‘Ride Along 2’ #1, ‘Revenant’ Holds Strong and ‘Star Wars’ Crosses $1 Billion Internationally

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Ride Along 2 was unable to top its predecessor but an estimated $34 million is enough to top the weekend box office, followed closely by Fox’s The Revenant, which dropped only 26% in its second weekend in wide release. Both films finished ahead of domestic box office king Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which fell to third in its fifth weekend in release while becoming only the fifth film to ever cross a major international milestone.

Meanwhile Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi performed just slightly under expectations while Lionsgate’s animated pick-up Norm of the North exceeded our most pessimistic of expectations. A selection of this past Thursday’s Oscar nominees also added a few theaters, delivering results worth taking a look at.

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Starting at the top, 2014’s Ride Along debuted with a whopping $41.5 million over the three-day weekend and $48.6 million for what was a four-day, Martin Luther King weekend record. The action/comedy sequel, which sees stars Kevin Hart and Ice Cube return, fell a bit short of the original with an estimated $34 million and what will likely end up being a $39 million four-day weekend. While this falls short of the first film, it’s still enough to challenge for a spot as one of the the top five all-time Martin Luther King weekend openings. It will need to put in a little work over the coming weekends, however, if it’s to top $100 million domestically as word of mouth might not be as strong for this one considering its “B+” CinemaScore compared to the first film’s “A”.

As was pointed out in the weekend preview, there are examples on both sides of the comedy sequel trend to support a big drop as well as big gains when compared to their predecessors. As it turns out, Ride Along 2 joins the likes of Think Like a Man Too, Horrible Bosses 2, Anchorman 2 and Ted 2 by falling short of the first film as well as our weekend predictions.

Coming in second is The Revenant, which lead the 2015 Oscar nominations with twelve and follows up its excellent wide release last weekend with an estimated $29.5 million this weekend. That’s a mere 25.9% drop, which is actually better than American Sniper’s impressive, 27.6% second weekend drop last year. Fox is predicting $35 million for the four-day holiday weekend, enough to become one of the all-time top ten Martin Luther King weekends. Add to that, the film brought in another $31.5 million internationally, bringing its worldwide cume to over $151 million.

Falling from the weekend top spot for the first time since its December 18 release, Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought in an estimated $25.1 million for the three-day weekend and is looking at $31 million for thefour-day as its domestic cume has now grown to $856.9 million. Meanwhile, it has become the fifth highest grossing release internationally and only the fifth film to bring in over $1 billion from overseas territories. It’s international cume has now grown to $1.012 billion, resulting in over $1.8 billion worldwide. It currently sits only $4.1 million shy of Jurassic World’s overseas gross and will soon top Furious 7’s $1.16 billion for third place on the list.

Landing in fourth position is another one of the weekend’s new wide releases, Michael Bay’s 13 Hours, which tallied an estimated $16 million for the three-day weekend with Paramount estimating $19 million for the four-day. This is Bay’s first film to gross less than $20 million in its first three days since The Island back in 2005. Budgeted at $50 million, it should push to end up grossing somewhere right around $45-50 million for its domestic run, perhaps lower than the $49.8 million Pain and Gain brought in back in 2013.

Lionsgate’s Norm of the North managed to perform a little better than expectations, which has to be a welcome result for the studio, which is on the hook only for the cost of distribution rights and it’s limited marketing spend. The film ended up grossing an estimated $6.6 million over the three-day and is estimated to finish around $8.8 million for the four-day weekend.

Looking over the list of Oscar nominees, The Big Short had the best hold in the top ten, dropping 15.8% this weekend, despite shedding 764 theaters. Playing in 1,765 theaters the five-time Oscar nominated film finished in eighth position with an estimated $5.2 million over the three-day weekend.

Brooklyn added 393 theaters and brought in $1.66 million for a 57.3% bump compared to last weekend. Right behind it was fellow Best Picture nominee, Spotlight, which expanded its reach by 617 theaters, playing in just shy of one thousand overall cinemas and bringing in an estimated $1.5 million. Additionally, A24’s Room brought in an estimated $700,000 from 293 theaters for a 504% bump, the weekend’s largest increase.

Paramount’s animated Oscar nominee, Charlie Kaufman’s stop-motion animated feature Anomalisa added 20 theaters and is now playing in 37 theaters across the country where it grossed an estimated $290,000.

The weekend’s per theater winner was Sony Classics’ The Lady in the Van, which had a two theater Academy run in December, but is now considered officially released, pulling in an estimated $72,264 from four theaters for a $18,066 per theater average.

