Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes might have usurped Transformers: Age of Extinction from the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend, but the fourth installment in Michael Bay's rock'em, sock'em robot franchise did hit a very significant milestone. With a hefty $752 million intake, Age of Extinction is now the top grossing film of the year, and just after just three short weeks. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on where your opinion lies on Bay's controversial franchise, but 2014 is far from over. There's still a ton of strong summer and fall films looking to contend for the top spot at the box-office. We've taken the remainder of the big films releasing in 2014 and assessed their chances of outgrossing Transformers: Age of Extinction.
HerculesCan it beat Transformers?: Over the last couple of years, the Rock has blossomed into a full-fledged movie star. The last Fast and Furious movie grossed $789 Million, but this latest Hercules film doesn't have the fast cars or the built-in fan base of the aforementioned franchise. We think Hercules will do well at the box office (if the Rock flexes it, they will come) but there's no possible way the Rock's latest venture will come close to making Transformers money... even though we're pretty sure the Rock could take Optimus Prime in a fist fight.
Guardians of the GalaxyCan it beat Transformers?: Marvel has a lot riding on Guardians of the Galaxy. The studio's galaxy-spanning adventure doesn't have any recognizable heroes in its ranks, and might not have the same box office muscle as something like Iron Man 3 or The Avengers. But even Marvel's safest bets would have trouble toppling the Transformers in 2014. This year's Captian America: The Winter Soldier only took in $712 million at the box-office, falling short of what Transformers made in just a few weeks. But who knows? Maybe the buzz, hype, and the novelty of Marvel's space opera gamble might bring in a huge enough audience... but we wouldn't bet much on it. Like we said, it is a gamble.
Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesCan it beat Transformers?: The Michael Bay produced Turtles reboot will likely do big business just by virtue of having Bay's name on the marquee. It also helps that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are enjoying a huge upswing in popularity thanks to the current animated series running on Nickelodeon. But even with so much going for it, the upcoming Turtles flick still lacks the same media saturation that the Transformers series has. Also, the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film floundered at the box office. This one will likely do better than its predecessor, but no that much better.
The Expendables 3Can it beat Transformers?: Has Sly Stallone sold out? It's hard not to feel that way. The upcoming entry in the heavy hitting Expendables series, which originally promised to bring back the R-rated sensibilities of '80s action movies, has earned a soft ball PG-13. So while The Expendables 3 might lack some of the gory oomph of the earlier films, the toned-down adventure will likely get more teens and tweens into the theater. Will it be enough to beat Transformers? Definitely not, but we wouldn't be surprised if it became the top grossing Expendables film to date.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Can it beat Transformers?: The Hunger Games series is basically a summer blockbuster releasing in November, and the lack of competition plus the huge buzz surrounding the series might be the right cocktail to take out the current box office leader. The last Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, made $158 million on its opening weekend, easily besting the opening for Transformers 4, but the Hunger Games series doesn't quite have the same earning power overseas. Catching Fire made $864 million over its box office lifetime, while Transformes has hit almost $800 million in just a few weeks, thanks to heavy business in China and other places abroad. Mockingjay has a chance, but a slight one.
InterstellarCan it beat Transformers?: Christopher Nolan is perhaps the only director besides Michael Bay that can still attract big box office business based on name alone. The mysterious Interstellar will no doubt attract some deep box office sums, but we're also doubtful that Interstellar's intriguing premise will be enough to beat the known quantity that is Transformers. Nolan's last film, The Dark Knight Rises, made $1.1 billion in theaters, so it's certainly not beyond reason, but that was the capper of a huge franchise about a recognizable comic book hero. We don't think a story about a rural astronaut can outmatch Optimus Prime.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesCan it beat Transformers?: While the domestic earnings for the second Hobbit films left a little to be desired, Peter Jackson's fantasy series does huge business overseas. And those foreign box office receipts boosted Desolation of Smaug to a $958 million gross. Since this will be the last entry in the franchise, we're thinking this might have the best chance of the lot.
Think you're mad about this morning's Emmy Awards nominations? Not as mad as these folks! #CloneClub #Fannibals #EmmySnubs and other angry hashtags took over Twitter and it was glorious.
1. An excellent suggestion...
Someone needs to send in Tatiana Maslany’s episodes next year in an HBO folder.
