news//'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 5' IS THE RETURN OF TOM CRUISE, THE MOVIE STAR



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Out of the gate, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, the fifth installment of the spy action flick series that begin with thee original 1996 blockbuster, can be considered a hit. Starring the return of Tom Cruise as the world's favorite movie star, the flick saw the highest opening for the series, earning $55.5 million. It will, no doubt, continue to grow as great word-of-mouth spreads.

In a distant second, the quasi-sequel/mostly-reboot Vacation, starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, launched to terrible reviews, earning only $14.6 million. A highly-publicized film, Vacation was the clear victim to ruthless critiques and had trouble finding its audience. Many of the original film series' fans just weren't interested in the seeing the beloved characters brought back to life in this way.

Disney/Marvel's Ant-Man is already showing signs of weakness, dropping to third place with $12.8 million. That's a far cry than previous Marvel flicks.

A few arthouse films did decent business, the most notable being The End of the Tour, starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. The film opened in 4 theaters, picking up just over $123,000. The Stanford Prison Experiment, starring a cast of up-and-comers, including Tye Sheridan and Ezra Miller, picked up just over $122,000 from 79 locations.

The Top Ten films for the week ending August 2, 2015:

1. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, $55.5 million (NEW)

2. Vacation, $14.6 million (NEW)

3. Ant-Man, $12.8 million (Total: $132.3m)

4. Minions, $12.3 million (Total: $287.5m)

5. Pixels, $10.5 million (Total: $45.7m)

6. Trainwreck, $9.6 million (Total: $79.6m)

7. Southpaw, $7.6 million (Total: $31.6m)

8. Paper Towns, $4.6 million (Total: $23.8m)

9. Inside Out, $4.5 million (Total: $329.5m)

10. Jurassic World, $3.9 million (Total: $631m)

NUMBERS: BOXOFFICE.COM

news//MARVEL ADDS ANOTHER NUMBER ONE WITH 'ANT-MAN'

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It isn't anything new or different. Disney/Marvel's Ant-Man finished the weekend at number one, despite a smaller number than previous superhero films.

Starring Paul Rudd as the titular small-in-size/mighty-in-strength hero, Ant-Man had a somewhat uphill battle to climb in comparison to other similar films. While it didn't quite wow like last year's equally-lesser known Guardians of the Galaxy, it did finish the weekend with just over $57 million and should easily continue with some momentum as the weeks carry on.

The only other wide release was the comedy Trainwreck, written by and starring Amy Schumer, and directed by Judd Apatow. A hit with the critics, Trainwreck enjoyed great word of mouth, opening to a stellar $30 million. As the week progresses, the film could continue to rise and, perhaps, become the sleeper hit of the summer.

In the specialty theater realm, Bajrangi Bhaijaan was a surprise hit, earning over $2.6 million in 256 locations. Documentary Amy continued to rise, earning an additional $1.1 million.

The Top Ten Films for the Week Ending July 19, 2015:

1. Ant-Man, $57.2 million (NEW)

2. Minions, $49.2 million (Total: $215.7m)

3. Trainwreck, $30 million (NEW)

4. Inside Out, $11.6 million (Total: $306.2m)

5. Jurassic World, $11.4 million (Total: $611m)

6. Terminator Genisys, $5.4 million (Total: $80.6m)

7. Magic Mike XXL, $4.4 million (Total: $58.5m)

8. The Gallows, $4 million (Total: $18m)

9. Bajrangi Bhaijaan, $2.62 million (NEW)

10. Ted 2, $2.6 million (Total: $77m)

NUMBERS: BOXOFFICE.COM

news//PIXAR FINALLY PULLS OUT A NUMBER ONE WEEKEND WITH 'INSIDE OUT'

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In its third week of release, Disney/Pixar's Inside Out ended in the top spot at the box office. While it's surprising to see Jurassic World finally slip out of number one, what's even more surprising is that this weekend was marred by two new releases, neither of which performed very well.

As a quasi-sequel, Terminator Genisys set up the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his signature role. Critics ripped the film apart, partly as a lame summer action flick and partly as a poor excuse for a Terminator franchise entry.

What was supposed to be the big movie of the weekend, Magic Mike XXL was a minor hit with critics, but audiences didn't seem to line up the way the studio was hoping. Starring Channing Tatum, the sequel to the surprise hit, Magic Mike, should carry decent legs for the next few weeks, which could recoup its budget.

At the specialty box office, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is showing strong numbers. After growing to 870 screens, the indie dramedy has picked up almost $4 million. The Sundance Film Festival award-winner could become this year's surprise sleeper hit, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The Top Ten Films for the Week Ending July 5, 2015:

1. Inside Out, $29.7 million (Total: $245.8m)

2. Jurassic World, $29.2 million (Total: $556.5m)

3. Terminator Genisys, $27 million (NEW)

4. Magic Mike XXL, $12.8 million (NEW)

5. Ted 2, $11 million (Total: $58.5m)

6. Max, $6.6 million (Total: $25.3m)

7. Spy, $5 million (Total: $97.5m)

8. San Andreas, $2.8 million (Total: $147m)

9. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, $1.2 million (Total: $3.9m)

10. Dope, $1.1 million (Total: $14m)

NUMBERS: BOXOFFICE.COM

review//AMY

Grade: A

AMY
Directed by Asif Kapadia

The tribulations of a struggling artists have been lamented in pop culture and on the silver screen time and time again. Life imitating art is a concept with which we're all familiar. Meshing these two together becomes an insightful and deeply sad portrait of a young talent spiraled into despair in Asif Kapadia's Amy, an intimate look at the rise and fall of Amy Winehouse.

The film opens with home footage of a young, teenage Winehouse serenading a friend for her birthday. Though she's partially goofing off, there's a hint of a sultry voice already blossoming. Fast-forward a few years later and she's in a rehearsal studio belting out modern jazz sounds years far beyond her maturity. From an early age, Winehouse displays sensibilities of a creative caught in between reality and loneliness. Struggles with depression made their mark early on, even though she had no clue why she felt distracted or different. A father who was absent for much of her younger years, and feelings of self-doubt and internal struggle to express herself, perhaps led her into a certain vulnerability that became her downfall early on. From a relationship that advanced far quicker than it should, Amy became the product of addiction and the fodder of tabloids worldwide.

Pieced together with very personal footage, director Kapadia creates a troubling image of Amy's surroundings and how a lack of true support could be to blame for the artist's ultimate demise. Early in the process of her becoming a star, her close loved ones suggested rehab, but her father, charmed by Amy, chose not to force her to go. This stands as an important moment that would shape the remainder of her life, as well as the basis for one of her biggest hit, "Rehab." In fact, one of the more eye-opening sequences laced throughout the film is the revelation of real life moments and how they shaped the lyrics to her songs.

Amy did have a strong backing of friends and family that cared, but she unfortunately allowed herself to distance them in favor of love and substance. Seeing the transition from a curious teen into a glassy-eyed haze of a human is harrowing and sad. Remembering the tabloid coverage and social conversation around her life creates a kind of guilt, now knowing that the external Amy Winehouse was far from the internal Amy Winehouse. Before she died, she revealed to her bodyguard that she would easily leave it all behind to be able to walk down the street without being bothered.

Rating: R
Runtime: 128 minutes