Next weekend sees the release of Sony’s sci-fi thriller The 5th Wave, which actually opened in some international territories this weekend and pulled in $8.2 million from over 1,900 screens. Additionally, the PG-13 horror The Boy from STX will hit theaters next weekend along with the Robert De Niro and Zac Efron comedy Dirty Grandpa, all of which will be playing in around 2,600-2,800 theaters.

You can check out the three-day estimated results from this weekend right here and we’ll be back tomorrow with a full list of estimated results for the four-day weekend.

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MTV VMA 2015: Miley’s Insane Outfits, Bieber Cries, Swift wins Big!

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The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards are being held Sunday, August 30, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and hosted by Miley Cyrus. Awards will be handed out in 16 categories, and Kanye West will be presented with the Vanguard Award.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Host Miley Cyrus in the audience during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Taylor Swift leads the nominations for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, boasting 10, mostly for her “Bad Blood” video, which is nominated for Video of the Year.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Host Miley Cyrus speaks onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images For MTV)

Ed Sheeran boasts the second most nominations with six. He is also nominated for Video of the Year for “Thinking Out Loud.” Kendrick Lamar also boasts four nominations.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Host Miley Cyrus attends the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The record for most awards won by an artist over their career is held by Madonna, who holds 20 trophies. Even if Swift swept all of her categories, she would not catch up.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Host Miley Cyrus speaks onstage during the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

She could, however, tie Peter Gabriel’s record of 10 wins in a single year. He won those awards in 1987 — nine for his famous “Sledgehammer” video and the Video Vanguard Award in addition.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains nudity.) Host Miley Cyrus attends the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Justin Bieber: 

His performance on the VMA stage was as straightforward as the VMAs get, even ending with laser lights and Bieber floating upward toward the ceiling. The rest of the set, including both “Where Are U Now” and Bieber’s new single “What Do You Mean?” showed off Bieber’s falsetto and dance moves (which apparently exist!).

By the time the performance was done and Bieber was safely back on the ground, the pop star was hunched over on his knees, breathing hard — and sobbing. Clearly of all of us, Bieber needed this performance the most.

Here is the full list of winners from the 2015 MTV VMAs (winners in bold):

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

Beyoncé – “7/11″
Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Sia – “Elastic Heart”
Ellie Goulding – “Love Me Like You Do”

BEST HIP-HOP VIDEO
Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Nicki Minaj – “Anaconda”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”
Big Sean ft. E-40 – “I Don’t F–k With You”

BEST MALE VIDEO
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
The Weeknd – “Earned It”
Nick Jonas – “Chains”

BEST POP VIDEO

Beyoncé – “7/11″
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift – “Blank Space”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Maroon 5 – “Sugar”

BEST ROCK VIDEO

Hozier – “Take Me to Church”
Fall Out Boy – “Uma Thurman”
Florence + the Machine – “Ship to Wreck”
Walk the Moon – “Shut Up and Dance”
Arctic Monkeys – “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Beyoncé – “7/11″
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

ARTIST TO WATCH
Fetty Wap – “Trap Queen”
Vance Joy – “Riptide”
George Ezra – “Budapest”
James Bay – “Hold Back The River”
FKA Twigs – “Pendulum”

BEST COLLABORATION
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood”
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk”
Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth – “See You Again”
Ariana Grande & The Weeknd – “Love Me Harder”
Jessie J + Ariana Grande + Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang”

VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE
Jennifer Hudson – “I Still Love You”
Colbie Caillat – “Try”
Big Sean ft. Kanye West and John Legend – “One Man Can Change the World”
Rihanna – “American Oxygen”
Wale – “The White Shoes”

PROFESSIONAL CATEGORIES

BEST ART DIRECTION
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Charles Infante)
Snoop Dogg – “So Many Pros” (François Rousselet, Jason Fijal)
Jack White – “Would You Fight For My Love” (Jack White, Jeff Peterson)
The Chemical Brothers – “Go” (Michel Gondry)
Skrillex & Diplo – “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Beyoncé – “7/11″ (Beyoncé, Chris Grant, Additional choreography: Gabriel Valenciano)
OK Go – “I Won’t Let You Down” (OK Go, air:man, and Mori Harano)
Chet Faker – “Gold” (Ryan Heffington)
Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Nappy Tabs)
Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me” (Keone and Mari Madrid)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me” (Larkin Sieple)
Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud” (Daniel Pearl)
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Christopher Probst)
FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Justin Brown)
Alt-J – “Left Hand Free” (Mike Simpson)