— Tim Goodman (@BastardMachine) July 10, 2014
2. The #Fannibals got cray.
@paste_tv Emmys deserve to be eaten then. Not sure how much better Hannibal needs to be to get noticed.
— Jo (@Tegan_Jovanka) July 10, 2014
3. In which Tatiany Maslany becomes the new Kanye West.
I honestly feel bad for her! She should Kanye someone's award! Like seriously! #EmmyNoms #TatianaMaslany http://t.co/4FJFhpdm86
— OITNB | Beyond (@OITNB_Beyond) July 10, 2014
4. Sometimes, it just hurts.
@AmyTVGal So many feelings--mostly frustration...
— Mark Rozeman (@Mrozema) July 10, 2014
5. Actually, "stain on the apron" may be the greatest insult of all time.
Don't fret, #Fannibals! Awards don't determine the success of a show, the fans do. The Emmys are just a stain on the apron.
— Hugh Dancy News (@hughdancynews) July 10, 2014
6. For those of you on #TeamFarmiga
and who cares about the emmys @VeraFarmiga is the QUEEN and Norma is craziest mom and beautiful I've seen in my life pic.twitter.com/H4eH8guAoS
— claudia (@bullock_Farmiga) July 10, 2014
7. The guy who played Pastor Tim on The Americans is super-pissed. Right on:
No nominations for #TheAmericans actors?! Seriously?? Ridiculously huge snub. PARTICULARLY the brilliant @MatthewRhys #EmmyNoms #Emmys2014
— Kelly AuCoin (@bklynblazr) July 10, 2014
8. Wait, there are people NOT watching Orphan Black?
If you're wondering why your Twitter feed is blowing up with complaints about Tatiana Maslany getting Emmy-snubbed, watch Orphan Black.
— Josh Jackson (@joshjackson) July 10, 2014
9. Who says you can't get all your anger out in 140 characters or less?
@JarettSays The #Emmys have failed all audiences, tbh. #NoTatiana #NoEmily #NoGoodWife #NonSense
— bruaccioli (@bruaccioli) July 10, 2014
10. Apparently, someone needs to to the #Emmys keys away. Get home safe guys.
GO HOME, EMMYS! YOU'RE DRUNK! #EmmyForMaslany Can't believe she was snubbed AGAIN. Emmys are a officially a waste of time #EmmysChat
— Rachel (@mindgrape) July 10, 2014
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Warner Bros via Everett Collection
Martin Freeman is adamant his fellow Hollywood star Viggo Mortensen is wrong to accuse the makers of The Hobbit trilogy of letting special effects ruin the story.
Mortensen, who played Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings franchise, revealed in an interview in May (14) that he dislikes The Hobbit prequel films because the computer-generated imagery (CGI) is not subtle and overpowers the rest of the movie.
Freeman, who starred as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit series, has now spoken out to defend the films and director Peter Jackson, telling Britain's Seven magazine, "All I can say is: I hope that's not the case. I know Peter and the team who make those films, they'd be horrified to think they'd jettisoned all subtlety."
"Yeah, there's a lot of CGI, an awful lot of that business going on. But they are still very, very interested in the story. They want the human side of it to be absolutely pivotal. Beyond that?...Of course it's a question of taste and I respect Viggo's opinion."
La Toya Jackson has urged fans to "celebrate" the life of her late brother Michael with kind deeds as they mark the fifth anniversary of the King of Pop's death. A host of fan gatherings across the world were held on Wednesday (25Jun14) to mark the sad anniversary, and a candlelight vigil around his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles is planned for Wednesday night, but La Toya insists her younger brother would not have wanted devotees to dwell on his death, and she is encouraging them to enjoy his music - and do something for someone in need instead.
In a statement, she writes, "(Michael was) the most incredible father, brother, son and the most talented performed this world has ever known. If Michael were here today he would tell us to all celebrate his life and not to mourn his death."
She adds, "Michael was all about love and peace and, in honor of my brother, I ask you to please do something kind for someone today, and, blast and dance to all the beautiful music he left us all.
"I will spend the day celebrating his life by listening to his music, looking through old home photos, watching his videos and concerts. Michael I love you forever and if you were here today I know you would say, 'I love you more!'"
