'Star Trek Into Darkness' beams to the top of the pack
J.J. Abrams’ second entry in the rebooted “Star Trek” franchise had no trouble taking a huge lead in the North American box office this weekend. But even with a whopping $70M haul during its first three days, studio execs seemed disappointed that the new film didn’t have bigger numbers, and critics were hotly divided over the film’s merits. But there has to be rejoicing at Paramount that the younger Kirk, Spock, and gang brought in more than twice of what Tony Stark managed to earn in his film's third week.
“Star Trek Into Darkness,” the #1 film, earned $70.5M (at 3,868 theaters) proving that the franchise is anything but dead, despite some dire predictions by Trekkies who are less than ecstatic about the latest adventure by the Enterprise crew. The #2 film, “Iron Man 3,” was still able to amass $35.1M in its third week (at 4,237 theaters) for a new domestic total of $337M. Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” at #3, added $23.4M (at 3,550 theaters) to its now $90.1M domestic gross. Those top three films are miles ahead of the rest of the movies on our list. The #4 film, “Pain and Gain,” pulled in only $3.1M (at 2,429 theaters) while “The Croods,” at #5, made $2.75M (at 2,373 theaters) for a new domestic total of $176.7M.
The Jackie Robinson drama “42” slipped to #6 in its sixth week, earning $2.73M (at 2,380 theaters) for a domestic gross of $88.7M. At #7, Tom Cruise’s “Oblivion,” earned $2.2M (at 2,077 theaters) and a new domestic total of $85.5M. “Mud” stayed put at #8 this week, earning $2.16M (at only 960 theaters) while “Tyler Perry Presents Peeples” plummeted to #9, with $2.15M in ticket sales (at 2,041 theaters). At #10, “The Big Wedding” brought in $1.1M (at 1,442 theaters) for a domestic total of $20.1M in its fourth week.
As we move closer to summer blockbuster time, we’ll see three big movies open next weekend: the Wolfpack returns to Las Vegas for more crazy antics in “The Hangover Part III,” a motley group of retired criminals reunites for one last job in “Fast & Furious 6,” and a teenage girl tries to save the world in the animated 3D “Epic.”
Enter to win a Blu-ray collection of the great gangster movies, classic and contemporary
Warner Bros. created the modern gangster movie in the early thirties, when they were the kings of high-energy, street-smart filmmaking. The genre remained dear to the studio throughout its history.
They pay tribute the best of their gangster films, yesterday and today, with two Blu-ray box sets: "Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Classics" (Warner) and "Ultimate Gangsters Collection: Contemporary" (Warner). Both debut on Tuesday, May 21.
To celebrate the release, MSN and Warner Home Video are giving away a gift set of both volumes: nine films in two sets.
"Classics" offers the respective Blu-ray debuts of four landmark gangster movies -- "Little Caesar" (1931) with Edward G. Robinson, "The Public Enemy" (1931) with James Cagney, "The Petrified Forest" (1936) with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart, and the incendiary "White Heat" (1949) with Cagney -- plus a bonus DVD with the documentary "Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film."
"Contemporary" collects five films that have previously been released on Blu-ray, including three by Martin Scorsese -- "Mean Streets" (1973), Oscar-nominated "Goodfellas" (1990), and Oscar-winning "The Departed" (2006) -- plus Brian DePalma's "The Untouchables" (1987) with Kevin Costner and Robert DeNiro and Michael Mann's "Heat" (1995) with DeNiro and Al Pacino.
See a clip for "Heat" below.
Enter to win by following these steps:
1. Like MSN Movies on Facebook and Twitter
2. Tweet and comment the following message: I want to win the @MSNMovies #ULTIMATEGANGSTERS giveaway!
3. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following message: I want to win @MSNMovies # ULTIMATEGANGSTERS giveaway!
4. Stay in touch with MSN Movies Facebook to see if you’ve been selected as the winner
Entries are accepted until Monday, May 27. Good luck, MSN Movies fans!
