Recap of movies in 2015

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There some movies that surprised us both good and bad. Some of the movies that we had expected to make millions at the box office, underperformed, like Mockingjay part 2, Fantastic Four, and Pan. The good surprises came from The Martian, Straight Outta Compton, and Creed. Each movie had expectations that were made and had a lot of pressure to meet those expectations. The best movies that came out this year were the reboot Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not a big surprise there.

Jurassic World may have surprised some people with its success, but when you add dinosaurs with Chris Pratt, it’s only expected to be successful. The best part is that they redeemed the T-Rex from the first movie (sorry spoiler alert for the five people who haven’t seen it) and were able to get the fans to root for the raptors (BLUE!). Star Wars: The Force Awakens was easily the most anticipated movie of the year and thankfully it lived up to expectations. The movie was able to relate to this generation fans while paying homage to the fans that have loved the series since the 70’s. It’s a timeless story that we will get to see unfold for years to come.

It was a good year for the female director. Both Elizabeth Banks and Sam Taylor-Johnson. Banks, who directed Pitch Perfect 2, and Taylor-Johnson, who directed Fifty Shades of Grey, proved that female directors can make a movie just as good (if not better) as a man can do. They are going to set the road for other female directors in the future. It was the year that women fought for equality in Hollywood which got a lot of attention after Sony’s emails leaked and Jennifer Lawrence wrote a letter in Lena Dunham’s newsletter about how she was underpaid compared to the other actors in the movie American Hustle.

Things are going to be competitive next year with a lot of big name movies set to come out, especially from the comic book universe. There are eight movies set to come out from DC Comics or Marvel. The biggest one is coming in the Spring where Batman V. Superman will face off against Captain America: Civil War at the box office. Captain America has been getting a lot of hype with all the cameos that are expected (plus the introduction of the new Spider-man) but Batman V. Superman is hoping to get the same attention as it tries to match points with Marvel.

Below is the top ten movies that came out in 2015. You can view the total box office for all the movies that came out in 2015 by going here.

10. Spy

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jason Statham, Jude Law
Box office: $110.8 million

One of those not-so-big surprise movies that did well at the box office. The surprise was see Jason Statham in comedic role. He shows that he can be more than just someone who can kill you with his bare hands. But now he can do it so that you want to want to laugh as he does it.

9. Cinderella

Starring: Lily James, Richard Madden, Cate Blanchett, Stellan Skarsgard

Box office: $201.1 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/cinderella-an-enchanting-story-that-pays-homage-to-the-classic

Another surprise, but shouldn’t have been surprisingly, hit from Disney. Cinderella saved Disney in the 1950’s, and maybe once again in movies of this generation. They were able to prove that they can do more than just theme parks and animated movies, but live movies as well.

8. Mockingjay part 2

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland

Box office: $259.3 million (still in theaters)

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/prepare-to-be-blown-away-by-the-hunger-games-finale-mockingjay-pt-2

One of the most anticipated movies of the year may have not reached the expectations at the box office, but it was certainly a satisfying ending for the fans. Yes there were things that things that we wish could have been different, but it still left the fans with the resolution that we wanted.

7. Furious 7

Starring: Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez

Box office: $353 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/review-furious-7-one-last-ride-for-paul-walker

This was a bittersweet movie for the fans of the series. We got to say good-bye to Paul Walker while honoring him in his last movie. The movie made everyone cried during the credits (you are lying if you say you didn’t). But more than that, it reminded us that there is more to life than fast cars and money, but friendship and family. Which has been a theme for the movie since day one.

6. Trainwreck

Starring: Amy Schumer, Brie Larson, Bill Hader

Box office: $110 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/amy-schumer-proves-she-s-no-trainwreck

Amy Schumer was one of the many ‘it’ girls of this year. She not only did well with her comedy tour, but her show on Comedy Central as well, winning her first Golden Globe this year. The movie was a hit as well with the fans as it was a nice change of pace to see the roles reversed in this romantic comedy as she is able to relate to not only females, but males as well as both sides struggle with finding love.