Michael Jackson's estate executors, John Branca and John McClain, also noted the anniversary in a statement which reads: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's loved ones today as we remember the kind, gentle and giving spirit who generously shared his amazing artistic gifts with the world along with a limitless empathy for those in need.
"Time has shown that with each passing year the world's appreciation deepens not just for Michael's talent but also for his lifelong passion to spread peace, unity, love and hope across every culture and society. Michael's friendship, kindness, humour and joyful warmth will always be missed. The world is a far better place for having known him."
Michael Jackson's friends, family and fans joined together on Wednesday (25Jun14) to mark five years since the King of Pop's death. The Thriller hitmaker passed away on 25 June, 2009 after suffering an overdose of anaesthetic administered by his doctor, Conrad Murray, who served two years in jail on an involuntary manslaughter charge for his role in the tragedy.
The fifth anniversary of Jackson's death prompted a flood of tributes on social networking websites, with fans across the world sharing their memories of the pop superstar and making #MichaelJackson a trending topic on Twitter.com.
A number of stars also took to the website to mourn the loss of the singer five years on. British supermodel Naomi Campbell shared a picture of herself posing with Jackson with her hands on his face, adding, "I miss you #MJ #RIP with #angels #kingofpop #loyalfriend #legend# #Icon #MichealJackson in our hearts... (sic)."
Rapper/actor Ludacris adds, "R.I.P. The King Of POP M.J."
Jackson's pop star nephews, Taj, Taryll and TJ Jackson, of 3T, were stranded in Europe on the day of the anniversary due to a strike by French air traffic controllers, but they managed to add tributes to their late uncle before boarding a plane back to California to be with their family. Taryll writes, "To my idol, teacher, uncle and best friend... 'I love you more'. #alwaysinmyheart #love #foreverMJJ #bestofalltime (sic)," while his brother TJ, adds, "Not a day goes by where I don't think about him. And today even more so... His smile, his laughter, his walk, everything. Love you, Doo Doo."
The co-executors of Jackson's estate, John Branca and John McClain, also released a statement to mark the fifth anniversary of the singer's passing. The message, posted on Jackson's official website, reads, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's loved ones today as we remember the kind, gentle and giving spirit who generously shared his amazing artistic gifts with the world along with a limitless empathy for those in need. Time has shown that with each passing year the world's appreciation deepens not just for Michael's talent but also for his lifelong passion to spread peace, unity, love and hope across every culture and society. Michael's friendship, kindness, humour and joyful warmth will always be missed. The world is a far better place for having known him."
A number of memorial events are planned around the world on Wednesday - American fans are set to come together for a candlelight vigil around his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, while other gatherings are planned in countries including Spain, Holland and the U.K. Fans are also expected to visit Jackson's childhood home in Gary, Indiana.
"I said to him, 'Don't screw up' and then I said, 'And, you're gonna have money. But you'll only get it if you're good.' He hit his mark every time, he knew his lines better than I did, and he bossed me around...! He had three lines." Actress Poppy Montgomery has turned an upcoming episode of her TV drama Unforgettable into a family affair after landing a small role for her six-year-old son Jackson.
Veteran actress Kathleen Turner's new play Bakersfield Mist has been savaged by critics who branded it "implausible", "phoney", and "too pleased with itself". The new drama, which opened in the West End on Tuesday (27May14), stars Turner as Maude, a trailer park resident who believes she has unearthed a valuable Jackson Pollock painting. She enlists a New York art expert named Lionel, played by Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid, to verify it.
However, the culture-clash show, written by Stephen Sachs, has failed to impress many critics, who found the plot unconvincing and suggested the actors' performances are the only highlight.
Henry Hitching, of the London Evening Standard, writes, "Her (Turner) passionate performance and an enjoyably outrageous one from Ian McDiarmid can't redeem a play that turns a true story into something clunkingly implausible... There are flashes of humour, but despite the strong performances Bakersfield Mist feels very slight."
Charles Spencer, from the Daily Telegraph, echoes the criticism, adding, "Bakersfield Mist, neatly directed by Polly Teale and cleverly designed by Tom Piper, is too slight, and a touch too pleased with itself, to be fully satisfying. But, unlike the dubious picture at the play's heart, the performances are definitely the genuine article."
