When Rihanna arrived back on Instagram this weekend, I was actually astounded time didn’t stop or a parade wasn’t immediately held in her honor (#rude). Despite this super disrespectful lack of public fanfare, badgalriri has been uploading photos left and right, from birthday parties, to her sick Halloween costume, to a sneak peak at her upcoming December cover for Elle magazine, which the mag described as “boldly stripped down.”
Well, it seems she’s also stripping down (way, way down) for the December cover of UKEsquire‘s ‘Food & Drink’ themed issue, and to say the spread is amazing would pretty much be the understatement of the century.
No, seriously. Look.
She uploaded a few other pictures from the spread, which was shot by famed fashion photog Ellen von Unwerth, and full disclosure—you might need a super strong fan or some ice water to get through the rest of it. Rihanna SLAYS.
Black and white pictures + a shower hose – clothing = Rihanna’s best spread eva, IMHO. If she was looking for a way to truly ring in the return of her reign over Instagram, these pictures straight up nailed it. Bless you, Rih-Rih, BLESS YOU.
Heaven Is For Real is to The Grudge as God’s Not Dead is to The Ring. As the first major Christian-centric film to drop after the surprisingly successful God’s Not Dead, Heaven Is For Real got to capitalize on being the next portion of a newly popular dish. The Asian horror remake fad frankly began and ended with The Ring and The Grudge, with none of the would-be cash-ins outside of those two franchises, not even the painfully underratedDark Water remake) topping $28 million domestic. In terms of Asian remakes of all genres, the Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves romantic drama The Lake House basically doubled nearly every Asian horror remake with $52m domestic in 2006 (it’s also a painfully underrated meditation on adult loneliness). But the only Asian remake that soared is the one that followed the one that kick started the trend.
All of this explains how a Greg Kinnear-led drama earned $28.5 million over its five-day debut. If God’s Not Dead possibly made the Christian drama into a somewhat more popular sub-genre, then Heaven Is For Real is the first one to capitalize accordingly. Releasing a religious-themed film, especially a family-friendly one somewhat dealing with resurrection (it’s about young boy who claims to have seen heaven following a near-death experience), over the Easter holiday, has its advantages. Many businesses and most schools were closed on Friday, which meant bigger business offerings such as this. TheSony production opened on Wednesday with $3.7 million, earning another $3.3m on Thursday and now scored $21.5 million over the Fri-Sun weekend.
That’s a 2.73x weekend multiplier, which is actually pretty good for Easter weekend. Easter weekend is legendary for some horrible multipliers, as The Hanna Montana Movie (2009) and African Cats(2011) are the third and fourth most front loaded weekends of all-time. The film earned nearly as much on Friday as previous sub-genre’s record holder God’s Not Dead earned on its Fri-Sun opening weekend ($9.2m), even with the $7m worth of Wed-Thurs tickets already accounted for. Considering the film’s $12m budget and strong word-0f-mouth among the targeted demographic, this one is already a big hit. Chalk it up to the obvious buzz around God’s Not Dead (which ended the weekend just under $49m by the way) and the usual church-centric advertising that helps sell films like this, along with the presence of honest-to-goodness known actors like the always terrific Greg Kinnear and Thomas Hayden Church.
Heaven Is For Real played 62% female and 49% under 35 years old. Yes, it got an A+ from Cinemascore from under-35 demos for what that’s worth. As I’ve always said, there is real money to be made from demographics that aren’t explicitly targeted as a matter of habit. This one may well have legs, and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t at least come close to topping the $59m gross of 20th Century Fox’s Son of God and end up being the biggest ‘explicitly sold to Christians’ religious film ever released. I imagine the DVD will sell like hotcakes when the time comes. Four God-centric films in under two months: Son of God, God’s Not Dead, Noah, and now Heaven Is For Real. I hate trend pieces, but this looks like a trend.
What was supposed to be the big opener of the weekend qualifies as an out-and-out bomb. I generally try to avoid screaming “FLOP!” whenever possible, but there is absolutely no good news forTranscendence. Transcendence boasted terrible reviews, almost no buzz, a generic trailer, and a director who is notable among film nerds like myself (Wally Pfister was the DP on the last several Chris Nolan films). That it opened with a miserable $11.15 million weekend is mostly attributable to face-on-the-poster star Johnny Depp and audiences wanting something resembling a big film while they wait forThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 in two weeks.
Truth be told, there is a portion of moviegoers who will see whatever the “big” movie of a given weekend happens to be, but you need far more than those consistent regulars to show up. The Warner Bros. (a division of Time Warner TWX+1.02%) release cost $100 million, but as usual the money came from elsewhere. Alcon Entertainment co-financed the film with China’s DMG Entertainment (it opened yesterday in China as well). SummitInternational sold overseas rights to various independent distributors, which actually covered much of the budget.
