to take Best Picture, here are the weekend’s results for what I’m calling Oscar bait:


Oscar-Seeking Titles for December 26-28 2008

# Movie Title Wk 3-Day Gross
Theaters PTA Total RT Reviews
3 The Curious Case
Of Benjamin Button
1 $26,853,816 2,988 $7,457 $38,725,647 73%
10 Doubt 3 $5,339,742 1267 $4,214 $8,484,863 76%
13 Slumdog Millionaire 7 $4,301,870 614 $7,006 $19,476,395 94%
15 Gran Torino 3 $2,322,781 84 $27,652 $4,220,824 73%
16 Milk 5 $1,762,638 311 $5,668 $13,533,585 93%
18 Frost/Nixon 4 $1,355,186 205 $6,611 $3,539,426 90%
21 The Reader 3 $664,013 116 $5,724 $1,243,690 57%
22 The Wrestler 2 $387,530 18 $21,529 $907,631 98%
28 Revolutionary Road 1 $189,911 3 $63,304 $189,911 68%
30 Rachel Getting Married 13 $131,440 65 $2,022 $10,017,383 87%

What do you think about the Academy Awards? Do they matter to you, or do judge movies for yourself? Is anyone with me on the Wall-E train? Be a critic in the comments!