Mark Shenton, from The Stage, writes, "A play about trying to verify the authenticity of art falls at the first hurdle if it itself feels phoney... The situation here simply beggars belief... I suspect it will quickly fade into the mists of memory."
Bakersfield Mist will run until 30 August (14) at the Duchess Theatre in London.
Michael Jackson is set to return to the stage from beyond the grave after a Nevada judge gave organisers at the Billboard Music Awards the go-ahead to bring the King of Pop back to life as a hologram for Sunday's (18May14) prizegiving. Plans to resurrect the superstar to mark the fifth anniversary of his death were thrown into doubt on Thursday (15May14) after businessman Alki David, who claims to control the rights to the hologram technology, filed suit against Jackson's estate executors and Billboard Music Awards producers, demanding the tribute be axed over allegations it would violate his patent rights.
He insisted that if the virtual performance was allowed to take place at the Las Vegas event, it would ruin his own plans to stage a Jackson hologram performance at a later date.
However, his bid to put a stop to the spectacle, aimed at celebrating the release of Jackson's new posthumous album Xscape, was dismissed during a court hearing on Friday (16May14), when Judge Kent Dawson ruled against David due to a lack of evidence.
As a result, Billboard bosses have been given permission to press ahead with the planned gig, which is expected to be similar to the eerie Tupac Shakur stunt at the 2012 Coachella music festival in California, where the dead rapper appeared onstage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in hologram form.
Michael Jackson's estate executors have been slapped with legal action aimed at halting their plans to bring the King of Pop back to life as a hologram onstage at Sunday's (18May14) Billboard Music Awards.
Organisers of the 2014 prizegiving had hoped to mark the fifth anniversary of the Thriller hitmaker's death by resurrecting him in virtual form in conjunction with Jackson estate officials and bosses at the singer's production company as part of a tribute surrounding the release of his new posthumous album Xscape. However, they may have to rethink their plans after Alki David, who claims to control the rights to the hologram technology, filed suit in a U.S. court on Thursday (15May14) in a bid to put a stop to the spectacle, which was expected to be similar to the eerie Tupac Shakur stunt at the 2012 Coachella music festival in California, where the dead rapper appeared onstage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg in hologram form.
In legal papers obtained by TMZ.com, David insists that if the virtual performance is allowed to go ahead at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, it will ruin his own plans to stage a Jackson hologram performance at a later date. A judge has yet to rule on the suit, but Jackson estate lawyer Howard Weitzman is adamant David has no legal standing to stop the Billboard plans.
He tells TMZ.com, "This is another Alki David stunt... It is ludicrous... and the show goes on." Coincidentally, billionaire entrepreneur David is the same man who went public with DNA information suggesting singer Brandon Howard was a 99.9 per cent match as an illegitimate son of the late King of Pop back in March (14). Those allegations were also dismissed by the Jackson estate. The superstar died in June, 2009.
The Avengers stars including Mark Ruffalo and Chris Evans have come together to make a cancer-stricken fan's dream come true. Brit Stratford Caldecott, 60, was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2011 and doctors have now given him just weeks to live. His daughter, Sophie, launched a social media campaign appealing to Marvel bosses to send her father a DVD of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as Caldecott, a huge Marvel Comics fan, is too ill to make it to the cinema.
Using the hashtag #CapForStrat, users on Twitter and Instagram began taking photos of themselves holding up signs appealing to the cast of The Avengers and actors from TV series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to join the cause. Ruffalo, who plays The Hulk in the blockbuster franchise, was the first to send his support with a photo of himself holding up a sign which read: "Banner/Hulk for Strat! #CapForStrat". He added the caption: "Hang tough Strat! We are pulling for you."
Ruffalo's co-stars soon followed suit, with Evans, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, and Cobie Smulders as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actors Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Brett Dalton, and Elizabeth Henstridge all sending in their "Strat Selfies". Thanks to their star power, the campaign has worked - Marvel chiefs have agreed to organise a special screening of the latest Captain America movie at Caldecott's home in England.
Daughter Sophie says, "We've actually achieved what we wanted to achieve in that Marvel have got in touch and are going to arrange for dad to see The Winter Soldier at home, hopefully next week. And the selfies of support for him from the cast are just a wonderful cherry on top that are making him smile. I'm going to get them all printed out and stick them by his bed for when times get tougher."