The film played 54% male, 21% under 18, 44% under 25, and 56% over 25, earning a C+ from Cinemascore overall. Anyway, this one is a big miss, both because it’s not very good and because it’s an unfortunate case of an original star vehicle tanking. Oh well. Let’s hope Jupiter Ascending delivers this July in the realm of big-budget original sci-fi vehicles. This is simply a very bad film that couldn’t make the sell over opening weekend and now has no reason to have anything resembling legs. Sometimes, even with “big” films, the reviews matter. In defense of all parties involved, especially Depp, I’m sure Transcendence (an original science-fiction morality drama from the DP who shot Inception) seemed great in theory.
The next opener was A Haunted House 2 from Open Road Films. The $3 million sequel to last year’s A Haunted House opened with $9.1m. That’s way down from the $18m opening weekend of A Haunted House last January. I suppose that’s unfortunate, but again, the Marlon Wayans comedy cost just $3m to produce, so I don’t think anyone will be too busted up about the not terribly surprising comedown. It won’t touch the first film’s $40m domestic gross, but at that budget, it really doesn’t have to.
If the film does well in after-theatrical, we may see another one next year anyway. My wife for some reason loves White Chicks so there is a good chance I’ll have to watch this on DVD. Pray for me. But then I owe her for making her sit through the original Godzilla with me last night. Black & White, full-frame, foreign with subtitles, it’s like a checklist of things my wife hates. Yes I’m aware of the irony. Hopefully at least one of my children will pick up the slack.
Also opening this weekend was Walt Disney’s DIS+1.32%Bears, which is about zebras. The harmless if somewhat patronizing animal documentary (I’m reasonably sure those bears aren’t thinking what John C. Reilly told me they were thinking) earned a mediocre $4.7 million over the weekend. That’s the lowest debut thus far for a Disneynature documentary, as Earth opened with $8m in 2009, Oceans and African Cats opened with $6m in 2010 and 2011, and Chimpanzees opened with $12m in 2012. Business is usually pretty brief for these documentaries, so don’t expect Bears to get much past $12m total.
In all honesty, these are glorified charity works from the Mouse House, offering stunning nature footage in a kid-friendly narrative that arguably works as a gateway drug into more realistic nature documentaries and/or a general interest in the natural world. Bears will probably end its run with around $12m and we’ll get another one, Monkey Kingdom, this time next year. My kids had a good time on Friday, and my daughter learned the lesson meant to be imparted by all nature documentaries: Being a wild animal stinks.
Opening in limited release was John Turtorro’s Fading Gigolo, which is also the rare film that features Woody Allen but isn’t directed by Allen. The film, which Tuturro directed, wrote, and starred in, opened on five theaters courtesy of Millenium Entertainment. They earned $198,399, with a $39,680 per-screen average, for their troubles. In holdover news, the weekend was again dominated by Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2. The Walt Disney/Marvel sequel earned another $26 million for the weekend, down just 36% thanks to the holiday. The Chris Evans/Scarlett Johansson adventure has earned $201.5m domestic, passing the $176m total for Captain America and $181m total for Thor. It’s also now Robert Redford’s highest-grossing film ever, not adjusting for inflation of course. The real story is overseas, where the sequel has earned $385m for a worldwide cume of $586.6m.
20th Century Fox’s Rio 2 held okay, earning $22.5m on its second weekend (-43%) despite the holiday cushion. The $103m animated sequel has earned $75m domestic, already behind the $80m ten-day total of Rio. Worldwide, it was at $177m going into the weekend, so it’s just a question of how high over $200m it gets by tomorrow. They also earned $5.9m for Draft Day (-39%), giving the Kevin Costner football film $19.54m by the end of the today. Lionsgate earned another $5.75m from Divergent, a solid 21% drop, bringing the franchise-starter’s cume to $133.9m. Oculus earned $5.2 million on its second weekend, an expected 57% drop for the Relativity horror film. The film has earned $21.19m thus far. Paramount’s Noah earned $5m for a $93.2m cume. Finally, Universal’s Non-Stop crossed $90m this weekend.
That’s it for today. Join us next weekend for the calm before the summer storm. 20th Century Fox debuts the Cameron Diaz/Leslie Mann/Kate Upton comedy The Other Woman, Lionsgate drops The Quiet Ones, and Relativity debuts Brick Mansions, a Paul Walker/RZA remake of District B19. – Source: Forbes
Zac Efron may not have kept his earlier promise to accept his MTV Movie Award sans shirt, but no matter – presenter Rita Ora was quick to assist.
The Neighbors star, 26, had Tweeted, “If I beat Thor – I’m accepting the award shirtless on stage” back in March, but when the moment finally came Sunday night, Efron’s button-down remained firmly in place.