5. Inside Out

Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader

Box office: $356 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/inside-out-gives-you-a-bad-case-of-the-feels

Yet another Pixar classic. This movie once again reminds us why Pixar is the master at creating animated movies. They know how to reach deep down inside of you, grab your heart, and rip right out in such a way that has you thanking them for doing it. The movie touched on depression in children, which is relevant to the kids in today’s world.

4. Pitch Perfect 2

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow

Box office: $184.4 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/pitch-perfect-2-bellas-prove-that-sequels-can-be-as-good-as-the-original

This was a surprise his, for me at least. I was weary with the sequel as many people are with movies that they love (look at the sequel for Mean Girls). Sometimes trying to capture lightening in a bottle twice can leave you burned. This time it worked out for the girls and it may have a lot to do with Elizabeth Banks as the director. She kept the focus on the girls and the music. The movie had a lot of heart and of course those pesky quotes that we like to integrate to everyday life.

3. The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson

Box office: $459 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/review-the-avengers-age-of-ultron-bigger-and-better-then-the-first

The Avengers changed the way that superhero movies are made and it did it again in this movie. The stakes were higher, but the movie was able to reach all the stakes with no problem. While the movie may not have done as well as the first one (with all the records that one broke) it did well with the fans, and that’s really where it counts.

2. Jurassic World

Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio

Box office: $652.2 million

Review: http://www.examiner.com/review/jurassic-world-is-a-fun-ride-that-everyone-will-enjoy

Initially, fans of the original Jurassic Park were nervous about the reboot. With good reason. Have you seen the history of reboots? This movie was able to prove that yes, sometimes reboots are a great idea. Especially when that reboot has Chris Pratt. He was this year’s ‘it’ boy for movies and proved that with his role in this movie. It did so well that is was able to get a sequel in the works so prepare for more Chris Pratt and dinosaurs.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Starring: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford

Box office: $391 million (still in theaters)

Everyone in the world and their mother went to see this movie. At least once. Some more than others. People camped out weeks in advance so that they could get the best seat in the theater, all wanting to be one of the first ones to see the movie. And they were not disappointed. The movie sits as one of the highest ratings of the series and looks like it sparked a new generation of fans for the series.

What was your favorite movie from this year

 

Record breaking weekend for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

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It was a history in the making this weekend as the seventh episode for Star Wars, Force Awakens, came out this week. This was the most anticipated movie ever since that it was announced that there would be a new episode. Fans came out in droves to see it not only once, but multiple times this weekend. It shows as the movie not only shatters records but the sets the bar so high that it may not be reached again.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens brings in a whopping $238 million in the first weekend. This beats out the other big movie to come out this year, Jurassic World’s, opening weekend by about $30 million. This is not the first record that the movie broke this week. Thursday, it broke the advance screening sales and also the highest single-day box office. And it’s only getting started. The movie goes on to break more records besides opening box office. The movie is the fastest to $100 million, $150 million, and $200 million. The record was previously held by Jurassic World for all three categories. At this pace, it should become the highest box office in movie history because you know that fans are not going to stop seeing it over and over again. Especially with it’s almost perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Despite the biggest movie of the decade coming out this weekend, the other two new movies did well with both of them reaching double digits at the box office. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip did well despite its lack of enthusiasm from the fans bringing in an estimated $14.4 million. The comedy from SNL alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did well in Sisters bringing an estimated $13.4 million in the opening weekend.

Rounding out the top five is Mockingjay part 2 with an estimated $5.6 million. It looks like it’s going to fall short of the $300 million mark making it the lowest box office total for the series. Creed enjoys its Golden Globes nomination as it brings in an estimated $5 million over the weekend. It should cross the $100 million mark by the end of its run. For the rest of the box office, you can go here.

