Entertainment Articles

2015 Golden Globe nominations announced

-Originally published on National Monitor

It’s that time of year again. The weather gets colder, the holidays come calling and it officially becomes the start of the Hollywood awards season. This year the nominations are dominated by retired superheroes, boys becoming men and games of imitation.

The leader of the pack this year is the small scale film, Birdman, which dominated with seven Golden Globe nominations. Those nods included best actor nominations for stars Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and Edward Norton as well as for best director for Alejandro G. Inarritu. The film was also nominated for Best Musical or Comedy, an honor it shares with Into the Woods, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Pride and St. Vincent.

With the second highest amount of nominations, the academy chose Boyhood, which was nominated for Best Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette. The Imitation Game also had a good year. In addition to be nominated for Best Drama, the film was nominated for Best Actor in Benedict Cumberbatch and Best Supporting Actress for Keira Knightley, among others. Additional films in the Best Drama field include Foxcatcher, Selma and The Theory of Everything.

The committee also nominated a great group of films for the Best Animated Motion Picture category. These films include the superhero film, Big Hero 6, the Guillermo del Toro produced The Book of Life, stop-motion film, The Boxtrolls, lego-related movie, The Lego Movie and the animated hid, How to Train Your Dragon 2.

The Best Foreign Language Film category had great award possibilities from around the globe with nominations for Force Majeure, Gett, Ida, Leviathan and the beautiful Tangerines Mandarinid.
As far as television goes, the frontrunner this year is the drama, Fargo. The show, a dark comedy concerning a murder mystery, was nominated for five awards including Best TV Movie or Mini-series as well as nominations for acting, including nods for actor Martin Freeman and actress Allison Tolman.

The well received television drama, True Detective, came in second with four nominations this time around. Those nominations also included Best TV Movie or Mini-Series as well as Best Actor nominations for both leads, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, and a nomination for Michelle Monoghan for Best Actress. Other films in the Best TV Movie or Mini-Series include The Normal Heart, Olive Kitteridge and The Missing.

Next in the best TV Drama category which includes regular scripted series shows, the nominations included The Affair, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, The Good Wife and House of Cards. The Best Actor nominations for this category included nods for Clive Owen, Live Schreiber, Kevin Spacy, Dominic West and academy favorite, James Spader. Best Actress nods went to Claire Danes, Viola Davis, Julianna Margulies, Ruth Wilson and Robin Wright.

Musically, the nominations were varied with Best Song nominations that included Big Eyes from the film Big Eyes, Glory from the film Selma, Mercy Is from the movie Noah, Opportunity from the musical Annie and Lords’s Yellow Flicker Beat from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.


Exodus slays Hunger Games at weekend box office

-Originally published on National Monitor

On a relatively slow box office weekend, Christian Bale’s Exodus: Gods and Kings became the box office champ, beating out the Hunger Games as well as a new Chris Rock comedy and a group of rambunctious penguins.

Exodus, the biblical tale of Moses and his struggles against the Egyptians, dominated the box office this weekend with a total three-day gross of $24.5 million, domestically. This gross was in line with industry expectations but since the film carries a budget of over $140 million, the film will need to continue to bring in strong returns if it hopes to recoup its budget. The film will probably do well as it continues to be introduced in international markets.

In second, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, certainly did not disappoint, taking in $13.2 million in its third weekend in release. At this point, Mockingjay has brought in over $277 million worldwide which officially makes it the second highest grossing film of this year. The only film that made more in 2015 is the comic book adaptation, Guardians of the Galaxy, which has brought in $771 million at this point. This is an earnings line that Mockingjay has no choice of beating.

In third, the animated comedy, Penguins of Madagascar was able to barely edge out comedy, Top Five, bringing in $7.3 million over the weekend. The comedy, which features the voice talents of A-list actors, John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ken Jeong has delivered somewhat disappointing returns, grossing just $170 million from a $132 million budget.

In fourth, the new comedy, Top Five took in $7.2 million. The film, which was produced, written and directed by Saturday Night Live alumni, Chris Rock, was the only other new wide release this weekend. The movie has been widely praised by critics, which have christened the film with an 89% fresh rating. The film could have made more but considering the limited amount of theaters it was released in, the film did pretty well. Great cameos also helped the movie with appearances from comedians, Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld and Tracy Morgan.

Finally, in fifth, the animated superhero film, Big Hero 6, managed to hold on to the top five with a weekend gross of $6.1 million. The film, which stars the team of heroes voiced by Ryan Potter, T.J. Miller and Damon Wayans, Jr, had a slim twenty-three percent drop from last weekend and has a total gross of over $253 million.

The rest of the box office consisted of holdovers and smaller, independent films, which showed with varying results. The Paul Thomas Anderson film, Inherent Vice, opened this weekend in only five locations, grossing $330,000, while the Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything, dropped only five percent, grossing $17.1 million to date.

Even though this weekend’s box office certainly didn’t shatter any records, next weekend will be a different story. On Friday, a few big releases, including, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Annie and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, should bring in big numbers.