In the meantime, enjoy a clip from "Heat" after the jump. Click on "More" below.
Yay for divorce, poverty and suicide!
And much more in Videodrone's first monthly round-up of documentary and non-fiction releases
"Mel Brooks: Make a Noise" (Shout! Factory), the new profile of the legendary writer / director / actor / producer / all around funnyman from filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg, premieres on the PBS arts showcase "American Masters" on Monday, May 20, and debuts on DVD the next day. "A raconteur of the first order, Brooks is also gifted with near-total recall, and a wit that hasn’t ebbed with the passage of time," writes Variety TV critic Brian Lowry. "In Robert Trachtenberg’s film, Brooks concedes every bad review is like “a knife through your heart.” In savoring this valentine, that organ and every other can rest easy."
Shout! Factory has been doing right by Brooks, with its deluxe five-disc set "The Incredible Mel Brooks" (featuring some other standout documentaries and specials on Brooks) released in 2012. This joins the ongoing tribute, and the disc features bonus segments filmed for but not included in the documentary.
"Citizen Hearst" (HBO) profiles William Randolph Hearst, the legendary media mogul and yellow journalist, and the empire that continues on in his wake. "Sometimes "Citizen Hearst" feels as breezy and electric as the newsreels Hearst pioneered," observes Village Voice film critic Alan Scherstuhl, "other times it feels like the video they'll make you watch during orientation on your first day at 300 West 57th." Leslie Iwerks directs and William H. Macy narrates. DVD, with 30 minutes of bonus footage and the "Heart Castle" episodes of the A&E series "America's Castles."
"Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters" (Zeitgeist) profiles the acclaimed photographer as he worked on his magnum opus, a collection of massive prints he called "Beneath the Roses." "For those unfamiliar with Crewdson’s oeuvre, the docu serves as a delicious eye-opener, while for fans it furnishes an unprecedented look at his long-secret methods, utilizing crews and budgets suitable for independent features, by which his eerily frozen moments of Americana come into being," writes Variety film critic Ronnie Scheib. The DVD includes deleted scenes, bonus interviews, and a Q&A at a screening at LACMA with director Ben Shapiro, Crewdson, and writer Jonathan Lethem.
A superb Robin Wright dominates Ari Folman's trippy Hollywood satire
The Coen Brothers' latest film brings the '60s NYC folk scene back to life with a lot of love
Five features celebrating the glories of French silent cinema
"French Masterworks: Russian Émigrés in Paris 1923-1928" (Flicker Alley) presents of the DVD debut of five silent classics from Film Albatros, a French studio founded by Russian artists: "The Burning Crucible," "Kean," "The Late Mathias Pascal," "Gribiche," and "The New Gentlemen."
Three of the films star Ivan Mosjoukine, the great Russian actor who fled the revolution and landed in Paris, and the other two are directed by Jacques Feyder. All of them are examples of the sophisticated filmmaking coming out of France in the twenties.
Which is not to say that they are all masterpieces -- "The Burning Crucible" (1923), which not only stars Mosjoukine but is written and directed by the actor, is inventive and full of lively images and playful techniques but is all over the place and jumps willy-nilly through styles and episodes -- but they are all tremendously entertaining and full of filmmaking energy. Mosjoukine plays eleven roles in "The Burning Crucible," including the leading role of Detective Z, a man of many disguises, and Mosjoukine the director rolls Russian formalism, German expressionism, and French surrealism together in a simplistic but richly imaginative story that at times borders on craziness of Louis Feuillade's serials of the previous decade.
Mosjoukine also stars in "Kean" (1924) as the great 19th century stage actor Edmund Kean and in "The Late Mathias Pascal" (1926), the fantasy epic directed by Marcel L'Herbier that Flicker Alley released on Blu-ray earlier this year. I reviewed it for Videodrone here.
The final pair of films in the set are from Jacques Feyder.