There is a laundry list of movies set to come out on Christmas this week, but Hateful Eight and Joy are the ones that might draw the biggest crowds. Star Wars is most likely going to be the top of the box office for a little while now, probably not leaving until Deadpool comes out in February.

What movie did you see this weekend?

‘Krampus’ almost beats out ‘Mockingjay part 2’ for the top of the box office

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There was only one major movie coming out this week and it wasn’t expected to do that well, but it was almost able to beat out the latest Hunger Games movie. The movie did surprisingly well and how surprisingly high reviews for a horror Christmas film.

Mockingjay part 2 is able to hold and three-peat at the top of the box office with its estimated $18.6 million. The movie is now pass the $200 million mark, making it the 8th movie to go over that threshold. It’s unlikely that it will reach $300 million, especially with the release of the latest Star Wars movie coming out soon. This would also make it the lowest box office for the franchise, which comes at a surprise as many expected it to be breaking records.

The new movie, Krampus, gave Mockingjay part 2 a run for its money. The movie was able to bring in an estimated $16 million in the first weekend. The movie did surprisingly well despite the fact it’s a horror film and had many fans liking the fact that that it was a different kind of Christmas movie.
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Creed is continuing to do well with an estimated $15.54 million with The Good Dinosaur and Spectre rounding out the top five with an estimated $15.51 million and $5.4 million respectively. For the rest of the box office, you can go here.

There is only one big name movie coming out this week. Ron Howard’s latest epic movie, The Heart of the Sea is coming out and may give Mockingjay part 2 a run for the top of the box office, especially since it hasn’t been doing so well.

What movie did you see this weekend?

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‘Creed’ and ‘The Good Dinosaur’ fall during Thanksgiving weekend at the box office

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‘Creed’ and ‘The Good Dinosaur’ fall during Thanksgiving weekend at the box officeThere were two big name movies that were set to come out this week and both movies had a chance to grab the top spot. Mockingjay part 2 is not getting the box office that was predicted leaving the title for top movie wide open this Thanksgiving weekend. Both new movies gave it a strong push, but were not able to grab the top spot.

Mockingjay part 2 repeats at the top of the box office with $51.6 million at the box office. The movie is creeping towards the $200 million mark but it’s unlikely to reach the $300 million mark especially with the lineup of movies coming out in December. Unlike the other series, this would have Mockingjay part 2 have the lowest box office in the series which is usually the movie that has the highest.

The two new movies to come out where the new Disney movie, The Good Dinosaur, which premiered with $39.1 million, just beating out the other new movie. The latest Rocky movie, Creed, impressed with its $30.1 million opening and strong reviews. The Good Dinosaur holds a 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Creed holds an astounding 92%, both better than at 71%.

the good dinosaur

Rounding out the top five is going to be Spectre with $12.8 million and The Peanuts Movie with $9.7 million. Both movies are over the $100 million mark but are likely to remain around the spots that they are now. For the rest of the box office you can go here.

This week we start the movies coming out in December and it’s going to be a doozy of a month. Not only is the new Star Wars movie set to come out, but also a whole slew of Oscar contenders. This week we get two movies that are a little unexpected. The horror Christmas film, Krampus, won’t likely do well, and neither will the latest adaptation of Macbeth. Mockingjay part 2 is likely to 3-peat unless The Good Dinosaur and Creed make a strong surge this week.

What movie did you see this weekend?

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‘Mockingjay pt 2’ creeps over $100 million to dominate box office

mockingjay pt 2

There were three movies that were set to come out this weekend, but it was really one movie that was on everybody’s minds. The final Hunger Games movie, Mockingjay part 2, had a lot of expectations this weekend, but was unable to reach that high standard that was set by the previous three movies. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t by the end of its run.

Mockingjay part 2 premiered over the $100 million mark, which is only the 5th movie to do that this year, with an estimated $101 million. The $101 million opening is the lowest of the series, even though it had the highest expectations. It also holds the lowest approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes for the series at 71% and it makes you start to wonder if the movie is not going to live up to the expectations.