As the audience heckled him, Ora snuck up behind Efron and did the honors, ripping his shirt down to the navel to reveal that the actor had in fact been working on his fitness.
“I really don’t know what to say, but thank you so much to my fans,” a bare-chested Efron added before laughing and removing the top completely, whipping it around like a lasso. Rounding out his acceptance speech? A flex and salute to the cheering crowd.
“There will be new categories,” Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal in an interview regarding Apple’s recent buyback of more than $14 billion in stock. “We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff.”
Now, Cook has alluded to Apple getting into new product categories before. But speaking with the Journal, the CEO seems more intent than ever on convincing worried investors that his company has some major things in the pipeline…
The Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayashi reports:
“Thursday, Mr. Cook reiterated that Apple plans to enter a new category this year. Apple watchers are speculating about wearable devices or a new television platform.
“There will be new categories. We’re not ready to talk about it, but we’re working on some really great stuff,” Mr. Cook said. When asked whether a new product category could mean an improvement on an existing product like an iPad Air, a lighter version of its tablet computer, or new services such as mobile payments, Mr. Cook declined to comment.
He said that anyone “reasonable” would consider what Apple is working on as new categories.”
Cook also wanted to make it clear that Apple remains a “growth company”—something investors have repeatedly questioned over the last year as the iPad maker’s revenue growth has dropped to less than 10%, and its net income to 11%.
“He said his statement that Apple doesn’t aim to make the most phones has been misunderstood.
“I don’t view that as being satisfied with being small or however you want to define it,” he said. “I just want to say that the macro thing for us is making a great product and we must do that. If we can’t do that, we’re not going to force ourselves to hit a price point that makes us produce a product that we’re not proud of because we lose who we are in that. We’re not going to do that.”
And finally, the CEO talked about acquisitions, another hot topic with investors who feel Apple’s $160 billion cash pile is burning a hole in the company’s pocket. Historically, Apple hasn’t made big acquisitions, but it’s not out of the question.
“The Apple CEO said its history of opting for smaller deals doesn’t mean that the company won’t pull the trigger on a big acquisition if it makes sense.
“We’ve looked at big companies,” said Mr. Cook. “We have no problem spending 10 figures for the right company, for the right fit that’s in the best interest of Apple in the long-term. None. Zero.”
I recommend checking out the entire interview, as Cook seems more candid than his usual self. It almost comes off as a bit of a defensive PR move, which would make sense after Apple’s stock dropped more than 8% following its Q1 earnings.
Apple seems to be fighting the perception that its best days are behind it, but there’s only so much words can do without action. I for one am looking forward to seeing if it can live up to its own hype this year: larger iPhone, iWatch, new Apple TV.
Bad boy alert! Shakira and Rihanna have fallen hard for the wrong guy on their duet, “Can’t Remember To Forget You,” which debuted on Monday (January 13).
The up-tempo single has Latin and Island flourishes that slightly recall Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven”. Thematically, it pays homage to Shakira’s 2007 duet with Beyoncé “Beautiful Liar.”
The trade lines about a guy they just can’t let go. “Oh oh oh oh/ I can’t remember to forget you/ I keep forgetting I should let you go/ But when you look at me, the only memory, is us kissing in the moonlight/ Oh oh oh oh/ I can’t remember to forget you,” they each sing on the chorus.
So, how deep do Shakira and Rihanna’s feelings for this guy run? They break it down later on in the song, singing, “I rob and I kill to keep him with me/ I do anything for that boy/ I’d give my last dime to hold him tonight/ I do anything for that boy.”
The song will be featured on Shakira’s upcoming album, the follow-up to 2010’s Sale el Sol. The Colombian-born pop star also announced Monday that the album will drop March 25.
Shakira explained the duet after debuting the track on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show.
“You know, we’re both from the Caribbean so I always thought we had that common ground, but this song is pretty reggae,” noting it has a rock sound that she feels Rihanna also embodied. “I honestly thought it would never happen… She heard the record and she loved it and she said she was onboard and I was the happiest girl alive,” she said. “To shoot the video with her has been a blast.”
So, what inspired the track? Well, not Shakira’s relationship with her baby daddy, Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique. “I’m going through a completely different experience right in relation to the song. The song is about that guy that just gets under your skin and you can’t leave alone. I think every woman has been through that. This song is not exactly a reflection of my personal life right now,” she said, calling from Barcelona where she putting the finishing touches on the album.
In addition to new music, she will return to “The Voice” on February 24 with guest mentor Miranda Lambert joining her team. “I don’t know [how Blake Shelton feels]. I don’t care much,” she teased. “I’m excited to come back. I have this strategy designed only to take him down.”