BEST DIRECTION
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Joseph Kahn)
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – “Uptown Funk” (Bruno Mars and Cameron Duddy)
Kendrick Lamar – “Alright” (Colin Tilley & the Little Homies)
Hozier – “Take Me To Church” (Brendan Canty and Conal Thomson of Feel Good Lost)
Childish Gambino – “Sober” (Hiro Murai)

BEST EDITING
Beyoncé – “7/11″ (Beyoncé, Ed Burke, Jonathan Wing)
Ed Sheeran – “Don’t” (Jacquelyn London)
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Chancler Haynes at Cosmo Street)
A$AP Rocky – “L$D” (Dexter Navy)
Skrillex & Diplo “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Bad Blood” (Ingenuity Studios)
FKA Twigs – “Two Weeks” (Gloria FX, Tomash Kuzmytskyi, and Max Chyzhevskyy)
Childish Gambino – “Telegraph Ave.” (Gloria FX)
Skrillex & Diplo “Where Are U Now” with Justin Bieber (Brewer, Gloria FX, and Max Chyzhevskyy)
Tyler, the Creator – “F****** Young/Death Camp” (Gloria FX)

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Taylor Swift slams Apple for not paying artists, Apple reverses policy!

In case you haven’t heard about it yet, Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple regarding their iTunes store policies, specifically regarding the new iTunes streaming service that Apple is about to launch soon.

The letter, published on Swift’s personal Tumblr, talked about why she is not allowing her new album ’1989′ to be streamed on iTunes. She mentioned how Apple is not paying artists for first three months of the launch of the service.

With streaming services, artists get paid according to the plays on their songs. If Apple is giving the service for free to its customers, it should reimburse the artists for the three months of lost revenue, which they don’t. (Worth noting is that Swift also does not have her entire discography on Spotify for similar monetary reasons.)

Swift further talked about how people in the music industry were dissatisfied with this move but were afraid to speak up publicly “because we admire and respect Apple so much.” She later finished her post saying “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

It didn’t take long for the post to go viral and get people talking about it even on a Sunday. But before it escalated further, Apple quickly stepped in and tried to make amends. Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services, personally called Swift. In an interview with Billboard he said, “When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change. And so that’s why we decide we will now pay artists during the trial period.” He then confirmed Apple will be paying the artists out of its own pockets for the first three months of the service, and that it was never their intent to not compensate artists.

Swift later tweeted out saying she was “Elated and relieved”, although she didn’t confirm if she will be making her album available for streaming on iTunes.

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‘Jurassic World’ Becomes the Fastest Film to Cross $1 Billion Globally!

“Jurassic World” is poised to cross $1 billion at the global box office more quickly than any film before it.

The dinosaur blockbuster should eclipse that mark on Monday after 13 days in theaters, trumping the record set earlier this year by “Furious 7,” which took 17 days to pass that barrier. Currently, the Universal release’s worldwide total sits at $981.3 million, after topping foreign charts this weekend with a $160.5 million haul from 66 territories.

The film has shattered expectations. Going into the summer, analysts expected that the picture would be overshadowed by “Minions” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Now, it has a chance of being the highest-grossing release of the year, potentially giving “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” a run for its money when it debuts this December.“It’s destroying box office records,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “It will be interesting to see how well it continues to perform. Can ‘Star Wars’ even compete with this film?”

The picture isn’t just a domestic smash. “Jurassic World” has done massive business in China, where it has earned $167.1 million, more than double the amount it has racked up anywhere else save for the United States.

Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out” also put up big numbers at the foreign box office, though its international rollout is more staggered than that of many summer blockbusters. The critically adored family film earned a robust $41 million from 41 territories, the biggest of which were Mexico ($8.8 million), Russia ($7.7 million) and France ($5.2 million). The Russian debut ranks as Disney’s biggest animated opening in the country, while Mexico represented the best ever kickoff for an animated film that isn’t a sequel. The film still has much of Europe left to open and won’t land in China until July 30.

Foreign audiences got an early look at “Minions,” the “Despicable Me” spinoff that is expected to be one of the summer’s biggest hits. The Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment release bowed in four international territories this week, a quartet that includes Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia, where it generated a sizable $12.3 million in receipts.

Among milestones, Warner Bros. and New Line’s “San Andreas” crossed $400 million at the global box office, pushing the $110 million movie squarely in profitable terrain. The disaster film added $18.8 million to its $414.2 million bounty.

The rest of the top five was rounded out by “SPL II: A Time for Consequences,” the sequel to the hit 2005 Hong Kong martial arts film “SPL: Sha Po Lang,” which earned a sizable $29 million.

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