Summer movie season doesn't really kick off Stateside until next week with Iron Man 3, but Marvel's follow-up to The Avengers started blockbuster season early damn near everywhere else in the world this weekend.
At home, Pain & Gain opened in first place with a pretty impressive haul for a dark comedy liberally sprinkled with really nasty violence. The ensemble romantic comedy The Big Wedding, meanwhile, pretty much crashed on launch in fourth place.
Pain & Gain, hitting theaters nationwide today, April 26th, is the sort of story that could only really happen in Florida.
Mark Wahlberg (Ted), Anthony Mackie (Gangster Squad), and Dwayne Johnson (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) are a trio of burnout bodybuilders, none of whom are especially bright or industrious. Despite that, the three team up to execute Lugo's criminal plan to elevate himself out of his life as a gymrat and trainer. Lugo aspires to his piece of the American dream, and he intends to get it by kidnapping a wealthy businessman in a harebrained extortion scheme. Naturally, not everything goes according to plan and all hell breaks loose.
The movie is a longtime passion project for Michael Bay (Transformers, The Rock), who frames the action comedy with the gaudy style of mid-nineties South Beach. Not only is Miami the perfect place to tell this story, it is perhaps the only place to tell this story.
And that got us thinking, kicking around ideas here at IAR HQ. In some films, location is purely a product of which state offers the best tax incentives; it's incidental. In fewer films, though, setting is inextricably connected to story. And in even fewer films, Florida is essential to the telling of the tale. The peninsula down below Alabama and Georgia is a tropical wonderland of beaches, gators, crocs, the Everglades, Disney World, neon-soaked cities, diverse and vibrant cultures, manatees, and eccentric human behavior.
With its humid tropicality, beautiful landscapes, and general sexiness, Florida is the perfect setting for many a film. In recognition of Pain & Gain's theatrical release, we've compiled a ten-spot of movies that could take place nowhere other than the great state of Florida.
Since it was the one and only new wide release, it comes as no surprise that Oblivion was very much the busiest movie in Stateside theaters this weekend.
Starring as Billy Taggart in Broken City, Mark Wahlberg joins the ranks of actors who have memorably portrayed private investigators, cinematic seekers of the truth who operate in a moral grey area, without a badge or a uniform.
In the thriller from director Allen Hughes, Taggart is a former cop, an incorruptible officer disgraced by a controversial shooting. Now an alcoholic private eye, he's contracted by New York Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) to spy on his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Taggart expects a fairly standard cheating spouse case, but through his investigation, Taggart discovers a conspiracy that goes to the highest levels of power, a plot that could change New York forever.
Broken City is now available to purchase on DHD, or Digital High Def, weeks before Blu-ray and DVD. Early availability of DHD isn't the only advantage, either, as a download of Broken City comes equipped with bonus features, scene selection, and a high-definition presentation that can be viewed on your television, your computer, or portable electronic device, be it a phone, tablet, or anything in between.
With Broken City on DHD, we here at IAR have been thinking about Taggart's forebears, the onscreen private investigators who aren't just good at their jobs, they're great at their jobs. These are PIs who go above and beyond the call of duty, solving seemingly insoluble mysteries and getting to the bottom of dangerous cases like seasoned professionals.
So, for your enjoyment, we've compiled a list of cinematic private investigators who go all the way in the course of their jobs.
Apparently moviegoers still have an appetite for splattery, hard R-rated horror, because the new Evil Dead remake claimed the top spot at the domestic box office by a pretty wide margin, pushing aside a holdover Hasbro adventure, an animated romp, and the return of ILM's dinosaurs.
Two new completely different new releases proved surprisingly successful in their nationwide debuts, with an animated prehistoric comedy and a White House-set actioner dominating the weekend at American multiplexes.
The Croods debuted in first place by a wide margin, with Olympus Has Fallen opening in second. The low-key Admission, meanwhile, failed to make a big impression, and the incendiary Spring Breakers expanded nationwide.
There was never any doubt that Oz the Great and Powerful would reign supreme in its second frame at number one over this Saint Patrick's Day Weekend.
And the fantasy adventure did indeed oblige, leaving the real surprise for number two, as two new releases, The Call and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, inverted expectations.
For months now, Disney's inescapable marketing effort has been declaring Oz the Great and Powerful the first movie event of 2013.
And now that's what Sam Raimi's big 3D fantasy adventure has become, opening to an estimated $80.2 million from 3,912 locations.
It's March, and as the nation begins to see the first faint signs of spring on this post-awards season weekend, a lumbering 3D event movie, a raucous comedy, and a horror sequel all joined in the box office competition.
Jack the Giant Slayer posted a first-place debut despite under-performing substantially, while 21 & Over opened to a promising start, and The Last Exorcism Part II failed to live up to its predecessor.
A quartet of new wide releases vied for audience attention on this unusual weekend – flanked by holidays on either side thanks to Valentine's Day and Presidents Day – with each one representing a wildly different style.
The two big winners were the action sequel A Good Day to Die Hard and the hit novel adaptation Safe Haven.