The other two new movies to come out this week are the new Christmas movie with Seth Rogen called The Night Before called $10.1 million and The Secret in their Eyes with an estimated $6.6 million. These two movies did what they could to give Mockingjay part 2 a run for it’s money, but were unable to do so.

night before

Spectre falls from the top spot, but brings in an estimated $14.6 million. With everyone flooding to the movies to see Mockingjay, there is a dramatic drop for the third week. While James Bond is a household name, the movie is having a hard time making money. It’s not likely that it will reach its $245 million budget. The Peanuts Movie brought in an estimated $12.8 million over the weekend and should cross over the $100 million mark this week. For the rest of the box office, you can go here.

Mockingjay part 2 has some competition this week as Disney’s latest movie The Good Dinosaur is set to come out on Thanksgiving. Even if Mockingjay does win this week, it will be short lived as the new Star Wars movie is set to come out at the beginning of December.

What movie did you see this weekend?

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Review: ‘Mockingjay pt 2’ – Katniss prepares the rebels for the final battle with Snow

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The time is finally upon where we get to see the finale of the world-wide phenomenon The Hunger Games. Mockingjay Part 2 has promised to tie up all the loose ends that the series has created and give us a feeling of peace as the war between Katniss and Snow takes head. There is a final battle between what is right and wrong as we get to see who the real people are of these characters that we have come to known.

There is no right or wrong way to begin this review. As a fan of the book, it’s hard to separate the feelings of what you expect and what actually shows up on the screen. Of course, there are going to be differences. It’s hard to make an adaptation and have every single thing from the book in it. With the final book being split into two movies, they had the luxury of time to really tell the ending of the story. Like with Harry Potter, it was a good decision.

The final movie, while it focused a lot on the war, also showed the ugly side of it. Countless lives are lost, both those of the war and innocent ones. As Katniss gets knee deep into the war, she finds that she sees the true character of those around her and it makes her question everything that she knows. It is time of turmoil that people’s true colors appear.

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The story takes center stage, as it should. It touches on a lot of issues that we have in our world today. This movie once again proves just why it should be watched and understood fully. Yes, it has its moments of ‘cinematic adventure’ but don’t let that overshadow the point of the story. It’s meant to make us see how self-destructive we can be towards each other and the kind of disastrous world it can be with war. It’s imperative now more than ever to take the theme of this movie to heart and really embrace it.

Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson once again step up their games in this movie. By far, it was Hutcherson’s best acting in a movie I have ever seen. We got to see the character of Peeta transform from that caring, sweet, beautiful soul into a broken shamble mess. What makes it so perfect is that it’s not over the top. It’s the right kind of torment that we see in the book and your heart breaks as he tries to figure out who he is. Lawrence of course, is flawless as Katniss. It is a role she was born to play and once again proves why she was the perfect cast for the movie.

There were other glimmer spotlights for a lot of the other actors in the film. Sam Claflin had a very heartbreaking scene in the movie as Finnick and Jena Malone steals the few scenes that she is in. Donald Sutherland, like Lawrence, proves why he is a perfect cast as Snow and becomes that villain that we all hate.

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Director Francis Lawrence outdoes himself in this movie with the CGI and graphics. Of course this movie has all those amazing things, but Lawrence does a great job at mixing the backstory in with what’s going on right now. He is able to give the story a full circle feel. You get to see the story from all angles and there is no emphasis one part of the story over the other. He uses images to show the story instead of just words, even though author Suzanne Collins’s words are beautiful.

You would be hard-pressed to find a series that is as powerful as this one is. This one isn’t just about the entertainment of things blowing up, but more about the story. The movie is far beyond just a story of a young girl volunteering to save her sister, but more about standing up for what’s right and never accepting anything less.

Mockingjay Part 2 stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Willow Shields, Jena Malone, Natalie Dormer, and Elden Henson and is rated PG-13. You can view the movie in IMAX theaters and regular theaters everywhere.

What did you think of the movie?

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